The 2020 legislative session is approaching quickly. Session will open on Tuesday, January 14, 2010, and is expected to end on March 13.
These are the issues impacting our industry that we expect to address in the coming session.
According to the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research’s September 2019 report to the legislature, strength in tourism is compensating for drags in other parts of Florida’s economy and “tourism related revenue losses pose the greatest risk to [Florida’s] economic outlook.” Now is not the time to reduce our commitment to and investment in the tourism industry. We believe VISIT FLORIDA plays a vital role in attracting visitors to our beautiful state, and we will advocate for continued funding for VISIT FLORIDA.
Short Term Rentals
Short Term Rentals have become an increasingly popular option for Florida’s visitors. It’s important that lodging establishments operate on a level playing field, providing a consistent and high-quality visitation experience for all guests. Registration, safety and sanitation, and collection of the proper taxes is incumbent upon all who provide lodging for Florida’s visitors. Appropriate regulation of vacation rental properties and hosting platforms will ensure that basic requirements are met, and appropriate taxes are collected and paid.
Predictive Scheduling/Employment Conditions
The term “predictive scheduling” refers to laws and ordinances that mandate specific employee scheduling practices and levy penalties for violations. The intention of these laws is good – wanting to provide stability and predictability to employees in the retail and restaurant industries. In practice, these regulations hamper employers’ ability to respond to the needs and demands of their businesses. Further, it takes away the flexibility many employees in these industries desire. It also limits their ability to pick up additional shifts and make more money when their schedules allow.
We support a law that prohibits regulation of the employer/employee relationship at the local level, including scheduling mandates.
Florida’s hospitality industry understands the necessity of protecting Florida’s beautiful environment. We support the continued efforts of our members to adopt practical and workable sustainability measures that are consistent with their culture and their community. As it specifically relates to plastic straws, we urge communities to consider the needs of the disability community. Having plastic straws available upon customer request allows our establishments to serve Floridians of all ability levels.
Businesses all over Florida have felt the impact of Red Tide and Blue Green Algal blooms. In addition to the significant environmental impact, the impact to businesses and to visitation is considerable. Addressing water quality requires the cooperation of many agencies, entities, and constituencies. There is no quick and easy fix. We support committing the state’s resources to the development and enactment of prudent long-term policies that will result in meaningful solutions for our state.