Florida Food Policy Council

L E A D I N G  F L O R I D A  F O O D






Policy Snapshot

What's the scoop on food policy? Check our snapshots each month to see a localized challenge or success in the state of Florida!

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • 7 Jun 2020 6:13 PM | Administrator (Administrator)


    On Friday, June 5th, Phase 2 of Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery” took effect. The plan encourages Floridians to limit personal interactions outside the home and exercise responsible individual activity, but allows for the conditional reopening of certain businesses and facilities.

    Sixty-four of Florida’s 67 counties moved to Phase 2, the exceptions being Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, where COVID-19 has been most prevalent.

    According to the Florida Department of Health, as of June 7th the state’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases was 63,938 and deaths of 2,700 related to the virus. Hospitalizations due to the virus were also reported at 10,942.

    What is Phase 2?

    For restaurants, bars and pubs, Phase 2 allows 50 percent capacity indoors and full capacity outdoors as long as appropriate social distancing is followed, as well as bar-top seating. Patrons can only receive service if seated. All businesses are encouraged to continue to provide delivery or pickup and to take orders online or by telephone. Nightclubs must remain closed until further notice.

    Entertainment businesses, like movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades, can operate at 50 percent with appropriate social distancing and sanitization protocols.

    Other businesses such as retail stores and gyms can now operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitization. 

    If a business violates the Phase 2 orders, they could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

    What about unemployment?

    While some Floridians are able to go back to work under Phase 2, many continue to struggle financially. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which handles the state’s unemployment system, reports more than 2.3 million Floridians have filed for unemployment and 1,236,485 claims have been paid

    Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), the federal program that provides up to 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who have exhausted regular unemployment benefits under state or federal law or have no rights to regular unemployment benefits, is now ready to be administered according to the DEO. Floridians who have already exhausted their benefits or have a claim that expired after July 1 will still be able to apply for those benefits. In order to qualify for PEUC, Floridians must complete an application for state Reemployment Assistance benefits, which can be found here

    When will Phase 3 begin?

    It is still unclear when Governor DeSantis will move the state to Phase 3. 


    Resources:

    Click here for a guide to applying for PEUC

    Governor DeSantis PowerPoint Presentation on Phase 2

    Executive Order on Phase 2 

    FAQs for Phase 2 — General Questions

    Florida Chamber of Commerce Guidance and Direction on Phase 2

    Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Map


  • 3 May 2020 5:36 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Governor Ron DeSantis at a press conference on April 29th.

    Although the legislative session has come to an end, how to reopen Florida amid the COVID-19 pandemic is on everyone’s agenda.

    The state, like the nation, has seen an incredible increase in unemployment because of the shutdown. According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, more than 1.7 million Floridians have filed for unemployment and 452,526 claims have been paid.

    With mounting pressure to reopen the economy, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan” for Florida’s Recovery in a press conference on April 29th.

    The Governor’s Executive Order 20-112 will go into effect statewide May 4th, however in coordination with Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach county mayors, these three counties will follow stricter protocol without the re-open provisions of the Executive Order.

    For businesses, Phase 1 will allow restaurant dining rooms to open at 25% building capacity and full outdoor seating. On-site sale and retail businesses will also be allowed to operate at 25% occupancy. All businesses are encouraged to continue to provide delivery or pickup and to take orders online or by telephone, and business that are currently open may remain open and should continue appropriate social distancing and sanitation measures. Bars, nightclubs and gyms, however, will remain closed during Phase 1 of re-opening.

    Businesses that exceed 25% capacity may face enforcement penalties including a second-degree misdemeanor with a fine up to $500. Certain regulated businesses may face enforcement action for violations from their regulatory agency.

    In response to the “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan” Florida Senate President Bill Galvano released the following statement, "The 'Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery' announced today by Governor DeSantis represents a fact-based, strategic and measured approach that responsibly balances the resilient spirit of hardworking Floridians across our state who are eager to return to work with sensible and science-based public health guidelines developed in conjunction with medical professionals.”

    However, not everyone was pleased with the announcement or how DeSantis has addressed the effects of the pandemic in the state.

    "More than 1,000 Floridians have died in this pandemic, but you wouldn’t know it listening to Governor DeSantis’ indignant press conference today," Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo said. "Enough with the self-congratulatory media performances, where are the tests?”

    According to the Florida Department of Health, confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Florida have reached more than 36,000, resulting in at least 1,379 deaths.

    Although Phase 1 is set to go into effect Monday, the Governor does recommend that vulnerable individuals avoid close contact with people in public, that everyone maintains social distancing and that groups of 10 or more are avoided in social settings.

