The Florida Legislature is gearing up for the 2019 Legislative Session! The 60-day session begins on March 5th and ends on May 3rd. Here’s what you need to know about bills that might impact our ocean, waves, and beaches!
Please note that this list of legislation is still evolving, and we still have a few bills in the hopper that have not been published yet.
You can help and be a part of a “victory” by emailing, calling and contacting your elected officials to let them know you “Support” or “Oppose” the following legislative actions. Your voice matters and participating (calling/emailing/contacting) elected officials is one of the most important actions you can take for our environment each year.
If you have questions, concerns or need help locating your local officials, email us or reach out via social media! We’re happy to help you get started and point you in the right direction. Together we can make a difference in 2019!
- Senator Stewart and Representatives Grieco and Eskamani have filed legislation to repeal the preemption (ban) on local plastic bag and polystyrene foam ordinances. MORE
- Senator Rader has filed legislation to ban single-use plastic bags and straws. MORE
- Senator Rader has also filed legislation to create a bottle bill (beverage container deposit). MORE
- Senator Gruters and Representative Altman have filed legislation to ban smoking on all public beaches. MORE
- Senator Gruters has also filed legislation to ban smoking in state parks. MORE
- Representative Thompson has filed legislation to require all local governments to adopt a model ordinance regulating fertilizer application. This bill also allows local governments to adopt more stringent standards than the model ordinance. MORE
- Senator Stewart, Senator Montford, Representative Fitzenhagen, and Represenative Plascencia have all filed various versions of a fracking ban.
- Several bills have been filed to better regulate septic systems.
- Senator Stewart has also filed legislation to ban the sale of sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals that are known to harm coral reefs. MORE
Sea Level Rise:
- Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez and Representative Fernandez have filed legislation to prohibit state financing of certain coastal construction projects without a sea level rise impact projection study. MORE
- Senator Hutson and Representatives Sabatini and Fine have filed legislation to preempt (ban) all local straw ordinances, SB 588 and HB 603. Once again the Florida Legislature is attempting to take away local control of the issues that impact our communities and our beaches. The following are sponsors/co-sponsors of the bad bills: Sen. Hutson, Sen. Bradley, Rep. Sabatini, Rep. Fine, Rep. Hill, Rep. McClure, and Rep. Roach. Please contract the bill sponsors, and politely let them know you oppose preemption of local straw ordinances: Rep. Sabatini (850-717-5032), Rep. Fine (850-717-5053) and Sen. Hutson (850-487-5007). MORE