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Florida Attractions Industry


Legislative Updates, Alerts and Reports

Periodically throughout the year - especially during Florida Legislative Session - members receive important communications from the FAA regarding issues involving the tourism industry. Please remember that if you receive a LEGISLATIVE ALERT, timing is critical and minutes matter - read it and take immediate action on behalf of the FAA.




A Legislative Update is a summary of recent activity in the Florida State Legislature.

LEGISLATIVE ALERT is an immediate call to action on behalf of the tourism industry.

Legislative Report is information provided by Liberty Partners of Tallahassee on important industry issues.

Latest Updates, Alerts and Reports

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  • May 05, 2021 5:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The unprecedented 2021 Legislative Session came to a close on Friday, April 30 at 2:40 p.m., as the Legislature adjourned Sine Die. With COVID-19 restrictions limiting public access to the Capitol during all of the interim committee weeks and the entire session, advocates and members of the public were forced to find alternative ways to make their voices heard. Whether making online reservations to appear before a House committee or attending a Senate committee hearing at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, stakeholders modified the way they did business this session. While legislators filed less bills this session than during the 2020 Legislative Session, more bills passed both chambers, with 275 bills making their way to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis.

    Governor DeSantis, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson each secured legislative wins this session, as a number of their policy priorities passed both chambers and are on track to become law or have already been signed into law. One of the Governor’s main priorities was to pass social media platform regulation, which creates a framework to prevent social media companies from censoring users or “de-platforming” candidates for public office. Another priority passed was the anti-riot legislation which was subsequently signed into law by Governor DeSantis on April 19, 2021. This new law will crack down on violent protests and ensure that any demonstrations remain peaceful and nonviolent. Key priorities of Speaker Sprowls and President Simpson that crossed the finish line included legislation related to COVID- 19 liability protections for businesses and health care providers, which was also signed into law. Additional priorities of   House and Senate leadership   that passed   were bills   related to expanding school choice options, the collection of remote sales tax and providing funding for statewide resiliency programs.

    Finally, the 2021 Legislative Session would not be complete without lawmakers passing a balanced budget for fiscal year 2021-22. This year’s final budget was adopted on Friday, April 30, for a total of $101.5 billion as compared to the 2020-21 budget of $93.2 billion that passed the Legislature last session prior to COVID. This year’s budget does include federal stimulus relief funds. The General Appropriations Act - SB 2500 - passed the Senate 39-0 and the House 117-1. This proposed spending plan includes funding for education, health care, transportation, tourism and economic development, criminal and civil justice and agriculture, environment and general government. The proposed budget also includes pay raises for state employees, tax breaks for Florida families, tourism marketing funding, bonuses for first responders and teachers, water quality improvements and infrastructure upgrades.

    For the 2021 Legislative Session the Governor proposed a $96.6 billion budget. After the House proposed a $97.1 billion spending plan and the Senate proposed $95.0 billion, both chambers approved a final budget of $101.5 billion. Governor DeSantis now has power to approve the budget or use his line-item veto authority for specific items in the budget.

    See the budget comparison below:

    2020 Legislative Session (FY 2020-21)

    Budget passed by the Legislature:      $93.2 billion Governor veto:                                                    $1 billion

    Final approved budget:                       $92.2 billion


    2021 Legislative Session (FY 2021-22)

    Budget passed by the Legislature:      $101.5 billion Governor veto:                                                    TBD

    Final approved budget:                       TBD

    Additionally, Governor DeSantis struck a deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to extend the Seminole Compact for 30 years and to finalize this deal, the Legislature must ratify the compact. Both Speaker Sprowls and President Simpson announced late in session that a Special Session on gaming scheduled for the week of May 17 will be held to ratify this compact. The compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe is projected to bring at least $2.5 billion in revenue to the state over the next five years and nearly $6 billion through 2030. Legislation related to gaming that was introduced during this past session will mostly likely be re-introduced and reconsidered during this time.

    Below is a list of general priority bills that passed and failed the Legislature followed by a list of the priorities pieces of legislation we worked on your behalf.

    KEY ISSUES THAT PASSED

    The Legislature succeeded in passing several pieces of impactful legislation this session that included some of the issues below:

    COVID-19 Liability Protections for Businesses and Healthcare Providers (SB 72 by Senator Jeff Brandes) – The bill provides legal protections to businesses, schools, nonprofits, religious organizations and health care providers that are following COVID-19 protocols from frivolous lawsuits. (Signed into law on March 29)

    Collection of Remote Sales Tax (SB 50 by Senator Joe Gruters) – The bill requires retailers with no physical presence in Florida to collect and remit applicable sales tax, provided they have a substantial number (over $100,000 annually) of remote sales in the state. (Signed into law on April 19)

    Child Welfare Reform (SB 80 by Senator Jason Brodeur and SB 96 by Senator Lauren Book) – Two measures relating to child welfare were passed to support youth by better preparing them for adulthood and providing support to older foster youth who age out of care. They also contain provisions to protect child victims of abuse and sexual abuse by updating reporting requirements and data collection.

    Expanded School Choice Options for K-12 (HB 7045 by Representative Randy Fine)  Legislation provides the largest expansion of school choice in the nation by increasing the eligible household income cap, including special-needs scholarships and extending scholarships to students already in private school.

    Social Media Platform Regulation (SB 7072 by Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez) – The bill would fine social media companies for knowingly de-platforming political candidates but would not apply to temporary social media bans on a candidate or instances where a social media platform removes specific posts that violate that platform’s terms of service.