    In addition, local governments will have the ability to impose local restrictionsThe "Safer-at-Home" order that went into effect on April 3rd for the entire state, which allowed only essential activities and services, will remain in effect in most of South Florida until further notice.

    For more information on “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan” and other Executive Orders from Governor DeSantis, visit https://www.flgov.com/

    The “Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan” pdf can be found here.

  • 4 Apr 2020 8:47 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Florida lawmakers filed more than 3,500 bills for the 2020 legislative session and roughly 200 passed both chambers of the Legislature before the annual session adjourned in March.

    “Our final budget is a work product the people of Florida can be proud of,” Senate President Bill Galvano said, “We fund several important commitments the Senate made in its initial budget, from fully funding affordable housing, to a meaningful pay raise for state employees, to critical funds that will preserve our environment for future generations of Floridians. Continued investment in protection of our environment and water quality, including storage and treatment projects North of Lake Okeechobee, Red Tide and toxic algae research, and septic-to-sewer conversions, as well as funds for coastal resiliency planning are all critical components of a long-term strategy to restore and protect Florida’s unique natural environment and the quality of life we as Floridians enjoy.”

    Although lawmakers passed a record $93.2 billion budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year set to begin July 1st, they may return to the capitol for a special session due to the Coronavirus. “Based on our initial analysis of the (federal) CARES Act, we may need to return to Tallahassee, at the appropriate time in fiscal year 2020-21, to formally appropriate available federal funding,” Galvano wrote in a memo to Senators sent on April 2nd.

    According to a preliminary analysis by the state, Florida is expected to receive $12 billion for state and local government services under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Yet, given the devastating financial impact and burden on the state’s economy from the Coronavirus Pandemic, a revision to the state budget may happen sooner than expected.

    The current budget does, however, expand funding for resources for vulnerable Floridians and enables Governor DeSantis and executive branch agencies to continue aggressive planning and response to the Coronavirus. Additionally, the state’s reserves would be replenished to nearly $4 billion, enabling Governor DeSantis to ensure the state has the resources needed to address the evolving public health emergency.

    As for improving the efficiency of emergency response, legislators signed off on SB 7020: Emergency Staging Areas which would develop permanent staging areas for emergencies, expediting the dissemination of crucial emergency supplies such as food, water, and fuel.

    Environmental protection was a large focus in the budget with $690 million set aside for water quality restoration, including $322.6 million for Everglades restoration, $236.6 million for water quality improvements like septic to sewer and wastewater improvement programs, $50 million for Springs Restoration, and $25 million for projects to restore the Indian River Lagoon. The Florida Forever land-conservation program would also receive $100 million.

    Lawmakers also passed SB 712: Clean Waterways Act which takes action based on the recommendations of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force in order to stop excess pollution and restore Florida waterways and doubles the fines for wastewater violations; SB 1414: Fish and Wildlife Activities which increases the number of free fishing days from 4 to 6 days; HB 1091: Environmental Enforcement which increases penalties for violations relating to sanitary sewer overflows; and SB 680: Shark Fins which outlaws the import and export of shark fins to or from Florida.

    For public employers and companies that contract with them, SB 664: Verification of Employment Eligibility requires the use of the federal e-Verify database to determine employees’ eligibility to work in the United States. Private employers, however, would have the option of using e-Verify or a form that is already required under federal law to verify eligibility. Business could be fined $500 for violations and have their licenses suspended and three violations in three years could result in licenses being revoked.

    Another noteworthy bill, HB 1193 Deregulation of Professions and Occupations preempts the regulation of mobile food dispensing vehicles (food trucks) to the state and prohibits local governments from requiring a license, registration, or permit, and prohibiting the operation of food trucks.

    For more detailed information on all the bills passed, visit the Florida Senate website. You can also visit 2020 Bill Summaries, which are reports created by committee staff that give brief explanations of the legislation that passed this session in both the House and Senate.


  • 8 Mar 2020 10:05 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    The 2020 Florida Legislative session is quickly coming to an end as the last day of the Regular Session is March 13th.  

    Below are some of the noteworthy food-related legislation movement we have seen in the House and Senate. Visit The Florida Senate official website for full bill descriptions and actions.


    The following legislation has passed on the Senate Floor:


    HB 73 – Environmental Regulation

    The bill passed the Senate and is enrolled as of 3/3.

    Specifies requirements for contracts between residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities & counties or municipalities for collecting, transporting, & processing residential recycling material & contaminated recyclable material; prohibits local governments from requiring further verification from DEP for certain projects; revises types of dock & pier replacements & repairs that are exempt from such verification & certain permitting requirements.


