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2019 Florida Legislative

2020 Florida Legislative Session

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The 2020 Florida Regular Legislative Session has passed the halfway point and is scheduled to conclude March 13th.  Several bills relating to state and local taxes have been filed and are summarized below.  Changes since the last report are shown in italic print.

Two priority bills of Governor DeSantis have created a lot of discussion recently.  Senator Tom Lee’s E-Verify bill (SB 664) was amended at its first committee hearing to include various exemptions, including an agriculture specific carve out.  This past week, those industry specific exemptions were replaced with a I-9 alternative.  Proponents for E-verify for private employers, including the bill sponsor are disappointed in the relaxing of the requirements, calling the move a gutting to the requirements. 

Also, the 2020 water bill (SB 712), which includes many recommendations of the Blue Green Algae task force, cleared its final committee stop on Thursday.  The legislation drew renewed criticism from environmentalists and a new foe, Nestlé Waters North America Inc , as the new language that would require the unanimous support of water management district boards before new water bottling permits can be issued.  The amendment to this bill also adds another provision, preempting local governments from recognizing legal rights to nature, causing additional anger by environmentalists.

The full text of each bill and any amendments can be found on the legislative web sites.  (http://www.flsenate.gov; http://www.myfloridahouse.com; and http://www.leg.state.fl.us.)

Agriculture 

Public Records / Aquaculture RecordsSB 786 by Sen. Gainer (R); HB 905 by Rep. Ausley (D)

Providing a public records exemption for certain aquaculture records held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 786 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th and the Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee on February 3rd

Young Farmers and Ranchers SB 1130 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 191 by Rep. Bell (R)

Creates Florida Young Farmers & Ranchers Matching Grant Program within DACS; provides requirements for recipient eligibility & grant awards; specifies that grant funding is contingent upon specific legislative appropriation. Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1130 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th and will be considered by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, & General Government on February 25th.

Department of CitrusSB 1276 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1201 by Rep. Clemons (R)

Establishing the Friends of Florida Citrus Program within the Department of Citrus; creating the Friends of Florida Citrus Advisory Council adjunct to the department; authorizing the Department of Citrus to loan department employees to or share department employees with specified state and federal entities.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1276 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th and the Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee on January 21st.  HB 1201 was approved unanimously by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on January 28th and the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on February 3rd.

Fish and Wildlife Activities SB 1414 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 777 by Rep. Gregory (R)

Prohibits certain harassment of hunters, trappers, & fishers in or on specified lands, areas, & waters; authorizes FWCC to designate additional free fishing days; prohibits certain possession of specified reptiles; provides exemption from sales & use tax for retail sale of certain hunting, fishing, & camping supplies during specified period; authorizes certain dealers to opt out of exemption. Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1414 was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on February 3rd and the Senate Agriculture Committee on February 11th.

DACSSB 1514 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 921 by Brannan (R)

Revising the contents of a Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services report to the Governor and the Legislature to include the development of certain renewable and alternative energy technologies; requiring the department to promote the development of alternative fuel and alternative vehicle technologies; authorizing the department to consider the use of a fumigant as a pesticide for raw agricultural commodities.  Both bills were referred to three committees.   SB 1514 was unanimously approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee on February 11th and the Senate Innovation, Industry, & Technology Committee on February 17th.

Environmental Value of Agricultural Lands and TimberlandsSB 1772 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1311 by Rep. Ausley (D)

Establishes cost-share program within DACS; requires Office of Agricultural Water Policy & Florida Forest Service within DACS & DEP to make certain determinations regarding agriculture & timber industry.  Both bills were referred to three committees. SB 1772 was unanimously approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 28th.

Environmental ProtectionSB 1798 by Sen. Bradley (R)

Requiring water management district governing boards to charge a specified fee for certain consumptive use permits for bottled drinking water.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Verification of Employment Eligibility – SB 664 by Sen. Lee (R);  SB 1822 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 1265 by Rep. Byrd (R)

Requires public employers, contractors, & subcontractors to use E-Verify system for specified purposes; prohibits such entities from entering into contract unless each party to contract uses E-Verify system; authorizes termination of contract; requires private employers to verify employment eligibility of newly hired employees; provides acceptable methods for verification.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 664 was approved and amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 11th and the Senate Commerce & tourism Committee on February 18th.  As amended, SB 664 will generally apply to private-employers that have 20 or more employees and requires employers to register with E-verify, an alternative form provided by the Department of Economic Opportunity as a substantially equivalent to E-Verify, or a system that complies with IRCA if the employer also maintain complete copies of all the records it used to establish an employee’s identity and employment authorization on the IRCA for at least 3 years, or for 1 year after the employee cease to provide services to the employer, whichever is later. The bill phases in the verification process on the following scheduled: January 1, 2021 for private employers with at least 500 Florida employees, July 1, 2011 for private employers with at least 100 Florida employees, and January 1, 2022 for private employers with at least 20 Florida employees. 

Environment & Water

Environmental RegulationHB 73 by Rep. Overdorf (R); SB 326 by Sen. Perry (R)

Specifies requirements for contracts between residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities & counties or municipalities for collection or processing of residential recycling material; prohibits counties & municipalities from requiring collection, transport, or processing of contaminated recyclable material by residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities; prohibits local governments from requiring further verification from DEP for certain projects; revises types of dock & pier replacements & repairs that are exempt from such verification & certain permitting requirements.  Both bills received three committee references.  HB 73 has passed all committees unanimously and was approved unanimously by the full House on January 22nd.  SB 326 has passed three Senate committees unanimously.  The Senate will consider the bill for final passage on February 26th.

Land Acquisition Trust Fund SB 332 by Sen. Stewart (D); HB 849 by Rep. Altman (R)

Requiring a specified annual appropriation to the Florida Forever Trust Fund; prohibiting moneys from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for specified costs.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 332 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on November 4th and will be considered by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, & General Government on February 25th.

Water Resources SB 690 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 147 by Rep. Jacobs (R)

Requires DEP to conduct specified comprehensive & quantitative needs-based overview of state’s water resources & submit report to Governor & Legislature. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Water Quality Improvements SB 712 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 1343 by Rep. Payne (R)

Creates the “Clean Waterways Act”; requiring the Department Health to provide a specified report to the Governor and the Legislature by a specified date; transferring the Onsite Sewage Program within the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection by a type two transfer by a specified date; creating an onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems technical advisory committee within the department; requiring the department to adopt rules relating to the underground pipes of wastewater collection systems; requiring basin management action plans for nutrient total maximum daily loads to include wastewater treatment and onsite sewage treatment and disposal system remediation plans that meet certain requirements.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 712 was approved unanimously by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on December 9th, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Encironment & General Government Committee on January 22nd, and the Senate Appropriations Committee on February 20th.  SB 712 has been amended in each committee.  HB 1343 has been approved by two House Committees.

Aquatic PreservesSB 1042 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1061 by Rep. Massullo (R)

Creates Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve; designates preserve for inclusion in aquatic preserve system; describes boundaries of preserve; outlines authority of Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund; requires board to adopt rules; prohibits establishment & management of preserve from infringing upon riparian rights of upland property owners adjacent to or within preserve.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  Both bills have been approved unanimously by two committees.  HB 1061 was amended in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.

Florida Endangered and Threatened Species ActSB 1360 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 1067 by Rep. Hattersley (D)

Directs FWCC & DACS to protect certain declassified species; revises criteria for placement of species on Regulated Plant Index by DACS; prohibits FWCC & DACS from considering certain costs when designating species as endangered or threatened.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1360 was approved and amended by two Senate committees.

Basin Management Action PlansHB 1363 by Rep. Overdorf (R)

Provides additional management strategies for such plans; requires certain plans to include specified elements; provides requirements for DEP, DACS, DOH, UF/IFAS, local governments, water management districts, & owners of agricultural operations; requires specified data collection & research; establishes nutrient reduction cost-share program within DEP; exempts rural homesteads from certain best management practices under certain conditions; requires DEP & DACS to include specified information in annual progress reports for such plans.  The bill was referred to three committees.  HB 1363 was approved unanimously and amended by two House committees.

Environmental Protection Act / Environmental Resource ManagementSB 1382 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1199 by Rep. Ingoglia (R)

Prohibits local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to natural environment or granting such rights relating to natural environment to person or political subdivision.  Both bills received three committee references.  SB 1382 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on January 27th.  HB 1199 has been approved by all House Committees.

Environmental Enforcement SB 1450 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 1091 by Rep. Fine (R)

Increases civil penalties for violations of certain provisions relating to beach & shore construction, Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, aquatic preserves, state water resource plan, artesian wells, pollution, operating terminal facility without discharge prevention & response certificates, discharge contingency plans for vessels, Pollutant Discharge Prevention & Control Act, Clean Ocean Act, pollution of surface & ground waters, regulation of oil & gas resources, Phosphate Land Reclamation Act, sewage disposal facilities, pollution control, reasonable costs & expenses for pollution releases, necessary permits, dumping litter, small quantity generators, abatement of imminent hazards caused by hazardous substances, hazardous waste generators, transporters, or facilities, & coral reef protection; provides that certain conditions constitute separate offenses.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  Both bills have been approved by two committees with amendments. 

