2020 Legislative Update

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

Updated February 19, 2020, 8:30 a.m.

Check out 1000 Friends of Florida’s 2020 Legislative Priorities

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Hear Policy & Planning Director Jane West Give a Legislative Update on January 23

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Florida faces many vital issues related to managing and planning for growth, conserving critical lands and waters, and protecting the environment. During the most recent Florida Legislative Session, more than 3,500 bills were introduced with only 194 passing into law. To make the best use of our limited resources, each session 1000 Friends identifies our top priorities, focusing first on legislation and budget items related to statewide planning, growth management, local government home rule and transportation, and statewide land and water conservation, recognizing that there are myriad groups addressing other issues. Below is an initial list of bills we are monitoring for the 2020 session based on 1000 Friends’ priorities, presented with the understanding that this list will expand as the session progresses.

Bill Status: PASSEDDID NOT PASS

 

2020 Florida Legislative Session


URGENT! ACTION NEEDED!

Bill #/SponsorTitle / Description

CONSERVATION LEGISLATION

Bill #/SponsorTitle / Description
SB 150 Brandes
SUPPORT SB 150 Sanitary Sewer Laterals
Read More

SUPPORT SB 150 (Brandes) encourages counties and municipalities to establish a sanitary sewer lateral inspection program and requiring a seller of real property to disclose any known defects in the property’s sanitary sewer lateral – its connection to a main sewer line.  The bill would also establish and maintain a publicly accessible database to store information when a damaged or deteriorating sanitary sewer system has been identified.

Senate referrals:  Environmental and Natural Resources (passed 11/13); Judiciary (passed 12/10); Rules


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SB 172 Bradley
HB 113 Roach
OPPOSE SB 172 & HB 113 Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act
Read More

SB 172 (Bradley) and HB 113 (Roach) would preempt the regulation of over-the-counter proprietary drugs or cosmetics to the state. This preemption would nullify local bans on sunscreen to protect damage to coral reefs, such as the one passed by Key West. 1000 Friends of Florida generally supports the authority of local governments to regulate activities within their borders – home rule – and opposes these bills.  

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (passed 10/14); Industry, Innovation and Technology (approved 11/4); Rules (approved 1/15).

House referrals:  First reading (1/14); Health Quality Subcommittee (passed 11/6); Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed 1/21); Health and Human Services Committee (approved 1/30).


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SB 182 Stewart
HB 6043 Grieco, Eskanmani
SUPPORT SB 182 & HB 6043 Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials
Read More

SB 182 (Stewart) and HB 6043 (Grieco, Eskamani) seek to delete preemptions of local laws relating to the regulation of auxiliary containers, plastic bags and polystyrene, thus opening the door for more local government control over single use plastics and polystyrene. It was filed in response to an appeals court ruling that struck down a local ordinance in Coral Gables that banned polystyrene from restaurants, supermarkets and other food establishments in the city. 1000 Friends of Florida generally supports the authority of local governments to regulate activities within their borders – home rule – and supports these bills.  

Senate referrals:  Community Affairs, Environment and Natural Resources and Rules.

House referrals:  First reading (1/14); Business and Professions Subcommittee; Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Commerce Committee


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SB 200 Montford
HB 547 Fitzenhagen
SUPPORT SB 200 & HB 547 Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment
Read More

SB 200 (Montford) and HB 547 (Fitzenhagen), a similar bill, broadly ban the drilling method known as fracking, and include both “high-pressure well stimulation” and “matrix acidization.” Fracking is prohibited under the bills, even in cases where having a permit for drilling and operating a well are authorized. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources, favorable treatment (5-0) on 11/4/19; Innovation, Industry and Technology; Appropriations 

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee 


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SB 318 Stewart
SB 318 Sale of Sunscreen
Read More

SB 318 (Stewart) would prohibit the sale, offer for sale, or distribution of sunscreen products with ingredients harmful to coral reefs to a consumer who does not have a prescription.  

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Commerce and Tourism; Rules 

No House referrals as of 1/3 


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SB 326 Perry
HB 73 Overdorf
SB 326 & HB 73 Environmental Regulation
Read More

SB 326 (Perry) and HB 73 (Overdorf) are similar, broad bills vulnerable to potentially harmful amendments pertaining to environmental regulation.  The bills pertain to recycling contractors and the procedures for managing and rejecting residential recycling containers but also seek to regulate dock permitting. Similar legislation in the 2019 session became a vehicle for measures with harmful impacts on the environment. January 15:  The bill was amended on 1/15 to include definitions and procedures for contaminated, recyclable material.

