TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s been less than a year since 98 people lost their lives in the Surfside condo collapse in South Florida.

In the wake of the devastating collapse, state lawmakers promised reform aimed at preventing another tragedy. But during this legislative session, they failed to pass any new safety measures.

So what went wrong?

Main roadblock: Money

How do you make condos safer without raising fees on residents?

Lawmakers had the entire 2022 legislative session to answer that question. But after two months, they came back with nothing.

Rep. Daniel Perez wants condo associations to set aside cash for repairs. But Sen. Jennifer Bradley says that could create “crushing financial burdens” for condo owners.

“It just shows in the state of Florida, money is more important than lives,” said Martin Langesfeld, who lost his sister and brother-in-law in the collapse.

Lawmakers promise to take up the issue again next session. Allen Douglas, the executive director of the Florida Engineering Society, says that delay could cost lives.

“Our concern is that there are many out there that are ready to fall now,” Douglas said.

What does DeSantis say?

8 On Your Side asked Gov. Ron DeSantis about Surfside on Tuesday as he was signing an education bill in St. Petersburg.

“I was very receptive to seeing some reforms,” DeSantis said. “I also think it’s taken so long to review this and it’s an elaborate process.”

The official cause of last year’s collapse still hasn’t been released. If we had that answer, Gov. DeSantis says lawmakers may have accomplished more sooner.

“We want to make sure, of course, everybody is safe. We want to make sure we honor those families,” DeSantis said. “If there’s something that can be done, I would like to see it on my desk.”

What now?

Right now, there’s still no statewide requirement to inspect older condos and there’s no mandate that associations put money aside for maintenance and repair.

The Florida House speaker did tell 8 On Your Side many counties are being proactive and going out to inspect the buildings themselves. Investigator Mahsa Saeidi is in the process of reaching out to leaders in Tampa Bay area counties to see what they’re doing locally.

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