The third week of the Legislative Session 2020 has already come to a close as bills are moving through the Florida House and Senate. Gunster’s Government Affairs team is working hard, closely tracking legislation and meeting with legislators to monitor and lobby on behalf of our clients.

Below is a weekly update from Gunster’s Government Affairs Consultants with a summary of the issues of the week and how they may impact your business, a recap of bills that are moving through the Legislature and a close look at this week’s happenings around the capital city.

Legislation Watch

  • HB 207: Acquisition of Water and Wastewater Systems has passed its first two committees and has been referred to the House Commerce Committee. HB 207 is Fair Market Value legislation providing better access to low cost capital for infrastructure improvements that may be needed for acquired systems. The identical Senate Bill, SB 0658, has been referred to the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee.
  • HB 1193: Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act. This is an occupational license deregulation bill that will reduce requirements on professions such as interior design, geologists and boxing timekeepers and to repeal licensing requirements for barbers, nail specialists and make-up applicators. The bill would also allow for reciprocal licensing from different states. The next stop before the House floor is the House Commerce Committee.
  • A proposed House Committee Bill by the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee would transer powers and duties of the Office of Energy within DACS to DEP. This bill is a priority of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, and it faces backlash from Democrat Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, who claims the move would be a partisan “power grab.” The proposed bill first has to be heard before the House Appropriations Committee before heading to the House Floor.

Budget Recommendations

On Thursday, the Florida State Senate and House released budget proposals with a $1.4 billion dollar discrepancy. The two chambers will have just over five weeks to work out the difference. The Senate is seeking $92.8 billion while the House is proposing $91.4 billion, mirroring Governor Ron DeSantis’s budget proposal.

The budget proposals are an increase from the state’s current budget at just under $91 billion. Included in all proposals are increases for teachers’ minimum salaries, along with funding for Everglades restoration projects. Funding for Visit Florida was mentioned in both the Senate and Governor’s proposal but excluded from the House’s proposal. Stay tuned for updates as budget conferencing looms.

Red Dog Blue Dog

State leaders mixed up drinks at Township in Tallahassee on Tuesday night during the 6th annual Red Dog Blue Dog event as they raised funds to benefit the Animal Shelter Foundation, the Leon County Humane Society and Last Hope Rescue. This annual event reaches across party lines to raise money for animals in need. Last year, nearly $10,000 was raised.

The blue team consisted of Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, Sen. Gary Farmer, Sen. Jason Pizzo and Rep. Tracie Davis. The red team was Visit Florida CEO Dana Young, Sen. Joe Gruters, Rep. Colleen Burton and Rep. Alex Andrade.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With over 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at


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