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 dredge and fill activities to state
Status: Now in Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee
Related bills: SB 664

SB 664: Land and Water Management – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Sen. Danny Burgess, R-23
Synopsis: Requires wetlands buffer zones established by a county or municipality to be purchased by the county or municipality; preempts regulation of dredge and fill activities to the Department of Environmental Protection
Status: Referred to Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Fiscal Policy
Related bills: HB 527

SB 986: Management and Storage of Surface Waters – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Sen. Colleen Burton, R-12
Synopsis: Provides an exemption from surface water management and storage regulations for the implementation of certain measures and practices for environmental restoration, enhancement and creation activities and water quality improvements on some agricultural and government-owned lands; deleted requirements relating to adverse impacts on water resources, certain notifications by FDEP and water management districts.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet

HB 1073: Enhancement and Mitigation Credits – WATCH
Sponsor: Rep. Keith Truenow, R-26
Synopsis: Revises provisions for the sale and use of water quality enhancement credits. Requires government entities to consider unsolicited proposals from private entities for mitigation bank projects on public lands and authorizes governments to solicit such proposals.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet
Related bills: SB 1532

SB 1532: Mitigation – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-10
Synopsis: Defines the term “sponsor”; allows “applicants,” not just government entities, to purchase water quality enhancement credits requires FDEP or water management districts to authorize the sale and use of such credits to applicants, rather than to governmental entities, to address adverse water quality impacts of certain activities; authorizes governmental entities to solicit proposals for mitigation bank projects on public land.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet
Related bills: HB 1073

SB 1646: Mitigation Credits – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen. Nick DiCeglie, R-18
Synopsis: Defines the term “proximity factor”; revises the list of projects eligible to use mitigation banks; requires FDEP and water management districts to authorize the use of mitigation credits within surrounding basins; specifying the circumstances under which credits may be deemed unavailable in a basin
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet


Priority: Get serious about toxic algae

The state must implement scientific recommendations to address Florida’s algae crisis. To achieve this goal, we recommend the following positions on bills pending before the Legislature:

SB 1360: Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen. Joe Gruters, R-22
Synopsis: Requires the initiative to develop deployment technologies and submit a report on the technologies to FDEP; requires the department to make certain determinations regarding the technologies within a specified time period; providing that the technologies are deemed approved for use in specified state waters under certain circumstances.
Status: Filed; no committee assignments yet.


Priority: Fix our failing BMAPs

The State must update BMPs and toughen enforcement to meet pollution-reduction goals. To achieve this goal, we recommend the following positions on bills pending before the Legislature:

SB 1386: Department of Environmental Protection – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen. Alexis Calatayud, R-38
Synopsis: Revises aquatic preserves where a vessel may not be operated outside a lawfully marked channel; requires FDEP to conduct enforcement activities for violations of certain onsite sewage treatment and disposal system regulations in accordance with specified provisions; requiring certain facilities and systems to include a domestic wastewater treatment plan as part of a basin management action plan for nutrient total maximum daily loads.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet


Priority: Don’t ban fertilizer bans

County/municipal fertilizer ordinances are key to improved water quality. Any attempt to weaken existing “strong” fertilizer ordinances must be rejected. Any attempt to preempt local governments’ ability to enact such ordinances must be denied.

No current bills address regulating fertilizer.


Priority: Smarter, controlled development

The state must re-strengthen it’s role in growth management. To achieve this goal, we recommend the following positions on bills pending before the Legislature:

SB 738: Environmental Management – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Sen. Danny Burgess, R-23
Synopsis: Entitles prevailing parties in a legal challenge against FDEP or any water management district to recover attorney fees and costs up to $50,000; requires minimum design standards for nonindustrial stormwater management system side slopes; and requires FDEP and water management districts to conduct “holistic reviews” of the coastal permitting process to increase efficiency and predictability.
Status: On Committee agenda, Environment and Natural Resources, 1/10.
Related bills: HB 789; SB 406

