Summary of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session
By: Chelsea Anderson, esq., Cobb Cole
As you may know, the 2015 Florida Legislative Session ended prematurely when the Florida House adjourned early after the two chambers failed to agree on a budget in a stalemate over health care spending. The legislature adopted a proclamation setting the agenda for the Special Session scheduled for June 1st through June 20th, 2015. Although the abrupt end of the 2015 Legislative Session left several bills in limbo, a number of bills managed to pass. Below is an overview of the bills that passed during the regular session that may be of interest to VCARD members, as well as the bills on the agenda for the Special Session.
Bills that Passed
CS/CS/SB 1216 Community Development
This bill addresses a wide range of community development and growth management topics including revising the sector planning process, creating a Connected Corridor Pilot program in Pasco County, revising Regional Planning Councils(including the elimination of the Withlacoochie RPC) , and eliminating Development of Regional Impact (DRI) review for new developments in favor of the state coordinated review process. The bill passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor.
CS/CS/CS/SB 1094 Peril of Flood
This bill strengthens the redevelopment component of the coastal management elements to include policies, strategies and engineering solutions to reduce flood risks in coastal areas including the impacts of sea level rise. The bill passed both chambers and awaits action by the Governor.
CS/SB 1312 Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP)
This bill, known as the anti-SLAPP suit bill, prohibits the filing of SLAPP suits and defines free speech with regard to public issues. The bill was passed by both chambers and awaits action by the Governor.
CS/CS/CS/HB 383 Private Property Rights
This bill amends the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act in response to the U.S. Supreme Court holding in Koontz vs. St. Johns River Water Management District, 133 S.Ct. 2586 (2013), to create a way for property owners to bring an action against a governmental entity to recover damages caused by a prohibited exaction. This bill passed both chambers and awaits action by the Governor.
The following bills related to Amendment 1 funding will be considered by the legislature during the June Special Session:
SB 576 Land Acquisition Trust Fund/Agency for Persons with Disabilities; SB 578/ HB 1295 Land Acquisition Trust Fund/Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; SB 580 / HB 1293 Land Acquisition Trust Fund/Department of State; SB 582 Land Acquisition Trust Fund/Department of Transportation; CS/SB 584 / HB 1291 Implementation of the Water and Land Conservation Constitutional Amendment
These bills relate to trust funds established to distribute state funds and will be addressed when the legislature meets to adopt a budget during the Special Session.
We will continue to monitor the legislative budget with VCARD members in mind as the Special Session progresses.
Cobb Cole’s Newest Attorney, Elizabeth Blackburn, to Lead the Firm’s Family Law Practice
DAYTONA BEACH - Cobb Cole's newest attorney is no stranger to the area or the legal community.
Elizabeth Blackburn, who joined the law firm on Monday, is a former assistant state attorney who for the past 17½ years has been an attorney with Revis & Blackburn P.A., which will continue now as John Revis P.A.
Cobb Cole attorney, Michael J. Woods, recipient of Corporate Leadership Award from the Central Florida Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Cobb Cole Partner, Michael J. Woods, received the 2014 Corporate Leadership Award from the Central Florida Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Mr. Woods, a member of the local chapter's advisory board, participated in or coordinated teams for the 2014 Great Strides 5k walk in Daytona Beach, the 2014 Orlando CF Cycle for Life, which ran through Sanford and Volusia County, the 65 Roses Golf Classic at Heathrow Country Club and the Fresh from the Field fundraiser at Lake Meadow Naturals Farm in Ocoee. Mr. Woods will attend the organization's Volunteer Leadership Conference in Reston, Virginia in March.