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. 10 11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 12 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.