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Senate Bill 86, titled Agricultural Land Classification and Assessment, would have required that “land jointly used for commercial non-agricultural purposes and bona fide agricultural purposes directly related to apiculture (bee-keeping) be classified as agricultural.” SB 86 was one of many “ag”-related bills that the Florida Legislature failed to pass during its 2017 session. / Florida Food & Farm file photo

The Florida Legislature ended its regular 2017 session on May 5 and went into “overtime” in order to pass a budget. Here is a wrap-up of proposed bills — related to economic development, agriculture, water and solar — that didn’t survive. With the exception of SB 10, Water Resources, no bill regarding economic development, agriculture, water or solar has passed; one bill has not been reported yet.

Bills are listed in numerical order based on their assigned number in the House. If a related Senate bill was filed, that is also shown. One bill, Senate Bill 86, was filed in the Senate, but no related bill was filed in the House.

Florida Legislature Bills that didn’t survive

House Bill 333 and SB 600 were titled Rural Economic Development Initiative. Both were “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration” on May 5. The bills, as filed, would have — among other things — required an analysis of the Rural Economic Development Inititative (REDI) and revised the duties and membership of REDI.


HB 413 and SB 1300, Water Oversight and Planning, would have, among other things, created an oversight and planning board to address state water issues. On May 5, they were “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.”

HB 567, Solar Energy Systems, was, on Feb. 21, “withdrawn prior to introduction.” No companion bill was filed in the Senate. Among HB 567’s provisions, it would have required “solar energy systems manufactured or sold in the state to be certified pursuant to National Renewable Energy Laboratory standards.”

HB 697 and SB 786, Federal Immigration Enforcement, would have prohibited sanctuary policies and required state and local government entities, including law-enforcement agencies, “to comply with and support the enforcement of federal immigration laws.” On April 13, the Senate version was “withdrawn from further consideration.” On May 5, the House version was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.”

HB 761, Water Resources, would, among other things, have provided for a reservoir in the Everglades Agricultural Area and required the “South Florida Water Management District to seek out specified property and coordinate with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” On May 5, it was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.” A related bill, SB 10, also named Water Resources, passed; it was sent on May 4 to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature. SB 10’s provisions include “authorizing the South Florida Water Management District and the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to negotiate the amendment and termination of leases on lands within the Everglades Agricultural Area for exchange or use for the reservoir project … (and) prohibiting the use of inmates for correctional work programs in the agricultural industry in certain areas.”

HB 1211 and SB 816, Central and Southern Florida Project for Flood Control and Other Purposes, would have directed “the South Florida Water Management District to take control of discharges of water from Lake Okeechobee and take a leadership role in the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike,” among other things. Both bills were “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration” on May 5.

HB 2205, Sustainability Institute — Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, would have provided a one-time appropriation of $716,000 for the Sustainability Institute. No related Senate bill was filed. HB 2205 was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration” on May 5.

HB 2327, St. Lucie County Indian River Lagoon Pollution Reduction Project, would have provided an appropriation for the St. Lucie County Indian River Lagoon Pollution Reduction Project” of $3,861,750. On May 5, it was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.” No related Senate bill was filed.

HB 2383, Upgrade Southwest Florida Research and Education Center at IFAS, sought a $1 million one-time allocation to upgrade the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. No related Senate bill was filed. On May 5, HB 2383 bill was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.”

HB 2681, Farm Share Program — Florida City Farmers Market, would have provided a one-time allocation of $500,000 to the Farm Share Program at the Florida City Farmers Market. No similar Senate bill was filed. On May 5, HB 2681 was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.”

HB 2691, Hardee County Cattlemen’s Arena and Exposition Hall. On Friday, May 5, the bill was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.” The bill asked for a one-time allocation of $300,000 for the arena and exposition hall. No related Senate bill was filed.

HB 2701, Treasure Coast Food Bank Florida Agriculture and Nourishment Collaborative, would have provided a one-time allocation of $1.05 million to fund the collaborative. No related Senate bill was filed. On May 5, HB 2701 was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.”

SB 86 was filed only in the Senate

SB 86, Agricultural Land Classification and Assessment, would have provided “an exception from a certain requirement for lands to be classified as agricultural for taxation purposes; and requiring that land jointly used for commercial non-agricultural purposes and bona fide agricultural purposes directly related to apiculture (bee-keeping) be classified as agricultural.” On May 5, the bill was “indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.” No House version was ever filed.