    Tax Relief for Families and Businesses (HB 7061 by Representative Bobby Payne) – The Legislature passed a tax package that includes several provisions including the creation of a sales tax holiday (Freedom Week) from Thursday, July 1, through Wednesday, July 7, 2021, exempting certain purchases for outdoor activities – such as boating, camping and outdoor sporting events; also includes back-to-school and disaster preparedness tax holidays.

    Anti-riot Legislation (HB 1 by Representative Fernandez-Barquin) – Creates one of the strongest anti-mob violence laws in the country to protect peaceful protests and law enforcement by defining a riot, changing law enforcement budgeting policies and adding penalties for crimes committed during riots.

    Statewide Flooding and Sea-level Rise Resilience Plan (SB 1954 by Senator Ray Rodrigues) – The bill establishes a fund up to $100 million annually for resiliency projects designed to address areas of the state most at risk from coastal flooding and rising seas.

    Election Reform (SB 90 by Senator Dennis Baxley) – Legislation was passed to limit to the use of ballot drop boxes and who can help pick up or deliver a voter’s mail-in ballot and additional guidelines on requesting a ballot by mail, signature verification and the collection of ballots.

    Elimination of No-fault Auto Insurance (SB 54 by Senator Danny Burgess) – The legislation would remove the requirement for carrying Personal Insurance Protection (PIP) insurance and only require that motorists need to have bodily-injury coverage.


    KEY ISSUES THAT FAILED

    Several other high-profile issues that did not end up passing during the 2021 Legislative Session include:

    Consumer Data Privacy (HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland/SB 1734 by Senator Jennifer Bradley)– The bills would have required companies that maintain consumer data to publish a privacy policy for personal information. The legislation would have also created certain rights for consumers that would have allowed them to access to their personal data that was collected, correct or delete personal information and the ability to decline the sale or sharing of personal data. The legislation ultimately died on the House floor.

    Vacation Rentals (HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer/SB 522 by Senator Manny Diaz) – The bills would have preempted the licensing and inspection of short-term rentals to the state. It would also have preempted the regulation of advertising platforms to the state and increased requirements that are put on advertising platforms. Local governments that adopted vacation rental ordinances or laws prior June 1, 2011 would have been grandfathered in and not affected by the legislation. The House and Senate bills both died in committee.

    Tourist & Convention Development Taxes (HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila/SB 2008 by Senator Manny Diaz) - The bill would have authorized tourist development or convention development tax revenue to be used to finance flood mitigation projects or improvements. The bill would also have required any imposition or increase of these taxes to be approved by referendum. The legislation passed the House but died in a Senate committee.

    Medical Marijuana (HB 1455 by Representative Spencer Roach/SB 1958 by Senator Ray Rodrigues) – This legislation would have capped the supply and potency of medical marijuana that is prescribed by physicians. The bill would also have prohibited a physician from prescribing marijuana to an individual under the age of 18, other than low-potency THC. Medical marijuana treatment centers would have also been required to recall any product that did not meet health and safety standards. The House bill died in committee while the Senate bill never received a committee hearing.

    Retirement (SB 84 by Senator Ray Rodrigues) – This controversial legislation would have required members of the Florida Retirement System to enroll in a defined contribution retirement plan such as a 401(k) instead of the current defined benefit pension plan. The proposal faced pushback by a number of groups and the Senate bill died in committee. The legislation was not filed in the House.

    Employee Organizations (HB 835 by Representative Cord Byrd/SB 1014 by Senator Dennis Baxley) – The legislation would have required individuals to sign an authorization form before joining an employee organization such as a union. Dues and uniform assessments would also have been prohibited from being deducted from employee salaries. Certain membership information and documentation would have also been required under the legislation. The House bill died on the floor while the Senate bill died in committee.

    School Board Term Limits (HB 1461 by Representative Sam Garrison/SB 1642 by Senator Joe Gruters) – Under this legislation, if voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2022, school board members would have been limited to serving a maximum of eight years.

    Reemployment Assistance (SB 1906 by Senator Jason Brodeur) – This legislation would have increased unemployment benefits from a maximum of $275 a week to $375 a week. The bill passed the Senate but died in the House.

    FLORIDA ATTRACTIONS ASSOCIATION LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

    VISIT FLORIDA:

    VISIT FLORIDA had an extremely productive session, as the tourism marketing agency received

    $75 million for FY 2021-22. With Florida being a worldwide tourist destination, we are grateful that the Legislature understood the importance of VISIT FLORIDA and funded the agency at an adequate level. While lawmakers were faced with difficult decisions, they made the right decision by continuing to invest in tourism marketing and Florida will reap the benefits. During the legislative session and in discussions with industry leaders, we conveyed the importance of VISIT FLORIDA and the positive impact that it has on the state as a whole.

    Our firm also supported two bills during the 2021 Legislative Session on behalf of FAA that would have repealed the scheduled sunset of VISIT FLORIDA. SB 778 by Senator Ed Hooper (R-Palm Harbor) passed its first two committees but ultimately died in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The House companion – HB 675 – by Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) was also filed but unfortunately did not receive a committee hearing. While these pieces of legislation did not make it across the finish, we maintain great relationships with both bill sponsors and look forward to the legislation being filed again next session.

