LEGISLATIVE UPDATE February 3, 2020
- Medical Monitoring
- Chlorpyrifos /Glyphosate
- Use Value Appraisal Act
- ACT 250
- Paid Family Leave
- Minimum Wage from the Retail and Grocers Association
- Bills of Interest
- This bill proposes to hold any person who releases a toxic substance strictly, jointly, and severally liable for any harm resulting from the release. The bill also proposes to establish a private right of action for medical monitoring damages incurred due to exposure to a toxic substance.
- S-37 was passed by both the House and Senate last year but was vetoed by the Governor. The bill is now back in play with the Senate trying to override the Governor’s veto. There is an “agricultural exemption” that states for those spreading pesticides in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations, which would cover most dairy operation.
- The bill is aimed at manufactures that operate under SCI codes and have ten or more employees. SCI code facilities that impact dairy or forestry include manufacturing of dairy products, ice cream and frozen desserts, grain mills, lumber and wood products, sawmills, chemicals and allied products, agricultural chemicals, and farm machinery and equipment. This is a very short list of all the manufactures covered under SCI codes. So, from this list you can see that both dairy and forestry could be impacted by this bill. The bill has a very low threshold for liability. There was testimony last year from insurance companies and manufactures that the language in the bill was too strict and if the bill passed and was put into law it might cause some companies to relocate. The language in this bill would be the strictest in the country. At this point it does not seem that the Senate has the 20 votes it needs to override the bill, but I will continue to keep you updated.
- S-180 An act relating to prohibiting the use and application of the pesticide chlorpyrifos
- S-192 An act relating to prohibiting the use of the herbicide glyphosate S-272 An act relating to the use and management of pesticides
- The Senate Ag committee has taken and will take more testimony on these bills. S- 272 transfer oversight and administration of the Pesticide Advisory Council from Agency of Ag to the Department of Health. The bill also amends the membership of the Pesticide Advisory Council. The Senate is scheduled to hear from citizens on Friday on S-272. Senator Starr has requested to hear from the Health Department and pesticide applicators on these bills.
USE VALUE APPRAISAL
- S-200 An act relating to the definition of house-site for use value appraisals S-310 An act relating to use value appraisals
- H-562 An act relating to the definition of agricultural land for the purposes of use value appraisals
- The Senate Finance and the House Agriculture committee took testimony this week from Doug Farnham, of the Tax Department regarding S-200 and S-310. Doug indicated that the Tax Department would consider allowing up to 5 dwelling within 300 ft of each other on a 2 acre, excluded, house site for current use purposes.
- Doug was asked to bring back draft language to the House Agriculture regarding this issue. Senate Finance will hear more testimony before deciding how they want to deal with these issues.
- The House Ag committee also heard from Doug, indicating, that the Tax Department would support H-562 that allows land that is less than .1 acre under a solar array to stay in current use.
The Senate has passed the minimum wage bill on a vote of 23-6 and it is now headed for the Governor’s desk. S.23 would increase the minimum wage to $11.75 in 2021 and $12.55 in 2022. After he expressed concern surrounding the impact on the rural economy in his weekly press conference, it is unclear whether Governor Scott will veto or sign the bill.
BILLS OF INTEREST