Both chambers continue to move this year’s growth management bills.  HB 319 relating to local pay-and-go provisions passed the Senate Transportation Committee, while HB 321/SB 1716 passed in Community Affairs.  With Senator Garcia’s SB 1716 creating a mandatory moratorium on transportation concurrency and impact fees, several committee members expressed concern with the language, noting that it could be interpreted to mean a county could selectively determine which developments would be exempt from the regulation and fees. While both bills are opposed by FAC, they continue to receive unanimous support in their respective committees.  A bill to ban Internet cafes (HB 155) was passed by the Senate on April 4 and now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature.

 

Read more on transportation and growth…

 

Transportation Concurrency
HB 319 (R. Ray)/SB 972 (Hukill)
  • Summary: 
    • Bill forces counties that have an alternative to traditional transportation concurrency (i.e., Mobility Plan, Mobility Fees, Timing and Phasing), to allow developers to use the proportionate share funding process.   
    • The effect of that process means that a county can never deny or delay approval of development project when it has failing roads and the developer agrees to make a partial payment for road improvements. Unless additional funds are available, adequate improvements may never be made.
  • Status: House bill passed the Tourism & Economic Development Committee in week 2 and the House Transportation Committee in week 3. SB 972 also passed unanimously in Community Affairs. FAC opposed both the bills. HB 319 cleared its last committee in week 4. SB 972 passed the Transportation Committee in Week 5.

Growth Management/Impact Fee/Concurrency
HB 321 (R. La Rosa)/SB 1716 (S. Garcia)

  • Summary: 
    • As amended, HB 1726 prohibits local governments from applying transportation concurrency, transportation concurrency impact fees, and transportation proportionate share for three years, beginning July 1, 2013.  The prohibition only applies to non-residential development of 6,000 SF and below.  A county may, however, apply any of the measures by simply majority vote.
  • Status:
    • Three House referrals and four Senate referrals. HB 321 passed its second committee, while the Senate companion passed Community Affairs in Week 5.

Manufacturing Competitiveness Act
HB 357 (R. Boyd)/SB 582 (S. Galvano)

  • Summary: 
    • Creates a coordinated state development and permit approval process for manufacturers that are developing or expanding within the jurisdiction of a local government that has a local manufacturing development program. DEO is directed to establish, facilitate, and oversee the process with the cooperation of any involved state agencies.
  • Status: Three House referrals; passed first committee 3/19. SB 582 passed Commerce and Tourism Week 5.

Transportation Bills 
HB 7127 (R. Artiles)/SB 1132 (S. Brandes)

  • Summary: Primary issues relating to FDOT operations of interest to counties:  
    • Sound Mitigation Requirements on Counties
      • House Bill:  was amended to eliminate the requirement that counties adopt sound mitigation standards and regulations into their comprehensive plans that are applicable to proposed development projects adjacent to FDOT highways. The language remains in the Senate bill.
      • Senate Bill:  retains this requirement.
    • Regional Tollway Authorities
      • House: eliminates this provision
      • Senate: allows for the creation of regional toll authorities by a county or two or more counties.  Designates 3 toll authorities: Northwest Florida (Escambia and Santa Rosa); Okaloosa-Bay (Okaloosa, Walton, Bay);  Suncoast (Citrus, Levy, Marion, Alachua)      
    • Metropolitan Planning Organizations
      • House/ Senate: Allows an increase in MPO membership – from 19 members to 25 – if an MPO includes a new urbanized area; or, there is the consolidation of two or more MPOs.
    • Parking Meters
      • House: requires local governments to share parking meter revenues with the state if they are collected within the right-of-way limits of state road.
      • Senate: traveling amendment eliminates this provision.
  • Status:  
    • Senate bill passed Transportation Committee during first week of session. House bill passed Transportation Committee during week 2.  SB 1332 passed Community Affairs in week three.   
    • A new focus on rail corridors is beginning to emerge with FEC drafting language that would exempt all of their corridors from all local regulations.  FEC plans to develop Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects along corridor and appears to be shopping language with FDOT. FAC and affected counties are reviewing language and will discuss with FDOT and FEC. 

