2024 Legislative Session

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

Please stay involved!

The 2024 Florida Legislative Session convened on January 9 and is slated to conclude on March 8.  At 1000 Friends we believe robust citizen engagement in the process is essential.  To that end, here are some resources that can assist you:

As we always say, Florida needs all the friends it can get.  This is especially true during the legislative session.  Please stay involved!

Updated February 20, 2024

2024 Florida Legislative Session


ACTION NEEDED

Bill #/Sponsor Title / Description
HB 1647 Roach
SB 1526 Avila
SB 1526/ HB 1647 Local Regulation of Nonconforming or Unsafe Structures
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Please contact legislators and urge them to preserve Florida’s rich architectural heritage by voting against this bill. 

·       This bill would preempt local government from prohibiting the demolition of buildings if the structure does not conform to specific requirements in Florida’s coastal cities, tying the hands of communities seeking to protect historic and cultural resources.

·       Ensuring that our communities are safe and buildings are structurally sound is a shared goal, it is also essential we protect the unique historic areas that make Florida special. 

·       Florida’s historic buildings and districts hold significant heritage and history, contributing to local cultural tourism and economic growth. Historic preservation and community safety do not need to be mutually exclusive goals. 

 See our 1/19 email alert here for additional information.

SB 1526 (Avila) and HB 1647 (Roach) would preempt local governments’ ability to prevent the demolition of historic buildings that do not comply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards and are located within a half mile of the coastline. The bill exempts buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, however few historic buildings meet current FEMA standards, many of which were established as recently as 2008. UPDATE: SB 1526 was amended to apply to buildings “seaward of the coastal construction line” and to exempt national historic districts established by 2000. 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/22); Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/30); Rules (approved 2/14)

House referrals: Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee (approved 2/1); State Affairs (approved 2/14); Commerce

 


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SB 1364 Calatayud
HB 723 Busatta Cabrera
HB 723/ SB 1364 Everglades Protection Area
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Please contact legislators and urge them to advance this important bill.

·       Requiring additional layers of review to land use decisions that would impact our Everglades is a protective community planning tool

·       Given the critical importance of the Everglades to Florida’s environment, wildlife and water supply, and the billions of dollars that taxpayers are investing in its restoration, this higher standard is common sense, and long overdue. 

 

See our 1/19 email alert here for additional information.

HB 723 (Busatta Cabrera) and SB 1364 (Calatayud) requires comprehensive plans and amendments that apply to lands within or near Everglades Protection Area to follow state coordinated review process, establishes duties of DEP related to such amendments and requirements for adoption of development amendments in the EPA.

House referrals: Agriculture, Conservation & Resiliency Subcommittee (approved 1/29); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Infrastructure Strategies

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/16); Agriculture (approved 2/6); Rules


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HB 1049 Hunschofsky
SB 484 Bradley
SB 484/HB 1049 Flood Disclosure in the Sale of Real Property
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Please contact legislators and urge them to support this important bill.

·       A recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, using data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), found that thousands of Florida properties have repeatedly flooded and been rebuilt.

·       There is no requirement in Florida law for property sellers to disclose a property’s flood history, potentially putting the buyer’s life and property and taxpayers at risk. 

·       Flood disclosure would not only protect buyers and taxpayers, it would also discourage further development in coastal high-hazard areas and floodplains. 

 

See our 1/19 email alert here for additional information.

SB 484 (Bradley) and HB 1049 (Hunschofsky) would require property sellers to disclose whether property has suffered damage from flooding and the number of times the property has been subject to flooding; whether the owner has maintained flood insurance; whether all or part of the property is in a flood zone; whether the owner has ever filed a claim for flood damage; and whether the owner has received federal assistance for flood damage.

