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Keith Perry was among a handful of lawmakers recognized by the commercial construction industry as a ‘Legislator of the Year.’


Occupational licensing reform rolling in House and Senate

Local trade licenses in legislative crosshairs.

Legislation that would permanently change local occupational licensing schemes, a priority for Gov. Ron DeSantis, continues to move this week in the House and Senate.

The goal: uniformity and creating a predictable business environment.

The bills would preempt local governments from requiring occupational licenses that are not mandated by the state, a fix to so-called “patchwork” regulations throughout the state.

The Senate bill (SB 1336), sponsored by Sen. Keith Perry, is up in Innovation, Industry and Technology Monday afternoon.

This is the second committee stop for the bill, which took two tries to clear its first committee of reference earlier this month. If successful, Rules will follow.

To clear Community Affairs it took an amendment that allowed carveouts for businesses with employees who require occupational licenses outside general law.

Perry said the bill “ensures uniformity in occupational licensing” across 410 local jurisdictions and eliminates “hurdles” to entrepreneurship.

“This does not affect anything licensed by the state now,” Perry said in committee.

The bill, he added, allows people to work a “side job to make some money.”

The legislation would affect a broad swath of trade classes including “painting, flooring, cabinetry, interior remodeling, driveway or tennis court installation, decorative stone, tile, marble, granite, or terrazzo installation, plastering, stuccoing, caulking, canvas awning, and ornamental iron installation.”

Perry suggested expanding state regulations for industries that might be regulated in some localities but not others, though that isn’t contemplated in the current bill language.

If approved, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2020. July 1, 2022, would be the drop-dead date for current licenses.

The amendment adopted earlier in the committee process makes this bill different from HB 3, which is on the House Special Order calendar for Wednesday after having cleared committees.

Other dereg bills to watch:

Bills by Sen. Ben Albritton (SB 474) and Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (HB 1193) serve as the major deregulation packages this year. Each bill has one committee stop left.

Sen. Manny Diaz (SB 1124) and Rep. Paul Renner (HB 707) are carrying bills requiring a four-year review of current licenses that could be altered or cut altogether.

Diaz’s bill has its first committee hearing Monday afternoon, while the Renner version has been fasttracked to the House calendar.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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