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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Massive dereg bill passes in the House



A controversial bill that would deregulate 20 professions and industries passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 77 to 38.

The bill ends oversight for everything from auctioneers and interior designers to hair braiders, intrastate movers, auto repair shops, telemarketers and charitable organizations. Opponents say HB 5005 is a threat to consumer protection.

"It puts people at risk of being taken advantage of," said Leonard Bembry, D-Greenville.

Supporters say it will help boost the economy by making it easier to open businesses and create jobs.

"By removing these regulations we're going to attract more people here," said Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary.  "This should not be the last time we do this." Dorworth said even more industries should be deregulated.

Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Weston, said the only people the bill will attract to Florida are "charlatans" and "scammers." 

"People will die," he said.

Bill sponsor Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, said the measure will save the private sector more than $11 million a year in licensing fees and other expenses. It will result in a net loss to state coffers of more than $6 million, according to House staff bill analysis. 

Hukill argued that most of the regulations targeted in the bill are simply about collecting a fee through registration, not monitoring businesses to guarantee consumer protection.

"Registration is not the same thing as regulation," she said. "It merely adds to the cost of doing business which often gets passed on to the cost of the consumer."


[Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011 12:51pm]


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