During the last several weeks, legislators have been busy holding local legislative delegation meetings to hear directly from their constituents. They also consider and vote on “local bills”, which is state legislation that only pertains to a municipality, taxing district, or school district within the county. These meetings are a great opportunity for constituents to meet their legislators and offer comments prior to the 2018 Legislative Session.
Next week marks the first of five scheduled interim committee weeks leading up to the start of the 60-day annual Legislative Session that begins on January 8, 2018. The first week of committee meetings had been scheduled for September 12th, however, they were cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. There is a full slate of committee meetings next week including two separate House committees that will be discussing HB 1A from the 2017 Special Session A. As you may recall, this was the controversial bill that died during the Regular Legislative Session, but passed in the special session. This bill contained the much-debated changes to Visit Florida and tourism marketing programs.
With the annual Legislative Session beginning two months earlier this year, many members have already been filing bills for consideration. Additionally, state agencies have been working with the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget as the Governor prepares to release his budget recommendations in December.
The halls of the Capitol will once again be crowded as we monitor the status of funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. This ongoing debate will have a tremendous impact on the start of this session.
2018 Legislative Session and Interim Committee Week Schedule
Monday, October 9th – Friday, October 13th
Monday, October 23rd – Friday, October 27th
Monday, November 6th – Friday, November 10th
Monday, November 13th – Friday, November 17th
Monday, December 4th – Friday, December 8th
Tuesday, January 9th – Friday, March 9th (60-day annual session)
House and Senate calendars can be found at www.myfloridahouse.gov and www.flsenate.gov.
The Week Ahead:
House Careers & Competition Subcommittee
Review of numerous pieces of legislation passed in 2017 including HB 1A relating to Visit Florida and economic programs.
Senate Community Affairs Committee
Workshop on State and Local Regulation of Vacation Rentals
House Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee
Updates on tourism marketing, including:
Recent tourism marketing efforts
Implementation of new accountability and transparency requirements for tourism marketing entities – HB 1A (2017)
Status of partnerships between state and local tourism marketing entities
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development
Opening Remarks from Chair Bradley
Presentation by the Department of Economic Opportunity on the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund
Presentation by the Department of State on Library, Cultural, and Historical Grants Lists
Presentation by CareerSource Florida on the Quick Response Training and Incumbent Worker Training Programs
House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee
Fiscal Year 2018-19 Legislative Budget Requests
Fiscal Year 2018-19 Priority Listing of Agency Budget Issues for Possible Reduction
· Department of State
· Department of Economic Opportunity
· Department of Transportation
· Department of Military Affairs
· Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles