For Immediate Release: December 5, 2016
Florida’s leading retail advocacy organization highlights those issues and topics important to retailers and which will be the focus in the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session
TALLAHASSEE, FL – With the Florida House of Representatives in committee weeks this week and the Senate set to follow suit next week, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced its 2017 Legislative Agenda in preparation for the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session in March. The agenda highlights those issues which are important to the success of retailers and Florida’s business community and which FRF will be focused on.
1ST AMENDMENT ACCESS (Support) We would support a legislative effort to preempt local governments from requiring lobbyists for non-profits to pay outrageous fes or meet burdensome requirements in order to speak, write a letter or make a phone call to local officials.
BAD DEBT SALES TAX REFUND (Support) We support efforts to increase the current 64% refund level of the sales taxes remitted on bad debts to 100% of the remitted taxes on debt that has gone bad on a private label credit cards.
BAN THE BOX (Oppose) We would oppose any legislation that restricts employers from asking about applicant’s criminal record.
BUSINESS RENT TAX REFORM (Support) Florida is the only state that assesses a sales tax on commercial real estate leases. We support efforts to reduce the tax rate by 1% each year to lessen this tax burden.
COMBINED REPORTING (Oppose) We oppose this Corporate Tax Filing that requires a multi-state company to report on a combined basis the operations of all related entities involved in a unitary business.
CORPORATE TAX EXEMPTION FOR RETAILERS (Support) We support any reduction in the corporate income tax rate for retailers.
CONVENIENCE BUSINESS SECURITY (Support) We support legislation that would allow for training of all convenience store employees to ensure the safety and security for employees, customers and owners.
DATA SECURITY (Support) We support legislation that would strengthen data security when using credit cards to prevent fraud.
DRONE LEGISLATION (Oppose) We oppose any legislation that would restrict the sale of drones.
E-CIGARETTE TAXES/PREEMPTION (Support) FRF & FPMA support legislation that preempts any regulations of these products to a state level and preempts local ordinances.
GMO-MANDATORY LABELING (Oppose) We oppose local or state efforts to mandate additional labeling on food products which would designate that the product includes a genetically modified organism.
INCREASE STATE MINIMUM WAGE (Oppose) We oppose any legislative increase in the state minimum wage.
INTIMATE APPAREL (Oppose) We oppose any legislation that would mandate additional regulation and requirements on retailers relating to intimate apparel purchases.
LOTTERY SALES AT THE POINT OF SALE (Support) We support legislation that would give retailers the option to expand lottery sales at the point of sale terminal.
MANDATORY REPORTING & CHECKING OF THE PDMP BY DOCTORS (Support) We support the Legislature requiring the doctors who write prescriptions for controlled substances to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program before writing the prescription and to report their dose into the program.
OPEN CARRY, PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS (Oppose) We oppose any effort to restrict the private property rights of retailers in determining whether to allow open carry of firearms on their property.
OPIOID ABUSE DETERRENT (Support) We support legislation removing the requirement for a prescription for an opioid abuse deterrent. This would allow the medication to be available for pharmacist to dispense.
PREDICTIVE SCHEDULING (Oppose) We oppose any legislation that would dictate to a retailer the manner in which they should schedule their employees.
POLYSTYRENE PREEMPTION (Support) We would support legislation that preempts all regulation of polystyrene to the State.
RETAIN PLASTIC BAG PREEMPTION (Support) We support current Florida law, which designates the state government as the regulator of plastic and paper bags and preempts local regulation. We oppose any effort to eliminate this preemption.
RESTRICTING THE RETAIL SALE OF A LEGAL PRODUCT (Oppose) We oppose any legislation or regulation that restricts the retail sale of a legal product.
SALES TAX HOLIDAYS (Support) We encourage the Governor and Legislators to continue to fund Sales Tax Holidays such as Back to School, Disaster Preparedness, ENERGY STAR and Watersense.
TORT REFORM (Support) We believe that injured parties should recover based on their real expenses, not phantom numbers. We support corrective legislation to help restore truthful damage verdicts in personal injury lawsuits.
UNDERGROUND STORAGE CLEANUP PROGRAM (Support) We support legislation that will protect the owner and the property while participating in the Petroleum Restoration Program.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION REFORM (Support) The outcome of several recent Florida Supreme Court cases could have significant impacts on the future of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation system. We support reforms that will allow Florida to provide reliable and fair benefits to injured workers while also providing consistency and predictability in premiums for employers.
The 2015 Legislative Session concluded Friday with a wild week that included the House adjourning early, the Senate taking legal action and a number of bills either didn’t get passed or their future remains up in the air.
In this week’s video, you’ll hear a recap on what the future holds for these issues:
As many of you know from our updates, the Senate and the House are in a standoff with each other over Medicaid expansion and Governor Scott is in a standoff with the federal government over LIP funding. Due to these issues, the Florida House of Representatives elected to adjourn yesterday at 1:15pm, with three days still left until the end of the 60-day 2015 Legislative Session. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli announced the decision during yesterday’s proceedings.
As a result of this decision, any bills that were not heard by the House prior to adjourning will not be passed this year. There were a few outstanding FRF/FPMA bills which will not be heard based on the House’s decision, and which will impact some of our members. Those include:
Looking forward, the Senate has chosen to remain in Session at least through today to continue hearing bills that simply need approval by the Senate to then be sent to Governor Scott for his ultimate approval or veto. We will continue to monitor the progress of each of these bills, which we don’t expect to impact our member retailers. Once we hear word on when a Special Session on the budget is scheduled, we will make sure to notify you, and will keep you up-to-date on how things progress in the weeks and months ahead. Your FRF legislative team will remain closely involved with the legislature as decisions are made, as we advocate for your business and the success of Florida’s retail industry.
Overall, FRF & FPMA had a very successful regular Session. Look for our Session Wrap-up to be released upon adjournment of the Senate to outline all the legislation that will benefit you.
Thank you for your support of the Florida Retail Federation and for your continued membership.
As the 2015 Legislative Session enters its final week, FRF previews what’s to come and reviews what was an extremely successful Week 8 with a number of bills passing due to the hard work of your Advocacy, Intervention and Political (AIP) team at the Florida Retail Federation who advocated with our legislators and the Governor’s Office on behalf of your business.
In this week’s video, you’ll hear a recap on the following bills that passed in the Senate & House and just await the Governor’s signature for final approval: