1000 Friends of Florida

2017 Florida Legislative Session

Updated March 24, 2017

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Check out 1000 Friends’ 2017 Florida Legislative Preview Broadcast and PowerPoint

Senate and House Referrals: passed, did not pass

 

Growth Management/Planning Legislation

SB 996 Perry / HB 997 Killebrew — Administrative Proceedings
This legislation punishes concerned citizens and non-profit organizations for challenging development decisions that impact Florida’s environment and quality of life.  It stymies public participation in government by forcing Floridians who unsuccessfully challenge development decisions to pay the attorney fees and costs of real estate developers up to $50,000. Shockingly, Senator Perry’s bill requires citizens to pay developer’s legal tabs even if the case is settled under mutually agreed upon terms. The sole intent of this legislation is to threaten, penalize and muzzle concerned Floridians who look to the courts as the last recourse for opposing bad developments and protecting Florida’s environment and quality of life.  “Senator Perry’s bill disarms David while giving Goliath an even bigger club. From the perspective of a not-for-profit that fights to protect communities from the worst development projects, this is the nuclear option,” says 1000 Friends President Ryan Smart. Florida’s growth management laws are already stacked in favor of developers. Senator Perry’s choice to “go nuclear” could be the last nail in the coffin for public interest legal challenges in Florida.  1000 Friends opposes SB 996.
Senate referrals: Judiciary; Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; Appropriations
House referrals: Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee; Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 1158 Passidomo / HB 17 Fine — Regulation of Commerce, Trade, and Labor
Both SB 1158 and HB 17 preempt local governments from adopting new regulation on a business, profession, or occupation unless the regulation is expressly authorized by general law. Such a broad preemption could strike local government ability to regulate a huge number of activities from adult-oriented businesses to noise generation. SB 1158 vests rules in existence as of January 1, 2017. The bill would also not automatically nullify existing laws. Instead, it would create a process whereby a local government could challenge the laws of any other local government. A challenged bill would become void unless explicitly ratified by the state legislature. HB 17 would prevent adoption of new local government regulation of businesses and would also sunset existing regulations on July 1, 2020. 1000 Friends opposes SB 1158 and HB 17.
Senate referrals: Commerce and Tourism; Community Affairs; Appropriations; Rules
House Referrals: Careers & Competition Subcommittee (Passed); Commerce Committee

SB 940 Perry / HB 1309 Payne — Growth Management
Requires local governments to adopt a “private property rights element” into their comprehensive plans that must require the local government to weigh “economic development” and “private property rights” over other policies in its comprehensive plan when issuing development permits.  1000 Friends opposes SB 940.
Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Rules
House referrals: Agriculture and Property Rights Subcommittee; Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Commerce Committee

SB 422 Lee / HB 719 — Municipal Conversion of Independent Special Districts
Requires an area within an independent special district to meet minimum population criteria already in statute to be eligible for municipal conversion. Essentially closes a loophole in statute that allowed conversion of certain developments to cities. This provision had been used by the new city of Westlake in Palm Beach County.  1000 Friends supports SB 422/HB 719.
Senate Referrals:  Community Affairs (passed); Ethics and Elections; Rules
House referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Government Accountability Committee

SB 1770 Lee / HB 13 Raburn — Community Redevelopment Agencies
Prohibits creation of new Community Redevelopment Agencies and prevents existing Community Redevelopment Agencies beginning new projects after 2017. Sunsets all existing Community Redevelopment Agencies by 2037. 1000 Friends of Florida opposes this bill because Community Redevelopment Agencies are essential tools for local governments to fund infrastructure in blighted areas.
Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations; Rules
House Referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Ways and Means Committee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 1046 Passidomo — Covenants and Restrictions
Would make restrictive covenants recorded as a condition of compliance with a development order subject to the Marketable Record Title Act. As a result, such restriction would possibly expire 30 years after being recorded.
Senate referrals: Community Affairs; Judiciary; Rules

SB 1696 Stuebe / HB 1241 Eagle — Subdivided Lands
Defines Legacy communities which are antiquated subdivisions created before modern growth management controls and lacking adequate infrastructure but still entitling property owners to use for residential development. Gives local governments with Legacy communities preference for certain state grants.
Senate referrals: Agriculture and Property Rights Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Commerce Committee
House referrals: Agriculture & Property Rights Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Commerce Committee

SB 596 Hutson / HB 687 La Rosa—Utilities
Would preempt local government control of public rights of way for placement of wireless antennas and equipment. Essentially requires local governments to accept placement of cellular service company equipment along streets and attached to public infrastructure.
Senate referrals: Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities (passed); Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Rules
House referrals: Energy & Utilities Subcommittee (passed); Commerce Committee

