Businesses whose revenues decline by 15% or more as a result of a local ordinance or local citizens’ initiative will now be allowed to sue cities and counties for damages under a measure passed by lawmakers on Wednesday and sent to the governor for approval. The proposal is one of a series of measures passed this legislative session in the aftermath of the COVID-19 standoffs between Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and more progressive big-city governments.

“This is my favorite bill by far,” Rep. Juan Alfonso Fernandez-Barquin, R-Miami-Dade County, said. “It’s a great bill.”

If new local rules hurt revenue, Florida businesses will be allowed to sue for damages

Miami Herald, March 9, 2022

Florida Legislature, Including Some Democrats, Rebuke Biden For Going Soft On Colombian Terrorist Group

The Tampa Free Press, March 6, 2022

The website Florida Politics reported that Barquin-Fernandez’s wife is Colombian and that his friend’s brother was kidnapped and murdered by FARC.

Fernandez-Barquin sponsored what’s known as a “memorial,” which is a notice that does not carry the weight of law. In his memorial, Fernandez-Barquin recalled America’s 200-year relationship with Colombia, and noted that with U.S. help Colombia has evolved from “a volatile and near-failed state in 2001 into a rich democracy with a growing free market in 2021.”

The memorial declares the House’s “firm commitment to Colombia, the United States’ strongest ally in Latin America, and urges Congress to oppose the Biden Administration’s removal of FARC from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.” The document also “urges Congress to use all means possible, including divestiture, to impede ties, commercial or otherwise, with FARC.”

The bill, (SB 994) known as the Florida Pet Protection Act, would require state licensing, periodic inspections and sales-record audits of pet shops by the Department of Professional Business Regulations but would preempt local laws like the county ban approved by a 4-3 vote of commissioners.

Humane Society officials panned the legislation introduced by a pair of South Florida Republicans, Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. and Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin, saying it undermines local efforts to stop the steady flow of sickly animals from puppy mills to retail shops in the Orlando area.

Proposed state law would void Orange County ban on pet sales, save pet stores

Orlando Sentinel, January 20, 2022

Manny Diaz, Juan Fernandez-Barquin to revive bill regulating pet sales

Florida Politics, December 6, 2021

Sen. Manny Diaz and Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin will give a new face to an old bill this Session, as they’re sponsoring a measure aiming to more strictly regulate pet sales — and help cut down on puppy mills.

The measures would require retail pet stores to obtain a license from the Department of Business and Professional regulation to sell animals.

The legislation also requires those stores to only acquire animals from qualified breeders, animal rescues, animal shelters, pet brokers or individuals who are exempt from licensure. That includes individuals who don’t routinely sell animals.