Linking the Passion and Creativity of the
Florida Attractions Industry


Legislative Updates, Alerts and Reports

Periodically throughout the year - especially during Florida Legislative Session - members receive important communications from the FAA regarding issues involving the tourism industry. Please remember that if you receive a LEGISLATIVE ALERT, timing is critical and minutes matter - read it and take immediate action on behalf of the FAA.




A Legislative Update is a summary of recent activity in the Florida State Legislature.

LEGISLATIVE ALERT is an immediate call to action on behalf of the tourism industry.

Legislative Report is information provided by Liberty Partners of Tallahassee on important industry issues.

Latest Updates, Alerts and Reports

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  • April 12, 2021 5:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With only three weeks remaining in the 2021 Legislative Session, it is becoming clear which pieces of legislation are poised to make it across the finish line and which policy proposals are at risk of not becoming law. In addition to heated debate surrounding policy, both chambers are preparing to negotiate their respective budgets, as each chamber passed their proposed budgets this week. This lays the groundwork for the budget conference process, which will see the House and Senate engage in a “tug-of-war” over how to spend money during the 2021-22 fiscal year. Recent state revenue reports and the potential infusion of billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds could lessen the negative economic impact that many Floridians were afraid of.

    Lion Country Safari Vice President & FAA Board Member Jennifer Berthiaume’s op-ed was published in the Palm Beach Post this week. In her article, Jennifer discussed the importance to TDT dollars and the positive impact that these funds make on the tourism industry. She explains that this money contributes to local services such as affordable housing, infrastructure, education and public safety, which result in tax revenue, employment opportunities and affordable resident service. While the tourism industry has felt the brunt of COVID-19, the strength of the industry moving forward will dictate the economic wellbeing within the state. With hospitality jobs in Palm Beach County down by an estimated 20%, visitor spending down 20% and restaurant and hotel revenue down by 33% & 38%, respectively, the industry is in need to TDT dollars. Now is not the right time to divert money away from tourism promotion, and it is the wrong time for the Legislature to strip the tourism industry of critical resources.

    Below is a summary of bills that have been filed that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes

    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for & authorized uses of tourist development taxes (TDT) & convention development taxes (CDT). The bill is scheduled to be heard on the House floor this week. The Senate companion – SB 2008 – by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens) awaits its first hearing in the Senate Community Affairs Committee. Liberty Partners of Tallahassee understands the importance of preserving TDT dollars and is fighting for FAA and their members. We will continue to reach out to legislators on FAA’s behalf in opposition to these two bills and will work closely with FAA and their members to defeat this bad legislation. To email your legislator and let them know how important the preservation of TDT dollars are to the state’s tourism industry, click here.

    Consumer Data Privacy

    HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) would require businesses to provide notice to consumers about data collection & selling practices; provide consumers with the right to request data be disclosed, deleted, or corrected & to opt-in or opt-out of sale or sharing of such data; provide nondiscrimination measures, methods for requesting data & opting-in or opting-out of sale or sharing of such data, private cause of action, & enforcement. The House bill is awaiting its final hearing in the House Commerce Committee. The Senate companion – SB 1734 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) passed the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, April 6 and awaits consideration on the Senate floor.

    Gaming Enforcement

    SB 7076 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) would create the Florida Gaming Control Commission within the Office of the Attorney General; provide for membership of the commission; require the Commission on Ethics to accept and investigate any alleged violations of the standards of conduct for commissioners; designate the Florida Gaming Control Commission as the state compliance agency having authority to carry out certain responsibilities; transfer all powers, duties, functions, records, offices, personnel, property, pending issues, existing contracts, administrative authority, administrative rules, trust funds, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to the commission by a type two transfer, etc. The Senate bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday, April 12. There is no House companion at this time.

    Requirements for Pari-mutuel Permitholders to Conduct Live Racing or Games

    SB 7080 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) would revise the application requirements for an operating license to conduct pari-mutuel wagering for a pari-mutuel facility; prohibit greyhound permitholders from conducting live racing; authorize jai alai permitholders, harness horse racing permitholders, and quarter horse racing permitholders to elect not to conduct live racing or games; specify that certain permitholders that do not conduct live racing or games retain their permit and remain pari-mutuel facilities, etc. The Senate bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday, April 12. There is no House companion at this time.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    HB 329by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. The bill is awaiting full consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion - SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is awaiting full consideration on the Senate floor.

    Sales & Use Tax

    SB 50 – by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) would revise conditions for certain dealers subject to sales tax; delete exemption for certain dealers from collecting local option surtaxes; provide certain marketplace providers are subject to registration, collection, & remittance requirements for sales taxes; require marketplace providers to provide certification to marketplace sellers; specify requirements for marketplace sellers; require marketplace providers to allow DOR to audit books & records; provide that marketplace seller is liable for sales tax collection & remittance; authorize marketplace providers & marketplace sellers to enter into agreements to recover certain taxes, interest, & penalties; grant DOR settlement & compromise authority for marketplace sales; remove authority of DOR to negotiate collection allowance with certain dealers. The bill has passed the House and Senate and awaits being signed into law by Governor DeSantis.

    Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud

    HB 9 by Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes) would define "personal protective equipment"; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading information relating to personal protective equipment with specified intent; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading vaccine information with specified intent; authorize state attorney or statewide prosecutor to prosecute violation; authorize AG to seek civil remedies. The bill has been passed by the full House and the Senate Rules Committee, and is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.

