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Cosmetics legislation moving forward as Session winds down

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A proposal to overhaul archaic state regulations on Florida-based cosmetics manufacturers has gained steam from two major industry endorsements as Session winds down, though the time for the bills to move is growing shorter.

The bills – HB 261 by Rep. Chris Latvala and SB 176 by Sen. Jeff Brandes — would reform a regulatory cosmetics regime manufacturers have called “unnecessary and burdensome” by cutting down on governmental red tape at the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

The legislation picked up a major industry nod from the Manufacturers Association of Florida, who said existing rules for cosmetics makers “create a significant competitive disadvantage for Florida manufacturers.”

A law currently on the books requires any firm who manufactures, packages or labels cosmetics must register each product every two years with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, and pay attendant fees to fund that often duplicative work.

Cosmetics made out-of-state may be sold in Florida without any such requirement applying, which has caused some firms like Radical Cosmetics – a company wooed from out of state by economic development boosters before discovering the onerous registration law – to leave the state for greener pastures.

“The cosmetic product registration requirement is outdated, unnecessary, and highly burdensome to Florida’s cosmetics manufacturers,” wrote Nancy Stephens, Executive Director of the manufacturer’s group in a letter to Senate Appropriations Chief Tom Lee. “The passage of SB 176 would repeal this harmful law and would more closely align Florida’s cosmetics regulations with the FDA and our competitor states.”

Just last week another major industry advocate, the Personal Care Products Council, lent its support to the bill. Founded in 1894, the Council is the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry.

Government Affairs Director for the PCPC Karin Ross wrote Lee and House Appropriations Chair Richard Corcoran to approve the bill, saying it was vital to their industry’s interests.

“The overall personal care and beauty industry in Florida employs hundreds of thousands of workers, contributes over $11 billion annually to the state’s economy and over $5 billion to the state in annual taxes,” Ross wrote. “Although the Department of Business and Professional Regulation generates a small portion of revenue from this registration program, it would be far eclipsed by the overall economic impact paid to the state if it were to repeal this onerous law and create a positive business climate.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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