Ditchmen • NUCA of Florida Ditchmen - March 2020 - Page 25

NUCA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE 2020 ★ ★ ★ employing an unauthorized alien is liable for any additional costs incurred by the public employer resulting from the termination. To enforce the eligibility-verification requirements for private employers, the bill requires an employer to provide an employee’s eligibility-verification documents to any of several government agencies upon request. These agencies, in turn, must request the federal government to check the employee’s work-eligibility status. Moreover, if a private employer does not use E-Verify or the bill’s I-9 procedure to verify and document an employee’s eligibility for employment, the Department of Economic Opportunity must send the employer a notice, and the employer must terminate any unauthorized employees, begin using E-Verify or the bill’s I-9 procedure, and respond with an affidavit of compliance within 30 days. If the employer does not do so, it faces the potential suspension of its business licenses. If an employer fails to properly respond to a DEO notice three times in any 36 month period, it could permanently lose its business licenses. Employers and contractors have until January 1, 2021 to begin verifying employment eligibility as required in the bill. SB 664 passed its committees and passed the Senate 22-18. HB 1265 passed all of its committees. SB 664 was substituted for HB 1265 and passed 73-45 before bouncing back and forth due to new amendments and ultimately passing the Senate 23-17. Environmental Accountability—SB 1450 by Gruters/ HB 1091 by Fine HB 1091 makes numerous changes to the penalties for violating Florida’s environmental laws. The bill increases required or maximum environmental penalties in various sections of the Florida Statutes. Most of these changes increase a penalty by 50 percent. The bill increases the amount in administrative penalties that the Department of Environmental Protection may impose under ch. 403, F.S., in a notice of violation from $10,000 to $50,000. HB 1091 changes the duration that several penalties may run, so that each day during any portion of which certain violations occur constitutes a separate offense. For administrative penalties imposed under ch. 403, F.S., each day the cause of an unauthorized discharge of domestic wastewater is not addressed constitutes a separate offense. For civil penalties imposed under ch. 403, F.S., if a violation is an unauthorized discharge of domestic wastewater, each day the cause of the violation is not addressed constitutes a separate offense until the violation is resolved by order or judgement. HB 1091 requires a seller of real property to disclose to a prospective purchaser, before executing a contract for sale, any defects in the property’s sanitary sewer lateral that are known to the seller. It also encourages municipalities and counties to voluntarily establish an evaluation and rehabilitation program for sanitary sewer laterals on residential and commercial properties to identify and reduce extraneous flow from leaking sanitary sewer laterals. The bill sets out certain requirements for such programs. HB 1091 passed three committees and the full House 106-0. SB 1450 passed all of its committees. HB 1091 was substituted for SB 1450 and passed 38-0 before bouncing between chambers due to new amendments and ultimately passed the House 115-0. MARCH 2020 • DITCHMEN 23