What’s Going On?
H.B. 5005 was introduced to the Business & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee by Chair Esteban Bovo, of Hialeah, District 110 (Miami-Dade). The bill originally deregulated thirty different professions, including Landscape Architecture, Geologists, and Surveyors and Mappers.
Thursday, March 24, The Florida House of Representatives Economic Affairs Committee passed H.B. 5005, the “Deregulation of Professions and Occupations Bill,” and H.B. 5007, the “Reducing and Streamlining Regulations Bill.” These acts would effectively serve to eliminate the interior design profession, remove consumer safeguards and weaken the economic outlook for Florida’s businesses and workforce. The bill was passed by an 11 to 7 vote, Republicans -vs- Democrats.
Representative Waldman of Coconut Creek, District 95, introduced an amendment to remove Interior Design from this legislation; it was defeated. Chair Bovo resigned to run for Miami-Dade County Commissioner this same morning.
Many professions were removed from the legislation prior to the Economic Affairs Committee meeting, however Interior design remained. Interior Design is the only profession in the bill which requires a college degree, experience, and a national exam.
H.B. 5005 was heard in the Appropriations committee Wednesday, March 30. The bill was not allowed to be amended to remove Interior Design, and was approved to move to the House floor for debate. Several Representatives spoke out against deregulating Interior Design, but the bill passed along party lines.
HB5005 was read on the House floor Wednesday, April 6. An amendment was introduced by Representative Saunders of Key West, District 120, to remove Interior Design from this legislation; the amendment failed. 41/76. Only two Republicans supported continued regulation.
On April 7, HB5005 passed the House with a vote of 77/38.
The bill was rejected in full by the Senate, and moved to a joint conference committee of House and Senate to negotiate as part of the budget discussions. In last minute discussions, the Senate accepted the House position to deregulate interior design. This negotiation will now move to the Senate floor for a full vote.