SB 1640 by Senator Gruters and HB 27 by Representative Ingoglia are the deregulation packages. The bills eliminate the corporate certificate of authorization for design professionals. They also contain noncontroversial provisions on licensure by endorsement. For landscape architects, they eliminate the one year of additional experience required for masters students under certain circumstances. In HB 27, the students must have a bachelors of landscape architecture. In SB 1640, the bachelor degree must be in a "related field" as defined by the Board of Landscape Architecture. The bills are otherwise significantly different. The Senate bill no longer fully deregulates interior designers, and simple eliminates their corporate certificate of authorization. The Senate bill has also restored hours of experience for barbers and cosmetologists that were cut significantly in the House bill. The bills also reduce the size of the Florida Building Commission. HB 27 is on the House calendar on second reading. SB 1640 is in its last committee, Appropriations.
SB 1400 by Senator Albritton passed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week with no amendments. The bill was amended previously in Community Affairs to redirect homeowners away from storm season by providing for a permit free period during March 1 through June 1 for certain activities, including no permits for the pruning or trimming of specimen, heritage, or patriarch trees, and no permit for the pruning, trimming or removal of other trees, as long as a professional documents a danger to persons or property. However, the language in the bill appears to be technically flawed. SB 1400 has one committee remaining, Rules. The companion, HB 1159 by Representative LaRosa, has one committee remaining, State Affairs, and has not been amended to date. As filed, the bill would encourage residents to trim their trees just before, during, and immediately after a storm event, which is dangerous and could threaten tree canopies. We are working with a coalition of affected stakeholders to oppose these bills.
SB 334 by Senator Brandes and HB 397 by the Representative Plakon limit the grounds for denial of licensure on the basis of criminal record. HB 397 is on the House calendar on second reading and SB 334 is in its third of four committees.
Preemption of Local Occupational Licensing
HB 3 by Representative M. Grant preempts the regulation of occupational licenses to the state. It has passed the House and is in Senate messages. The companion, SB 1748 by Senator Perry, has not received a hearing to date.