SB 1048 Lee / HB 1055 Ingram, Payne: Linear Facilities
Would preempt local government regulation of utility corridors including transmission lines and pipelines. Would specify that the Public Service Commission has sole ability to determine whether transmission lines must be placed underground.
Senate referrals: Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities (passed); Community Affairs
House referrals: Energy & Utilities Subcommittee (passed); Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee; Commerce Committee

Transportation Legislation

SB 250 Artiles / HB 777 Willhite — High-occupancy Toll Lanes and Express Lanes

Prohibits the Department of Transportation from establishing tolled express lanes.  1000 Friends supports SB 250/HB 777.
Senate Referrals: Transportation; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations
House referrals: Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee, Government Accountability Committee, Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee

SB 386 Mayfield / HB 269 Magar/Grall — High-speed Passenger Rail
Requires a railroad company operating a high-speed passenger rail system to be solely responsible for all rail corridor improvements or upgrades relating to its operation and safety, essentially ensuring costs are not shifted to local governments.  1000 Friends supports SB 386/HB269.
Senate Referrals:  Transportation (passed); Community Affairs; Appropriations
House Referrals:  Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee; Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 408 Passidomo — Highway Safety
Provides additional protections for bicycle operators from motor vehicle operators. Changes include new citation recording requirements for rule violations that result in bodily injury to bicycle operator and allowance for multiple bicycle operators to pass through intersections with stop signs as a group, rather than one by one.
Senate Referrals:  Transportation; Criminal Justice; Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice; Appropriations

SB 432 Baxley / HB 541 Stone — Vulnerable Road Users
Sets minimum penalties for moving violations that result in the injury or death of vulnerable road users, a group that includes people walking or bicycling
Senate Referrals:  Transportation; Criminal Justice; Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice; Appropriations
House referrals: Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee; Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

 

Conservation Legislation 

Note: Funding from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund comes from the 1/3 of documentary stamp taxes set aside by the Water and Land Conservation Amendment in 2014. 

SB 10 Bradley / HB 761 Altman – Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir Funding
Legislation championed by Senate President Joe Negron authorizing bonding for the purchase of lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area to reduce discharges to coastal estuaries and aid in Everglades restoration. Senate Bill 10 was amended in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee before passing by a 5-1 vote. Unfortunately, as amended, Senate Bill 10 diverts billions of dollars set aside by Amendment 1 for protecting conservation lands through Florida Forever and redirects these funds toward water infrastructure projects that should be paid for through other means. 1000 Friends opposes SB 10 as amended and will continue to fight for legislation and funding to acquire essential lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area and across Florida.  See Ryan Smart’s op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times on 1000 Friends’ concerns with SB 10.

Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources(Passed); Appropriations
House Referrals: Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 112 Brandes / HB 613 Ahern — Flood Hazard Mitigation
This bill would:

  • Subject to appropriation, allocates up to $50 million annually from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for flood hazard risk reduction policies and projects, including the acquisition of flood-prone property and development of green infrastructure to reduce the risk of flooding. Funds would be used for a matching grant program through the Division of Emergency Management.
  • Require an annual appropriation of a sum not to exceed $820,000 from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to the Emergency Management, Preparedness, and Assistance Trust Fund for nonrecurring administrative costs of implementing the grant program.
  • Add Flood Mitigation Projects to the list of projects that the Florida Communities Trust program can fund, undertake, and coordinate.

Senate Referrals: Banking and Insurance; Community Affairs; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations
House Referrals: Oversight, Transparency and Administration Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 234 Bradley / HB 847 Payne — St. Johns River Restoration Funding
Passed two Senate Committees of reference.  Requires an annual allocation of $45 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to the St. Johns River Water Management District for projects dedicated to the restoration and enhancement of the St. Johns River and its tributaries or the Keystone Heights Lake Region. Funds could be used for land management, land acquisition, increasing recreational opportunities, and improving public access.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources (Passed); Appropriations
House Referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee

SB 874 Young / HB 551 Stone — Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee Septic Tank Remediation Funding
Requires an annual appropriation of $20 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to fund septic system upgrades or connection to central sewer when DEP finds that septic systems are contributing excess nutrient pollution to the Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. The funds would also be used for muck dredging and storm-water improvements in the northern Indian River Lagoon. The bill requires the adoption of septic tank remediation plans for these areas.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations 
House Referrals:  Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee 

SB 1748 / HB 285 Fine — Septic Tank Inspections
Requires septic system inspections for properties near impaired waterbodies at the time of sale for real estate transactions. 1000 Friends supports SB 1748 and HB 285.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations

House Referrals: Agriculture & Property Rights Subcommittee (passed); Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee; Commerce Committee

