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This Tax Bill permanently eliminates the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment; manufacturers must show an affidavit of eligibility to seller. The final bill went through many changes...Read more Several members joined the PMA Consortium to take advantage of Quick Response Training grant funds from WorkForce Florida Inc. These funds are training new and existing electrical and mechanical...Read more

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Joy Clancey

Legislative News and Final Appropriations (June 18th)

Legislature’s Last Minute Appropriations During last minute budget negotiations on June 15, budget chiefs from both the Florida House and Senate directed millions of the state’s budget into various projects. One of these projects was Enterprise Florida, receiving an additional $19.5 million in funding. Of these funds, $10 million will be allocated to economic development and $8.5 million towards the state marketing campaign.  It seems this is always the way it is with Enterprise Florida funding – last minute decisions.

Also in the economic development appropriations package is $21.6 million in funding for the Voluntary Cleanup Tax Credit (VCTC) for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. This funding will eliminate the current backlog for the Brownfields Redevelopment Program. Legislature Passes Tax Package Gov. Scott signed the $400 million tax package on June 16. Included in the tax package are the following tax exemptions:

*        Communication services tax break (cell phone, cable and satellite television services)

*        Gun club membership fees

*        Aviation fuel (schools or training programs of aeronautics or aviation)

*        Boat repairs up to $60,000

*        College textbooks (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016)

*        College prepaid meal plans (college/university plans and third party plans)

*        Motor vehicles (for military personnel returning from overseas)

*        Sales tax holiday (August 7-16 for clothing, school supplies, computers and computer accessories)

Rep. Gaetz, Chairman, House Finance & Tax Committee,  was heard telling the press that the sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment will be a priority of his next year.

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) More action on TPA this week as the US House once again passed TPA on June 18. The difference this week is that the legislation is a stand-alone item and not tied to the TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) portion, which caused controversy in the previous vote.  Now TPA will need to be voted on by the Senate to move forward since it is a singular item and not tied to other legislation as before. TPA is an important issue for manufacturers and we are working with all our partners to fight for successful passage. We appreciate all the members and associations who have advocated along with us! Your voice makes a huge statement and we must continue to fight. The discussion is not over and TPA is far from dead. The time to show your support is now!

Legislative News for June 11

Special Session Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner has set the schedule for the Senate meetings for the remainder of special session. Key dates appear to be June 15, which is the date for when the House and Senate are to work out the details of a final budget; Senate appropriations will meet on June 16 and both chambers will vote on the final budget by Friday, June 19. With this session ending on June 20, there is a lot left to get done in a little amount of time! Of high interest to MAF and CAME is the FloridaMakes appropriation.  On June 13 Senate and House budget chairs settled on a $400,000 appropriation for FloridaMakes for 2015-2016. Thanks to Nancy Stewart and all our members for their work on this. We regret to tell you that making permanent the manufacturing sales tax exemption for machinery and equipment did not make the cut for the Special Session.  We will be at it again for the 2016 Session. Gov. Scott signed HB 257 into law on June 10. This legislation (freight logistics zones) will allow counties to designate freight zones in which the state transportation needs can receive funding from state incentive programs. Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) We have seen a lot of action on TPA this week, and we did our fair share of promotion and support on social media. The US House took up TPA on June 12 and essentially broke the bill into 2 parts: 1.        The TPA portion (which barely passed with a 201-211 vote) and 2.      The TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) portion (which failed with a 126-302 vote) For the legislation to continue, both portions must pass the House floor. The House Speaker, John Boehner, made a motion to reconsider the TAA vote. This means the House must wait 2 days before voting again. If the vote passes to reconsider, they will take up another vote on the TAA portion. TPA is an important issue for manufacturers and we are working with all our partners to fight for successful passage. We appreciate all the members and associations who have advocated along with us! Your voice makes a huge statement and we must continue to fight. The discussion is not over and TPA is far from dead. But with more action coming as early as June 16, the time to show your support is now! Annual Summit Registration is Open! The 2015 Annual Summit and Marketplace will be held November 4-6 in West Palm Beach, Florida! Register now to secure a seat at this much anticipated event. The 2015 theme is Connecting the Dots where our speakers will talk about best Practices, Economic Development, International Trade and more. Make sure you join us for the Manufacturers of the Year Awards Dinner as we recognize Florida’s best in manufacturing! For event information and registration, click here<http://www.mafmfg.com/events/event_details.asp?id=637979>. WOTUS A compilation of cliff notes for the Waters of the United States rule have been compiled by Hopping Green & Sams and attached to this newsletter. The presentation looks at the history of the rule, breaks down different areas of impact in Florida and what the future looks like. Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) The Internet Tax Freedom Act was passed by the US House on June 10 and prevents states from taxing consumers on internet access. This is key legislation! For our industry to move forward and grow with technology, we need to continue to show our support for such bills. Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS) The Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS) protects against government access of private information. The act requires due process and an outlined investigation for officials to follow to gain access. To show your support for the LEADS act, visit here: http://tinyurl.com/pp35x6u<http://tinyurl.com/pp35x6u> Intellectual Property Theft The 2015 survey results for the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation were released. Shockingly, nearly half of participants reported that competitors are stealing their intellectual property. Take a look at the highlights of this report here: http://tinyurl.com/nfomt2b NAM 2nd Quarter Survey The National Association of Manufacturers released the 2nd quarter outlook survey results which shows an increase in areas of production, wages and sales. Unfavorable business climate continues to be the top force against manufacturers in the US. See the full report here: http://tinyurl.com/pbpmhtt EPA Future Moves The 2016 EPA budget focuses on “next generation” initiatives, which come with a hefty fine for manufacturers who choose not to comply with environmental practices. Facilities are being asked to report all emissions and discharge data electronically, along with EPA monitoring of emissions. Be aware of the EPA enforcement of these compliance issues and learn more here: http://tinyurl.com/oh62m5z v  The Society for Manufacturing Engineers Collaborative Labs at SPC EpiCenter 13805 58th Street North Clearwater, FL 33760 Thursday, June 18, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT) For more information, please click here: http://tinyurl.com/pafh9b7 v  2015 CDFA Florida Financing Roundtable Conference Walt Disney World Resort Lake Buena Vista, FL