    SB 680 – Shark Fins

    The bill passed the Senate and is Received as of 3/6.

    “Prohibiting the import, export, and sale of shark fins in this state; providing exceptions; requiring the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to evaluate the potential economic impacts to the commercial shark fishing industry in this state, etc.


    SB 712 – The Clean Waterways Act

    This bill passed the Senate and is In Messages in the House as of 3/6.

    “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.


    HB 827 – Recovery Care Services

    This bill was passed in the Senate and is Received as of 3/2.

    Provides for licensure of recovery care centers by AHCA; provides criteria for admission of patients to recovery care centers; requires centers to have specified protocols; prohibits centers from providing services to children until standards are established; requires AHCA to adopt minimum standards for centers; directs AHCA to enforce specified provisions of Florida Building Code applicable to recovery care centers; exempts centers from specified minimum licensure requirements.


    SB 1414 – Fish and Wildlife Activities

    This bill passed the Senate and is In Messages in the House as of 3/5.

    Prohibiting certain harassment of hunters, trappers, and fishers within or on public lands or publicly or privately owned wildlife and fish management areas, or in or on public waters; authorizing the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to designate additional annual free freshwater and saltwater fishing days; prohibiting the keeping, possessing, importing, selling, bartering, trading, or breeding of certain species except for educational, research, or eradication or control purposes; including green iguanas and species of the genera Salvator and Tupinambis in such prohibition, etc.


    SB 7020  Emergency Staging Areas

    This bill passed the Senate and is In Messages in the House as of 3/6.

    “Authorizing the Department of Transportation to plan, design, and construct staging areas as part of the turnpike system for the intended purpose of staging supplies for prompt provision of assistance to the public in a declared state of emergency; requiring the department, in consultation with the Division of Emergency Management, to select sites for such areas; requiring the department to give priority consideration to placement of such staging areas in specified counties, etc.”


    SB 7016 – Statewide Office of Resiliency

    This bill passed the Senate and is In Messages in the House as of 3/6.

    Establishing the office within the Executive Office of the Governor; creating the Statewide Sea-Level Rise Task Force within the office; authorizing the Department of Environmental Protection to contract for specified services, upon request of the task force; requiring the Environmental Regulation Commission to take certain action on the task force’s recommendations, etc. APPROPRIATION: $500,000


    The following legislation has seen movement in the Senate or House:


    SB 168 – Drinking Water in Public Schools

    The Committee Substitute by Education was read the 1st time on 1/14.

    Drinking Water in Public Schools; Subject to legislative appropriation, requiring district boards to coordinate with district school boards to identify certain schools and to provide funding to such schools; requiring certain school districts to install filters that meet certain specifications on drinking water sources; authorizing district boards to request additional funding to compensate school district staff for the installation or replacement of filters, etc. APPROPRIATION: $3,000,000”


    HB 715 – Recycled Water

    This bill is placed on 3rd reading as of 3/6.

    Requires certain domestic wastewater utilities to submit plans for eliminating nonbeneficial surface water discharges; requires DEP & WMDs to develop & execute memorandum of agreement for coordinated review of specified permits for indirect potable reuse projects; provides that potable reuse projects by private entities are eligible for certain expedited permitting & funding priorities; requires counties, municipalities, & special districts to authorize graywater technologies & provide incentives for implementation of such technologies; requires DEP to convene technical advisory group, & review & revise reclaimed water, potable reuse, drinking water, & aquifer recharge rules.


    HB 767 – Assisted Living Facilities

    This bill is placed on 3rd reading as of 3/6.

    Revises requirements & standards relating to ALF licensure, inspections, resident criteria & rights, & staff training & continuing education.


    SB 786 – Public Records /Aquaculture Records/Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

    This bill was favorable by Governmental Oversight and Accountability and is in Rules as of 2/3.

    Providing a public records exemption for certain aquaculture records held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; providing for future legislative review and repeal under the Open Government Sunset Review Act; providing a statement of public necessity, etc.


    SB 1130 — Young Farmers and Ranchers

    This bill was voted favorable by the  Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government and is in Appropriations as of 2/25.

    “Creating the Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant Program within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; requiring the department to select grant recipients based on specified criteria; requiring the department to give preference to veterans, etc.”


    SB 1276 — Department of Citrus

    This bill is placed on 3rd reading as of 3/6.

    “Establishing the Friends of Florida Citrus Program within the Department of Citrus; creating the Friends of Florida Citrus Advisory Council adjunct to the department; authorizing the Department of Citrus to loan department employees to or share department employees with specified state and federal entities, etc.”