Senate referral: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 11/4/19); Community Affairs (approved 12/9/19); Rules (approved 2/5).

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 10/16/19); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 12/11/19); State Affairs Committee (approved 1/16); PASSED HOUSE 1/22. 


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SB 332 Stewart
HB 849 Altman
SB 332 & HB 849 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
Read More

SB 332 Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Stewart) in a copy of a bill she introduced in the 2019 session, requires $100 million a year to be appropriated from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to the Florida Forever Trust Fund, and bars any of those funds from being used for administrative expenses in several state agencies with environmental responsibilities. 

HB 849/Altman, a similar bill, also requires $100 million a year to be appropriated from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for the Florida Forever Trust Fund and bars its use for administrative expenses. It also extends the period by which any bonds must be retired from 2040 to 2054.   

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government; Appropriations  

House referrals:  Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Ways & Means Committee; Appropriations  


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SB 438 Harrell
HB 489 Plasencia, Fine
SB 438 & HB 489 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
Read More

SB 438 (Harrell) & HB 489 (Plasencia, Fine) Land Acquisition Trust Fund, also introduced in the 2019 session, would require the lesser of $50 million or 7.6 % of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to be appropriated every year for certain projects to carry out the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The bill authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to distribute grants to be matched locally for those projects, which can include septic to sewer conversions and wastewater treatment upgrades.  

1000 Friends strongly advocates action to restore the Indian River Lagoon, but believes it is inappropriate to use funds designated for land acquisition to finance “pipes and pumps,” as called for under this legislation.   

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government; Appropriations  

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee 


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SB 454 Rodriguez
SB 454 Discharge of Domestic Wastewater
Read More

SB 454 (Rodriguez) would prohibit the construction of new deep injection wells for domestic wastewater discharge or the expansion of existing wells. It would also require current ocean outfall and deep well injection permitholders to install a functioning reuse system within the utility’s service area by specified dates and prohibit the discharge of domestic wastewater through ocean outfalls and deep injection wells after specified dates.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. 


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SB 638 Montford
HB 1347 Shoaf
SB 638 & HB 1347 Apalachicola Environmental Stewardship Act
Read More

SB 638 (Montford), similar to a bill he introduced in the 2019 session, would annually reserve at least $12 million from the Florida Forever Trust Fund for land acquisition and infrastructure projects to improve water quality in the Panhandle areas struck by Hurricane Michael in 2018.

HB 1347 (Shoaf) would require at least $5 million from the Florida Forever Trust Fund to be spent on projects that improve surface water and groundwater quality with the Apalachicola Bay Area of Critical State Concern beginning in the 2020-2021 fiscal year and continuing through the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Projects may include the construction and replacement of stormwater management facilities and central sewage collection 

 

facilities, installation of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, direct and indirect potable reuse, and other water quality and water supply projects. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (passed 12/9); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations

House referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 2/4); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/12); State Affairs


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SB 640 Harrell
HB 153 Fine, Roth
SUPPORT SB 640 & HB 153 Indian River Lagoon State Matching Grant Program
Read More

SB 640 (Harrell) and HB 153 (Fine, Roth) are similar bills that provide that certain projects identified in a specified Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan are eligible for state funding. They direct the Department of Environmental Protection to coordinate with water management districts to identify projects and grant recipients.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (passed 12/9); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations.

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed 11/13); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee. 


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SB 686 Gruters
HB 405 Good
SUPPORT SB 686 & HB 405 Stormwater Management Systems
Read More

SB 686 (Gruters) and HB 405 (Good) direct water management districts, with DEP oversight, to adopt rules for standards relating to stormwater management for new development and redevelopment projects.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations.

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee. 


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SB 712 Mayfield
HB 1343 Payne
SUPPORT SB 712 & HB 1343 Water Quality Improvements
Read More

Titled the “Clean Waterways Act”, SB 712 (Mayfield) requires the Department of Environmental Protection, in coordination with the Department of Health, to develop a report to be submitted to the Legislature by a specified date on the impacts of a transferring regulatory authority over septic tanks from DOH to DEP. The bill also revises the requirements for a basin management action plan for an Outstanding Florida Spring, requires DEP to establish a real-time water quality monitoring program, and establishes a wastewater grant program within DEP.

