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Local Licensing Laws Challenged

Local licensing laws have historically been difficult to navigate.  Ranging from licenses that are not identified in Florida Statutes such as masonry or counter-top installer licenses, to the use of registered licenses in specific jurisdictions, local licenses make it difficult for contractors working across county lines to determine which licenses are needed and how that affects contractual rights.

In the past, the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) has discussed the interplay of local licensure and there are a handful of opinions on that issue.  The Florida Legislature will once again attempt to tackle the issue of licensing preemption during the 2020 legislative session. State representative Michael Grant, the current House Majority Whip, recently filed a bill, HB3, that if passed, would prohibit municipalities from passing ordinances governing certain professional licenses. Grant filed a similar preemption bill last year, which wound its way through several committees but ultimately failed to make it to the House floor for a vote.

Grant’s bill provides that “the licensing of occupations is expressly preempted to the state.” Except for any local government licensing that is authorized by general law or expressly allowed in the bill, such licensing would not be authorized and may not be enforced. For municipalities that have already imposed occupational licensing requirements prior to July 1, 2020, such requirements would not be immediately preempted but would expire on July 1, 2022, and cannot be modified or added to during that time frame.  Additional exceptions would allow municipalities to continue issuing “journeyman licenses” in the plumbing, pipe fitting, mechanical, HVAC, electrical, and alarm system trades.

HB3 would also amend Florida law concerning the purview of the Construction Industry Licensing Board by prohibiting municipalities from requiring additional occupations that are not listed in the statute to become licensed by the CILB.  Specifically, jobs for which local governments may not require a license include, but are not limited to, painting, flooring, cabinetry, interior remodeling, driveway or tennis court installation, decorative stone, tile, marble, granite, or terrazzo installation, plastering, stuccoing, caulking, canvas awning, and ornamental iron installation.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.