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By Dallas Thiesen, FSPA Senior Director of Government
Affairs /


This year FSPA accomplished two major government relations
goals, the passage of Senate Bill 222 creating a subcontracting license
exemption for swimming pool and spa subcontractors, and the establishment of
the Florida Swims Specialty License Plate to help fund FSPA’s Florida Swims
Foundation swim lesson programs. 

With two major public policy goals accomplished, what is next
for FSPA’s government relations program? At the June 2022 Board of Directors
meeting in Tampa, FSPA Board members serving on the Builders Council,
Commercial Council, and Service Council met and discussed the major issues
facing the Florida swimming pool and spa industry. As a result of that meeting
the FSPA Board of Directors tasked the FSPA government relations team with
researching and developing the following issues and FSPA is seeking input from
all FSPA members to help in the policy development process.

Construction Recovery Fund Cap

A portion of every construction permit fee paid in the State
of Florida is contributed to the State Construction Recovery Fund (the fund).
The fund was created by the Florida Legislature to help consumers who are
financially damaged by contractors and is administered by the Construction
Industry Licensing Board (CILB). Under the law authorizing the fund, payouts to
damaged consumers are capped at $15,000 per incident for customers of Division
II contractors and $50,000 for customers of Division I contractors. With
increased demand for construction and material supply shortages over the last
few years construction costs have skyrocketed which caused more consumer claims
to run up against the statutory caps on recovery through the fund. The CILB has
expressed an interest in raising the recovery cap for Division II and Division

Currently the FSPA government relations team is working with
the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the parent
agency of the CILB, to develop a legislative proposal that would raise the
recovery caps of the fund to levels that are more in line with current
construction costs.

Liability Protections for Taking
Over Abandoned Jobs

Recently there have been contractors who have left their
clients with abandoned job sites and partially finished jobs. Many contractors
are understandably weary of taking over jobs started by other contractors due
to liability and warranty concerns. This leaves consumers with few options when
their contractor abandons the project.

In an effort to ease contractor concerns overstepping into
unfinished projects and to give consumers more options to get their
construction projects finished, FSPA is working with legislative policymakers
to research and develop a statutory liability limitation for contractors who
take over jobs abandoned by other contractors. The goal would be to codify
liability protections for contractors to make them more willing to take on
abandoned jobs and help Florida consumers finish their projects.

Unlicensed Contracting Solutions

A perennial problem for the Florida construction industry is
the prevalence of unlicensed contractors and the poor quality of work they
produce. In an effort to address unlicensed contracting with public policy
changes, the FSPA government relations team is working to develop several
policy proposals aimed at this issue. The first area of development is the
potential strengthening of criminal penalties for unlicensed contracting. FSPA
is working with legislators who have filed bills in recent legislative sessions
on this topic and working with the DBPR to assess this possibility. The other
area of development is working with the state of Florida to see what can be
done to support or encourage local law enforcement and states’ attorneys in the
arrest and prosecution of individuals engaged in unlicensed contracting.

All of these issues are in the development stage and FSPA
wants to hear the opinions of all FSPA members on the best way to tackle these
issues. If you would like to give your opinion on any of these topics or have
suggestions on other government relations issues that you would like FSPA to
address, please email
with your comments and concerns.