    Zoological and Aquarium Grant Program

    HB 1175 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would authorize DEO to establish grant program for support of zoos & aquariums located within state; provide eligibility requirements; authorizes of grant funds for certain purposes; require DEO to adopt rules; provide that DEO has final grant approval authority. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 1312 by Senator Jennifer Bradley – awaits its second committee stop in the Senate Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

    Technology Transparency

    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts & economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The House bill has passed each committee reference and awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 7072 – by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers) is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Cultural and Historical Programs

    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting a final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Tourism Marketing Entities

    HB 675 by Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) would authorize the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation – VISIT FLORIDA - to carry forward unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years; abrogate the repeal of provisions establishing Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, direct-support organization of Enterprise Florida, Inc., & Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 778 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Vacation Rentals

    HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would require advertising platforms to collect & remit specified taxes imposed for certain transactions; preempt regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibit a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments and require licenses issued by Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to the public inside the licensed establishment. The bill awaits its second hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee. The Senate companion – SB 522 – by Senator Manny Diaz is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday, April 14.


    2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION SCHEDULE

    January 11 – January 15, 2021                               1st Interim Committee Week

    January 25 – January 29, 2021                               2nd Interim Committee Week

    February 1 – February 5, 2021                               3rd Interim Committee Week

    February 8 – February 12, 2021                             4th Interim Committee Week

    February 15 – February 19, 2021                           5th Interim Committee Week

    March 2, 2021                                                           Regular Session Convenes

    April 20, 2021                                                            Last Day for Regular Committee Meetings

    April 30, 2021                                                            Last Day of Regular Session 


  • April 12, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dangerous bills that would fundamentally affect the way counties can use the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds are quickly moving though the Florida Legislature this Session. HB1429 sponsored by Representative Bryan Avila (111 – Hialeah) and SB2008 sponsored by Senator Manny Diaz (36 – Hialeah Gardens) are companion bills. 

    The House Bill had been placed on the Special Order Calendar for this Tuesday, April 13 at 2:00pm. This hazardous bill which establishes a precedent of raiding your county’s Tourist Development Tax revenue for non-marketing purposes could pass the Florida House of Representatives this week.

    These bills allow county governments to siphon funds collected through the TDT in your county intended for tourism promotion and use them for “flood mitigation.” Our focus isn’t on this specific expanded use, rather ANY use aside from tourism promotion and marketing weakens our state’s tourism marketing efforts. Tourist Development Taxes invested by Florida destinations result in billions of dollars in sales tax revenue generated by tourists affording a lower tax burden for Florida residents.

    *** CALL TO ACTION ***

    As our industry begins to rebound from the ravages of the pandemic, these bills imperil our ability to recover. Elected officials need to support our economic recovery, not disrupt it. Here is where we need your help!

    Please contact YOUR REPRESENTATIVE. Tell them how the Tourist Development Tax in your county helps market your county destination and attractions. Share how you depend on the efforts of your Tourist Development Council and/or CVB to bring visitors to your county, increasing your county’s tax base and generating additional TDT funds.

    Thank you for all you do for the FAA and our collective industry. Keep advocating for the protection of Florida tourism!


  • April 08, 2021 6:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Originally Published by the Palm Beach Post

    By Jennifer Berthiaume, Lion Country Safari

    Tourist Development Taxes should be used for just that: tourist development. Voters decided that setting funds aside solely for tourism promotion was a wise move because promoting tourism attracts visitors whose spending creates jobs and generates local tax revenue.

    These taxes paid into our community by visitors contribute to critical services for residents such as public safety, education, affordable housing and infrastructure. Creating jobs, generating tax revenue and saving residents from having to pay for critical services is a good thing, right?

    Unfortunately, Tourist Development Taxes are under attack by the Florida Legislature just when we need them the most. The proposed House Bill 1429 and Senate Bill 2008 would allow local governments to sweep funding dedicated to tourism promotion and reallocate it for other uses.

    This is a bad move at a bad time.

    During this pandemic, the hardest-hit industries in Florida and in Palm Beach County have been tourism and hospitality. Hospitality jobs in Palm Beach County remain down approximately 20%. Visitor spending is down 20%. Restaurant and hotel revenue are down 33% and 38%, respectively. Visits to Palm Beach County dropped from our best year ever — 8.2 million in 2019 — to Great Recession levels, with just a little more than 5 million in 2020.

    These bills would essentially kick our tourism and hospitality industries when they are down.

    Now is the time to be supporting tourism and hospitality. Tourism is the front door to economic recovery. We are going to help spur Florida’s economic rebound as we safely bring visitors and their spending back to the state.

    Our local tourism promotion organization, The Palm Beaches, is working hard to rebuild our tourism economy. They need every dollar of the Tourist Development Taxes collected to promote their new brand and campaign, as well as for efforts aimed at bringing business travel back.

    Things are starting to look up. We’ve seen it ourselves at Lion Country Safari. While our drive-through safari has been open since May 2020, we were able to launch a soft reopening of Safari World, our 55-acre walk-through adventure park, last month. Now we are looking to hire 30 to 35 additional staff. There are positive trends in area hotel occupancy. Signs of revitalization are everywhere.