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes:

    Throughout the legislative session, we worked hand-in-hand with FAA to ensure that tourist development tax (TDT) and convention development tax (CDT) dollars were preserved and used for their intended purposes. These critical dollars were threatened when legislation was filed in the House and Senate that would have expanded the allowable uses of such dollars. Under HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Hialeah) and SB 2008 by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens), TDT funds would have been able to have been used to finance flood mitigation projects.

    While the Senate bill did not gain any traction and didn’t receive a committee hearing, the House bill passed each committee as well as the House floor. During House committee meetings, we spoke in opposition to the TDT expansion provision on behalf of FAA and urged lawmakers to vote against the proposal. While HB 1429 passed its committee references and the House floor, the Senate did not take up the measure. In an attempt to get the language to pass, the negative provisions in HB 1429 were amended onto the House tax package – HB 7061. Once this language was added in, we kept fighting on behalf of FAA by continuing to assist in drafting letters of opposition to lawmakers and call-to-action alerts for FAA members. Additionally, we included the call-to-actions in our firm’s weekly legislative newsletter that is distributed to all legislators and key players in the political process. We are extremely proud to say that the hard work paid off, as the troublesome TDT provisions were removed from the final version of HB 7061 - which was passed by both chambers and now awaits the Governor’s signature. Through teamwork and collaboration, Liberty Partners of Tallahassee and FAA were able to effectively eliminate any expansion of TDT dollars and ensure that these dollars are spent in a thoughtful, efficient way.

    Consumer Data Privacy:

    Legislation that attempted to modify consumer data privacy was also a legislative priority for FAA and was a cause of concern for the association and its members. HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) and SB 1734 by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) would have required companies that maintain consumer data to publish a privacy policy for personal information. The legislation would have also created certain rights for consumers that would have allowed them to access to their personal data that was collected, correct or delete personal information and the ability to decline the sale or sharing of personal data. The bills would have included companies that meet a certain threshold of users and would have included companies and businesses that use target advertising. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the House bill was a provision that would have allowed consumers whose personal information had been breached, sold, shared after opting-out or maintained after a request to delete or correct to bring a legal cause of action against the company or business. This particular provision would have negatively affected FAA and several of its members that record customer data for marketing and promotional purposes. To fight this legislation and advocate for their members, FAA joined Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) and their member companies in signing on to an industry letter that outlined the concerns of the business community and stated opposition to the House bill in its form at the time. During this time, we reached out to Representative McFarland and Senator Bradley to discuss negative provisions in the bill and the harmful impacts that the legislation would have on FAA and its members. Upon conversations with the bill sponsors, Senator Bradley removed the legal cause of action language, while the language remained in the House bill.

    Fortunately, neither bill was passed by both chambers, as the House and Senate could not reach an agreement. While HB 969 passed the House floor on April 21, the bill was amended in the Senate before it passed the Senate floor on April 29. As a result, the bill bounced back to the House and died in House returning messages, with the chamber not having enough time to take up the legislation. SB 1734 passed both committees of reference but was laid on the table on April 28, after being replaced by HB 969. Our firm worked diligently with FAA to oppose any provisions in the bills that would have hurt FAA members and we are pleased that our efforts paid off.

    Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19:

    We are grateful that Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation into law that will protect FAA’s members from frivolous lawsuits and allow attractions in the state to operate in a safe and efficient manner. SB 72 by Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) created civil liability protections for businesses, individuals, governmental entities, health care providers and other organizations in response to COVID-19. On March 29, the new legislation was enacted to heighten legal protections for defendants facing COVID-19 related lawsuits. Specifically, the law provides civil immunity for entities that make a “good faith” effort to comply with government-issued health and safety guidance. This legislation is designed to eliminate the threat of unnecessary litigation for businesses and facilities already left financially vulnerable by the pandemic.


    OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST

    There were more than 3,000 bills filed for the 2021 Legislative Session, however only 275 passed both chambers and will become law with the approval by the Governor. Please see the attached tracking list for bills monitored for FAA during the 2021 Legislative Session.

    LOOKING AHEAD

    Pursuant to Article III, section 8, of the Florida Constitution, "Every bill passed by the Legislature shall be presented to the governor for approval and shall become a law if the governor approves and signs it or fails to veto it within seven consecutive days after presentation. If during that period or on the seventh day the legislature adjourns sine die or takes a recess of more than thirty days, the governor shall have fifteen consecutive days from the date of presentation to act on the bill."

    Therefore, Governor Ron DeSantis will now have 15 days to take action on the state spending plan along with more than 200 bills that will be sent his way. He also possesses line-item veto authority which may be used with the General Appropriations Act (GAA). After the Governor has completed his line-item vetoes, he will then sign the GAA into law, establishing the statewide budget for the next fiscal year beginning on July 1. A two-thirds majority vote of both the Senate and House is required to overturn any of the Governor’s line-item vetoes.

    Once again, Liberty Partners considers it a great privilege to serve as your advocates in Tallahassee. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team for additional information.


  • April 26, 2021 5:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the Legislature begins the last week of the 2021 Regular Legislative Session, statewide attention is on Tallahassee. The FY 2021-22 budget is beginning to round into shape, as conference committees have completed their negotiations and unresolved issues are now being negotiated by Budget Conference Chair Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Vice-Chair Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City). Following these negotiations,  

    Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) and House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-Clearwater) will review the final budget. Upon passage of the budget by the Legislature, the proposed spending plan will head to Governor Ron DeSantis' desk to be signed. Legislators and lawmakers that have projects in the budget will fight to ensure the projects remain in the budget, as Governor DeSantis wields line-item veto authority.

