2015 Legislative Session Update Week 8

Posted By: Courtney Barnard Advocacy News ,

Legislative Session is in its final week! The last day of legislative session is May 1, 2015. Here are all the important movements on FAA's priority issues last week.

Building Codes and Maintenance:  HB 915, sponsored by Rep. Dane Eagle, passed the house last week! Its companion bill, SB 1232 sponsored by Sen. Wilton Simpson, will be heard for its second reading on Wednesday. It is vitally important that SB 1232 passes. To find out how you can help by contacting your senator, please click here.

How this affects you: SB 1232/HB 915 would allow apartment workers who hold a Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) to perform HVAC, water heater, and AC repairs costing less than $1,000. Currently, maintenance workers are not legally allowed to perform any work in AC or HVAC units. This bill would reduce costs for apartment communities by enabling them to utilize on-site employees rather than outsourcing to contractors. Please help this bill pass by clicking here.

Service Animals: HB 071 by Rep. Jimmie T. Smith, passed the House, was submitted as a committee substitute to the Senate. The bill passed the senate on April 24. It awaits the governor's signature to become law.

How this affects you: This bill mandates that a service animal be kept under control of its handler and authorizes the removal of an animal from an apartment community if the animal is not under the handler's control, is not housebroken, or poses a serious threat to others. The bill also strengthens the penalties for falsely claiming a pet is a service animal, making the offense a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or community service or both.


Unlawful Detention by a Transient Occupant: SB 656 sponsored, by Sen. Jack Latvala, passed the Senate and replaced its companion HB 305 sponsored by Rep. Shawn Harrison. It awaits the governor's signature to become law.

How this affects you: SB 656 reforms the current process for evicting a transient occupant of a property (an occupant who is not on a lease and is not a permanent resident of the property). The bill would alleviate the need for a court order to remove the transient, and would allow a law enforcement official to eject the occupant immediately on grounds of criminal trespass, as long as the current lease holder or owner filed a sworn affidavit regarding possession of the property.  

Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure: Senate Bill 524, sponsored by Sen. Darren Soto, passed each needed Senate committee. It was replaced by its companion, HB 779 sponsored by Rep. Mia Jones, which passed the House and Senate. It awaits the governor's signature to become law.

How this affects you: This bill creates a state level solution to the now-expired federal ''Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Bill.'' The bill requires that a new owner of a recently foreclosed property give tenants a notice to vacate the residence at least 30 days before the purchaser intends to occupy the residence. In situations in which a lease exists and the purchaser does not intend to occupy the residence, the tenant can continue to stay until the end of the lease. This bill continues the practice that a lease supersedes a foreclosure, unless the new owner intends to occupy the property.

FAA will continue to monitor and advocate for our industry throughout legislative session; if you have any questions or concerns, please email me at Courtney@faahq.org

Stay tuned for next week's update.