If the Senate had its way, commercial interior designers, athlete agents and telemarketers would continue to need state licenses to practice.
But the House isn't willing to cave on those parts of HB 5005, its professional deregulation bill. At least not now.
The differences surfaced during conference committee negotiations on the bill this week, the most recent of which was held Friday morning. The conference committee will meet one last time at 12:45 p.m. Friday before likely kicking up several undecided issues to budget chairs.
Here are the industries lawmakers have agreed to deregulate so far: hair braiding, body wrapping, rooming houses and outdoor theaters.
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That leaves a lot of unfinished business, as the Senate version does not want to deregulate talent agencies, auctioneers, athlete agents, interior designers, motor vehicle repair shops, yaught and ship brokers, charities, health studios, dance studios, telemarketers, household movers, water vending machine operators and travel agents.
The state will lose $6 million if the bill passes in full, according to House staff analysis. The sponsor, Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, acknowledged the hit but said Thursday night that the bill is meant to help business owners who will not have to pay licensing fees.
"It's a balancing," she said.
The interior designer debate has evoked tears and impassioned pleas from both sides during public testimony this session. On Thursday, interior design lobbyists from Washington, D.C., flocked to Tallahassee to defend the state’s licensing requirement, warning deregulation would bring grave consequences for their industry.
“No interior designer will be able to work in a commercial setting,” said Don Davis, American Society of Interior Designers’ director of government affairs.
Joining them was Rep. Charles Van Zant, a Republican architect from Keystone Heights. Van Zant said architects and engineers depend on registered interior designers for their ability to "sign and seal" plans and the "safety and well-being" of spaces.
The pro-deregulation side rebutted Davis' claim, saying more Floridians and businesses would be able to offer the commercial service without Florida's license requirement.
"Cutting bureaucratic tape and reducing regulation increases jobs, not eliminates them," said Sarah Bascom, who represents the National Kitchen and Bath Association.