    We must keep the momentum going and the best way to do that is by protecting the current permissible uses of Tourist Development Taxes. Shifting funding meant for tourism promotion will only have the opposite effect.

    I hope our state lawmakers will consider this as they make decisions that will impact Florida’s ability to restore our economy.

    Jennifer Berthiaume is the vice president of Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee.


  • April 05, 2021 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the Florida Legislature passes the halfway point of the 2021 Legislative Session, lawmakers and those involved in the political process are setting their sights on legislation that has a chance to be signed into law and the budget process. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed their respective budgets (HB 5001 & SB 2500) for the 2021-22 fiscal year out of their committees this week. The chambers are more than $2 billion apart in their proposed budgets and each side will begin negotiations to pass a balanced budget.

    On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 72- Civil Liability for Damages Related to COVID-19 into law. The Governor applauded the legislation that will provide liability protections to businesses, educational institutions, governmental entities and health care providers.

    On Friday afternoon, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-81. The executive order prohibits any local government from issuing a COVID-19 “vaccine passport” and prohibits businesses within the state from requiring customers and guests to present such documentation before entering the establishment. Each executive agency in the state will be responsible for ensuring that businesses comply with this executive order.

    Below is a summary of bills that have been filed that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes

    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for & authorized uses of tourist development taxes (TDT) & convention development taxes (CDT). The bill passed its final stop in the House State Affairs Committee on Monday and now moves to the House floor. We are pleased to report that the Senate companion – SB 2008 – by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens) was temporarily postponed in the Senate Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday. FAA and their members were proactive in reaching out to Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) – Chair of the Community Affairs Committee – and committee members and were able to successfully get the bill temporarily postponed

    We continue to advocate against the dangerous diversion of TDT & CDT dollars on behalf of FAA and its members. We will continue to assist FAA in drafting “call-to-actions” for their members and letters of opposition to send to committee members. Additionally, our firm will continue to speak on behalf of FAA in opposition to the expanded uses of TDT dollars during each committee hearing. Your effort to protect these dollars is important. To email your legislator and let them know how important the preservation of TDT dollars are to the state’s tourism industry, click here.

    Consumer Data Privacy

    HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) would require businesses to provide notice to consumers about data collection & selling practices; provide consumers with the right to request data be disclosed, deleted, or corrected & to opt-in or opt-out of sale or sharing of such data; provide nondiscrimination measures, methods for requesting data & opting-in or opting-out of sale or sharing of such data, private cause of action, & enforcement. The House bill is awaiting its final hearing in the House Commerce Committee. The Senate companion – SB 1734 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is scheduled to receive its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, April 6.

    Sports Wagering

    HB 1317by Representative Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) would authorize wagers on sports events; provide duties of Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering; authorize application to division for license to operate sports pool; require annual renewal of license; prohibit sports pools from being offered by anyone other than division or licensee; specify requirements for accepting wagers; authorize provision of benefits to induce wagering; require background checks for licensee employees; prohibit & require adoption of procedures to prevent certain persons from wagering; prohibit accepting wagers from certain persons; provide for distribution of unclaimed winnings; require deposit of certain penalties into DBPR's Pari-mutuel Wagering Trust Fund. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Regulatory Reform Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 392– by Senator Jeff Brandes is awaiting its first committee stop in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    HB 329by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. The bill is awaiting full consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion - SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is awaiting full consideration on the Senate floor.

    Sales & Use Tax

    HB 15 by Representative Chuck Clemons (R-Jonesville) would revise conditions for certain dealers subject to sales tax; delete exemption for certain dealers from collecting local option surtaxes; provide certain marketplace providers are subject to registration, collection, & remittance requirements for sales taxes; require marketplace providers to provide certification to marketplace sellers; specify requirements for marketplace sellers; require marketplace providers to allow DOR to audit books & records; provide that marketplace seller is liable for sales tax collection & remittance; authorize marketplace providers & marketplace sellers to enter into agreements to recover certain taxes, interest, & penalties; grant DOR settlement & compromise authority for marketplace sales; remove authority of DOR to negotiate collection allowance with certain dealers. The bill passed the House Commerce Committee on Monday and heads to the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 50 – by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) is awaiting action in the House.

    Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud

    HB 9 by Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes) would define "personal protective equipment"; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading information relating to personal protective equipment with specified intent; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading vaccine information with specified intent; authorize state attorney or statewide prosecutor to prosecute violation; authorize AG to seek civil remedies. The bill has been passed by the full House and the Senate Rules Committee, and is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. The Senate companion – SB 1608 – by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) awaits its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee.

    Zoological and Aquarium Grant Program

    HB 1175 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would authorize DEO to establish grant program for support of zoos & aquariums located within state; provide eligibility requirements; authorizes use of grant funds for certain purposes; require DEO to adopt rules; provide that DEO has final grant approval authority. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 1312 by Senator Jennifer Bradley – awaits its second committee stop in the Senate Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

    Technology Transparency

    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts & economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The House bill awaits its second hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. The Senate companion – SB 520 – by Senator Danny Burgess (R-Zephryhills) has yet to receive a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Cultural and Historical Programs

    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical

    Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill unanimously passed the House State Affairs Committee this week and awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting a final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Tourism Marketing Entities

    HB 675 by Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) would authorize the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation – VISIT FLORIDA - to carry forward unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years; abrogate the repeal of provisions establishing Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, direct-support organization of Enterprise Florida, Inc., & Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 778 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Vacation Rentals

    HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would require advertising platforms to collect & remit specified taxes imposed for certain transactions; preempt regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibit a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments and require licenses issued by Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to the public inside the licensed establishment. The bill awaits its second hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee. The Senate companion – SB 522 – by Senator Manny Diaz is awaiting its final stop in the Senate Rules Committee.

