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2017 Legislative Priorities

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Workers Compensation
The Florida Supreme Court issued a number of rulings during the Summer of 2016 that upended how the Workers Compensation system operates in Florida. We are happy to be working with groups like Associated Industries of Florida and the NFIB on reform efforts this session. We are all better served, employer and employee, insurance carrier and attorneys, when we have a predictable system that offers appropriate support and recourse to injured parties. We look forward to immediate discussions surrounding how attorney’s fees are to be calculated and the longer discussions of how the system works for Floridians in general.
Legislative Result - Improved Regulatory Environment.

Statute of Repose Reform
The Statute of Repose is the period during which owners can bring claims against a contractor for latent defects on a project. Florida’s repose period is 10 years from the latest of the following four possible triggers: possession by the owner, issuance of certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment if project is not completed, or completion of the contract. In 2015 an Appellate Court decision interpreted “completion of the contract” to mean when the owner issues final payment. ABC objects to this interpretation because owners have the capability to drag out final payment for extended periods of time, resulting in a Statute of Repose period tolling well beyond the legislatively prescribed 10 year window. Contractors have trouble maintaining insurance on a project beyond ten years which leaves them vulnerable down the road. This legislation looks to offer an alternative definition.
Legislative Result - Improved Regulatory Environment.

Apprenticeship/Workforce Development Reform
Florida continues to suffer from one of the worst skilled worker shortages in recent history. As the largest single provider of Apprenticeship Training in the state, ABC of Florida is dedicated to identifying how we can better educate individuals on the industry, on the availability of good and high paying jobs, and to attract that next generation of workers to one of the top five revenue generators for the state.
Legislative Result - Job Creation.

Building Regulation Reform
Construction does not operate in geographic silos and would be best served by uniform and predictable regulation. While we know that the Florida Building Code allows for variation not just by region but by individual municipality, we believe that there are areas where one and consistent standard would be best. This session we will work on establishing one, uniform process, to determine permit fees. Our effort is not to dictate what the fee is, but instead, that everyone use the same equation for establishing their fees.
Legislative Result - Job Creation and Improved Regulatory Environment.

Open Competition
ABC was founded on the “Merit Shop Philosophy” which means we believe that with public construction, where taxpayers and their dollars are concerned, that a competitive and open process is best for all involved. Unfortunately however, we have seen efforts by local governments to whittle down the available talent pool by establishing a series of pre-bid mandates that can eliminate competitive processes. From employee hiring mandates to required wage and benefit packages, the private sector is being asked to allow local governments to dictate how they function as a company if they want to be considered on a bid. This legislation would address this new normal in public procurement.
Legislative Result - Job Creation and Improved Regulatory Environment.


For more information, contact:
Rick Watson at rick@rwatsonandassociates.com or call 850-222-0000
Carol Bowen at cbowen@abceastflorida.com or call 954-465-6811