Make us your home page
Instagram

Massive bill deregulating professions is scaled back

TALLAHASSEE — A massive bill deregulating everything from auto repair shops to hair braiders has been scaled back in response to complaints from consumer advocates.

As filed, HB 5005 covered nearly 30 professions. As approved in its second committee stop Thursday, it affects 20.

Supporters say the idea is to make it easier for small business owners to set up shop. Regulations, they say, are job killers. Opponents say regulations are about health and safety and giving consumers a way to know if services are being provided by someone properly trained.

Rep. Esteban Bovo, R-Hialeah, the bill's sponsor, said that in recent months he and others have looked at more than 60 professions, and narrowed the list to nearly two dozen that will affect about 106,000 people.

"We have tried to work as transparently as possible and have taken a lot of e-mails and testimony," Bovo said. "I think this will help get Floridians back to work."

Cut from the original 318-page bill: deregulation of barbers, nail specialists, community association managers and surveyors.

Before the 12-6 party-line vote, Evan Jenne, D-Fort Lauderdale, cautioned the panel to take a closer look at whether they really want to deregulate gyms, athlete agents, auto repair shops and intrastate movers.

"We're talking about people that are going to load all your worldly positions up and send them across state lines with, completely unregulated," he said. "Let's just think about this for one second. Motor vehicle repair shops completely deregulated. The men and women going under your car, and you're going to be at some point hurtling down the road at 75 to 80 mph, completely unregulated and taking care of these things. This is simply public safety."

Nearly 60 people signed up to speak on the bill in the House Economic Affairs Committee, with most focused on deregulation of commercial interior designers and some giving intensely emotional testimony. Florida is one of only three states that requires a license to practice the profession.

Unlicensed designers eager to expand their business accuse currently registered designers of being a "cartel" that monopolizes the market.

"We found this law to be one of the most egregious examples we have found of an industry using regulation to limit competition," said Allen Douglas, legislative affairs director for the Florida Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Others said interior designers possess special skills learned through years of training.

Jaclyn Szerdy, a 20-year-old University of Florida interior design student, broke down while addressing the committee.

"To watch this taken away would be devastating," she said through tears. "Not only to me but to all the interior designers and to the lives of those who occupy these spaces. I passionately urge you and other representatives to please oppose this bill."

Rep. James Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, offered an amendment to cut interior designers out of the bill, but it failed. So did an attempt by Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, to remove the section regarding hair braiders and body wrappers.

Janet Zink can be reached at jzink@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

Correction

Many states regulate commercial interior design, but Florida is one of only three states that requires a license to practice the profession. A an earlier version of this story was incorrect.

.Fast facts

About HB 5005

Deregulates the following professions: Athlete agents, auctioneers, auctioneer apprentices, body wrappers, sale of vending machines and other types of businesses, charitable organizations, dance studios, hair braiders, hair wrappers, health studios, interior designers, intrastate movers, motor vehicle repair shops, rooming houses, sellers of travel, talent agents, telemarketing, yacht and ship brokers, water vending machines, television tube labeling and sales representative contracts.

Massive bill deregulating professions is scaled back 03/24/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2011 1:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]