    2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION SCHEDULE

    January 11 – January 15, 2021                                1st Interim Committee Week

    January 25 – January 29, 2021                                2nd Interim Committee Week

    February 1 – February 5, 2021                                3rd Interim Committee Week

    February 8 – February 12, 2021                              4th Interim Committee Week

    February 15 – February 19, 2021                            5th Interim Committee Week

    March 2, 2021                                                            Regular Session Convenes

    April 20, 2021                                                            Last Day for Regular Committee Meetings

    April 30, 2021                                                            Last Day of Regular Session  


  • March 31, 2021 5:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SB 2008 (TDT Expansion) Temporarily Postponed – Senate Committee Stands with Florida Tourism Industry

    On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Community Affairs temporarily postponed (TP’d) consideration of SB 2008.  This bill would expand the uses of Tourist Development Taxes for purposes other than tourism promotion.  TP’ing the bill demonstrates some hesitation by the committee to pass the bill and validates the advocacy work of our FAA members and our industry partners!  These Senators stood in support of our industry!

    Please take a moment to thank the Senators on the committee for choosing to not consider the bill this week.

    Sample email (please personalize)

    Dear Senator ________:

    Thank you for not hearing SB 2008 - Tourist and Convention Development Taxes in this week’s Senate Committee of Community Affairs.  Protecting TDT and CDT tax revenue for their intended purpose demonstrates principled leadership from your committee.  

    Florida’s leisure industry is working hard to restore Florida’s tourism economy.  Working together, we will restore our state to its preeminent position among the world’s tourism destinations.

    Sincerely,

    <your name>

    Senate Community Affairs Committee Members

    Chair, Jennifer Bradley - bradley.jennifer@flsenate.gov
    Vice Chair, Ileana Garcia - garcia.Ileana@flsenate.gov
    Senator Dennis Baxley - baxley.dennis@flsenate.gov
    Senator Jason Brodeur - brodeur.jason@flsenate.gov
    Senator Janet Cruz - cruz.janet@flsenate.gov
    Senator Ed Hooper - hooper.ed@flsenate.gov
    Senator Travis Hutson - hutson.travis@flsenate.gov
    Senator Tina Polsky - polsky.tina@flsenate.gov
    Senator Bobby Powell - powell.bobby@flsenate.gov



  • March 29, 2021 12:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the 2021 Legislative Session nearly halfway over, attention is beginning to turn to several key policy issues and crafting the FY 2021-22 state budget. To date, more than 3,000 bills have been filed, although many will not make it through the legislative process.

    The state’s spending plan for FY 2021-22 is on the forefront of everyone’s mind in the political process. The Senate has announced a $95 billion proposed budget that would fund programs related to the state’s child welfare system, education system and health care. The House proposal is more than $2 billion higher than the Senate’s, with the House proposing $97.1 billion in spending during the state’s next fiscal year. The proposed House budget focuses on education, environmental protection and affordable housing. The chambers must work together during the next month to negotiate a balanced budget that will be presented to Governor Ron DeSantis for final approval.

    On Friday, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-79, which lowers the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility age to 40 years beginning on Monday, March 29 and to 18 on Monday, April 5. Florida is making significant progress in the fight against the pandemic, as more Floridians are being vaccinated each day and tourists are beginning to travel to our state once again.

    Liberty Partners of Tallahassee President Jennifer Green joined FAA’s Board of Directors meeting virtually on Wednesday. Jennifer provided Board members with a legislative update and discussed the status of FAA’s legislative priorities. She also touched on the work that our firm has done on behalf of FAA in opposition to any legislation that redirects the allowable usage of tourist development tax dollars.

    Below is a summary of bills that have been filed that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes

    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for & authorized uses of tourist development taxes (TDT) & convention development taxes (CDT). The bill passed its final stop in the House State Affairs Committee on Monday by a vote of 21-2, with Representatives Rick Roth (R-Palm Beach Gardens) and David Smith (R-Winter Springs) voting in opposition. During the committee meeting, Liberty Partners of Tallahassee President Jennifer Green addressed committee members on behalf of FAA and spoke in opposition of HB 1429. During her testimony, Jennifer highlighted the importance of preserving TDT dollars for tourism marketing & promotion. She also noted the value of these dollars to FAA members and that many attractions rely on this money to promote their respective facilities and our state. We are thankful that Representatives Roth & D. Smith understand the importance of the TDT and see the need for TDT dollars to fulfill their intended purpose. While flood mitigation is a laudable goal, now is not the time to expand the uses of TDT dollars.

    The Senate companion – SB 2008 – by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens) is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Our firm continues to advocate against the dangerous redirection of TDT & CDT dollars on behalf of FAA and its members. We have assisted FAA in drafting “call-to-actions” for their members and letters of opposition to send to their respective legislative delegations. We will continue to draft letters of opposition before each committee stop and send these letters to each committee member ahead of the meetings, urging the committee members to vote “no” on SB 2008. Additionally, our firm will speak on behalf of FAA in opposition to the expanded uses of TDT dollars during each committee hearing. Your effort to protect these dollars does not go unnoticed. To email your legislator and let them know how important the preservation of TDT dollars are to the state’s tourism industry, click here.

