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Archive | 2011 Legislature

Walton County bill raises statewide concerns for sea turtles

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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Some environmentalists are asking the Legislature to take a closer look at a local bill for Walton County that could allow sea walls to remain in place without state permits. Following extensive beach erosion caused by Hurricane Dennis in 2005, Walton County authorized the construction of between 250 and 275 sea walls along 26 miles […]

Environmental groups digging in for tough legislative session

Monday, March 7, 2011

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Environmental groups, which have become accustomed to playing defense in the Legislature for many years, are digging in for what could be an even tougher fight this year. The legislative session starts on Tuesday, March 8. There are bills filed to streamline environmental permitting, repeal a statewide septic tank inspection requirement and prohibit local governments […]

House panel passes three controversial bills

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

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Three of the most controversial environmental and agricultural bills to emerge prior to the 2011 legislative session were approved on Tuesday by a House committee. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee approved bills dealing with septic tanks, local fertilizer regulations and agricultural exemptions from water management district permits. HB 13 by Rep. Marti Coley, […]

New Florida agency chief calls for refocus on growth management

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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The new chief of Florida’s growth management agency on Tuesday made some suggestions that sound like what some statewide environmental groups have been advocating — an increased focus on long-range planning and less oversight of growth in urban areas. Gov. Rick Scott has repeatedly called the Department of Community Affairs a job-killer and on Monday […]

Bennett says he’s glad Scott moved to fill PSC posts

Monday, February 7, 2011

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Sen. Mike Bennett says he’s glad Gov. Rick Scott “put to bed” without disruption the issue of who will be serving on the Florida Public Service Commission. The governor on Friday reappointed four PSC members whose appointments he had withdrawn two days earlier. Scott on Wednesday withdrew 154 appointments made by Gov. Charlie Crist, including […]

Senate bill would scrap Florida’s climate program

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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A bill filed by Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, would eliminate Florida’s greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program before one was ever adopted. Climate change and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions was a priority of Gov. Charlie Crist soon after he took office in 2007, but it dropped as a priority after 2008. Gov. Rick Scott, who […]

Scott plans realignment of Florida’s growth management agency

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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Gov. Rick Scott said Monday he plans to cut $1 billion in government spending over two years by consolidating and streamlining government including the Florida Department of Community Affairs. Scott’s plan — which included only a few details — would remove all regulatory functions from DCA and move them to other state agencies. Scott also […]

Senator’s spoiled beach trip leads to bill directing DOH to investigate

Monday, January 31, 2011

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A senator whose summer beach trip was spoiled by high bacteria levels has filed a bill directing the state to investigate possible sources of beach water contamination. Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, rented a hotel room at Hollywood Beach last summer to stay with visiting relatives. But when they went down to the water, they discovered […]

Florida House members uneasy with proposal to close 53 state parks

Friday, January 28, 2011

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Peacock Springs State Park near Luraville is one of the 53 state parks that would be closed. A budget-exercise proposal to close 53 state parks drew concerns Wednesday from members of a House budget-writing committee. State agencies last fall were asked to come up with 15-percent budget cut proposals for the upcoming fiscal year. State […]

House water panel hears differing views on environmental protection

Thursday, January 27, 2011

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This reservoir in DeSoto County was built with some state water supply funding. Conservation and development of new water supplies must be part of Florida’s future to attract industry and create jobs, panelists on Thursday told the House Select Committee on Water Policy. But there were differing views on how much the environment should be […]