Annual Legislative Session Update

April 2023 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

The Florida legislature convened on February 7 to begin the sixty day process for the annual legislative session. Florida Farm Bureau, in the conjunction with the Florida Ag Coalition, is working with our friends in the legislature to help promote policy which supports Florida agriculture.

Senate Bill 1184 and House Bill 1343, sponsored by Senator Collins and Representative Tuck, is an industry-wide package which makes productive amendments to Florida Statutes relating to agriculture. Both bills are flowing through the process, passing unanimously through their committees thus far. Additionally,  Senate Bill 1164 and House Bill 1279, sponsored by Senator Collins and Representative Alvarez contains legislation which would create the Farm TEAM card. This card will provide a streamlined process for producers purchasing tax exempt materials across the state. This bill is also making great traction, and has passed unanimously through their committees as well.

While agriculture policy does take majority of our attention, we also make sure to focus on broader initiatives that affect the business community as a whole. This year, the business industry made a major push for tort reform in the state. House Bill 837, sponsored by Representative Fabricio, Representative Gregory, and Senator Hutson, which makes significant changes to Florida’s civil justice system. This good legislation passed through the House of Representatives with 31 yeas and 15 nays, and the Senate with 23 yeas and 15 nays. Governor DeSantis signed the bill on March 24, 2023, where it immediately took effect upon signing. For more information on House Bill 837, click here.

As we continue to navigate through the second half of the session, many different policy and appropriation initiatives will be considered by the legislature. As the budget process begins, FFBF will work to proactive advocate for funding that will benefit Florida’s farmers and ranchers with FDACS and IFAS. We are looking forward to seeing what the second half brings, and continuing to efforts to advocate on behalf of Florida agriculture.