Growth Management Bill Passes without 2/3rds Threshold
HB 203 (Growth Management) by Representative McClain was substituted for SB 410 (Growth Management) by Senator Perry and considered on the House and Senate Floors. The bill requires local governments to include a private property rights component in its comprehensive plan. The bill also requires that preference for technical assistance funding be given to counties with populations less than 200,000 when determining whether they have appropriate land uses and natural resource protections in relation to a multi-use corridor interchange.
The bill was amended to additionally:
- Require all municipal comprehensive plans “effective,” as opposed to “adopted,” after 1/1/19, to incorporate development orders existing before the plan’s effective date.
- Provide that in a county with a population of less than 750,000, a county charter provision or comprehensive plan goal, objective, or policy adopted after 1/1/20, may not impose a limitation on lands within a municipality unless the municipality, by referendum or local ordinance, adopts and imposes the provision, goal, objective, or policy.
- Allow a party, or its successor in interest, to amend or cancel a development agreement without securing the consent of other parcel owners whose property was originally subject to the development agreement.
- Require counties and cities to process utility permit applications for the use of the public right-of-way (ROW) within the timeframes currently applicable to permit applications submitted by communications services providers.
- Allow a Developments of Regional Impact (DRI) agreement previously classified as or officially determined to be essentially built out, and entered into on or before 4/6/18, to be amended to authorize the developer to exchange approved land uses.
- The bill was also amended on the floor to include a provision: Except as otherwise provided in s. 171.205, a municipality may not annex an area within another municipal jurisdiction without the other municipality's consent
The bill passed 71 - 43 on the House Floor and passed the Senate 23 - 16, failing to meet the 2/3rds threshold for legislation that has an unfunded state mandate. The bill now heads to the Governor for signature or veto.
Bill to Keep Visit Florida Passes Second Senate Committee
SB 362 (Florida Tourism Marketing) by Senator Hooper was considered on the House Floor. A companion legislation, HB 213 (Florida Tourism Marketing) by Representative Ponder, was not heard during the session. The bill saves from repeal the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, Visit Florida. The budget also includes $50 million appropriation for the agency. The bill passed 116 - 2 and now heads to the Governor for final approval.
Impact Fees Legislation Passes
SB 1066 (Impact Fees) by Senator Gruters was considered on the Senate and House Floor. The bill makes several changes to impact fees including:
- Prohibits the application of a new or increased impact fee to pending permit applications unless the result is to reduce the total impact fees or mitigation costs imposed on the applicant.
- Provides that impact fee credits are assignable and transferable at any time after establishment within the same impact fee zone or impact fee district, or an adjoining zone or district within the same local jurisdiction, provided that the development receives a benefit from the improvement or contribution.
The bill passed unanimously, 40 - 0. A companion legislation, HB 637 (Impact Fees) by Representative DiCeglie, was substituted on the House Floor for SB 1066 and amended. The bill passed 81 - 37 and went back to the Senate in Messages. The amended SB 1066 removed a provision that authorizes local governments with charters that contain provisions providing for school capacity to require contributions related to public education that are used to mitigate impacts not otherwise funded by impact fees or other exactions related to public education facilities, under certain circumstances.
Local Government Recycling Contract Legislation Passes
SB 326 (Environmental Regulation) by Senator Perry was substituted on the Senate Floor for its companion legislation, HB 73 (Environmental Regulation) by Representative Overdorf. The bill requires counties and cities to address the contamination of recyclable material in contracts entered into for the collection, transport and processing of residential recycling materials. The bills apply to contracts executed or renewed after 10/1/2020. The bill passed 40 - 0 and now heads to the Governor for final approval.
E-Bike Legislation Passes House
HB 971 (Electric Bicycles) by Representative Michael Grant was considered on the House Floor. The bill defines electric bicycles as well as the different classes of electric bikes, distinguishes electric bikes from mopeds and motorcycles, and expressly allows local jurisdictions to regulate electric bikes via ordinance. The bill further clarifies that e-bike riders have the same rights as regular cyclists and not held to the same insurance and license requirements of a motorized vehicle. The bill passed unanimously, 118 - 0. A companion legislation, SB 1148 (Electric Bicycles) by Senator Brandes, was substituted on the House Floor for HB 971. The bill passed 39 - 0 and now heads to the Governor for final approval.
TNC Digital Advertising Bill Passes House
HB 1039 (Transportation Network Companies) by Representative Rommel was considered on the House Floor. The bill establishes guidelines for the display of digital advertising on rideshare vehicles and redefines transportation network companies to include limousines, for-hire vehicles, and luxury transportation companies. The reclassifying of these forms of transportation to TNC’s would preempt their regulation to the state. The bill passed unanimously, 117 - 0. A companion legislation, SB 1352 (Transportation Companies) by Senator Brandes, was substituted on the House Floor for HB 1039. The bill passed 37 - 2 and now heads to the Governor for final approval.
