It Will Be a Busy Legislative Session for Construction in Florida
By all indications, there will be a few significant construction-related bills in Tallahassee in the next legislative session. I’m already aware of three potentially significant attempts at legislation.
First and foremost is the proposed legislation codifying procedures for public/private partnerships (“P3”). A similar bill passed the House of Representatives last year on the final Monday of session, not leaving enough time for the Senate to pass their companion bill. This year’s version looks to be leaner, with a lot less red tape and seems to better balance the interests of public owners, developers and investors/lenders. The legislation is not required for P3 jobs, but will provide a stable statutory framework for which investors and lenders look when deciding whether to invest or lend on P3 jobs within a particular state.
Similarly significant to P3 jobs is a pending recommendation from the Board of Governors’ Task Force on Facility Financing, which, in its draft form, requests relief from the statutory prohibition against using college tuition to fund facilities. It also proposes a couple of other changes that, if passed, would free up more funding for state university buildings and infrastructure. Look for a proposed bill adopting whatever final recommendations the Task Force comes up with.
Finally, there will be a bill addressing the Trytek decision, which found that, although attorney’s fees must be awarded to the prevailing party in a lien foreclosure, a court need not find that any particular party prevailed, in which case nobody would be entitled to a fee award. The proposed legislation would create guidelines by which the determination of who prevails would be made easier and, hence, more certain for litigation planning.
No doubt other bills will follow, but this flurry of activity already points to a significant upcoming construction-related legislative session. Stay tuned to this blog for details once session begins.