May 27, 2017

DECF News


Environmental Report Cards
for Members of the Florida House of Representatives


The voting records of members of the Florida House of Representatives were evaluated on key environmental bills in the 2015-2016 session. Grades (A-F) were issued to reflect the degree to which the legislator voted "green" on important Florida issues. Grading is on a "curve" thus bills passed unanimously are not part of this initial scoring system. Such unanimous green votes will be documented in future versions of the environmental report card, but will not change the resulting grades.


Grades can be viewed as:

MAP - click here

TABLE - click here


Environmental report cards have not been produced yet for the Florida Senate since its procedures often result in unanimous votes for those bills that actually reach the floor. Grading Florida Senators will require more complex metrics.


The legislation considered in the grading process were those important environmental bills for which the votes were not unanimous. These included:


HB191 - Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources
House vote on Jan 27, 2016: 73 Yeas & 45 Nays
Outcome: Passed in House but died in Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.
"Nay" represents a green vote because the bill would pre-empt local control of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and give the State the right to allow fracking under its rules.
Related Links:
Food & Water Watch
Sun Sentinel
PolitiFact
Sierra Club
Ernst v. EnCana Corporation


HB1075 - State Areas
House vote on Mar 11, 2016: 106 Yeas & 10 Nays
Legislation Outcome: Passed in House and Senate
"Nay" represents a green vote because the bill deletes language from current law which requires that state lands be managed for the purposes for which they were acquired. It means it could allow a state park to be managed for various other uses, such as timbering, cattle grazing, golf courses, RV Parks, etc.
Related Links:
Florida Conservation Voters

Sierra Club
Florida Conservation Coalition (1)
Florida Conservation Coalition (2)
Change.org
Our Santa Fe River
The Panhandle Politico


SB2516A - Implementation of the Water and Land Conservation Constitutional Amendment
House vote on Jun 19, 2015: 93 Yeas & 20 Nays
Legislation Outcome: Passed in House and Senate
"Nay" represents a green vote because the bill would have authorize the use of Amendment One funds intended by the constitutional amendment for the acquisition and preservation of Florida's beautiful natural areas and waters to be spent for routine administrative and development oriented expenses.
Related Links:
Florida Water & Land Legacy
New York Times
EarthJustice
WUSF


HB7003 - Water Resources
House vote on Mar 5, 2015: 106 Yeas & 9 Nays
Legislation Outcome: Passed in House and Senate
"Nay" represents a green vote because the bill would weaken water quality standards, allow further depletion of fresh water sources and do little to effectively address the Lake Okeechobee pollution discharges.   The bill removes water quality requirements at structures surrounding Lake Okeechobee. This would delete water quality standards and treatment for nitrogen, a major pollutant for the Lake and downstream waters in the estuaries and Everglades. The bill also eliminates any deadlines for clean-up and allows nutrient-laden excess reuse water to be dumped into recreational surface waters without any effort to clean the water.
Related Links:
Sierra Club
The Florida Squeeze
Miami Herald
Florida EH News
1000 Friends of Florida
SCCF

HB989 - Water and Land Conservation Constitutional Amendment
House vote on Mar 11, 2016: 113 Yeas & 1 Nays and Mar 2, 2016: 117 Yeas & 1 Nays (some Yeas were absent for 2nd vote)
Legislation Outcome: Passed in House and Senate
"Yea" represents a green vote because the bill was required to implement Amendment 1 approved by 75% of voters. The bill, properly implemented, could annually set aside 25% or $200 million from funding made available by Amendment 1 to Everglades projects that implement the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. It gave preference to projects that reduce harmful discharges of water from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie or Caloosahatchee estuaries. It was amended to include a minimum of 7.6% or $50 million for springs restoration. It also included $5 million per year for Lake Apopka restoration. more than $250 million for restoration work. The money will come from funds that voters designated in 2014 to manage and preserve state lands and waters. NOTE: The Legislature later misappropriated much of the funds, a matter currently under litigation.
Related Links:
Florida Politics
Florida Conservation Coalition
Audubon
Florida Conservation Voters
Ballotpedia
1000 Friends of Florida