| Everglades, Conservation, and Rules in the House Agriculture, Conservation and Resiliency Subcommittee|
|Everglades Protection Area Bill Continues to Move|
At the House Agriculture, Conservation and Resiliency Subcommittee (Chair, Rep. Buchanan (R-Osprey)), HB 0175, Everglades Protection Area, by Rep. Busatta Cabrera (R-Coral Gables), passed its first committee stop. The bill requires comprehensive plans and amendments covering land within two miles of the Everglades Protection Area to follow the more rigorous State Coordinated Review Process instead of the Expedited State Review Process, to protect these important Everglades resources from sprawl.
SB 192, the Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Avila (R-Miami Springs) has passed its last committee of reference this week.
State Lands Acquisitions
PCB ACR 23-01, State Lands Acquisitions, also made it through the subcommittee. The bill attempts to speed up the state’s process for the acquisition of conservation lands and ensure consistent funding for this program. The bill would direct $100 million per year to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for Florida Forever. The bill prioritizes acquiring land at risk of development or within the footprint of the proposed 18 million-acre Florida Wildlife Corridor. This bill does not currently have a Senate companion.
Amendment to the Administrative Procedures Act
Administrative Procedures, HB 713, by Rep. McFarland (R-Sarasota), and SB 742 by Sen. Grall (R-Vero Beach), amends the Administrative Procedures Act. This Act directs agencies on how to undertake rulemaking; an authority delegated to them by the legislature.
The bill aims to reduce unnecessary or outdated rules and requires a fiscal burden analysis to be completed for every new administrative rule. It requires each agency to review and promulgate each rule every ten years. This last provision puts undue burden on state agencies that already complete an annual review of statutes and rules that are no longer necessary or appropriate.
A helpful amendment filed by Rep. Cross (D-St. Petersburg) was voted favorably on Monday. The amendment excludes areas within the coastal high hazard zones from being eligible for expedited permitting. This is to ensure that during redevelopment, we do not impact critical natural systems or put people in harm’s way. The bill adds guardrails to ensure human safety requiring adequate time for a comprehensive review of the permit application.
The bill passed favorably through this committee and is now referred to State Affairs, its last committee stop.