2016 Session Update: Week 4

Posted By: Courtney Barnard Advocacy News ,

Last week marked the end of the fourth week of session, as well as the halfway point of the 60-day session. Many bills that could potentially affect the apartment industry are on the move! Here is an update of what happened in Tallahassee last week.

Renters Insurance Requirements:  SB 342 sponsored by Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee and passed the committee with a vote of 9-0.  The bill will be heard in the Senate Rules Committee before heading to the full Senate for a vote.

How this affects you: SB 342 allows an apartment community to specify in a lease that a tenant is required to carry renters insurance. The bill also clarifies what provisions must be included if insurance is not required, including a statement outlining the importance of renters insurance.

Housing Discrimination: SB 7008 sponsored by Governmental Oversight and Accountability

Committee (Chair Sen. Jeremy Ring D-Margate) passed a final vote in the Senate (38-0).

How this affects you: SB 7008 allows a person who alleges housing discrimination to file a civil action before a complaint has been filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations or a local housing discrimination agency.

The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that the Florida Commission on Human Relations continues to be eligible to contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding housing discrimination cases. HUD has informed the Florida Commission on Human Relations that the Commission will no longer receive federal monies for investigations, administrative costs, and training unless the Florida Fair Housing Act is amended to overcome the judicially created requirement that a state court plaintiff exhaust his or her administrative remedies before filing a housing discrimination claim in state court. The federal funds at risk are approximately $600,000 annually.

What is happening in week five: The FAA Maintenance Exemption (SB 704, sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coast) will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on General Government on Wednesday, February 17. The bill will then move onto the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee before a vote in the Senate. 

FAA will continue to monitor and advocate for our industry throughout the legislativesession; if you have any questions or concerns, please email me at Courtney@faahq.org.  Stay tuned for updates next week.