August 5 – 6, 2015    For more information, please click here: http://tinyurl.com/pflntuf

Legislative News for Special Session (6/11)

Legislature’s Last Minute Appropriations

During last minute budget negotiations on June 15, budget chiefs from both the Florida House and Senate directed millions of the state’s budget into various projects. One of these projects was Enterprise Florida, receiving an additional $19.5 million in funding. Of these funds, $10 million will be allocated to economic development and $8.5 million towards the state marketing campaign.  It seems this is always the way it is with Enterprise Florida funding – last minute decisions.

Also in the economic development appropriations package is $21.6 million in funding for the Voluntary Cleanup Tax Credit (VCTC) for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. This funding will eliminate the current backlog for the Brownfields Redevelopment Program. Legislature Passes Tax Package Gov. Scott signed the $400 million tax package on June 16.

Included in the tax package are the following tax exemptions: *

Communication services tax break (cell phone, cable and satellite television services) *        Gun club membership fees

*        Aviation fuel (schools or training programs of aeronautics or aviation)

*        Boat repairs up to $60,000

*        College textbooks (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016)

*        College prepaid meal plans (college/university plans and third party plans)

*        Motor vehicles (for military personnel returning from overseas)

*        Sales tax holiday (August 7-16 for clothing, school supplies, computers and computer accessories)

Rep. Gaetz, Chairman, House Finance & Tax Committee,  was heard telling the press that the sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment will be a priority of his next year.

 

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) More action on TPA this week as the US House once again passed TPA on June 18. The difference this week is that the legislation is a stand-alone item and not tied to the TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) portion, which caused controversy in the previous vote.  Now TPA will need to be voted on by the Senate to move forward since it is a singular item and not tied to other legislation as before. TPA is an important issue for manufacturers and we are working with all our partners to fight for successful passage. We appreciate all the members and associations who have advocated along with us! Your voice makes a huge statement and we must continue to fight. The discussion is not over and TPA is far from dead. The time to show your support is now!

Legislative News report for May 1, 2015

What Happened to Those Bills?