Underground Facility Damage Prevention & SafetySB 1464 by Sen. Flores (R); HB 1095 by Rep. Fitzenhagen (R)

Provides noncriminal violations relating to transportation of hazardous materials; authorizes certain entities to issue citations & recover civil penalties; provides enhanced civil penalties; provides for disposition of civil penalty; removes provisions relating to hearings by DOAH of certain incidents; creates underground facility damage prevention review panel.  Both bills received three committee references.  Both bills have been approved by two committees with amendments.

Recycled Water / Reclaimed Water SB 1656 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 715 by Rep. Maggard (R)

Provides recycled water is water source for public water supply systems; specifies point of compliance with drinking water standards for water recycling projects; provides recycled water projects must be included in regional water supply planning & are exempt from certain permits, expedited permitting, tax credits, & specified water quality protections; provides for creation of working group by Potable Reuse Commission; prohibits specified surface water discharges.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  Both bills have been approved by two committees with amendments.

Florida Safe Drinking Water ActSB 1720 by Sen. Cruz (D); HB 1427 by Rep. Diamond (D)

Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt and implement rules for statewide maximum contaminant levels for specified pollutants by a date certain.  The bill was referred to three committees. SB 1720 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on February 3rd.

Environmental ProtectionSB 1878 by Sen. Bradley (R)

Requiring a minimum annual appropriation for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources in this state beginning in a specified fiscal year; providing requirements for the allocation of such funding; providing for future repeal of the appropriation unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.  The bill was referred to three committees.  SB 1878 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on February 3rd.

Florida ForeverSB 7024 by Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Revising legislative findings under the Florida Forever Act to include wildlife crossings as a land acquisition purpose; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to consult with specified entities for certain projects related to conservation lands and coastal areas subject to flooding; requiring that certain allocations from the Florida Forever Trust Fund include a specified amount for lands in this state which have been impacted by a hurricane during a specified timeframe and meet certain requirements.  The proposed committee bill was heard by the Committee on January 13th.

Development & Growth Management

Growth Management SB 410 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 203 by Rep. McClain (R)

Requires comprehensive plan to include property rights element by a specified date; provides statement of rights that local government may use; provides local government’s property rights element may not conflict with statutorily provided statement of rights.  Both bills were referred to three committees. HB 203 was approved unanimously, with amendment, by the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on October 23rd and the House Commerce Committee on February 13th.  SB 410 was approved unanimously by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on January 27th and the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 11th.

Community Development District Bond FinancingSB 1254 by Sen. Wright (R); HB 851 by Rep. Altman (R)

Requires community development district boards to authorize bonds by two-thirds majority vote.  Both bills were referred to three committees. HB 851 was approved by the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on January 15th, the House Ways & Means Committee on January 27th, and the House State Affairs Committee on February 20th, with an amendment.

Cannabis & Hemp

State Hemp ProgramSB 1876 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1063 by Rep. Drake (R)

Removes requirement licensees only use certain hemp seeds & cultivars; revises requirements for distribution & retail sale of hemp extract; requires licensees who distribute or sell certain hemp extract to complete corrective action plan; provides that certain hemp extract is considered adulterated or misbranded; removes requirement that DACS conduct certain inspections.  Both bills received three committee references.  Both bills have been approved, with amendments, by two committees.

General Business & Tax

Sales Tax Remote Sales and Marketplace Providers / Economic NexusSB 126 by Sen. Gruters (R);  HB 159 by Rep. Clemons (R)

  • Establishes economic nexus thresholds for remote sellers of tangible personal property and taxable services consistent with the US Supreme Court decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair.
  • Removes current local discretionary sales surtax exemption for mail order sales.
  • Establishes registration, collection, and remittance requirements for marketplace providers selling tangible personal property and taxable services.
    • Absolves marketplace sellers from collecting and remitting sales tax on sales occurring through the marketplace.

Both bills were referred to three committees.  On October 15th, SB 126 was reported favorably by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee by a unanimous vote.  On December 20th, the Revenue Estimating Conference estimated the bill would generate $611.8M annually for the state.  On February 13th, SB 126 was approved unanimously by the Senate Finance & Tax Committee.

Regional Rural Development Grants Program – SB 426 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1139 by Rep. Clemons (R)

Creating the Regional Rural Development Grants Program; defining the term “regional economic development organization”; specifying that the concept of building the professional capacity of a regional economic development organization includes the hiring of professional staff to perform specified services; increasing the maximum amount of annual grant funding that specified economic development organizations may receive; increasing the amount of funds the Department of Economic Opportunity may expend each fiscal year.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 426 was approved unanimously by the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee on November 5th, Senate Innovation, Industry & Technology Committee on December 9th, and the Senate Appropriations Committee on January 23rd.  HB 1139 has been approved by all House committees.

Sales Tax Holiday for Disaster Preparedness SuppliesSB 524 by Sen. Gruters (R)

Providing exemptions from the sales and use tax for specified disaster preparedness supplies.  The bill was referred to three committees.  On November 12th, SB 524 was approved unanimously by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee.  On November 22nd, the Revenue Estimating Conference estimated the sales tax holiday will cost the state $34.9M.  The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate Finance & Tax Committee on February 13th.

Legislative Review of Proposed Regulation of Unregulated FunctionsSB 1614 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 1155 by Rep. Hage (R)

Provides certain requirements before adoption of regulation of unregulated profession or occupation or substantial expansion of regulation of regulated profession or occupation; requires proponents to provide certain information to state agency & Legislature; requires state agency to provide certain information to Legislature; provides exception; revises information that legislative committee must consider when determining whether regulation is justified.  Both bills were referred to three committees. HB 1155 has been approved by all House committees.

Other

Declawing of CatsSB 48 by Sen. Book (D)

Prohibiting a person from performing a declawing on a cat within this state; providing an exception; providing that a veterinarian who performs a prohibited declawing is subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Veterinary Medicine.  The bill was approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 23rd.

Sales of Ammunition SB 460 & 462 by Sen. Book (D); HB 289 & 291 by Rep. Daley (D)

Requires background checks for sale or transfer of ammunition.  All bills were referred to three committees.

Uniform Partition of Heirs Property ActSB 580 by Sen. Bracey (D); HB 349 by Rep. Ausley (D)

Creating the “Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act”; providing requirements relating to the court determination of heirs property; providing for the determination of property value; providing for buyout of cotenants; providing for sale of property through open-market sale, sealed bids, or auction; authorizing certain cotenants to agree to certain partitions of real property.  This Act is important to agricultural interest as it was approved by Congress in the December 2018 federal farm bill.  Both bills have been approved by all committees. 

Illegal Taking, Possession, and Sale of Bears SB 688 by Sen. Wright (R); HB 327 by Rep. D. Smith (R)

Provides that person commits specified violations for illegal taking, possession, & sale of bears; prohibits illegal taking, possession, & sale of bears.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  HB 327 was approved unanimously, with amendment, by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on November 13th, the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on January 15th, and the House State Affairs Committee on January 23rd.  HB 327 was approved by the full House on February 5th.  SB 688 has been approved by two Senate committees.

Drones SB 822 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 659 by Rep. Fischer (R)

Adds exception to prohibited uses of drone for managing and eradicating invasive exotic plants or animals on public lands.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 822 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on January 13th.  HB 659 was approved unanimously by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on January 15th, the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on January 28th, the House State Affairs Committee on February 13th.  HB 659 will be heard by the full House on February 26th.  SB 822 was approved by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on January 13th and the Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee on January 27th.

Bills Filed, which Currently are not Likely to Pass

Agriculture ProductsHB 237 by Rep. Roth (R)

Expands the definition of “agricultural products” to include vegetative biomass material.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Tax Credit for Carbon Farming – SB 286 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 1069 by Rep. Joseph (D)

Establishing a tax credit for carbon farming; requiring the Secretary of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the executive director of the Department of Revenue and the Commissioner of Agriculture, to determine the amount of the tax credit.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Captive-bred Animal CultureSB 1176 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 933 by Rep. C. Watson (D)

Requires DACS to submit list of research & development projects & captive-bred animal culture plan to Governor & Legislature; requires certificate of registration for captive-bred animal producers; creates Captive-bred Animal Culture Advisory Council; provides prohibited acts & penalties.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Florida Farm to School ProgramSB 1384 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 973 by Rep. Roth (R)

Requires vendors who sell agricultural commodities to county school districts to provide specified invoice receipts to county school nutrition programs; requires county school nutrition programs to submit data from receipts to DACS; requires DACS to submit annual reports to Legislature.  Both bills were referred to three committees. 

Food Donation Programs / Tax CreditsSB 1526 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 521 by Rep. Webb (R)

Creating an agricultural commodity donation tax credit; revising the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services powers and duties relating to school food and other nutrition programs; deleting a provision authorizing district school boards to opt out of implementing universal school breakfast programs; requiring the department to annually allocate to participating sponsors a reimbursement in addition to the sum appropriated for the Florida Farm to School Program if certain conditions are met; requiring the department to develop the Florida Gleaning Support Grant Program.  Both bills were referred to three committees. 

Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment SB 200 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 547 by Rep. Fitzenhagen (R)

Prohibits performance of advanced well stimulation treatments; provides that permits for drilling or operating wells do not authorize performance of advanced well treatments.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 200 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on November 4th.

Water Management District BoundariesSB 386 by Sen. Bradley (R); HB 1333 by Rep. Stone (R)

Revising the boundaries of the Suwannee River Water Management District and the Southwest Florida Water Management District to include all of Levy County within the Suwanee River Water Management District boundary; providing for the transfer on a specified date of land and other incidentals from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to the Suwanee River Water Management District for certain lands within Levy County.

Public Notification of Pollution SB 492 by Sen. Cruz (D)

Redefining the term “reportable pollution release”; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to publish certain notices received from the Department of Health or a local governmental entity on a website accessible to the public; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to provide a written notice to certain homeowners.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Stormwater Management SystemsSB 686 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 405 by Rep. Good (D)

Directing the water management districts, with Department of Environmental Protection oversight, to adopt rules for specified design and performance standards relating to new development and redevelopment projects; providing a rebuttable presumption that certain stormwater management systems do not cause or contribute to violations of applicable state water quality standards; requiring certain inspection training for department, water management district, and local pollution control program staff.

Florida National Estuary Program Act SB 1608 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 791 by Rep. Maggard (R)

Requires DEP to give funding consideration to estuaries identified under National Estuary Program; finds that significant water quality issues in the state arise from agricultural runoff and other sources; requires funds to be used for specified projects; requires programs receiving funding to submit report.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1608 was withdrawn from consideration on February 13th.

BiosolidsSB 1654 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 1267 by Rep. Grall (R)

Prohibits land application of biosolids on certain sites; prohibits DEP from issuing or renewing certain permits; directs DEP to initiate rulemaking by specified date, adopt specified rules, & implement specified water quality monitoring program.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Clean EnergyHB 1419 by Rep. Good (D)

Authorizes public customers to use specified mechanisms to generate electricity using renewable energy generating systems; requires third party sellers to comply with certain safety and disclosure requirements; authorizes public customer to aggregate its electricity consumption for net metering; requires utilities to adopt programs offering renewable energy tariffs for non-residential customers; requires utilities to supply all or part of non-residential customers’ electricity needs with renewable energy; authorizes non-residential customers to aggregate electricity requirements; specifies that sales of certain electricity are not retail sales.  The bill was referenced to three committees.

Cannabis Offense HB 149 by Rep. Sabatini (R); SB 1860 by Sen. Brandes (R)

Requires DOH to license any entity that cultivates, processes, transports, or dispenses low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, & cannabis delivery devices as medical marijuana treatment center; removes provisions limiting number of applicants that may be licensed within specified timeframes as medical marijuana treatment centers; removes provisions limiting number of dispensing facilities that may be established or operated statewide or regionally by medical marijuana treatment center. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Use of Regulated Substances HB 151 by Rep. Duran (D)

Prohibits physician from issuing certificate for marijuana in form for smoking to patient under 21 years of age; provides information for informed consent form. The bill was referred to three committees.

Medical Marijuana Retail FacilitiesSB 212 & 210 by Sen. Thurston (D); HB 797 by Rep. Thompson (D)

Authorizes licensed medical marijuana retail facilities to dispense marijuana, marijuana delivery devices, & edibles under certain conditions; specifies prohibitions relating to ownership & operation of such facilities; imposes criminal penalties for specified unlicensed activities; authorizes such facilities to access confidential & exempt information in medical marijuana use registry for certain verification purposes.  HB 797 was referred to three committees. SB 212 & 210 were referred to four committees.

Cannabis Offense SB 242 by Sen. Braynon (D); HB 25 by Rep. Jones (D)

Reduces criminal penalties for possession of specified amounts of cannabis & products containing specified amounts of THC; specifies that juvenile violators of certain provisions are eligible for civil citation or prearrest diversion programs. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Use of Industrial Hemp for Construction HB 683 by Rep. Fernandez (D)

Directs DACS to conduct comprehensive study on use of industrial hemp to build structures & submit report to Governor & Legislature. The bill was referred to three committees.

Medical Marijuana Employee ProtectionSB 962 by Sen. Berman (D); HB 595 by Rep. Polsky (D)

Prohibiting an employer from taking adverse personnel action against an employee or job applicant who is a qualified patient using medical marijuana; requiring an employer to provide written notice to an employee or job applicant who tests positive for marijuana of his or her right to explain the positive test result; providing procedures when an employee or job applicant tests positive for marijuana; providing a cause of action and damages.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Qualifying Medical Conditions for Medical Use SB 1274 by Sen. Powell (D); HB 645 by Rep. Williams (D)

Adds sickle cell disease to list of qualifying medical conditions for medical use of marijuana. HB 625 were referred to three committees.  SB 1274 was referred to two committees.

State Hemp Program FeesSB 1868 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1133 by Rep. Massullo (R)

Requiring applicants seeking to obtain or renew a license in the state hemp program to submit with each application a fee to be specified by rule of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; limiting the amount of the fee; requiring fee proceeds to be deposited in a specified trust fund for the administration of the state hemp program.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Renewable Energy – SB 256 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 97 by Rep. Eskamani (D)

Defining the terms “renewable energy credit” and “renewable portfolio standard”; requiring the Public Service Commission to adopt rules for a renewable portfolio standard; directing the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in consultation with other state agencies, state colleges and universities, public utilities, and other private and public entities, to develop a unified statewide plan to generate the state’s energy from renewable sources by specified dates.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise Local Taxes or FeesHJR 477 by Rep. Rommel (R)

Proposes amendment to constitution to prohibit municipality, county, school board, or special district from imposing, authorizing, or raising local tax or fee except by vote approved by two-thirds of membership of relevant jurisdiction, & requires any such proposed local tax or fee imposition or increase to be contained in separate resolution or ordinance.

Small Business Saturday Sales Tax HolidaySB 1052 by Sen. Taddeo (D)

Providing an exemption from the sales tax for small businesses.

Hunting and Fishing Sales Tax HolidaySB 1310 by Mayfield (R); HB 777 by Gregory (R)

Providing an exemption from the sales and use tax for the retail sale of firearms, firearm ammunition, camping tents, and fishing supplies on September 5, 2020. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Transfers of Firearms SB 94 by Sen. Book (D); HB 451 by Rep. Good (D)

Requiring transfers of firearms to be conducted through a licensed dealer; requiring deposit of the firearm with the licensed dealer under certain circumstances; providing for disposition of the firearm if the licensed dealer cannot legally complete the transaction or return the firearm to its owner.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Preemption of Firearms and Ammunition SB 134 by Sen. Taddeo (D); HB 6009 by Rep. Daley (D)

Permitting local governments to regulate firearms and ammunition.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Sale, Transfer or Storage of FirearmsSB 266 by Sen. Farmer (D); SB 1248 by Sen. Torres (D); HB 631 by Rep. Polsky (D); HB 923 by Rep. Goff-Marcil (D)

Revising the locations and circumstances in which a loaded firearm is required to be kept or secured with a trigger lock; provides criminal penalties if minor access stored firearm & uses it in specified ways; revises definition of “minor”; requires seller or transferor of firearm to provide specified information; revises standard for adults & minors to be criminally negligent in storage of firearms in certain circumstances.  All three bills were referred to three committees.

Veterinary Medicine SB 366 by Sen. Hooper (R); HB 1015 by Rep. Duran (D)

Defining and redefining terms relating to veterinary medical practice.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 366 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on November 5th.


The third week of the 2020 Florida Regular Legislative Session has concluded. The Session is scheduled to conclude March 13, 2020.  Several bills that may impact agribusiness have been filed and are summarized below.  Changes to this report are shown in italic print.

The full text of each bill and any amendments can be found on the legislative web sites.  (http://www.flsenate.gov; http://www.myfloridahouse.com; and http://www.leg.state.fl.us.)

Agriculture

Agriculture ProductsHB 237 by Rep. Roth (R)
Expands the definition of “agricultural products” to include vegetative biomass material.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Tax Credit for Carbon Farming – SB 286 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 1069 by Rep. Joseph (D)
Establishing a tax credit for carbon farming; requiring the Secretary of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the executive director of the Department of Revenue and the Commissioner of Agriculture, to determine the amount of the tax credit.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Public Records / Aquaculture RecordsSB 786 by Sen. Gainer (R); HB 905 by Rep. Ausley (D)
Providing a public records exemption for certain aquaculture records held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 786 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th, and will be heard by the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee on February 3rd.

Young Farmers and Ranchers SB 1130 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 191 by Rep. Bell (R)
Creates Florida Young Farmers & Ranchers Matching Grant Program within DACS; provides requirements for recipient eligibility & grant awards; specifies that grant funding is contingent upon specific legislative appropriation. Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1130 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th.