Senate referrals: Judiciary (approved 2/5); Fiscal Policy; Rules

House referrals: Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee (approved 2/6); Judiciary; Commerce


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COMMUNITY PLANNING

Bill #/Sponsor Title / Description
SB 122 Stewart
SB 122 Trees on Residential Properties
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SB 122 (Stewart) would repeal a law first passed during the 2019 legislative session, which preempted local governments from requiring permits for pruning, trimming or removing a tree on residential property when an  arborist or landscape architect rendered the opinion that the tree is damaged, diseased, or pest-infested, or presents a danger to others or property. The law was amended in the 2022 session to narrow the definition of residential property to a single family detached building on an existing lot, and to require the arborist or architect to document that the tree poses an “unacceptable risk"-- moderate or worse – to persons or property.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Judiciary; Rules


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HB 413 Altman
SB 224 Wright
SB 224 Citizen Volunteer Advisory Committees / HB 413 Public Meetings and Workshops for Regional Advisory Committees
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SB 224 (Wright) and HB 413 (Altman) are similar bills that would allow regional citizen volunteer advisory committees to conduct remote meetings via communications media technology. The bill also requires the public meeting notice to state how an interested person may participate, and the availability of the communications media technology. An amendment to SB 224 clarifies that the allowance only relates to National Estuary Program Committees.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/9); Governmental Oversight and Accountability (approved 1/22); Rules (approved 1/30) PASSED SENATE 2/14

House referrals: Local Administration, Federal Affairs and Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 2/7); State Affairs (approved 2/14)


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SB 684 DiCeglie
HB 267 Esposito
HB 267 / SB 684 Residential Building Permits
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HB 267 (Esposito) and SB 684 (DiCeglie) would require local governments to expedite issuing residential building permits. Both bills amend the already-existing “shot clock” that requires building permits to be issued within certain timeframes depending on the type of application. At introduction, both bills would have required many local governments to create a program to issue up to 50% of building permits with an approved pre-plat. Communities already have authority to create these programs where it makes sense, but as a mandate, it puts developers in the driver’s seat and presents an unnecessary risk for local governments and would-be homeowners.  HB 267 has been amended to remove provisions requiring building permit issuance prior to final plat. Further, the reduced "shot-clock" timeframe for reviewing resident permits may be unattainable for local government staff and result in unsafe homes due to lack of oversight.

House referrals: Regulatory Reform & Economic Development (approved 12/13); Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts (approved 1/31); Commerce.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 2/6); Fiscal Policy; Rules


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HB 1239 Lopez
SB 328 Calatayud
SB 328 / HB 1239 Affordable Housing
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SB 328 (Calatayud) and HB 1239 (Lopez) would make numerous amendments to the 2023 Live Local Act which was passed to expand affordable housing in Florida. Initially, SB 328 would have addressed many of the concerning local preemptions associated with last year’s legislation (i,e. inclusion of industrially designated properties, density and height restrictions, etc.) to a greater extent than HB 1239, and both bills add new tax breaks for affordable housing projects. However, an amendment to SB 328 removed many of the favorable changes, making it more closely aligned with HB 1239. Now, neither version removes the preemption on industrial properties. HB 1239 reduces the height restrictions to within  ¼ mile of a proposed development and limits it to 3 stories or 125% of the tallest building, while SB 328 keeps the 1 mile radius and limits to 150% of the tallest building if the surrounding area is single-family residential homes. The preemptions usurp local control over future land use and zoning designations.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/9); Fiscal Policy (approved  1/31). APPROVED BY SENATE 2/7

House referrals: State Affairs (approved 2/7); Appropriations (approved 2/20)


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SB 696 Rodriguez
HB 339 Roth
HB 339 / SB 696 Agritourism
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HB 339 (Roth) and SB 696 (Rodriguez) prohibits local governments from adopting ordinances, regulations, rules, or policies that require certificates of use for certain agricultural lands, facilities, & venues. Also, local governments would be prohibited from limiting activities such as farmers markets, breweries, wineries and distilleries or food preparation or distribution. This would mean that activities that could impact infrastructure such as traffic and wastewater treatment would be permitted without community input.

House Referrals: Agriculture, Conservation and Resiliency Subcommittee; Local Administration, Federal Affairs and Special Districts Subcommittee; Infrastructure Strategies Committee

Senate referrals: Agriculture; Community Affairs; Rules


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SB 386 Osgood
SB 386 Affordable Housing Parking Requirements
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SB 386 (Osgood) would require local governments to reduce the minimum parking requirements for a proposed affordable housing development located within one-half miles of a major transportation hub (defined as any bus, train, or light rail station that contains mixed-use development and multimodal transportation options).