Bills of Interest that Passed the Florida Legislature
SB 222 Electronic Commerce
HB 257 Freight Logistics Zones
HB 383 Private Property Rights
HB 489 Value Adjustment Board Proceedings
HB 531 Limited Liability Companies
SB 766 Drones
SB 778 Local Government Construction Preferences
HB 787 Recycled and Recovered Materials
SB 1312 Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation
HB 7021 Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
HB 7023 Administrative Procedures
SB 7028 Education for Veterans
HB 7055 Motor Vehicles
HB 7109 Public Service Commission

Bills of Interest that Died
HB 91 and 93 Trade Secrets
SB 544/HB 613 Manufacturing Machinery & Equipment Sales Tax Exemption
HB 653/SB 714 Environmental Control
HB 733/SB 314 Petroleum Restoration Program
HB 841/SB 1302 Contaminated Sites
HB 915/SB 1232 Building Codes
SB 948 Rapid Response Education and Training
HB 1141/SB 1538 Natural Gas Rebate Program
HB 1205/SB 1582 Oil & Gas Resources
SB 948 Education
SB 1214/HB 7067 Economic Development
SB 1522 Workforce Training
SB 1554 Transportation
HB 7003/SB 918 Water Resources
HB 7141 Tax Cuts

Where are MAF Priority Issues?
In light of the abrupt end to the 2015 Florida Legislative Session last week, the manufacturing sales tax exemption bill, the commercial lease bill, research and development, and the communications tax relief bill are all dead for this Session. However, there is always a possibility that they will be part of the appropriations mix when legislators return for a Special Session prior to June 30, 2015. We have our fingers crossed.

The Florida House of Representatives abruptly adjourned Tuesday, April 28, signaling the end of the Regular Legislative Session for them, but not the Senate. The Senate continued to pass bills on Wednesday, April 29 but once they went home for the day, without the ceremonious end to session pomp and circumstance, they never returned. Even a lawsuit filed by Senate Democrats with the Florida Supreme Court that would have compelled the House to return was rejected by the Court.  Session officially ended on May 1 without any of them present.

The end to the Session stems from the disagreement over Medicaid funding. The House and the Governor do not want to expand Medicaid; the Senate does.  There are certainly pros and cons on both sides of the issue. From there the discourse digressed over leadership priorities, water, tax cuts, education, and more.

Senate President Andy Gardiner drafted a proclamation to the House and Gov. Scott, calling for a special session starting June 1. They have not responded positively as of this writing. We will be watching future developments.

Bill Statistics
This session, a total of 1,754 bills were filed by the House and Senate. A total of 231 passed both chambers and will be sent to the Governor’s office. A full legislative report will be provided to members in the next 30 days.

Gov. Scott’s Medicaid Lawsuit
Gov. Rick Scott filed a lawsuit against President Obama, claiming the President’s administration is trying to force Florida into expanding Medicaid if we want federal hospital funds. The hospital funds are part of an optional program which the federal government oversees so it is unclear which direction the lawsuit is headed at this point. The dispute hospital reimbursement for low income patients and Medicaid expansion funding are the driving force behind the legislature’s actions as of late.

MAF Center (CAME) Moving Out on Business Intelligence Project
On April 29, CAME completed its second deliverable for the CareerSource Florida
Summary Report – Establishment of the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council for the Advanced Manufacturing Marketplace Business Intelligence Research and Sector Strategy Approach Service. The report and all the attachments can be downloaded from: http://www.mafcenter.org/?page=AdvancedMfg.

The next activities will be regional focus meetings to engage manufacturers on their workforce challenges between May and October and the upcoming June 3 Leadership Council Problem Solving Session from 8:00 – 12:00 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort, Orlando, FL.  All manufacturers are invited to attend this session and there is no registration fee.  The RMA-appointed manufacturers and staff will be at the meeting sharing manufacturers’ workforce problems.

