2012 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

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2012 Legislative Session Wrap Up

More than 2,000 bills were filed during the 2012 Florida Legislative Session and about 15 percent of those actually passed both Chambers. The FICPA Governmental Affairs Team, with the support of our members and the Florida CPA/PACs, worked hard and are excited to share the success of our efforts on your behalf.

Help ensure the success of our profession, become a Florida CPA/PAC member today. For more information about FICPA advocacy or Florida CPA/PAC, contact the FICPA Governmental Affairs Team: (800) 342-3197, Ext. 203 (in Florida), (850) 224-2727, Ext. 203, or govaffairs@ficpa.org.

Accountancy Bill Passes Florida Legislature
Senate Bill 1656 (SB 1656), sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, and its House companion Bill 769 (HB 769), sponsored by Rep. Clay Ford, R-Pensacola, unanimously passed their respective Chambers. Together, the Legislation streamlines licensure and renewal requirements set forth in Chapter 473. One of several significant requirement changes relates to amnesty and license reactivation. Here is a summary of five streamlining actions:
  • Amends 473.308(4), F.S., to allow CPAs to obtain the one-year work experience licensure requirement through verification by another CPA, versus direct supervision of a CPA (current law).
  • Streamlines the licensure-by-endorsement requirements, as set forth in 473.308(7), F.S., for CPAs who have held a license in another state for at least 10 years prior to application.
  • Creates a one-time amnesty to reactivate a license by allowing CPAs to notify the Board of Accountancy (BOA) of their intention by Dec. 31, 2012, and complete 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) by June 30, 2014.
  • Amends 473.313(3), F.S., by creating a 75-day window to submit a renewal application, without having to apply for reactivation, for licensees who had completed the required CPE by Dec. 31, but failed to report.
  • Provides for a Board of Accountancy (BOA) report to the Legislature on the potential cost savings of privatizing or outsourcing some Board functions.

The legislation still has one more stop before it becomes law. It now is headed to Gov. Scott's desk for his signature.

By The Numbers: 2012 Bill Filing and Passage Statistics

Senate & House Bills Filed Passed Both Chambers
Concurrent Resolutions 7 1
Resolutions (One Chamber) 106 0
General Bills 1747 238*
Local Bills 106 42
Joint Resolutions 48 5
Memorials 38 6
Totals 2052 292
*HB 769 & SB 1656

SINE Die Short Lived: Special Session Begins

As Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos gathered on the last day of the 2012 session (March 9) for the traditional Sine Die celebration, there also was the sobering news that they must return to the Capitol to redraw proposed Senate district boundaries.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the Senate maps failed to adequately comply with Florida's new voter-approved constitutional amendments. The amendments were designed to block gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts, which have to be redrawn every 10 years.

Gov. Scott has called for a special session on redistricting. It began Wednesday, March 14 at 1 p.m. and extends through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28.

About the Florida CPA/PAC

The Florida CPA/PAC is an entity completely separate from the FICPA. The Florida CPA/PAC is supported solely by the voluntary contributions of FICPA members and others. The Florida CPA/PAC is registered as a corporation with the Florida Division of Corporations, and as a Committee of Continuous Existence with the Division of Elections within the Florida Department of State. Learn more about the Florida CPA/PAC and how you can help protect the profession.