Gov. Crist Signs Florida Franchise-Reform Bill


Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a franchise-reform bill for his state that will allow new competitors to apply for statewide franchising by July 1.

Incumbent operators can also opt in to state regulation on that date. Franchising will now be handled by the Florida Department of State, which will have 30 days to approve state applications.

According to the bill, any local franchise requirement that is in excess of the state rules is now void and unenforceable.

Approving the bill, the governor stated the view that competition had been stifled by the city-by-city regulatory regime, adding that as a result, bills for services increased dramatically.