HB 789: Environmental Management – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-85
Synopsis: Entitles prevailing parties in a legal challenge against FDEP or any water management district to recover attorney fees and costs up to $50,000; requires minimum design standards for nonindustrial stormwater management system side slopes; and requires FDEP and water management districts to conduct “holistic reviews” of the coastal permitting process to increase efficiency and predictability.
Status: Now in Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee
Related bills: SB 738; SB 406

SB 1110: Land Development – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Sen. Nick DiCeglie, R-18
Synopsis: Revises the power and responsibility of local governments under the Community Planning Act, revises rules regarding credits against local impact fees, revises procedures regarding local government review of changes to previously approved Developments of Regional Impact.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet
Related bills: HB 1177

HB 1177: Land Development – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-12
Synopsis: Revises the power and responsibility of local governments under the Community Planning Act, revises rules regarding credits against local impact fees, revises procedures regarding local government review of changes to previously approved Developments of Regional Impact.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yete
Related bills: SB 1110

SB 1184: Land Use and Development Regulations – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-11
Synopsis: Revises the types of data upon which comprehensive plan and comp plan amendments are based; requires all future land use plans be based on data which includes elements related to the amount of land required to accommodate anticipated growth for specific types of development, and the amount of certain land outside urban service areas.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet
Related bills: HB 1221

HB 1221: Land Use and Development Regulations – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Rep. Stan McClain, R-27
Synopsis: Revises the means by which owners of agricultural lands apply for and are granted rezonings; revises requirements for use by local governments in reviewing applications for agricultural enclaves; revises the types of data that comprehensive plans and plan amendments must be based on. Revises criteria for adopting small scale development amendments and the content requirements for local land development regulations.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet
Related bills: SB 1184

HB 723: Everglades Protection Area – SUPPORT
Sponsor: Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera, R-114
Synopsis: Requires comprehensive plans and plan amendments to land within or near the Everglades Protection  Area to follow a state-coordinated review process; assigns certain duties to FDEP relating to such plans or plan amendments.
Status: Now in Agriculture, Conservation & Resiliency Subcommittee

SB 1364: Everglades Protection Area – SUPPORT
Sponsor: Sen. Alexis Calatayud, R-38
Synopsis: Requires proposed plans and plan amendments that apply to certain lands within or near the Everglades Protection Area follow a state coordinated review process; authorizes local governments to consider an application for a development permit or development order contingent upon adoption of such plans and amendments; providing duties of FDEP relating to such plans and plan amendments; prohibits the adoption of small-scale development amendments for properties located within or near the Everglades Protection Area.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet.
Related bills: HB 723

SB 684: Residential Building Permits – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen. Nick DiCeglie, R-18
Synopsis: Requires certain governing bodies to expedite the process for issuing residential building permits before a final plat is recorded and to issue a certain number or percentage of building permits requested in an application when certain conditions are met. Also requires local jurisdictions to reduce permit fees and revise time frames for approving or denying certain building permits.
Status: Referred to Community Affairs; Regulated Industries; Rules
Related bills: HB 267; HB 665; SB 812

SB 812: Expedited Approval of Residential Building Permits – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-11
Synopsis: Requires governing bodies in counties with more than 75,000 residents/municipalities with more than 30,000 residents to expedite the process of issuing residential building permits and allow at least 50 percent to be issued before a final plat is approved, so long as certain conditions are met.
Status: Filed; no committee references yet.
Related bills: HB 665; HB 267; SB 684

SB 1150: Development Permits and Orders – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen Keith Perry, R-9
Synopsis: Requires counties and municipalities to provide minimum information on zoning applications, revises the time frame for processing applications for approvals for development permits or development orders, revises a local government’s duties upon receipt of an application for approval of a development permit.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet
Related bills: HB 791

SB 702: Attorney Fees and Costs
Sponsor: Sen. Jonathan Martin, R-33
Synopsis: Defines the term “property rights”; requires courts to award reasonable attorney fees and costs to a prevailing defendant in certain civil actions under specified circumstances.
Status: Referred to Judiciary; Rules
Related bills: HB 1167

