A Revealing Look at the Influence of Special Interests on the Florida Legislative Process

Last year, in a huge conflict of interest, sponsor of current HB1383, Jamie Grant, spoke on behalf of the Vacation Rental Management Association which is a non-profit organization. Read below the flier encouraging rental owners to attend a VRMA conference. It’s truly a sad day for Florida when an elected representative is speaking on behalf of the rental industry and writing bills to benefit them.

 

THIS WEEK!

Don't Miss The Legislative Champions Hour!

2 Top Legislators From The Florida House Of Representatives & Our Top Lobbyist Discuss The Facts.

 

What's In Store For Vacation Rentals & The Sharing Economy Throughout Florida? 

 

The Attack On The Vacation Rental Industry Is far From Over.

But What's Next? What Can We Expect Moving Forward? 

For Years These Three Legislative Titan's Have Been Advocating For You At the Florida Statehouse.

 

If you are concerned with state and local regulations that impede your ability to rent your home and the protection of your private property rights you must attend this session.

 

This session goes right to the heart of the legislative battle to protect your "right to rent" throughout Florida. 

 

Join Us For A Conversation With:

State Representative Mike LaRosa

State Representative Jamie Grant

Lori Killinger, The Florida VRMA Lobbyist/Legislative Counsel

If You Are An Owner, Manager, Or A Realtor That Rents Or Sells Vacation Rentals, This Is A Must Attend Show & Legislative Session.

Of note is that Lori Killinger, the VRMA lobbyist, is the author of the original legislation in 2011 that opened up your community to short term vacation rentals. She has publicly acknowledged this fact in open testimony before various committees. 

An Alarming Illustration AirBnB's efforts to subvert Home Rule

This lengthy, in-depth article in Wired magazine shows what we as Florida residents are up against in our fight to preserve our communities. Through well funded lobbying efforts AirBnB and other platforms are conducting nation-wide campaigns to eliminate the local control of vacation rentals. While publicly declaring corporation with local authorities, they are spending millions at state levels to minimize local control. In Florida alone, a $1 million PAC, called “People vs Power” is funding state efforts and campaigns of selected legislators. The following article is quite complete in providing data to substantiate what AirBnB’s motives really are.

https://www.wired.com/story/inside-airbnbs-guerrilla-war-against-local-governments/?mbid=email_onsiteshare

Another Example of State Regulations Making the Job of Local Government More Difficult

By defining a vacation rental as a “residence” and prohibiting any change to grandfathered regulation, the state has severely tied the hands of local government. Additionally, local municipalities must hire expensive legal advice to thread their way through confusing state rules.

https://www.tampabay.com/pinellas/largo-looks-at-regulations-for-short-term-rentals-20190307/

An Illustration of Why the Best Government is that Closest to the People

Here is a stark contrast illustrated in the following between two approaches to regulating vacation rentals. The first is Senator Hutson's defense of his amendment made in a recent Senate committee meeting claiming to solve the problem for Flagler County that elected him to office. It is vague and self-serving, but only demonstrates the lack of understanding of the complexities of the problem that are not addressed in a "one size fits all" solution at the state level. The second is a rebuttal by Greg Hansen, the Chairman of the Flagler County Commission who deals with the specifics that one would expect from the government closest to the people (and the problem).

Sen. Hutson:

https://www.palmcoastobserver.com/article/vacation-rental-bill-will-resolve-property-rights-quality-of-life-concerns

Greg Hansen:

https://www.palmcoastobserver.com/article/senates-vacation-rental-bill-doesnt-protect-residents-and-neighborhoods

West Coast Editor Again Concludes the Best Government is that Closest to the People

The Editor of the Sarasota Observer is complementary of Sen. Steube's stand for individual rights and a rational argument. However, he points out that the 1968 constitutional amendment gives clear authority to local government for home rule and that if Tallahassee were to preempt more authority, the local "firestorms" created may be way more than the state is equipped to handle.

https://www.yourobserver.com/article/power-to-the-local-people

 

Home Rule Suffers a Setback in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee

In spite of over 20 local governments expressing opposition to Senator Steube's SB1400, this committee votes overwhelmingly in favor of moving it forward. Even with testimony from local officials illustrating the bill's problems with lack of safety oversight, these Senators aren't listening to those closest to the problem. Add to the mix the political intrigue of Senator Hutson who supposedly represents Flagler County which is ground zero for short term vacation rental problems who turned against the concerns of those he represents with a cleverly worded amendment. This is all well covered in the following Flagler-Live article:

https://flaglerlive.com/117556/lopsided-vacation-rentals/

Help Educate the Chamber of Commerce

Here is a link to a survey conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. It was found by one of our more active members in Flagler County. It is an opportunity to let the Chamber know your views on the issue of Home Rule. We think the Chamber is only hearing one side of this argument that is favorable to corporate interests as several local Chambers supported the past bills. Please emphasize that residents like you represent 67% of the state's sales tax revenue and only 12% is represented by tourists. Preventing local government from having the proper authority to zone their communities in keeping with local desires is not in anybody's interest. Allowing coastal communities to become tourist only meccas will discourage future retirees from making Florida their home. Please stress that you are not against vacation rentals and recognize their contribution to Florida's economy. However, investor owned entities are clearly commercial ventures that do not belong in residential neighborhoods.

http://www.flchamber.com/florida-2030/florida-2030-survey/