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government affairs blog

OLD Gov't Affairs Blog
We stopped using this blog after the 2013 Florida Legislative Session and created a new Government Affairs Forum, which will allow us to better control distribution of information.  This one will be maintained as an archive. 

More formal bulletins, summaries of legislation, position papers and the like appear on the Government Affairs page

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  • 04/30/2013 9:10 PM | Anonymous
    4-30-13  The foreclosure bill has been withdrawn from its last Senate committee of reference and is scheduled for floor consideration on 5-2-13.  I'm told that procedurally this took a minor miracle. 

    4-29-13   The Foreclosure Bill passed the full House of Representatives 87-26, and has been transmitted to the Senate.  The Senate counterpart remains stuck in its final committee of reference, which may present procedural issues for considering the house version. 

    4-22-13  The Foreclosure bill was calendared for second reading in the House.  At this point, there are significant differences between the house and senate versions as regards the handling of senior judges.   Keep your fingers crossed. 

    4-19-13   The referral of the Senate Companion to the Rules committee was withdrawn, shortening the path to becoming a law.  At this point it still has one remaining Senate Committee stop (appropriations), and scheduling may become difficult. 

    4-17-13  Facing increasing opposition from consumer groups, Rep. Passidomo's Foreclosure reform bill was approved by the House appropriations committee 17-8

    4-3-13   Because of the addition of the senior judges provisions, Rep. Passidomo's foreclosure bill was pulled from the house calendar and given an additional referral to the House Appropriations Committee, thus delaying final approval.

    3-28-13  This morning the House Judiciary approved the Foreclosure bill posturing it to move on to the House Floor. 

    On Wednesday afternoon 3-8-13, Rep. Passidomo's Foreclosure Reform bill (HB 87) was approved by the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee by a 9-2 vote. 

    It will now move to its third and final committee stop before the House Judiciary committee.

    This is one of the bills that FLTA members advocated during the recent Lobby Days.
  • 04/30/2013 8:30 PM | Anonymous
    4-30-13  The Fraudulent Recording Bill was unanimously adopted by the house and will be sent to the Governor for signature. 

    4-29-13  The Senate version of the bill was substituted for the house version, and second reading occurred this morning. 

    4-16-13  The house version of this bill was adopted by the full Judiciary Committee by a 17-0 vote and is now postured for consideration by the full House. 

    4-11-13  SB 112 was adopted by the full Senate in a 39-0 vote. 

    4-3-13 SB 112 was approved 16-0 with a CS by the Senate Rules committee, completing its last committee stop in the senate.   The house companion, HB 915 is on the agenda for the house Justice Appropriations committee tomorrow morning

    3-28-13  SB 112 is on the calendar for its final committee stop on Tuesday April 2
    The house companion remains stuck in the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.  Absent special treatment it is probably dead for this session.

    3-18-13  SB 112 passed out of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee 7-0.  It has one remaining committee stop

    3-6-13   Senator Dean's Fraudulent Recording bill making it a crime to record an instrument containing a materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation with the intent to defraud or harass.  The bill also allows the "victim" of the fraudulent instrument to file to have the fraudulent instrument voided and stricken from the record and allows an injunction prohibiting a filer from any future filings without express court permission. 

    The bill was intended to clearly criminalize fraudulent documents and to address the problems with "Sovereign Citizens" filing false liens, judgments by the "people's court" and the like against sitting judges and government officials.    

    Several of the early drafts were overly broad potentially criminalizing human error and legitimate practices.  On behalf of FLTA, we have negotiated a number of changes to the original proposal to make it more acceptable.   The revised version is not perfect, but the product of compromise, outright opposition is awkward given that there are legitimately fraudulent instruments being filed to harass and defraud.  

    The bill, with the changes recommended by the FLTA, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee 9-0.
  • 04/29/2013 2:24 PM | Anonymous

    4-26-13  The Land Trust Bill has passed both houses of the legislature and is now ready to go to the Governor for signature.

    4-24-13  The House Bill, HB 229 has been placed on the Special Order calendar for second reading on 4/24/13.  The Senate Version is scheduled for vote on 4/25/13.

    4-17-13  SB 1172 was approved by the Rules Committee 13-0. 

    4-2-13  The Land Trust Bill, SB 1172 was approved by the Banking and Insurance Committee 10-0.  The senate bill has one remaining stop at the Rules Committee.

    3-20-13   HB 229 passed 16-0 out of the Judiciary committee, its third committee of reference and moved on to the house Floor

    3-12-13  By a Land Trust Bill advances in House 9-0 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 1172 with a committee substitute. The bill has two remaining committee stops in the Senate.

    3-6-13   By a 13-0 vote, the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee approved HB 229.  The bill has one remaining stop in the House.   The senate companion bill, SB 1172 has been agendaed for its first of three committee stops on 3-12-13

    2-13-13 the House Civil Justice Committee approved HB 0229 with a committee substitute by a 10-0 vote.   This bill addresses the issues raised in the Brigham v. Brigham case which suggested that the inclusion of trust powers under s. 689.071 could take a traditional estate planning trust outside the protections of the trust code. 

