Bill updating homeowner association rules clears House

By Kelly Hayes
April 27, 2021

The legislation provides solutions for future health crises.

A bill that revises state regulations and governance rules for homeowner and community associations cleared the House in a unanimous vote Tuesday.

The House heard the Senate version of the legislation (SB 630), filed by Sen. Dennis Baxley, which also passed the Senate unanimously. The bill, presented by House sponsor Rep. Jason Shoaf, seeks to address statewide standards around community associations.  

In a sign of the times, the legislation updates the emergency powers of community association boards during a state health emergency. Specifically, the bill allows board members to attend meetings remotely and implement emergency plans.

The legislation also seeks to improve transparency among associations by allowing them to post documents not only to their websites but also on mobile apps. Similar to other public meetings, the bill mandates timely notices be posted for all community association member meetings, not just the annual one. 

Voting records would also be added to the list of official documents that must be maintained by the association. Associations would also be required to provide a due date for homeowners to pay fines. 

The legislation may also reduce costs for Florida homeowners by allowing associations to better recoup actual costs related to background checks in connection with sale, lease or mortgage of a unit, preventing those costs from being passed onto current unit owners.

The bill was praised by the Chief Executive Officers of Management Companies (CEOMC), which represents more than 18,000 licensed, professional community association managers who manage more than 14,000 community associations.

“We are very thankful to Reps. Jason Shoaf and Anthony Rodriguez and their Senate counterparts, Sens. Dennis Baxley and Travis Hutson, for successfully carrying this important bill across the finish line today,” CEOMC executive director and lobbyist Mark Anderson said in a statement. “Once signed by Governor (RonDeSantis, this critical and time-sensitive legislation will ensure Florida’s community associations are pandemic-safe, more transparent, streamlined, modern and affordable.”

View the original article at Florida Politics

Sprinkle list: Palmetto school lands nearly $1M for Steve Wozniak-tied STEM program

By Jacob Ogles
April 27, 2021

The career-focused curriculum helped the school go from a D grade to an A.

Manatee County students could be on the path to becoming the next Steve Wozniak.

A state budget agreed upon by the House and Senate includes $950,000 for a pilot program focused on science, technology, engineering and math. Rep. Will Robinson, a Bradenton Republican, said that will fund a first-in-Florida program at Palm View K-8 School.

The program will be put on the Woz Pathways curriculum promoted by Woz Edan education founded by Wozniak, the Apple co-founder and Silicon Valley celebrity.

In his funding appropriations request (HB 3685)Robinson said the program will prepare K-12 students “for 21st century careers and teachers with 21st century training and technology through the creation of ‘career pathways’ for all K-12 students using innovative public-private partnerships. These partnerships are an effective and cost-efficient method by which school districts and the state can meet the growing, unmet need for these critical educational opportunities on a scale that can demonstrate ROI to the taxpayers.”

Woz Ed officials said the Palm View program specifically will educate youth on career paths in cybersecurity, drone piloting, maintenance and repair, engineering design, coding, and mobile development.

The Palmetto school is one of a handful of campuses in the country involved with Woz Ed. Wozniak himself announced the partnership in 2019.

“The world needs inventors, great ones,” he said in an announcement video. “If your learners love what they do and are willing to do what it takes, it’s within their reach, and it will be worth every minute they spend alone at night thinking and thinking about what it is they want to design or build. It will be worth it, I promise.”

Since the school adopted a focus on STEM, Robinson said the school has made huge leaps in the quality of education provided. He noted that from 2018 to 2019, the school’s grade with the Department of Education rose from a D to an A. The school notably was failing as recently as 2015.

The $950,000 is one-time funding this year.

View the original article at Florida Politics