Florida Deregulation Bill - Will It Open a Pandora's Box of Evildoing Here in Florida?
A bill that would remove the State of Florida from overseeing and regulating a wide variety of business activities is moving through the Florida Legislature right now -- and it's so comprehensive that even the industry leaders currently subject to agency oversight are denouncing the proposed law as bad for Florida.
As reported in today's Orlando Sentinel in a story by Jason Garcia entitled, "Some industries balk at giant deregulation bill in Florida House ," the bill is big - it's 281 pages long, and even lots of businesses don't like it.
Garcia reports that over 30 representatives (lobbyists and others) have gone before the House Business and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee to give their testimony of how bad things could get if the Florida state government were to exit the building in these various industries. Even Disney had a man go before the committee, warning of land fraud temptations without Florida's oversight of time shares. (Disney's big into the time share condo business.)
What the Deregulation Bill Proposes to Do
It's a budget cutting manuever that would take the State of Florida out of the business of overseeing and regulating 25+ professions and industries operating for profit in this state -- including home inspectors, time-shares, condos, landscape architects, professional surveyors, professional mappers, and other real estate related industries as well as businesses like auto mechanics and travel agencies.
For example, here's what is being considered regarding architects.
Architects - Currently, an Architect business must be licensed by the state, unless exempt from licensure, in addition to the requirement that the individual be licensed. Persons currently exempt from licensure include anyone who makes plans and specifications for, or supervises the erection, enlargement, or alteration of:
1. Any building upon any farm for the use of any farmer, regardless ofthecost of the building;
2. Anyone-family or two-family residence building, townhouse, or domesticoutbuilding appurtenant to any one-family or two-family residence, regardless of cost; or
3. Any other type ofbuilding costing less than $25,000, except a school,auditorium, or other building intended for public use, provided that theservices of a registered architect shall not be required for minor school projects.
The proposal is to eliminate business license equirements for sole proprietorships for individuals licensed as Architects.
Florida isn't new to deregulation -- Governor Crist made lots of headlines in 2009 regarding the extent that the State of Florida would regulate the commercial insurance industry. There was also lots of controversy over the extent that Florida should or would oversee the telecommunications industry in the state.
However, with the new shift in power up in Tallahassee, and Governor Scott's stated intention to run the State of Florida like a business, wide-spread deregulation like this may not face the big fight that it has seen in past years.
Deregulation From a Land Development Perspective
Land developers often find state regulations to be time-consuming and expensive, but all reputable real estate professionals still respect the reality that there are those that push the edge of the envelope (or go past it) for the sake of profit. No one wants to open the door to a free-for-all here in Florida, just because the state is in economic hard times.
So, is this massive deregulation good for Florida? Many respected business professionals think not. Consider what's being done here. Specifically, the government would be hands-off regarding the following industries:
1. Athlete Agents
3. Auctioneer Apprentices
5. Body Wrappers
6. Business Opportunities
7. Cattle Owners with Officially Registered Brands
8. Charitable Organizations
9. Community Association Managers/Finns
10. Condominiums and Cooperatives
11. Dance Studios
12. Employee Leasing Companies
13. Hair Braiders
14. Hair Wrappers
15. Health Studios
16. Home Inspectors
17. Interior Designers
18. Intrastate Movers
19. Landscape Architects
21. Mobile Home Lots
22. Mold Related Services
23. Motor Vehicle Repair Shops
24. Professional Geology
25. Professional Surveyors and Mappers
26. Rooming Houses
27. Sellers ofTravel
28. Specialty Salons (Manicurists, Pedicurists, Nail Extensions)
29. Talent Agents
32. Yacht and Ship Brokers
33. Television Tube Labeling (HB 4013 by Eisnaugle-Reported Favorably by BCA
Subcommittee on 2/8/11)
34. Contract Commissions (HB 4023 by Plakon- Reported Favorably by BCA
Subcommittee on 2/8/11)
35. Water Vending Machines (HB 4009 by Workman- Reported Favorably by BCA
Subcommittee on 2/8/11)