2019 Legislative Wrap Up

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

Updated October 8, 2019

View the May 2019 Florida Legislative Wrap Up Webinar PowerPoint & Broadcast


Summary:

The highlight of the 2019 Legislative Session was the passage of a budget that included $682 million for water conservation initiatives, including $322.6 million for Everglades restoration, $50 million for springs restoration, and $150 million for wastewater treatment upgrades and septic to sewer conversions.

But funding for land conservation through Florida Forever garnered only $33 million – only a third of what Gov. DeSantis had requested – and a number of promising bills to prevent future water quality problems died on the vine.  And Florida’s legislators passed and the governor signed into law two bills that could cast long shadows into the future.

House Bill 7103 undermines Florida’s process of managing growth and takes away meaningful citizen participation in the process. Senate Bill 7068 or “M-CORES”, the top priority of Senate President Galvano, mandates the construction of three toll roads through some of the state’s best remaining rural lands.

1000 Friends and partners fought these damaging bills during the session and called on the governor to veto them. Now law, we continue to fight through education, advocacy and a legal challenge.


Bill Tracker:

Bill Status: PASSEDDID NOT PASS

 

2019 Florida Legislative Session


URGENT! ACTION NEEDED!

Bill #/SponsorTitle / Description

CONSERVATION LEGISLATION

Bill #/SponsorTitle / Description
SIGNED INTO LAW -- FUNDING FOR CONSERVATION
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Gov. DeSantis has signed the final budget.  Florida House and Senate negotiators reached final agreement on a spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1. The budget bill was approved on Saturday, May 4, and will be forwarded to the Governor who does have the power to line-item veto provisions of the budget.

The budget’s bottom line represents a $2.4 billion increase over the current year’s total, but is about $200 million less than Gov. DeSantis proposed in January.  The sections below include some of the major takeaways from the $91.1 billion bill in areas we have been following.

$682 Million for Everglades Restoration, Springs and Water Quality Improvements

Gov. DeSantis proposed $625 million in spending for Everglades restoration and water quality improvements. Legislators exceeded his request, proposing $682 million in those categories. The Legislature’s total reportedly includes $322.6 million for Lake Okeechobee restoration and $100 million for springs, though the springs total reflects the fact that $50 million appropriated for that purpose last year was not spent. 

$33 Million for Florida Forever; $0 for Rural and Family Lands

Gov. DeSantis proposed $100 million for Florida Forever, the state’s premier land acquisition program – the same total as this year but less than the $300 million historical funding level for the program.  The Legislature’s budget allocates just $33 million, with leaders arguing the current year’s $100 million hasn’t been spent. That’s a better argument to accelerate purchases under the program, rather than starve it of cash. 

According to legislative researchers, acquiring conservation lands identified in priority lists by state and regional agencies would require $12.3 billion, and would take 172 years at the current pace of acquisition. In 2014, Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment by a 3-1 margin to invest $18 billion in land and water conservation over the ensuing two decades.  

The Legislature did not include any money for another land preservation program, the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which is designed to protect important agricultural lands through the acquisition of permanent agricultural land conservation easements. This is a major omission, and a major disappointment. Here's more information on Florida Forever.

$31 Million for State Parks

Gov. DeSantis proposed spending $50 million on state parks next year. Legislators reduced that to $31 million, even though some parks in the Panhandle were badly damaged by Hurricane Michael.


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SB 446/Mayfield
HB 325/LaMarca
SIGNED INTO LAW -- SB 446/HB 325 Coastal Management
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Gov. DeSantis signed this legislation.  SB 446/Mayfield & HB 325/LaMarca revise the criteria used by DEP to prioritize coastal restoration projects based on need and importance. Criteria for ranking projects will be refined to acknowledge the economic importance of healthy beaches to tourism, storm damage reduction and resource protection. Projects will be ranked based on Federal and local matching funds, recreational benefits, project significance, project mobility, readiness-to-proceed, dune enhancement, habitat protection, and strategies to conserve sand resources. 

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

House referrals:  Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (CS passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House; Passed Senate


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SB 532/Lee
HB 521/McClure
SIGNED INTO LAW -- SB 532/HB 521 Wetland Mitigation
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Gov. DeSantis signed this legislation.  SB 532/Lee & HB 521/McClure authorize a local government to allow wetland mitigation for a private development on lands purchased and owned by a local government for conservation purposes. 

