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CS/CS/HB 1147 — Office of Attorney General

by Judiciary Committee; Justice Appropriations Subcommittee; and Rep. Fitzenhagen (CS/SB 1464 by Appropriations Committee and Senator Lee)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Judiciary Committee (JU)

This bill makes changes to laws enforced by or governing the Office of the Attorney General, also known as the Department of Legal Affairs. These changes: 

  • Reduce the amount of funds that revert from the Legal Affairs Revolving Trust Fund to the General Revenue Fund at the end of a fiscal year. Under existing law, amounts in excess of 3 times the combined budgets for the antitrust and racketeering sections of the Department of Legal Affairs revert to the General Revenue Fund. Under the bill, trust fund will also retain 3 times the amount of the budget for the department’s consumer protection section.
  • Correct a discrepancy in statute and specify that rewards for reporting Medicaid fraud to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement be paid from the Operating Trust Fund.
  • Incorporate current federal consumer protection laws and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission into the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, effectively specifying additional deceptive and unfair trade practices.
  • Allow final written notification of the need to repair a vehicle that does not conform to the manufacturer’s warranty to be made by any method providing a delivery confirmation.
  • Require that, upon receipt from a manufacturer of a procedure for handling consumer complaints, the Department of Legal Affairs notify the manufacturer of any deficiencies in the procedure, certify the procedure for a period not to exceed 1 year, or deny the certification and state the reasons for the denial.
  • Allow a notice sent by the Department of Legal Affairs which rejects a motor vehicle dispute for arbitration be sent by any method by deleting a requirement that the notice be sent by registered mail.
  • Allow the Attorney General discretion as to whether to file an action based on a complaint involving discriminatory housing practices.

These provisions became law upon approval by the Governor on July 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 36-0; House 114-0