Captive-bred Animal CultureSB 1176 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 933 by Rep. C. Watson (D)
Requires DACS to submit list of research & development projects & captive-bred animal culture plan to Governor & Legislature; requires certificate of registration for captive-bred animal producers; creates Captive-bred Animal Culture Advisory Council; provides prohibited acts & penalties.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Department of CitrusSB 1276 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1201 by Rep. Clemons (R)
Establishing the Friends of Florida Citrus Program within the Department of Citrus; creating the Friends of Florida Citrus Advisory Council adjunct to the department; authorizing the Department of Citrus to loan department employees to or share department employees with specified state and federal entities.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1276 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th, and the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee on January 21st.  HB 1201 was approved unanimously by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on January 28th, and will be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on February 3rd.

Florida Farm to School ProgramSB 1384 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 973 by Rep. Roth (R)
Requires vendors who sell agricultural commodities to county school districts to provide specified invoice receipts to county school nutrition programs; requires county school nutrition programs to submit data from receipts to DACS; requires DACS to submit annual reports to Legislature.  Both bills were referred to three committees. 

Fish and Wildlife Activities SB 1414 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 777 by Rep. Gregory (R)
Prohibits certain harassment of hunters, trappers, & fishers in or on specified lands, areas, & waters; authorizes FWCC to designate additional free fishing days; prohibits certain possession of specified reptiles; provides exemption from sales & use tax for retail sale of certain hunting, fishing, & camping supplies during specified period; authorizes certain dealers to opt out of exemption. Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1414 will be heard by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on February 3rd

DACSSB 1514 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 921 by Brannan (R)
Revising the contents of a Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services report to the Governor and the Legislature to include the development of certain renewable and alternative energy technologies; requiring the department to promote the development of alternative fuel and alternative vehicle technologies; authorizing the department to consider the use of a fumigant as a pesticide for raw agricultural commodities.  Both bills were referred to three committees.   

Food Donation Programs / Tax CreditsSB 1526 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 521 by Rep. Webb (R)
Creating an agricultural commodity donation tax credit; revising the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services powers and duties relating to school food and other nutrition programs; deleting a provision authorizing district school boards to opt out of implementing universal school breakfast programs; requiring the department to annually allocate to participating sponsors a reimbursement in addition to the sum appropriated for the Florida Farm to School Program if certain conditions are met; requiring the department to develop the Florida Gleaning Support Grant Program.  Both bills were referred to three committees. 

Environmental Value of Agricultural Lands and TimberlandsSB 1772 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1311 by Rep. Ausley (D)
Establishes cost-share program within DACS; requires Office of Agricultural Water Policy & Florida Forest Service within DACS & DEP to make certain determinations regarding agriculture & timber industry.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1772 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 28th.

Environmental ProtectionSB 1798 by Sen. Bradley (R)
Requiring water management district governing boards to charge a specified fee for certain consumptive use permits for bottled drinking water.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Verification of Employment Eligibility – SB 1822 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 1265 by Rep. Byrd (R)
Requires public employers, contractors, & subcontractors to use E-Verify system for specified purposes; prohibits such entities from entering into contract unless each party to contract uses E-Verify system; authorizes termination of contract; requires private employers to verify employment eligibility of newly hired employees; provides acceptable methods for verification.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Environment & Water

Environmental RegulationHB 73 by Rep. Overdorf (R); SB 326 by Sen. Perry (R)
Specifies requirements for contracts between residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities & counties or municipalities for collection or processing of residential recycling material; prohibits counties & municipalities from requiring collection, transport, or processing of contaminated recyclable material by residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities; prohibits local governments from requiring further verification from DEP for certain projects; revises types of dock & pier replacements & repairs that are exempt from such verification & certain permitting requirements.  Both bills received three committee references.  HB 73 has passed all committees unanimously and was unanimously passed off the House floor on January 22nd.  SB 326 has passed two committees unanimously, and will be heard by the Senate Rules Committee on February 5th.

Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment SB 200 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 547 by Rep. Fitzenhagen (R)
Prohibits performance of advanced well stimulation treatments; provides that permits for drilling or operating wells do not authorize performance of advanced well treatments.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 200 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on November 4th.

Land Acquisition Trust Fund SB 332 by Sen. Stewart (D); HB 849 by Rep. Altman (R)
Requiring a specified annual appropriation to the Florida Forever Trust Fund; prohibiting moneys from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for specified costs.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 332 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on November 4th.

Water Management District BoundariesSB 386 by Sen. Bradley (R); HB 1333 by Rep. Stone (R)
Revising the boundaries of the Suwannee River Water Management District and the Southwest Florida Water Management District to include all of Levy County within the Suwanee River Water Management District boundary; providing for the transfer on a specified date of land and other incidentals from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to the Suwanee River Water Management District for certain lands within Levy County.

Public Notification of Pollution SB 492 by Sen. Cruz (D)
Redefining the term “reportable pollution release”; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to publish certain notices received from the Department of Health or a local governmental entity on a website accessible to the public; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to provide a written notice to certain homeowners.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Stormwater Management SystemsSB 686 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 405 by Rep. Good (D)
Directing the water management districts, with Department of Environmental Protection oversight, to adopt rules for specified design and performance standards relating to new development and redevelopment projects; providing a rebuttable presumption that certain stormwater management systems do not cause or contribute to violations of applicable state water quality standards; requiring certain inspection training for department, water management district, and local pollution control program staff.

Water Resources SB 690 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 147 by Rep. Jacobs (R)
Requires DEP to conduct specified comprehensive & quantitative needs-based overview of state’s water resources & submit report to Governor & Legislature. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Water Quality Improvements SB 712 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 1343 by Rep. Payne (R)
Creates the “Clean Waterways Act”; requiring the Department Health to provide a specified report to the Governor and the Legislature by a specified date; transferring the Onsite Sewage Program within the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection by a type two transfer by a specified date; creating an onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems technical advisory committee within the department; requiring the department to adopt rules relating to the underground pipes of wastewater collection systems; requiring basin management action plans for nutrient total maximum daily loads to include wastewater treatment and onsite sewage treatment and disposal system remediation plans that meet certain requirements.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 712 was approved unanimously by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on December 9th and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government on January 22nd.  SB 712 will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on February 5th.  HB 1343 was approved unanimously by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on January 28th.

Aquatic PreservesSB 1042 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1061 by Rep. Massullo (R)
Creates Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve; designates preserve for inclusion in aquatic preserve system; describes boundaries of preserve; outlines authority of Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund; requires board to adopt rules; prohibits establishment & management of preserve from infringing upon riparian rights of upland property owners adjacent to or within preserve.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1042 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on January 21st and will be heard by the Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee on February 3rd.  HB 1061 will be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on February 4th.

Florida Endangered and Threatened Species ActSB 1360 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 1067 by Rep. Hattersley (D)
Directs FWCC & DACS to protect certain declassified species; revises criteria for placement of species on Regulated Plant Index by DACS; prohibits FWCC & DACS from considering certain costs when designating species as endangered or threatened.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Basin Management Action PlansHB 1363 by Rep. Overdorf (R)
Provides additional management strategies for such plans; requires certain plans to include specified elements; provides requirements for DEP, DACS, DOH, UF/IFAS, local governments, water management districts, & owners of agricultural operations; requires specified data collection & research; establishes nutrient reduction cost-share program within DEP; exempts rural homesteads from certain best management practices under certain conditions; requires DEP & DACS to include specified information in annual progress reports for such plans.  The bill was referred to three committees.  The bill was approved unanimously by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on January 28th and will be heard by the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on          February 3rd.

Environmental Protection Act / Environmental Resource ManagementSB 1382 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1199 by Rep. Ingoglia (R)
Prohibits local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to natural environment or granting such rights relating to natural environment to person or political subdivision.  Both bills received three committee references.  SB 1382 was approved unanimously with an amendment by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on January 27th.  HB 1199 was approved by the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on January 29th and will be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on February 4th.

Environmental Enforcement SB 1450 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 1091 by Rep. Fine (R)
Increases civil penalties for violations of certain provisions relating to beach & shore construction, Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, aquatic preserves, state water resource plan, artesian wells, pollution, operating terminal facility without discharge prevention & response certificates, discharge contingency plans for vessels, Pollutant Discharge Prevention & Control Act, Clean Ocean Act, pollution of surface & ground waters, regulation of oil & gas resources, Phosphate Land Reclamation Act, sewage disposal facilities, pollution control, reasonable costs & expenses for pollution releases, necessary permits, dumping litter, small quantity generators, abatement of imminent hazards caused by hazardous substances, hazardous waste generators, transporters, or facilities, & coral reef protection; provides that certain conditions constitute separate offenses.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1450 was approved unanimously with amendment by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee.  HB 1091 will be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on February 4th.