  • 04/26/2013 8:13 PM | Anonymous
    4-25-13  SB 736 passed the full Senate 38-0, and has been taken up by the House on second reading. 

    4-17-13   SB 736 passed its final committee of reference and has been placed on the special order calendar for 4-24-13 consideration. 

    Florida has long had a curative act validating a deed lacking witnesses or with a defective notary five years after recording.   The RPPTL proposal to expand this curative act to apply to any instrument lacking required witnesses or with a defective notary.

    The bill passed in its final committee stop in the house on March 28.

    The senate companion, SB736 has two remaining committee stops.

  • 04/26/2013 8:06 PM | Anonymous
    4-26-13  HB 267 Has now passed both houses of the legislature and is prepared to be sent to Governor Scott for signature. 

    4-21-13 HB 267 is awaiting a Floor vote and is calendared for 4-23-13

    4-17-13  SB 404 passed the appropriations committee 17-0 and is on the Special Order calendar for the Senate on April 25

    3-27-13   The Senate version of the Hidden Lien bill passed 10-0 out of it's third (of four) committee.

    3-20-13   The Hidden Lien bill passed out of its third house committee of reference 16-0 and moved on to the House Floor. 

    3-8-13 This week the Hidden Lien Bill, which our members lobbied during our Lobby Days, advanced in both the House and Senate.   The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 404 by a 9-0 vote on Wednesday 3-7, the House Local and Federal Affairs Committee approved HB 267 by a 17-0 vote. In both committees a committee substitute was adopted.

    2-13-13 the House Civil Justice Committee by a 12-0 vote endorsed HB 267, which includes the "Hidden Liens" provisions introduced by Rep. John Wood. 
  • 04/24/2013 5:09 PM | Anonymous
    4-24-13  SB 286 was signed by the Governor becoming law Chapter No. 2013-028, Laws of Florida

    Senator Negron's bill allowing individual design professionals (including surveyors) to limit their liability for professional malpractice in their contracts has passed both houses and been submitted to the Governor.  The Governor must act on this bill by April 29.

    This is very similar to the issue facing the title industry (and many others) following the Supreme Court's limitation of the economic loss rule to product liability cases.   An unhappy homebuyer will be able to sue their title agent in negligence notwithstanding any limitation contained in the title policy or even policy limits. 

  • 04/01/2013 9:04 AM | Anonymous
    Local Government groups have proposed two new exceptions to MRTA which would create major gaps in its coverage and impose significant search burdens.   Alan Fields and Raul Ballaga from Fox Ruiz met with representatives from the Dade County Attorneys office last week to better understand their goals and the issues they are facing.  It was a positive session, although no mutually acceptable solution was found, each side came away feeling they better understood the issues and concerns of the other. 

    No committee hearings have been held on either bill, but the issue is expected to continue to be of concern to the local governments. 
  • 04/01/2013 8:38 AM | Anonymous
    4-4-13  The fix for the interstate land sales act problem with current Florida condo law passed the Senate 40-0.  The house companion bill HB 175, has passed all committees of reference and is awaiting floor action. 

    Amendments have been proposed to the Condominium act allowing for the early recording of a condo declaration to create legal descriptions during the presale process so that presales are not in violation of the Interstate Land Sales Act. 

    These bills have passed all committees and are on the calendar for floor action in both the House and Senate.

  • 03/28/2013 11:28 AM | Anonymous
    HB 903 making dramatic changes to the statute regarding adverse possession without color of title, passed out of the House Judiciary committee on a bipartisan basis.  This was its third and final committee stop on the house side. 

    The sponsors agreed to continue working with the Real property section.

    There has not yet been any movement on the senate companion bill SB 1166
  • 02/10/2013 8:57 PM | Anonymous

    Last Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court released its opinion in Pino v. Bank of New York. FLTA and ALTA had filed a joint Amicus brief in this case. The opinion was carefully crafted to address only the question of reopening a case which had been voluntarily dismissed (in this case, after allegations of fraud had been asserted) before any affirmative relief had been granted.

    Given the court's understandable frustration with the mortgage crisis and various frauds on the courts, ALTA and FLTA were concerned about the possibility of an overbroad ruling, which might call into question the sanctity of REO outsales. In the opinion, the court specifically stated:

    "Although this case arises out of a mortgage foreclosure action, we do not decide broader issues related to mortgage foreclosures in general, such as whether a copy of an assignment of mortgage is necessary to establish standing to foreclose on the mortgage or whether the rights of affected third parties who later purchase foreclosed properties are protected when collateral attacks are brought against otherwise final court proceedings."

    While we are pleased with the narrow scope of this opinion, the language above highlights the importance of our efforts in supporting the finality provisions of House Bill 87.

    Copies of the Opinion and more background on this important case can be found here.


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