Towing Bill Passes
SB 1332 (Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels) by Senator Hooper was substituted on the Senate Floor for HB 133 (Towing and Immobilizing of Vehicles and Vessels) by Representative McClain. The bills add vessels to statute when defining the towing of vehicles, prevent local governments from imposing fees or charges on authorized wrecker operators and towing businesses except for general administrative fees that apply universally, and grandfather qualifying charter counties with 90% or more of their population in incorporated municipalities, or contains 38 or more municipalities within its boundaries. The bill was amended on the floor to not restrict a county or municipality from adopting an ordinance or rule that requires a towing business to accept a credit card as a form of payment. The bill passed the Senate 34 - 5 and the House 81 - 31 and now heads to the Governor for final approval.
Environmental Enforcement Bill Passes
HB 1091 (Environmental Enforcement) by Representative Fine was considered on the House Floor. The bill increases fines against any discharge of raw sewage and various environmental violations into waterways by 50 percent. The bill passed unanimously, 106 - 0. A companion legislation, SB 1450 (Environmental Enforcement) by Senator Gruters was substituted for HB 1091 and amended. The bill was amended to include the substance of SB 150 (Sanitary Sewer Laterals) which encourages counties and municipalities to establish a sanitary sewer lateral inspection program by 7/1/2022. The bill also requires a seller of real property to disclose any known defects in the property’s sanitary sewer lateral to a prospective purchaser. The bill as amended was then taken up in House Messages and passed 115 - 0. The bill now heads to the Governor for final approval.
Required Sea Level Rise Study for Public Construction Passes
HB 579 (Public Financing of Construction Projects) by Representative Aloupis was substituted on the House Floor for SB 178 (Public Financing of Construction Projects) by Senator Rodriguez. The bill requires future public construction projects to take sea level rise into account by conducting a sea level impact projection study. The bill passed unanimously and now heads to the Governor for final approval.
Community Planning Bill Passes
HB 1097 (Regional Planning Council Meetings) by Representative Geller was substituted on the House Floor for SB 1398 (Community Planning) by Senator Flores. The bill establishes quorum requirements for regional planning council meetings when a voting member appears via telephone, real-time video conferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication. Additionally, the bill requires DEO to give preference to certain small counties and municipalities located near a proposed multiuse corridor (M-CORES) interchange when selecting applicants for Community Planning Technical Assistance Grant. The bill passed unanimously, 113 - 0, and now heads to the Governor for final approval.
Essential State Infrastructure Bill Passes
HB 7099 (Essential State Infrastructure) by Representative Ingoglia was substituted on the House Floor for SB 7018 (Essential State Infrastructure), formerly Electric Vehicle Charging Station Infrastructure, by Senator Lee. The bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC), in coordination with the DOT and the DACS Office of Energy, to develop and recommend a plan for the development of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure along the State Highway System by 7/1/2021. The bill extends expedited review timelines for all utility permits for the right-of-way and would deem approved any permit pending after the review period. Currently, expedited timeframe and “deemed approved” clause are only applicable for permits for communications service providers. The bill also amends Section 704.06 to prohibit conservation easements on land traditionally used for agriculture from limiting the ability of the owner of the land from negotiating the use of the land for any public or private linear facility as well as allowing reasonable compensation for the diminution of value of the interest in the conservation easement as the only remedy available to the holder of the conservation easement. The bill passed the House 97 - 19 and now heads to the Governor for final approval.
Private Property Rights Legislation Fails
HB 519 (Private Property Rights) by Representative Jamie Grant was never considered in the Senate and failed this session. A companion legislation, SB 1766 (Growth Management) by Senator Lee, stalled in its last committee stop, Senate Rules. HB 519 would have allowed for all “similarly situated” properties to be treated the same under a Bert Harris disagreement. There was no clear definition of what “similarly situated” established in the bill. SB 1766 did not contain this provision but also made changes to the Bert Harris Act.
Mid-Block Crosswalk Replacement Fails
HB 1371 (Traffic and Pedestrian Safety) by Representative Fine was considered on the House Floor. The bill:
Allows yellow rectangular rapid flash beacons (RRFBs) to be used on a road if there are no more than two lanes and a speed limit of 35 mph or less;
- Yellow RRFBs must be removed by 10/1/24 and can be retrofitted with legally acceptable equipment;
- FDOT must submit a request by 10/1/20 to the Federal government to allow yellow RRFBs to be replaced by red RRFBs. If approved, all yellow RRFBs must be replaced with red RRFBs within 12 months of federal authorization.
