By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner
(Tuesday, April 4, 2023) – As you may be aware, the 2023 legislative session is underway. This is the period during which the Florida House and Senate introduce, debate, amend, and eventually pass legislation that can impact all of us. This year over 1700 bills have been filed. Many will never get anywhere, some will progress to a committee or two before running out of steam, and some will actually make it to the Governor’s desk.
Two bills that have many cities and municipalities concerned are Senate Bill 682 (sponsored by Senator Nick DiCeglie) and its companion House Bill 671 (sponsored by House Representative Tiffany Esposito). Both bills seek to reshape the process of residential building permits by either shortening the amount of time a city has to respond at different points of the process, adding permissive language for the applicant, or allowing for automatic approval should a city fail to meet the draconian timelines. In such a case, subpar work may be automatically approved creating dangerous conditions for those who live in the home as well as for their neighbors in the building.
After the tragedy of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, entertaining anything that loosens standards in our inspection process is unnecessarily risky and, frankly, outright irresponsible. And I haven’t even discussed the staffing, space, and budget increases that these bills would impose on all local governments. Simply put, these are bad bills. I hope you join your voice in opposition to them.