The Florida House discussed a sweeping deregulation bill that would affect 20 professions. It took a while because Democrats proposed amendments that would preserve the regulations for each of them individually.
One of the most contested amendments targeted the regulation of movers. State Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, said the regulation costs the state $25,000 a year.
Democrats countered that in the moving industry, the regulations are worth the price. Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, said that unscrupulous operators in the industry have been known to take advantage of people by, for example, sticking people with surprise charges once the goods are already loaded into the truck.
Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, said the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and federal authorities would still have the power to crack down on bad actors, and that the bill just targeted registration requirements.
“Should we stop registering sexual predators because all we do is register them?” countered Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek.
Some of the amendments were withdrawn. Others failed, including the mover amendment, which was rejected 79-40. The change that would have spared regulation of interior designers, which has drawn some of the most vocal opposition, also failed. The full bill is now set for debate tomorrow on the House floor.