In 2021, the State of Florida Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 735, which preempts local occupational licensing.
“The passing of the bill affected many small businesses in Monroe County that were locally licensed,” said Monroe County Assistant Building Official Rey Ortiz. “The passing of this bill caused the Contractors Examination Board of Monroe County to no longer be able to issue licenses specified in the law.”
Due to the bill’s passing, many companies that have been in business for some time may be unable to pull permits starting in July 2023.
The Monroe County Contractors Examining Board (CEB), an eight-member appointed board made up of those in contracting industries, along with Monroe County Building Department staff, is compiling a series of direct questions and concerns regarding HB 735 to forward to the Dept. of Business and Professional Regulations. Industry input is encouraged at the regularly scheduled Tuesday, Sept. 6 CEB meeting. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. Additional information on the CEB can be found at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/ceb, including the Zoom link once available. Questions and comments can also be emailed to contractor-license@MonroeCounty-FL.Gov.
“This will affect everyone from the state licensed general contractor to the local specialty licensed contractor that the state doesn’t offer an equivalent license for who has been in business for 20-30 years, and the homeowner,” said Rudy Krause, Chairman of the CEB. “If something doesn’t change, homeowners will need to be very aware of unlicensed, uninsured contractors. Before the bill, the County’s process created a safe and even playing field.”
The County Attorney and Legislative Affairs are also working with the Florida Association of Counties and other counties experiencing the same issues to advocate for changes to HB 735 in the upcoming state legislative session.
HB 735 reads, “A local government, as defined in s. 163.211, may not require a person to obtain a license for a job scope which does not substantially correspond to the job scope of one of the contractor categories defined in s. 489.105(3)(a)-(o) and (q) or authorized in s. 489.1455(1). For purposes of this section, job scopes for which a local government may not require a license include, but are not limited to, painting; flooring; cabinetry; interior remodeling; driveway or tennis court installation; handyman services; decorative stone, tile, marble, granite, or terrazzo installation; plastering; stuccoing; caulking; and canvas awning and ornamental iron installation.”
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