Senate referrals:  Community Affairs (CS passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (passed); Appropriations 

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House, Passed Senate


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HB 5
SIGNED INTO LAW -- HB 5 Citizen-based Constitutional Amendments and Sales Tax Referenda
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Gov. DeSantis signed this bill into law.  In the final hours of the session, numerous damaging provisions were ultimately incorporated into HB 5 from SB 7096, HB 7111, SB 336 and SB 1040:

*  On the 60th day of the session, legislators amended HB 5 to add the limits on citizen-based constitutional amendment drives originally found in SB 7096 and HB 7111. If these obstacles had been in place, voters might never have gotten the chance in 2014 to approve Amendment 1, the land and water conservation amendment. Most amendments to the Florida Constitution have come from legislators, not citizens, yet legislators won't face the same barriers.   

HB 5 referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Ways and Means Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House;  Passed Senate with Amendment; Passed House with Amendment; Passed Senate with Amendment

SB 7096 referrals: Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development (passed); Appropriations  

HB 7111 referrals: State Affairs (CS passed); Passed House 

SB 336 referrals:  Ethics and Elections (passed); Finance and Tax (CS passed); Rules (CS passed); 

SB 1040 referrals: Community Affairs (CS passed); Finance and Tax (passed); Appropriations  


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SB 1140/Hutson
HB 829/Sabatini
SIGNED INTO LAW -- HB 829 Attorney Fees and Costs
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Gov. DeSantis signed HB 829 into law.  Senate Bill 1140/Senator Hutson (R-Pam Coast) and HB 829/Representative Sabatini (R-Howey-in-the-Hills) require courts to award attorney fees and costs to litigants who successfully sue local governments alleging that local government rules regulate subject matter that the state has expressly preempted. 

Senate referrals: Judiciary (CS passed); Community Affairs (passed); Rules (passed)

House referrals: Civil Justice Subcommittee (passed); Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Judiciary Committee (passed); Passed House; Passed Senate with amendment; Passed House with Senate amendment


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HB 771/Overdorf
VETOED HB 771 Environmental Regulation
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Our thanks to Gov. DeSantis who vetoed this legislation on May 10, 2019.

HB 771/Representative Toby Overdorf, R-Stuart, as introduced, dealt with municipal recycling programs but was later amended to add a five-year moratorium on local ordinances regulating plastic straws.  

House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed) Passed House

Taken up and passed by Senate


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SB 54/Rouson
FAIL SB 54 Possession of Real Property
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 54/Senator Rouson which would have repealed all of a 2018 limitation on local governments establishing public access to beaches by customary use. That 2018 limitation, a part of controversial HB 631, invalidated a Walton County ordinance ensuring public access to beaches.

Senate referrals:  Judiciary; Community Affairs; Environment and Natural Resources; Rules


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SB 88/Stewart
HB 6033/Grieco
FAIL SB 88/HB 6033 Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 88/Senator Linda Stewart, D-Orlando and HB 6033 Rep. Mike Grieco, D-Miami Beach, which would have deleted preemptions of local laws regulating auxiliary containers, wrappings, or disposable plastic bags, and repealed the preemption of local laws regarding the use or sale of polystyrene products.  

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

House referrals: Business and Professions Subcommittee; Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Commerce Committee


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SB 146/Stewart
HB 239/Fitzenhagen
FAIL SB 146/HB 239 Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment (Fracking)
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 146/Senator Linda Stewart, D-Orlando & HB 239/Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers which would have defined the term “advanced well stimulation treatment”; prohibited the performance of advanced well stimulation treatments; clarified that permits for drilling or operating a well do not authorize the performance of advanced well stimulation treatments.  

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Innovation Industry and Technology; Appropriations. 

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 214/Gruters
HB 85/Robinson
FAIL SB 214/HB 85 Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (Septic Tanks)
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1000 Friends supported SB 214/Senator Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota & HB 85/Representative Will Robinson, R-Bradenton which would have directed the Department of Health to update the current database of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems; required owners of those systems to have them periodically inspected; required a septic tank disclosure summary for certain properties before or at the execution of a contract for sale, etc.  The House bill was amended in committee to remove the requirements for updating the database of septic systems and a septic tank disclosure summary in real-estate transactions.  

Senate referrals:  Health Policy; Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (CS passed); Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 216/Gruters
HB 141/Fine
FAIL SB 216/HB 141 Water Quality Improvements
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SB 216/Senator Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, was amended in the Senate Natural Resources Committee on March 12 to remove portions providing matching grants for wastewater treatment projects. The committee substitute requires wastewater facilities to notify their customers after sewage spills, and provides penalties for spills.   Facilities can avoid the penalties by investing in upgrades to prevent further spills. 1000 Friends now supports the amended bill.  

HB 141/Representative Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay would have authorized state funding for certain projects with locally matching funds related to the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan; required each wastewater facility that unlawfully discharges sewage into a waterway or aquifer to notify its customers within a specified period; provided penalties for wastewater treatment facilities that unlawfully discharge sewage into designated areas, and waived penalties if facilities invest in upgrades to avoid further spills. On March 12, Rep. Fine amended his bill to remove the Land Acquisition Trust Fund as the funding sources for septic conversions. 

