Local Legislators Gear Up for March 2 Start of 2021 Session

Posted on February 16, 2021 by ROMI WHITE

Senator Doug Broxson and Representatives Jayer Williamson, Michelle Salzman and Alex Andrade

The 2021 Florida Legislative Session will convene March 2 and adjourn April 30. Following is a quick look at legislation being proposed by the local Northwest Florida Legislative Delegation.

Senator Doug Broxson, a resident of Gulf Breeze, is Chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on Education, Vice-Chairman of Banking and Insurance and serves on the Appropriations, Education, Ethics & Elections, Judiciary and Joint Committee on Public Oversight.

So far Broxson has sponsored/co-sponsored the following proposed Senate Bills (SB):

  • Sponsored SB 1162: Trust Funds/Triumph Gulf Coast Trust Fund, which would re-create the Triumph Gulf Coast Trust Fund within the Department of Economic Opportunity without modification, removing provisions relating to the termination of the trust fund, etc.
  • Sponsored SB 1054: Brownfield Site Rehabilitation, requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to make information related to PFAS contamination available to certain governmental entities, property owners and residents when the department issues a site rehabilitation completion order; the bill also proposes other related measures.
  • Sponsored SB 728: Credit for Reinsurance, transferring specified authority and duties relating to credit for reinsurance from the Commissioner of Insurance to the Office of Insurance Regulation; revising the attorney designation requirement in reinsurance agreements with certain assuming insurers under certain circumstances; specifying requirements for assuming insurers and reinsurance agreements; authorizing a ceding insurer or its representative that is subject to rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation to seek a certain court order; providing construction, etc.
  • Co-sponsored SB 498: Safety of Religious Institutions, which authorizes, for specified purposes, a concealed weapons or firearms licensee to carry a firearm on certain property of a church, a synagogue, or any other religious institution, etc.

House District 3 Representative Jayer Williamson, a small business owner in Pace, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. He is Chairman of the Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations subcommittee and serves on the Appropriations, Rules, Joint Legislative Budget, Pandemics & Public Emergencies Committees. He’s also a member of the Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight and a member of the Finance & Facilities, and Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy subcommittees.

To date, Williamson has sponsored or co-sponsored the following House Bills (HB):

  • Sponsored HB 259: Safety of Religious Institutions (companion bill to aforementioned SB 498);
  • Sponsored HB 621: Tax Collectors and Their Approved Agents, requiring customer privacy protection related to vehicle registration and disclosure of third-party service charges;
  • Supports HB Appropriations for: City of Milton’s North Santa Rosa Regional Water Reclamation Facility, City of Milton’s Locklin Lake Restoration, Town of Jay’s Bray-Hendricks Park Master Plan, Florida Debate Initiative, Tom P. Haney Technical Center, Learning Through Listening, Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program, Jay Water Well #4, Bitner Plante ALS Initiative of Florida, Disproportionate Share Hospital Funding for Sacred Heart Hospital, District 1 Medical Examiners Facility Planning and Design, Re-entry Alliance Pensacola “REAP” funding for Santa Rosa re-entry portal; Continuum of Care Enhanced Offender Rehabilitation; In-State Tourism Marketing Campaign; and “Make IT Happen” Nursing, CSIT and Massage Therapy Program Modernization/Expansion.

District 2 Representative Alex Andrade, an attorney who lives in Gulf Breeze, was re-elected to a second term in 2020. He is currently Republican Committee White for the Education & Employment Committee and serves on the following subcommittees: Post-Secondary Education & Lifelong Learning, PreK-12 Appropriations, Professions & Public Health and Secondary Education & Career Development.

