Governor receives 38 Bills from the Florida Legislature

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will decide the fate of 38 Bills delivered to his desk on June 16th from the Florida Legislature. 

Here’s a look at the summaries of some of the Bills specifically impacting Alachua County residents starting with SB 410 Growth Management which, according to Alachua County Commissioner Robert Hutchinson, was challenged by both Alachua and Seminole counties.

“Alachua County joined Seminole County in a challenge to this bill,” Hutchinson said. “Which both the County Attorney and the independent counsel to the Charter Review Commission said was an unconstitutional infringement on the powers of charter counties.”

Become A Member

Mainstreet does not have a paywall, but pavement-pounding journalism is not free. Join your neighbors who make this vital work possible.

Summaries below of the Bills are provided by Florida Senate and House websites. The Governor has until June 30, 2020 to act on these bills:


CS/CS/SB 410 – Growth Management

The bill provides that, after January 1, 2020, a county may not: Adopt any comprehensive plan, land development regulation, or another form of restriction that limits the use of property located within a municipality, unless the municipality adopts such land use policies through its own ordinances; or

Limit a municipality from deciding the land uses, density, and intensity allowed on lands annexed into a municipality.

Under current law, local governments create and adopt local comprehensive plans, which control and direct the use and development of property within a county or municipality. The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is the state land planning agency and is tasked with overseeing the comprehensive plan system. However, local governments in the state retain ample independence in the substance of land use regulation of private property within their jurisdictions. The bill amends various sections of Florida law related to the regulation of land, which is commonly referred to as growth management.

Property Rights Element

The bill requires all local governments to incorporate a property rights element into their comprehensive plans by the earlier of a local government’s next proposed comprehensive plan amendment or July 1, 2023. A local government may adopt its own property rights element or use the model language provided in the bill. The bill specifies that the property rights element is to ensure local governments consider private property rights in local decision making.

Comprehensive Plans

The bill amends current law to clarify that all local comprehensive plans effective (rather than adopted) after January 1, 2019, and all land development regulations adopted to implement the plan, must incorporate development orders existing before the plan’s effective date.

However, this prohibition on counties does not apply to charter counties with a population in excess of 750,000 as of January 1, 2020.

Municipal Annexation

The bill provides that, except as otherwise provided in current law governing municipal annexation of geographic areas, a municipality may not annex a territory within another municipal jurisdiction without the other municipality’s consent.

DEO Technical Assistance Grants

The bill directs DEO, when selecting applications for Community Planning Technical Assistance Grants, to give preference to certain small counties and municipalities located near a proposed multi-use corridor interchange. Such grants may be used to assist those local governments in amending or developing its comprehensive plan to implement appropriate land uses around a proposed multi-use corridor interchange.

Altering a Development Agreement

The bill provides that a development agreement between a local government and a party, or its designated successor in interest, may be amended or canceled without securing the consent of the parcel owners that were originally subject to the development agreement, unless the amendment directly modifies the land uses of an owner’s property.

Department of Transportation; Surplus Property

The bill requires the Florida Department of Transportation, when disposing of surplus real property, to give the prior owner of the property the right of first refusal to purchase the property.

Utility Right-of-Way Permitting

The bill provides that all permit applications to a county or municipality to use the public right-of-way for any utility must be processed within the expedited time frame that currently applies to permit applications submitted for communications facilities.

Development of Regional Impact Amendments

The bill allows for the amendment of any Development of Regional Impact agreement previously classified as (or officially determined to be) essentially built out, and entered into on or before April 6, 2018. Any such amendment may authorize the developer to exchange approved land uses, so long as the exchange will not increase impacts on public facilities.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.


SB 1362 – Rental Agreements

The bill provides for the protections of the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) to take effect as a state law if the federal act is repealed.

Under the PTFA, a person who acquires a foreclosure property (“successor in interest”) must give the tenant at least 90 days’ notice before evicting him or her. And if the tenant had signed a “bona fide” lease before foreclosure, the successor in interest must allow him or her to remain for the term of the lease, even if that exceeds 90 days, unless the successor in interest sells to a person who intends to occupy the property as a primary residence.

Additionally, the bill repeals this state’s current statute that protects the rights of tenants of foreclosed properties, which affords less protection than the federal statute.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020, except where otherwise provided.


CS/SB 1056 – The PACE Center for Girls

PACE Center for Girls; Authorizing the Department of Juvenile Justice to contract with the PACE Center for Girls for specified services, etc.

The bill creates s. 985.175, F.S., which authorizes the Department of Juvenile Justice to contract with PACE Center for Girls, to provide services including, but not limited to, education, counseling, training, and advocacy as an alternative to commitment and institutionalization of girls and young women. Contracts under this section must be authorized by and consistent with funding appropriated in the General Appropriations Act and be in accordance with s. 985.644, F.S.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.