Underground Facility Damage Prevention & SafetySB 1464 by Sen. Flores (R); HB 1095 by Rep. Fitzenhagen (R)
Provides noncriminal violations relating to transportation of hazardous materials; authorizes certain entities to issue citations & recover civil penalties; provides enhanced civil penalties; provides for disposition of civil penalty; removes provisions relating to hearings by DOAH of certain incidents; creates underground facility damage prevention review panel.  Both bills received three committee references.  SB 1464 was approved unanimously with amendment by the Senate Infrastructure & Security Committee on January 27th.  HB 1095 was approved unanimously by the House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee on January 21st with an amendment and approved by the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee on January 28th

Florida National Estuary Program Act SB 1608 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 791 by Rep. Maggard (R)
Requires DEP to give funding consideration to estuaries identified under National Estuary Program; finds that significant water quality issues in the state arise from agricultural runoff and other sources; requires funds to be used for specified projects; requires programs receiving funding to submit report.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

BiosolidsSB 1654 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 1267 by Rep. Grall (R)
Prohibits land application of biosolids on certain sites; prohibits DEP from issuing or renewing certain permits; directs DEP to initiate rulemaking by specified date, adopt specified rules, & implement specified water quality monitoring program.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Recycled Water / Reclaimed Water SB 1656 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 715 by Rep. Maggard (R)
Provides recycled water is water source for public water supply systems; specifies point of compliance with drinking water standards for water recycling projects; provides recycled water projects must be included in regional water supply planning & are exempt from certain permits, expedited permitting, tax credits, & specified water quality protections; provides for creation of working group by Potable Reuse Commission; prohibits specified surface water discharges.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1656 will be heard by the Senate Innovation, Industry, & Technology Committee on February 3rd.  HB 715 will be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on February 4th.

Florida Safe Drinking Water ActSB 1720 by Sen. Cruz (D); HB 1427 by Rep. Diamond (D)
Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt and implement rules for statewide maximum contaminant levels for specified pollutants by a date certain.  The bill was referred to three committees.  SB 1720 will be heard by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on February 3rd.

Environmental ProtectionSB 1878 by Sen. Bradley (R)
Requiring a minimum annual appropriation for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources in this state beginning in a specified fiscal year; providing requirements for the allocation of such funding; providing for future repeal of the appropriation unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Florida ForeverSB 7024 by Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Revising legislative findings under the Florida Forever Act to include wildlife crossings as a land acquisition purpose; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to consult with specified entities for certain projects related to conservation lands and coastal areas subject to flooding; requiring that certain allocations from the Florida Forever Trust Fund include a specified amount for lands in this state which have been impacted by a hurricane during a specified timeframe and meet certain requirements.  The proposed committee bill will be heard by the Committee on January 13th.

Development & Growth Management

Growth Management SB 410 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 203 by Rep. McClain (R)
Requires comprehensive plan to include property rights element by a specified date; provides statement of rights that local government may use; provides local government’s property rights element may not conflict with statutorily provided statement of rights.  Both bills were referred to three committees. HB 203 was approved unanimously, with amendment, by the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on October 23rd. SB 410 was approved unanimously, with amendment, by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on January 27th.

Community Development District Bond FinancingSB 1254 by Sen. Wright (R); HB 851 by Rep. Altman (R)
Requires community development district boards to authorize bonds by two-thirds majority vote.  Both bills were referred to three committees. HB 851 was approved by the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on January 15th.  SB 1254 was temporarily postponed by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on January 21st.

Clean EnergyHB 1419 by Rep. Good (D)
Authorizes public customers to use specified mechanisms to generate electricity using renewable energy generating systems; requires third party sellers to comply with certain safety and disclosure requirements; authorizes public customer to aggregate its electricity consumption for net metering; requires utilities to adopt programs offering renewable energy tariffs for non-residential customers; requires utilities to supply all or part of non-residential customers’ electricity needs with renewable energy; authorizes non-residential customers to aggregate electricity requirements; specifies that sales of certain electricity are not retail sales.  The bill was referenced to three committees.

Cannabis & Hemp

Cannabis Offense HB 149 by Rep. Sabatini (R); SB 1860 by Sen. Brandes (R)
Requires DOH to license any entity that cultivates, processes, transports, or dispenses low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, & cannabis delivery devices as medical marijuana treatment center; removes provisions limiting number of applicants that may be licensed within specified timeframes as medical marijuana treatment centers; removes provisions limiting number of dispensing facilities that may be established or operated statewide or regionally by medical marijuana treatment center. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Use of Regulated Substances HB 151 by Rep. Duran (D)
Prohibits physician from issuing certificate for marijuana in form for smoking to patient under 21 years of age; provides information for informed consent form. The bill was referred to three committees.

Medical Marijuana Retail FacilitiesSB 212 & 210 by Sen. Thurston (D); HB 797 by Rep. Thompson (D)
Authorizes licensed medical marijuana retail facilities to dispense marijuana, marijuana delivery devices, & edibles under certain conditions; specifies prohibitions relating to ownership & operation of such facilities; imposes criminal penalties for specified unlicensed activities; authorizes such facilities to access confidential & exempt information in medical marijuana use registry for certain verification purposes.  HB 797 was referred to three committees. SB 212 & 210 were referred to four committees.

Cannabis Offense SB 242 by Sen. Braynon (D); HB 25 by Rep. Jones (D)
Reduces criminal penalties for possession of specified amounts of cannabis & products containing specified amounts of THC; specifies that juvenile violators of certain provisions are eligible for civil citation or prearrest diversion programs. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Use of Industrial Hemp for Construction HB 683 by Rep. Fernandez (D)
Directs DACS to conduct comprehensive study on use of industrial hemp to build structures & submit report to Governor & Legislature. The bill was referred to three committees.

Medical Marijuana Employee ProtectionSB 962 by Sen. Berman (D); HB 595 by Rep. Polsky (D)
Prohibiting an employer from taking adverse personnel action against an employee or job applicant who is a qualified patient using medical marijuana; requiring an employer to provide written notice to an employee or job applicant who tests positive for marijuana of his or her right to explain the positive test result; providing procedures when an employee or job applicant tests positive for marijuana; providing a cause of action and damages.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Qualifying Medical Conditions for Medical Use SB 1274 by Sen. Powell (D); HB 625 by Rep. Williams (D)
Adds sickle cell disease to list of qualifying medical conditions for medical use of marijuana. HB 625 were referred to three committees.  SB 1274 was referred to two committees.

State Hemp Program FeesSB 1868 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1133 by Rep. Massullo (R)
Requiring applicants seeking to obtain or renew a license in the state hemp program to submit with each application a fee to be specified by rule of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; limiting the amount of the fee; requiring fee proceeds to be deposited in a specified trust fund for the administration of the state hemp program.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

State Hemp ProgramSB 1876 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1063 by Rep. Drake (R)
Removes requirement licensees only use certain hemp seeds & cultivars; revises requirements for distribution & retail sale of hemp extract; requires licensees who distribute or sell certain hemp extract to complete corrective action plan; provides that certain hemp extract is considered adulterated or misbranded; removes requirement that DACS conduct certain inspections.  Both bills received three committee references.  HB 1063 will be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee on February 4th.  SB 1876 will be heard by the Senate Agriculture Committee on February 4th.

General Business & Tax

Sales Tax Remote Sales and Marketplace Providers / Economic NexusSB 126 by Sen. Gruters (R);     HB 159 by Rep. Clemons (R)

  • Establishes economic nexus thresholds for remote sellers of tangible personal property and taxable services consistent with the US Supreme Court decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair.
  • Removes current local discretionary sales surtax exemption for mail order sales.
  • Establishes registration, collection, and remittance requirements for marketplace providers selling tangible personal property and taxable services.
    • Absolves marketplace sellers from collecting and remitting sales tax on sales occurring through the marketplace.

Both bills were referred to three committees.  On October 15th, SB 126 was reported favorably by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee by a unanimous vote.  On December 20th, the Revenue Estimating Conference estimated the bill would generate $611.8M annually for the state.

Renewable Energy – SB 256 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 97 by Rep. Eskamani (D)
Defining the terms “renewable energy credit” and “renewable portfolio standard”; requiring the Public Service Commission to adopt rules for a renewable portfolio standard; directing the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in consultation with other state agencies, state colleges and universities, public utilities, and other private and public entities, to develop a unified statewide plan to generate the state’s energy from renewable sources by specified dates.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Regional Rural Development Grants Program – SB 426 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1139 by Rep. Clemons (R)
Creating the Regional Rural Development Grants Program; defining the term “regional economic development organization”; specifying that the concept of building the professional capacity of a regional economic development organization includes the hiring of professional staff to perform specified services; increasing the maximum amount of annual grant funding that specified economic development organizations may receive; increasing the amount of funds the Department of Economic Opportunity may expend each fiscal year.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 426 was approved unanimously by the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee on November 5th, the Senate Innovation, Industry & Technology Committee on December 9th, and the Senate Appropriations Committee on January 23rd. HB 1139 will be heard by the House Workforce Development & Tourism Subcommittee on February 4th.

Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise Local Taxes or FeesHJR 477 by Rep. Rommel (R)
Proposes amendment to constitution to prohibit municipality, county, school board, or special district from imposing, authorizing, or raising local tax or fee except by vote approved by two-thirds of membership of relevant jurisdiction, & requires any such proposed local tax or fee imposition or increase to be contained in separate resolution or ordinance.

Sales Tax Holiday for Disaster Preparedness SuppliesSB 524 by Sen. Gruters (R)
Providing exemptions from the sales and use tax for specified disaster preparedness supplies.  The bill was referred to three committees.  On November 12th, SB 524 was approved unanimously by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee.  On November 22nd, the Revenue Estimating Conference estimated the sales tax holiday will cost the state $34.9M.