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

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (CS passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee


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SB 222/Rodriguez
FAIL SB 222 Private Property Rights
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 222/Senator Rodriguez which would have exempted property owners who own and operate solar panels on their property with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts or less from the definition of “public utility.” This change would have reduced regulations on these property owners to make it substantially easier for commercial property owners to install solar panels on their properties and sell generated power to their tenants.

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


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SB 282/Albritton
HB 63/Rodrigues, R.
FAIL SB 282/HB 63 Property-Assessed Clean Environment
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 282/Albritton & HB 63/Rodrigues, R. which would have expanded existing property assessment for clean energy to include capital investments in septic systems to improve water quality. Property assessments for capital investments allow a property owner to borrow money to make a capital improvement to property and to repay the cost of the investment on the property tax bill.

Senate referrals:  Community Affairs; Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations

House referrals:  Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Ways and Means Committee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 314/ Montford
FAIL SB 314 Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment (Fracking)
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SB 314/Senator Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee was similar to the other proposed fracking bans, with an exception. It would have defined the terms “high-pressure well stimulation” and “matrix acidization” and prohibit both.  A requirement for a $2 million state study on the environmental impact of fracking was removed with an amendment. 

Senate referrals:  Environment and Natural Resources (CS passed); Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Appropriations


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SB 368/Harrell
FAIL SB 368 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
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SB 368/Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, would have provided an appropriation for certain projects related to the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, and authorized the Department of Environmental Protection to make grants for such projects. 1000 Friends of Florida strongly supports restoration of the Indian River Lagoon, but opposed use of the LATF for septic to sewer conversions. 

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


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SB 376/Montford
HB 555/Montford
FAIL SB 376/HB 555 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
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SB 376/Montford, D-Tallahassee and HB 555/Drake, R-Eucheeanna, would have amended the Land Acquisition Trust Fund in Florida statutes by adding the requirement that $50 million is to be appropriated for Hurricane Michael recovery projects each year through the 2025-2026 fiscal year.  DEP would have used these funds for reforestation, ecosystem management, fire control measures, debris removal, pollution mitigation, beach renourishment, coastal armoring and protection, and the construction, enhancement, or expansion of wastewater treatment facilities.

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

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 502/Rader
FAIL SB 502 Prohibition of Plastic Carryout Bags and Straws
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SB 502/Rader would have prohibited a store or food service business from providing a carryout bag made of plastic film to a customer; prohibited a food service business from selling or providing a single-use plastic straw to a customer, etc.

Senate referrals: Commerce and Tourism; Community Affairs; Rules


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SB 588/Hutson
HB 603/Sabatini
FAIL SB 588/HB 603 Single-use plastic straws
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Both bills failed to pass, but a five-year moratorium on local ordinances regulating plastic straws was amended into another bill that passed, HB 771.  HB 771 has been vetoed by Gov. DeSantis. 

1000 Friends of Florida opposed SB 588/Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, and HB 603/Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey in the Hills, which would have prevented local governments from passing their own ordinances to restrict single-use plastic straws. The bills would have established a statewide policy that any food service establishment in Florida may distribute a single-use plastic straw to a customer if requested to do so by the customer, and also provided that an establishment may make single-use plastic straws available through self-serve straw dispensers.  

The Senate and House bills were amended to establish a five-year moratorium on local regulation of plastic straws pending a state study of their environmental impact. The Senate bill also was amended to pre-empt local regulation of over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics to state government.  

Senate referrals: Commerce and Tourism (CS passed); Community Affairs (passed); Rules 

House referrals: Business and Professions Subcommittee (CS passed); Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Commerce Committee 


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SB 628/Albritton
HB 1199/Jacobs
FAIL SB 628/HB 1199 Water Resources
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SB 628/Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, & HB 1199/Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek, would have revised the requirements for an annual assessment of the state’s water resources and conservation lands. Responsibility for the assessment would have been moved from the Office of Economic and Demographic Research to the Department of Environmental Protection, and the assessment would have considered residential, commercial, environmental, agricultural and industrial needs.   

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations 

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; State Affairs 


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SB 694/Rodriguez
FAIL SB 694 Disposable Plastic Bags
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SB 694/Rodriguez, D-Miami, would have authorized certain municipalities to establish pilot programs to regulate or ban disposable plastic bags.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Commerce and Tourism; Rules


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SB 944/Stewart
HB 1341/Ausley
FAIL SB 944 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 944/Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, which would have required that $100 million be spent annually from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for the Florida Forever Trust Fund.

