2023 Legislative Session
The 2023 legislative session begins in April, but bills worth watching are beginning to be filed and referred to the appropriate committees.
- Senate Bill 100 – Mangrove Replanting and Restoration. This bill amends Section 403.9324, Florida Statutes, Florida’s mangrove protection statute. It requires FDEP to adopt rules for mangrove replanting and restoration to address erosion in areas of critical state concern, protect barrier and spoil islands, promote mangrove awareness and partner with local governments to identify vulnerable public and private properties and create protection and restoration zones to implement the amendment. The bill explicitly calls for the development of shoreline design options for the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve.
- SB 172 – Safe Waterways Act This public health bill amends Section 514.023 of Florida’s Public Swimming and Bathing Facilities statute to require (rather than authorize) the Florida Department of Health to issues public health advisories and close beaches that have elevated levels of bacteria. The bill mandates health advisory signage language and requirements for contaminated swimming and bathing waters. Local governments are charged with implementing the statute for waters under their jurisdiction. The bill also requires the Department of Health to maintain a statewide interagency data base for reporting “fecal indicator bacteria.” The Department of Heath must develop rules to implement the new mandates.