2016 Session - Committee Weeks

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Additional Resources:

In the penultimate interim committee week for the 2016 Legislative Session, the Legislature began finalizing its legislative initiatives for the upcoming session. Additionally, the House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government handed out their base budgets for FY 2016-17 for review by members.



The House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee passed SJR 193, proposing an amendment to the Florida Constitution that would expand the current property tax exemption to all property for the installation of a renewable energy source device. The current exemption only applies to residential property. While the proposed amendment is permissive, only allowing (not mandating) the Legislature to implement the expanded exemption by general law, the committee also passed SB 195 which would implement the amendment.

The House Finance & Tax Committee approved a proposed committee bill (FTC3) that would add 11 military operations to the list of operations that qualify for the current property tax exemption for military service members that were deployed outside of the U.S. in the previous year.


The Senate Education Pre- K-12 Subcommittee advanced SB 434, which establishes within the Florida Department of Education the Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative. The bill grants the principals of participating schools greater authority over staffing decisions, allocation of financial resources, and budgeting. Participating school districts must guarantee participating schools at least 90 percent of the funds generated in the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) by that school. The current minimum guarantee is 80 percent of such funds. The bill is the Senate companion to HB 287.

Economic Development

The Senate heard more details from Enterprise Florida about the Governor’s proposal to restructure the state’s economic incentives toolkit, and replace the Quick Action Closing Fund with the Florida Enterprise Fund to ensure better interest on funds committed to Florida job creators. 

Both the House and Senate advanced bills (SB 304 and HB 59) encouraging agritourism on agricultural land in Florida. 

Health & Aging

SB 152, which gives advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) the authority to order medication for administration, advanced to Senate Appropriations. Expanding the scope of practice for ARNPs is a long-time Florida TaxWatch recommendation.

Smart Justice

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee moved forward on HB 439, which establishes the Forensic Hospital Diversion Pilot Program that seeks to serve offenders with mental illnesses and who are at risk of entering state forensic mental health centers, prisons, jails or state civil mental health treatment centers. It also expands eligibility requirements for certain pretrial intervention programs and authorizes pretrial mental health court programs for certain juvenile offenders. The Senate Judiciary moved forward on SB 604, which is almost identical to HB 439.

The Senate Criminal Justice Subcommittee also moved forward on SB618, which encourages communities and universities to create prearrest diversion programs, like the adult civil citation program, in Leon County. However, the offender will become ineligible for the program if the victim of the crime objects.

Additionally, the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee moved forward on HB 75, which defines an electronic monitoring device and makes it a third degree felony to remove said device. They also moved forward on HB 147, which establishes a precedent on how to expunge criminal records committed by juveniles.

Pension Reform

No major action this week on pension reform.


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TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476

Media Inquiries:  Contact Joe Follick by Email or Cell: 850.212.5052

Media Inquiries:
Contact Joe Follick by Email
or Cell: 850.212.5052

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