HB 1341/Lorane Ausley, D-Tallahassee, also would have required $100 million to be spent annually from the LATF for Florida Forever, but had differences from Stewart’s bill.  

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

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee 


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HB 973/Payne
SB 1022/Albritton
FAIL SB 1022/HB 973 Onsite Treatment and Disposal Systems
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SB 1022/Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, would have transferred regulation of septic tanks from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection.

HB 973/Bobby Payne, R-Palatka, also would have transferred septic tank regulation from DOH to DEP but has different language than SB 1022. The bill was amended to absorb provisions of other water quality bills stalled in both chambers but removed many of their positive elements. This included parts of SB 1758, the Clean Waterways Act, where real-time water quality monitoring and penalties for failing to meet deadlines were removed and replaced with studies and a weakened version of protections already in place for Outstanding Florida Springs.  It also included portions of SB 1278 and HB 405, which would impose new controls on the land application of biosolids – sewage sludge.  

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

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (CS passed); Appropriations Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed)


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SB 1172/Brandes
HB 497/Webb
FAIL SB 1172/HB 497 Sanitary Sewer Laterals
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SB 1172/Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg and HB 497/Jennifer Webb, R-St. Petersburg, would have encouraged counties and municipalities to establish evaluation and rehabilitation programs to reduce leaking from sanitary sewer laterals within their jurisdictions. Sanitary sewer laterals are the privately owned pipelines connecting a property to the main sewer line. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Judiciary; Rules 

House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; State Affairs


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SB 1256/Montford
HB 921/Newton
FAIL SB 1256/HB 921 Apalachicola Bay Area of Critical State Concern
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SB 1256/Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee & HB 921/Newt Newton, D-St. Petersburg, would have allocated $20 million a year from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for projects to improve surface and groundwater quality in the Apalachicola Bay Area of Critical State Concern, including septic to sewer conversions.  

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

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 1278/Mayfield
FAIL SB 1278 Biosolids management
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 1278/Debbie Mayfield, R-Melbourne, which would have required the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules for biosolids management to limit nutrient pollution in nearby waterbodies and require monitoring, based on recommendations from a DEP technical advisory committee.   

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


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SB 1344/Cruz
HB 1343/Good
FAIL SB 1344/HB 1343 Stormwater Management Systems
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB1344/Senator Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, and HB 1343/Margaret Good, D-Sarasota, which would have required the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt, in coordination with water management districts, new standards and enforcement for stormwater management to protect water quality. 

Senate referrals: Referred to Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations 

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee 


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HB 1395/Raschein
SB 1758/Mayfield
FAIL SB 1758 Clean Waterways Act
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After a disastrous year for water quality in Florida, in 2019 legislators from both parties introduced measures to crack down on the causes behind blue-green algae and red tide. But provisions from some of the most promising bills – including SB 1758, the Clean Waterways Act – were weakened and folded into other, less effective legislation.   This bill ultimately failed.

SB 1758/Mayfield, R-Melbourne and HB 1395/Representative Raschein  were called the “Clean Waterways Act.” Among multiple provisions, it would have transferred septic tank regulation from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection; established a wastewater grant program within the DEP to fund septic tank remediation and upgrade wastewater treatment systems; strengthened steps to reduce nutrient pollution of springs through basin management action plans; and required a wastewater treatment plant to notify customers of unlawful discharges of raw or partially treated sewage into any waterway or aquifer within a specified timeframe. 

On March 20, the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee passed an amendment that weakened measures enforcing basin management action plans, despite concerns expressed by springs advocates and 1000 Friends. Sponsor Mayfield said she would work to address those concerns as the bill advanced. 

On April 2, the Senate Community Affairs Committee passed an amendment removing a moratorium on new building permits and septic tanks in jurisdictions that fail to meet requirements to reduce pollution.  Instead, those jurisdictions would be ineligible to participate in a matching grant program for septic to sewer conversions.  

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (CS passed); Community Affairs (passed); Appropriations 

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee 


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SB 1776 Bracy
HB 1241/Brown
FAIL SB 1776/HB 1241 Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems
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SB 1776/Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, and HB 1241/Kamia Brown, D-Orlando, would have modified state regulations to encourage the installation and use of advanced septic systems, and required counties to conduct inspections of conventional and advanced systems.  

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

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee 


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SPB 7064/Senate Ag
HB 7029/Raschein
FAIL SB 7064/HB 7029 Fracking
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SPB 7064, a bill from the Senate Agriculture Committee, and HB 7029/Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, would have banned fracking in Florida, but more narrowly defined the technique than other proposed bans.  The drilling procedure known as “matrix acidizing” was not included in the ban.   

