House, Senate standoff could doom DBPR bill
Ed Hooper rethinks his stance on a U.S. 19 pedestrian project.

'I’ve got no bills I’m willing to jump off the Capitol for.'

The House on Tuesday voted 114-2 to approve SB 714, an omnibus measure changing licensing requirements and fees administered by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. But the measure could fail to pass amid a squabble with the Senate.

Reps. Melony Bell, a Fort Meade Republican, and Clay Yarborough, a Jacksonville Republican, cast the only “no” votes.

The bill eases state license requirements for out-of-state mold remediators and asbestos consultants and allows the Electrical Contractor Licensing Board to accept more license applications for electrical or alarm system contractors. It also allows hotels and motels to keep a register of guests in electronic format and lets hotels, motels and restaurants renew licenses for two years at a time. The measure caps license renewal fees at $2,000 for two-year renewals and $1,000 for one-year renewals for hotels, and at $800 and $400 for restaurants.

But the House on Monday added several amendments frowned upon by the Senate. The amendments prohibit hotels from charging hourly rates, relax regulations on outdoor cooking equipment and preempt local governments from imposing their own regulations on them. The amendment also removes the state ban on selling wine at retail in containers larger than one gallon.

The sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, Sen. Ed Hooper, a Clearwater Republican, said his chamber is likely to remove the amendments or add their own changes, before sending it back to the House.

“It’ll be interesting to hear the body talk about each amendment, and then to keep the bill alive. We’ll either strip them off or we’ll concur with the House. … I’d vote highly for ‘strip them off’ if I were guessing,” Hooper said.

He acknowledged that with four days left in the Session, the move will likely kill the bill unless the chambers can reach an agreement.

“If we strip it off it’s got to go back over there, and that probably means death to the bill. It just kills the whole bill,” Hooper said. “That’s OK. I’ve got no bills I’m willing to jump off the Capitol for.”

Gray Rohrer


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