Activity in Tallahassee picked up during the past month as the Legislature convened for the second, third, fourth and fifth weeks of Interim Committee meetings. With only one week of interim committee meetings remaining before the 2020 Legislative Session begins on January 14, 2020, Liberty Partners continues to track legislation and advocate on behalf of the Florida Attractions Association (FAA).
Please find Liberty Partners’ monthly report below detailing the work our firm has done on behalf of FAA:
On October 15, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Dana Young gave a presentation to the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on the value of VISIT FLORIDA and the work the agency is doing worldwide. During her presentation, Young touted the $50 million match that VISIT FLORIDA receives through private donations and the benefit that small businesses receive through the tourism marketing agency. VISIT FLORIDA’s contribution to Florida’s $3.2 billion in annual tourism revenue, as well as the work that the agency does in the wake of natural disasters and crises were also highlighted. Liberty Partners was in attendance and provided a detailed summary to FAA upon completion.
Legislation that would extend VISIT FLORIDA’s sunset provision from 2020 until 2028 has made significant progress in the Senate. SB 362 by Senator Ed Hooper (R-Palm Harbor) unanimously passed the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on November 5. Senators praised the efforts of VISIT FLORIDA and President/CEO Dana Young. Committee members noted the positive impact of advertisement on tourism and the more than $2 return on investment for every dollar that is spent by the Legislature on VISIT FLORIDA. Senator Hooper highlighted that for every 81 visitors that come to Florida, a job is created. The bill received widespread support during the committee meeting, as more than 20 organizations testified in support of the legislation. Liberty Partners was in attendance and waived in support of the bill on behalf of FAA. Liberty Partners also provided a comprehensive update to FAA upon conclusion of the meeting. The House companion, HB 213, by Representative Mel Ponder (R-Fort Walton Beach) is awaiting its first hearing in the House Workforce Development and Tourism Subcommittee. Liberty Partners is currently working with FAA to secure co-sponsors for both the Senate and House legislation.
Minimum Wage Constitutional Amendment
A proposed constitutional amendment that would raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15/hour has received the required amount of signatures to appear on the 2020 General Election ballot in November. If passed by voters, Florida’s minimum wage would increase to $10/hour on September 30, 2021 and would increase by $1/hour each year until reaching $15/hour. The ballot language must now receive final approval by the Florida Supreme Court. Liberty Partners continues to track this constitutional amendment and the impact that it could have on FAA members. Liberty Partners will continue to provide updates on this proposal to FAA as the 2020 General Election approaches.
Liberty Partners will join FAA at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo taking place in Orlando, November 18-22. State Representatives Scott Plakon (RLongwood) and David Smith (R-Winter Springs) have confirmed that they will attend the FAA Networking Breakfast and will participate in an exhibit tour. Liberty Partners looks forward to discussing issues that are important to FAA members while at the conference and trade show.
We will continue to monitor issues important to FAA and send regular updates. Please let us know if you have any questions.
The Legislature’s remaining Interim Committee Meetings will be held Monday, December 9 – Friday, December 13, 2019.