Florida Legislature to Hold Special Session
The Florida legislature will convene in a special session this week to discuss several time-sensitive proposals. The call of this special session does not include any items directly related to insurance. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner have identified the following issues for consideration in the special session, which is scheduled to begin at noon on February 6:
- Emergency Management – Providing additional resources to support ongoing relief and recovery for communities impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. The bill will include additional funding for the Governor’s Emergency Response and Preparedness Fund, as well as funding for a Local Government Bridge Loan Program within the Department of Economic Opportunity. The bill will be referred to the Appropriations Committee.
- Statewide Prosecutor – Last year, the legislature created the Office of Elections Crimes and Security to establish a framework for law enforcement to investigate violations of elections laws. The State Constitution affords the Statewide Prosecutor concurrent jurisdiction with the state attorneys to prosecute certain violations of criminal laws that impact multiple jurisdictions. State law generally provides the office with the ability to prosecute election crimes. The legislation will clarify the Office of Statewide Prosecution’s jurisdiction to prosecute crimes involving elections for federal or state office, and petition activities. The bill will be referred to the Judiciary Committee.
- Illegal Immigration – Executive Order 23-03 outlines the current efforts the Executive Branch is undertaking to respond to the influx of migrants landing in the Florida Keys. To help mitigate the ongoing impacts of unauthorized aliens coming to the State of Florida, the legislation creates the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program within the Division of Emergency Management to facilitate the voluntary transport of unauthorized migrants who have been processed by the federal government and released into the United States. The bill will be referred to the Appropriations Committee and Judiciary Committee.
- Intercollegiate Athletics – In 2020, Florida was proactive in creating legislation which governs how college athletes can be compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses. However, the recent enactment of NCAA regulations regarding athlete compensation has put many states with such laws at a disadvantage, causing a need for Florida to revisit our current law. The legislature recognizes the need to address this issue in a timely manner so our collegiate teams can remain competitive.
The special session also will include legislature directed toward special districts with outstanding debt that are set to sunset in 2023 due to SB 4C (2022). The legislature will hear local bills pertaining to:
- Reedy Creek Improvement District – Revises the governance and powers of Reedy Creek Improvement District, while protecting local taxpayers from the District’s debts.
- Sunshine Water Control District – Reauthorizing the Sunshine Water Control District.
- Eastpoint Water and Sewer District – Revising and reauthorizing the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District.