During the third week of the legislative session, the House and Senate each released their budget allocations to their respective appropriations subcommittees. These rough numbers are a preliminary look at the direction of the state budget going forward. On the policy side, the House and Senate put forth legislation that will have a heavy impact on our Ag-strong agenda. These measures address Rights of Nature petitions as well as water and Best Management Practices (BMPs).
This week saw significant movement on several bills that make up the bulk of Farm Bureau’s priorities this year.
On Monday, Sen. Albritton passed SB 1382 in its first committee stop in the Senate Environmental and Natural Resources Committee. This bill contains the language that would prevent county charter amendments from granting legal rights to natural objects such as rivers, water bodies and other natural features. SB 1382 also provides for additional research and development of BMPs as well as a nutrient reduction cost-share program.
There are bills in the House bills that contain this language, and both of them moved through their first committee stops this week as well. HB 1199 by Rep. Blaise Ingoglia contains the “Rights of Nature” preemption. It passed the Civil Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday on a 14-1 vote. Rep. Toby Overdorf is sponsoring HB 1363 that deals with the BMP and cost share program. It unanimously passed the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday and is scheduled to be heard in committee again next Monday.
Rep. Bobby Payne’s HB 1343 also passed the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Tuesday with broad support from agriculture, business groups as well as environmental groups. This bill is largely the result of recommendations from the Blue Green Algae Taskforce appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year and is the companion to SB 712. This proposal is a comprehensive approach to water quality and importantly helps to help preserve, strengthen and add credibility to the Best Management Practices program.
Click here for the full issue briefs on BMPs, water quality and Rights of Nature petitions: Issue Briefing Packet