    In additional statewide news, the Governor and Seminole Tribe of Florida have reached an agreement on the Seminole Compact that will extend the gaming compact for 30 years. Projections show that the compact will bring at least $2.5 billion in revenue to the state through the next five years and $6 billion through 2030. To ratify the gaming compact, President Simpson and Speaker Sprowls have announced a Special Session on May 17. Any current legislation related to gaming will be re-introduced and reconsidered by the Legislature during this time.

    Below is a summary of bills that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes

    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for and authorized uses of tourist development taxes (TDT) and convention development taxes (CDT). The bill has passed the House floor and has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. Additionally, the House tax package - HB 7061 – contains the provisions of HB 1429 that would expand allowable uses of TDT dollars to finance flood mitigation projects. We have been actively fighting the attack on this money and have assisted FAA in drafting letters of opposition and calls-to-action for their members. HB 7061 passed the House floor on Friday and has been received by the Senate and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. We continue to advocate against any legislation that would divert money away from the tourism and attractions industries.

    Consumer Data Privacy

    HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) would require businesses to provide notice to consumers about data collection and selling practices; provide consumers with the right to request data be disclosed, deleted, or corrected and to opt-in or opt-out of sale or sharing of such data; provide nondiscrimination measures, methods for requesting data and opting-in or opting-out of sale or sharing of such data, private cause of action and enforcement. The bill passed the House floor by a vote of 118-1 on Wednesday, has been received by the Senate and referred to the Senate Rules Committee. The Senate companion – SB 1734 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) awaits consideration on the Senate floor.

    Gaming Enforcement

    SB 7076 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) would create the Florida Gaming Control Commission within the Office of the Attorney General; provide for membership of the commission; require the Commission on Ethics to accept and investigate any alleged violations of the standards of conduct for commissioners; designate the Florida Gaming Control Commission as the state compliance agency having authority to carry out certain responsibilities; transfer all powers, duties, functions, records, offices, personnel, property, pending issues, existing contracts, administrative authority, administrative rules, trust funds, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to the commission by a type two transfer, etc. The Senate bill and House companion – HB 7053– by Representative Mike Beltran (R-Valrico) will be considered during Special Session beginning May 17.

    Requirements for Pari-mutuel Permitholders to Conduct Live Racing or Games

    SB 7080 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) would revise the application requirements for an operating license to conduct pari-mutuel wagering for a pari-mutuel facility; prohibit greyhound permitholders from conducting live racing; authorize jai alai permitholders, harness horse racing permitholders, and quarter horse racing permitholders to elect not to conduct live racing or games; specify that certain permitholders that do not conduct live racing or games retain their permit and remain pari-mutuel facilities, etc. The Senate bill and House companion – HB 7055– by Representative Chris Latvala (R-Clearwater) will also be considered during Special Session.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    HB 329by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) has been substituted HB 329, with SB 148 in Senate returning messages and awaiting consideration on the Senate floor.

    Technology Transparency

    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts and economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The House bill was temporarily postponed on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 7072 – by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers) is scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor on Monday, April 26.

    Cultural and Historical Programs

    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical

    Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill has passed the House and Senate floors. HB 909 was substituted for the Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper, with SB 1404 being laid on the table. HB 909 awaits final approval from the Legislature before heading to Governor DeSantis’ desk.


  • April 20, 2021 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With only ten days remaining in the 2021 Legislative Session, the House and Senate are beginning a tug-of-war on a number of policy and budget issues. On Friday night, the House and Senate held a budget conference organizational meeting with Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) being elected Chair and Representative Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City) being elected Vice Chair of the 2021 Budget Conference. Over the weekend and throughout Monday, the budget conference committees met to negotiate allocations and budget items. The committees have approximately $36 billion in general revenue to allocate, with many programs and local funding requests to be negotiated. Lawmakers and advocates will continue to fight to ensure that their respective legislative priorities are funded. The House and Senate must agree on a balanced budget before the FY 2021-22 proposed budget can be presented to Governor Ron DeSantis. Governor DeSantis maintains line-item veto authority and will have the ability to make cuts to the proposed budget if he chooses. VISIT FLORIDA is a hot topic of debate, as the House and Senate have agreed to fund the tourism marketing agency at $50 million during FY 2021-22. However, the chambers disagree on whether to dedicate the $50 million on a recurring or nonrecurring basis. The House is pushing for the dollars to be nonrecurring, while the Senate would like the appropriation to be a stable, recurring item.

    Additionally, a number of policy bills have the Legislature's support but will need an extra push to get across the finish line. With Sine Die on the horizon, the House and Senate will continue bargaining over key legislation in hopes to get their priorities signed into law.

    Below is a summary of bills that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes

    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for and authorized uses of tourist development taxes (TDT) and convention development taxes (CDT). The bill passed the House floor by a vote of 114-2 on Wednesday and has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. The Senate companion – SB 2008 – by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens) awaits its first hearing in the Senate Community Affairs Committee. Additionally, the House tax package - HB 7061 – contains the provisions of HB 1429 that would expand allowable uses of TDT dollars to finance flood mitigation projects. We have been actively fighting the attack on this money and have assisted FAA in drafting letters of opposition and calls-to-action for their members. HB 7061 passed the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday by a vote of 15-1 and now moves to the House floor. We continue to advocate against any legislation that would divert money away from the tourism and attractions industries.