    Consumer Data Privacy

    HB 969 by Representative Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) would require businesses to provide notice to consumers about data collection & selling practices; provide consumers with the right to request data be disclosed, deleted, or corrected & to opt-in or opt-out of sale or sharing of such data; provide nondiscrimination measures, methods for requesting data & opting-in or opting-out of sale or sharing of such data, private cause of action, & enforcement. The House bill is awaiting its final hearing in the House Commerce Committee. The Senate companion – SB 1734 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee.

    Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19

    SB 72 by Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) would provide requirements for civil action based on COVID-19-related claim; provide that the plaintiff has burden of proof in such action and provide a statute of limitations. The legislation passed the House floor on Friday and awaits final consideration on the Senate floor.

    Sports Wagering

    HB 1317by Representative Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) would authorize wagers on sports events; provide duties of Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering; authorize application to division for license to operate sports pool; require annual renewal of license; prohibit sports pools from being offered by anyone other

    than division or licensee; specify requirements for accepting wagers; authorize provision of benefits to induce wagering; require background checks for licensee employees; prohibit & require adoption of procedures to prevent certain persons from wagering; prohibit accepting wagers from certain persons; provide for distribution of unclaimed winnings; require deposit of certain penalties into DBPR's Pari-mutuel Wagering Trust Fund. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Regulatory Reform Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 392– by Senator Jeff Brandes is awaiting its first committee stop in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    HB 329by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. The bill has passed all of its committee references and awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 134 – by Senator Jeff Brandes is still awaiting its first stop in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee. A related bill – SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) has passed each of its committees and awaits a hearing on the Senate floor.

    Sales & Use Tax

    HB 15 by Representative Chuck Clemons (R-Jonesville) would revise conditions for certain dealers subject to sales tax; delete exemption for certain dealers from collecting local option surtaxes; provide certain marketplace providers are subject to registration, collection, & remittance requirements for sales

    taxes; require marketplace providers to provide certification to marketplace sellers; specify requirements for marketplace sellers; require marketplace providers to allow DOR to audit books & records; provide

    that marketplace seller is liable for sales tax collection & remittance; authorize marketplace providers & marketplace sellers to enter into agreements to recover certain taxes, interest, & penalties; grant DOR settlement & compromise authority for marketplace sales; remove authority of DOR to negotiate collection allowance with certain dealers. The House bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Commerce Committee on Monday, March 29. The Senate companion – SB 50 – by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) passed the Senate floor and is awaiting action in the House.

    Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud

    HB 9 by Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes) would define "personal protective equipment"; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading information relating to personal protective equipment with specified intent; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading vaccine information with specified intent; authorize state attorney or statewide prosecutor to prosecute violation; authorize AG to seek civil remedies. The bill has been passed by the full House and is awaiting action by the Senate. The Senate companion – SB 1608 – by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) awaits its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee.

    Zoological and Aquarium Grant Program

    HB 1175 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would authorize DEO to establish grant program for support of zoos & aquariums located within state; provide eligibility requirements; authorizes

    use of grant funds for certain purposes; require DEO to adopt rules; provide that DEO has final grant approval authority. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 1312 by Senator Jennifer Bradley – awaits its second committee stop in the Senate Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

    Technology Transparency

    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts & economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The House bill awaits its second hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. The Senate companion – SB 520 – by Senator Danny Burgess (R-Zephryhills) has yet to receive a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Cultural and Historical Programs

    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical

    Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill unanimously passed the House State Affairs Committee this week and awaits consideration on the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting a final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Tourism Marketing Entities

    HB 675 by Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) would authorize the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation – VISIT FLORIDA - to carry forward unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years; abrogate the repeal of provisions establishing Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, direct-support organization of Enterprise Florida, Inc., & Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 778 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Vacation Rentals

    HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would require advertising platforms to collect & remit specified taxes imposed for certain transactions; preempt regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibit a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments and require licenses issued by Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to

    the public inside the licensed establishment. The House bill was temporarily postponed in the House Ways & Means Committee on March 22. The Senate companion – SB 522 – by Senator Manny Diaz is awaiting its final stop in the Senate Rules Committee.

    2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION SCHEDULE

    January 11 – January 15, 2021                               1st Interim Committee Week

    January 25 – January 29, 2021                               2nd Interim Committee Week

    February 1 – February 5, 2021                               3rd Interim Committee Week

    February 8 – February 12, 2021                             4th Interim Committee Week

    February 15 – February 19, 2021                           5th Interim Committee Week

    March 2, 2021                                                           Regular Session Convenes

    April 20, 2021                                                            Last Day for Regular Committee Meetings

    April 30, 2021                                                            Last Day of Regular Session 

    We will continue to monitor these issues for FAA members and provide regular updates.


  • March 26, 2021 5:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Updated Thursday, March 25, 2021

    Dangerous bills that would fundamentally affect the way counties can use the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds are quickly moving though the Florida Legislature this Session. HB1429 sponsored by Representative Bryan Avila (111 – Hialeah) and SB2008 sponsored by Senator Manny Diaz (36 – Hialeah Gardens) are companion bills. 