UPDATE (1/9): This bill's provisions were amended into SB 328.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Transportation; Rules

 


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SB 812 Ingoglia
HB 665 McClain
HB 665/SB 812 Expedited Approval of Building Permits
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HB 655 (McClain) and SB 812 (Ingoglia) would require certain governing bodies to create a program to expedite residential building permits by allowing at least 50% of building permits to be issued before a final plat is approved, as long as a preliminary plat has been approved, among other conditions. SB 812 also shortens the “shot clock” already in place for reviewing residential permits.  

Although some communities already have processes for approving permits with a preliminary plat, making them mandatory is an unnecessary burden on local communities that may not have the need or resources to implement them. Also, the shortened time frame for reviewing residential permits could be a safety risk .

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/22); Regulated Industries (approved 2/5); Rules (approved 2/14)

House referrals: Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee (approved 1/17); Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 1/31); Commerce (approved 2/8)


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HB 1167 Yarkosky
SB 702 Martin
SB 702 Attorney Fees and Costs / HB 1167 Attorney Fees and Costs in Property Rights Disputes
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SB 702 (Martin) and HB 1167 (Yarkosky) defines the terms “property rights” as the use rights, ingress and egress rights, and rights incident to land bordering upon navigable waters. The bill would require the award of prevailing party attorney fees of a property rights dispute if land use changes were made in compliance with an issued permit. A good amendment to HB 1167 clarifies that a prevailing party is not entitled to fees if the permit was issued due to a mistake of fact or does not comply with the law. 

Senate referrals: Judiciary (approved 1/16); Rules (approved 1/24; PASSED SENATE 2/1

House referrals: Civil Justice Subcommittee (approved 1/25); Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 1/31); Judiciary


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HB 789 Overdorf
SB 738 Burgess
SB 738/HB 789 Environmental Management
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 SB 738 (Burgess) and HB 789 (Overdorf) specifies that stormwater ponds cannot exceed a steepness of 4:1, unless it is sufficiently fenced. The bill establishes a requirement for FDEP and the water management districts to review coastal permitting processes with the goal of identifying ways to increase efficiency and allow for improved storm recovery.

UPDATE: A committee substitute for HB 789 was introduced and approved in its first House committee of reference. The substitute removed the provisions entitling prevailing parties to recover their costs, and also removed the section calling for a streamlining of coastal permitting.

UPDATE: A committee substitute for SB 738, approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee, removed the section entitling prevailing parties to recover their legal costs, but retained the section calling for a streamlining of coastal permitting. We withdrew our opposition to this bill after the prevailing parties attorney fees provision was removed from the bill.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/10); Judiciary (approved 1/29); Fiscal Policy (approved 2/15)

House referrals: Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee (approved 1/24); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 1/31); Infrastructure Strategies


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HB 927 Trabulsy
SB 770 Martin
SB 770 / HB 927 Improvements to Real Property
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SB 770 (Martin) anHB 927 (Trabulsy) expands the existing authorization for local governments to develop “qualifying improvement programs” to finance projects for residential or commercial properties that improve resilience and energy conservation to include projects that improve water quality, and allow government commercial properties to be eligible under certain conditions.It also adds requirements for assessing eligibility of private property owners.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/22); Fiscal Policy (approved 1/31). PASSED BY SENATE 2/7.

House Referrals: Energy, Communications and Cybersecurity Subcommittee (approved 1/30), Ways and Means (approved 2/14), State Affairs


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SB 1150 Perry
HB 791 Esposito/Overdorf
HB 791 / SB 1150 Development Permits and Orders
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HB 791 (Overdorf, Esposito) and SB 1150 (Perry) Requires local governments to provide minimum information necessary for certain zoning applications and sets a "shot clock" for approval of development permits and orders and provides refunds where a local government doesn’t meet timeframes or denies a request. HB 791 also defines that a change in the application that decreases or increases the project intensity (square footage, number of lots, etc.) by 15% is considered a substantive change, which restarts the review period. The “shot clock” and applicant refund requirements in these bills place undue pressure on local governments who bear the administrative burden and costs of processing applications.

House referrals: Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 1/25); Commerce (approved 2/8); State Affairs (approved 2/14).

