State Regulating Agency Supports Military Veterans, Reduces Regulation During 2012 Legislative Session
March 9, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – At the close of the 2012 Legislative Session, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) praised the Florida Legislature for passing several key bills which will support military veterans seeking professional licensure and reduce regulations affecting businesses and professions throughout the state.
“By reducing unnecessary regulations and supporting our businesses and professionals, especially military veterans, we are helping ensure Florida is the best place to get back to work,” said Secretary Ken Lawson. “With these bills, we are encouraging business growth throughout our state.”
Under HB 887, all initial licensing fees are waived for military veterans returning from service, provided the veteran applies for licensure within 24 months of being honorably discharged. The bill was sponsored by Senator Dennis Jones (R – Seminole) and Representative Clay Ingram (R – Pensacola) and co-sponsored by Senate President Designate Don Gaetz (R – Destin), Representative Bryan Nelson (R – Apopka) and Representative Jimmie Smith (R – Lecanto).
HB 517 decriminalizes minor violations of rules for professional boards while maintaining the Department’s ability to impose administrative remedies. The legislation also allows the Department to comply with federal real estate appraisal standards in a timely manner and reduces the continuing education requirement for inactive license holders. The bill was sponsored by Senator Alan Hays (R – Umatilla) and Representative J.W. Grant (R – Tampa). It was co-sponsored by Representatives Larry Ahern (R – St. Petersburg), Jeff Brandes (R – St. Petersburg) and Dana Young (R – Tampa).
HB 693 simplifies the process for a professional to place his or her license in inactive status, a cost-savings measure. Additionally, the bill eliminates a 30-day delay imposed on applicants for the state barber exam, allowing them to take the exam as soon as they apply. The bill was sponsored by Senator Dennis Jones (R – Seminole) and Representative Clay Ingram (R – Pensacola).
HB 1089 addresses safety concerns for current and former DBPR inspectors and investigators, exempting their home addresses, telephone numbers and photographs from disclosure. This protection is similar to that offered to state prosecutors and law enforcement officers. This bill was sponsored by Senator Alan Hays (R – Umatilla) and Representative Janet Adkins (R – Fernandina Beach).
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and certified public accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
More information about DBPR is available online at www.myfloridalicense.com. Also, follow @FloridaDBPR on Twitter or Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Facebook for updates about license cycles, events and other important news.