A related bill, HB 1343 (Payne) addresses many of the same issues as SB 712.  

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (passed 12/9); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (passed 1/22); Appropriations. 

House referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 1/28); Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 722 Montford
SB 722 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
Read More

SB 722 (Montford) requires $50 million a year through the 2026-27 budget year to be spent from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund on conservation and management projects, including reforestation; ecosystem management; fire control; debris removal; pollution mitigation; beach nourishment; coastal or shore protection structures; and land acquisition.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. 


Hide
SB 1042 Albritton
HB 1061 Massulo
SUPPORT SB 1042 & HB 1061 Aquatic Preserves
Read More

SB 1042 (Albritton) & HB 1061 (Massullo) would create the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve but prevent its establishment and management from infringing upon “riparian rights” of upland property owners adjacent to or within the preserve.  

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/21); Environment and Natural Resources; Governmental Oversight and Accountability (approved 2/3); Rules 

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 2/4); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/11); State Affairs Committee


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SB 1098 Cruz
SB 1098 Fees/Bottled Water Companies/Department of Environmental Protection
Read More

SB 1098 (Cruz) would assess bottled water companies a fee of 5 cents per gallon on water extracted for the production of bottled water, deposit the fees into the Water Protection and Sustainability Program Trust Fund, and fine companies that fail to comply. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Agriculture; Appropriations 


Hide
SB 1112 Taddeo
HB 861 Willhite
SB 1112 & HB 861 Bottled Water Excise Tax
Read More

SB 1112 (Taddeo) & HB 861 (Willhite) would impose an excise tax of 12.5 cents per gallon water extracted for bottled water, deposit the fees into Wastewater Treatment and Stormwater Management Revolving Loan Trust Fund; bill includes enforcement provisions and penalties for failure to pay.  A last-minute amendment that sought to delete the entire bill and instead change it from a 12.5 cent tax to a 12.5 cent civil penalty fee if the permitted quantity of water allowed in the Consumptive Use Permit was exceeded.  The amendment failed. 

House referrals:  First reading (1/14); Ways & Means; Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Appropriations 

Senate referrals: Commerce and Tourism (1/21 bill temporarily postponed); Finance and Tax; Appropriations 


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SB 1382 Albritton
HB 1363 Overdorf
SB 1382 & HB 1363 Environmental Resource Management
Read More

SB 1382 (Albritton) would provide that basin management action plan management strategies may include a cooperative regional agricultural water quality improvement element. Such strategies could also include a cooperative urban, suburban, commercial, or institutional water quality improvement element. DEP would be authorized to develop a nutrient reduction cost-share program. Any initiatives to confer legal standing or rights on wildlife, plants or other environmental assets would be barred.  

HB 1363 (Overdorf) is a similar bill that includes basin management action plan strategies but does not includes the provision pre-empting initiatives to confer legal standing on environmental assets.  

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/27); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations  

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 1/28); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/3); State Affairs 


Hide
SB 1450 Gruters
HB 1091 Fine
SUPPORT SB 1450 & HB 1091 Environmental Enforcement
Read More

SB 1450 (Gruters) and HB 1091 (Fine) would make numerous changes to the penalties for violating Florida’s environmental laws, including increasing required or maximum environmental penalties in various sections of Florida law. Most of the changes increase a penalty by 50 percent. Additionally, the legislation would change the duration that certain penalties may run, so that, until a violation is resolved by order or judgment, each day during any portion of which a violation occurs or is not remediated constitutes a separate offense. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/27); Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice (approved 2/18); Appropriations 

House referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 2/4); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/11); State Affairs


Hide
SB 1794 Hutson
HB 7037 J. Grant
OPPOSE SB 1794 & HB 7037 Constitutional Amendments Proposed by Initiative
Read More

SB 1794 (Hutson) and HB 7037 (J. Grant) tighten rules for constitutional amendments from citizens to reach Florida’s ballot, including requiring more signatures to qualify for Supreme Court review and shortening the time frame for collecting them.  

1000 Friends of Florida opposes these bills because they would severely restrict the ability of Floridians to amend their constitution, which would further inhibit citizen initiatives like the land and water conservation amendment of 2014.  