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/22); Judiciary; Rules


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HB 1051 Tuck
SB 1082 Collins
SB 1082/HB 1051 Housing for Agricultural Workers
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SB 1082 (Collins) and HB 1051 (Tuck) would prohibit a governmental entity from adopting or enforcing any legislation to inhibit the construction of housing for agricultural workers on agricultural land operated as a “bona fide farm”; authorize governmental entities to adopt local land use regulations that are less restrictive than certain state and federal regulations; and authorize the continued use of housing sites constructed before the effective date of the act if certain conditions are met.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/16); Agriculture (approved 1/23); Rules (temporarily postponed 2/8)

House referrals: Agriculture, Conservation & Resiliency Subcommittee (approved 1/24); State Affairs (approved 2/7); Infrastructure Strategies Committee


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HB 1177 Duggan
SB 1110 DiCeglie
SB 1110 / HB 1177 Land Development
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SB 1110 (DiCeglie) and HB 1177 (Duggan) modify the requirements for local governments to implement transportation concurrency systems by limiting the types of fees that can be charged to development. They also limit local government involvement in changes to developments of regional impact (DRI) with respect to land uses and multimodal pathways. This is concerning, particularly if the changes to roadway infrastructure affect public roadways or the changes to the DRI uses abut properties that are adjacent, but not within the DRI.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Transportation; Rules

House referrals: Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 1/25); Ways & Means (approved 2/14); State Affairs


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SB 1166 DiCeglie
HB 1183 Barnaby
HB 1183 Florida Main Street Program and Historic Preservation Tax Credits / SB 1166 Main Street Historical Tourism and Revitalization Act
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SB 1166 (DiCigle) and HB 1183 (Barnaby) create the Main Street Historical Tourism and Revitalization Act’” which establishes a tax credit program for rehabilitation of historic buildings. The bills establish eligibility requirements, maximum thresholds and specific required designations for participation in the program among other provisions.

Senate referrals: Commerce and Tourism (approved 1/16); Finance and Tax; Appropriations

House referrals: Ways & Means; Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee; Commerce


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HB 1221 McClain
SB 1184 Ingoglia
SB 1184/HB 1221 Land Use Development Regulations
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SB 1184 (Ingolia) and HB 1221 (McClain) make significant changes to definitions within the Community Planning Act, including the type of data that can be used for comprehensive plan amendments, including population projections and prohibit local governments from limiting density and intensity within optional elements of their plans. The changes would eliminate helpful indicators that communities use to identify urban sprawl, and remove community visioning from the requirements for consideration in comprehensive plans. 

They also specify that the plan must establish minimum residential  lot sizes to accommodate maximum authorized density, and infill development standards for residential use that would rely on private investment and include administrative approvals. While developer-pays policies are typically preferred, this scenario would allow sprawl to occur as long as the developer agrees to pay within 20 years, which could exceed typical planning horizons within a comprehensive plan. 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Judiciary; Rules

House referrals: Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 1/25); Commerce (approved 2/8)


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HB 1297 Mooney
SB 1456 Rodriguez
HB 1297/SB 1456 Counties Designated as Areas of Critical State Concern
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HB 1297 (Mooney) and SB 1456 (Rodriguez) Intended to address Monroe County Rate of Growth Ordinance, would exempt counties with areas designated as Areas of Critical State Concern from certain affordable housing requirements that conflict with its strict, environmentally-based development regulations.. Allows use of tourism development funds to be used for affordable housing under certain scenarios. Removes mobile home residents from analysis for 24 hour hurricane evacuation plans, but includes mobile homes in the 48-hour evacuation scenarios.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 2/6); Finance & Tax (approved 2/20); Appropriations

House referrals: Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 1/31); Ways & Means (approved 2/8); State Affairs


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HB 1645 Payne
SB 1624 Collins
SB 1624/HB 1645 Energy Resources
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SB 1624 (Collins) and HB 1645 (Payne) allow resiliency facilities in all commercial, manufacturing and industrial land use categories and prohibit local development regulations that conflict with resiliency facility citing, and increases the length of gas lines from 50 miles to 100 miles where local governments are able to weigh in on alignments, among many other provisions. This means that large, potentially intrusive gas lines and storage sites could be located in areas without public input.

