The Florida Legislature’s 2023 session “will have significant public policy impacts for planning, conservation, transportation, community design and other issues of concern to many Floridians,” according to 1000 Friends of Florida, a smart-growth advocacy organization.
Group President Paul Owens, Policy and Planning Director Jane West and Outreach Director Haley Busch held a webinar Wednesday to provide a legislative update with a little more than two weeks remaining in the session. They discussed key bills and budget recommendations related to conservation, growth management, planning, transportation and water.
“This has been an unusual session,” Owens said. “Through six weeks, we’ve seen a whirlwind of activity.”
West discussed several bills related to growth management such as HB 359/SB 540, which would require the loser of challenges to comprehensive-plan amendments to pay the legal costs of the winner. The group opposes the legislation, which West said would cause a chilling effect on citizen challenges to irresponsible and legally flawed development.
“We have, basically, the death knell to growth management in Florida embodied” in the legislation, she said.
She also discussed legislation that 1000 Friends supports, including SB 1170/HB 111, which would expands an existing sea-level projection statute to include all areas at risk due to sea-level rise; and SB 100/HB 561, which would require the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules for mangrove replanting and restoration.
The webinar covered many more pieces of legislation, which can be seen in this Power Point presentation. A video of the webinar can be seen below.