    Consumer Data Privacy

    HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) would require businesses to provide notice to consumers about data collection and selling practices; provide consumers with the right to request data be disclosed, deleted, or corrected and to opt-in or opt-out of sale or sharing of such data; provide nondiscrimination measures, methods for requesting data and opting-in or opting-out of sale or sharing of such data, private cause of action and enforcement. The bill unanimously passed its final stop in the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday and moves to the House floor for consideration. The Senate companion – SB 1734 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) awaits consideration on the Senate floor.

    Gaming Enforcement

    SB 7076 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) would create the Florida Gaming Control Commission within the Office of the Attorney General; provide for membership of the commission; require the Commission on Ethics to accept and investigate any alleged violations of the standards of conduct for commissioners; designate the Florida Gaming Control Commission as the state compliance agency having authority to carry out certain responsibilities; transfer all powers, duties, functions, records, offices, personnel, property, pending issues, existing contracts, administrative authority, administrative rules, trust funds, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to the commission by a type two transfer, etc. The Senate bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously on Thursday. The House companion – HB 7053– by Representative Mike Beltran (R-Valrico) unanimously passed the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday and awaits its next reference.

    Requirements for Pari-mutuel Permitholders to Conduct Live Racing or Games

    SB 7080 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) would revise the application requirements for an operating license to conduct pari-mutuel wagering for a pari-mutuel facility; prohibit greyhound permitholders from conducting live racing; authorize jai alai permitholders, harness horse racing permitholders, and quarter horse racing permitholders to elect not to conduct live racing or games; specify that certain permitholders that do not conduct live racing or games retain their permit and remain pari-mutuel facilities, etc. The Senate bill unanimously passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. The House companion – HB 7055– by Representative Chris Latvala (R-Clearwater) passed the House Commerce Committee by a vote of 21-1 on Wednesday and awaits its next reference.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    HB 329by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) was substituted for HB 329 and passed the House floor by a vote of 115-1 on Wednesday. SB 148 is in Senate returning messages and awaiting consideration on the Senate floor.

    Sales and Use Tax

    SB 50 – by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) would revise conditions for certain dealers subject to sales tax; delete exemption for certain dealers from collecting local option surtaxes; provide certain marketplace providers are subject to registration, collection and remittance requirements for sales taxes; require marketplace providers to provide certification to marketplace sellers; specify requirements for marketplace sellers; require marketplace providers to allow DOR to audit books and records; provide

    that marketplace seller is liable for sales tax collection and remittance; authorize marketplace providers and marketplace sellers to enter into agreements to recover certain taxes, interest and penalties; grant DOR settlement and compromise authority for marketplace sales; remove authority of DOR to negotiate collection allowance with certain dealers. The bill was signed into law by Governor DeSantis on Monday night.

    Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud

    HB 9 by Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes) would define "personal protective equipment"; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading information relating to personal protective equipment with specified intent; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading vaccine information with specified intent; authorize state attorney or statewide prosecutor to prosecute violation; authorize AG to seek civil remedies. The bill has been passed by the full House and the Senate Rules Committee, and is awaiting consideration on the Senate floor.

    Technology Transparency

    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts and economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The House bill awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 7072 – by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers) passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 19.

    Cultural and Historical Programs

    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill unanimously passed the House floor on Thursday and has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper has passed all committees and awaits consideration on the Senate floor.

    Vacation Rentals

    HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would require advertising platforms to collect and remit specified taxes imposed for certain transactions; preempt regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibit a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments and require licenses issued by Division of Hotels and Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to the public inside the licensed establishment. The bill awaits its second hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee. The Senate companion – SB 522 – by Senator Manny Diaz is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, April 20.


  • April 19, 2021 8:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last week, the Florida House passed HB 1429 sponsored by Representative Bryan Avila (111 – Hialeah). 

    So far, the Senate has not moved their companion bill SB 2008 sponsored by Senator Manny Diaz (36 – Hialeah Gardens).  However, there are several ways this bill could still become statute.  The Senate could still consider their bill or take up the House bill.  In addition, the House has included some of the provisions of HB 1429 in their Tax package – HB 7061 (see line 339) . 

    Two weeks remain in this year’s Legislative Session.  This hazardous bill which establishes a precedent of raiding your county’s Tourist Development Tax revenue for non-marketing purposes could pass the Florida Legislature this Session.

    In essence, these bills allow county governments to siphon funds collected through the TDT and CDT in your county intended for tourism promotion and use them for “flood mitigation.” Our opposition isn’t on this specific expanded use, rather ANY use aside from tourism promotion and marketing weakens your county and our state’s tourism marketing efforts. Tourist Development Taxes invested by Florida destinations result in billions of dollars in sales tax revenue generated by tourists affording a lower tax burden for Florida residents.

    *** CALL TO ACTION ***

    As our industry begins to rebound from the ravages of the pandemic, these bills imperil our ability to recover. Elected officials need to support our economic recovery, not disrupt it. Here is where we need your help!

    Please contact your Senator. Tell them how the Tourist Development Tax in your county helps market your county destination and attractions. Share how you depend on the efforts of your Tourist Development Council and/or CVB to bring visitors to your county, increasing your county’s tax base and generating additional TDT funds.  Ask them to stand firm in opposing any expansion of the uses of Tourist Development Taxes that is included in any legislation for the 2021 Session.

    Thank you for all you do for the FAA and our collective industry. Keep advocating for the protection of Florida tourism!