Senate referrals: Ethics and Elections (approved 1/27); Judiciary (approved 2/11); Rules 

House referrals: Appropriations (approved 1/29); State Affairs (approved 2/6); Judiciary


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SB 7024 Enviro./Nat. Res.
SB 7024 Florida Forever
Read More

SB 7024 (Environment and Natural Resources) would revise legislative findings under the Florida Forever Act to include wildlife crossings as a land acquisition purpose, require that certain allocation from the program’s trust fund include allocation for lands impacted by hurricanes, and make other changes to the program. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (passed 1/13); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations 


Hide
HB 715 Maggard
SB 1656 Albritton
HB 715 & SB 1656 Reclaimed Water
Read More

HB 715 (Maggard) and SB 1656 (Albritton) provide that recycled water is a water source for public water supply systems, specify point of compliance with drinking water standards for water recycling projects, and provide that recycled water projects must be included in regional water supply planning and are exempt from certain permits.  

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 2/4); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/11); State Affairs Committee 

Senate referrals: Innovation, Industry, and Technology (approved 2/3); Governmental Oversight and Accountability (approved 2/17); Appropriations 


Hide
HB 791 Fitzenhagen
SB 1608 Mayfield
SUPPORT HB 791 & SB 1608 Florida National Estuary Program Act
Read More

 

 

HB 791 (Fitzenhagen) and a similar bill, SB 1608 (Mayfield), would require DEP to give funding consideration to estuaries identified under National Estuary Program, require funds to be used for specified projects, and require programs receiving funding to submit report to Governor, Legislature, DEP, & water management districts. 

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations.  Withdrawn from consideration, 2/13


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HB 1199 Ingoglia
OPPOSE HB 1199 Environmental Protection Act
Read More

HB 1199 (Ingoglia) would bar local governments from recognizing or granting certain legal rights to the natural environment or granting such rights relating to natural environment to person or political subdivision. 1000 Friends opposes this legislation as an infringement on home rule and a pre-emption of local decision making on environmental issues.  

House referrals: Civil Justice Subcommittee (approved 1/29); Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 2/4); Judiciary Committee


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HB 1363 Overdorf
HB 1363 Basin Management Action Plans
Read More

HB 1363 (Overdorf) would provide additional management strategies for Basin Management Action Plans; require certain BMAPs to include specified elements; provide requirements for DEP, DACS, DOH, UF/IFAS, local governments, water management districts, and owners of agricultural operations; establish a nutrient reduction cost-share program within DEP; exempt rural homesteads from certain best management practices under certain conditions; and require DEP and DACS to include specified information in annual progress reports for such plans. 

House referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 1/28); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee 


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HB 6077 Eskamani
SUPPORT HB 6077 Preemption of Tree Pruning, Trimming, and Removal
Read More

HB 6077 (Eskamani) would repeal a 2019 law that restricted local governments in regulating tree pruning, trimming, & removal on residential property. 

House referrals: Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Commerce; State Affairs 


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HB 6081 Eskamani
HB 6081 Conservation Easements
Read More

HB 6081 (Eskamani), entitled “Conservation Easements,” eliminates shortcuts that companies use to develop Conservation Easements, specifically utility uses such as pipeline companies, power companies and toll road companies 

House referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Energy & Utilities Subcommittee: State Affairs Committee


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GROWTH MANAGEMENT/PLANNING LEGISLATION

Bill #/SponsorTitle / Description
SB 178 Rodriguez
HB 579 Aloupis
SUPPORT SB 178 & HB 579 Public Financing of Construction Projects
Read More

SB 178 Public Financing of Construction Projects (Rodriguez) & HB 579 (Aloupis) prohibit state-financed constructors from commencing construction of certain structures in coastal areas without first conducting a sea level impact projection study.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 11/4); Infrastructure and Security (approved 12/9); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (approved 2/13); Appropriations

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 250 Berman
HB 6019 Cassello
SUPPORT SB 250 & HB 6019 Development Orders
Read More

 SB 250 Development Orders (Berman) & HB 6019 (Casello) repeal the amendment tacked onto HB 7103 from the 2019 legislative session that provided for prevailing party attorney fees incurred in a challenge to a development order.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Judiciary; Rules

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Commerce Committee; Judiciary Committee; State Affairs Committee.


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SB 278 Rodriguez
SUPPORT SB 278 Climate Health Planning
Read More

SB 278 Climate Health Planning (Rodriguez) would task the Department of Health with preparing an annual climate health planning report to assess the threat to human health which is posed by climate change and to develop strategies  to help the state’s communities prepare for the health effects of climate change.  Factors that must be considered include water quality, air quality, sanitation, spread of diseases, crop yields, food production, housing and population migration, mobility and emergency response, wildfires and social unrest. 