Small Business Saturday Sales Tax HolidaySB 1052 by Sen. Taddeo (D)
Providing an exemption from the sales tax for small businesses.

Hunting and Fishing Sales Tax HolidaySB 1310 by Mayfield (R); HB 777 by Gregory (R)
Providing an exemption from the sales and use tax for the retail sale of firearms, firearm ammunition, camping tents, and fishing supplies on September 5, 2020. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Legislative Review of Proposed Regulation of Unregulated FunctionsSB 1614 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 1155 by Rep. Hage (R)
Provides certain requirements before adoption of regulation of unregulated profession or occupation or substantial expansion of regulation of regulated profession or occupation; requires proponents to provide certain information to state agency & Legislature; requires state agency to provide certain information to Legislature; provides exception; revises information that legislative committee must consider when determining whether regulation is justified.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  HB 1155 was approved by the House Business & Professions Subcommittee on January 21st and the House Oversight, Transparency, & Public Management Subcommittee on January 29th.

Other

Declawing of CatsSB 48 by Sen. Book (D)
Prohibiting a person from performing a declawing on a cat within this state; providing an exception; providing that a veterinarian who performs a prohibited declawing is subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Veterinary Medicine.  The bill was placed on the Senate Agriculture Committee agenda for January 14th, but was not heard.  The bill was ultimately amended and heard by the committee on January 28th. The bill was approved by a vote of 4 to 1.

Transfers of Firearms SB 94 by Sen. Book (D); HB 451 by Rep. Good (D)
Requiring transfers of firearms to be conducted through a licensed dealer; requiring deposit of the firearm with the licensed dealer under certain circumstances; providing for disposition of the firearm if the licensed dealer cannot legally complete the transaction or return the firearm to its owner.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Preemption of Firearms and Ammunition SB 134 by Sen. Taddeo (D); HB 6009 by Rep. Daley (D)
Permitting local governments to regulate firearms and ammunition.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Sale, Transfer or Storage of FirearmsSB 266 by Sen. Farmer (D); SB 1248 by Sen. Torres (D); HB 631 by Rep. Polsky (D); HB 923 by Rep. Goff-Marcil (D)
Revising the locations and circumstances in which a loaded firearm is required to be kept or secured with a trigger lock; provides criminal penalties if minor access stored firearm & uses it in specified ways; revises definition of “minor”; requires seller or transferor of firearm to provide specified information; revises standard for adults & minors to be criminally negligent in storage of firearms in certain circumstances.  All three bills were referred to three committees.

Veterinary Medicine SB 366 by Sen. Hooper (R); HB 1015 by Rep. Duran (D)
Defining and redefining terms relating to veterinary medical practice.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 366 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on November 5th.

Sales of Ammunition SB 460 & 462 by Sen. Book (D); HB 289 & 291 by Rep. Daley (D)
Requires background checks for sale or transfer of ammunition.  All bills were referred to three committees.

Uniform Partition of Heirs Property ActSB 580 by Sen. Bracey (D); HB 349 by Rep. Ausley (D)
Creating the “Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act”; providing requirements relating to the court determination of heirs property; providing for the determination of property value; providing for buyout of cotenants; providing for sale of property through open-market sale, sealed bids, or auction; authorizing certain cotenants to agree to certain partitions of real property.  This Act is important to agricultural interest as it was approved by Congress in the December 2018 federal farm bill.  SB 580 has been approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee and Community Affairs Committee.  SB 580 will be heard by the Senate Rules Committee on February 5th.  HB 349 was approved unanimously, with amendment, by the House Civil Justice Committee on January 29th.  HB 349’s reference to the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee was also removed, leaving only the House Judiciary Committee before the bill will be heard on the floor.

Illegal Taking, Possession, and Sale of Bears SB 688 by Sen. Wright (R); HB 327 by Rep. D. Smith (R)
Provides that person commits specified violations for illegal taking, possession, & sale of bears; prohibits illegal taking, possession, & sale of bears.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  HB 327 was approved unanimously, with amendment, by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on November 13thSB 688 will be heard by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee on February 3rd.

Drones SB 822 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 659 by Rep. Fischer (R)
Adds exception to prohibited uses of drone for managing and eradicating invasive exotic plants or animals on public lands.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 822 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on January 13th and approved, with amendment, by the Senate Government Oversight & Accountability Committee on January 27th.  HB 659 was approved unanimously by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on January 15th and approved, with amendment, by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on January 28th.

Animal Cremation – SB 1282 by Sen. Harrell (R)
Requires a provider of companion animal cremation services to provide certain individuals and entities with a written description of the services that the provider offers; providing that the written description may not contain false or misleading information.  The bill was referred to three committees.  On January 16th, the bill was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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Committee weeks leading up to the 2020 Florida Regular Legislative Session have concluded. The Session began Tuesday, January 14, 2020, and is scheduled to conclude March 13, 2020.  Several bills that may impact agribusiness have been filed and are summarized below.  Changes in future reports will be shown in italic print.

The full text of each bill and any amendments can be found on the legislative web sites.  (http://www.flsenate.gov; http://www.myfloridahouse.com; and http://www.leg.state.fl.us.)

Agriculture

Agriculture ProductsHB 237 by Rep. Roth (R)

Expands the definition of “agricultural products” to include vegetative biomass material.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Tax Credit for Carbon Farming – SB 286 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 1069 by Rep. Joseph (D)

Establishing a tax credit for carbon farming; requiring the Secretary of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the executive director of the Department of Revenue and the Commissioner of Agriculture, to determine the amount of the tax credit.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Public Records / Aquaculture RecordsSB 786 by Sen. Gainer (R); HB 905 by Rep. Ausley (D)

Providing a public records exemption for certain aquaculture records held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 786 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th.

Young Farmers and Ranchers SB 1130 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 191 by Rep. Bell (R)

Creates Florida Young Farmers & Ranchers Matching Grant Program within DACS; provides requirements for recipient eligibility & grant awards; specifies that grant funding is contingent upon specific legislative appropriation. Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1130 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th.

Captive-bred Animal CultureSB 1176 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 933 by Rep. C. Watson (D)

Requires DACS to submit list of research & development projects & captive-bred animal culture plan to Governor & Legislature; requires certificate of registration for captive-bred animal producers; creates Captive-bred Animal Culture Advisory Council; provides prohibited acts & penalties.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Department of CitrusSB 1276 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1201 by Rep. Clemons (R)

Establishing the Friends of Florida Citrus Program within the Department of Citrus; creating the Friends of Florida Citrus Advisory Council adjunct to the department; authorizing the Department of Citrus to loan department employees to or share department employees with specified state and federal entities.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 1276 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 14th.

Florida Farm to School ProgramSB 1384 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 973 by Rep. Roth (R)

Requires vendors who sell agricultural commodities to county school districts to provide specified invoice receipts to county school nutrition programs; requires county school nutrition programs to submit data from receipts to DACS; requires DACS to submit annual reports to Legislature.  Both bills were referred to three committees. 

Fish and Wildlife Activities SB 1414 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 777 by Rep. Gregory (R)

Prohibits certain harassment of hunters, trappers, & fishers in or on specified lands, areas, & waters; authorizes FWCC to designate additional free fishing days; prohibits certain possession of specified reptiles; provides exemption from sales & use tax for retail sale of certain hunting, fishing, & camping supplies during specified period; authorizes certain dealers to opt out of exemption. Both bills were referred to three committees. 

DACSSB 1514 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 921 by Brannan (R)

Revising the contents of a Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services report to the Governor and the Legislature to include the development of certain renewable and alternative energy technologies; requiring the department to promote the development of alternative fuel and alternative vehicle technologies; authorizing the department to consider the use of a fumigant as a pesticide for raw agricultural commodities.  Both bills were referred to three committees.   

Food Donation Programs / Tax CreditsSB 1526 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 521 by Rep. Webb (R)

Creating an agricultural commodity donation tax credit; revising the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services powers and duties relating to school food and other nutrition programs; deleting a provision authorizing district school boards to opt out of implementing universal school breakfast programs; requiring the department to annually allocate to participating sponsors a reimbursement in addition to the sum appropriated for the Florida Farm to School Program if certain conditions are met; requiring the department to develop the Florida Gleaning Support Grant Program.  Both bills were referred to three committees. 

