Lisa Pate, FRSA Executive Director
One of the most contentious bills in the 2021 legislative session for the roofing industry was Senate Bill 76 (SB 76). Among other items, original versions of both the Senate bill (SB 76) and its House counterpart (HB 305) contained a reimbursement schedule for roof replacement after a 10-year life span, favoring one roofing system over another. FRSA’s opposition to the bill was multifaceted. We opposed an arbitrary 10-year roof lifespan and feel that the lifespan of most roofs exceeds 10 years (if properly installed) and that one roof system is not inherently better than others. We also opposed any language that provides for prorated roof claim reimbursement without some type of hurricane damage exclusion. Should a hurricane or severe weather event occur, the reimbursement schedule would have left properties unprotected and jeopardized the safety of those unable to afford necessary repairs.
As mentioned, the original bill language in both the House and the Senate included a sliding scale for replacement value of various roofing systems beginning at 70 percent and declining to as low as 25 percent. FRSA Legislative Counsel, Chris Dawson, reached out to both bill sponsors, Senator Jim Boyd and Representative Bob Rommel and offered to work with them to revise language, making it more user-friendly for roofing contractors. FRSA also engaged House leadership and Senator Keith Perry to request changes to the bills. Mike Silvers, CPRC, FRSA Technical Director, assisted Chris with technical and code language and offered an alternative to the reimbursement schedule by proposing a material- neutral option or a yearly depreciation option that would have extended the roof life reimbursement in the schedule to 20 years. Chris successfully lobbied the House to eliminate the reimbursement schedule completely. Thereafter, an FRSA-led coalition including the Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida, the Florida Homebuilders Association and the Florida Realtors advocated within both the House and the Senate for support of the House bill as amended in FRSA’s favor. Read More.