Secretary Benson Applauds Fiscal Year 2008-09 Crist/Kottkamp Budget Priorities for Department of Business and Professional Regulation
January 31, 2008
Tallahassee – Today Department of Business and Professional Regulation (Department) Secretary Holly Benson announced her support for the Crist/Kottkamp budget for fiscal year (FY) 2008-09. The Governor’s budget recommendations advance the Department’s commitment to providing efficient licensure for more than one million businesses and professionals while ensuring fair regulation that maintains high standards for public protection. These budget measures will enhance the licensure process and boost the economy by helping businesses and professionals get licensed quickly.
“Governor Crist’s budget recommendations reflect our shared goal of keeping Florida a great place to do business,” said Secretary Benson. “We look forward to working with the Legislature in the coming weeks on these priorities, which will help us improve customer service, streamline licensure processes, meet program requirements and protect the public.”
The Department’s priority budget issues include:
- Document Management System, $2.5 million for continued implementation of a document management system:
Implement the final phase of the department-wide document management system. This is a multi-phased project that has received funding the past two fiscal years. The Department’s goal is to complete the implementation of the system which will capture, store and manage delivery and retrieval of documents electronically. The system will replace the Department’s paper systems, keeping the licensure process current with new technology.
- Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, $250,000 increase for the operation of law enforcement motor vehicles:
These funds will go toward the maintenance and gasoline necessary for the operation of law enforcement motor vehicles. Expenditures have significantly increased due to gasoline prices and an aging fleet.
- Florida State Boxing Commission, increase staff support for industry growth:
Two new positions are needed to manage the increased workload of the Florida State Boxing Commission. Changes authorized by Chapter 2002-172, F.S., resulted in workload increases, including the staging of mixed martial arts (MMA) events, required attendance of a physician at all combative events, and increased medical screening requirements. In addition, the number of scheduled events has more than doubled in the past four years and is expected to exceed 100 events in FY 2008-09.
- Division of Hotels and Restaurants, additional staffing necessary to meet statutorily required food and lodging inspections:
In order to meet the statutorily required number of inspections for food and lodging establishments, 20 additional positions are needed to increase the Division of Hotels and Restaurants inspection activity. Last year, the Division received additional inspectors and completed an average of 940 inspections each. These additional positions will allow the Department to meet statutory requirements.
- Division of Real Estate, supplementary staff to comply with federal mandates for real estate appraisers:
Four additional positions are necessary to implement and maintain compliance with new requirements for state-certified real estate appraisers set by the Federal Appraisal Standards Board. The requirements include additional education requirements, verification of education, and 100 percent audit and monitoring of applicants. Failure to meet the requirements could result in Florida losing certification and Florida licensed real estate appraisers not being able to conduct federally related appraisals.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses nearly one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.