2018 Legislative Session Week 2 Update
Friday, January 19 marked the end of the second week of legislative 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.
HB 529 (Doorstep Trash Collection): FAA priority bill HB 529, filed by Rep. Manny Diaz (FL-103, R), was heard in the House Commerce Committee on January 18. The bill passed the committee favorably and will move on to the House for a final vote. The Senate companion bill, SB 746, filed by Sen. Aaron Bean (FL-4, R), will be heard in the Senate Banking and Judiciary Committee on January 23.
HB 529 / SB 746 impact the doorstep waste collection industry and clarify the legality of the trash collection services across Florida. The Florida Fire Prevention Code is ambiguous with regard to allowing trash containers to be placed temporarily in hallways and breezeways. The Florida Apartment Association, in conjunction with the doorstep waste collection industry, is seeking clarification of the code so business operations can continue normally.
The doorstep waste removal industry is made up of several independent businesses that provide more than 1,200 jobs across Florida and generate an economic impact of more than $68 million annually. Halting doorstep trash collection services would eliminate jobs and disrupt a valuable apartment service. Doorstep trash collection service is allowed across the United States and clarity in the Florida Fire Prevention Code will allow the industry to continue to do business.
SB 678 (Renters Insurance): FAA priority bill SB 678, filed by Sen. Audrey Gibson (FL-6, D), passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee successfully. The bill will move onto the Senate Community Affairs Committee and then the Senate Rules Committee before being voted on by the Senate. The House companion, HB 467, filed by Rep. Bobby DuBose (FL-94, D) has been referred to the House Civil Justice & Claims Committee.
SB 678 and HB 467 legislate insurance requirements for renters and allow apartment owners to mandate that their residents carry renters insurance. The recent hurricane season brought to light the vast number of residents who do not carry insurance, and the need for such legislation. The two bills would not impact those living in Section 8 or certain other affordable housing communities.
FAA will continue to monitor legislation and advocate for our industry throughout the legislative session; if you have any questions or concerns, please email me at Courtney@faahq.org. For an in-depth update from FAA government affairs director Courtney Barnard, please listen in to the 2018 pre- session update call here.