  • Co-sponsor by rule of the aforementioned HB 259;
  • Sponsored HB 21 – Construction Defects: Revises cause of action requirements for statutory civil actions relating to certain violations; requires that person submit construction defect claim to warranty provider before bringing cause of action; revises provisions relating to construction defects including notice of claim requirements, inspections of property subject to claim, & service of copies of notice; requires claimant to notify mortgagee or assignee within specified timeframe after settlement or judgment of construction defect claim; requires claimant to update notice within specified timeframe under certain circumstances.
  • Sponsored HB 57 – Transportation: Revises provisions relating to motor vehicle sales tax, competitive solicitations, vehicles displaying flashing lights, annual cap on project contracts, airport restrictions, arbitration of contracts by & membership of State Arbitration Board, borrow pit operation, & performance standards for certain extraction locations.
  • Sponsored HB 213 – Regulation of Concealed Weapons and Firearms: Provides that certain actions creating restrictions or issuance of licenses are subject to penalties under specified provisions; provides that Cabinet member may not make any administrative regulations concerning regulation of firearms & ammunition except as expressly provided by State Constitution or general law; requires DACS to enforce state firearms laws.
  • Sponsored HB 433 – Use of Drones by Government Agencies: Expands authorized uses of drones by government agencies & other specified entities for disaster damage assessment.
  • Sponsored HB 659 – Sponsorship Identification Disclaimers: Establishes sponsorship identification disclaimer requirements for certain text messages; modifies existing requirements governing telephone call disclaimers; requires specified persons & organizations sending paid text messages to have & maintain registered agent; provides penalties.
  • Sponsored HB 705 – Soil and Groundwater Contamination: Provides airports are not liable for costs, damages, or penalties relating to certain contamination, discharge, evaluation, assessment, or remediation of per- & polyfluoroalkyl substances; directs OPPAGA to conduct specified analysis of assessment & cleanup of soil & groundwater contamination in other states & submit report to Governor & Legislature.
  • Sponsored HB 713 – Firefighters’ Relief and Pension Fund of the City of Pensacola, Escambia County: Removes reductions to a retiree’s spousal benefits & the prohibition of remarriage for the widow or widower; provides for pensionable overtime hours & basic life support.
  • Supports HB Appropriations for: Brain Bag Early Literacy Program, Re-entry Alliance Pensacola, National Flight Academy, Topographic Mapping – Western Panhandle of Florida, Arc Gateway Program for Adult Learning and Support, City of Gulf Breeze’s Shoreline Park Wetlands Trail Boardwalk, Disproportionate Share Hospital Funding – Baptist Pensacola Hospital, Linking Educational Assets for Readiness Now, Pensacola & Perdido Bays Estuary Program, Rafferty Hope Center, Pensacola State College’s – Asphalt Improvement/Replacement, 200th Anniversary Celebration – Raising the American Flag in Pensacola, Florida Severe Weather Mesonet Phase 3, Santa Rosa County Aircraft and Powerplant Maintenance Academy, ECUA Mobile Hwy./Cervantes St., Sanitary Sewer Expansion, Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad Track Rehabilitation, Pensacola Bayou Chico Stormwater Runoff Mitigation Study, Andrews Institute Research Regenerative Medicine, Statewide Virtual STEM Field Trips, Ecosphere Restoration Institute Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Statewide Restoration and Aquaculture Program and Tied House Evil.

House District 1 Representative Michelle Salzman, an Escambia County small business owner, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2020 and serves on the Judiciary committee and Civil Justice & Property Rights, Health Care Appropriations, Local Administration & Veterans Affairs and Post-Secondary Education & Lifelong Learning subcommittees.

Salzman has sponsored or co-sponsored the following proposed legislation for 2021:

  • Sponsored HB 229 Hazardous Walking Conditions for K-12 Students: Requires DOT to develop & adopt standards & criteria to identify hazardous walking conditions; Revises provisions relating to the transportation of students subjected to hazardous walking conditions & funding for such students.
  • Sponsored HB 407: Hazardous Walking Conditions for K-12 Students: Requires DOT to develop & adopt standards & criteria to identify hazardous walking conditions; Revises provisions relating to the transportation of students subjected to hazardous walking conditions & funding for such students.
  • Sponsored HB 627: Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia-Related Disorders Education: Requires DOH, in partnership with Department of Elderly Affairs & Alzheimer’s Association, to provide specified information relating to creating awareness about Alzheimer’s disease & dementia-related disorders to certain licensed health care providers.
  • Sponsored HB 663: Cottage Food Operations: Increases annual gross sales limitation for exempting cottage food operations from food & building permitting requirements; authorizes sale, offer for sale, & delivery of cottage food products by mail; preempts regulation of cottage food operations to state; prohibits local governments from prohibiting or regulating cottage food operations.
  • Sponsored HB 759: Regulation of Donor Human Milk Banks: Requires DOH to establish minimum standards regulating donor human milk banks; requires donor human milk banks operating in state to comply with certain standards; requires department to adopt rules.
  • Sponsored HB 799: Criminal Sentencing: Provides no points will be assessed for violations of community sanctions that are resolved under an alternative sanction program; revises provisions concerning lowest permissible sentence when court imposes split sentence; provides for resolution of low-risk violations of probation through an alternative sanction program; corrects provisions concerning limiting prison sentences for first time revocations for technical violations; provides for structured sentences when technical violations result in prison terms; provides time periods for hearing & release of probationer or offender concerning alleged violations that are criminal traffic offenses or technical violations; provides that default method for resolution of certain low-risk violations is alternative sanctions program.
  • Sponsored HB 975: Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, Escambia County: Provides filling of vacancies, term limits, & applicability of sovereign immunity for board members; provides exception to general law; provides for authority to implement policies & procedures for procurement of commodities & contractual services; provides that public notice of changes to any assessments, rates, fees, or charges may be posted on authority’s website; revises personnel guidelines; requires authority to handle employee matters pursuant to specified handbook; deletes personnel appeals board; revises appeal process & procedure, experience requirements for executive director, & frequency of management efficiency audit.
  • Supports HB Appropriations for: The Bluffs Entrance/Transportation Upgrades, University of West Florida – Hurricane Sally Damage Mitigation and Repairs, Take Stock in College, Century Well and Water Plant Rehabilitation, Century Water Meter Replacement Project, Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site Preservation and Operations, Escambia County Underserved Workforce Initiative and Flagler County Mental Health Drop-In Center.