New Laws Help to Streamline Regulation of the Hotel and Restaurant Industries
July 11, 2008
TALLAHASSEE—The hospitality industry plays a vital role in Florida’s economy, and during the 2008 Legislative Session Senate Bill (SB) 2016, was proposed to help streamline regulation of the industry. On May 28, Governor Crist signed SB 2016 into law, thus improving public safety and enabling the Division of Hotels and Restaurants to better serve its licensees.
“The changes to Chapter 509 will enable the Division to provide superior support to one of the most important industries in Florida,” said Interim Secretary Chuck Drago. “We are excited about the changes made during this session, and thank Governor Crist, the bill sponsors, Senator Dave Aronberg and Representative Chris Dorworth, and the Legislature for their support in making business better.”
The bill makes many changes to Chapter 509, Florida Statutes (F.S.), which will increase the Department efficiency, reduce workload duplication, eliminate unnecessary and outdated requirements, and improve overall safety.
The changes include:
- Limiting fire safety inspection responsibility to "readily observable" violations, which staff will report to the appropriate fire prevention authority;
- Reducing the grace period for an individual to obtain food manager certification from 90 days to 30 days after employment;
- Eliminating the requirement for hotels and restaurants to maintain a copy of Chapter 509, F.S., on the premises; and,
- Eliminating State oversight of restrooms by placing restroom requirements, such as the number required and plumbing, with the building code and local authorities. The Department will continue to inspect restrooms for sanitation and safety.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses more than 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.