HB 1167: Attorney Fees and Costs in Property Rights Disputes
Sponsor: Rep. Michael Yarosky, R-25
Synopsis: Requires courts to award reasonable attorney fees & costs to prevailing defendants in certain civil actions relating to property rights.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet
Related bills: SB 702

HB 267: Residential Building Permits – WATCH
Sponsor: Rep. Tiffany Esposito, R-77
Synopsis: Requires local governments to expedite the process for issuing residential building permits, authorizes applicants to use private providers for certain reviews, revises the time frame for approving or denying permits, reduces permit fees and provides that certain permits are valid indefinitely.
Status: Now in Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee
Related bills: HB 665; SB 684; SB 812  

HB 665: Expedited Approval of Residential Building Permits – WATCH
Sponsor: Rep.  Stan McClain, R-27
Synopsis: Requires local governments to expedite the process for issuing residential building permits; authorizes governing body to issue temporary parcel identification numbers; requires governing body to issue specified number or percentage of building permits; gives applicant vested rights when conditions are met.
Status: Now in Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee
Related bills: SB 812; HB 267; SB 684

HB 791: Development Permits and Orders – WATCH
Sponsor: Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-85, Rep. Tiffany Esposito, R-77
Synopsis: Requires counties and municipalities to provide minimum information on zoning applications, revises the time frame for processing applications for approvals for development permits or development orders, defines the term “substantive change.”
Status: Now in Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee
Related bills: SB 1150


Priority: Stop sugarcane burning

Sugarcane burning represents an environmental injustice, disproportionately affecting low-income communities of color in the Glades region. This outdated practice must be phased and growers required to transition to safer “green” harvesting.

No current bills address any aspect of sugarcane burning.


Priority: Send more clean water south

The state must acquire more land for Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs). To achieve this goal, we recommend the following positions on bills pending before the Legislature:

No current bills addresses the state acquiring lands in the EAA to create additional man-made wetlands.


Other Priorities:

HB 165: Safe Waterways Act – SUPPORT
Sponsors: Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman, R-91, and Rep. Lindsay Cross, D-60; co-introducers Rep. Karen Gonzalez-Pittman, R-65; Rep. Dianne Hart, D-63; Rep. Vicki Lopez, R-113; Rep. Katherine Waldron, D-93; Rep. Brad Yeager, R-56
Synopsis: Requires the Florida Department of Health and FDEP to make recommendations for transferring the duty of  the bacteriological sampling of beach waters and public bathing places to FDEP; makes FDEP solely responsible for adopting and enforcing rules related to the bacteriological sampling of beach waters and public bathing places; requires municipalities and counties to immediately notify the department of any incident that may affect the quality of beach waters or public bathing places.
Status: Now in Water Quality, Supply & Treatment Subcommittee
Related bills: SB 338

SB 338: Safe Waterways Act – SUPPORT
Sponsor: Sen. Lori Berman, D-26
Synopsis: Requires the Florida Department of Health and FDEP to make recommendations for transferring the duty of  the bacteriological sampling of beach waters and public bathing places to FDEP; makes FDEP solely responsible for adopting and enforcing rules related to the bacteriological sampling of beach waters and public bathing places; requires municipalities and counties to immediately notify the department of any incident that may affect the quality of beach waters or public bathing places.
Status: Referred to Health Policy; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Fiscal Policy
Related bills: HB 165

SB 298: Saltwater Intrusion Vulnerability Assessments – SUPPORT
Sponsor: Sen. Tina Polsky, D-30
Synopsis: Authorizes FDEP to provide coastal counties with Resilient Florida Grant Program grants to fund saltwater intrusion vulnerability assessments; requires DEP to update the comprehensive statewide flood vulnerability and sea level rise data set and make information from the vulnerability assessments publicly available.
Status: Passed Environment & Natural Resources Committee 12/6; now in Fiscal Policy.
Related bills: HB 1079