We wish to thank the following manufacturers for stepping up to participate on this Leadership Council and in this project to represent all manufacturers in the state:

*  Al Stimac, Metal Essence, chairing the Leadership Council for CAME
*  Abe Alangadan, Vistakon – Johnson & Johnson for First Coast Manufacturers Association
*  Ryan Loftus, Exactech, Inc., for Advanced Manufacturers Association of Northeast Florida (Gainesville Area Chamber)
*  Mike Brewster, Monin, Inc., for Bay Area Manufacturers Association
*  Chris Eldred, Teligent EMS, LLC, for Capital Region Manufacturers
*  Art Hoelke, Knights Armament Company, for  Manufacturers Association of Central Florida
*  Johnny Lightfoot, Trademark Metal Recycling, for Marion Regional Manufacturers Association
*  Brian Ferrera, Ferrera Tooling, for Manufacturing and Supply Chain Alliance
*  Greg Britton, Fort Walton Machining, for Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council
*  Alan Garey, Decimal Engineering, Inc., for South Florida Manufacturers Association
*  Brian Rist, The Smart Companies, for Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association
*  Mark Andrews, GHSP, for VMA, Inc.
*  Dick Peck, QTM, Inc., and Roy Sweatman, Southern Manufacturing Technologies, for Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association

They deserve kudos for volunteering to represent the 18,000 manufacturers in this state for this project.  Thank you!

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
The TSCA bipartisan bill passed the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week and has seen positive feedback from both manufacturers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bill, which would be a marked improvement on current legislation, is on its way to the full Senate. A discussion draft has also been introduced in the House, titled “TSCA Modernization Act 2015” but has yet to clear any committees. If the House bill, which has a much more limited scope than the Senate bill, makes it to the full House, both parties will have to settle the differences between the two bills.  The American Chemistry Council and Nancy Stephens are setting up a meeting with Senator Rubio’s office to garner his support for the legislation.  If you are interested in attending the Tallahassee meeting in May, please drop an email to nancy@nstephens.com<mailto:nancy@nstephens.com>.

Trade Promotion Authority/Letters to Congress
MAF and MACF have sent letters to Congressman Posey in support of TPA legislation. Legislation that would renew TPA was introduced in the US House and Senate last week, with lots of momentum. TPA is critical to the success of manufacturing, especially in Florida. You can show your support of TPA on Twitter by posting the following tweet: “#TPA legislation is critical for Florida manufacturers. Thank you @SenBillNelson for your vote! #TPA4USjobs #sayfie #TPAnow”

Fracking Study
A study completed by the University of Michigan shows the US economy grew by an average of $48 billion annually from 2007-2013, thanks to fracking of shale gas. The paper is a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact to manufacturers and consumers. You can see a preview and purchase the full paper via the National Bureau of Economic Research here: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21115

Florida International Business Highlights
Enterprise Florida released the 2014 Florida International Business Highlights report, featuring growth trends, trade rankings by country, data on foreign investments and much more. You can learn more about Florida’s top 50 trading partners and many resourceful links to help walk you through doing business internationally by viewing the report here: http://tinyurl.com/k2ms3ap

Event Opportunity
Register now for ‘Discovering Global Markets: The Americas’ to learn about new market opportunities and effective strategies from business executives across the country. Hosted by Enterprise Florida, the U.S. Commercial Service and the Florida District Export Council. Deadline to register is May 8th!

Discover Global Markets: The Americas
When: May 12-14, 2015
Where: Hilton Miami Downtown
1601 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, Florida 33132
For more information, please click here: http://tinyurl.com/l4k96lt

Short notes:

*  Commissioner Adam Putnam, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, released a statement on April 27 in regards to gas pump skimmers. A statewide search of 6,000 gas stations resulted in 81 skimmers being removed from pumps. Full story here: http://tinyurl.com/kkdv3vo
*  Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released updated draft permitting guidelines for the Eastern Indigo snake. In addition to conservation permits, the FWC now requires permits for activities that affect the snake’s habitat with regulations that may be costly for the permittee. For a copy of the draft guidelines, contact Amanda Bowen at abowen@nstephens.com<mailto:abowen@nstephens.com>.
*  May is World Trade Month and you can get involved by increasing awareness of the importance of international trade. Learn more here: http://tinyurl.com/pfdt74h
*  Nancy Stephens and Amanda Bowen, MAF, organized a meeting with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida on April 27 to discuss labor market reporting. MAF and DEO are working to find additional resources that may provide our manufacturers with a better insight of regional and county labor markets.

Shout outs:
Thanks to our followers on Facebook and Twitter for sharing our posts and connecting with us!

Follow Us!
MAF and MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence are on Facebook and Twitter! Please follow us online for daily updates, tweets and photos of what is going on in your association community. See how we are getting involved for you! Last week we published over 25 posts and photos on a variety of industry topics and events.
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