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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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:

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<>.

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:

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:

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:

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:
*  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<>.
*  May is World Trade Month and you can get involved by increasing awareness of the importance of international trade. Learn more here:
*  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.