Senate referrals: Agriculture (passed); Innovation, Industry, and Technology (passed); Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (CS passed); State Affairs Committee 


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HB 3/Grant
SB 1748/Perry
FAIL HB 3/SB 1748 Pre-emption of local regulations
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1000 Friends opposed HB 3/Michael Grant, R-Port Charlotte, & SB 1748/Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, as a sweeping violation of the principle of home rule. The bill would have eliminated local business regulations by 2021 and prevented new local regulations, unless they were approved by supermajorities of local government boards and reauthorized every two years. Otherwise, business regulations would be reserved for the Legislature to impose statewide. Among other areas, the bill would have ruled out locally imposed environmental regulations, despite significant differences among Florida communities.  

Rep. Grant filed an amendment that he said would narrow the scope of the pre-emption to local regulation and licensing of professions and occupations. 1000 Friends remained concerned about the infringement on home rule and the possible impact of the bill.  

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Commerce and Tourism; Rules 

House referrals: Business and Professions Subcommittee (CS passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Commerce Committee (passed); Passed House; Referred to Senate Community Affairs; Commerce and Tourism; Rules


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HJR 57/Roth
SJR 232/Baxley
FAIL HJR 57/SJR 232 Percentage of Elector Votes Required to Approve Constitution
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Damaging provisions of this legislation were included in HB 5 which passed.

1000 Friends opposed HJR 57/Rick Roth, R-Palm Beach Gardens, and SJR 232/Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, which would have raised the required level of voter support to amend the Florida Constitution from three-fifths to two-thirds approval. The higher bar would apply to all methods of amending the Constitution, including citizen-led initiatives – an impact to which 1000 Friends objected.  

House referrals: Civil Justice Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs (passed); Judiciary 

Senate referrals: Ethics and Elections (passed); Judiciary; Rules


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HB 105/Jacobs
SB 286/Albritton
FAIL HB 105/SB 286 Domestic Wastewater Collection System Assessment and Maintenance
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HB 105/Representative Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek, and SB 286/Senator Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula would have created a Blue Star Collection System Assessment and Maintenance Program, a voluntary incentive program to assist public and private utilities in limiting sanitary sewer overflows and the unauthorized discharge of pathogens. 

House referrals:  Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (CS passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed) On House calendar 3/18; passed House 3/27.

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


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HB 157/Thompson
SB 1716/Bracy
FAIL HB 157/SB 1716 Fertilizers
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1000 Friends of Florida supported HB 157/Representative Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, and SB 1716/Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, which would have required county and municipal governments to adopt and enforce Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes, and specified that county & municipal governments must require use of specified slow-release fertilizers.  It also would have provided additional requirements for counties and municipalities within estuary runoff areas, and authorized county & municipal governments to adopt additional standards if certain criteria are met

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee 

Senate referrals: Agriculture; Community Affairs; Rules 


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HB 405/Grall
FAIL HB 405 St. Johns River Upper Basin Watershed Pollutant Control Program
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1000 Friends of Florida supported HB 405/Representative Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach.  As introduced, it would have barred the state Department of Environmental Protection from authorizing disposal of Class B biosolids on farmland in the upper watershed of the St. Johns River unless the landowner can "affirmatively demonstrate" nutrients from the sludge won't run off the land and cause pollution downstream.  It was modified in an amendment to strengthen regulation of biosolids statewide and became similar to SB 1278/Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Melbourne. 

House referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (CS passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed); Appropriations Committee


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HJR 1273/Goff-Marcil
SJR 1698/Berman
FAIL HJR 1273/SJR 1698 Legislative pre-emption
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HJR 1273/Joy Goff-Marcil, D-Maitland, & SJR 1698/Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, would have affirmed the principle of local government home rule by requiring a supermajority of each house to approve a law preempting the subject of legislation from local to state authority. 

House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Judiciary Committee; State Affairs Committee 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Judiciary; Rules 


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HB 1299/Roach
FAIL HB 1299 Governmental Powers
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1000 Friends opposed HB 1299/Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers, which outlined several regulatory areas that would be reserved to the state, including limits on the sale of sunscreen with ingredients harmful to coral reefs and regulating plastic straws. 1000 Friends opposed this attack on local home rule authority, especially the authority of local governments to adopt environmental protection initiatives.  

