As I noted last week, the MSM will follow a lot of the major issues throughout session, and those bills won’t appear much before session — if not during. Yet a lot of the other bills can be interesting. The State of Sunshine will be exploring some of these, tracking them as they move through the process.
Here is the next list:
HB 193 – Rep. Stan Mayfield (R-Vero Beach)
This bill will limit the annual increases in county operating budgets to percentage change in county’s population plus percentage change in consumer price index. It does provide for emergency circumstances or areas of critical need. This was a proposal espoused by Tom Gallagher during his campaign as a way to correct some of the problems in the administration of property taxes. The State of Sunshine will do a more in-depth analysis of this issue as the session approaches.
HB 251 – Rep. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton)
The State of Sunshine touched on this issue last week, in two posts (here and here). Rep. Galvano and Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) are sponsoring legislation to create the Tampa Bay Transportation Authority. Senator Fasano’s bill, SB 506, would eliminate the Hillsborough County Expressway Authority, while Representative Galvano’s bill would leave the Expressway Authority in place.
SB 544 – Sen. Rudy Garcia (R-Miami)
This bill will allow both the Florida Marlins and the Miami Dolphins to access $60 million in sales tax revenue for stadium construction and renovation. The Marlins want to build a new stadium, and the Dolphins want to renovate Dolphin Stadium to remove the baseball improvements that were added to accommodate the Marlins. The money is $2 million per year in sales taxes that are collected at the facility, paid by the fans of each team when buying beer, hot dogs or game tickets. The issue here is that the Dolphins already tapped into these funds earlier to make the Marlins renovations in the early 1990’s, and some people have felt that they should not get another dip into the funds. For what it’s worth, every major league facility in Florida is receiving these funds – Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Raymond James Stadium and the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, TD Waterhouse Centre in Orlando, American Airlines Arena in Ft. Lauderdale, etc. Governor Charlie Crist has indicated he might support this bill – former Governor Jeb Bush had threatened to veto similar bills in the past.
Updating earlier bills:
HJR 23 — Rep. Carl Domino (R-Juno Beach)
This might be called the “Save Our New Homes” Amendment. It proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution that would permit a reduced valuation on homestead assessments. A comparable bill has been filed by Sen. Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton), SJR 534.
HB 33 – Rep Stan Jordan (R-Jacksonville)
This bill, and it’s companion bill, SB 322 by Sen. Jim King (R-Jacksonville), would prohibit these kind of calls to homes on the state or federal “Do Not Call Lists.” A similar bill has been filed by Sen. Nancy Argenziano (R-Crystal River), SB 554.