March 20, 2012

Florida: Winners and losers - Some bills that passed, failed in the 2012 legislative session

Some bills that passed and failed in the 2012 session. Bills must be approved by Gov. Rick Scott.

RECLAIMED WATER (PASSED): Bans all five water management districts from forcing cities and utilities to give away treated water. (SB 1086/HB 639)

NUMERIC NUTRIENTS (PASSED): Allows Florida to override federal water pollution requirements and provides a flexible "threshold" standard. (SB 2060/HB 7051)

TRAIL ADS (PASSED): Allows private companies to buy ads on state trails. (SB 268/HB 181)

WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS (PASSED): Authorizes Legislature to set the maximum millage rate for each district and requires governor to submit a preliminary budget for each water management district to the Legislature for review. (SB 1986)

ZOO ANIMALS (PASSED): Allows an association of 16 zoos and aquariums to lease state-owned land for research on exotic animals. (HB 1117)

CITRUS DEPARTMENT (PASSED): Revises the terms and size of the Florida Citrus Commission and clarifies department duties. (HB 1237)

WETLANDS MITIGATION/AMTRAK INDEMNITY (PASSED): Requires that Department of Transportation hand over all of its wetlands money to the private mitigation banking industry; grants liability protection to Amtrak. (HB 599)

ANIMAL SHELTERS (FAILED): Required any animal control agency or animal shelter that euthanizes animals to maintain a registry of animal rescue groups that are willing to accept animals that would otherwise be subject to euthanization. (SB 818)

FLORIDA RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD ACT (FAILED): Repealed law that requires all gasoline sold in the state to contain 9 percent agriculturally derived, renewable fuel. (SB 238/HB 4013)

RENEWABLE ENERGY (PASSED): With the support of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, legislators passed a modest bill to encourage renewable energy development in Florida. The measure offers tax incentives for renewable investment, among other things. (HB 7117)

UTILITY RATE CASE REVIEW (FAILED): A plan to allow electric utilities to bypass the traditional rate case review process when they are modernizing their plants was postponed indefinitely. (SB 940)

OFFICE OF PUBLIC COUNSEL (FAILED): Shifted the consumer lawyer in utility cases, the Office of Public Counsel, from the control of the Legislature to the Office of Financial Regulation. (HB 7117)


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