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Please Consider Joining our New ELSS Opt-Out Effort

While it seems like the 2017 legislative session just ended, the 2018 session is just around the corner.  Committee meetings will be held from September through December, 2017, and the legislative session will officially start on January 9, 2018. As you may recall, the Governor vetoed HB 653 which, among other things, would have allowed high-rise buildings to opt out of an engineered life safety system (ELSS). The following is a message from Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff, a shareholder and lobbyist with Becker & Poliakoff, explaining our new ELSS opt-out effort and requesting your participation:

We realize that some of you did not participate in the ELSS Opt-Out effort last year, but we are reaching out because we need your support. 

 There have been a lot of twists and turns since the Governor vetoed the ELSS Opt-Out legislation and there was yet another fire – this one in Hawaii – added to the mix. The timing could not have been worse. Although I believe we have a strong case to distinguish the London fire, it would be challenging to distinguish the Hawaii fire. Our political hurdles just increased a couple of notches. Rick Scott will be Governor through next session and he vetoed the bill because of the London Fire, not to mention we are also entering an election year, which always creates political complications. With that said, we would like to share our new strategy with you and hope you will join the effort.

 Last month, I spoke with Senator Passidomo, our Senate sponsor, and she expressed concerns about the potential cost of installation and seemed willing to do something about it. I also believe we have Representative Moraitis’ support again as the House sponsor if we take the right approach. After analyzing the politics and speaking to many association leaders throughout the state, I would like to propose another extension to the deadline to install an ELSS, but with the caveat that we will convene a task force to study the cost and explore other options. Additionally, we may want to pursue language that does not allow sprinklers to be included in an ELSS and create a uniform definition for an ELSS. 

We are writing you today because time is of the essence and we need to get the ball rolling on this effort. The more associations that join this effort, the better our opportunity. Committee meetings begin in September so we need to have an idea by September 1st if we have enough participants to make this work. I am glad to speak with any of you individually or answer your questions via email.  Let me know your thoughts at lobby@bplegal.com. I am happy to send you our retainer agreement for your review.  We are asking for each association to contribute $2500 to the effort. I hope you will consider joining this year and I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff, Esq. 

Yeline Goin

Yeline Goin

Contact: ygoin@beckerlawyers.com

Yeline Goin is a member of the Firm’s Community Association Practice Group and Government Law & Lobbying Group. She concentrates her practice on the law of community associations, primarily representing condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations. She also represents local governments and other entities in Tallahassee as part of our State Lobbying Team.