House referrals: Business and Professions Subcommittee (CS passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Commerce Committee (passed); Passed House


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Executive Order 1912
Governor DeSantis January 10, 2019 Executive Order
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Governor DeSantis puts environment atop agenda.  Issues sweeping executive order, “Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment” on January 10, 2019, two days after inauguration.  Preamble declares:

“water and natural resources are the foundation of Florida’s communities, economy and way of life” 

“protection of water resources is one of the most critical issues … and requires immediate action”

algae blooms threaten environment, public health and economy

a “primary mission” of governor’s is to leave “natural resources … increased, and not impaired, in value” – Teddy Roosevelt

 Highlights include: 

• Invest $2.5 billion over 4 years in Everglades restoration and water protection  
• Create Blue-Green Algae Task Force to identify priority projects
• Direct SFWMD to start next phase of Lake O reservoir design 
• “Expedite key Everglades projects” including C-44 and C43 reservoirs, Tamiami Trail  
• Launch septic tank conversion and remediation program with local match 
• Create Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency 
• Appoint Chief Science Officer


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Governor DeSantis January 29, 2019 Budget Proposal
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On Jan. 29, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled a portion of his first budget proposal that called for spending $625 million for Everglades restoration and projects to improve water quality – a quarter of the total he pledged to spend over four years in those categories in his Jan. 10 executive order on protecting water and natural resources. Of the total, $360 million is earmarked for Everglades restoration, including structures to store and clean water, and to continue raising the Tamiami Trail to allow more water to flow south into Everglades National Park. Uses for the remainder of the funding include $50 million for springs protection; $100 million for cost-share grant funding for wastewater and stormwater improvements, including septic conversions and remediation; $40 million for alternative water supplies; and $25 million to combat harmful algal blooms. He had highlighted all of these goals in his executive order.  


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GROWTH MANAGEMENT/PLANNING LEGISLATION

Bill #/SponsorTitle / Description
HB 7103/Roth
SIGNED INTO LAW -- DESTRUCTIVE HB 7103/GROWTH MANAGEMENT
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On June 28, 2019, Gov. DeSantis signed the destructive HB 7103 into law.  It has been called "the death knell for growth management in Florida."  See 1000 Friends of Florida's statement on its passage.

In the last few days of the session, HB 7103 became a magnet for bad amendments that would undermine the power of locally elected officials and citizens to shape the future of their communities in the state of Florida.  The Legislature amended HB 7103 so it now: 

• Makes citizens and others who challenge development proposals and lose automatically liable for paying for the prevailing party’s attorney fees 

• For new towns, requires local governments to adopt policies in comprehensive plans based on developers’ plans for growth, rather than on the input of local residents 

• Restricts whether local governments may require that affordable housing be part of any new development  

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (CS passed); Infrastructure and Security (passed); Rules (passed); Passed Senate 

House referrals: Judiciary Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House 


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SB 82/Bradley
CS HB145/Fetterhoff
SIGNED INTO LAW -- SB 82/CS 145 Vegetable Gardens
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Gov. DeSantis has signed this bill into law.  SB 82/Senator Bradley preempts local governments from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties.  Representative Fetterhoff sponsored companion HB 145.

House referrals:  Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (CS 145 passed); Commerce Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed). 

Senate referrals:  Community Affairs Committee (passed); Rules Committee (CS passed).  Bill has passed the Senate.


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SB 142/Perry
HB 127/Williamson
SIGNED INTO LAW -- SB 142/ HB 127 Permit Fees
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Gov. DeSantis signed this legislation into law. SB 142/Senator Perry rquires local governments to report statistics on building permit fees and fines on their websites.  Representative Williamson sponsored companion HB 127.

Senate referrals:  Community Affairs (passed); Innovation, Industry, and Technology (passed); Rules (passed). (Laid on table. HB 127 placed on Senate Calendar

House referrals:   Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Business and Professions Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee (CS passed)Amendments adopted in House.


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SB 144/Bean
HB 207/Donalds
SIGNED INTO LAW -- SB 144/HB 207 Impact Fees
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Gov. DeSantis signed this into law.  SB 144/Senator Gruters and HB 207/Representative Donalds make a modest change to state preemption governing how local governments may charge impact fees. The change limits the point in time at which local governments may charge impact fees to no earlier than the issuance of a building permit. This means that local governments are not able to charge impact fees for development projects at the time that the local government issues a development order coming before the building permit, such as a change in zoning or a subdivision.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs Committee (passed); Finance and Tax Committee (passed); Appropriations Committee (passed)

House referrals:  Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (CS passed); Commerce Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Adopted in House, Adopted in Senate


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SB 1054/Lee
HB 9/LaMarca
SIGNED INTO LAW -- HB 9 Community Redevelopment Agencies
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SB 1054/Tom Lee, R-Thonotossassa & HB 9/Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point, impose restrictions on community redevelopment agencies (CRAs) related to lobbying, ethics, financing and transparency.  The bill provides for the termination of all CRAs by one of: the current expiration date in their charters, 2039, or the maturation date of outstanding bonds. 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development (passed); Appropriations 

House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Ways and Means Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House; Passed Senate with amendment; Passed by House with Senate amendment


