State Regulating Agency to Continue Improving Public Services with Florida Families First Budget
January 31, 2013
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and stakeholders throughout the state today applauded Governor Scott’s Florida Families First Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014. The budget recommendations will support the Department’s commitment to license efficiently and regulate fairly, contributing to job growth and protecting public safety in Florida. The Governor’s budget proposal, located online at www.floridafamiliesfirst.com, includes requests from the Department for authority to spend nearly $1.7 million in new trust fund dollars to support regulatory services and enforcement efforts where necessary. The Department, which licenses and regulates more than one million Florida businesses and professionals, operates almost entirely from trust fund dollars collected through licensing fees without a significant draw on general revenue.
The Governor’s budget proposal includes one of the Department’s top budget priorities, approval to spend $444,796 in trust funds to provide increased support for the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board’s regulatory efforts.The Department will use these funds to enhance compliance with federal requirements, allowing Florida real estate appraisers to perform appraisals on federally-related transactions. Approval of this budget request would protect the jobs of thousands of licensed Florida real estate appraisers.
“In this constantly changing industry, it is imperative that regulators have the ability to work with and understand the needs of the licensees they serve,” said Evalyn Oreto, Chair of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board. “These resources are essential to keep the Florida real estate market growing and keep our licensed appraisers employed, as well as protecting the citizens of the state of Florida.”
The Governor’s budget proposal also recommends the Department be granted authority to use $219,320 of federal forfeiture funds for equipment and training for the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. The funding comes from federal seizures and will enable the Division to purchase audio and video surveillance equipment, which will enhance law enforcement officer safety. The Division is charged with enforcing Florida’s beverage and tobacco laws and collecting the appropriate tax revenue for the sales of these products. In Fiscal Year 2011-2012, the Division collected more than $1.8 billion in state tax revenue.
Additional authority has been recommended for $925,000 from trust funds to cover the Florida Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program in the Florida Building Commission, which focuses on education for contractors and builders about mitigation of hurricane and storm-related damage.
“The Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program provides training for at least 10,000 construction-related licensees at no cost each year, providing a cost-effective method to obtain valuable information necessary for licensure in the state of Florida,” said Jeff Stone, the past chair of the Education Program Oversight Committee for the Florida Building Commission. “Training Florida contractors with this information enables them to build homes that are safer for Florida families. I applaud the efforts to continue funding this critical program.”
The Governor’s budget proposals include the Department’s only general revenue request, which is approximately $515,824 to support the Florida State Boxing Commission. The Commission ensures that all professional boxing, kick boxing and mixed martial arts matches are conducted in accordance with provisions of state laws and rules, keeping Florida a competitive destination for this industry.
Tim Lueckenhoff, president of the Association of Boxing Commissions, said, “I commend the state of Florida for its efforts to ensure that the participants in these sports are protected and that the industry continues to grow in this state, bringing more jobs and contributing to the economic development of the communities that host these events.”