Florida Senate - 2018                                    SB 1708
       By Senator Torres
       15-01658-18                                           20181708__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to temporary licensure; providing
    3         legislative intent regarding certain professionals who
    4         evacuated from Puerto Rico during 2017; authorizing
    5         specified professionals to obtain a 2-year temporary
    6         license to work in the state; providing requirements
    7         for obtaining such license; providing for expiration
    8         and prohibiting renewal of such license; providing an
    9         effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. (1)The Legislature recognizes the vast
   14  devastation and destruction that transformed and impacted homes,
   15  families, businesses, and commerce in Puerto Rico as a result of
   16  the hurricanes that swept through the Caribbean during 2017;
   17  that the citizens and businesses of Puerto Rico may not be able
   18  to fully rebuild the island for years to come; and that, given
   19  the dire financial problems plaguing the citizens of Puerto
   20  Rico, many families have become economically distressed and can
   21  no longer work in a stable and predictable way. The Legislature
   22  also recognizes that many of these citizens, by necessity, have
   23  evacuated their homes and migrated to Florida to find gainful
   24  employment. To that end, the Legislature determines that it is
   25  in the best interest of the state to provide a legal path to
   26  grant certain professionals from Puerto Rico an opportunity to
   27  become temporarily licensed in this state so they may become
   28  employed.
   29         (2)Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, professionals
   30  who evacuated from Puerto Rico during the 2017 calendar year may
   31  receive a 2-year temporary license in the following licensed
   32  professions from the applicable licensing entities:
   33         (a)Barbers licensed under chapter 476, Florida Statutes.
   34         (b)Clinical social workers licensed under chapter 491,
   35  Florida Statutes.
   36         (c)Cosmetologists licensed under chapter 477, Florida
   37  Statutes.
   38         (d)Engineers licensed under chapter 471, Florida Statutes.
   39         (e)Mental health counselors licensed under chapter 491,
   40  Florida Statutes.
   41         (3)To be eligible to receive a temporary license under
   42  subsection (2), the professional must provide the licensing
   43  entity with documentation of his or her license in Puerto Rico
   44  in the respective field. The temporary license shall expire 2
   45  years after issuance and is nonrenewable.
   46         Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.