HB 1079: Coastal Construction and Assessments – Watch
Sponsor: Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-73
Synopsis: Provides that only coastal counties & coastal municipalities that received written authorization from FDEP may establish construction zoning and building code exceptions to coastal construction control lines; prohibits FDEP from delegating authority to coastal counties & coastal municipalities that did not receive such authorization; authorizes FDEP to award grants to coastal counties for certain saltwater intrusion vulnerability assessments and provide certain cost-share funding; requires FDEP to update certain data and make certain information available on its website.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet
Related bills: SB 298

HB 1153: Advanced Wastewater Treatment – SUPPORT
Sponsor: Rep. Lindsay Cross, D-60
Synopsis: Requires FDEP, in consultation with water management districts and sewage disposal facilities, to submit to Governor and Legislature reports on permitted sewage disposal facilities in state, priority ranking process for implementing advanced wastewater treatment upgrades at such facilities and implementation status of such upgrades.
Status: Filed; no committee assignments yet.
Related bills: SB 1304

SB 1304: Advanced Wastewater Treatment – SUPPORT
Sponsor: Sen. Lori Berman, D-26
Synopsis: Requires FDEP, in consultation with the water management districts and sewage disposal facilities, to submit to the Governor and Legislature reports on certain permitted sewage disposal facilities, a priority ranking process for implementing advanced wastewater treatment upgrades at such facilities, and the implementation status of such upgrades.
Status: Filed; no committee assignments yet
Related bills: HB 1153

SB 32: Mangrove Replanting and Restoration – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen. Ileana Garcia, R-36; Co-introducer: Sen. Bryan Avila, R-39
Synopsis: Requires the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to adopt regulations for mangrove replanting and restoration.
Status: Committee substitute passed Environment & Natural Resources Committee 12/6; now in Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government

HB 1005: Indian River Lagoon Protection Program – WATCH
Sponsor: Rep. Rick Roth, R-85
Synopsis: Revises percentages of funds to be distributed from Land Acquisition Trust Fund to various trust funds; requires specified amount of funds to be used for Indian River Lagoon Protection Program; requires FDEP to identify commercial or residential properties with onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems located within Program area; requires FDEP to determine projects most worthy of state funding and to provide annual report that includes prioritized list of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems eligible for state funding.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet.
Related bills: SB 1354

SB 1354: Indian River Lagoon Protection Program – WATCH
Sponsor: Sen. Tom Wright, R-8
Synopsis: Revises the percentages of funds distributed from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to various trust funds; requires that a specified amount of funds be used for the Indian River Lagoon Protection Program; requires FDEP to identify commercial or residential properties with onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems located within the Program area.
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet.
Related bills: HB 1005

SB 144: State Renewable Energy Goals
Sponsor: Sen. Lori Berman, D-26
Synopsis: Revised definitions for “biomass” and “renewable energy”; prohibits drilling or exploration for, or production of, oil, gas, or other petroleum products in certain locations; providing legislative intent that all electricity used in this state be generated by renewable energy by a specified date.
Status: Referred to Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; and Fiscal Policy
Related bills: HB 193

HB 163: Dredging and Beach Restoration Projects
Sponsor: Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman, R-91
Synopsis: Directs FDEP to require that any adverse impact analysis performed as a condition for dredging and beach restoration projects meet specific requirements. Also requires local governments to provide notice to nearby local governments of intent to conduct analysis and provides fines for violations.
Status: Now in Water Quality, Supply & Treatment subcommittee
Related bills: SB 608

HB 193: State Renewable Energy Goals
Sponsor: Rep. Anna  Eskamani; co-introducers Reps. Robin Bartleman, D-103; Jennifer Harris, D-44; Michelle K. Rayner, D-62; Marie Paule Woodson, D-105.
Synopsis: Prohibits drilling or exploration for, or production of, oil, gas, or other petroleum products and permitting and construction of certain related structures; requires statewide renewable energy electricity & carbon emission reductions by specified dates; directs Office of Energy within DACS to develop unified statewide plan & submit plan to Governor and Legislature; creates Renewable Energy Advisory Committee; directs Commissioner of Agriculture to submit annual report to Legislature.
Status: Now in Energy, Communications & Cybersecurity Subcommittee
Related bills: SB 144

