Parasailing accident invokes de-regulation debate | News
PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida - Following Tampa Bay's second parasailing death in nine months, local leaders brought up talk again of legislation aimed at controlling the unregulated industry.
"We're actually looking, with the industry, to get a sensible set of regulations everyone can follow so we won't have (tragedies) in the future," said State Rep. Jim Frishe, R-Bellair Bluffs.
Frishe tried to pass a parasailing regulation bill this year, but HB 451 made it through just one of three committees. It's companion bill, SB 392, made it through zero.
But while Frishe said he'll try again next year to pass the "Alejandra White Act," named after the tourist killed in a September 2010 parasailing accident in Clearwater, he's also once again planning on supportnig a massive de-regulation bill that targets dozens of other industries.
This spring, HB 5005 was passed by the House before eventually dying on the Senate floor in the final minutes of the 2011 session. The House is expected to bring it back again next year, although the exact industries included aren't finalized.
The original bill contained more than 30 industries, but was trimmed to 19 upon its House passage. They included industries previously regulated for consumer protection reasons, like auto mechanics, charitable organizations, dance studios, health studios, interior designers, intrastate movers, sports agents, and telemarketers.
"We want to de-regulate the things that it doesn't make sense to regulate," said Frishe, who also serves as Majority Whip. "Obviously, we haven't repealed the speed limits, the seat belt law, the fact that cars need to have good bumpers, things like that...you look at the industry and what the regulation accomplishes."
Freshman representative Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, campaigned on eliminating regulations and says it has to do with creating jobs.
"We see deregulation as a way to get government out of the way of businesses," Brandes said of the Republican House majority.
He added that regulations don't necessarily protect consumers.
"Just because you hang a license on your wall, does not mean you're competent to do business."
Brandes and Frishe both said they expected de-regulation to be among the legislature's top priorities next spring and the bill that nearly passed in 2011 will be ultimately passed in 2012.