Senate referrals: Regulated Industries (approved 1/29); Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (approved 2/20); Fiscal Policy

House referrals: Energy, Communications & Cybersecurity Subcommittee (approved 1/30); Appropriations (approved 2/8); Commerce (approved 2/15)


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HB 1547 McClure
SB 1628 Collins
SB 1628/HB 1547 Local Government Actions
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SB 1628 (Collins) and HB 1547 (McClure) revise state law requiring local government officials to prepare business impact estimates before enacting ordinances. Specifically, the bill deletes an exemption for development regulations, comp plan amendments and zoning changes, now making them subject to suspension and review. The bill creates new statutes to define businesses in the energy, food, and supply chain security sectors as affected entities negatively impacted by a local government action. The bill further specifies how an affected entity may request an impact review statement to the local government, and, once the request has been submitted, the local government would not be able to enforce the ordinance until it has addressed the impact statement. The bill would also allow the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to authorize emergency rules related to energy, food, and supply chain security. The bill would require the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to review the effectiveness of impact reviews on reducing or eliminating local government actions that threaten the state’s food production and supply, energy generation and delivery, and supply chains. 

UPDATE: The Senate sponsor amended the bill to remove the sections authorizing energy, food and supply chain businesses to request reviews from state agencies of local ordinances.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 2/6); Fiscal Policy

House referrals: Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 2/7); State Affairs

 


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RESILIENCE

Bill #/Sponsor Title / Description
HB 1581 Mooney
SB 32 Garcia
CS/SB 32/HB 1581 Mangrove Replanting and Restoration
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SB 32 (Garcia) and HB 1581 (Mooney) would require the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules  for mangrove replanting and restoration. The rules are required to address erosion in areas of critical state concern, protect barrier and spoil islands, assist Everglades restoration and Biscayne Bay revitalization efforts, promote public awareness of the value of mangroves statewide and encourage partnerships with local governmental entities to create local mangrove protection and restoration zone programs. Also requires a statewide feasibility study to estimate the value of mangroves for reducing insurance premiums and improving communities' National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System ratings.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (Approved 12/6); Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (approved 1/17); Rules.

House referrals: Agriculture, Conservation & Resiliency Subcommittee (approved 1/29); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/5); Infrastructure Strategies


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HB 1119 Antone
SB 38 Stewart
SB 38/HB 1119 Flood Zone Disclosures for Dwelling Units
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SB 38 (Stewart) and HB 1119 (Antone) would require landlords to disclose to a potential tenant whether the dwelling is located within a flood zone as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and include the risk designation for the flood zone. 

Senate referrals: Judiciary; Community Affairs; Rules

House referrals: Civil Justice Subcommittee; Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee; Judiciary


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HB 1079 McFarland
SB 298 Polsky
SB 298 Local Government Coastal Protections/ HB 1079 Coastal Construction and Assessments
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SB 298 (Polsky) and HB 1079 (McFarland) prohibit FDEP from delegating authority for permitting coastal construction zoning and building code exemptions unless the delegation to a local government occurred before 12/2023. They also amend the Resilient Florida Grant Program to provide funds for coastal counties to conduct saltwater intrusion vulnerability assessments to analyze effects and threats to the county’s water supply. The information obtained from the assessment shall be used to update the county’s comprehensive statewide flood vulnerability and sea level rise data, and projections of costs necessary to relocate freshwater wellfields. FDEP would provide 50% cost-sharing, except for coastal counties with a population of 50,000 or less that would be exempt from contributing to the cost-share. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 12/6); Fiscal Policy (approved 1/18)

House referrals; Agriculture, Conservation & Resiliency Subcommittee (approved 1/29); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Infrastructure Strategies


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SB 7028 (Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance)
SB 1208 Martin
HB 1263 LaMarca
1143 Cross
HB 1143, HB 1263 / SB 1208, SB 7028 My Safe Florida Home Program
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HB 1143 (Cross), HB 1263 (LaMarca), and SB 7028 (Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance) would provide for home inspections for flood damage under My Safe Florida Home Program; require the Department of Financial services (DFS) to contract with flood certification entities to provide mitigation inspections; provides requirements for flood certification entities to qualify for selection by department; provides requirements for flood mitigation grants; authorizes flood mitigation inspectors to participate as mitigation contractors under program; requires matching fund grants to be made available to certain entities for projects that reduce flood damage. HB 1143 includes an appropriation of $205 million, HB 1263 includes an appropriation of $107 million, and SB 1208 includes an appropriation of $205 million. 