 

Affordable Housing
SB 928 (S. Simpson)/HB 437 (R. Davis)

  • Summary:  SB 928 represents this year’s affordable housing package for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
    • Bill does not address funding issues for the State/Local SHIP programs, which will be addressed in during the budgeting process.  (Worth noting that the Governor has budgeted $50 million for SHIP.)
    • Closes loophole created in 2011 that allows for-profit affordable housing developers to transfer ownership to a non-profit entity for the purpose of receiving an exemption from ad valorem taxes.
    • HB 237 is identical to SB 928, except it does not include tax loophole fix.
  • Status: HB 437 has passed its first committee of reference.  SB 928 passed the Community Affairs Committee with no opposition from the committee or the public. SB 928 passed Senate F&T in week 4 and now heads to Appropriations. Revenue Estimating reported that closing the loophole will save local governments $117 million in FY 13/14 and over $140 million by FY 17/18


Affordable Housing – (Property Tax Loophole)
SB 740 (S. Simpson)/HB 921 (R. Renuart)

  • Summary
    • Stand-alone bills to close affordable housing tax exemption loophole.
  • Status: HB 921 passed the Toursim and Economic Development Committee in week two and Finance and Tax in week three. HB 921 is now ready for the floor.  SB 740 passed Community Affairs week two. Note that, in addition to the stand alone bills, both House and Senate Finance & Tax committees have draft language that includes the loophole language. 

Funding from the National Mortgage Settlement
PCB APC 13-01

  • Summary
    • PCB filed by House Appropriations Committee relating to the National Mortgage Settlement with Bank of America and others.
    • State to receive $334 million; Attorney General and Legislative Budget Committee have already designated the distribution of $134 million.
    • This PCB addresses the remaining $200 million.
    • General breakdown:
      • $50 million to SAIL (affordable apartments)
      • $45 million for down payment assistance (but no SHIP)
      • $35 million Habitat for Humanity
      • $20 million DCF emergency shelters
      • $15 million Florida Prepaid Dorm Contracts
      • $13 million state courts – foreclosures
      • $6.7 million clerk of courts
      • $5.0 million legal aid
      • $3.0 million FHFC admin.
    • State and Local SHIP have not been funded in recent years and the trust funds were swept.  Based on House allocations, $182 million is being swept, indicating that while some down payment assistance is being provided in the PCB, it is not to the local SHIP.
    • Senate bill workshopped in week four with their version allocating monies as follows:
      • $70 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program;
      • $65 million for the State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL);
      • $10 million for housing for homeless persons;
      • $40 million for the State Courts System for the foreclosure cases backlog;
      • $10 million for legal aid services for low and moderate-income homeowners facing
      • foreclosure;
      • $2 million for a consumer awareness promotional campaign; and
      • $3 million for administrative costs.
  • Status: PCBs introduced.  House and Senate addressing differently in budget process.
  • Budget Note:  House has swept $184 million from state and local housing trust fund (SHIP and SAIL), while Senate has swept $200 million.

 

Red Light Cameras
HB 4011 (R. Campbell)/No Senate Companion

  • Summary: Prohibits counties and cities from using red light cameras.
  • Status: Bill narrowly passed its first committee of reference.

HB 1061 (R. Artiles)

  • Summary:
    • Prohibits citations for turning right on red lights;
    • Requires citations be sent certified mail;
    • Provides prescriptive changes to yellow light signals;
    • Primary red light camera bill in the House.
  • Status: Bill passed its first committee along party lines.

SB 1342 (S. Abruzzo)

  • Summary:
    • Prohibits citations for turning right on red lights;
    • Requires citations be sent certified mail;
    • Provides prescriptive changes to yellow light signals
    • Primary red light camera bill in the Senate.
  • Status:
    • Bill was significantly amended in committee and essentially restores what current law provides, save for codifying yellow light standards based on nationally accepted standards. The bill will go next to the Subcommittee on Transportation Appropriations, where there is concern that the amended language will be stripped out.

Internet Cafes
HB 155 (R. Trujillo)/SB 1030 (S. Thrasher)

  • Summary:
    • Clarifies current law regarding charitable drawings, game promotions, and amusement machines; bans Internet cafes that don’t meet criteria provided in the bill.
  • Status:  HB 155 passed the full House on 3/22 and SB 1030 was passed by the Senate Select Committee on gaming and heads to its final committee (Rules) on 4/2. SB 1030 passed its final committee in Week 5. On April 4, the Senate passed HB 155 by a vote of 36-4. The bill will now be presented to the Governor.