2018 Legislative Priorities

2018 Legislative Priorities

Permit Fee Transparency ( HB 725 Rep. Williamson / SB 1144 Sen. Perry)
Every construction project, whether public or private, large or small, often begins with a discussion about fees and how they will impact the overall cost of the work. While every public entity is granted the authority under law to establish their permit fee schedule, the reasoning behind the amount is not often clear.

According to statute, permit fees must only cover the cost incurred by the Building Department to oversee the project from start to finish. Items that often go into helping determine this number are size and scope of the project, number of times plans are reviewed, inspections are conducted, etc. While it is easy enough to predict the types of things that can help determine a fee, it is rarely easy to actually predict what the permit fee will be. In fact, if you took Project A and proposed it in two similar jurisdictions, you might end up with two totally different fee structures.

Purpose of the Bill: the goal of this bill is simply to add transparency to this permit fee process. The legislation would require public entities to post their Building Department budgets as a means of explanation for how the permit fee was reached. If the fee amount is supposed to cover the cost of the Building Department to conduct their business, then transparency about their overall costs is an important and integral part of the fee determination process.

Owner Direct Purchase Process ( HB 715 Rep. Leek / SB 1108 Sen. Young)
Currently in Florida, public entities may purchase certain construction materials tax-exempt. This process is known as "Owner Direct Purchase Process."

In order to maintain their tax-exempt status on a project, the public entity owner must deal DIRECTLY with material suppliers. The owner must contact the supplier, order the materials, pay for the materials, accept delivery, inspect the materials, maintain them prior to incorporation into the project, and accept liability for risk of loss to the materials.

This process, of asking a government body to enter into the role of ordering, managing and maintaining supplies, leads to project slowdowns, confusion, and often delays in final payment to the material supplier.

Purpose of the Bill: to streamline the ODP process by eliminating the requirement that the public entity owner manage the supply orders. This legislation would allow for an owner to assign this role to the appropriate contractor on the job. The owner would have to review and approve the order, and execute a letter of permission granting specific authority to the contractor to place the tax exempt order on behalf of the owner.

Construction Workforce Task Force (HB 1251 Rep. Porter / SB1642 Sen. Perry)
2015, ABC of Florida was instrumental in creating a Statewide Workforce Task Force to study how Florida responds to Apprenticeship and Workforce needs. In 2016, the recommendations of the taskforce were codified into statute and DOE and DEO were told to create plans on implementation. In 2017, ABCFL with Task Force partners, requested a reallocation of funding so that the Task Force could continue their work for Florida. While funding was vetoed, the taskforce continues to move forward with productive efforts on behalf of Florida.

Purpose of the Bill: to ensure the Florida Department of Education moves forward on their implementation of the recommendations of the Statewide Workforce Task Force that ABC continues to chair.

For more information, contact:
Carol Bowen at cbowen@abceastflorida.com or call 954-465-6811