Senate Bill 1208 referrals: Banking and Insurance; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Fiscal Policy

Senate Bill 7028 Committee Bill by Banking and Insurance (1/16); Fiscal Policy (approved 1/31)

House Bill 1143 referrals: Insurance & Banking Subcommittee; State Administration & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee; Commerce

House Bill 1263 referrals: Insurance and Banking Subcommittee (2/1); State Admin and Technology Appropiations (approved 2/13); Commerce


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HB 749 Basabe
SB 1766 Rodriguez
SB 1766/HB 749 Flood Damage Prevention
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SB 1766 (Rodriguez) and HB 749 (Basabe) would specify that the elevation of structures up to 10 feet to protect them from flooding, known as the freeboard, would not be considered in the maximum height allowed in their zoning districts. The bills also authorize a local government to adopt by ordinance minimum freeboard requirements or a maximum voluntary freeboard that exceeds the requirements in the bills or the Florida Building Code. The bills direct the Florida Building Commission to develop and adopt minimum freeboard requirements by November 1, 2024, and incorporate such requirements into the next edition of the Florida Building Code. Beginning January 2029, and every 5 years thereafter, the commission must review the freeboard requirements and make recommendations to the Legislature regarding any necessary revisions to such requirements.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/22); Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/30); Rules

House referrals: Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee; State Administration & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee; Commerce Committee


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CONSERVATION

Bill #/Sponsor Title / Description
SB 452 Burton
HB 451 Bell
HB 451 / SB 452 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
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HB 451 (Bell) and SB 452 (Burton) would require a $20 million annual appropriation from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to implement the Heartland Headwaters Protection and Sustainability Act, funding projects to protect the water resources in the Green Swamp and Polk County and develop alternative water supplies for the region. 

House referrals: Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee;  Appropriations

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/10); Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government; Appropriations


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SB 566 Rodriguez
SB 566 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
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SB 566 (Rodriguez) would require a $20 million annual appropriation from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to provide financial assistance to local governments to implement the Florida Keys Stewardship Act to protect and restore waterways and coral reefs, or to acquire conservation land in the area. Funds could not be used for wastewater management projects or programs.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/10); Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations


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HB 957 Botana
SB 1210 Martin
SB 1210/HB 957 Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve
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SB 1210 (Martin) and HB 957 (Botana) would revise the boundaries of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, Florida’s first of 42 aquatic preserves, created in 1966. Aquatic preserves restrict development and other activities that would have negative environmental impacts. “The waters of Estero Bay were found to be worthy of special protection, in part because of their exceptional ecological significance,” according to the Senate’s legislative analysis. The bills would revise the boundaries of the preserve to remove an area utilized by the shrimp industry for off loading. Sponsors say the area was mistakenly included in the preserve by the state Department of Environmental Protection. According to news reports, the area is being considered for construction of a 300-slip marina. 

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/17); Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Rules (approved 2/8)

House referrals: Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee; Infrastructure Strategies Committee

 


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SB 1620 Collins
SB 1620 Surplus Lands
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SB 1620 (Collins) would allow the Department of Environmental Protection to sell state-owned conservation land without development rights within the Florida Wildlife Corridor for agricultural use and dedicate the proceeds to purchase development rights on other agricultural properties. It would also empower the state board that oversees the Florida Forever program, the Acquisition and Restoration Council, to review any land within the Florida Wildlife Corridor sold by a local government entity to ensure it does not include development rights. And it would bar water management districts from including development rights on any surplus lands they sell. 

Senate referrals:  Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Fiscal Policy


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HB 1417 Buchanan
SB 1638 Hutson
SB 1638/HB 1417 Funding for Environmental Resource Management
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Both SB 1638 (Hutson) and HB 1417 (Buchanan) would dedicate funds received from the Seminole Gaming Compact to acquire and manage conservation lands and finance water quality improvements. SB 1638 includes extensive details dictating how the funds would be split among categories and agencies; HB 1417 does not. SB 1638 would create a work program to prioritize and administer water quality projects and establish a revolving loans program. It would also create a state grant program, subject to separate state appropriation, to assist local governments in operating and maintaining trails within the Florida Greenways and Trails System.