HB 451: Land Acquisition Trust Fund
Sponsor: Rep. Melony Bell, R-49
Synopsis: Provides annual appropriation to FDEP to implement the Heartland Headwaters Protection & Sustainability Act.
Status: Now in Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee
Related bills: SB 452

SB 452: Land Acquisition Trust Fund
Sponsor: Sen. Colleen Burton, R-12
Synopsis: Provides an annual appropriation to FDEP to implement the Heartland Headwaters Protection and Sustainability Act.
Status: Referred to Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations
Related bills: HB 451

SB 498: Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials
Sponsor: Sen. Linda Stewart, D-17
Synopsis: Removes preemption on local ordinances restricting use of disposable plastic bags and similar materials.
Status: Referred to Commerce and Tourism; Community Affairs; Rules

SB 510: Excise Tax on Water Extracted for Commercial or Industrial Use
Sponsor: Sen. Linda Stewart, D-17
Synopsis: Imposes an excise tax upon anyone extracting water from waters of the state for commercial or industrial use; requires tax proceeds to be separately accounted for and used for specific purposes by FDEP; specifies requirements for extractors in filing monthly returns with the Department of Revenue; authorizes the department to inspect or examine an extractor’s books and records, issue subpoenas, require testimony under oath or affirmation of certain persons, and apply for certain judicial orders.
Status: Referred to Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Tax; and Appropriations committees.

HM 517: Foreign Polluters
Sponsor: Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-85; co-introducers Rep. Adam Botana, R-80, and Rep. Vicki Lopez, R-113
Synopsis: Urges Congress to support solutions that examine pollution differential between United States production & other countries & that hold foreign polluters accountable for their pollution.
Status: Now in Agriculture, Conservation & Resiliency Subcommittee
Related bills: Senate Memorial 800

SB 566: Land Acquisition Trust Fund
Sponsor: Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-40
Synopsis: Requires an annual appropriation from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to FDEP to implement the Florida Keys Stewardship Act or to acquire land within the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern for specified purposes; prohibits the department from using the funds for wastewater management projects or programs.
Status: Referred to Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations

SB 608: Dredging and Beach Restoration Projects
Sponsor: Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-40
Synopsis: Directs FDEP to require that, as a condition of permits issued for dredging and beach restoration projects, any adverse impact analysis conducted for the activity meet certain requirements.
Status: Referred to Environment and Natural Resources; Fiscal Policy; Rules
Related bills: HB 163

SB 1692: Preventing Contaminants of Emerging Concern from Discharging Into Wastewater Facilities and Waters of the State
Sponsor: Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-10
Synopsis: Establishes the PFAS and 1,4-dioxane pretreatment initiative within FDEP for a specified purpose; providing requirements for certain wastewater facilities with industrial pretreatment programs which begin implementing an industrial pretreatment program after a specified date; providing discharge limits and surface water quality standards for industrial users beginning on a specified date
Status: Filed, no committee assignments yet

SB 698: Regulation of Single-use Plastic Products
Sponsor: Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-40
Synopsis: Authorizes coastal communities to establish pilot programs regulating single-use plastic products; requires FDEP to submit updated retail bag reports and conclusions/recommendations to the Legislature.
Status: Referred to Commerce and Tourism; Community Affairs; Rules

SB 800: Foreign Polluters
Sponsor: Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-40
Synopsis: Urges Congress to support solutions that examine pollution differential between United States production & other countries & that hold foreign polluters accountable for their pollution.
Status: Referred to Environment & Natural Resources, Rules
Related bills: HM 517


About Friends of the Everglades:

Friends of the Everglades was founded in 1969 by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, author of the seminal book The Everglades: River of Grass. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving America’s Everglades and its interconnected ecosystems. We are proud to advocate on behalf of supporters across the Greater Everglades region.