Hurricane Mitigation Promotion Act


This Act creates an annual “Hurricane Mitigation Week,” in which the Governor calls on individuals, business owners, and commercial property owners to prepare for the hurricane season, and to urge county and municipal governments to help citizens prepare as well. Also, the Act creates a Special Advisory Commission on Hurricane Mitigation to evaluate and strengthen the state’s preparedness for hurricanes. Finally, the Act enacts a state sales tax exemption on portable generators and other hurricane preparedness equipment during Hurricane Mitigation Week.

Hurricane Mitigation Promotion Act

{Title, enacting clause, etc.}

Section 1. {Designation.} The period from May 25th to May 31st of each year is “Hurricane Mitigation Week.”

Section 2. {Proclamation.}  The Governor is requested to issue each year, a proclamation calling on:
(A) Individuals, business owners, and commercial property owners within the state to prepare their homes, properties, and communities for the coming hurricane season.

(B) All state agencies to review and update hurricane preparedness plans.

(C) All county and municipal governments as well as the [State Department of Education, The State Department of Emergency Management, the State Department of Commerce, and the State Department of Insurance], to the extent practicable, to focus educational, outreach  and other efforts oriented towards hurricane preparedness on the period between May 25th and May 31st of that year.

Section 3. {Commission on Hurricane Mitigation.} There is hereby created a Special Advisory Commission on Hurricane Mitigation. (the Commission.)
(A) The Commission shall consist of twelve members.

(B) The membership of the Commission shall include [the Director of Emergency Management and the Commissioner of Insurance] or their designates.

(C) Six members shall be appointed by the governor one of whom shall have experience or be knowledgeable in the field of insurance, one of whom shall have experience in or be knowledgeable in the retrofitting of homes to better withstand hurricane losses, one of whom shall be a builder of single family homes, one of whom shall be a builder of commercial structures, one of whom shall be the owner of a single family home in [the area of the state served by the state residual wind insurance market or FAIR plan], one of whom shall be the owner of a commercial structure in the [the area of the state served by the state residual wind insurance market or FAIR plan.]

(D) The [Majority Leader of the Lower House], the [Minority Leader of the Lower House], the [Majority Leader of the Upper House], and the [Minority Leader of the Lower House] shall appoint one member of the Commission each.

(E) The Commission shall, one year from the enactment of this statute, and every four years thereafter submit to the governor and make available in electronic form a report that examines and makes recommendations with regard to:

(1) The areas of the state most vulnerable to hurricane damage and the appropriate ways to reduce this damage.

(2) The status of the state’s own preparedness for against hurricane damage.

(3) The strengths and weaknesses of [the statewide building code/building codes around the state/land use policies] with regard to protecting the residents from hurricane damage.

(4) Steps the state should take to improve its preparedness for hurricanes.

(F) [There is authorized to be appropriated [$50,000] for the purposes of carrying out this section./The Department of Emergency Management shall provide staff support to the Commission.]

Section 4. {Tax Exemption.} Beginning in [2011], for a seven-day period that begins each year on May 25 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on May 31, the [state sales tax law]  shall not apply to (i) portable generators used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage and (ii) certain other hurricane preparedness equipment, including, but not limited to, blue ice, carbon monoxide detectors, mobile phone batteries, mobile phone chargers, gas or diesel fuel tanks, nonelectric food storage coolers, portable self-powered light sources, portable self-powered radios, two-way radios, weather band radios, storm shutter devices, tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting, ground anchor systems or tie down kits, hurricane straps, clips or holdown devises, and packages of AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt, or 9 volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries. As used in this section, “storm shutter” means materials and products manufactured, rated, and marketed specifically for the purpose of preventing window damage from storms.

(A) The tax exemption shall apply to each portable generator with a selling price of $1,000 or less, and each article of other hurricane preparedness equipment with a selling price of $60 or less. Any discount, coupon, or other credit offered either by the retailer or by a vendor of the retailer to reduce the final price to the customer shall be taken into account in determining the selling price for purposes of this exemption.

(B) [The state tax collection authority] in consultation with the Commission on Hurricane Mitigation shall develop guidelines that describe the items of merchandise that qualify for the exemption and make such guidelines available, both electronically and in hard copy, no later than May 15 of each year.

Section 5.  {Severability Clause.}

Section 6. {Repealer Clause.}

Section 7. {Effective Date.}