The 2024 Florida legislative session came to an end on Friday, March 8 as lawmakers approved a $117 billion state budget.

The budget includes $702 million for Everglades restoration and $125 million for flood and sea level rise programs. Land acquisition and management programs—such as Florida Forever and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program—will cumulatively receive $528.6 million. Other environmental funding includes: 

  • $207.4 million for habitat and species conservation
  • $31.8 million for water resource management
  • $8 million for coral reef restoration and management

Read more: Here are some highlights in Florida’s $117 billion state budget.

Bills that Passed

At the start of the 2024 state legislative session, our student-led team sifted through more than a thousand bills to find those that pertain to our state’s environment. For some, we talked to policy experts and scientists to provide context about how the proposed legislation might impact our state. To learn more about the variety of bills introduced in this session, visit our original post.

Of the bills we covered, see below for those that passed. While some have already been signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, others are awaiting his signature. 

Land Use Planning and Development

  • SB 1638: Requires 96% of the $2.5 billion currently being paid by the Seminole tribe of Florida to the state to be used for environmental resources and protection. The historic gaming compact was signed in 2021 by Gov. DeSantis, giving the Tribe exclusive rights to sports betting in Florida. This deal was challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2023 but remains in effect. Learn more.


  • HB 1645: Removes the term “Climate-friendly” and any mention of greenhouse gas reduction from various statutes. This bill also calls for the storage of natural gas in resiliency facilities which serve as reserves for temporary use during natural disasters or system outages. Learn more.


  • SB 1084: Makes a number of changes to various activities of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. One such change prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of cultivated meat in the state. Learn more.

Climate Change

  • HB 433: Prevents local governments from setting workplace heat or minimum wage requirements through preemption. Local governments are now required to revert their current requirements for heat exposure and minimum wage to meet state standards. There are currently no state or federal laws that provide heat exposure regulations for outdoor workers. Learn more.
  • HB 1049: Requires property sellers to disclose certain flood risks and history in writing to a prospective buyer before a sale can occur. These risks can include prior flooding by river or excessive rain events, whether the property is in a FEMA-designated flood hazard zone, or if the property owner has had to make a flood-related insurance claim in the past. Learn more.
  • HB 293: Requires HOAs in Florida to adopt hurricane protection specifications. These protections can specify preferences in color or style, but they must abide by applicable building codes. Some examples of hurricane protection include metal roofs, impact-resistant windows and doors, fixed generators, and fuel storage tanks. Learn more.

Water Quality and Quantity

  • HB 165: Requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to prescribe procedures for bacteriological sampling of beach waters and public bathing spaces. The DEP will be responsible for setting health standards for these waters and closing any that do not comply. Additionally, the DEP will also post prominent signage of health advisories at beach access points. Learn more.
  • HB 1565: Extends the timeline of the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative. The Initiative establishes a partnership between Mote Marine Laboratory and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to collaborate and develop technology for predicting red tide events and mitigating their effects. This bill moves the expiration date of the Initiative from June 30, 2025, to June 30, 2027, extending it by two years. Learn more.
  • HB 1557: Revises several topics relating to water quality regulation such as extended permitting and property inspections. This bill expands the scope of the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan, a priority list of projects in coastal and inland communities that addresses flooding, storm surge, and sea level rise. Additionally, the Comprehensive Statewide Flood Vulnerability and Sea Level Rise Data Set is required to be updated with 20- and 50- year sea level rise projections based on NOAA’s collected data. HB 1557 also increases penalties for scarring seagrass in the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve; and establishes the Kristin Jacobs Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area as an aquatic preserve—increasing protections for the only barrier reef in the continental United States. Learn more.
  • SB 7040: Ratifies the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) revisions to the stormwater rules with several changes. Some changes ratified within the bill include allowing alternative treatment standards for redevelopment projects in areas with impaired waters and ensuring that stormwater systems that are implementing best management practices are not subject to duplicate inspections. SB 7040 also redefines thresholds for post-development water contamination, making them stricter for development projects.
  • SB 1532Expands the water quality enhancement credit program to allow private entities to purchase credits. This credit program is an example of a mitigation bank, where the entity “purchases” an environmental enhancement and preservation project to offset unavoidable adverse environmental impacts of its activities. The bill also allows limited use of local government land for private mitigation banks if the bank is within a credit-deficient area and would provide priority habitat type credits.
  • SB 1136: Revises the qualification requirements a person must meet to take the water well contractor licensure examination. Previously, applicants needed at least two years of experience in constructing, repairing, or abandoning water wells—this revised bill specifies that these years of experience must have been completed in Florida. Florida’s low elevation and unique topography mean that our groundwater landscape is unlike the rest of the U.S., so this requirement ensures that well contractors are experienced with the terrain. 

Recycling and Pollution

  • HB 321: Constitutes all release of balloons as noncriminal littering infractions—not including balloons released for governmental, scientific, or meteorological purposes. Learn more.
  • SM 800: Urges members of Congress to put in place trade policies to reward U.S. firms for pro-environmental performance to bolster domestic manufacturing and reduce dependence on imports from countries with higher emissions. 

Habitats and Biodiversity

  • HB 87: Allows citizens to kill bears on their property without a permit as an act of self-defense. Learn more.
  • HB 437: Expands anchoring limitation areas in certain sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County. Current law designates certain densely populated urban areas that have narrow state waterways, residential docking facilities, and significant recreational boating traffic as anchoring limitation areas, or places where vessels are prohibited from anchoring overnight. The bill designates the sections of Biscayne Bay lying between Palm Island and State Road A1A and between San Marino Island and Di Lido Island as anchoring limitation areas.