The future of engineering is impacted by decisions made by elected officials. State and federal laws and regulations impact day-to-day operations. FES is the leading advocate for Florida’s engineering community, and is working hard to pursue the industry’s interest in Tallahassee.

With nearly 1,000 people moving to Florida every day, preparing Florida’s infrastructure for smart growth and development is essential. FES is focused on creating long-term investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, environmental and vertical structures.

During the 2022 Legislative Session, FES is focused on the following priorities:

In October 2021, Florida professional engineers and building experts released the Surfside Working Group’s Florida Building Professionals Recommendations, which focus on preserving the long-term health of buildings by assessing environmental and other degradation of structures and their systems over the life of a building.

The Recommendations were provided to lawmakers for their consideration in establishing mandatory minimum structural inspections and post-occupancy whole building safety inspections.

FES supports Inspection of Existing Structures, which calls for:

A two-phase inspection process: 20 years for buildings within three miles of the coast, and 30 years for inland structures. Buildings officials should be responsible for ensuring repairs are completed. It is also recommended that the inspection of existing buildings be incorporated into the Florida Building Code.

FES is monitoring HB 771 Powers of the Florida Building Commission which would require the Florida Building Commission to develop uniform standards for the maintenance and periodic inspection of existing building structures.

FES supports transportation projects that allow the Florida Department of Transportation to implement the use of “progressive design-build contracts” in its procurement process. SB 398 / HB 157 provides definitions and rules for the use of this technique.

FES Florida supports SB 736 / HB 583 which expands on the existing “right to cure procedures” in chapter 558, F.S. Importantly, the bills provide for a four-year limitation period for bringing a construction defect action, whether the action is based on a patent or obvious defect or a latent or hidden defect. The statutory language authorizing a 10-year statute of repose for latent defects would be repealed.

FES supports SB 940 / SB942 / HB 565 / HB 375 creating the Professional Structural Engineer license.

Several bills that are bad for Florida’s engineering community have been introduced, and FES is actively opposing these efforts:

HB 6083 Fuel Sales Tax

HB 6089 Purchase of Plant Material for Construction Projects

HB 6091/SB 1520 Acquisition of Professional Services

SB 886 /HB 515 Municipal Water & Sewer Utility Rates     

HB 621 / SB 1162  Infrastructure Project Funding/Transfers of Utility Revenues