SB 532 Galvano / HB 1065 Peters —  Public Notification of Pollution Releases
Requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to publish a list of substances that would present an immediate and substantial risk to public health, safety, or welfare if released at specified quantities. If these substances are released into the environment, the owner or operator must report the release to DEP within 24 hours. If an owner or operator of an installation fails to comply with this law, they would be subject to up to $10,000 per day of civil penalties for each violation. The bill would also require DEP to share each report under this law with the public within 24 hours.  HB 1065 has several differences from SB 532, including relying on existing rules to determine when notification is required and including less information in the pollution notification report.  1000 Friends supports SB 532/HB 1065.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations
House Referrals: Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 678 Montford / HB 629 Payne — Financial Assistance for water and wastewater infrastructure
Eases process for local governments to finance septic to sewer conversions by allowing them to receive payments from the State for invoices, rather than paying the invoices themselves and then waiting for reimbursement from the State.  1000 Friends supports SB 678/HB629.
Senate Referrals: Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations
House Referrals: Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 442 Young / HB 551 Miller — Advanced Well Stimulation (Fracking) Ban
This bill would ban “advanced well stimulation” techniques, including “fracking,” in Florida. It makes it clear that a permit for drilling or operating a well doesn’t authorize the performance of “advanced well stimulation treatments.” 1000 Friends supports SB 442/HB551.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources ; Appropriations
House Referrals: Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 90 Brandes — Implements Amendment 4 (Solar Energy)
Passed its first two committees. Extends the value of renewable energy source devises from consideration when assessing the value of residential or commercial properties. This bill would also exempt renewable energy source devices from ad valorem taxation until December 31, 2037.
Senate Referrals: Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities (Passed); Community Affairs (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax; Appropriations

SB 162 Rodriguez / HB 93 Richardson — “Disposable Plastic Bags Ban in Coastal Communities”
Allows coastal communities with a population of fewer than 100,000 to implement pilot programs testing regulations or bans of disposable plastic bags. The pilot programs would take effect on or after January 1, 2018 and would end on or before June 30, 2020. The pilot regulations or bans cannot include new taxes or fees on the use or distribution of disposable plastic bags. Municipalities that implement such pilot programs would collect data on the impact of their regulations or ban and submit a report by April 1, 2020 with this information to the governing board of their municipality at a public hearing. They would also provide a copy of this report to the Department of Environmental Protection.  1000 Friends supports SB 162/HB 93.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (passed); Community Affairs; Commerce and Tourism; Rules
House Referrals: Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Careers and Competition Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 982 Mayfield / HB 1033 Altman — “Land Acquisition Trust Fund Allocation for the Indian River Lagoon System”
Amends the Land Acquisition Trust fund statute to appropriate $30 million annually for projects dedicated to the restoration of the Indian River Lagoon system. From these funds, $15 million would be distributed to the St. Johns River Water Management District and $15 million would be distributed to the South Florida Water Management District. The funds could be used for land acquisition, land management, increasing recreational opportunities, and improving public access.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations
House Referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee

SB 1082 Brandes / HB 663 Peters — Water Supply Funding
Amends the Land Acquisition Trust Fund Statute to appropriate a minimum of the lesser of 12.5 percent or $100 million, annually, through the 2026-2027 fiscal year, to the Department of Environmental Protection for water supply and water resource development projects identified in a recovery or prevention strategy or in a regional water supply plan. The money could also be used for water quality restoration projects identified in a basin management action plan.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations
House Referrals: Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee

SB 1700 Farmer — Water Management
After the passage of Senate Bill 552, industry-backed water legislation, by the Florida Legislature in 2016 many legislators acknowledged shortcomings with the bill raised by water advocates and environmental groups. Senate Bill 1700 by Senator Gary Farmer improves upon the 2016 legislation with commonsense provisions to protect Florida’s waters, including precious Outstanding Florida Springs, and ensure that our tax dollars are being used efficiently and effectively in a manner which provides maximum benefit for Florida’s people and environment.  Click here for more information.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation; Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations

SB 198 Stewart / HB 861 Willhite – Environmental Regulation Commission

Requires the Governor to fill vacancies to the ERC within 90 days; requires a supermajority to approve standards relating to air and water pollution.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (Passed); Ethics and Elections; Rules
House Referrals: Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee (Passed); Oversight, Transparency and Administration Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

SB 1590 Latvala / HB 1213 Peters – Coastal Management

Amends the Land Acquisition Trust fund statute to appropriate the lesser of 7.6 percent or $50 million annually for projects that preserve and repair the state’s beaches. Additionally, it requires DEP to include a strategic beach management plan, a critically eroded beaches report, and a statewide long-range budget plan in their comprehensive long-term management plan. The House companion legislation, HB 1213, does not include the guaranteed funding.
Senate Referrals: Environmental Preservation and Conservation (Passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations
House Referrals: Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Government Accountability Committee

 

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