Senate referrals: Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (approved 1/24); Fiscal Policy (approved 2/15)

House referrals: Infrastructure Strategies (approved 2/15); Appropriations (approved 2/20)


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HB 1075 Truenow
SB 1772 Collins
SB 1772/HB 1075 Soil and Water Conservation Districts
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SB 1772 (Collins) and HB 1075 (Truenow) would dissolve county soil and water conservation districts, transferring their assets to seven newly created regional districts, and changing their membership from locally elected members to appointees of the state commissioner of Agriculture. We are concerned that the program is being shifted from an electoral process to appointed, which reduces citizen engagement in these local programs.

 

Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Fiscal Policy

 

House referrals: Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 1/25); Infrastructure Strategies; State Affairs 


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WATER

Bill #/Sponsor Title / Description
SB 510 Stewart
SB 510 Excise Tax on Water Extracted for Commercial or Industrial Use
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SB 510 (Stewart) would impose an excise tax for extracting state waters for commercial or industrial use, and require that proceeds be deposited for use in the Water Protection and Sustainability Program Trust Fund.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Tax; Appropriations


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SB 664 Burgess
HB 527 Maggard
HB 527 / SB 664 Land and Water Management
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HB 527 (Maggard) would require local governments that create larger buffers zones for development around waterways than state minimums to pay to acquire the additional land through eminent domain, and would preempt to the state any regulation of dredge and fill activities. SB 664 (Burgess), a similar bill, would require certain land and water buffer zones established by a county or municipality to be purchased by the county or municipality, and would also preempt to the state any regulation of dredge and fill activities.

House referrals: Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee; Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee: Infrastructure Strategies

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Fiscal Policy


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SB 986 Burton
SB 986 Management and Storage of Surface Waters
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SB 986 (Burton) exempts projects intended for environmental restoration, enhancement, wetland creation or water quality improvements on agricultural and government owned lands from permitting requirements for most activities other than mitigation. The bill also removes requirements for water management district or DEP review of such projects.

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

Note: Similar House bill, HB 863 (Killebrew) withdrawn prior to introduction 


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HB 1153 Cross
SB 1304 Berman
SB 1304 / HB 1153 Advanced Wastewater Treatment
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SB 1304 (Berman) and HB 1153 (Cross) would require all sewage disposal facilities treating more than 1 million gallons per day to transition to advanced wastewater treatment.The bill requires the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), water management districts, and wastewater facilities to submit a report to the Legislature by December 2024 including wastewater facilities current operations, treatment levels, estimated total pollutant loading, and impairment levels of receiving waterbodies from sewage disposal facilities. The bill requires FDEP to submit a report by December 2025 detailing a priority ranking process for upgrading all state sewage disposal facilities to advanced wastewater treatment by 2035.

House referrals: Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee; Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Infrastructure Strategies

Senate referrals: Environment & Natural Resources; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Fiscal Policy


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HB 1557 Chaney
SB 1386 Calatayud
SB 1386 / HB 1557 Department of Environmental Protection
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SB 1386 (Calatayud) and HB 1557 (Chaney) are omnibus bills covering several topics related to water quality regulation. They would amend regulations for boat operations to better protect seagrass in aquatic preserves; require the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct enforcement activities for violations of certain onsite sewage treatment and disposal system regulations; require certain facilities and systems to include a domestic wastewater treatment plan as part of a basin management action plan for nutrient total maximum daily loads; amends the Resilient Florida Grant Program and eligible projects; among numerous other provisions.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/17); Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (approved 2/13); Fiscal Policy

House referrals: Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee (approved 1/24); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 1/31); Infrastructure Strategies Committee (approved 2/8)


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SB 1532/ HB 1073 Mitigation
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SB 1532 (Brodeur) and HB 1073 (Truenow) expands who may engage in water quality credit trading to offset development impacts. The bills transfer oversight of the sale and trading of credits from the water management districts to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and authorizes governmental agencies to solicit proposals to use public lands for mitigation projects.