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SB 1400/Albritton
HB 1159/La Rosa
SIGNED INTO LAW -- HB 1159 Private Property Rights
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Gov. DeSantis signed HB 1159 into law.  SB 1400/Senator Albritton and HB 1159/Representative La Rosa prohibit local governments from requiring a permit to destroy trees growing on residential property in certain circumstances, including when a certified arborist renders the opinion that the tree is damaged, diseased, or pest-infested, or presents a danger to others or property. The bill  also requires all property appraisers to apprise property owners of a new property owner bill of rights.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (CS passed); Judiciary (passed); Rules (passed)

House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Commerce Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House; Passed Senate


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SB 1492/Perry
HB 6017/Duggan
SIGNED INTO LAW -- HB 6017 Small-scale Comprehensive Plan Amendments
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Gov. DeSantis signed HB 6017 into law.  1000 Friends of Florida opposed SB 1494/Senator Perry and HB 6017/Representative Duggan which eliminates the existing 120-acre annual cap on the amount of land for which a local government may change the future land use designation by small-scale comprehensive plan amendment. Florida Statutes continue to limit individual small-scale comprehensive plan amendments to 10 or fewer acres.  

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (passed); Infrastructure and Security (passed); Rules (passed)

House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Commerce Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House


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SB 728/Lee
HB 437
SIGNED INTO LAW HB 437/SB 728 Growth Management
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Gov. DeSantis signed this bill into law.  SB 728/Lee and HB 437/Buchanan allow an application for a Community Development District to include in its application lands which the applicant foresees adding to the CDD boundaries within the next ten years. Subsequently, after CDD creation, the applicant can apply for the identified lands to be added to the CDD boundaries and SB 728/HB 437 obligates the relevant local government to add those lands to the CDD. 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (passed); Infrastructure and Security (passed); Rules (passed)

House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Ways and Means Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House; Passed Senate


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AFFORDABLE HOUSING FUNDING
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$200 Million in Budget for Affordable Housing -- Gov. DeSantis proposed spending the full amount of tax revenue earmarked for affordable housing next year, $338 million, for state and local programs in that category. Legislators allocated $200 million, with $125 million of it set aside for areas damaged by Hurricane Michael, and $85 million for the rest of the state.


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SB 70/Mayfield
HB 1103/Silvers and Plasencia
FAIL SB 70/HB 1103 State Funds
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 70/Senator Mayfield and HB 1103/Representatives Silvers and Plasencia which would have prevented the legislature from reallocating unappropriated money in the State Housing Trust Fund and the Local Government Housing Trust Fund to the general fund. This change would have reduced the ability of the Legislature to expend money earmarked for affordable housing on other purposes.  The intent was to stop the sweeps of the Sadowski Fund.

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

House referrals: Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee 


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SB 78/Rodriguez
HB 169/Fernandez
FAIL SB 78/HB 169 Public Financing of Construction Projects
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 78/Rogriguez & HB 169/Fernandez which would have required the Department of Environmental Protection to publish and approve a sea level impact projection study for certain publicly financed projects in coastal areas as a precondition for construction.

Senate referrals:  Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Infrastructure and Security (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations

House referrals:  Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 350/Hutson
HB 1155/Plasencia
FAIL SB 350 Impact Fees/HB 1155 Affordable Housing
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The Legislature incorporated substantial portions of this bill into SB 1730/HB 7103. 

SB 350/Senator Hutson and HB 1155/Representative Plasencia would have authorize local governments to refrain from charging developers impact fees to pay the cost of providing infrastructure to serve new development if the subject development met the definition of affordable housing. In addition, the bill would have set time limits by which local governments would have to approve or deny applications to development affordable housing and would have made changes to state affordable housing loan programs. 

Senate referrals:  Community Affairs (CS passed); Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations 

House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee 


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SB 428/Perry
HB 291/McClain
FAIL SB 428/HB 291 Growth Management
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SB 428/Perry & HB 291/Representative McClain would have required local governments to amend their comprehensive plans to add a statement of private property rights. The United States Constitution and the constitution of the State of Florida already protect rights to property.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (passed); Judiciary; Rules 

House referrals:  Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Commerce Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House


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SB 568/Diaz
HB 443/Rodriguez
FAIL SB 568/HB 443 Assessment of Property
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SB 568/ Diaz and HB 443/Rodriguez would have changed the legal status of recorded restrictive covenants requiring that property be used for affordable housing. Specifically, the change in law would have required property appraisers to consider the restriction when determining the just value of property and would have required local governments to treat the restriction as a land use regulation. 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (passed); Finance and Tax; Appropriations 

House referrals:  Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Ways and Means Committee; State Affairs Committee 


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SB 1056/Rodriguez
FAIL SB 1056 Florida Disaster Resilience Task Force
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SB 1056/Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, would have created a task force “to evaluate ways to protect this state’s remaining coastal ecosystems and natural habitats, increase coastal community resilience in the face of sea-level rise, and apply the best available science as to sea level rise and its anticipated impacts.” 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Rules


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SB 1694/Flores
HB 1019/Altman
FAIL SB 1694/HB 1019 Takings Claims Within Areas of Critical State Concern
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SB 1694/Flores & HB 1019/Altman would have required the state and local governments to pay damages in successful takings claims in Areas of Critical State Concern. 