    The House Bill unanimously passed through its first two Committees. HB 1429 is on the Agenda for its final committee, the House State Affairs Committee next Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:30pm.

    Senate Bill 2008 will be heard in its first committee of reference, the Senate Committee on Community Affairs next Tuesday, March 30 at 3:30pm.

    These bills allow county governments to siphon funds collected through the TDT in your county intended for tourism promotion and use them for “flood mitigation.” Our focus isn’t on this specific expanded use, rather ANY use aside from tourism promotion and marketing weakens our state’s tourism marketing efforts. Tourist Development Taxes invested by Florida destinations result in billions of dollars in sales tax revenue generated by tourists affording a lower tax burden for Florida residents.


    *** CALL TO ACTION ***

    As our industry begins to rebound from the ravages of the pandemic, these bills imperil our ability to recover. Elected officials need to support our economic recovery, not disrupt it. Here is where we need your help!

    1.    Please contact YOUR REPRESENTATIVE and SENATOR. Tell them how the Tourist Development Tax in your county helps market your county destination and attractions. Share how you depend on the efforts of your Tourist Development Committee and/or CVB to bring visitors to your county, increasing your county’s tax base and generating additional TDT funds.

    2.    Please email all members of the House State Affairs Committee and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 1429. Download Committee Database Here.

    3.    Please email all members of the Senate Committee on Community Affairs and ask them to VOTE NO on SB 2008. Download Committee Database Here.


    Thank you for all you do for the FAA and our collective industry. Keep advocating for the protection of Florida tourism!


  • March 23, 2021 1:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The legislative process is in full swing in the State’s Capitol, as committees and subcommittees continue to consider policy and appropriation bills. As the Legislature enters the fourth week of the 2021 Legislative Session, the House and Senate will begin spending more time on their respective floors and both chambers will begin the process of crafting their preliminary budgets for FY 2021-22.

    In statewide news, Governor Ron DeSantis outlined his spending recommendations last week for Florida’s allocation of funds that are available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Governor DeSantis is recommending that the Legislature spend $1.4 billion in federal funding to fund environmental, economic development, educational, behavioral and infrastructure projects during the current fiscal year. Notably, the Governor is recommending that $50 million in federal stimulus funds be used to support VISIT FLORIDA. This investment would be in addition to the $50 million that Governor DeSantis has proposed in his FY 2020-21 budget and would bring the Governor’s total proposed allocation to VISIT FLORIDA to $100 million in FY 2020-21.

    Governor DeSantis also issued Executive Order 21-67 on Friday. This executive order lowers COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to all Floridians age 50 and above, beginning Monday, March 22.

    Below is a summary of bills that have been filed that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Tourist and Convention Development Taxes

    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for & authorized uses of tourist development taxes (TDT) & convention development taxes (CDT). The bill unanimously passed the House Ways & Means Committee on Monday and awaits its final stop in the House State Affairs Committee. The Senate companion – SB 2008 – by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens) has not received a committee hearing. On behalf of FAA, we continue to advocate against the expanded uses of TDT & CDT dollars. Ahead of the committee meeting on Monday, we assisted FAA in drafting a “call to action” for all FAA members that urged them to contact House Ways & Means Committee members and ask them to vote “no” on HB 1429. We urge you to draft an email to your legislators, highlighting how the TDT in your county helps market your attraction and how you depend on these important dollars to bring visitors to your attraction. To find your district’s legislators and their email addresses, click here.

    Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19

    HB 7 by Representative Lawrence McClure (R-Plant City) would provide requirements for civil action based on COVID-19-related claim; provide that the plaintiff has burden of proof in such action and provide a statute of limitations. The bill has passed the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 72 – by Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) passed the Senate floor by a vote of 24-15 on Thursday and is awaiting consideration on the House floor.

    Sports Wagering

    HB 1317 by Representative Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) would authorize wagers on sports events; provide duties of Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering; authorize application to division for license to operate sports pool; require annual renewal of license; prohibit sports pools from being offered by anyone other than division or licensee; specify requirements for accepting wagers; authorize provision of benefits to induce wagering; require background checks for licensee employees; prohibit & require adoption of procedures to prevent certain persons from wagering; prohibit accepting wagers from certain persons; provide for distribution of unclaimed winnings; require deposit of certain penalties into DBPR's Pari-mutuel Wagering Trust Fund. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Regulatory Reform Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 392 – by Senator Jeff Brandes is awaiting its first committee stop in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    HB 329 by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. The bill unanimously passed the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday. The Senate companion – SB 134 – by Senator Jeff Brandes is still awaiting its first stop in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee. A related bill – SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee.

    Sales & Use Tax

    HB 15 by Representative Chuck Clemons (R-Jonesville) would revise conditions for certain dealers subject to sales tax; delete exemption for certain dealers from collecting local option surtaxes; provide certain marketplace providers are subject to registration, collection, & remittance requirements for sales

    taxes; require marketplace providers to provide certification to marketplace sellers; specify requirements for marketplace sellers; require marketplace providers to allow DOR to audit books & records; provide that marketplace seller is liable for sales tax collection & remittance; authorize marketplace providers & marketplace sellers to enter into agreements to recover certain taxes, interest, & penalties; grant DOR settlement & compromise authority for marketplace sales; remove authority of DOR to negotiate collection allowance with certain dealers. The House bill is awaiting its final committee stop in the House Commerce Committee. The Senate companion – SB 50 – by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) is awaiting consideration on the Senate floor.

    Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud

    HB 9 by Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes) would define "personal protective equipment"; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading information relating to personal protective equipment with specified intent; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading vaccine information with specified intent; authorize state attorney or statewide prosecutor to prosecute violation; authorize AG to seek civil remedies. The bill has been passed by the full House and is waiting for action on the Senate bill. The Senate companion – SB 1608 – by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) unanimously passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committeeon Tuesday and awaits its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee.

    Zoological and Aquarium Grant Program

    HB 1175 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would authorize DEO to establish grant program for support of zoos & aquariums located within state; provide eligibility requirements; authorizes use of grant funds for certain purposes; require DEO to adopt rules; provide that DEO has final grant approval authority. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 1312 by Senator Jennifer Bradley – unanimously passed the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee on Monday, March 22.

    Technology Transparency

    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts & economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The bill passed the House Appropriations Committee by a vote of 19-8 on Monday. The Senate companion – SB 520 – by Senator Danny Burgess (R-Zephryhills) is awaiting its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Cultural and Historical Programs

    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill unanimously passed the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. The Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 23.

    Tourism Marketing Entities

    HB 675 by Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) would authorize the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation – VISIT FLORIDA - to carry forward unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years; abrogate the repeal of provisions establishing Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, direct-support organization of Enterprise Florida, Inc., & Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 778 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Vacation Rentals

    HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would require advertising platforms to collect & remit specified taxes imposed for certain transactions; preempt regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibit a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments and require licenses issued by Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to the public inside the licensed establishment. The House bill was temporarily postponed in the House Ways & Means Committee on Monday, March 22. The Senate companion – SB 522 – by Senator Manny Diaz is awaiting its final stop in the Senate Rules Committee.


    2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION SCHEDULE

     

    January 11 – January 15, 2021                                1st Interim Committee Week

    January 25 – January 29, 2021                                2nd Interim Committee Week

    February 1 – February 5, 2021                                3rd Interim Committee Week

    February 8 – February 12, 2021                              4th Interim Committee Week

    February 15 – February 19, 2021                            5th Interim Committee Week

    March 2, 2021                                                            Regular Session Convenes

    April 20, 2021                                                            Last Day for Regular Committee Meetings

    April 30, 2021                                                            Last Day of Regular Session


  • March 22, 2021 7:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Risky bills that would fundamentally affect the way counties use the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds have been introduced this Session. HB1429 sponsored by Representative Bryan Avila (111 – Hialeah) and SB2008 sponsored by Senator Manny Diaz (36 – Hialeah Gardens) are companion bills. 

    The Senate Bill has three committees of reference and has not been considered yet.

    The House Bill unanimously passed the Environment, Agriculture & Flooding Subcommittee last Monday. HB 1429 is on the agenda for the House Ways & Means Committee TODAY, Monday, March 22 at 12:30pm.

    The bill makes two fundamental changes to the Tourist Development Tax:

    1. Adds “flood mitigation projects and improvements” as permissible uses of the TDT. In effect, it allows county governments to siphon funds collected through the TDT in your county intended for tourism promotion and use them for “flood mitigation.”
    2. Requires that TDT Taxes and Convention Development Taxes (CDT – applies to Duval, Miami-Dade and Volusia Counties) be reauthorized by public referendum every five years.

    *** CALL TO ACTION ***

    Please contact YOUR REPRESENTAIVE and members of the House Ways and Means Committee . Tell them how the Tourist Development Tax in your county help market your county destination and attraction. Share how you depend on the efforts of your Tourist Development Committee and CVB to bring visitors to your county, increasing your county’s tax base and generating additional TDT funds.

    As our industry begins to rebound from the ravages of the pandemic, this bill imperils our ability to recover. Elected officials need to support our economic recovery, not disrupt it. Here is where we need your help!

    Please email all of the members of the House Ways and Means Committee and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 1429.

    Download Committee Database Here. 

    Thank you for all you do for the FAA and our collective industry. Keep advocating for the protection of Florida tourism!


  • March 15, 2021 12:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The legislative process was in full swing in Tallahassee this week, as legislators convened for the second week of the 2021 Legislative Session. Many bills continue to make their way through the committee process, while other bills have not made any movement. The Legislature has filed 2,995 bills so far this session, while 3,578 bills were filed during last year’s session.

    In statewide news, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that all individuals 60 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. He also announced that numerous counties will increase the number of vaccination sites that they have, while more Walgreens & CVS pharmacies across the state will also begin administering the vaccine.

    Several pieces of legislation that could impact the state’s tourism industry moved forward in the legislative process this week. Below is a summary of bills that have been filed that are of interest to the Florida Attractions Association (FAA):

    Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19
    HB 7 by Representative Lawrence McClure (R-Plant City) would provide requirements for civil action based on COVID-19-related claim; provide that the plaintiff has burden of proof in such action and provide a statute of limitations. The bill has passed the House floor. The Senate companion – SB 72 – by Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) passed the Senate Rules Committee on Thursday and now moves to the Senate floor for consideration.

    Tourist And Convention Development Taxes
    HB 1429 by Representative Bryan Avila (R-Miami) would revise provisions concerning voting procedures for & authorized uses of tourist development taxes & convention development taxes. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Environment, Agriculture & Flooding Subcommittee on Monday. The Senate companion – SB 2008 – by Senator Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah Gardens) is awaiting its first hearing in the Senate Community Affairs Committee.

