The following is a brief description of legislation considered by the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. The following bills were passed by both houses and are headed to the Governor for his consideration.
HB-7087 - Economic Development, by Finance and Tax Committee and Rep. Steve Precourt & Others: This bill increases the total amount of tax credits available for the new markets development program from $97.5 million to $163.8 million. The amount of credits that can be taken in a given fiscal year has increased from $20 million to $33.6 million. The bill lowers from 10% to 5% the increase in productive output needed to qualify for a sales tax exemption for industrial machinery and equipment. It increases from $25,000 to $50,000 the amount of corporate income that is exempt from corporate income tax. The bill also authorizes Charlotte and Citrus counties to apply for enterprise zones.
SM-1486 - Taiwan Policy Act of 2011, by Government Oversight and Accountability and Senator Oscar Braynon: This is a memorial to Congress urging Congress to pass
HR-2918, the Taiwan Policy Act of 2011 etc. The Act is intended to compliment the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 by strengthening and clarifying commercial, cultural and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan.
HB-959 - Relating to State and Local Government Relations with Cuba or Syria, by Michael Bileca and others: The bill prohibits the State Board of Administration from serving as a fiduciary with respect to voting on a proxy resolution that advocates for expanded United States trade with Cuba or Syria. The bill creates a prohibition against contracting with companies that have business operations in Cuba or Syria. It prohibits a company with business operations in Cuba or Syria from bidding on, submitting a proposal for, or entering into or renewing a contract with an agency or local government entity for goods or services of $1 million or more. The bill also provides that a contract with an agency or local government after July 1, 2012 must include a provision allowing for termination if the company is found to have submitted a false certification or has been engaged in business operations in Cuba or Syria.
HB-5501 - One Stop Business Registration Portal, by Government Operations Appropriations by Subcommittee and Rep. Ed Hooper and others: The bill provides for the Department of Revenue to establish and implement a one stop business registration portal, through and internet website, to provide individuals and businesses with a single point of entry for transacting business in the state.
HB-917 - Jurisdiction of Courts, by Rep. Michael Bileca: The bill revises Florida’s long arm, choice of law, and forum selection statutes, as well as provisions of the Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act and the International Commercial Arbitration Act. The changes to these laws positively reinforce Florida’s image as a leading jurisdiction for the practice of international law.
HB-5001 - Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget: The General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2012-2013 contained a variety of provisions for Florida seaports and provides for an appropriation of $100 million for seaport projects around the state.
SB-1998/HB-599 – Transportation, by Budget Committee: The bill increases the minimum statutory amount of funding for Florida Seaports Transportation and Economic Development Council from $8 million to $15 million. It creates a new strategic port investment initiative program with a minimum funding amount of $35 million for projects that meet the state’s economic development goal of becoming a hub for trade, logistics and export oriented activities. The bill creates a new Intermodal Logistics Center Infrastructure Support Program with up to $5 million annually allocated to the program. The purpose of this program is to provide funds for roads, rail facilities or other means for the conveyance or shipment of goods through a seaport.
CS/CS/HB 1223 – Drivers License, by Representative Ben Albritton and others: The bill amends Section 322.08(2), F.S., to ensure that the revised documentary requirements by which an applicant for an identification card or driver‘s license may prove nonimmigrant status only entitles the applicant to a license or permit that is valid for a period not to exceed one year from the date of issuance or until the date of expiration of the document. It does not entitle the applicant to a permanent license. This bill is of particular interest to Florida’s Consular Corps.