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Florida lawmakers fail to pass any condo safety measures post Surfside collapse

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A rescue worker walks among the rubble where a wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed, Thursday, June 24, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Before ending the session, the Florida legislature failed top pass any safety measures for condos post the Surfside partial collapse that left close to 100 people dead.
Former State Representative Julio Robaina, who wrote some of the laws that already exist says the Republicans are guilty of politics over policy.

Rep. Daniel Perez, who represents Miami, also pulled the mandatory education bill and he is to be the next house speaker.
The proposed legislation required condo buildings to conduct “reserve studies” where engineers inform condo boards about how much money they recommend setting aside after doing periodic inspections.

It also required condo inspections on aging buildings.

Listen to the full interview with Julio Robaina here.

Board certified community association attorney Eric Glazer reacted this way, “I’m pissed.”

He told 850WFTL, “The Senate apparently caved to the House’s requirements and passed a bill 38 to zero, that would have still allowed owners the ability to waive reserves as usual; a majority of a quorum. It also would have removed the educational requirement for directors. However, at least it would have required mandatory Phase One and/or Phase 2 inspections throughout the state after 30 years by an architect or engineer ; 25 years on the coast. It would have required the association to provide these engineering or architectural reports to all of the owners. It would have helped somewhat.   However, you would think that the members of The House of Representatives should have had the ability to vote on the same bill right? Wrong.”

Glazer added, “Instead, The Speaker, Chris Sprowls, never even let it get to a vote. Just like that any potential for new safety laws, reserve laws or education of members was declared dead, even though there were two days left in the session.  They walked away.  Your Republican dominated legislature let you down big time; especially The House of Representatives and allowed our current dangerous laws to remain for at least
another year.”

Some feared these mandates would have made the cost of owning a condominium, especially in South Florida, prohibitive which would drive up rent as well.

South Florida has already surpassed New York as the most expensive place to rent in the country.

And the state does not currently have enough engineers and inspectors who specialize in building code compliance and structural soundness.

The measure failed to make headway between both chambers of the Florida legislature on Friday.

While legislators will return on Monday to approve a record $112 billion budget, they wrapped up all other work Friday.

Here are some of the committees former Rep. Robaina sat on while in office.

Committee Membership for 2008 – 2010 Term