LEGISLATIVE SESSION 2023
Learn and Take Action
This year the 2023 Legislative Session began on Tuesday, March 7th and will wrap up on May 5th.
The Florida Springs Council is tracking the bills that will affect Florida's springs.
Unlike any other conservation organization in Florida engaging in legislative advocacy, FSC looks at legislation only through the lens of Florida’s springs and aquifer. Our analysis, positions, and advocacy efforts reflect that approach.
Current Action Alerts
We make it easy to contact lawmakers with pre-written emails. Provide your name and email address, modify the message, and hit send. Our system gets the messages to the right legislators.
There are two action alerts on this page, totaling 3 emails sent to the governor. But sure to complete them all.
We can’t promise you that we will win every time you take an action.
But we can promise that we will lose if you don’t.
ACTION ALERT ONE:
We need your help to stop the ban on adopting strong urban fertilizer ordinances.
Late one Sunday evening, budget conferees slipped a surprise provision into the General Appropriations Implementation Act (SB 2502). It prohibits local governments from adopting or amending urban fertilizer ordinances that include a blackout period during the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
As if the policy isn’t bad enough, the process that led to it is even more abhorrent. The prohibition was never filed as part of any substantive bill or amendment. There was no committee meeting. No staff analysis. No opportunity for public comment or debate.
Instead, legislators cowardly subverted the process by sneaking the provision into the 102 page, must-pass, appropriations implementation bill on a Sunday night in the last week of Session.
The prohibition is tied to a $250,000 appropriation to the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida to study the effectiveness of seasonal fertilizer restrictions. Both the prohibition and the study need to go.
We believe our brilliant colleagues at Sierra Club Florida found a way to do just that by requesting a line-item veto of the proviso language authorizing the IFAS study in the 2023-2024 Budget.
Use our easy to use form to send an email to Governor DeSantis asking him to veto the proviso language authorizing the IFAS study, consequently eliminating the basis for the prohibition on strong fertilizer ordinances.
ACTION ALERT TWO:
VETO BAD BILLS
(complete two emails)
The 2023 Florida Legislative Session is over, and boy, it was a wild one. FSC tracked more than thirty bills that have the potential to impact Florida’s springs.
Two harmful bills have passed the legislature and, unless vetoed, will become law with the governor's signature:
HB 1191 allows the toxic waste created during phosphate mining to be used in Florida roads
SB 718 prohibits all land use referendums and initiatives, removing the ability of citizens to vote on land use decisions in their communities.
Use our easy to use form to take action today for our springs and the Florida we love; please send the governor both emails asking for a veto. When one is complete, our system will take you to the next automatically.
After sending your email, a new email will automatically load. Scroll back up and complete the next one until you've sent both!
An overview of some 2023 bills
FSC is tracking more than thirty bills that address water pollution, water supply, local environmental ordinances, environmental permitting, growth management, wetlands mitigation, and state funding of environmental projects. All of these bills have the potential to impact Florida’s springs. Here are just a few of the ones we're watching.
House Bill 1379/Senate Bill 1632 "Pollutant Load Reduction" Makes some needed revisions to basin management action plans for Outstanding Florida Springs. This could have been a positive move for Florida's Springs but was weakened as it moved through committees and no longer includes revisions for Basin Management Action Plans.
House Bill 1197/Senate Bill 1240 "The Pre-empt Everything Environmental Bill" In a Session of bad bills, it's hard to choose the worst, but this one is it. It’s called “Land and Water Management,” but it’s really about removing hurdles for developers and polluters. It would preempt ALL local government environmental regulations, including water quality, water quantity, pollution control, and wetlands. Retroactively. Local governments would not be able to enact or enforce any regulations or ordinances to protect our springs, rivers, aquifer, and wetlands. In short, it would pre-empt all local environmental protections, future and current. This bill went nowhere but a pre-emption on local fertilizer ordinances was accomplished through a late-night back-door move. See our "Fertilizer Ordinances" action alert.
Read more about the bill and track its progress through the legislature at
House Bill 1191/Senate Bill 1258 - "The Radioactive Roads Bill" Would approve using radioactive waste from the fertlizer/phosphate industry called “phosphogypsum” in roads. The EPA currently prohibits using this toxic waste in roadway construction because it poses an unacceptable risk to public health, the environment and road construction workers. This bill passed all committees and is on its way to the governor's desk to be signed into law. We will be asking the governor for a veto.
House Bill 41/Senate Bill 856 - "The Protect Developers from Citizens Bill" Prohibits local referendums or ballot initiatives on changes to land development regulations. Removes local citizens’ ability to vote directly on land use decisions. This bill did not pass committees but the language made its way into a different bill, SB 718. We will be asking the governor for a veto of SB 718.
Read more about the bill and track its progress through the legislature at https://www.floridaspringscouncil.org/single-post/hb-41-sb-856-the-protect-developers-from-citizens-bill
House Bill 359/Senate Bill 540 - The "Protect Developers from Lawsuits" Bill Requires the losing party to pay attorney fees and costs for comprehensive plan amendment challenges. Under the threat of mandatory attorney fees, only the most wealthy developers and landowners will be able to challenge land use decisions. This bill passed all committees and is on its way to the governor's desk to be signed into law. We will be asking the governor for a veto. UPDATE: THIS BILL HAS BECOME LAW
Read more about the bill and track its progress through the legislature at https://www.floridaspringscouncil.org/single-post/hb-359-sb-540-the-protect-developers-from-lawsuits-bill
A deeper dive into 2023 bills
Read more about each bill, and track its progress through the legislature.