Good news came out of Tallahassee earlier this week with the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries voting favorably on the Protect Florida Small Business Act (SB 750). The 7-2 vote came at the conclusion of the public hearing (SB 750 discussion begins at 19:00 minute mark +/-) on the proposal that was sponsored by Senator Jack Latvala of Clearwater. I had the privilege of testifying in favor of this legislation as Executive Director of DDIFO as well as a representative of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) and in the latter capacity, submitted letters of support for the Protect Florida Small Business Act from an additional seven individual franchisee associations. The bill is still under consideration in two other Senate Committees – Judiciary and the Senate Rules Committee, but approval by the Regulated Industries Committee was a critical first step. Furthermore, an identical bill (HB 1069), filed by Representative Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) is pending in the Florida House. With the short window remaining for the current session, (the session ends on May 5, 2017), it is likely that the issue will not have much further movement until next session, but that gives us plenty of time to educate legislators in both branches of the importance of restoring balance to the franchisor-franchisee relationship in Florida.