This week, HB 71, sponsored by State Representative Marie Woodson (D-Hollywood), passed with unanimous bipartisan support in the Local Administration & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. Current Florida law requires real property be assessed based on its value as of January 1 of each year. If a property is destroyed on any date after January 1, the owner must pay taxes on the property’s full value for the entire year. Property owners whose homes are destroyed due to a catastrophic event, such as the Surfside Condo disaster, are still responsible for the full tax bill for the current year as though the property was not destroyed. HB 71 provides property tax relief to property owners whose homesteaded or non-homesteaded residence is destroyed by a catastrophic event. If a property is rendered uninhabitable due to a catastrophic event, the owner will not pay taxes on the residential improvements portion of the property for the period of time the property is uninhabitable.
“It does not make sense to force home owners to pay property taxes on a residence that is rendered uninhabitable due to a catastrophic event that was out of their control. HB 71 is a long overdue solution to an issue Floridians will inevitably continue to face, especially as climate change continue to wreak havoc on our state and infrastructure,” said Representative Woodson.
Having passed favorably, the bill has been referred to the House Ways & Means Committee next.
HB 131, another bill sponsored by Representative Woodson, also passed last week with unanimous bipartisan support in the Professions & Public Health Subcommittee. HB 131 requires Florida Is For Veterans, Inc., a non-profit corporation created by the State of Florida in 2014, to assist veterans who have armed services health care training, including but not limited to, training as a medic in the United States Army, a medical technician in the United States Air Force, a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy, or a health services technician in the United States Coast Guard, with accessing training, education, and employment in related health care professions.
“I am very happy about the passing of this good bill. HB 131 will address the need to recruit more health care workers in the midst of the shortage we are having by providing veterans with assistance accessing good-paying health care careers,” said Representative Woodson.
Having passed favorably, the bill has been referred to the Local Administration & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee next.
Today, Representative Woodson’s HB 1577 passed in the House Health and Human Services Committee with unanimous bipartisan support. HB 1577 helps to level the playing field for youth exiting foster care at age 18 and youth who experience homelessness by removing barriers, providing opportunities for their education, and helping with the transition to adulthood. The bill will help this vulnerable population in many ways; including the addition of liaisons for homeless youth at colleges and universities to provide support for their specific needs and requiring local school districts to provide an ID card for students experiencing homelessness that explains their rights, benefits, and contact information for their school liaison.
“I am delighted to see this bill continue to move through the process. When I was campaigning, I met a college student who was living out of his car. I have since learned that the issue of homeless youth is far more widespread than I could have imagined. As a former county administrator, I also spent many years working with children in foster care and thus understand just how difficult the transition out of foster care is for these youth,” said Representative Woodson.
“HB 1577 puts the needs of youth exiting foster care and youth who experience homelessness first by providing them with access to services and tools that can help alleviate some of the barriers and obstacles they face. I could not be more thrilled to work on passing this important legislation. Thank you so much to Chair Burton and my colleagues for voting in support on this necessary bill.”
Having passed favorably, the bill is now ready to be heard on the House floor.