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Tell lawmakers to kill HB 789/SB 738

We need you to speak up! All session long, we’ve been cautiously watching House Bill 789/Senate Bill 738, sponsored by Rep. Toby Overdorf and Sen. Danny Burgess.  We sounded the alarm — and you responded — in order to successfully kill two dangerous proposals in the original versions of the bills. It was a small, noteworthy victory. The bill is less bad now, but it’s still bad news. Friends of the Everglades remains very concerned about a remaining provision in the bill that would prohibit citizens from suing polluters for personal injury or economic damages, if the event that caused the injuries was duly permitted or authorized by a government agency.  Sounds to us like a backdoor way [...]

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 [...]