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Summary of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session

As you may know, the 2015 Florida Legislative Session ended prematurely when the Florida House adjourned early after the two chambers failed to agree on a budget in a stalemate over health care spending.  The legislature adopted a proclamation setting the agenda for the Special Session scheduled for June 1st through June 20th, 2015.  Although the abrupt end of the 2015 Legislative Session left several bills in limbo, a number of bills managed to pass.  Below is an overview of the bills that passed during the regular session that may be of interest to VCARD members, as well as the bills on the agenda for the Special Session.

Bills that Passed

CS/CS/SB 1216 Community Development

This bill addresses a wide range of community development and growth management topics including revising the sector planning process, creating a Connected Corridor Pilot program in Pasco County, revising Regional Planning Councils(including the elimination of the Withlacoochie RPC)  , and eliminating Development of Regional Impact (DRI) review for new developments in favor of the state coordinated review process.  The bill passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor.

CS/CS/CS/SB 1094 Peril of Flood

This bill strengthens the redevelopment component of the coastal management elements to include policies, strategies and engineering solutions to reduce flood risks in coastal areas including the impacts of sea level rise.  The bill passed both chambers and awaits action by the Governor.

CS/SB 1312 Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP)

This bill, known as the anti-SLAPP suit bill, prohibits the filing of SLAPP suits and defines free speech with regard to public issues.  The bill was passed by both chambers and awaits action by the Governor.

CS/CS/CS/HB 383 Private Property Rights

This bill amends the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act in response to the U.S. Supreme Court holding in Koontz vs. St. Johns River Water Management District, 133 S.Ct. 2586 (2013), to create a way for property owners to bring an action against a governmental entity to recover damages caused by a prohibited exaction. This bill passed both chambers and awaits action by the Governor.

Special Session

The following bills related to Amendment 1 funding will be considered by the legislature during the June Special Session:

SB 576 Land Acquisition Trust Fund/Agency for Persons with Disabilities; SB 578/ HB 1295 Land Acquisition Trust Fund/Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; SB 580 / HB 1293 Land Acquisition Trust Fund/Department of State; SB 582 Land Acquisition Trust Fund/Department of Transportation; CS/SB 584 / HB 1291 Implementation of the Water and Land Conservation Constitutional Amendment

These bills relate to trust funds established to distribute state funds and will be addressed when the legislature meets to adopt a budget during the Special Session.

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We will continue to monitor the legislative budget with VCARD members in mind as the Special Session progresses.

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