Senate referrals: Health Policy; Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations 


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SB 280 Rodriguez
SUPPORT SB 280 Climate Fiscal Responsibility
Read More

SB 280 Climate Fiscal Responsibility (Rodriguez) seeks to capture the economic impact of climate change by requiring the Economic Estimating Conference to prepare a climate fiscal responsibility report.  The report shall estimate the impact of climate change on the state’s general obligation credit rating, increased frequency of natural disasters, long-term trends, including sea level rise and then requires that recommendations for immediate action that should be taken over the next 5, 10 and 20 years.

Senate referrals: Infrastructure and Security; Finance and Tax; Appropriations 


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SB 286 Rodriguez
SB 286 Tax Credit for Farming
Read More

SB 286 Tax Credit for Farming (Rodriguez) nods to the value of carbon sequestration that can be obtained by soil and vegetation management, by seeking to establish a carbon farming tax credit to benefit the state’s farmers.  It encourages sequestration by incentivizing farmers to adopt best management practices and maintain their land in agricultural use.  The FDEP is tasked with determining the amount of the credit which must be based on the economic value of carbon farming.

Senate referrals: Agriculture; Finance and Tax; Appropriations


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SB 288 Rodriguez
SB 288 Private Property Rights
Read More

SB 288 Private Property Rights (Rodriguez) exempts from the definition of “public utility” property owners who own and operate a renewable energy source device, produce renewable energy from that device, and provide or sell the renewable energy to users on that property, under certain circumstances.

Senate referrals:  Innovation, Industry and Technology; Community Affairs; Rules


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SB 306 Mayfield
HB 381 Silvers
SUPPORT SB 306 & HB 381 State Funds
Read More

SB 306 (Mayfield) and HB 381 (Silvers) would prevent legislators from diverting money from the state housing trust funds to other purposes.  Last year alone, legislators diverted $125 million from the state housing trust funds, and over the past 20 years, they have diverted more than $2 billion.  February 3:  Representatives from 1000 Friends of Florida and other members of the Sadowski Coalition – the broad array of groups supporting state investment in affordable, workforce housing – declared their support for safeguarding Florida’s housing trust funds by passing Senate Bill 306. Members of the Senate Committee on Infrastructure and Security then unanimously approved the bill, advancing it to its next committee, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.  We appreciate all who called in support of SB 306.

Senate referrals: Infrastructure and Security (approved 2/3); Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation 

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee 


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SB 410 Perry
HB 203 McClain
OPPOSE SB 410 & HB 203 Growth Management
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SB 410 Growth Management (Perry) & HB 203 (McClain) would require comprehensive plans to include a property rights element so that each local government must consider in part of the comprehensive plan amendment process the rights of the property owner to physically possess their property, to have quiet enjoyment of their property to the exclusion of all others and to develop and improve their property for their personal use.

On January 27, 1000 Friends spoke against the bill before the Senate Community Affairs Committee for the following reasons:

1. Private property rights are already protected under the federal and state constitutions and statutorily through the Bert Harris Act; therefore, this is unnecessary and duplicative;

2. It creates a bureaucratic paperwork requirement at the taxpayers expense that adds nothing to existing property rights protections;

3. The mandate takes away from more necessary and substantive work;

4. It is an unfunded mandate;

5. Due to the fact that the elements of a Comp Plan are subject to discretion by the local governments, this measure will lead to state-wide inconsistent results on what constitutes a private property right.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/27); Judiciary (approved 2/11); Rules

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (approved 10/23); Commerce Committee (approved 2/13); State Affairs Committee


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SB 580 Bracy
HB 349 Ausley, Alexander
SUPPORT SB 580 & HB 349 Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act
Read More

SB 580 (Bracy) & HB 349 (Ausley, Alexander), the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, would make it easier for heirs to keep family lands in conservation before the property is divided or sold.  The bills implement simple due process measures to protect co-tenants from a unilateral forced sale.  “Heirs Property” means real property held in tenancy in common.  This bill protects landowner’s heirs if the landowner dies intestate.  Tenants in common are vulnerable to real estate speculators because any one individual can force a court-ordered sale while depriving the other tenants in common from protective due process measures. 

