Thursday, June 21, 2018
Business

A half-dozen Florida laws being rung in with the new year

Six bills from the 2017 legislative session became effective with the arrival of the New Year.

The changes range from eliminating a public-transit commission to streamlining how unmarried and divorced parents agree to time-sharing arrangements for children.

Also with the start of 2018, Florida’s minimum wage increased Monday by 15 cents, to $8.25 an hour. That, however, was not tied to legislation. Voters in 2004 passed a constitutional amendment that requires the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to annually calculate the rate based on changes in a federal consumer price index.

The laws taking effect this week were among 234 bills approved in 2017 by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott. Most new laws went into effect July 1, the start of the state’s fiscal year. Here are the laws that just hit the books:

• HB 647, a local bill that dissolved on Dec. 31 the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission, an independent special district. The commission was created to regulate such things as taxis, limousines and wrecker services.

The measure was considered a victory for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft. Lawmakers during the 2017 session also passed a measure that created statewide regulations for rideshare companies, something the fast-growing industry sought so it wouldn’t have to operate under a variety of rules imposed by local governments. The commission’s breakup date coincided with the expiration of an agreement with rideshare companies operating in Hillsborough County.

• SB 590, a bill that makes changes in how Florida handles child time-sharing arrangements between unmarried or divorced parents.

• HB 435, a bill that revises rules regarding international banking corporations, including issues related to licensure and record-keeping.

• HB 437, a bill that is tied to HB 435 and creates public-records exemptions involving the Office of Financial Regulation. The exemptions deal with new entities known as "international trust entities" and "qualified limited service affiliates." It prohibits the Office of Financial Regulation from releasing such things as personal identifying information of customers or shareholders.

• SB 800, a bill that requires health insurers and health maintenance organizations to offer "medication synchronization" to customers at least once a year. Under medication synchronization, customers are able to align refill dates of prescriptions.

• HB 911, a bill that makes a series of changes related to rules and licensure for public insurance adjusters.

Lawmakers had approved a seventh bill slated to go into effect with the New Year. That bill would have required warning labels on state Lottery games. But Scott vetoed the measure (HB 937) for imposing "burdensome regulations" on the games and retailers. The bill was one of 11 Scott vetoed last year.

Comments
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Updated: 10 hours ago
WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

Mike Piper has traveled to Las Vegas and Miami and enjoyed the fun, daytime, party pool scene that the two cities have to offer.Now he aims to bring that same atmosphere to Tampa with a new dining and hang out spot. WTR Pool & Grill opened on Sunday ...
Published: 06/21/18
Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

A new resale store has made its way to South Tampa. Grace Family Church recently opened Vintage Etc., to provide affordable, quality merchandise to the community and continue its outreach to help families in need in a loving Christian environment. "W...
Published: 06/21/18
2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

Summer has officially started and so have summer travel plans. About 2.4 million Floridians are expected to travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, up 6.3 percent from last year, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group."We are already seeing a b...
Published: 06/21/18
Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison will build a new subdivision off of Boyette Road between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Overpass Road.The builder and developer recently broke ground on Chapel Chase, set on approximately 40 acres just north of New Tampa in Pasco County....
Published: 06/21/18
Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain & Berry Cafe opened in Palm Harbor, and now the healthy eatery is rapidly expanding throughout the Tampa Bay area.The healthy eatery opened a new location on E Fowler Ave near the University of South Florida in May, just 10 months after opening...
Published: 06/21/18
Supreme Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

Supreme Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were losing out on billions of dollars annually under two decades-old Supreme Court decisions that impact...
Published: 06/21/18