CS/HB 7011 – Student Athletes /Automated External Defibrillators

The bill is cited as the “Zachary Martin Act” and requires each public school that is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to make its automated external defibrillator (AED) available on school grounds in a clearly marked, publicized location for each athletic contest, practice, workout, or conditioning session, including those outside of the school year.

Training for School Employees or Volunteers

The bill requires, beginning June 1, 2021, a school employee or volunteer with current training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED use to be present at each athletic event during and outside of the school year. Each employee or volunteer expected to use an AED must complete this training and be annually notified in writing of each AED’s location.

Heat Stress Monitoring, Hydration, and Cooling Zones

The bill specifies that the FHSAA must:

Make training and resources available to each member school for the effective monitoring of heat stress;

Require member schools to monitor heat stress and modify athletic activities based on heat stress guidelines, including making cooling zones available;

Establish hydration guidelines, including appropriate introduction of electrolytes; and

Require each school’s emergency action plan to include a procedure for onsite cooling using cold-water immersion or equivalent means before transporting a student for exertional heat stroke.

The bill specifies that each athletic coach and sponsor of extracurricular activities involving outdoor practices or events must annually complete training in exertional heat illness identification, prevention, and response, including effective administration of cooling zones.

Medical Evaluation

The bill requires all students participating in conditioning and activities that occur outside of the school year to pass a medical evaluation prior to participation in such activities each year.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.


CS/CS/HB 1213 – Educational Instruction of Historical Events

History of the Holocaust

The bill adds the policy, definition, examples, and prevention of anti-Semitism to the required public school instruction regarding the history of the Holocaust. Each school district must annually certify and provide evidence to the Department of Education (department) that instructional requirements concerning the history of the Holocaust are met. The bill requires the department to prepare and offer standards and curriculum for the required instruction, and authorizes the department to seek input from the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on Holocaust Education or from recognized Holocaust educational organizations. The department may contract with recognized Holocaust educational organizations to develop training for instructional personnel and grade-appropriate classroom resources to support the developed curriculum.

The bill designates the second week in November as “Holocaust Education Week” in recognition of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a precipitating event that led to the Holocaust.

1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots

The bill directs the Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force to examine ways in which the history of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots (riots) will be included in required instruction on African-American history and submit its recommendations to the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education by March 1, 2021.

The bill directs the Secretary of State to determine ways in which the Museum of Florida History and other state museums will promote the history of the riots through exhibits and educational programs, and collaborate with the National Museum of African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution to seek inclusion of the history of the riots in the museum’s exhibits.

The bill directs the Secretary of Environmental Protection to assess if any state park or facility will be named in recognition of any victim of the riots. Additionally, the bill encourages district school boards to assess opportunities for naming school facilities in recognition of victims of the riots.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.


CS/CS/CS/SB 1414 – Fish and Wildlife Activities

The bill broadens the prohibition on the harassment of hunters, trappers, or fishers to include harassment on any public lands, public waters, or publicly or privately owned wildlife management and fish management areas.

The bill expands the number of free fishing days from 4 to 6.

The bill adds green iguanas and tegu lizards to the conditional nonnative snakes and lizards list and tightens the restrictions on the list from applying to possession of these species for sale or personal use to prohibiting any use except for educational, research, or eradication or control purposes.

The bill authorizes the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to grandfather certain persons holding a valid captive wildlife Class III exhibition or sale license to continue to exhibit, sell, or breed green iguanas or tegu lizards commercially as long as the license remains active and is not transferred or lapsed. The bill allows the sale of inventory of the species only outside of the state and prohibits import of the species into the state.

The bill requires FWC to adopt rules to establish reporting requirements, biosecurity measures to prevent the escape of the species, and grandfathering provisions for persons that are currently in possession of green iguanas or tegu lizards who do not qualify for the grandfathering provisions applicable to exhibition, sale, or breeding.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.


CS/CS/SB 712 – Environmental Resource Management

Environmental Resource Management; Citing this act as the “Clean Waterways Act”; requiring the Department of Health to provide a specified report to the Governor and the Legislature by a specified date; requiring the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection to submit to the Governor and the Legislature, by a specified date, certain recommendations relating to the transfer of the Onsite Sewage Program; directing water management districts to submit consolidated annual reports to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research; removing provisions requiring certain onsite sewage treatment and disposal system research projects to be approved by a Department of 

Health technical review and advisory panel, etc.

The “Clean Waterways Act” addresses a number of environmental issues including several provisions specifically related to water quality improvement.

Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (Septic Systems)

The bill transfers the Onsite Sewage Program from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) starting in 2021. The bill creates a temporary septic technical advisory committee within DEP.

The bill requires local governments to create septic remediation plans for certain basin management action plans (BMAPs). The bill also requires DEP to implement a fast track-approval process for NSF/ANSI 245 nutrient reducing septic systems and revises provisions relating to septic system setback rules.

Wastewater Treatment

The bill requires local governments to create wastewater treatment plans for certain BMAPs but authorizes different cost options for projects that meet pollution reduction requirements.