- Before the installation of a pedestrian crosswalk, a Florida licensed professional engineer must conduct a traffic engineering study.
- Requires a pedestrian-facing sign containing language stating duties applicable to the pedestrian at each crosswalk
The bill passed 118 - 1. A companion legislation, SB 1000 (Traffic and Pedestrian Safety) by Senator Perry, stalled in its last committee stop, Senate Appropriations. The bill failed this legislative session.
Transportation Disadvantaged Services Legislation Fails
HB 551 / SB 76 (Transportation Disadvantaged) by Representative Jenne and Senator Book failed this legislative session. The bills require community transportation coordinators to provide transportation to disadvantaged individuals across county lines to improve their access to employment, education, healthcare, and other life sustaining services.
House Transportation Package Fails
HB 395 (Transportation) by Representative Andrade was considered on the House Floor. As the larger transportation package for the 2020 session, the bill includes numerous provisions impacting FDOT operations. The provisions impacting local governments include:
- Requires permit applications for utility service on municipal or county rights-of-way to be acted upon in a specified period.
- Authorizes DOT to establish emergency staging areas along the Florida Turnpike system.
The bill passed unanimously, 118 - 0. A companion legislation, SB 1172 (Transportation) by Senator Albritton, was not heard this session and the bill failed for the legislative session.
Environmental Funding Legislation Fails
SB 1878 (Environmental Protection) by Senator Bradley failed this legislative session. The bill codifies specific environmental spending priorities for annual appropriations to include $625 million for the purposes of Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources in the state. The appropriation would be repealed on June 30, 2023, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. There was no House companion legislation filed this session.
Statewide Office of Resiliency Legislation Fails
HB 1073 / SB 7016 (Statewide Office of Resiliency) by Representative Stevenson and Senator Lee failed this session. While the bills were heard in all committee stops including the Senate Floor, the bills did not pass the House Floor. The bills codify the Governor’s Executive Order that established the Statewide Office of Resiliency (SOR) within the Executive Office of the Governor, headed by a Chief Resilience Officer appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor. The proposed bills create the Statewide Sea-Level Rise Task Force adjunct to the SOR for the purpose of recommending consensus projections of the anticipated sea-level rise and flooding impacts along the state’s coastline. The bills authorize technical advisory groups to inform its decision making and directs DEP to assist in developing baseline projections. Recommended projections will be submitted to the Environmental Regulatory Commission for adoption or rejection by 1/1/2021.
FAC adopted a Guiding Principle to support a comprehensive state climate change action plan, with energy policies and other initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases and to address ecosystem sustainability, long term water supply, flood protection, public health and safety, and economic prosperity.
Office of Energy Transfer Fails
HB 5401 (Department of Environmental Protection) by Representative Raschein failed this legislative session. The bill moves the Office of Energy from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the Department of Environmental Protection. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried spoke against the bill. While the House passed the bill along party lines, the Senate did not include this transfer in its budget and was never considered.
Florida Forever Funding Bill Fails
SB 332 (Land Acquisition Trust Fund) by Senator Stewart passed two committees but failed this legislative session. The bill provides that $100 million be appropriated annually to the Florida Forever Trust Fund. The bill also stipulates that funds cannot be used for certain administrative functions within DEP, DACS and FWC. The bill passed unanimously. A companion legislation, HB 849 (Land Acquisition Trust Fund) by Representative Altman, was not heard this session.
Energy Efficiency Legislation Fails
SB 338 (Energy Efficiency Savings in State Agencies) by Senator Rodriguez failed this legislative session. The bill revises the energy consumption information each state agency is required to provide to DMS to include transportation fleet energy consumption information. The bill also requires the state energy management plan to include recommendations for state agencies to improve energy efficiency by transitioning, retrofitting, or replacing certain inefficient facilities and fleets. The bill passed unanimously. Currently, there is no companion legislation filed for this session.
Water & Wastewater Utilities Bill Fails
HB 207 / SB 658 (Acquisition of Water and Wastewater Systems) by Representative McClain and Senator Albritton failed this legislative session. The bills establish the procedure for water & wastewater utilities to establish rate base value to determine fair market value when acquiring a utility system. The bills specify the application requirements for acquiring a utility and the duties of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in approving and denying an application. The bills only apply to utilities with more than 10,000 customers and are engaged in a voluntary and mutually agreeable acquisition.
Displacement of Private Waste Companies Legislation Fails
SB 996 (Displacement of Private Waste Companies) by Senator Albritton failed this session. The bill exempts fiscally constrained counties from solid waste goals and requirements for local governments. The exemption expires July 1, 2035. Additionally, the bill creates a recycled materials management pilot project for Polk County, in coordination with the University of Florida. The bill contains requirements for the program. During the term of the program, Polk County is exempt from the solid waste goals and requirements for local governments. Polk County must submit a report on the pilot program to the Governor and Legislature by July 1, 2025. The pilot program expires July 1, 2025.
