ABC of Florida Tallahassee Update
Monday, March 25, 2013
It's day 40 of the 60 day session and most of ABC's priority bills are moving. By now, you've received numerous Legislative Alerts asking you to take action on our priority bills. Thank you to those who have taken the time to respond. If you have yet to participate in these Action Alerts we ask you to please do so. As we enter the final days of session, and our bills are up for floor votes, the higher the response rate, the better.
The ABC Legislative Conference is rapidly approaching. We will be working the Capital on April 2nd and 3rd. With the responses from legislators and the bills moving the way they are, this conference promises to be a great success. If you haven't signed up yet and are still considering participating, please contact Carol Bowen.
The bills dealing with major renovation and construction projects seeking state dollars in Daytona, Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando have been added to the update this week. If funding is provided, thousands of construction jobs will be created. While each initiative is somewhat different, they are all opportunities to put our members back to work. ABC is supporting all of these bills.
ABC of Florida Priority Issues
ABC's "Public Private Partnership Legislation" (SB 84 Diaz de la Portilla/HB 85 Steube). This legislation aims to increase the frequency of use of the PPP process. The legislation establishes a series of basic guidelines for local governments and public entities. Currently, FDOT utilizes the process but we would like to see it utilized more. This is an effort to get our members back to work.
Latest Action: HB 85 passed its first committee of reference with an 8-1 vote. It has two more committee stops before going to the floor for a vote. SB 84 has passed two of its four committees. ABC has been actively working this bill in Tallahassee responding daily to questions raised by other groups potentially opposed to the bill,
ABC's "Workplace Security Act" (SB 318 Grimsley/HB 21 Perry) - this legislation streamlines the security clearance process for non-instructional professionals who need to enter school grounds for work. It creates one, uniform badging process for the entire state.
Latest Action: The Senate bill has passed its three committees of reference and is ready for a vote on the Senate Floor. It is currently on Special order for the Senate for March 27th. The House bill has passed its three committees of reference and is ready for a floor vote as well.
ABC's "Fair Competition Act" (SB 684 Hays/HB 307 Tobia) - this legislation increases the competitive process on state funded public works and service contracts. This legislation preempts any and all local geographic preferences on public projects that receive state funding.
Latest Action: The House bill passed its first committee on March 5th. We are working to get the bill on the calendar for the second committee. The Senate bill has not been agenda-ed.
"Wage Recovery Legislation" (SB 1216 Bradley/HB 1125 Goodson) - wage theft is the underpayment or nonpayment of wages owed to an employee by an employer. This act is currently punishable under a myriad of federal and state laws. This legislation would clarify existing federal and state remedies for employees who are owed money by their employers. It would also establish a statewide standard for appropriate pay processes. The Florida Retail Federation is heading up this bill. ABC is assisting in their process.
Latest Action: The House bill has passed the first of its three committee references. The first committee of reference in the Senate continues to block the bill from being heard.
ABC's "Open Competition Act" (SB 1118 Hays/HB 181 Van Zant) - this legislation would prevent state funded projects from inserting discriminatory project labor agreements (PLAs) in the RFP/RFQ process as a prerequisite for being awarded the work. In Florida, less than 3% of the industry is affiliated with a labor organization. This legislation ensures that 100% of the industry gets to compete openly and honestly for work. It does not prohibit the use of a PLA on a job if the contractor wishes to enter into one after being awarded the project. It simply eliminates the mandate that he MUST enter into a PLA in order to get the work.
Latest Action: The senate bill was filed since the last report. No action on either the Senate or House side at this time.
"Preemption of County Imposed Paid Leave for Employees" (SB 726 Simmons/HB 655 Precourt)
During the last year, two different local jurisdictions considered measures that would require private employers to offer paid leave as a mandatory employee benefit. If the employer was private and had 5 or more employees, this benefit would kick in. Employees could accrue leave and be absent for extended periods of time without giving notice. Additionally, the mandate would impact employers who are already providing leave by mandating it at a different level. This legislation would leave issues of mandatory pay scales and benefits to the federal and state governments to determine.
Latest Action: The House bill has passed all of its committees of reference and is ready to go to the floor for a vote. The Senate bill has passed two of its three committees of reference. The bills are different and the House bill is the preferred version.
Major Public/Private Partnership Projects Seeking State Funds
Several bills have been filed this session to take advantage of a statutory sales tax credit for the construction or renovation of existing sports facilities. These bills, if passed, will generate almost a billion dollars of construction projects and employ over 10,000 workers over the course of the construction. All the bills are moving and are being supported by ABC.
HB 165/SB 306 deals with the renovation of Dolphins Stadium in Miami.
HB 721/SB 922 deals with the renovation of Jaguar Stadium in Jacksonville.
HB 219/SB 358 deals with the construction of a soccer stadium in Orlando.
HB 1049/SB 1394 deals with the renovation of the Dayton 500 Racetrack.
The ABC lobbying team is working tirelessly to ensure passage of our top legislative priorities this session. While some bills will move smoothly, others will have some hurdles and that's why your participation in ABC’s Voter Voice initiatives and in our legislative conferences is greatly appreciated.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.