Two important bills to be voted on this week by the Florida House

Support HB 13: End the Slush Funds for Politicians

Under Florida law, local governments can designate areas as Community Redevelopment Areas and create a Community Redevolpment Agencie (CRA) . CRA’s are funded by property taxes and are charged with helping blighted neighborhoods. While the mission of a CRA is billed as anti-poverty measures, CRAs have been used to subsidize museums, concert halls, production studios and other pet projects of local political officials. CRAs are no longer being used for anti-poverty measures, but are now slush funds to reward political donors who fund elected official’s campaigns.

HB 13 will place tighter restrictions on CRAs and begin a phase out period for current CRAs.

Support HB 141: Free Craft Distilleries from Unnecessary Regulations

HB 141 deals with craft distilleries. A craft distillery is defined as one that is “a licensed distillery that produces 250,000 or fewer gallons per calendar year of distilled spirits on its premises.

HB 141 allows craft distilleries to get their product to more people by removing restrictions on how much distilleries can sell directly to customers. The current law says customers may purchase two bottles per brand/style per year.

The freedom to sell on-site is more profitable, and it allows for customers to try the product and share it with others outside the area.

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Two important bills will be heard in the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday

Support SB188: Property rights are advanced when owners have the freedom to rent out their property as they so choose

Many property owners in Florida generate extra income by renting their homes to tourist vacationing in Florida. These types of rentals also help Florida’s tourism by allowing families to save money by staying together in a home instead of multiple hotel rooms. This flexibility promotes more tourism, which produces $67 billion in economic activity every year.

SB 188 prevents local governments from passing new regulations on vacation rentals based solely on their classification, while not affecting local homeowners’ associations and neighborhoods that have adopted their own covenants, declarations, or bylaws.

Local governments have exploited current rental laws with excessive fines, penalties and fees. SB 188 will safeguard property owners from overreaching local governments with state-wide standards that protect property rights.

Support SB 616: Support our right to carry firearms

SB 616 would allow concealed weapons permit-holders to carry guns in to courthouses and temporarily surrender and store the gun at a security checkpoint.

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Support SB 240: Keep government out of our healthcare decisions

SB 240 provides that a direct primary agreement and the act of entering into such an agreement is not insurance and not subject to regulation under the Florida Insurance Code.

This legislation would protect direct patient/doctor agreements from burdensome government regulations and represents a first step toward real healthcare freedom in Florida.

Direct patient/doctor agreements allow a system uncontrolled by government regulations to develop. It makes doctors responsive to patients, not insurance company bureaucrats or government rule-makers.

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Support SB 554: Allow small Craft Breweries to Self-Distribute

Craft Breweries are prohibited by law (Three-Tier System) from distributing directly to retailers and are required to sell their beer to distributors, who then sell to retailers. Using a distributor can be an efficient way to get products into the marketplace — when it is voluntary. But mandatory wholesaling can prevent other competitive business models from emerging, especially small breweries.

Many small breweries in Florida don’t brew in substantial volume. Having the freedom to self-distribute can be more profitable for a small brewer. Craft breweries know what’s best for their beer; from how it should be stored, to how it’s sold, where it’s sold and how it’s delivered. Selling directly to a retailer allows higher profit and the ability to develop their product and brand.

SB 554 will allow small craft breweries to self-distribute.

Read more

Support HB13: End the Slush Funds for Politicians

Under Florida law, local governments can designate areas as Community Redevelopment Areas (CRA). CRA’s are funded by property taxes and are charged with helping blighted neighborhoods. While the mission of a CRA is billed as anti-poverty measures, CRAs have been used to subsidize museums, concert halls, production studios and other pet projects of local political officials. CRAs are no longer being used for anti-poverty measures, but are now slush funds to reward political donors who fund elected official’s campaigns.

In 2016, a Miami-Dade County Grand Jury reported several abuses of a local CRA. Among the report’s findings they noted elected leaders rarely appoint civilians to boards so that, instead, elected leaders themselves can be in charge of the money. The report showed several examples of CRA boards spending large amounts of taxpayer dollars on what appeared to be pet projects of the elected officials.

HB 13 will place tighter restrictions on CRAs and begin a phase out period for current CRAs.

Read more

Support HB141: Free Craft Distilleries from Unnecessary Regulations

HB 141 deals with craft distilleries. A craft distillery is defined as one that is “a licensed distillery that produces 250,000 or fewer gallons per calendar year of distilled spirits on its premises.

HB 141 allows craft distilleries to get their product to more people by removing restrictions on how much distilleries can sell directly to customers. The current law says customers may purchase two bottles per brand/style per year.

The freedom to sell on-site is more profitable, and it allows for customers to try the product and share it with others outside the area. HB 141 also reduces the license fee for craft distilleries by 75 percent.

Read more

Support SB166: Free Craft Distilleries from Unnecessary Regulations

SB 166 deals with craft distilleries. A craft distillery is defined as one that is “a licensed distillery that produces 250,000 or fewer gallons per calendar year of distilled spirits on its premises.

SB 166 allows craft distilleries to get their product to more people by removing restrictions on how much distilleries can sell directly to customers. The current law says customers may purchase two bottles per brand/style per year.

The freedom to sell on-site is more profitable, and it allows for customers to try the product and share it with others outside the area. SB 166 also reduces the license fee for craft distilleries by 75 percent.

Read more

Support SB1770: End the Slush Funds for Politicians

Under Florida law, local governments can designate areas as Community Redevelopment Areas (CRA). CRA’s are funded by property taxes and are charged with helping blighted neighborhoods. While the mission of a CRA is billed as anti-poverty measures, CRAs have been used to subsidize museums, concert halls, production studios and other pet projects of local political officials. CRAs are no longer being used for anti-poverty measures, but are now slush funds to reward political donors who fund elected official’s campaigns.

In 2016, a Miami-Dade County Grand Jury reported several abuses of a local CRA. Among the report’s findings they noted elected leaders rarely appoint civilians to boards so that, instead, elected leaders themselves can be in charge of the money. The report showed several examples of CRA boards spending large amounts of taxpayer dollars on what appeared to be pet projects of the elected officials.

SB 1770 will place tighter restrictions on CRAs and begin a phase out period for current CRAs.

Read more

Support SB340: Make Sure Ride-sharing Services have a Place in Florida

SB 340 would prevent local governments from regulating "transportation network companies" such as Uber and Lyft and would adopt a uniform, common sense law focused on safety and access to the new technology.

It makes no sense that 67 counties and 410 municipalities would create their own set of regulations, which would make it impossible for ride-share drivers to comply as they serve neighboring cities and counties.

This legislation establishes common-sense guidelines throughout the state, and allows people in Florida to continue benefiting from ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft and allow affordable, reliable rides.

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Support SB554: Allow small Craft Breweries to Self-Distribute

Craft Breweries are prohibited by law (Three-Tier System) from distributing directly to retailers and are required to sell their beer to distributors, who then sell to retailers. Using a distributor can be an efficient way to get products into the marketplace — when it is voluntary. But mandatory wholesaling can prevent other competitive business models from emerging, especially small breweries.

Many small breweries in Florida don’t brew in substantial volume. Having the freedom to self-distribute can be more profitable for a small brewer. Craft breweries know what’s best for their beer; from how it should be stored, to how it’s sold, where it’s sold and how it’s delivered. Selling directly to a retailer allows higher profit and the ability to develop their product and brand.

SB 554 will allow small craft breweries to self-distribute.

Read more

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