Legislative Priorities

Legislative Priorities

 

Legislative Priorities

Legislative Priorities 2021

Legislative Priorities 2020

Legislative Priorities 2019

Legislative Priorities 2018

Legislative Priorities

2023 Legislative Agenda

Download the 2023 Legislative Agenda HERE.

Workforce Housing

FRLA supports full funding for the Sadowski Fund.

Our industry has a specific and dire need for reliable and affordable rental housing.

In addition to existing State Apartment Incentive Loan dollars (usually known as SAIL), FRLA would like to see the legislature increase the percentage of State Housing Incentive Partnership dollars (usually known as SHIP) that can be used for rental housing.

FRLA would also encourage the Legislature to consider creating incentives to encourage innovative approaches to affordable housing development. For example: incentives for development of high-quality rental properties in key areas or incentives and tax credits for hoteliers and restaurateurs to create housing for their own staff.

Special Food Service/Liquor Licenses

Currently, restaurants must have 2,500 square feet and 150 seats to qualify for a special restaurant liquor license. We support reducing the number of required seats for an SFS license from 150 to 100 seats.

This allows restaurateurs to respond to changing trends in the industry regarding the size of an establishment. It also allows restaurateurs to adapt their existing layout to allow customers more space and reflect changes in their business model (common after COVID). The change in the seating requirements makes more establishments eligible to participate in alcohol-to-go services, which can make a significant impact on their financial success.

These regulatory reductions reflect existing trends in the hospitality industry, encourage the development of new businesses, and support a potential increase in the financial success of existing businesses.

Vacation Rentals

While vacations rentals have long been available in Florida, the option to list available units online through advertising platforms has caused this lodging sector to explode. Florida’s statutes need to be updated to accommodate the changing lodging industry, creating balanced and rational regulations that serve visitors, residents, and communities.

  • FRLA supports the following:
    • Requiring advertising platforms to confirm the licensing/registration of vacation rentals with the relevant State agencies prior to listing;
    • Requiring advertising platforms to collect and remit all taxes due;
    • An option for local registration so that local governments can better understand and respond to what is happening in their jurisdictions;
    • Vacation rental license revocation provisions;
    • Requiring quarterly reporting to the State by advertising platforms listing the vacation rentals on their platforms, including the physical address, so that tax collection and legal compliance can be confirmed;
    • Reasonable and effective penalty provisions for noncompliance, such as higher monetary penalties; and
    • Clear and consistent audit provisions to allow for accurate assessment of compliance.

 

VISIT FLORIDA

FRLA supports increased funding for VISIT FLORIDA in the amount of $100 million. Following Hurricane Ian, funding will be especially important to ensure Florida continues to be top of mind as a leading vacation destination.

Tourist Development Tax

FRLA opposes adding any additional approved uses for Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenues. Adding additional approved uses will only serve to dilute the effectiveness of these dollars, which are statutorily established for the promotion and marketing of tourism.

Some clarification may be necessary to ensure that TDT revenues are used in a manner consistent with statutory intent.

Data Privacy

Customers deserve to have control over their personal information. Any regulations Florida adopts should be reasonable and take into account the changing nature of commerce.

The cost of compliance for businesses must be carefully considered. Businesses must be given an adequate opportunity to correct any errors and respond to complaints without the threat of costly litigation.

Water Quality

Florida’s beaches, rivers, and lakes attract millions to our beautiful state annually. Poor water quality would negatively affect Florida’s tourism-based economy, as well as its residents and communities.

FRLA supports sound and sustainable water quality policies that balance the needs of various groups and industries while also seeking to protect health of our water supply long into the future and the beauty of our state.

Hurricane Recovery

When a disaster of any kind strikes Florida, the reverberations are felt across the state.

FRLA will carefully review the many different proposals, incentives, and regulations that are expected to be offered in response to Hurricane Ian. FRLA will advocate for recovery and response approaches that support Florida’s hospitality industry.

Interchange Fees on Sales Tax

Businesses pay interchange fees on every credit and debit card transaction. These fees are applied not only to the cost of goods themselves, but also to any applicable taxes that apply to that purchase. Card usage is increasing, and so are the interchange fees.

This means it is increasingly more expensive for businesses to provide the valuable government service of collecting and remitting taxes. This amounts to millions of dollars in fees being paid by Florida businesses – over $208 million dollars in 2021. Prohibiting the collection of interchange fees on sales taxes will reduce the burden on our businesses and free up these funds for additional investment and positive economic activity in our state.

2022 Legislative Report

 

2022 Legislative Report Document and Scorecard – These documents includes the Legislative and Government Relations Team details, 2022 Legislative highlights, and a brief scorecard on the 2022 Legislative session. Both documents can be downloaded together HERE.

SESSION WEEKLY VIDEOS/RECAPS

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Week 8

Week 9

Tourism Day

Zika Resources

As summer approaches, the health and safety of visitors to the Sunshine State is our highest priority.

Below, find resources to help you and your family enjoy your Florida vacation:

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Florida Department of Health

Governor Scott’s Updates

VISIT FLORIDA

Florida Zika Virus Information Hotline: 855-622-6735


Helpful Infographics

Enjoy Your Vacation: Know Before You Go

 

enjoy vacation infographic espanol
Disfrute Sus Vacaciones: Infórmese antes de viajar

 

Mosquito Bite Protection in Florida

Protect Your Home & Business


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Zika?

Zika virus disease is caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week, and many people do not have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.

How do people get infected with Zika?

Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species. A pregnant woman can pass Zika to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Also, a man with Zika can pass it to sex partners. We encourage people who have traveled to or live in places with Zika to protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.

What are the symptoms of Zika virus disease?

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Other symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Many people infected with Zika won’t have symptoms or will have mild symptoms, which can last for several days to a week.

How is Zika diagnosed?

To diagnose Zika, your doctor will ask you about recent travel and symptoms you may have, and collect blood or urine to test for Zika or similar viruses.

What health problems can result from getting Zika?

Many people infected with Zika will have no symptoms or mild symptoms that last several days to a week. However, Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, is also very likely triggered by Zika in a small number of cases.

Once someone has been infected with Zika, it’s very likely they’ll be protected from future infections. There is no evidence that past Zika infection poses an increased risk of birth defects in future pregnancies.

If I am traveling to an area with Zika, should I be concerned?

Travelers who go to places with Zika can be infected, and the CDC has issued travel notices for people traveling to those areas. Many people will have mild or no symptoms. However, Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe birth defects. For this reason, pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika, and women trying to get pregnant should talk to their doctors before traveling or before their male partners travel. Those traveling to areas with Zika should take steps during and after they travel to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.

What can people do to prevent Zika?

There is currently no vaccine for preventing Zika. The best way to prevent Zika is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites:

The sources for the information in this FAQ are the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To learn more, visit their websites at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/zika-virus/ andhttp://www.cdc.gov/zika/ or contact your local Florida county health department.