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