Senate referrals: Environment and Natural Resources (approved 1/17); Community Affairs (approved 2/6); Rules (approved 2/14)

House referrals: Water Quality Supply and Treatment Subcommittee (approved 1/29); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/5); Infrastructure Strategies Subcommittee


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HB 7053 (Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee)
SB 7040 (Environment & Natural Resources Committee)
SB 7040 / HB 7053 Ratification of Department of Environmental Protection Rules
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SB 7040 (Environment and Natural Resources Committee) and HB 7053 (Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee) ratifies the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s stormwater rules within Chapter 62-330 of the Florida Administrative Code. FDEP’s rule would amend different components of state stormwater regulations, including minimum performance standards, maintenance and operation requirements, system design flexibilities, and would exempt existing permit holders and those currently under review from the rule’s new requirements. The bill, however, adds additional changes to the rule language, including additional language grandfathering outstanding development projects. The bill also adds inspection requirement exceptions for activities and best management practices by the South Florida Water Management District pertaining to Everglades Program projects, and for Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services agricultural best management practices. The bill also requires higher standards for nutrient reductions for redevelopment projects within an Outstanding Florida Water (OFW) subwatershed if located upstream of the OFW.

The Senate bill was amended on February 8, expanding the range of projects exempted or grandfathered into new regulations, and increases the presumption of compliance standard for new projects. 

Senate referrals: Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (approved 2/8); Rules (approved 2/14)

House referrals: House Water Quality Supply and Treatment Subcommittee (approved 1/29); Infrastructure Strategies


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TRANSPORTATION

Bill #/Sponsor Title / Description
SB 266 Hooper
HB 287 Esposito
SB 266/HB 287 Department of Transportation
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SB 266 (Hooper) and HB 287 (Esposito) would, among many provisions, impose a 20% cap on spending from state transportation trust fund revenues for most public transit projects. SB 266 would and prohibit the creation of new metropolitan planning organizations. 

Senate referrals: Transportation (approved 1/17); Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development; Appropriations (approved 2/8)

House referrals: Transportation & Modals Subcommittee (approved 1/10); Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/1); Infrastructure Strategies Committee 


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HB 479 Robinson
SB 688 Martin
SB 688/HB 479 Alternative Mobility Funding Systems
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SB 688 (Martin) and HB 479 (Robinson) authorize local governments to adopt an alternative mobility planning and fee system or an alternative system in certain circumstances; prohibit an alternative system from imposing responsibility for funding an existing transportation deficiency upon new development; provide that only local governments issuing building permits may charge for transportation impacts; and revise requirements for the calculation of impact fees by certain local governments and special districts.

Senate referrals: Community Affairs (approved 1/9); Transportation (approved 1/30); Rules

House referrals: Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee (approved 1/10); Ways & Means (approved 1/17); Commerce (approved 1/30)

 


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HB 1301 Abbott
SB 1226 DiCeglie
SB 1226/HB 1301 Department of Transportation
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SB 1226 (DiCeglie) and HB 1301 (Abbott) would establish several transportation policies. Both would limit the portion of funds spent on  landscaping in highway projects, among other common provisions. SB 1226 would require the state Department of Transportation to preserve a corridor on Interstate 4 between Orlando and  Tampa to allow for passenger rail.  HB 1301 would bar the Florida Department of Transportation and MPOs from considering any “nonpecuniary social, political or ideological factor” in their planning, and the definition includes any policies aimed at achieving “net zero emissions of carbon dioxide.”

Senate referrals: Transportation (approved 2/6); Appropriations Committee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development (approved 2/20); Fiscal Policy

 House referrals: Transportation & Modals Subcommittee (approved 1/25); Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/5); Infrastructure Strategies


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HB 7049 McFarland
SB 1032 Gruters
SB 1032/HB 7049 Transportation
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SB 1032 (Gruters) and HB 7049 (McFarland) would, among numerous provisions, impose  “accountability and transparency provisions” on metropolitan planning organizations, including performance metrics. MPOs with low scores on performance metrics would be put under control for a year by the Florida Secretary of Transportation. The MPO with the highest score would receive $5 million for approved projects in its work program. Other provisions would encourage regional consolidation of MPOs and prevent new ones from being created adjacent to existing ones.

Senate referrals: Transportation (approved 2/6); Appropriations Committee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations (approved 2/20)

House referrals:  Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee (approved 2/1); Infrastructure Strategies Committee


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