Legislative Update

This week, the Florida Legislature gathered in Tallahassee for its first Interim Committee Week of the new year. Committees in both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate met to discuss priority issues for the upcoming year.

Florida Clean Indoor Air Act

Bills have been filed in both the House and Senate that would reinstate local control over smoking regulations. Specifically, HB 141 by Rep. Cummings and SB 258 by Sen. Bradley would remove the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act preemption that prohibits counties and cities from adopting ordinances to further restrict smoking on their property.

This Week in the Legislature - Environment and Agriculture

Senate Agriculture Committee - This week the Committee heard presentations about the problems facing the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay. The committee was briefed by Professor Karl Havens with the University of Florida Oyster Recovery Team. This team has been organized to determine the status of the bay and reasons for its decline, provide suggestions about future oyster fishing and management, and foster the sustainable use of the resource.

This Week in the Legislature - Transportation

As is customary during the interim committee weeks, various state agencies have been making presentations before House and Senate Committees. Among those presenting new and revised initiatives was the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Of interest to counties is a proposal that authorizes the creation of regional toll authorities. The concept would allow any county, or two or more contiguous counties with legislative approval, to form a regional toll-way authority for the purpose of constructing, maintaining and operating transportation projects in a region of the state.

Pretrial Services Roundtable

FAC co-sponsored a roundtable on Pretrial Services at the FSU College of Law on January 10, 2013. Stakeholders from around the state representing every segment of the criminal justice system met to discuss the current status of pretrial services in Florida, including ways we can improve upon the system.

Growth Management

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) made a presentation to the Senate Community Affairs Committee on its Proportionate Share Calculation Report. The department was directed to develop the report following legislation passed in 2011 that altered the calculation of proportionate share fees.