UPDATE: The 2023 Florida legislative session came to an end on Friday, May 5 as lawmakers approved a $117 billion state budget.
The budget includes $850 million for the Florida Wildlife Corridor and $200 million to bring bicycle and hiking trails to the corridor. The Rural Family Lands Protection Program, which helps protect agricultural lands from development, will receive $100 million, while $546.6 million will go toward Everglades restoration. Other environmental funding includes:
- $300 million to plan for sea level rise
- $104.9 million to restore the Indian River Lagoon
- $50 million for the protection of the Florida springs
- $12.8 million to fight algae blooms.
Read more: Florida lawmakers pass a $117 billion budget to end the 2023 legislative session
To get a quick recap of the bills that passed, visit our update post: Florida’s Environment – What Happened in the 2023 State Legislative Session?
ORIGINAL POST: The Florida State Legislative Session is an action-packed 60 days. This year’s session began on March 7 and ends on May 5.
Our student-led team has sifted through more than a thousand bills to find those that pertain to our state’s environment. For some, we have talked to policy experts and scientists to provide context about how the proposed legislation might impact our state.
It is important to note that only a fraction of the bills that have been introduced are actively debated on the chamber floor. The only bill that absolutely must be passed is the state’s budget, which Gov. Ron DeSantis is referring to this year as the “Framework for Freedom Budget.”
The proposed budget includes more than $614 million for Everglades restoration projects; $370 million for water quality improvements aimed at restoring springs and combatting harmful algal blooms; $3.4 million for the removal of invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades; and $29.4 million for research on the state’s ailing citrus industry. Read more about the proposed budget in this press release.
Our coverage is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it will orient you to the hot topics that are on lawmakers’ minds this session — climate change, energy, water quality/quantity, agriculture, and land conservation just to name a few.
Use the links below to learn more about some of this year’s proposed legislation. Learn how to track these bills in our previous Action of the Month.
Have questions about any of the proposed legislation? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we may be able to connect you with an appropriate expert on the subject.
Habitats & Biodiversity
Several bills have the potential to affect some of the state’s most-loved species and the habitats they depend on.
Land Use Planning & Development
Several bills address the designation of wild areas, creating funding for conservation projects, and adding tweaks to current Florida land development laws.
Recycling & Pollution
What does the state do with the massive number of materials and products that residents use — and then need to dispose of?
Bills address topics like natural gas regulations, state renewable energy goals, preemptions to energy regulation, electric vehicles, and more.
Bills address topics like property insurance, flooding, extreme heat, hurricanes and sea level rise.
While one new bill proposes new definitions for fertilizers, another would allow urban agriculture projects on commercial lands.
Water Quality & Quantity
Legislation introduced this session aims to address the quality and quantity of Florida’s water resources.