It’s That Time of Year
While my favorite season of the year is Fall, I do enjoy Springtime in Tallahassee. The weather is beautiful, flowers are starting to bloom, and the warmer weather and longer days allow our family more time to get outside. While spring in Tallahassee is beautiful, it also brings along an unwanted friend, pollen. You can often see the first hints of it if you drive a dark colored car. No, that isn’t yellow dirt covering your vehicle you just washed. This is followed by your allergy prone friends beginning their annual trek to the local drugstore for the best OTC to halt the attack on their sinus’.
While pollen is one way to indicate Spring’s arrival, I prefer to gauge it by the blooming of the southern azaleas. Typically, I think of the timing being between late march and early April in time for the Masters being played at Augusta National Golf Club. Unfortunately, spring is in full swing right now. The azaleas are in full bloom, the new spring growth is everywhere along with the dreaded pollen season. Yes, it’s that time of year.
It’s also time for the start of the 2023 Legislative Session. This year Regular Session is scheduled to begin on March 7 and conclude on May 5, 2023. Members bills are being filed daily with the pace increasing as bill filing deadline draws near. It is always difficult to pass a bill and given that two interim committee weeks were also used as special sessions for Governor DeSantis’ priorities, the Legislature has not acted on many bills with many others apparently stuck in bill drafting. I would expect that many special interest priorities will be left to accomplish at a later date.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of issues impacting the title industry that need attention. The list includes a much-needed glitch fix in the DFS package impacting title agencies, prohibiting qualified mortgage payoff letters, addressing long term right to sell contracts and the exploding identity theft in real estate closings. This is just the short list for the title industry and doesn’t even include issues that may be filed by a legislator requiring the title insurance lobby teams to engage on. There is a lot of work to be done in 2023.
This is also the time of year to make your travel arrangements to attend the Florida Land Title Association’s Legislative Lobby Days in Tallahassee scheduled for April 3-5th, 2023. This important event provides you the opportunity to advocate for the industry, connect with legislators and network with peers from across the state and to become educated on the latest from the front lines.
As you know, the business of passing laws is much more than simply being on the right side of an argument. Passing laws is selling and the business of selling is always rooted in relationships. If you have never attended the FLTA event, there is no better time to dip your toe in then when there are a lot of title industry issues we need to explain to legislators. Who better to explain than those who work in the industry and see them firsthand. If you are a veteran, your skill and experience are needed as we work to educate both new legislators and sharpen the skills of the next group of title insurance industry leaders. If you need additional information on Legislative Lobby Days visit www.flta.org or call Scott Merritt.
So, it’s that time of year, but what are you waiting for? There are plenty of issues needing attention in Tallahassee. There is a whole crop of new legislators that need to know who to call from their community when a title industry issue arises in Tallahassee. Don’t miss a golden opportunity. After all, the freshman legislator you meet this year may be the Speaker of the House or Senate President in 2028.
Message from Agents' Section Lobbyist, David Daniel, with Smith, Bryan & Myers