  • April 12, 2021 5:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With only three weeks remaining in the 2021 Legislative Session, it is becoming clear which pieces of legislation are poised to make it across the finish line and which policy proposals are at risk of not becoming law. In addition to heated debate surrounding policy, both chambers are preparing to negotiate their respective budgets, as each chamber passed their proposed budgets this week. This lays the groundwork for the budget conference process, which will see the House and Senate engage in a “tug-of-war” over how to spend money during the 2021-22 fiscal year. Recent state revenue reports and the potential infusion of billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds could lessen the negative economic impact that many Floridians were afraid of.

    Lion Country Safari Vice President & FAA Board Member Jennifer Berthiaume’s op-ed was published in the Palm Beach Post this week. In her article, Jennifer discussed the importance to TDT dollars and the positive impact that these funds make on the tourism industry. She explains that this money contributes to local services such as affordable housing, infrastructure, education and public safety, which result in tax revenue, employment opportunities and affordable resident service. While the tourism industry has felt the brunt of COVID-19, the strength of the industry moving forward will dictate the economic wellbeing within the state. With hospitality jobs in Palm Beach County down by an estimated 20%, visitor spending down 20% and restaurant and hotel revenue down by 33% & 38%, respectively, the industry is in need to TDT dollars. Now is not the right time to divert money away from tourism promotion, and it is the wrong time for the Legislature to strip the tourism industry of critical resources.

    Below is a summary of bills that have been filed that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes

    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for & authorized uses of tourist development taxes (TDT) & convention development taxes (CDT). The bill is scheduled to be heard on the House floor this week. The Senate companion – SB 2008 – by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens) awaits its first hearing in the Senate Community Affairs Committee. Liberty Partners of Tallahassee understands the importance of preserving TDT dollars and is fighting for FAA and their members. We will continue to reach out to legislators on FAA’s behalf in opposition to these two bills and will work closely with FAA and their members to defeat this bad legislation. To email your legislator and let them know how important the preservation of TDT dollars are to the state’s tourism industry, click here.

    Consumer Data Privacy

    HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) would require businesses to provide notice to consumers about data collection & selling practices; provide consumers with the right to request data be disclosed, deleted, or corrected & to opt-in or opt-out of sale or sharing of such data; provide nondiscrimination measures, methods for requesting data & opting-in or opting-out of sale or sharing of such data, private cause of action, & enforcement. The House bill is awaiting its final hearing in the House Commerce Committee. The Senate companion – SB 1734 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) passed the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, April 6 and awaits consideration on the Senate floor.

    Gaming Enforcement

    SB 7076 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) would create the Florida Gaming Control Commission within the Office of the Attorney General; provide for membership of the commission; require the Commission on Ethics to accept and investigate any alleged violations of the standards of conduct for commissioners; designate the Florida Gaming Control Commission as the state compliance agency having authority to carry out certain responsibilities; transfer all powers, duties, functions, records, offices, personnel, property, pending issues, existing contracts, administrative authority, administrative rules, trust funds, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to the commission by a type two transfer, etc. The Senate bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday, April 12. There is no House companion at this time.

    Requirements for Pari-mutuel Permitholders to Conduct Live Racing or Games

    SB 7080 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) would revise the application requirements for an operating license to conduct pari-mutuel wagering for a pari-mutuel facility; prohibit greyhound permitholders from conducting live racing; authorize jai alai permitholders, harness horse racing permitholders, and quarter horse racing permitholders to elect not to conduct live racing or games; specify that certain permitholders that do not conduct live racing or games retain their permit and remain pari-mutuel facilities, etc. The Senate bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday, April 12. There is no House companion at this time.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    HB 329by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. The bill is awaiting full consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion - SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is awaiting full consideration on the Senate floor.

    Sales & Use Tax

    SB 50 – by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) would revise conditions for certain dealers subject to sales tax; delete exemption for certain dealers from collecting local option surtaxes; provide certain marketplace providers are subject to registration, collection, & remittance requirements for sales taxes; require marketplace providers to provide certification to marketplace sellers; specify requirements for marketplace sellers; require marketplace providers to allow DOR to audit books & records; provide that marketplace seller is liable for sales tax collection & remittance; authorize marketplace providers & marketplace sellers to enter into agreements to recover certain taxes, interest, & penalties; grant DOR settlement & compromise authority for marketplace sales; remove authority of DOR to negotiate collection allowance with certain dealers. The bill has passed the House and Senate and awaits being signed into law by Governor DeSantis.

    Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud

    HB 9 by Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes) would define "personal protective equipment"; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading information relating to personal protective equipment with specified intent; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading vaccine information with specified intent; authorize state attorney or statewide prosecutor to prosecute violation; authorize AG to seek civil remedies. The bill has been passed by the full House and the Senate Rules Committee, and is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.

    Zoological and Aquarium Grant Program

    HB 1175 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would authorize DEO to establish grant program for support of zoos & aquariums located within state; provide eligibility requirements; authorizes of grant funds for certain purposes; require DEO to adopt rules; provide that DEO has final grant approval authority. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 1312 by Senator Jennifer Bradley – awaits its second committee stop in the Senate Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

    Technology Transparency

    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts & economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The House bill has passed each committee reference and awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 7072 – by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers) is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Cultural and Historical Programs

    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting a final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Tourism Marketing Entities

    HB 675 by Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) would authorize the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation – VISIT FLORIDA - to carry forward unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years; abrogate the repeal of provisions establishing Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, direct-support organization of Enterprise Florida, Inc., & Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 778 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Vacation Rentals

    HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would require advertising platforms to collect & remit specified taxes imposed for certain transactions; preempt regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibit a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments and require licenses issued by Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to the public inside the licensed establishment. The bill awaits its second hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee. The Senate companion – SB 522 – by Senator Manny Diaz is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday, April 14.


