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WATCH NOW: Citizen participation makes a real difference in Tallahassee

https://www.youtube.com/live/2kS3TVhfWCU?si=pLqKtDG32rJF7JFu Today's livestream demonstrated the value of environmental groups working together to accomplish common goals. Though geographically different, the Everglades and Florida's Springs are both unique ecosystems that are valuable to our economy and important to our water supply. By working together, we made some good progress this year in Tallahassee — including heading off  a dangerous bill provision that would have harmed the average citizen's ability to challenge the government for environmental failures. Even so, plenty of work remains. The Springs and Everglades allies are stronger together, and the importance of citizen participation cannot be overstated. As Florida Springs Council's Executive Director Ryan Smart put it, "We can’t promise we’ll win every time you take action, but we [...]

2024-02-14T15:15:48-05:00February 14th, 2024|Florida Legislative Tracker|

Friends of the Everglades 2024 Florida Legislature: Mid-session report

We feared the worst, but it hasn’t (yet?) come to pass. And some of the credit goes to you. Several of the worst bills we identified in our pre-session report haven’t moved; others have seen their momentum begin to wane. And one of the worst proposals out of Tallahassee this session was effectively neutered after Friends of the Everglades and other conservation groups helped generate thousands of phone calls and emails to legislators. Senate Bill 738 and its House twin, HB 789, initially stipulated that anyone challenging a permit or other “authorization” by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district would have to pay the legal fees of the agencies and any other “intervenors” (like [...]

House Bill 789 amended thanks to you!

Chalk one up for the clean water cause! One of the worst bills of Florida’s legislative session is on the cusp of wholesale changes that would defang it. House Bill 789, filed by Rep. Toby Overdorf, initially sought to stifle environmental lawsuits by forcing anyone who challenges and loses a decision by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district to pay the “prevailing party’s” legal fees. There are already provisions in state law to prevent frivolous lawsuits — so the only reason we saw for this bill was to grease the skids for developers and polluters. Another problematic part of the bill was Section 4, which would have required FDEP and water management districts to conduct [...]

Tell Rep. Stevenson to keep HB 789 off her committee’s agenda

We need you to speak up! One of the worst bills of the legislative session might get its first committee hearing this week — but you can help head it off at the pass. House Bill 789, sponsored by Rep. Toby Overdorf, would force anyone who challenges and loses a Florida Department of Environmental Protection or water management district decision to pay the other side’s legal fees. It would intimidate citizens and effectively prevent them from filing a challenge, because they literally can’t afford to lose. The bill is bad for other reasons, too. It may run afoul of a federal Environmental Protection Agency proposal which states that this sort of “fee shifting” blocks access to the [...]

WATCH NOW: Wetlands and waterways on the chopping block this legislative session?

https://www.youtube.com/live/mtzUEzFoCJY?si=mwb2bPvLpU2fBBCM Florida's 2024 legislative session began today in Tallahassee — marked by a flurry of bad bills that take aim at important Everglades issues like wetlands protections and growth management.  Today's livestream led us through the worst of the worst filed bills, highlighted key players to watch and reminded viewers of the importance of citizen participation. Legislative Accountability is vitally important to environmental protection and the future of Florida. At Friends of the Everglades, we work hard to help the public understand dense policy measures and how they impact both the natural world and the human environment. As session progresses, we’ll keep our eyes trained closely on the legislation that poses the greatest threats, and we hope you'll follow [...]

Friends of the Everglades 2024 Legislative Preview

Florida’s annual 60-day legislative session begins January 9. In line with our 2024 Legislative Priorities, we offer the following analysis of bills that have been filed. JUMP TO: Protect wetlands Get serious about toxic algae Fix our failing BMAPs Don't ban fertilizer bans Smarter, controlled development Stop sugarcane burning Send more clean water south Other Priorities Priority: Protect wetlands The state must Reject any attempt to preempt local authority on wetlands. To achieve this goal, we recommend the following positions on bills pending before the Legislature: HB 527: Land and Water Management - OPPOSE Sponsor: Rep. Randy Maggard, R-54 Synopsis: Requires wetlands buffer zones established by county or municipality to be acquired through eminent domain; preempts regulation of specified [...]

The first bad bills of 2024 aim to intimidate citizens

The Florida Capitol during the 2023 legislative session in Tallahassee. With weeks to go before the Florida Legislative session even begins, a pair of solid contenders for “Worst Bills of the Year” have entered the fray. And they've got an obvious goal: citizen intimidation. Our friends at VoteWater took a closer look  at these proposals Read their latest report below. WANT TO CHALLENGE AN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION IN FLORIDA? IT COULD COST YOU With weeks to go before the Florida Legislative session even begins, a solid contender for “Worst Bill of the Year” has entered the fray. And you know that’s going to be a crowded field. Gaze upon House Bill 789 and Senate Bill 738, a pair of proposals which — if passed — [...]

2023-12-14T16:16:42-05:00December 14th, 2023|Bad Bill Alert, Florida Legislative Tracker|

Friends of the Everglades State Legislative Priorities: 2024

About Friends of the Everglades: Friends of the Everglades was founded in 1969 by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a driving force behind the creation of Everglades National Park and author of The Everglades: River of Grass. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to preserving the only Everglades in the world, we have identified the following priorities for the 2024 session of the Florida Legislature. 2024 State Legislative Priorities: JUMP TO: Protect wetlands Get serious about toxic algae Fix our failing BMAPs Don't ban fertilizer bans Smarter, controlled development Stop sugarcane burning Send more clean water south 1. Protect Wetlands: Reject any attempt to preempt local authority on wetlands. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett vs. EPA imperils crucial wetlands throughout [...]

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