2022 Legislative Review
During the 2022 Legislative Session, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce supported three key policy bills pass the Legislature: SB 7014, SB 434, and HB 513. In addition, several priority funding projects in transportation, resilience and healthcare were endowed for the City of Miami, the Miami-Dade County, and Miami Dade College.
Nevertheless, various issues are pending, including policy issues related to benefits cliffs, such as School Readiness funding parity and KidCare eligibility. Speaker-designate Paul Renner intends to make benefits cliffs one of his areas of focus. The Chamber will continue to work with local providers and policy makers to ensure employees and their families receive appropriate support.
At 1:03 p.m. on March 14, the Florida Legislature adjourned, sine die. Since the committee weeks before this year’s legislative session started in January, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has been advocating and focusing its time in Tallahassee to promote seminal state bills tied to our seven Legislative Priorities: Healthcare, Economic Development, Tourism, Resiliency, Transportation, Workforce Housing, and Education and Workforce Development.
Every issue on the Chamber’s priorities had an associated bill or legislative budget request. Following is a review of how the bills fared.
SB 7014 - COVID-19-related Claims Against Health Care Providers.
The bill extends the length of time that health care providers receive certain liability protections from COVID-19-related claims from March 29, 2022, to June 1, 2023.
- Passed Senate (22-13) and House (87-31) - Approved by Governor Chapter No. 2022-10
Take-away: Our healthcare businesses get extended protection from frivolous lawsuits.
HB 5001 – General Appropriations Act
Miami Dade College - Registered Nurses Growth Plan – $600,500
Take-away: Prior to session, GMCC attend a nursing shortage roundtable with Lt. Governor Nunez and President Pumariega at Miami Dade College.
This funding will help Miami Dade College turn a potential shortage into dynamic career pathways and pipelines.
SB 434 - Florida Tourism Marketing
The bill extends the scheduled repeal date for the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, doing business as VISIT FLORIDA, and the Division of Tourism Marketing within Enterprise Florida, Inc., until October 1, 2028.
- Passed the Senate (36-3) and House (98-17) On its way to Governor DeSantis
Take-away: VISIT FLORIDA’s efforts to lure visitors to Florida are important now more than ever as we rebound from COVID-19. This agency is key to driving more tourists to Miami businesses.
HB 513 – Comprehensive Review Study of the Central and Southern Florida Project
The bill requires the South Florida Water Management District (District) to prepare and submit a consolidated annual report regarding the status of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 216 Central and Southern Florida Project Infrastructure Resiliency Study to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report is due by October 1, 2023, and each October 1, thereafter.
Passed House (113-0) and Senate (38-0). On its way to Governor DeSantis.
HB 2639 – Coral Gables Citywide Septic to Sewer Conversion Assessment – $187,500
Take-away: This project will help the City of Coral Gables complete a comprehensive sewer system assessment. The City estimates that over 7,400 properties are currently on septic tanks.
HB 2807: Ludlam Trail Corridor High Speed Fiber Internet Infrastructure – Not in budget
HB 2839: Ludlam Trail Corridor – $2,000,000
Take-away: The funds will be used for the design and construction of the Ludlam Trail, a 5.6-mile greenway corridor to be used for nonmotorized active transportation to work, school, and play for approximately 40,000 residents with a half-amile of the trail, and providing a safe route to school for students. The trail connects to five greenways, four parks, two transit hubs and three schools.
HB 2393: The South Dade Trail Multi-Use/Mobility Corridor – $3,000,000
Take-away: The funds will be used to plan, design, and create design criteria plan for improvements along the South Dade Trail's 20-mile off-road mobility - multi-modal corridor.
SB 1150 (Rodriguez)/HB 495 (Rodriguez): Tax Exemption for Affordable Housing
The bill authorizes a county or municipality to adopt an ordinance to grant an ad valorem tax exemption for property used to provide affordable housing. The property must be in a multifamily project that contains 50 or more residential units, and at least 10 percent must be used to provide affordable housing. The Bill limits the exemption to 75 percent of the assessed value of the units used to provide affordable housing. Units may be entirely exempt if 100 percent of the multifamily project’s residential units are used to provide affordable housing.
House: Not heard Senate: Made it to the 3rd committee of reference
Sadowski Funds SAIL: $53,250,000 SHIP: $209,475,000 Total Housing: $337,725,000 Take-away: The House and Senate fully appropriated the Sadowski Housing Trust funds.
Education and Workforce Development
SB 1918 (Taddeo)/HB 1319 (Nixon): School Readiness Program
The bill requires early learning coalitions to adopt a payment rate schedule rather than a payment schedule. It also requires early learning coalitions to reimburse contracted school readiness program providers the minimum payment rate. Senate: Not heard House: Made it to the second committee of reference.
SB 1422 (Perry)/HB 1181 (Bartleman): Florida Kidcare Program Eligibility
Senate 1422 increases the income eligibility threshold for coverage under the Florida Kidcare program and requires an applicant seeking coverage under the program to provide certain documentation if eligibility cannot be verified using reliable data sources.
Not heard in the House or Senate.