The Florida Senate didn’t kill SB 2508 — Now what?

The Florida Senate blinked. Now we need to keep our eyes wide open.

Senate Bill 2508, pushed by Sen. Ben Albritton and backed by Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, was amended late Wednesday to remove some of its most damaging provisions.

That amendment was a direct response to outrage from the people of Florida — including roughly 1,700 messages you, our Friends of the Everglades, sent to lawmakers, calling on lawmakers to reject the bill in its original form.

But our work isn’t done. The amended version remains very concerning, and it passed the Senate today, in a 37-2 vote (with only Sens. Gary Farmer and Jeff Brandes opposing). It was an affront to the will of the people. It retains three dangerous components:

  1. It allows public entities such as utilities to expedite the evaluation of environmental resource permits and “dredge and fill” 404 wetland permits if they are related to a project that serves “a public purpose.” It does not define that public purpose.
  2. It safeguards water shortage rules that protect Big Sugar over the environment.
  3. It triggers significant changes to the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program that are unnecessary and potentially costly for taxpayers.

This bill will now become part of the House and Senate budget negotiations. Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 23, to learn more about what’s next for this bill during an important Clean Water Conversation. Use the button below to register now.

Friends of the Everglades will livestream this conversation directly to our Facebook page and our YouTube channel from 12 – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23. Let us know you’re coming by using the button below to register.