Skip to main content
Eminent DomainNews

Legislative Update: Part 1

By March 18, 2011No Comments






March 17, 2011

Legislative leadership” is a phrase which references the key players in a legislative body as well as the “hoped-for” actions of the entire legislative branch. From a property rights’ perspective, given the dismal economic “state of the State” and Florida’s failed experiment with comprehensive planning, true leadership is desperately needed in state policymaking. This Session, we may just see it.
Thanks to the pro-prosperity ideology of leaders like Governor Rick Scott, Speaker of the House Dean Cannon, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner and Senate President Pro Tem Mike Bennett, the Capitol is super-charged with a new energy. A spirit of real reform is almost palpable inside the Capitol buildings.

It is inspiring to hear committee chairmen opening meetings with questions such as: “Since we all agree the current law isn’t working and right for Florida’s economy in 2011, before moving forward, should we discuss the basic question of whether we should be attempting to radically reform this law or whether it is necessary at all?”

Another clear sign that change is in the air can be seen on the already harried faces of municipal and government lobbyists…and Session has only just begun! Generally, these individuals are among the most arrogant characters in the Capitol hallways. They receive tax-payer funded paychecks to advance the interests of government. In the past, government and regulatory agencies have been good clients. For several decades, there has been layer upon layer of new regulation to champion. Municipal and agency lobbyists have generally fared well each session in advancing the ideology of expanded government power and authority. However, under the Scott-Cannon-Haridopolos “reform agenda” – costly and cumbersome bureaucracies and pro-regulation interests are no longer great clients to represent.

In Part 1 of our Legislative Update, CPR would like to highlight a few of the key bills impacting property owners:

_ PCB – Growth Management (PCB CMAS 11-04 ) A major effort to overhaul Florida’s failed growth management system is moving forward this Session. The primary vehicle for reform in the Florida House of Representatives is a comprehensive committee bill amending Florida Statutes Chapter 163, including redesignating the “Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act” as the “Community Planning Act” and revising the intent, purpose and scope of the act. To review the current draft legislation, please click on the following link: ( Committee Bills (PCBs)&FileName=PCB CMAS 11-04.pdf ) The bill is currently under review in the House Community & Military Affairs Subcommittee which is capably chaired by Representative Ritch Workman.

In the Senate, several Growth Management bills include SB 174, SB 122 and SB 1512 by Senate President Pro Tem Mike Bennett and SB 1512 and SB 1910 (State and Regional Planning) by Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla.

_ HB 701/SB 998Property Rights – This legislation is a much-needed update to the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act of 1995 which amends and enhances protections afforded to property owners under the Act. (The bill’s House Sponsor is Representative Eric Eisnaugle and Senate Sponsor is Senate Majority Whip David Simmons. Current House Co-Sponsors include Representatives Trudi Williams, Dennis Baxley & Paige Kreegel. Current Senate co-sponsors include Senate President Mike Haridopolos, Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Bennett and Senators JD Alexander, Charlie Dean, Greg Evers, Alan Hays, John Thrasher, Stephen Wise. ( CPR members will recall this important property rights legislation was passed by the Florida House in the 2008 Session, but was deferred in the Senate. This Session, this pro-property rights legislation is receiving the strong support of key Senate leaders.

_ CS/HB 239 & SB 1090/SB1490 – Numeric Nutrient Water Quality Criteria – by Representative Trudi Williams. Senators Charlie Dean and Greg Evers are sponsoring Senate bills addressing the same subject. This proposed legislation protects property owners by prohibiting the implementation of certain federal numeric nutrient water quality criteria rules by DEP, water management districts, & other governmental entities. The bills also clarify the authority of water management districts & other governmental entities with respect to pollution control. House co-sponsors include Representatives Jason Brodeur, Rachel Burgin, Matt Caldwell, Paige Kreegel, Greg Steube and Charles Van Zant.

_ HB 707/CS SB 858 – Agriculture – This legislation is intended to reform regulation impacting agricultural land and agriculture operations. Sponsored by Representative Steve Crisafulli and State Senator Alan Hays. This bill includes prohibiting counties from enforcing certain limits on activity of bona fide farm operation on agricultural land or charging such land for stormwater management assessments & fees, provides exemptions from certain restrictions on county’s powers over activity on agricultural land, creates “Agricultural Land Acknowledgement Act” and requires applicant for certain development permits to acknowledge certain contiguous agricultural lands as condition of permit, exempts farm fences from Florida Building Code, exempts nonresidential farm buildings & farm fences from county & municipal codes & fees. House co-sponsors of this legislation include Representatives Trudi Williams, Jason Brodeur and Paige Kreegel.

_ HB 421/SB1174 – Wetlands Ag Exemption – This legislation is sponsored by Representative Leonard Bembry and by Senator Gary Siplin and clarifies the exemptions afforded to agricultural activities allowed in wetland areas. Senate co-sponsor is Senator Evelyn Lynn. House co-sponsors include Represenatives Bryan Nelson, Keith Perry, Charles Van Zant and Trudi Williams.

_ HB 13/SB 130 – Onsite Sewer Disposal & Treatment Systems – This legislation is sponsored Representatives Marti Coley, Brad Drake, Clay Ford and Senator Charlie Dean. This bill eliminates provisions directing DOH to create and administer statewide septic tank evaluation program and fees which has been the source of controversy across the state. House co-sponsors include Representatives Janet Adkins, Larry Ahern, Ben Albritton, Dennis Baxley, Jeff Brandes, Doug Broxson, Richard Corcoran, Steve Crisafulli, Matt Gaetz, Tom Goodson, Matt Hudson, Clay Ingram, Larry Metz, Scott Plakon, Elizabeth Porter, Jimmie Smith, Greg Steube and John Tobia. Senate co-sponsors include Don Gaetz and Joe Negron. Similar bills include HB 167 by Coley, SB 82 by Lynn, SB 168 by Evers, SB 1698 by Dean. (SEE ALSO SJ 18).

TO BE CONTINUED…Additional legislation of interest will be profiled in Part 2 of this update.)


This Session may be the most important Session in several decades in Florida for property owners to communicate directly with their representatives and legislative leaders. CPR has compiled a special “Legislative Contacts Directory” for its membership – which you can download and print via the following link. CPR’s directory contains the email addresses and Capitol telephone contacts for every State Representative and State Senator in one convenient listing:

Property owners who support the current “reform agenda” have a role to play as citizens in the current Legislative Session. By emailing and calling legislators, you can encourage and thank legislators for their individual support for pro-property rights, pro-prosperity legislation. Let your voice be heard!


To support CPR’s year-round work and efforts to educate lawmakers on policy impacting property owners, we need your help today. JOIN CPR as an official member today online at or by calling 407-481-2289 for more information. If your company is not already an official corporate sponsor, call us today to find out how your corporate support can help promote and defend property rights in Florida! (Corporate membership = just $2.75 per day!) Show your corporate commitment to property rights in Florida!

Reader responses always welcomed!

Carol Saviak
Executive Director
Coalition for Property Rights
2878 S. Osceola Avenue
Orlando, FL 32806
407-481-2289 telephone
407-481-0834 fax

Property Rights Built Florida! Support property rights today –

Leave a Reply