Environmental Value of Agricultural Lands and TimberlandsSB 1772 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1311 by Rep. Ausley (D)

Establishes cost-share program within DACS; requires Office of Agricultural Water Policy & Florida Forest Service within DACS & DEP to make certain determinations regarding agriculture & timber industry.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Environmental ProtectionSB 1798 by Sen. Bradley (R)

Requiring water management district governing boards to charge a specified fee for certain consumptive use permits for bottled drinking water.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Verification of Employment Eligibility – SB 1822 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 1265 by Rep. Byrd (R)

Requires public employers, contractors, & subcontractors to use E-Verify system for specified purposes; prohibits such entities from entering into contract unless each party to contract uses E-Verify system; authorizes termination of contract; requires private employers to verify employment eligibility of newly hired employees; provides acceptable methods for verification.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Environment & Water

Environmental RegulationHB 73 by Rep. Overdorf (R); SB 326 by Sen. Perry (R)

Specifies requirements for contracts between residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities & counties or municipalities for collection or processing of residential recycling material; prohibits counties & municipalities from requiring collection, transport, or processing of contaminated recyclable material by residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities; prohibits local governments from requiring further verification from DEP for certain projects; revises types of dock & pier replacements & repairs that are exempt from such verification & certain permitting requirements.  Both bills received three committee references.  HB 73 has passed all committees unanimously and will be heard on the House Floor on January 22nd.  SB 326 has passed two committees unanimously.

Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment SB 200 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 547 by Rep. Fitzenhagen (R)

Prohibits performance of advanced well stimulation treatments; provides that permits for drilling or operating wells do not authorize performance of advanced well treatments.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 200 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on November 4th.

Land Acquisition Trust Fund SB 322 by Sen. Stewart (D); HB 849 by Rep. Altman (R)

Requiring a specified annual appropriation to the Florida Forever Trust Fund; prohibiting moneys from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund from being used for specified costs.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 322 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on November 4th.

Water Management District BoundariesSB 386 by Sen. Bradley (R); HB 1333 by Rep. Stone (R)

Revising the boundaries of the Suwannee River Water Management District and the Southwest Florida Water Management District to include all of Levy County within the Suwanee River Water Management District boundary; providing for the transfer on a specified date of land and other incidentals from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to the Suwanee River Water Management District for certain lands within Levy County.

Public Notification of Pollution SB 492 by Sen. Cruz (D)

Redefining the term “reportable pollution release”; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to publish certain notices received from the Department of Health or a local governmental entity on a website accessible to the public; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to provide a written notice to certain homeowners.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Stormwater Management Systems – SB 686 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 405 by Rep. Good (D)

Directing the water management districts, with Department of Environmental Protection oversight, to adopt rules for specified design and performance standards relating to new development and redevelopment projects; providing a rebuttable presumption that certain stormwater management systems do not cause or contribute to violations of applicable state water quality standards; requiring certain inspection training for department, water management district, and local pollution control program staff.

Water Resources SB 690 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 147 by Rep. Jacobs (R)

Requires DEP to conduct specified comprehensive & quantitative needs-based overview of state’s water resources & submit report to Governor & Legislature. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Water Quality Improvements SB 712 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 1343 by Rep. Payne (R)

Creates the “Clean Waterways Act”; requiring the Department Health to provide a specified report to the Governor and the Legislature by a specified date; transferring the Onsite Sewage Program within the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection by a type two transfer by a specified date; creating an onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems technical advisory committee within the department; requiring the department to adopt rules relating to the underground pipes of wastewater collection systems; requiring basin management action plans for nutrient total maximum daily loads to include wastewater treatment and onsite sewage treatment and disposal system remediation plans that meet certain requirements.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 712 was approved unanimously by the Senate Community Affairs Committee on December 9th.

Aquatic PreservesSB 1042 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1061 by Rep. Massullo (R)

Creates Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve; designates preserve for inclusion in aquatic preserve system; describes boundaries of preserve; outlines authority of Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund; requires board to adopt rules; prohibits establishment & management of preserve from infringing upon riparian rights of upland property owners adjacent to or within preserve.  Both bills were referred to three committees. 

Florida Endangered and Threatened Species ActSB 1360 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 1067 by Rep. Hattersley (D)

Directs FWCC & DACS to protect certain declassified species; revises criteria for placement of species on Regulated Plant Index by DACS; prohibits FWCC & DACS from considering certain costs when designating species as endangered or threatened.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Basin Management Action PlansHB 1363 by Rep. Overdorf (R)

Provides additional management strategies for such plans; requires certain plans to include specified elements; provides requirements for DEP, DACS, DOH, UF/IFAS, local governments, water management districts, & owners of agricultural operations; requires specified data collection & research; establishes nutrient reduction cost-share program within DEP; exempts rural homesteads from certain best management practices under certain conditions; requires DEP & DACS to include specified information in annual progress reports for such plans.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Environmental Protection Act / Environmental Resource ManagementSB 1382 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 1199 by Rep. Ingoglia (R)

Prohibits local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to natural environment or granting such rights relating to natural environment to person or political subdivision.  Both bills received three committee references.

Environmental Enforcement SB 1450 by Sen. Gruters (R); HB 1091 by Rep. Fine (R)

Increases civil penalties for violations of certain provisions relating to beach & shore construction, Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, aquatic preserves, state water resource plan, artesian wells, pollution, operating terminal facility without discharge prevention & response certificates, discharge contingency plans for vessels, Pollutant Discharge Prevention & Control Act, Clean Ocean Act, pollution of surface & ground waters, regulation of oil & gas resources, Phosphate Land Reclamation Act, sewage disposal facilities, pollution control, reasonable costs & expenses for pollution releases, necessary permits, dumping litter, small quantity generators, abatement of imminent hazards caused by hazardous substances, hazardous waste generators, transporters, or facilities, & coral reef protection; provides that certain conditions constitute separate offenses.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Underground Facility Damage Prevention & SafetySB 1464 by Sen. Flores (R); HB 1095 by Rep. Fitzenhagen (R)

Provides noncriminal violations relating to transportation of hazardous materials; authorizes certain entities to issue citations & recover civil penalties; provides enhanced civil penalties; provides for disposition of civil penalty; removes provisions relating to hearings by DOAH of certain incidents; creates underground facility damage prevention review panel.  Both bills received three committee references.

Florida National Estuary Program Act SB 1608 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 791 by Rep. Maggard (R)

Requires DEP to give funding consideration to estuaries identified under National Estuary Program; finds that significant water quality issues in the state arise from agricultural runoff and other sources; requires funds to be used for specified projects; requires programs receiving funding to submit report.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

BiosolidsSB 1654 by Sen. Mayfield (R); HB 1267 by Rep. Grall (R)

Prohibits land application of biosolids on certain sites; prohibits DEP from issuing or renewing certain permits; directs DEP to initiate rulemaking by specified date, adopt specified rules, & implement specified water quality monitoring program.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Recycled Water / Reclaimed Water SB 1656 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 715 by Rep. Maggard (R)

Provides recycled water is water source for public water supply systems; specifies point of compliance with drinking water standards for water recycling projects; provides recycled water projects must be included in regional water supply planning & are exempt from certain permits, expedited permitting, tax credits, & specified water quality protections; provides for creation of working group by Potable Reuse Commission; prohibits specified surface water discharges.  Both bills were referred to three committees. 

Florida Safe Drinking Water ActSB 1720 by Sen. Cruz (D); HB 1427 by Rep. Diamond (D)

Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt and implement rules for statewide maximum contaminant levels for specified pollutants by a date certain.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Environmental ProtectionSB 1878 by Sen. Bradley (R)

Requiring a minimum annual appropriation for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources in this state beginning in a specified fiscal year; providing requirements for the allocation of such funding; providing for future repeal of the appropriation unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.  The bill was referred to three committees.

Florida ForeverSB 7024 by Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Revising legislative findings under the Florida Forever Act to include wildlife crossings as a land acquisition purpose; requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to consult with specified entities for certain projects related to conservation lands and coastal areas subject to flooding; requiring that certain allocations from the Florida Forever Trust Fund include a specified amount for lands in this state which have been impacted by a hurricane during a specified timeframe and meet certain requirements.  The proposed committee bill will be heard by the Committee on January 13th.

Development & Growth Management

Growth Management SB 410 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 203 by Rep. McClain (R)

Requires comprehensive plan to include property rights element by a specified date; provides statement of rights that local government may use; provides local government’s property rights element may not conflict with statutorily provided statement of rights.  Both bills were referred to three committees. HB 203 was approved unanimously, with amendment, by the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on October 23rd.

Community Development District Bond FinancingSB 1254 by Sen. Wright (R); HB 851 by Rep. Altman (R)

Requires community development district boards to authorize bonds by two-thirds majority vote.  Both bills were referred to three committees. HB 851 was approved by the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on January 15th.

Clean EnergyHB 1419 by Rep. Good (D)

Authorizes public customers to use specified mechanisms to generate electricity using renewable energy generating systems; requires third party sellers to comply with certain safety and disclosure requirements; authorizes public customer to aggregate its electricity consumption for net metering; requires utilities to adopt programs offering renewable energy tariffs for non-residential customers; requires utilities to supply all or part of non-residential customers’ electricity needs with renewable energy; authorizes non-residential customers to aggregate electricity requirements; specifies that sales of certain electricity are not retail sales.  The bill was referenced to three committees.

Cannabis & Hemp

Cannabis Offense HB 149 by Rep. Sabatini (R); SB 1860 by Sen. Brandes (R)

Requires DOH to license any entity that cultivates, processes, transports, or dispenses low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, & cannabis delivery devices as medical marijuana treatment center; removes provisions limiting number of applicants that may be licensed within specified timeframes as medical marijuana treatment centers; removes provisions limiting number of dispensing facilities that may be established or operated statewide or regionally by medical marijuana treatment center. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Use of Regulated Substances HB 151 by Rep. Duran (D)

Prohibits physician from issuing certificate for marijuana in form for smoking to patient under 21 years of age; provides information for informed consent form. The bill was referred to three committees.