    Vacation Rentals
    HB 219 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would require advertising platforms to collect & remit specified taxes imposed for certain transactions; preempt regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibit a local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments and require licenses issued by Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to the public inside the licensed establishment. The House bill is awaiting its second committee stop in the House Ways & Means Committee. The Senate companion – SB 522 – by Senator Manny Diaz passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 13-5 on Thursday.

    Sports Wagering
    HB 1317 by Representative Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) would authorize wagers on sports events; provide duties of Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering; authorize application to division for license to operate sports pool; require annual renewal of license; prohibit sports pools from being offered by anyone other than division or licensee; specify requirements for accepting wagers; authorize provision of benefits to induce wagering; require background checks for licensee employees; prohibit & require adoption of procedures to prevent certain persons from wagering; prohibit accepting wagers from certain persons; provide for distribution of unclaimed winnings; require deposit of certain penalties into DBPR's Pari-mutuel Wagering Trust Fund. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Regulatory Reform Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 392 – by Senator Jeff Brandes is awaiting its first committee stop in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.

    Alcoholic Beverage Licenses
    HB 329 by Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale) would authorize food service establishments to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if requirements are met; revise provisions that authorize restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from restaurant for off-premises consumption; revise requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages by certain vendors. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday. The Senate companion – SB 134 – by Senator Jeff Brandes is awaiting its first stop in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee. A related bill – SB 148 – by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park) is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Rules Committee.

    Sales & Use Tax
    HB 15 by Representative Chuck Clemons (R-Jonesville) would revise conditions for certain dealers subject to sales tax; delete exemption for certain dealers from collecting local option surtaxes; provide certain marketplace providers are subject to registration, collection, & remittance requirements for sales taxes; require marketplace providers to provide certification to marketplace sellers; specify requirements for marketplace sellers; require marketplace providers to allow DOR to audit books & records; provide that marketplace seller is liable for sales tax collection & remittance; authorize marketplace providers & marketplace sellers to enter into agreements to recover certain taxes, interest, & penalties; grant DOR settlement & compromise authority for marketplace sales; remove authority of DOR to negotiate collection allowance with certain dealers. The bill passed the House Ways & Means Committee by a vote of 16-2 on Thursday. The Senate companion – SB 50 – by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) is awaiting consideration on the Senate floor.

    Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud
    HB 9 by Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes) would define "personal protective equipment"; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading information relating to personal protective equipment with specified intent; prohibit dissemination of false or misleading vaccine information with specified intent; authorize state attorney or statewide prosecutor to prosecute violation; authorize AG to seek civil remedies. The bill has been passed by the full House and is waiting for action on the Senate bill. The Senate companion – SB 1608 – by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Criminal Justice Committeeon Tuesday.

    Zoological and Aquarium Grant Program
    HB 1175 by Representative Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) would authorize DEO to establish grant program for support of zoos & aquariums located within state; provide eligibility requirements; authorizes use of grant funds for certain purposes; require DEO to adopt rules; provide that DEO has final grant approval authority. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 1312 by Senator Jennifer Bradley – is awaiting its first hearing in the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee.

    Technology Transparency
    HB 7013 by Representative Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would create cause of action against social media platform for unlawful practices related to censoring deplatforming or shadow banning; specify instances when private cause of action may be brought; specify calculation of damages; specify powers of DLA related to investigations of social media platforms; provide requirements for public contracts & economic incentives related to entities who have been convicted or held civilly liable for antitrust violations; require DMS to maintain antitrust violator vendor list; provide procedural & legal rights for person to challenge placement on list; prohibit person on antitrust violator vendor list from receiving certain economic incentives; prohibit social media platforms from knowingly deplatforming candidate; specify fines. The bill is scheduled to heard in the House Appropriations Committee on Monday. The Senate companion – SB 520 – by Senator Danny Burgess (R-Zephryhills) is awaiting its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Cultural and Historical Programs
    HB 909 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) would designate the Museum of Florida History as the official state history museum; rename the Division of Cultural Affairs as the Division of Arts & Culture; transfer certain responsibilities from Division of Cultural Affairs to Division of Historical Resources; revise provisions relating to Museum of Florida History museum store; provide for disposition of abandoned property. The bill is awaiting its second hearing in the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 1404 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting its second hearing in the Senate Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

    Tourism Marketing Entities
    HB 675 by Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) would authorize the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation – VISIT FLORIDA - to carry forward unexpended state appropriations into succeeding fiscal years; abrogate the repeal of provisions establishing Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, direct-support organization of Enterprise Florida, Inc., & Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc. The bill is awaiting its first hearing in the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate companion – SB 778 – by Senator Ed Hooper is awaiting its final hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION SCHEDULE

    January 11 – January 15, 2021                                1st Interim Committee Week

    January 25 – January 29, 2021                                2nd Interim Committee Week

    February 1 – February 5, 2021                                3rd Interim Committee Week

    February 8 – February 12, 2021                              4th Interim Committee Week

    February 15 – February 19, 2021                            5th Interim Committee Week

    March 2, 2021                                                            Regular Session Convenes

    April 20, 2021                                                            Last Day for Regular Committee Meetings

    April 30, 2021                                                            Last Day of Regular Session  


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