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Archive | 2011 Legislature

Nation’s largest land-buying program appears doomed by veto

Monday, June 20, 2011

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With the stroke of a pen last month, Gov. Rick Scott turned Florida from a conservation land-buyer to a land seller. Florida had the largest land-buying program in the nation with more than 2 million acres purchased since 1990. The Florida Forever program received $300 million a year until state revenues started slipping in 2009, […]

Session could have been worse but it was still bad, environmentalists say

Saturday, May 7, 2011

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The Florida legislative session went off track early Saturday, taking several bills with it that were supported by business and industry groups and opposed by environmentalists. But environmentalists were not in a celebratory mood as the Legislature passed bills gutting state growth management and placing the burden of proof on those who file legal challenges […]

Final day of session: Energy dead but growth overhaul, septic bills very much alive

Thursday, May 5, 2011

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Growth management, fertilizer and septic tanks are some of the environmental issues awaiting action by the Legislature on Friday, its final scheduled day of the regular session. Renewable energy, permitting and growth management were the big three issues heading into the session. There also was an outcry from some rural residents against last year’s requirement […]

Bennett says he now wants to shift burden of proof to challengers

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

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A provision that was stripped out of a House permit streamlining bill last week after environmentalists denounced it was back Wednesday as a proposed amendment to a Senate rulemaking bill. The amendment to SB 1382 would place the burden of proof on those who challenge state environmental permits. The amendment by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, […]

Permitting bill sails through House with amendments

Saturday, April 30, 2011

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Joking that he had taken out “the nasty stuff” opposed by environmentalists, Rep. Jimmy Patronis said Friday his environmental permitting bill still is good for Florida’s businesses. The House quickly amended HB 991 on Friday and gave it final approval without questions or debate. The bill would streamline the state permitting process to reduce lawsuits […]

Permitting bill includes “sneak attack” on local rock mining regs

Friday, April 22, 2011

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In a move described as a “sneak attack” by one environmental opponent, a House bill that supporters say would streamline the state permitting process was amended Thursday to prevent local governments from regulating rock mining. HB 991 by Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, was amended by the House Economic Affairs Committee. Business groups long have […]

Florida environmentalists uneasy as legislative session enters second half

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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With the Legislative session more than half over, some environmentalists are saying the session already has been bad enough. But at least one veteran environmental lobbyist says the worst could be yet to come. The Legislature is showing little interest in providing new money for the Florida Forever land-buying program while at the same time […]

Wakulla Springs lodge could close under proposed versions of state budget

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

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The historic lodge at Wakulla Springs State Park could eventually close under proposed House and Senate versions of the 2011-12 state budget. Both versions of the budget call for turning concessions at five state parks over to private companies to operate. Wakulla Springs State Park supporters are concerned that the 27-bed lodge built in 1937 […]

Senate budget chief wants land sales to pay for new purchases

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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The Senate’s budget chief says selling state land could help the Florida Forever land-buying program survive these lean budget times. A proposed Senate version of the 2011-12 state budget includes $308 million in spending authority for the program. But the money would have to come from the sale of land the state now owns. Florida […]

Coley targets another section of last year’s water quality bill

Friday, March 25, 2011

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Rep. Marti Coley has filed another bill to repeal a section of the SB 550 the water quality bill that passed the Legislature in 2010. SB 550 included a requirement that septic tanks statewide to be inspected every five years and it banned the spreading of septic tank waste on land in 2016. The Legislature […]