Eyes on Tallahassee - 2010 Florida Legislative Session Recap

Author:Mr Governor Bob Martinez, Karen Walker and Patricia B. Greene
Profession:Holland & Knight

Governor Bob Martinez, Senior Policy Advisor, Tampa, Karen D. Walker, Partner, Tallahassee & Patricia B. Greene, Public Affairs Advisor, Tallahassee Please click on the following link to read Eyes on Tallahassee - 2010 Florida Legislative Session Recap in full.

On April 30, 2010, the Florida Legislature adjourned sine die, bringing the 2010 Regular Legislative Session to a close. Eyes on Tallahassee is Holland & Knight's annual summary of bills that passed during the 2010 session. Also included are bills of interest which did not pass, but may be considered again during the 2011 session which begins on March 1, 2011.

For the 2010 session, 301 bills passed both the House and Senate, specifically 253 general bills, 39 local bills, two concurrent resolutions, three joint resolutions and four memorials. At the beginning of the session, Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul said his goal was to set a record for the fewest bills passed during his two-year tenure. While he didn't realize this goal, the total number of bills passed under his speakership is the lowest since Republicans took control of the Legislature in the 1998 elections.

Highlights of the 2010 session include passage of a $70.4 billion budget, the signing of a Seminole Indian gambling compact, a gubernatorial veto of controversial teacher merit pay legislation and a constitutional amendment easing the class-size requirement passed by voters in 2002, just to name a few.

In this issue:





Energy and EPSC Reform

Public Records

Environmental and Land Use

State and Local Taxes





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Building Safety

CS/CS/CS/CS/HB 663 revises the current law relating to elevator safety, home inspection services, mold assessment and remediation, and building code inspections and enforcement. The bill also provides that after the three-year period provided for repair or rebuilding, the expiration, lapse, non-renewal or revocation of a building permit issued to the property owner will also constitute abandonment of the property as homestead. The bill revises the Florida Building Commission's authority and exempts specified structures from Florida's Building Code requirements.

If approved by the Governor, the effective date of this bill is July 1, 2010, except as otherwise provided.

Copy of Enrolled/Enacted Bill: CS/CS/CS/CS/HB 663

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

CS/CS/CS/HB 713 assigns certain programs to be regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's (DBPR) Division of Professions. The bill specifies that DBPR is responsible for regulation of certain professions and administration of certain examinations. In addition, among other changes, the bill: (1) authorizes the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to issue reproductions of driver licenses to DBPR; (2) revises certain licensing and continuing education requirements; (3) authorizes temporary licensure of spouses of active duty service members; (4) revises grounds for discipline of professional licensees; (5) revises licensing requirements for home inspectors, mold assessors and mold remediators; (6) deletes requirements for certificates of authorization for corporations or partnerships offering home inspection or mold-related services; (7) exempts from punishment certain unlicensed activity occurring before various specified dates; (8) extends time for licensure of home inspectors, mold assessors and mold remediators under certain grandfather provisions and revises such provisions; (9) revises certain exemptions from veterinary regulations; (10) revises licensing requirements for real estate brokers and sales associates and cosmetologists; (11) revises membership of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board; (12) authorizes certain board members and certain members of the Florida Real Estate Commission to offer, conduct and teach certain courses; (13) assigns a departmental unit responsible for regulation of carbon monoxide hazards in certain public lodging establishments; and (14) authorizes DBPR to issue and enforce notices to cease and desist violations of provisions regulating boxing exhibitions.

If approved by the Governor, the effective date of this bill is July 1, 2010.

Copy of Enrolled/Enacted Bill: CS/CS/CS/HB 713

International Commercial Arbitration

CS/HB 821 replaces the Florida International Arbitration Act with the Florida International Commercial Arbitration Act. Among other provisions, the bill: (1) provides requirements, procedures and limitations for international commercial arbitration; (2) provides requirements and restrictions on courts; (3) provides for creation of arbitral tribunals; (4) provides powers, duties and responsibilities of arbitral tribunals; (5) provides for arbitral proceedings; (6) provides procedures for appointment of arbitrators; (7) specifies powers, duties and responsibilities of arbitrators; (8) provides for liability for, and award of, costs and damages; (9) authorizes parties to arbitration to agree to arbitration procedures; (10) provides default procedures; (11) provides procedures and requirements for evidence; (12) provides for awards by arbitral tribunals; (13) provides judicial immunity to arbitrators; and (14) specifies conditions under which court may set aside arbitral award, and provides for recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards by court.

The bill was approved by the Governor on May 11, 2010, and will take effect on July 1, 2010. Chapter 2010-60, Laws of Florida

Copy of Chapter Law: Chapter 2010-60

Residential Fire Sprinkler Requirements

CS/CS/CS/SB 846 prohibits incorporation into the Florida Building Code of certain mandatory residential fire sprinkler provisions of the International Residential Code, but provides an exception. The legislation prohibits the requirement for property owners to install fire sprinklers in residential properties based on the use of that property as a rental property or any change in or reclassification of the property's primary use to a rental property.

If approved by the Governor, this bill will be effective upon becoming law.

Copy of Enrolled/Enacted Bill: CS/CS/CS/SB 846

Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety

CS/CS/SB 982 prohibits municipalities, counties, districts and other local governments from enacting ordinances or rules that conflict with Chapter 556, F.S. The bill provides that if an excavation is proposed within 15 feet of a high-priority subsurface installation and is identified as such an installation by the facility operator, the facility operator must notify the excavator of the installation and mark its location before excavation may begin.

If approved by the Governor, the effective date of this bill is October 1, 2010.

Copy of Enrolled/Enacted Bill: CS/CS/SB 982

Elevator Safety

CS/HB 1035 requires DBPR's Division of Hotels and Restaurants to adopt elevator safety rules. The bill also: (1) authorizes the Division to enter certain buildings; (2) provides for variances; (3) exempts certain elevators from specific code update requirements; (4) provides a phase-in period for such elevators; (5) specifies additional acts by a registered elevator company or certificate holder which are subject to discipline and requires certain licensees to provide written responses to departmental requests relating to inspection reports; (6) extends the time within which an elevator owner may comply with certain orders to correct; (7) provides procedures related to citations and discipline relating to unlicensed activity; and (8) provides registration and continuing education requirements for certified elevator inspectors.

If approved by the Governor, the effective date of this bill is July 1, 2010.

Copy of Enrolled/Enacted Bill: CS/HB 1035


CS/SB 1118 authorizes the placement of roofs on certain residential single-family docks. The bill also authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to adopt rules that include special criteria for approving certain docking facilities in shellfish harvesting waters and authorizes DEP to maintain a list of projects...

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