Senate referrals: Judiciary (passed); Community Affairs (passed); Appropriations 

House referrals: Civil Justice Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Judiciary Committee 


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SB 1720/Lee
HB 1318/Grant
FAIL SB 1720/HB 1383 Private Property Rights
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1000 Friends of Florida opposed SB 1720/Lee and HB 1383/Grant which would have made changes to the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act (Harris Act). That law allows property owners to sue local governments for financial compensation when a local government rule “inordinately burdens” that owner’s land. The proposed changes included, one, when a Harris Act claim resulted in a variance, that variance would automatically apply to all similarly situated property owners. In addition, the bills would have made clear that a property owner does not necessarily need to apply to a local government for a permit to use land in a certain way for a Harris Act claim to be ripe.

Senate referrals: Judiciary (Temporarily Postponed); Community Affairs; Rules 

House referrals: Civil Justice Subcommittee (passed); Commerce Committee (passed); Judiciary Committee (passed)


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TRANSPORTATION LEGISLATION

Bill #/SponsorTitle / Description
SB 7068/Infrastructure
HB 7113
SIGNED INTO LAW -- SB 7068 TOLL ROAD BILL
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SB 7068 was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis on May 17.  1000 Friends of Florida strongly opposed this legislation.  Thank you to everyone who reached out to Gov. DeSantis and Legislators to express opposition.  Find out more about SB 7068 here.  

Senate Bill 7068 proposes developing three toll expressways to be part of the turnpike system.  These expressways would cut through three corridors: 

-a "Southwest-Central Florida Connector" extending from Collier County to Polk County; a previous highway planned for the route was called the Heartland Parkway 

-a "Suncoast Connector" extending from Citrus County to Jefferson County 

-a "Northern Turnpike Connector" extending from the northern terminus of the Florida Turnpike northwest to the Suncoast Parkway 

The bills call for annually redirecting an escalating amount of dollars to plan for the tolled expressways from the State General Revenue Fund, rising to $109 million by 2022. The state would borrow billions of dollars more for construction. This plan is extravagant spending on a boondoggle that will have harmful land-use impacts. 

Senate referrals: Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation (passed), Tourism, and Economic Development (passed); Appropriations (passed); Passed Senate; Passed House


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SB 76/Simpson
HB 107/Toledo & Solsberg
SIGNED INTO LAW -- SB 76/HB 107 Texting While Driving Ban
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Gov. DeSantis signed this into law on May 17, 2019.  1000 Friends of Florida supports  HB 107 which prohibits a person from manually typing on a wireless communications device driving. In addition, the bill prohibits drivers from using a wireless communications device in a handheld manner while in a work zone or school zone. The bill requires law enforcement agencies to record the race and ethnicity of each person they cite for these violations.  

House referrals:  Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed); Passed House; Passed Senate

Senate referrals:  Infrastructure and Security (passed); Innovation, Industry, and Technology (passed); Judiciary (passed); Rules (CS passed); 


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SB 68/Book
FAIL SB 68 Transportation Disadvantaged
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SB 68/Senator Book would have required community transportation coordinators to increase consideration of cross-county mobility for the transportation disadvantaged.

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


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SB 158/Baxley
HB 71/McClain
FAIL SB 158/HB 71 Traffic Offenses
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1000 Friends of Florida supported SB 158/Senator Baxley & HB 71/Representative McClain which would have provided criminal penalties for hurting or killing vulnerable road users by violating state traffic laws. People walking, operating a bicycle, operating a motorcycle, or using a wheelchair were identified as vulnerable road users.

Senate referrals:  Referred to Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice; Appropriations

House referrals:  Referred to Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee; Criminal Justice Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee


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SB 622/Brandes
HB 6003/Sabatini
FAIL SB 622/HB 6003 Traffic Infraction Detectors
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SB 622/Brandes & HB 6003/Sabatini would have repealed and amended various provisions of law to remove authorization for the use of red light cameras. The bill would have left intact the express preemption to the state of regulation of the use of red light cameras, thereby prohibiting implementation of red light camera programs by local ordinance.

Senate referrals: Infrastructure and Security (Temporarily Postponed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations 

House referrals:  Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee (passed); Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee


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