The first week of the 2018 ended in a flurry of activity in the Florida House where lawmakers were busy Friday cranking out bill after bill.
At the top of the list was the House anti-sanctuary bill (HB 9) which would require local governments and law enforcement agencies to comply with federal immigration laws. Those that declare themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants would face stiff fines of up to $5,000 for each day they are determined not to be in compliance.
“Sanctuary cities threaten the safety of our communities and undermine America’s laws,” Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes said in a statement released after the 71-35 vote on the bill. “Today, we stood up for Florida’s residents and the Constitution by banning sanctuary cities. No one is above the law, and now if a politician or government official tries to ignore America’s immigration laws, they will be punished.”
The House also passed legislation (HB 6001) banning red light cameras in Florida.
“Red light cameras do not benefit the public—they only benefit local governments addicted to the revenue they generate and the companies that provide the services,” sad bill sponsor, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill.
Legislation (HB 19) doing away with the PIP and no fault insurance system in Florida. Supporters say it will increase the accountability of drivers and decrease the number of uninsured motorists on the state’s highways, while stopping abuse of the system by unscrupulous doctors and attorneys.
The House also adopted a workers comp reform bill (HB 7009). Critics say the legislation will have negative impacts on the workers the system is supposed to protect, while helping to line the pockets of insurers.
“The Florida House has once again struck out on an important opportunity to bring meaningful rate reform and transparency to the many businesses required to pay workers’ compensation insurance in Florida,” said Mark Touby, president of Florida Workers’ Advocate.
Representatives also passed legislation (HB 7015) dealing with assignment of benefits in insurance cases. AOB was intended to help streamline the repair process to damaged homes by allowing contractors to directly deal with insurers. But, some contractors, especially roofers and water remediation companies, have abused the process by inflating prices. The House bill adds more requirements for what must be included in AOB agreements.
The House also passed the following:
HB 5 – Increases the amount of time a former lawmaker must wait to lobby the Legislature from two to six years.
HB 7 – Would require local governments to provide greater transparency in regard to tax issues and debt.
HB 11 – Requires all levels of government in Florida to be fully transparent, accountable and ethical.
HB 13 – Intended to prevent tax dollars from being used to build stadiums and arenas for professional sports teams.
HB 15 – Removes certain regulations and licensing requirements for various professions.
HB 17 – Requires more accountability and transparency for local community redevelopment authorities. It also requires CRS staff to undergo annual ethics training.