Update: HB 5005 failed to pass in the Florida Senate. The travel agent bond will not be removed.
The enactment of Florida’s HB 5005, called “Deregulation of Professions and Occupations,” will eliminate licensing requirements for many of the state’s industries, including the $50,000 Florida travel agent surety bond that is currently required of travel agents.
This is the same legislation that will eradicate the $25,000 Florida surety bond requirement for yacht brokers, as well as all licensing requirements for auctioneers.
An article by the Sun Sentinel out of Fort Lauderdale said that the enactment of this bill would open Florida up to abuses from the past. Countless other industry professionals agree, arguing that unethical professionals were the reason that the regulations, such as surety bond requirements, were established in the first place. They worry that deregulating so many industries will leave the door wide open for fraudulent professionals who will take advantage of consumers just to make some quick cash.
David Oigarden of Baker & Hostetler LLP shared his perspective on the bill:
“It appears that HB 5005 haphazardly slashes provisions of Florida law in an effort to reduce costs and to effectuate sweeping deregulation. A close reading of the bill leads the reader to the conclusion that the drafting is not precise and that mistakes, omissions and the failure to understand the nuances of the affected laws would create uncertainty and difficulty for those seeking to comply.”
Many states have recently begun deregulating some of their industries, usually to account for budget deficits. Although deregulating industries might save government agencies some cash in the short-term, countless problems are bound to arise in the long-term when consumers begin realizing that they were conned by unruly, unregulated professionals.