Medical Marijuana Retail FacilitiesSB 212 & 210 by Sen. Thurston (D); HB 797 by Rep. Thompson (D)

Authorizes licensed medical marijuana retail facilities to dispense marijuana, marijuana delivery devices, & edibles under certain conditions; specifies prohibitions relating to ownership & operation of such facilities; imposes criminal penalties for specified unlicensed activities; authorizes such facilities to access confidential & exempt information in medical marijuana use registry for certain verification purposes.  HB 797 was referred to three committees. SB 212 & 210 were referred to four committees.

Cannabis Offense SB 242 by Sen. Braynon (D); HB 25 by Rep. Jones (D)

Reduces criminal penalties for possession of specified amounts of cannabis & products containing specified amounts of THC; specifies that juvenile violators of certain provisions are eligible for civil citation or prearrest diversion programs. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Use of Industrial Hemp for Construction HB 683 by Rep. Fernandez (D)

Directs DACS to conduct comprehensive study on use of industrial hemp to build structures & submit report to Governor & Legislature. The bill was referred to three committees.

Medical Marijuana Employee ProtectionSB 962 by Sen. Berman (D); HB 595 by Rep. Polsky (D)

Prohibiting an employer from taking adverse personnel action against an employee or job applicant who is a qualified patient using medical marijuana; requiring an employer to provide written notice to an employee or job applicant who tests positive for marijuana of his or her right to explain the positive test result; providing procedures when an employee or job applicant tests positive for marijuana; providing a cause of action and damages.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Qualifying Medical Conditions for Medical Use SB 1274 by Sen. Powell (D); HB 625 by Rep. Williams (D)

Adds sickle cell disease to list of qualifying medical conditions for medical use of marijuana. HB 625 were referred to three committees.  SB 1274 was referred to two committees.

State Hemp Program FeesSB 1868 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1133 by Rep. Massullo (R)

Requiring applicants seeking to obtain or renew a license in the state hemp program to submit with each application a fee to be specified by rule of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; limiting the amount of the fee; requiring fee proceeds to be deposited in a specified trust fund for the administration of the state hemp program.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

State Hemp ProgramSB 1876 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1063 by Rep. Drake (R)

Removes requirement licensees only use certain hemp seeds & cultivars; revises requirements for distribution & retail sale of hemp extract; requires licensees who distribute or sell certain hemp extract to complete corrective action plan; provides that certain hemp extract is considered adulterated or misbranded; removes requirement that DACS conduct certain inspections.  Both bills received three committee references.

General Business & Tax

Sales Tax Remote Sales and Marketplace Providers / Economic NexusSB 126 by Sen. Gruters (R);     HB 159 by Rep. Clemons (R)

  • Establishes economic nexus thresholds for remote sellers of tangible personal property and taxable services consistent with the US Supreme Court decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair.
  • Removes current local discretionary sales surtax exemption for mail order sales.
  • Establishes registration, collection, and remittance requirements for marketplace providers selling tangible personal property and taxable services.
    • Absolves marketplace sellers from collecting and remitting sales tax on sales occurring through the marketplace.

Both bills were referred to three committees.  On October 15th, SB 126 was reported favorably by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee by a unanimous vote.  On December 20th, the Revenue Estimating Conference estimated the bill would generate $611.8M annually for the state.

Renewable Energy – SB 256 by Sen. J. Rodriguez (D); HB 97 by Rep. Eskamani (D)

Defining the terms “renewable energy credit” and “renewable portfolio standard”; requiring the Public Service Commission to adopt rules for a renewable portfolio standard; directing the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in consultation with other state agencies, state colleges and universities, public utilities, and other private and public entities, to develop a unified statewide plan to generate the state’s energy from renewable sources by specified dates.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Regional Rural Development Grants Program – SB 426 by Sen. Montford (D); HB 1139 by Rep. Clemons (R)

Creating the Regional Rural Development Grants Program; defining the term “regional economic development organization”; specifying that the concept of building the professional capacity of a regional economic development organization includes the hiring of professional staff to perform specified services; increasing the maximum amount of annual grant funding that specified economic development organizations may receive; increasing the amount of funds the Department of Economic Opportunity may expend each fiscal year.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 426 was approved unanimously by the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee on November 5th and Senate Innovation, Industry & Technology Committee on December 9th.

Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise Local Taxes or FeesHJR 477 by Rep. Rommel (R)

Proposes amendment to constitution to prohibit municipality, county, school board, or special district from imposing, authorizing, or raising local tax or fee except by vote approved by two-thirds of membership of relevant jurisdiction, & requires any such proposed local tax or fee imposition or increase to be contained in separate resolution or ordinance.

Sales Tax Holiday for Disaster Preparedness SuppliesSB 524 by Sen. Gruters (R)

Providing exemptions from the sales and use tax for specified disaster preparedness supplies.  The bill was referred to three committees.  On November 12th, SB 524 was approved unanimously by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee.  On November 22nd, the Revenue Estimating Conference estimated the sales tax holiday will cost the state $34.9M.

Small Business Saturday Sales Tax HolidaySB 1052 by Sen. Taddeo (D)

Providing an exemption from the sales tax for small businesses.

Hunting and Fishing Sales Tax HolidaySB 1310 by Mayfield (R); HB 777 by Gregory (R)

Providing an exemption from the sales and use tax for the retail sale of firearms, firearm ammunition, camping tents, and fishing supplies on September 5, 2020. Both bills were referred to three committees.

Legislative Review of Proposed Regulation of Unregulated FunctionsSB 1614 by Sen. Perry (R); HB 1155 by Rep. Hage (R)

Provides certain requirements before adoption of regulation of unregulated profession or occupation or substantial expansion of regulation of regulated profession or occupation; requires proponents to provide certain information to state agency & Legislature; requires state agency to provide certain information to Legislature; provides exception; revises information that legislative committee must consider when determining whether regulation is justified.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Other

Declawing of CatsSB 48 by Sen. Book (D)

Prohibiting a person from performing a declawing on a cat within this state; providing an exception; providing that a veterinarian who performs a prohibited declawing is subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Veterinary Medicine.  The bill was placed on the Senate Agriculture Committee agenda for January 14th, but was not heard.

Transfers of Firearms SB 94 by Sen. Book (D); HB 451 by Rep. Good (D)

Requiring transfers of firearms to be conducted through a licensed dealer; requiring deposit of the firearm with the licensed dealer under certain circumstances; providing for disposition of the firearm if the licensed dealer cannot legally complete the transaction or return the firearm to its owner.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Preemption of Firearms and Ammunition SB 134 by Sen. Taddeo (D); HB 6009 by Rep. Daley (D)

Permitting local governments to regulate firearms and ammunition.  Both bills were referred to three committees.

Sale, Transfer or Storage of FirearmsSB 266 by Sen. Farmer (D); SB 1248 by Sen. Torres (D); HB 631 by Rep. Polsky (D); HB 923 by Rep. Goff-Marcil (D)

Revising the locations and circumstances in which a loaded firearm is required to be kept or secured with a trigger lock; provides criminal penalties if minor access stored firearm & uses it in specified ways; revises definition of “minor”; requires seller or transferor of firearm to provide specified information; revises standard for adults & minors to be criminally negligent in storage of firearms in certain circumstances.  All three bills were referred to three committees.

Veterinary Medicine SB 366 by Sen. Hooper (R); HB 1015 by Rep. Duran (D)

Defining and redefining terms relating to veterinary medical practice.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 366 was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on November 5th.

Sales of Ammunition SB 460 & 462 by Sen. Book (D); HB 289 & 291 by Rep. Daley (D)

Requires background checks for sale or transfer of ammunition.  All bills were referred to three committees.

Uniform Partition of Heirs Property ActSB 580 by Sen. Bracey (D); HB 349 by Rep. Ausley (D)

Creating the “Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act”; providing requirements relating to the court determination of heirs property; providing for the determination of property value; providing for buyout of cotenants; providing for sale of property through open-market sale, sealed bids, or auction; authorizing certain cotenants to agree to certain partitions of real property.  This Act is important to agricultural interest as it was approved by Congress in the December 2018 federal farm bill.  SB 580 has been approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee and Community Affairs Committee.

Illegal Taking, Possession, and Sale of Bears SB 688 by Sen. Wright (R); HB 327 by Rep. D. Smith (R)

Provides that person commits specified violations for illegal taking, possession, & sale of bears; prohibits illegal taking, possession, & sale of bears.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  HB 327 was approved unanimously, with amendment, by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on November 13th.

Drones SB 822 by Sen. Albritton (R); HB 659 by Rep. Fischer (R)

Adds exception to prohibited uses of drone for managing and eradicating invasive exotic plants or animals on public lands.  Both bills were referred to three committees.  SB 822 was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on January 13th.  HB 659 was approved unanimously by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on January 15th.

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