Here’s the latest from Tallahassee!
Property Rights Element Bill – HB 291 & SB 428
This bill requiring every local government to adopt a property rights element into their local comprehensive plan was passed by its second House Committee and is poised to be heard by the House State Affairs Committee.
The bill also passed its first Senate Committee on March 26. It was next assigned to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee whose Chairman is Senate Pro Tempore David Simmons. He did not place the bill on his agenda for April 8., even though he had voted for the bill in the previous committee. As of this writing, his committee will not reconvene this year. This kills any opportunity to hear the bill or see it passed into legislation.
In each of the three committees in which I spoke, an association of municipal governments called the League of Cities always spoke in opposition to the bill. The few legislators who voted against the bill often said, “We support property rights but…” In other words, they seemed to be saying that protecting government is more important than protecting property rights. It might be a good idea to ask your legislators which is their priority and how did they demonstrate it this Session.
Septic System Solution – HB 1241 & SB 1776
Last December CPR approached Representative Scott Plakon regarding a septic system bill to protect property owners for the high costs of replacing their conventional system with a high cost “advanced” system approved by the Florida Department of Health. Because of other commitments and House priorities, he declined to sponsor such legislation but promised to be a prime co-sponsor. CPR was advised to seek a local democratic sponsor.
That sponsor turned out to be Representative Kamia Brown. CPR worked many hours working with her crafting bill language. After several versions, a simplified bill language was agreed to that would be more targeted and less controversial than earlier versions. Regretfully, Rep. Brown filed the wrong bill and, therefore, never put on an agenda in the House or Senate.
Since discovering the bill would not be placed on an agenda, CPR has been working with other legislators of environmental bills to add a septic system amendment to one of their bills. CPR will keep you informed as to this possibility.
The Tallahassee Scene
Even from before the committee weeks, during the committee weeks, and going into the legislative session, there are many competing interests. Special interests work to maintain their influence and priorities. At the conclusion of this year’s session, it might be interesting to ask your legislators about their priorities and why your property rights were not important enough to prevail in this Session.
Next year, before the 2020 fall elections, there will be a new session (January-February) with committee weeks beginning in September. This will be a new and good opportunity to see who really is committed to your interests and worthy of your vote in the fall.
CPR Needs You
CPR has been present and active every week during the 2019 Legislative Session. And, CPR will be there this week with one agenda: protecting your private property rights. This task is tiring and expensive. We need your help and support in these final weeks. Please visit the CPR-FL website and make a contribution to sustain the effort:
Coalition for Property Rights-FL. Inc.
P.O Box 1875, Minneola, FL 34755