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Joe Gruters, Byron Donalds recognized as ‘champions of housing’

FL Sen. Joe Gruters and FL Rep. Byron Donalds received FHBA’s Champion of Housing Award.

Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) honors state legislators who have “shown exemplary service for enhancing the building industry in Florida.”

That’s the goal of the FHBA Champion of Housing award, according to the organization’s website. They select an appointee, or multiple, each year that must be someone within the state legislature who has committed to service that positively impacts the building industry in Florida.

This year two appointees were honored, State Rep. Byron Donalds and State Sen. Joe Gruters.

In a news release the FHBA said of the men, they ”sponsored HB 207, the Impact Fee Reform bill. The bill codified a series of case law, which was often ignored by local governments. 

“The bill requires that an impact fee must only be used to offset the actual impact of development and that the local government must specifically earmark funds collected under the impact fee for use in acquiring, constructing, or improving capital facilities to benefit new users.”

Gruters sponsored the legislation in the Senate, SB 144, also known as the Impact Fee Reform bill. 

“Sen. Gruters is very sensitive to Floridian’s ability to afford a new house.” Rusty Payton, FHBA CEO and Chief Lobbyist said. 

“Unnecessary costs further amplify the cost of homes when local governments collect permits in excess of what it costs to enforce the building codes. Thank you, Sen. Gruters, for working to keep the costs of homeownership as low as possible.”

Both men received the award at separate times during the Southeast Building Conference in Kissimmee, FL.

Gruters and Donalds are joining a long list of state officials who have been recognized for their positive service before them. Others who have received this award include:

2018 — Sen. Kathleen Passidomo

2018 — Sen. Dana Young

2018 — Rep. Tom Leek

2018 — Rep. Holly Raschein

2017 — Sen. Tom Lee

2017 — Sen. Keith Perry

2017 — Rep. Bryan Avila

2017 — Rep. Blaise Ingoglia

2016 — Sen. Travis Hutson

2016 — Rep. Matt Caldwell

2015 — Rep. Dan Eagle

For more information on the FHBA Champion of Housing award, visit the FHBA website.

Written By

Melissa S. Razdrih is a Tampa correspondent for Florida Politics. Razdrih graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa in 2006 and went on to earn a Master's degree before switching gears to write professionally. Since then, Razdrih has been published in national blogs, like PopSugar, and local publications, like Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, on everything from self-care to cryptocurrency, but politics is her passion. Contact her at

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