Displaying items by tag: 2022 Legislative Session

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 9, 2022
CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

SB 1534 Passes House Floor in 80-36 Vote; Bill Cracks Down on Organized Crime Rings Targeting Retail Stores Within a Limited Time Period 

Tallahassee, FL – Yesterday, the Florida House passed Senate Bill 1534, Retail Theft, the Senate companion to House legislation sponsored by Representative Chuck Clemons.

The bill applies third-degree and second-degree felonies for individuals or those in consort with one or more persons who commit five or more retail thefts within 30 days. Specifically, SB 1534 creates charges for retail-theft crimes that include multiple retail thefts occurring in a limited period of time in various merchant locations. 

"Consumer and employee safety is the utmost priority for Florida retailers," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "Organized retail theft is on the rise and this measure will provide prosecutors with a valuable tool to curtail this criminal activity. We thank Representative Clemons for his leadership in protecting Floridians and fighting against those who seek to profit from retail theft."

Last month the Senate companion SB 1534 by Senator Jim Boyd passed the Senate floor. 

Legislation to crack down on retail crime in Florida is a priority of both Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida retail industry.

To read Senate Bill 1534, visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/1534

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

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Published in Media Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 4, 2022
CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Senate Bill 944 Passes the Senate Floor, Fights Against Organized Retail Crime Rings Misusing Online Marketplaces to Sell Stolen Goods

Tallahassee, FL – Senate Bill 944, Online Marketplace Transparency, by Senator Dennis Baxley passed the Florida Senate floor on Thursday in a 38-1 vote.

SB 944 implements verification requirements on online marketplaces in Florida to protect consumers from the online sale of fraudulent or stolen goods. Online platforms have been misused by organized crime rings to anonymously sell stolen merchandise and illicit goods to unsuspecting consumers. 

"Thank you, Senator Baxley, for your leadership and commitment to protecting Florida consumers and businesses," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "Strengthening transparency measures will not only inform and protect Florida consumers while shopping online, it will also support Florida businesses. Florida retailers who have suffered as a result of the misuse of online marketplace platforms at the hands of organized retail crime rings will receive much-needed relief from this legislation."

The bill seeks to aid consumers requiring the verification of third-party sellers on online marketplaces to help ensure the safe purchase of goods. If passed into Florida statute, the consumer will have a direct line of communication to either the seller or the online marketplace.

The legislation also incorporates data privacy and security measures to protect seller information once the verification process is complete.  

Senate Bill 944 will be sent to the Florida House floor in messages.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

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Published in Media Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 3, 2022
CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

HB 1209 Codifies Present Florida Vaccine Administration Practices and Expands Health Care Access in Florida

Tallahassee, FL – House Bill 1209 passed the Florida House floor Wednesday in a 114-1 vote. HB 1209 will officially codify the current practice regarding vaccinations throughout retail pharmacies in Florida. 

“We thank Representative Kaylee Tuck and her colleagues in the Florida House for working to ensure that all Floridians have access to needed vaccines," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "HB 1209 will allow Florida pharmacists and pharmacy interns and pharmacy technicians to continue to serve our Florida communities through and beyond the pandemic."

The bill amends portions of current state statutes to align with the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. Under the present PREP Act, registered pharmacy technicians are authorized to administer vaccines. 

Pharmacy technicians undergo rigorous training per guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The legislation requires pharmacy technicians to undergo specific training as approved by the Florida Board of Pharmacy in consultation with the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine. The completion of the training program will authorize registered pharmacy technicians to continue to administer specified vaccines to those aged 18 years or older.

HB 1209 will now be submitted to the Florida Senate in messages.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. 

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Published in Media Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 2, 2022
CONTACT:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Senate Bill 944 Passed the Senate Committee on Rules

Tallahassee, FL – The Senate Committee on Rules passed Senate Bill 944, Online Marketplace Transparency, by Senator Dennis Baxley on Tuesday.

SB 944 implements verification requirements to protect consumers from the online sale of fraudulent goods in Florida. The bill fights against organized retail crime rings utilizing online marketplaces to sell stolen items. 

"The anonymity of online marketplaces has long been exploited by those who seek to profit from retail theft," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "Whether shopping online or in a store, Floridians deserve to know that the products they buy are safe and from reputable sources. This legislation will play an important role in protecting consumers and combatting organized retail crime."

Online platforms have been misused by criminals to anonymously sell stolen merchandise and illicit goods to unsuspecting consumers. 

“Criminals are using the anonymity of online marketplace platforms to create the appearance of a legitimate business,” said Senator Baxley. “They create fake accounts. They flood the marketplace with stolen or counterfeit merchandise and take advantage of unsuspecting customers. This bill is meant to modernize the statutes that give our Attorney General the tools to enforce these laws.”

SB 944 helps ensure the safe purchase of quality goods online and aid consumers by requiring the verification of third-party sellers on online marketplaces. The bill requires data privacy and security measures to protect seller information from being utilized or shared once the verification process is complete.

If passed, the bill will also allow the consumer a direct line of communication to either the seller or the online marketplace.

On Tuesday, Grace Lovett, Vice President of Government Affairs of the Florida Retail Federation, waived in support of this legislation to promote safe online marketplaces for consumers and businesses. 

SB 944 and its companion,  HB 1227 by Representative Jackie Toledo, is similar to the  federal legislation known as the Integrity Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act. 

The bill will advance to the Senate floor next for discussion. 

ABOUT  THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

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Published in Media Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 21, 2022
CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – Today House Bill 1511, sponsored by Representative Chuck Clemons, passed the Florida House Judiciary Committee in a 12-5 vote. HB 1511 defines and creates third-degree and second-degree felony charges for retail-theft crimes. 

"Organized retail crime is a real threat," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "The growth of this criminal activity across the country impacts not only our retail members but our customers. Florida shoppers deserve to be in a safe and enjoyable retail environment. We are thankful for the leadership of Representative Clemons and the support of the Florida House on this measure."

This proposed legislation is a priority of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida retail industry. The bill targets individuals or those in consort with more than one persons who steal multiple times in a limited period of time in different merchant locations. 

Last year, Attorney General Moody launched a new task force known as the Florida Organized Retail Crime Exchange (FORCE). The FORCE database allows law enforcement officers, prosecutors and retailers to work together to help identify and stop criminal activity.

"In the last year, there’s been 60 cases involving more than 250 individuals suspected of organized retail theft or crimes related to organized retail theft," said Representative Clemons. "This piece of legislation will help the effectiveness of this task force and give the prosecutors the tools they need to prosecute these criminals and strengthen the law."

Lorena Holley, Vice President and General Counsel of the Florida Retail Federation, waived in support of this legislation.  

Last week, the Senate companion, SB 1534 by Senator Jim Boyd passed the Senate floor in a unanimous 38-0 vote. HB 1511 will advance to the Florida House floor for discussion. 

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

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Published in Media Relations
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