Senate referrals: Judiciary (approved 12/10); Community Affairs (approved 1/13); Rules (approved 2/5)

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Civil Justice Subcommittee (approved 1/29); Judiciary Committee (approved 2/6)


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SB 690 Albritton
HB 147 Jacobs
SUPPORT SB 690 & HB 147 Water Resources
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SB 690 (Albritton) and HB 147 (Jacobs) are identical bills that require the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a comprehensive and quantitative needs-based overview of the state’s water resources, specifying requirements for the overview and requiring the department to submit a report every five years to the Governor and the Legislature.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations.

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee. 


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SB 748 Flores
HB 587 Raschein
SB 748 & HB 587 Takings Claims within Areas of Critical State Concern
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SB 748 (Flores) and HB 587 (Raschein) provide for damage awards for takings claims within areas of critical state concern. The Senate version is known as the “Florida Keys Property Rights Protection Act.”  HB 387 also relaxes a limit on development within the Keys by extending its hurricane evacuation time limit from 24 to 30 hours, increasing the risk to public safety and the area’s fragile environment.  

Senate referrals: Judiciary (approved 1/15); Community Affairs (approved 1/27); Appropriations 

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Civil Justice Subcommittee (approved 1/29); Judiciary (approved 2/18)


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SB 998 Hutson
SB 998 Housing
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SB 998 (Hutson) includes multiple measures to expand the supply of affordable housing, including authorization to locate affordable housing in any parcel zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/13); Infrastructure and Security (approved 2/17); Rules 


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SB 1232 Rouson
HB 913 Diamond, Raschein
SUPPORT SB 1232 & HB 913 Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program
Read More

SB 1232 (Rouson) and HB 913 (Diamond & Raschein) would create Florida Climate and Resiliency Research Program within DEP and require it to submit Florida Resiliency Plan to Governor & Legislature at least once every 4 years.  

Senate referrals: Infrastructure and Security; Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed 1/15); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 1390 Simmons
HB 775 Avila, Aloupis
SUPPORT SB 1390 & HB 775 Everglades Protection Area
Read More

SB 1390 (Simmons) and HB 775 (Avila and Aloupis) would require comprehensive plans and plan amendments adopted by the governing bodies of local governments whose boundaries include any portion of the Everglades Protection Area to follow the state coordinated review process. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (passed 1/27); Community Affairs; Rules 

House referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed 1/15); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed 1/28); State Affairs Committee 


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SB 1680 Berman
HB 6063 Jenne
SUPPORT SB 1680 & HB 6063
Read More

SB 1680 (Berman) and HB 6063 (Jenne) would repeal a 2018 law that overrode local “customary use” ordinances and enabled private property owners to restrict access to beachfront property.  

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Rules 

House referrals: Civil Justice Subcommittee; Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Judiciary Committee 


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SB 7016 Infr. & Security Comm.
HB 1073 Stevenson
SUPPORT SB 7016 & HB 1073 Statewide Office of Resiliency by Infra. & Security Comm.
Read More

SB 7016 (Infrastructure and Security Committee) and HB 1073 (Stevenson) would establish the office with the Executive Office of the Governor and create a Statewide Sea-Level Rise Task Force within the office. 

Senate referrals: Infrastructure and Security (approved 12/9); Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/13); Appropriations (approved 2/4)

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (approved 1/21); Appropriations Committee (approved 1/29); State Affairs Committee


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HB 459 Overdorf
SB 954 Perry
HB 459 & SB 954 Building Design
Read More

HB 459 (Overdorf) and SB 954 (Perry) would preempt the authority of municipalities to apply architectural review regulations in historic districts, although individual historic buildings and properties would be exempted. “Historic properties” is not defined and therefore the bill would apply to single and two-family developments in a historic district. In response to concerns raised by the Florida Trust, the House bill was amended by its sponsor exempt properties in historic districts.  

House referrals: Business & Professions Subcommittee (approved 1/16); Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 1/28); Commerce Committee 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Rules 


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SB 1766 Lee
HB 519 J. Grant
OPPOSE HB 519 & SB 1766 Private Property Rights Protection
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HB 519 Private Property Rights Protection (J. Grant) and SB 1766 (Lee) would hinder local governments in managing growth and expose them and their taxpayers to unlimited liability. The bill requires a local government, when settling property rights claims under the Bert Harris Act, to apply the same settlement to all “similarly situated residential properties.” If the government settles or the property owner secures a judgment declaring an inordinate burden, there is a presumption that similarly situated parcels are also inordinately burdened and entitled to the same settlement terms or judicial determination. An amendment has been introduced on February 3 that would delete this requirement in SB 1766.

