Courtesy of Florida Politics
By Danny McAuliffe
Published March 9, 2019
Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Secretary Halsey
Beshears’ confirmation process has encountered some conflict.
During a Senate committee hearing
Wednesday, state Sen. Josť Javier Rodriguez, a Miami
Democrat, voted against Beshears, a Republican former House
member from Monticello.
Rodriguez, explaining the vote, cited inaction on problems
surrounding condominium complaints.
“It’s simply because this condo-enforcement issue is just so
important and critical, particularly to me and my
constituents,” Rodriguez said, adding that he could
“certainly be a ‘yes’ vote on the floor” when a plan to
address the issue is put in place.
Rodriguez mentioned a grand jury report from February 2017
that examined a general uptick in condo complaints and
DBPR’s ability to handle them.
“Unfortunately, the DBPR seems ill-suited to resolve,
correct or prevent many of the recurring problems that have
been brought to their attention,” the 37-page report said.
“In order to stem the flow of complaints that come in we
have to have a cultural change by the agency as well as
educate consumers on how the process exactly works,”
Beshears told Rodriguez. “We need a short-term plan on how
we deal with those complaints, how we investigate it, how we
Former Rep. Alan Williams,
D-Tallahassee, talks to Rep. Halsey Beshears, R-Monticello, Tuesday
April 4, 2017 on the floor of the House at the Florida Capitol in
been part of a successful 2017 push to reform condo laws.
But now, Rodriguez said he is hearing constituents in his district are
“having issues looking to the DBPR on issues where they have jurisdiction,
they have staff, they have the authority, but it doesn’t ever seem to really
make a difference because there just is not that culture that you talked
The nine other members of the committee — three Democrats and six
Republicans — supported Beshears during the hearing.
“I assure you that the condo issue is next on my agenda to address because
we as an agency cannot simply stand by and continue to deal with the condo
complaints and investigations as we have in the past,” Beshears said during
opening remarks to the panel.
Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Beshears to the post in December. He had just
been re-elected to House District 7 in November. He left the legislative
seat in January.
Beshears told the panel he now oversees 1,600 state employees and that the
agency operates on a $156 million budget.
Beshears highlighted three major changes he has made at the helm, including
a DeSantis-backed deregulation initiative, upgrades to the Florida Business
Information Portal and the implementation of electronic licensing tools.
On Tuesday, DeSantis mentioned the findings of DBPR’s deregulation
initiative during his State of the State Address. “This project merits your
support,” he said.
Beshears has been referred to two other committees for confirmation