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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dereg bill remains intact after debate on House floor



Attempts by House Democrats to dismantle a bill that would deregulate about 20 professions went nowhere on Wednesday. One by one, amendments to remove interior designers, auto repair shops, hair braiders, charitable organizations, athlete agents and others from the bill failed, largely along party-line votes. No vote was taken on the overall bill.

In many cases, Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, said the regulations didn't really do much anyway, and were more about registration than regulation. She cited a small number of complaints filed with the state about auto repair shops and talent agents.

Rep. Ron Saunders, D-Key West, the leader of the House Democrats, who introduced most of the amendments, countered that perhaps the number of complaints is low because the professions are regulated. And if all the rules require is registration, perhaps the regulations should be stronger, he said. 

"Should we stop registering sex offenders becuase that's all we do us register them?" asked Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek. "There comes a time when registration is critical."

In a discussion of an amendment to remove intrastate movers from the bill, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, said that deregulating that industry will save the state money, suggesting that lawmakers should think about the bottom line when considering the various amendments. What he didn't point out is that the overall bill will actually resut in a net loss to state coffers of more than $6 million, according to the bill's staff analysis.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 3:44pm]


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