    2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION SCHEDULE

    January 11 – January 15, 2021                               1st Interim Committee Week

    January 25 – January 29, 2021                               2nd Interim Committee Week

    February 1 – February 5, 2021                               3rd Interim Committee Week

    February 8 – February 12, 2021                             4th Interim Committee Week

    February 15 – February 19, 2021                           5th Interim Committee Week

    March 2, 2021                                                           Regular Session Convenes

    April 20, 2021                                                            Last Day for Regular Committee Meetings

    April 30, 2021                                                            Last Day of Regular Session 


  • April 12, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dangerous bills that would fundamentally affect the way counties can use the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds are quickly moving though the Florida Legislature this Session. HB1429 sponsored by Representative Bryan Avila (111 – Hialeah) and SB2008 sponsored by Senator Manny Diaz (36 – Hialeah Gardens) are companion bills. 

    The House Bill had been placed on the Special Order Calendar for this Tuesday, April 13 at 2:00pm. This hazardous bill which establishes a precedent of raiding your county’s Tourist Development Tax revenue for non-marketing purposes could pass the Florida House of Representatives this week.

    These bills allow county governments to siphon funds collected through the TDT in your county intended for tourism promotion and use them for “flood mitigation.” Our focus isn’t on this specific expanded use, rather ANY use aside from tourism promotion and marketing weakens our state’s tourism marketing efforts. Tourist Development Taxes invested by Florida destinations result in billions of dollars in sales tax revenue generated by tourists affording a lower tax burden for Florida residents.

    *** CALL TO ACTION ***

    As our industry begins to rebound from the ravages of the pandemic, these bills imperil our ability to recover. Elected officials need to support our economic recovery, not disrupt it. Here is where we need your help!

    Please contact YOUR REPRESENTATIVE. Tell them how the Tourist Development Tax in your county helps market your county destination and attractions. Share how you depend on the efforts of your Tourist Development Council and/or CVB to bring visitors to your county, increasing your county’s tax base and generating additional TDT funds.

    Thank you for all you do for the FAA and our collective industry. Keep advocating for the protection of Florida tourism!


  • April 08, 2021 6:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Originally Published by the Palm Beach Post

    By Jennifer Berthiaume, Lion Country Safari

    Tourist Development Taxes should be used for just that: tourist development. Voters decided that setting funds aside solely for tourism promotion was a wise move because promoting tourism attracts visitors whose spending creates jobs and generates local tax revenue.

    These taxes paid into our community by visitors contribute to critical services for residents such as public safety, education, affordable housing and infrastructure. Creating jobs, generating tax revenue and saving residents from having to pay for critical services is a good thing, right?

    Unfortunately, Tourist Development Taxes are under attack by the Florida Legislature just when we need them the most. The proposed House Bill 1429 and Senate Bill 2008 would allow local governments to sweep funding dedicated to tourism promotion and reallocate it for other uses.

    This is a bad move at a bad time.

    During this pandemic, the hardest-hit industries in Florida and in Palm Beach County have been tourism and hospitality. Hospitality jobs in Palm Beach County remain down approximately 20%. Visitor spending is down 20%. Restaurant and hotel revenue are down 33% and 38%, respectively. Visits to Palm Beach County dropped from our best year ever — 8.2 million in 2019 — to Great Recession levels, with just a little more than 5 million in 2020.

    These bills would essentially kick our tourism and hospitality industries when they are down.

    Now is the time to be supporting tourism and hospitality. Tourism is the front door to economic recovery. We are going to help spur Florida’s economic rebound as we safely bring visitors and their spending back to the state.

    Our local tourism promotion organization, The Palm Beaches, is working hard to rebuild our tourism economy. They need every dollar of the Tourist Development Taxes collected to promote their new brand and campaign, as well as for efforts aimed at bringing business travel back.

    Things are starting to look up. We’ve seen it ourselves at Lion Country Safari. While our drive-through safari has been open since May 2020, we were able to launch a soft reopening of Safari World, our 55-acre walk-through adventure park, last month. Now we are looking to hire 30 to 35 additional staff. There are positive trends in area hotel occupancy. Signs of revitalization are everywhere.

    We must keep the momentum going and the best way to do that is by protecting the current permissible uses of Tourist Development Taxes. Shifting funding meant for tourism promotion will only have the opposite effect.

    I hope our state lawmakers will consider this as they make decisions that will impact Florida’s ability to restore our economy.

    Jennifer Berthiaume is the vice president of Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee.


  • April 05, 2021 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the Florida Legislature passes the halfway point of the 2021 Legislative Session, lawmakers and those involved in the political process are setting their sights on legislation that has a chance to be signed into law and the budget process. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed their respective budgets (HB 5001 & SB 2500) for the 2021-22 fiscal year out of their committees this week. The chambers are more than $2 billion apart in their proposed budgets and each side will begin negotiations to pass a balanced budget.

    On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 72- Civil Liability for Damages Related to COVID-19 into law. The Governor applauded the legislation that will provide liability protections to businesses, educational institutions, governmental entities and health care providers.

