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

The budget also included a $250,000 line item that would direct University of Florida researchers to study the impact of preempting fertilizer regulations like seasonal bans. Rainy season fertilizer bans are used by many municipalities in the state to curb nutrient pollution in Florida waterways. As it stands, the measure will make it impossible for local governments to extend or modify existing bans after July 1. More than 55 environmental and business groups wrote a letter urging DeSantis to veto the provision.

Read more: Florida lawmakers pass a $117 billion budget to end the 2023 legislative session

Bills that Passed

At the start of the 2023 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.

Water Quality & Quantity 

  • HB 7027: Ratifies certain rules related to septic system upgrades and domestic wastewater facilities. These rules were introduced in the 2020 Clean Waterways Act, but because of their significant price tag had to first be ratified to go into effect. Learn more.
  • HB 1405: Establishes a Biosolids Grant Program in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for projects that reduce the amount of nutrients and/or emerging contaminants in biosolids or provide alternatives to the land application or landfilling of biosolids as a method of disposal. The original version of the bill also called for the prohibition of Class B biosolids in watersheds that are impaired, but that language was removed prior to the passing of the bill. Learn more.
  • HB 407: Authorizes the DEP to fund specified surface water and groundwater quality improvement projects within the Apalachicola Bay Area of Critical State Concern.
  • HB 1379: Prohibits new septic systems from being built near impaired waterways within a Basin Management Action Plan if municipal sewer systems are accessible. If sewer systems are not accessible, enhanced nutrient-reducing septic systems may be installed. Additionally, this bill introduces several measures aimed at protecting the Indian River Lagoon, including the establishment of the Indian River Lagoon Protection Program. Learn more. Additional info.
  • HB 1191: Allows the Florida Department of Transportation to undertake demonstration projects using phosphogypsum in road construction aggregate material. Learn more.
  • SB 162: Requires the DEP to issue water treatment plant operator licenses, water distribution system operator licenses, and domestic wastewater treatment plant operator licenses by reciprocity to certain applicants, among other measures. 

Habitats & Biodiversity 

  • HB 641: Requires the DEP to submit a status report of the Osborne Reef tire removal project and develop a restoration plan for the nearby reef once the tire cleanup is complete. Learn more.
  • SB 724: Directs the DEP, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, and the University of Florida to create a 10-year restoration plan for seagrass in Florida. The bill also calls for the establishment of an Initiative Technology Advisory Council to develop tools and technologies to aid in the sustainable restoration of seagrass. Learn more.
  • HB 1489: Designates the Brevard Barrier Island as an area of critical state concern. The Areas of Critical State Concern program was established in 1972 and is “intended to protect resources and public facilities of major statewide significance, within designated geographic areas, from uncontrolled development that would cause substantial deterioration of such resources,” according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Learn more.
  • HJR 1157: Amends the state constitution to preserve in perpetuity hunting and fishing as a public right and preferred means of responsibly managing and controlling fish and wildlife. Learn more.
  • HB 1161: Revises penalty for certain release or escape of nonnative and/or venemous reptiles. 

Land Use Planning & Development 

Recycling & Pollution 

  • HB 1367: Amends the Florida Litter Law by adding “to drain” and “to discharge” to the definition of dump, making it unlawful to dump from boats or water vessels into a Water Control District property or canal. Learn more. 


  • HB 1281: Prohibits local governments from creating or enforcing restrictions on major appliances like gas stoves. Learn more.
  • SB 284: Requires the Florida Department of Management Services to recommend best practices for procuring and integrating electric vehicles to state agencies before July 1, 2024. Additionally, the legislation requires any governmental entity (i.e., state agencies, state universities, and local government) to select vehicles based on the lowest lifetime ownership costs rather than the greatest fuel efficiency. Learn more. 

Climate Change & Natural Hazards

  • HB 799: Requires property insurers to provide discounts for additional windstorm and hurricane mitigation measures when calculating insurance premiums. The bill also aims to clear up a potential discrepancy by requiring that the insurer verify the property owner has flood insurance prior to issuing a policy containing wind coverage. Learn more.
  • SB 418: Allows residential property insurers to submit rating plans evaluated by independent, nonprofit scientific research organizations, which current law does not allow for. The bill also requires insurers to estimate hurricane losses using a weighted or straight average of two or more approved hurricane models. Learn more.
  • HB 793: Creates a legal framework within which collateral protection insurance on real property may be written in this state.
  • HB 881: Expands the eligibility for and increases the My Safe Florida Home grant funding with the goal of reducing insurance premiums. Specifically, the bill increases grant funds for low-income property owners from $5,000 to $10,000 and extends the eligibility for grant funding to property owners statewide, rather than to those who own properties in the wind-borne debris region. Learn more.
  • HB 111: Expands the purposes for which the DEP can provide grants through the Resilient Florida Grant Program to include feasibility studies and the cost of permitting for nature-based flooding and sea level rise solutions. The bill also authorizes water management districts to receive grants for the purpose of supporting the Florida Flood Hub for Applied Research and Innovation in DEP.. Additionally, the bill expands the geographical area where a sea level rise impact projection (SLIP) study is required to include any potentially at-risk structure or infrastructure, regardless of whether it is within the coastal building zone. Learn more. 


  • HB 1279: A broad bill including several measures relating to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services from tax exemptions to dairy farming, to the state’s aquaculture industry. Learn more. 

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