The bill creates a wastewater grant program that allows DEP to provide grants for projects within BMAPs, alternative restoration plans, or rural areas of opportunity that will reduce excess nutrient pollution. The bill prioritizes funding for certain wastewater projects in the grant program, the State Revolving Loan Fund Program, and the Small Community Sewer Construction Assistance Program.

The bill prohibits, beginning July 1, 2025, wastewater treatment facilities from discharging into the Indian River Lagoon without providing advanced waste treatment. The bill imposes new requirements on wastewater facilities and DEP to prevent sanitary sewer overflows and underground pipe leaks.


The bill requires DEP to: update its stormwater design and operation rules and Environmental Resource Permit Applicant’s Handbook; make revisions to its local pollution control staff training; evaluate the self-certification process for the construction, alteration, and maintenance of a stormwater management system; and revise the model stormwater management program.


The bill requires the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) to perform onsite inspections at least every 2 years of agricultural producers enrolled in best management practices (BMPs). DACS must prioritize inspections for producers in the BMAPs for Lake Okeechobee, the Indian River Lagoon, the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary, and Silver Springs.

The bill creates a cooperative agricultural regional water quality improvement element as part of a BMAP in areas where agriculture is a significant source of pollution. Projects under the element could include conservation easements and dispersed water management. The bill authorizes legislative budget requests to fund these projects and requires DEP to allocate at least 20 percent of the funds it receives for projects in areas with the highest nutrient concentrations.

The bill requires DACS, in coordination with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and other academic institutions, to annually develop research plans and legislative budget requests to address agricultural runoff.


The bill requires enrollment in DACS’s BMP program and prohibits the application of Class A or Class B biosolids within 6 inches of the seasonal high water table, unless a nutrient management plan and water quality monitoring plan provide reasonable assurances that the application will not cause or contribute to water quality violations. Permits will have to comply with the statute within two years and with DEP’s biosolids rule within two years of it becoming effective. The bill allows local governments to keep existing biosolids ordinances.

Fines and Penalties

The bill doubles the fines for wastewater violations and increases the cap on total administrative penalties that may be assessed by DEP from $10,000 to $50,000 and the cap per violator from $5,000 to $10,000.

Water Quality Monitoring

The bill requires DEP to establish a real-time water quality monitoring program, subject to appropriation.

Bottled Water

The bill requires DEP to conduct a study on the bottled water industry in the state.

Rights of Nature

The bill prohibits local governments from providing legal rights to any plant, animal, body of water, or other part of the natural environment unless otherwise specifically authorized by state law or the State Constitution.

Golf Courses

The bill requires DEP to work with UF/IFAS and regulated entities to consider the adoption by rule of BMPs for nutrient impacts from golf courses.

The bill requires DEP to complete rulemaking to implement several provisions and imposes numerous reporting requirements.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect, except as otherwise expressly provided, July 1, 2020.


SB 172 – Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act

The bill expressly preempts to the state the regulation of over-the-counter proprietary drugs and cosmetics, which includes sunscreen. Florida law does not currently preempt the regulation of such products; therefore local governments may pass ordinances regulating products like sunscreen as long as such ordinances do not conflict with state or federal law. The bill’s preemption provisions would end this local regulation practice.


CS/CS/SB 404 – Abortion

Abortion; Reclassifying the criminal offense for a specified violation; prohibiting physicians from performing or inducing the termination of the pregnancy of a minor unless specified requirements are satisfied; requiring a physician to obtain written consent from a minor’s parent or legal guardian before performing or inducing a termination of the pregnancy of a minor; providing exceptions to such consent requirement; providing criminal penalties for physicians, etc.

The bill amends the Parental Notice of Abortion Act in s. 390.01114, F.S., to add consent requirements and renaming the Act as the Parental Notice of and Consent for Abortion Act.

The bill prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on a minor unless the physician has received a notarized, written consent statement with specified language signed by the minor’s mother, father, or legal guardian and the physician has been presented with proof of identification by the parent or legal guardian. However, the consent requirement does not apply if:

Notice is not required under specified exceptions to the parental notice requirement;

The abortion is performed during a medical emergency when there is insufficient time to obtain consent;

The parent or guardian has waived the right to consent; or

The minor petitions the circuit court where she resides and receives a judicial waiver of parental consent. The bill applies the preexisting statutory procedures for obtaining a judicial waiver of the notice requirement to the process of obtaining a judicial waiver of the consent requirement.

The bill requires that a physician keep the consent document and proof of identification in the minor’s medical record for at least seven years. The bill also authorizes a third degree felony penalty for a physician who recklessly or intentionally performs, or attempts to perform, an abortion on an unemancipated minor without the required consent but provides a defense if the minor misrepresented her age or identity under certain circumstances.

The bill also amends s. 390.0111(12), F.S., to increase the penalty from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony for violating requirements established for infants born alive during or immediately after an attempted abortion.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.


View the complete list of the 38 Bills here:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments