A number of bills affecting the pool/spa industry were passed in the Florida Congress and await the governor’s signature.

One such bill appropriates $500,000 to a swimming lesson voucher program. This requires the state’s Department of Health to develop a program, including establishing a network of swim lesson vendors in each county and writing eligibility criteria.

Congress approved increases to the amount of relief its recovery fund can offer to consumers who’ve suffered losses by contractors who abandon projects or otherwise cause harm. Now, individual complainants can receive up to $30,000, double the previous cap. The lifetime aggregate paid per contractor quadrupled, from $150,000 to $600,000.

The new caps will apply to complaints filed after the effective date of July 1 2024.

Another sales-tax holiday was declared for residential pool supplies. This year, no sales tax will be required for these products during the month of July. Enacted as part of the year’s budget, the sales tax holiday must be passed annually.

A bill opposed by an alliance of construction industries was defeated. House Bill 1563 would have required contractors to retain escrow accounts similar to those required of attorneys. While it passed the House, it did not make it through the Senate.

Bills are expected to be signed or vetoed Governor Ron DeSantis by July 1.