The bill also revises the definition of “displacement” in requirements for local government collection services that displace private waste companies. The bill states that the term does not apply to certain government actions or situations at the end of a franchise granted to a private company. The bill revises the process and procedures a local government must follow to displace a private waste company. The bill removes the discretion of the local government to pay a displaced company in lieu of providing a 3-year notice period. The bill makes the 3-year notice requirement mandatory before a local government engages in the actual provision of the service that displaces the company. In addition, the bill requires a local government to pay a displaced company an amount equal to the company’s gross receipts for the preceding 18 months at the end of the 3-year period. An amendment was added to clarify that the bill exempts fiscally constrained counties from specified recycling goals but not from their other solid waste responsibilities.
A companion legislation, HB 639 (Displacement of Private Companies) by Representative McClure, stalled in its second committee stop, but did not contain the provisions of the pilot program or fiscally constrained counties solid waste goal exemptions.
Brownfields Legislation Fails
SB 1350 (Contamination), formerly filed as Brownfields, by Senator Baxley failed this legislative session. The bill made the following changes pertaining to Florida’s brownfield program:
- Revises a corporate income tax credit for 25 percent of the total rehabilitation costs for a brownfield site upon completion, not to exceed $500,000, to remove the requirement that the tax credit be claimed in the final year of cleanup.
- Revises a corporate income tax credit for 50 percent of the solid waste removal costs for a brownfield site, not to exceed $500,000, to require that the site was never used as a solid waste disposal area permitted under DEP’s current rules for solid waste management facilities or the predecessor rules. The effect of this change is to authorize the credit for solid waste removal for unpermitted solid waste disposal areas regardless of whether the site was operated for monetary compensation.
- Limits statutory causes of action under s. 376.313(3), F.S., to only damages to real or personal property directly resulting from pollution, and requires that the pollution was not authorized by any government approval or permit.
- Describes defenses to causes of action under 376.313(3), F.S., as strict-liability exceptions instead of defenses.
- Adds to the liability protection in the brownfield program relief from statutory causes of action arising under s. 376.313(3), F.S., which impose strict liability for damages from pollution for certain sites.
- Provides the liability protection in the brownfield program to any subsequent property owner of a brownfield site.
- Requires subsequent property owners of brownfield sites to comply with applicable institutional or engineering controls required for site rehabilitation to retain liability protection.
- Authorizes governmental entities to propose brownfield area designations under designation criteria that may require adoption by the local government with jurisdiction.
- Broadens the procedures for negotiating brownfield site rehabilitation agreements so that a designation simply entitles any person to negotiate an agreement, rather than the person identified as the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation.
- Creates an exception to the brownfield program eligibility requirement of creating at least 10 new jobs if the project provides benefits including affordable housing, recreation areas, conservation areas, or parks, or cultural or historical preservation
A companion legislation, HB 1001 (Contamination) by Representative Stone, stalled in its last committee stop.
Everglades Protection Area Impact Mitigation Bill Fails
HB 775 / SB 1390 (Everglades Protection Area) by Representative Avila and Senator Simmons failed this legislative session. The bills add new regulations for local governments that border the Everglades Protection Area. This includes adding a review by the DEP when creating or amending their comprehensive plan in order to ensure potential impacts on the Everglades are mitigated. The House bill was amended to only impact entities within 2 miles of the protection area.
Building Design Bill Fails
HB 459 (Building Design) by Representative Overdorf failed this legislative session. The bill prohibits local governments from applying land development design provisions to single and two family dwellings unless the home is a historic property, the code helps implement the National Flood Insurance Program, is within a community redevelopment area, or regulations are adopted in accordance with the procedures for adopting local amendments to the Florida Building Code. The legislation would also allow substantially affected persons to petition the Florida Building Commission for a non-binding advisory opinion on whether a local regulation is an amendment to the Code. A companion legislation, SB 954 (Building Design) by Senator Perry, was not heard this session.
All Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Bills Fail
HB 723 (Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing) by Representative Fischer failed this legislative session. The bill expands peer-to-peer regulations including insurance requirements, liability clarification, and lien responsibilities but does not include provisions requiring the daily vehicle rental surcharge which is eventually remitted to local governments for infrastructure purposes.
Another set of bills, HB 377 / SB 478 (Motor Vehicle Rentals) by Representative Latvala and Senator Perry also failed this legislative session. The bills codify peer-to-peer car sharing and expand the daily remitted tourism surcharges so the service is more on par with vehicle rentals. The bill also ensures vehicles under recall are not used for rental, and creates insurance requirements. Both bills stalled in committee.