The bill also makes it easier for a private property owner to challenge a local regulation burdening his or her property. It reduces the time for governments to respond to Harris claims from 150 to 90 days, and increases the likelihood of governments paying the property owners attorney fees. It expands possible compensation to business damages. January 16: The House version of the bill was made worse through an amendment in the Civil Justice Subcommittee to include making attorney fees recoverable for property owners but not local governments, and negating the requirement that magistrates overseeing claims be certified mediators.  February 4: The Senate Judiciary Committee adopted the amendment removing the provision that Bert Harris settlements apply to all “similarly situated residential properties.” 

House referrals:  Civil Justice Sub-Committee (approved 1/16); Commerce (approved 1/30); Judiciary (approved 2/6)

Senate referrals: Judiciary (approved 2/4); Community Affairs (approved 2/10); Rules


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HB 637 DiCeglie, Beltran
SB 1066 Gruters
OPPOSE HB 637 & SB 1066 Impact Fees
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HB 637 (diCeglie & Beltran) and SB 1066 (Gruters) relate to impact fees, a critical tool for local governments to leverage cost-sharing of public facilities and infrastructure to meet the demands of population growth caused by new development.  The fees are imposed on new development applicants that require infrastructure that doesn't currently exist.  This bill changes the fee calculation, it requires that local governments segregate funds into a special trust fund, it requires the formation of a 7 member committee to evaluate policy and methodology and it blocks increased fees on pending applications.  All of these measures have a fiscal impact on local governments that has not yet been quantified.  In addition, local governments will no longer be able to require payment of an impact fee in advance of the issuance of a building permit, which creates a timing lag on the infrastructure being in place to accommodate the new growth.

Senate referrals:  Community Affairs (approved 2/10); Finance and Tax (approved 2/18); Appropriations

House referrals:  Local, Federal and Veterans Sub-committee (approved 1/15); Ways and Means (approved 2/3


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HB 4999 by Ingoglia
HB 4999 Statewide Sea Level Tracking Program
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HB 4999 (Ingoglia) would provide $5.95 million for a Statewide Sea Level Tracking Program in the Department of Financial Services. 

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee


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TRANSPORTATION LEGISLATION

Bill #/SponsorTitle / Description
SB 75 Book
HB 551 Jenne
SB 76 & HB 551 Transportation Disadvantaged
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SB 76 (Book) & HB 551 (Jenne) would require community transportation coordinators to plan for and use any available cost-effective regional fare payment systems that enhance cross-county mobility for the specified purpose of the transportation disadvantaged.

Senate referrals: Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation; Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee (approved 1/27); Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee (hearing 2/13); State Affairs Committee. 


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SB 676 Mayfield
HB 465 Sirois
SB 676 & HB 465 Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act
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SB 676 (Mayfield) and HB 465 (Sirois), entitled the “Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act”, would require the Department of Transportation to regulate railroads when that authority is not federally preempted, require railroad companies to be responsible for ensuring that impacted roadbed meets specified transition requirements under certain circumstances, and require state railroad inspectors to meet certain certification requirements and coordinate their activities with federal inspectors. 

Introduced in the Senate 1/14/20

Senate referrals: Infrastructure and Security (passed 1/21); Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations 

House referrals: First reading (1/14); Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee; Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 1166 Albritton
(M-CORES) SB 1166 Broadband Internet Service
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SB 1166 (Albritton) permits the Department of Transportation to use up to $5 million annually from the State Transportation Trust Fund’s allocation to the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) Program, for projects that assist in the development of broadband infrastructure within or adjacent to a multiuse corridor; designates the Department of Economic Opportunity to replace the Department of Management Services as the agency responsible for the expansion of broadband in Florida; and creates the Florida Office of Broadband within the Department Of Economic Opportunity’s Division of Community Development, to which it transfers specific duties regarding the development, marketing, and promotion of broadband. 

Senate referrals: Commerce and Tourism; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations 


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SB 7020 Infra. & Security
(M-CORES) SB 7020 Emergency Staging Areas
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SB 7020 (Infrastructure and Security) authorizes the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to plan, design, and construct staging areas for emergencies as part of the turnpike system. The FDOT is required to give priority consideration to placement of such staging areas in counties with a population of 200,000 or less in which an M-CORES corridor is located. 

Senate referrals: Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations


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