Breaking Legislative News: FAA Maintenance Bill Passes Unanimously
Breaking Legislative News: FAA Maintenance Bill Passes House and Senate
Bill Awaiting Signature of Gov. Rick Scott
By Courtney Barnard
A bill allowing CAMTs to repair HVAC, water heater and AC units passed the House and Senate unanimously. HB 535 sponsored by Rep. Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral) was read on the House floor on March 3. The bill was voted on and overwhelmingly passed 116-0. The Senate bill, SB 704, sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) was “laid on the table” and the Senate adopted the House version of the bill. The bill was read and voted on on March 9. The Senate also passed the bill unanimously with a vote of 38-0. The bill will now be sent to Gov. Scott to be signed into law. When the legislature is in session, the Florida constitution allows a seven-day period following presentation of a bill to the governor within which he must sign or veto the bill. The governor has until March 17 to sign or veto the bill.
How do bills become law in Florida? Each piece of legislation filed in Florida is heard in three committees in both the House and the Senate. After passing all three committee votes, the legislation is read and voted on by each full chamber (House and Senate). Bill language must match exactly, or one chamber must adopt the language of the other chamber. All passed bills are presented to the governor for signature or veto.
What does this legislation do? Apartment communities rely on maintenance professionals to perform a variety of repairs each day. FAA drafted this legislation to protect apartment owners/managers and maintenance workers from possible criminal charges and fines for performing basic maintenance work on site.
SB 704/HB 535 allows Certified Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMTs) to perform HVAC, water heater, and AC repairs where parts cost no more than $1,000. This legislation will take effect on July 1, 2016, and will allow apartment communities that have 100 units or more to have a CAMT perform these repairs. This legislation does not exempt apartment owners from complying with local licensing laws. If your city or county requires an additional license, this license must still be active. To view the bill, please click here. The apartment portion of the bill begins at line 308 and ends at line 363.
Currently, maintenance workers are not legally allowed to perform any work in AC or HVAC units. This legislation may reduce costs for apartment communities by enabling them to use on-site employees who have a CAMT rather than outsourcing to contractors. This legislation removes arbitrary barriers to doing business in Florida. By amending Florida statute blocking basic repairs and maintenance, this bill allows apartment owners with 100 or more units who employ a fulltime CAMT professional to complete repairs faster and more cost-effectively. This is a benefit for both apartment residents and owners.