    On Friday afternoon, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-81. The executive order prohibits any local government from issuing a COVID-19 “vaccine passport” and prohibits businesses within the state from requiring customers and guests to present such documentation before entering the establishment. Each executive agency in the state will be responsible for ensuring that businesses comply with this executive order.

    Below is a summary of bills that have been filed that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes

    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for & authorized uses of tourist development taxes (TDT) & convention development taxes (CDT). The bill passed its final stop in the House State Affairs Committee on Monday and now moves to the House floor. We are pleased to report that the Senate companion – SB 2008 – by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens) was temporarily postponed in the Senate Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday. FAA and their members were proactive in reaching out to Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) – Chair of the Community Affairs Committee – and committee members and were able to successfully get the bill temporarily postponed

    We continue to advocate against the dangerous diversion of TDT & CDT dollars on behalf of FAA and its members. We will continue to assist FAA in drafting “call-to-actions” for their members and letters of opposition to send to committee members. Additionally, our firm will continue to speak on behalf of FAA in opposition to the expanded uses of TDT dollars during each committee hearing. Your effort to protect these dollars is important. To email your legislator and let them know how important the preservation of TDT dollars are to the state’s tourism industry, click here.

    Consumer Data Privacy

    HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) would require businesses to provide notice to consumers about data collection & selling practices; provide consumers with the right to request data be disclosed, deleted, or corrected & to opt-in or opt-out of sale or sharing of such data; provide nondiscrimination measures, methods for requesting data & opting-in or opting-out of sale or sharing of such data, private cause of action, & enforcement. The House bill is awaiting its final hearing in the House Commerce Committee. The Senate companion – SB 1734 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is scheduled to receive its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, April 6.

    Sports Wagering

    HB 1317by Representative Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) would authorize wagers on sports events; provide duties of Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering; authorize application to division for license to operate sports pool; require annual renewal of license; prohibit sports pools from being offered by anyone other than division or licensee; specify requirements for accepting wagers; authorize provision of benefits to induce wagering; require background checks for licensee employees; prohibit & require adoption of procedures to prevent certain persons from wagering; prohibit accepting wagers from certain persons; provide for distribution of unclaimed winnings; require deposit of certain penalties into DBPR's Pari-mutuel Wagering Trust Fund. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Regulatory Reform Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 392– by Senator Jeff Brandes is awaiting its first committee stop in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    HB 329by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. The bill is awaiting full consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion - SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is awaiting full consideration on the Senate floor.

    Sales & Use Tax

    HB 15 by Representative Chuck Clemons (R-Jonesville) would revise conditions for certain dealers subject to sales tax; delete exemption for certain dealers from collecting local option surtaxes; provide certain marketplace providers are subject to registration, collection, & remittance requirements for sales taxes; require marketplace providers to provide certification to marketplace sellers; specify requirements for marketplace sellers; require marketplace providers to allow DOR to audit books & records; provide that marketplace seller is liable for sales tax collection & remittance; authorize marketplace providers & marketplace sellers to enter into agreements to recover certain taxes, interest, & penalties; grant DOR settlement & compromise authority for marketplace sales; remove authority of DOR to negotiate collection allowance with certain dealers. The bill passed the House Commerce Committee on Monday and heads to the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 50 – by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) is awaiting action in the House.

    Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud

    HB 9 by Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes) would define "personal protective equipment"; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading information relating to personal protective equipment with specified intent; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading vaccine information with specified intent; authorize state attorney or statewide prosecutor to prosecute violation; authorize AG to seek civil remedies. The bill has been passed by the full House and the Senate Rules Committee, and is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. The Senate companion – SB 1608 – by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) awaits its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee.

    Zoological and Aquarium Grant Program

    HB 1175 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would authorize DEO to establish grant program for support of zoos & aquariums located within state; provide eligibility requirements; authorizes use of grant funds for certain purposes; require DEO to adopt rules; provide that DEO has final grant approval authority. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 1312 by Senator Jennifer Bradley – awaits its second committee stop in the Senate Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

    Technology Transparency

    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts & economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The House bill awaits its second hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. The Senate companion – SB 520 – by Senator Danny Burgess (R-Zephryhills) has yet to receive a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Cultural and Historical Programs

    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical

    Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill unanimously passed the House State Affairs Committee this week and awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting a final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Tourism Marketing Entities

    HB 675 by Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) would authorize the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation – VISIT FLORIDA - to carry forward unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years; abrogate the repeal of provisions establishing Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, direct-support organization of Enterprise Florida, Inc., & Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 778 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Vacation Rentals

    HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would require advertising platforms to collect & remit specified taxes imposed for certain transactions; preempt regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibit a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments and require licenses issued by Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to the public inside the licensed establishment. The bill awaits its second hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee. The Senate companion – SB 522 – by Senator Manny Diaz is awaiting its final stop in the Senate Rules Committee.

    2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION SCHEDULE

    January 11 – January 15, 2021                                1st Interim Committee Week

    January 25 – January 29, 2021                                2nd Interim Committee Week

    February 1 – February 5, 2021                                3rd Interim Committee Week

    February 8 – February 12, 2021                              4th Interim Committee Week

    February 15 – February 19, 2021                            5th Interim Committee Week

    March 2, 2021                                                            Regular Session Convenes

    April 20, 2021                                                            Last Day for Regular Committee Meetings

    April 30, 2021                                                            Last Day of Regular Session  


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