FLORIDA SPRINGS COUNCIL COMMENTS ON THE DEMISE OF 2015 WATER LEGISLATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dr. Robert Palmer, Legislative Chair
April 29, 2015
GAINESVILLE, FL – The abrupt adjournment of the Florida House on April 28 was the death-knell for water legislation (SB 918 / HB 7003 / HB 653) in the 2015 legislative session.
The legislative committee of the Florida Springs Council (FSC) provided regular analysis and commented extensively on these bills as they evolved over the past two months. In our view, HB 7003 had no new springs protections. SB 918 had some useful elements when filed, but became progressively weaker as it wended through the legislative process in the Senate. Early in the legislative session, the FSC proposed 12 amendments that would have offered significantly greater springs protections than any of the filed bills but only one of these amendments, providing for mandatory metering of large water withdrawals, was ultimately included in the Senate and House bills.
Springs language that appeared likely to be approved at the time of House adjournment would have done little to accelerate long-term restoration of Florida’s springs. Therefore, the FSC is comfortable with the demise of springs legislation in this session and is hopeful that stronger provisions, including some modeled on the FSC’s recommendations, will be enacted in a future legislative session.