1000 Friends of Florida
Media Release
March 13, 2018

We extend our sincere thanks to the many of you who called Legislators at key moments during the 2018 Florida Legislative Session.  From advocating for meaningful funding for land conservation to opposing damaging legislation that would have precluded the right of local governments to regulate tree protection, to blocking damaging growth management provisions, your voice brought successes this legislative session!
Below are some of the highlights of the 2018 Florida Legislative Session.  For more information on what passed and failed, please visit 1000 Friends’ 2018 Legislative Webpage.  And plan to attend 1000 Friends’ March 21 Legislative Wrap Up Webinar for a more detailed analysis of legislation that passed and failed.

$100 million for land conservation funding authorized

The 2018-2019 budget includes $100 million for land conservation funding! This allocation would not have happened without your advocacy to your elected representatives. 1000 Friends also thanks both Senator Bradley and Representative Trujillo for making land conservation funding a priority this year.

House Bill 883 defeated

Late in the session, the House amended HB 883 to cover many growth management issues. 1000 Friends opposed several parts of 883. And many of the significant changes–such as broad allowances for urban development around all state universities–had not been heard in committee before being added to the bill at the 11th hour.

Our members quickly voiced their opposition to the bill and defeated it. While the House passed 883, the Senate did not. House Bill 883 will not become law this year!

Tree and Timber Trimming, Removal, and Harvesting improved, then stopped

Early in the session, the House and Senate considered bills that would prevent any local government in Florida from protecting trees. More than 1,200 members of 1000 Friends signed a petition protecting local government authority to protect trees.

After many amendments through the committee process, both the House and Senate bills changed into reasonable preemptions designed to keep overgrown vegetation out of canals and floodways. 1000 Friends thanks Representative Edwards-Walpole and Senator Stuebe for working with stakeholders throughout the session to improve these bills.

Ultimately neither HB 521 nor SB 574 made it through both houses and neither will become law.

Legislative Wrap Up Webinar

You can learn more about the legislative session from our Legislative Wrap Up Webinar on March 21, 2018 from noon to 1:30 p.m.  1000 Friends Board Member Emeritus Lester Abberger, Policy and Planning Director Thomas Hawkins, and The Nature Conservancy’s Janet Bowman will discuss key growth management, environmental and related bills and budgeting that passed and failed during the 2018 Legislative Session and how this impacts state and local governance and planning in Florida.


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