Session Update: Week 2

Advocacy News ,

 2019 Session Update: Week 2

 
It was another busy week in our state's Capitol. As you know, FAA is tracking several pieces of important legislation and budget discussions that could impact the apartment industry. Below is a brief update regarding FAA's 2019 priorities, the budget process, and some of the legislation that is currently moving through the legislative process.
In an effort to help you stay up to date, we added a new page to the FAA website titled "2019 Legislation." Click here to visit this new page for a comprehensive list of the legislation that FAA is tracking this session.
As always if you have any questions regarding the legislative process or the bills outlined below, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at Amanda@faahq.org.
Sincerely,
Amanda Gill
Government Affairs Director
Florida Apartment Association
 
 
FAA Priority Legislation on the Move
House Bill 721/Senate Bill 1128: Reducing Emotional Support Animal Fraud
  • HB 721 (Rep. Killebrew) passed the House Civil Justice Subcommittee favorably by a unanimous vote on March 20. The bill now advances to the House Children and Family Committee for further consideration.
  • The Senate companion bill, SB 1128 (Sen. Diaz), passed the Senate Agriculture Committee favorably by a unanimous vote on March 11. SB 1128 now advances to the Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee for further consideration.
  • If enacted, these companion bills would reduce emotional support animal fraud by allowing a housing provider to request written documentation that is signed by a licensed provider and verifies the individual's disability or disability related need. In addition, this legislation would establish a penalty for misrepresenting a pet as an emotional support animal.
  • Click here to watch an interview with Fox 13 News regarding the importance of SB 1128.
Senate Bill 144: Clarifying the Impact Fee Process
  • SB 144 (Sen. Gruters) passed the Senate Community Affairs Committee favorably on March 6 and the Senate Finance and Tax Committee on March 20. The bill now advances to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is the bill's last stop before it is eligible to be considered on the Senate floor.
  • If enacted, SB 144 would establish consistency by allowing impact fees to be collected only when building permits are issued and would earmark impact fee revenue for acquiring or improving capital facilities to serve the population associated with the new development.
Senate Bill 1730: Inclusionary Zoning Preemption
  • SB 1730 (Sen. Lee) passed the Senate Community Affairs Committee favorably on March 20 and now advances to the Infrastructure and Security Committee for further consideration.
  • If SB 1730 is signed into law, local governments would be prohibited from enacting mandatory inclusionary zoning policies that require a specific proportion of the new apartment homes constructed within the municipality’s jurisdiction to be deemed “affordable housing" and rented for less than market rent. In addition, SB 1730 includes many of the same impact fee protections that are included in SB 144.
Budget Brief: Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund
This week, the House and Senate released their preliminary budget proposals. Below is a brief summary regarding how the budget proposals could impact the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The Sadowski fund remains a top priority for FAA because it is an important tool used to assist Florida's most vulnerable populations with affordable housing options. While we are encouraged by the Senate's proposal, you can rest assured that FAA will continue to advocate for the critical need to fully fund the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund as the budget process progresses.
House Budget Proposal
The House proposal appropriated a mere $123.6 million for affordable housing and the limited funds appropriated are earmarked exclusively for Hurricane Michael Recovery.
  • $74.2 million for the Rental Recovery Loan Program to support the development of additional rental housing in hurricane impacted counties- similar to the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program.
  • $49.4 million for the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program to produce and preserve affordable housing for very low, low, and moderate income families in hurricane-impacted counties- similar to the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP).
Senate Budget Proposal
The Senate budget proposal provides $323.8 million for affordable housing.
  • $53.7 million for various programs including the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program.
  • $170.1 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP).
  • $100 million for affordable housing initiatives associated with Hurricane Michael recovery ($90 million for a SHIP-like program and $10 million for a SAIL-like program).
Related Legislation: SB 70/HB 1103
  • FAA is also supporting SB 70 (Sen. Mayfield) and HB 1103 (Rep. Plasencia), which will help prevent the legislature from raiding the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund during the budget process in the future.
  • SB 70 and HB 1103 have not had a hearing at this time but we will continue to push for this legislation during the 2019 session.
 
FAA's 2019 Legislative Priorities
 
  • Protect the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the pass SB 70 (Sen. Mayfield).
  • Prohibit mandatory inclusionary zoning and encourage voluntary incentive programs to stimulate affordable housing development with the passage of SB 1730 (Sen. Lee).
  • Reduce emotional support animal fraud and abuse with the passage of HB 721 (Rep. Killebrew) or SB 1128 (Sen. Diaz).
  • Clarify the impact fee process with the passage of SB 144 (Sen. Gruters).
 
Click here to learn more about FAA's 2019 Legislative Priorities.