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Florida Senate “Estoppel” Bill 736 Killed! We Won!

Bad legislation was killed with the sudden ending of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session. The Community Advocacy Network (CAN) organized leading statewide community associations groups to form a united front against special interest lobbyists.

The 2015 Florida Legislative Session was a 57 day journey seeing out-of-state banks and title companies financing a proposed law, commonly referred to as the Estoppel Bill, that would have increased costs for anyone living in or owning property in one of Florida’s nearly 60,000 community associations.

The Community Advocacy Network’s (CAN) and small groups of community volunteers took on special interest groups flooding PAC money into Florida, attempting to shift the financial burden of individual real estate transactions away from individual buyers and sellers to their non-selling neighbors in community associations.

CAN wrangled Florida’s different coalition groups representing community associations from all over the state and quickly coordinated a monumental email and telephone grassroots campaign educating millions of Floridians owning property in Florida’s community associations about the contents and affect of Senate Bill (SB 736) and House Bill HB 611.

“CAN’s network of members and partners stepped up big time to help delay, amend, and redraft this terrible Bill which ultimately led to its defeat,” said Alan Garfinkel, Katzman Garfinkel Founding Partner and CAN Chairman, “Volunteer Boards and community leaders were caught off guard starting with the opening day of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session. We were taken by complete surprise, out maneuvered, over matched and out funded by millions of dollars, but we still somehow managed to win with the help of our partners and committed unpaid community leader volunteers.”

Organizations actively involved and working together to defeat Senate Bill 736 and House Bill 611 included: The Community Association Network (CAN), The Space Coast Communities Association (SCCA), The Community Association Institute Florida Legislative Alliance (CAI/FLA), Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL), The Chief Executive Officers of Management Companies (CEOMC), the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) and the Council of North County Neighborhoods (CNCN).

“For 40 years the Space Coast Communities Association is the leading voice speaking for more than 20,000 homes on Florida’s Space Coast. After years of working closely with our elected officials, never before have I seen such an assault on Florida’s homeowners. But for an unprecedented coalition of statewide organizations standing together to fight big money interest groups, Florida’s community associations were sure to suffer big- time financially. We truly appreciate the leadership efforts of Alan Garfinkel, and the Katzman Garfinkel Law Firm who helped bring together all of Florida’s coalitions and originations helping community associations immeasurably” said Roger Kesselbach, SCCA President.

 

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For almost 10 years, the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) champions issues for all types of shared ownership communities to ensure their unique needs are heard and understood by public policy makers. In addition to assisting its members through targeted advocacy campaigns at all levels of the government, CAN works tirelessly throughout the year, gathering and distributing information vital to effective community association operations throughout Florida and the United States.

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