During the fast and furious Legislative Session, sometimes there is tremendous momentum to fix matters with brand new laws. Sometimes you've just got to make a deal.
Last week we brought you up to speed on two key pieces of legislation that flew through Legislative committees. Today, we'll focus on just one: HB 1237.
HB 1237: Condominiums
As you know from last week's Alert, HB 1237 does present some challenges for community associations. Our Community Association Network is still working closely with Representative Jose Felix Diaz to ensure no language in the proposed law would inadvertently harm associations, including excessive criminal provisions to Florida Statute chapter 718.
Prior to our ongoing negotiations and discussions, the proposed criminal punishment for voter fraud in association elections was a third degree felony (up to 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine).
We are happy to inform you that we've made progress regarding proposed criminal penalties to Florida Statute Chapter 718. The bill is now amended and the highest level of punishment for fraudulent voting is a first degree misdemeanor (up to one year in jail and a $1000 fine).
Representative Diaz has valid concerns regarding constituents living in condominiums in his district. We understand his need to address and solve those issues. Amending the bill to reduce the severity of the criminal punishments was a reasonable compromise.
As the 2017 Florida Legislative Session moves forward, we will continue to monitor this bill and others affecting you and your neighbors. There is still time for changes regarding this bill and many others, so please keep appraised and informed- we may need you to contact your lawmakers. Many bills change fast and furiously when they "hit the floor."
We'll keep you posted and ask for your help, if and when we need our members to make our voice clearly heard. In the meanwhile, please know that we're working hard on your behalf this Session- and...so far so good.
Yours in community,
Community Association Network (CAN)
Chairman of the Board of Directors