    SB 1706 — Water Testing for Pollution

    This bill is was voted favorable by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and is in Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services as of 2/10.

    “Authorizing specified persons or businesses that suspect contamination of their private water systems, multifamily water systems, or certain public water systems to request that the Department of Health or its agents test such source for pollution, under certain circumstances; requiring such testing to be done within a specified timeframe and follow certain procedures; revising the specified purposes that funds in a County Health Department Trust Fund may be used for to include the costs and expenditures related to certain water testing provisions, etc.”


    SB 1720 — Florida Safe Drinking Water Act

    This bill was voted favorable by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee on 2/3. The bill is in Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government as of 2/4.

    “Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt and implement rules for statewide maximum contaminant levels for specified pollutants by a date certain, etc.”


    HB 3419 – North Miami Food Pantry

    This bill is in Appropriations Committee as of 1/22.

    Food and Housing Insecurity; Provides an appropriation for the Florida Student Association, Inc. - Food and Housing Insecurity. APPROPRIATION: $340,00”


    The following legislation has been temporarily postponed:


    SB 724 – Local Government Recycling Programs

    This bill but is Temporarily Postponed as of 2/5.

    Local Government Recycling Programs; Creating the Florida Recycling Working Group; requiring the working group to submit a report to the Legislature by a specified date; providing an expiration date for the working group; providing an exemption for fiscally constrained counties from recycling requirements, etc.”


    SB 1096 – Bottled Water

    This bill is Temporarily Postponed as of 1/16.

    Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to monitor certain consumptive use permits; providing penalties for nonpayment of fees; directing the department to adopt rules, etc.


    SB 1098 – Fees/Bottled Water Companies/Department of Environmental Protection

    This bill is Temporarily Postponed as of 1/16.

    “Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to charge bottled water companies a specified fee per gallon extracted; requiring the fees to be deposited into the Water Protection and Sustainability Program Trust Fund, etc.”


    SB 1112 — Bottled Water Excise Tax

    This bill is temporarily postponed as of 1/16.

    “Imposing an excise tax upon bottled water operators; specifying the rate of the tax and the trust fund where tax proceeds are to be deposited; specifying requirements for bottled water operators in filing monthly returns and declarations of estimated tax with, and remitting estimated taxes to, the Department of Revenue; specifying the department’s authority to inspect, examine, and audit bottled water operator books and records, issue subpoenas, require testimony under oath or affirmation of certain persons, and apply for certain judicial orders, etc.”


    HB 1343 – Environmental Resource Management

    This bill is temporarily postponed as of 3/6.

    Requires DOH & DEP to submit reports & recommendations relating to transfer of Onsite Sewage Program in DOH to DEP; transfers Onsite Sewage Program from DOH to DEP; requires WMDs to submit consolidated annual reports to OEDR; removes provisions relating to DOH technical review & advisory panel & research & review advisory committee; requires DEP to conduct bottled water study; prohibits approval of certain consumptive use permits; authorizes nutrient reducing OSTDS; creates OSTDS technical advisory committee; requires basin management action plans to include plans & cooperative elements; requires DEP to submit cost estimates to OEDR; provides priority funding for utility projects; provides for biosolids management & water quality monitoring; revises administrative penalties; prohibits legal rights for environment.


  • 10 Feb 2020 6:00 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    The 2020 Florida Legislative session convened on January 14th. The last day for regularly scheduled committee meetings will be on March 3rd, and the last day of the Regular Session will be on March 13th.  

    Below are some of the food-related legislation movement we have seen in the Senate. Visit The Florida Senate official website for full bill descriptions and actions.


    SB 40 — Prohibition of Plastic Carryout Bags and Straws

    This bill was introduced on 1/14.

    Prohibiting a store or food service business from providing to a customer a carryout bag made of plastic film; prohibiting a food service business from selling or providing to a customer a single-use plastic straw, etc.


    SB 42 — Donor Human Milk Bank Services

    This bill was introduced on 1/14.

    Authorizing the Agency for Health Care Administration to pay for donor human milk bank services as an optional Medicaid service if certain conditions are met; adding donor human milk bank services to the list of Medicaid services authorized for reimbursement on a fee-for-service basis; adding donor human milk bank services to the list of minimum benefits required to be covered by managed care plans, etc.


    SB 50 — Beverage Container Deposits

    This bill was introduced on 1/14.

    “Designating the “Florida Beverage Container Deposit Act”; establishing refund values for specified beverage containers; requiring dealers and consumers in this state to pay a deposit fee for specified beverage containers; prohibiting the establishment or operation of a redemption center unless it is registered with the Department of Environmental Protection; providing that distributors and dealers are not obligated to accept or take containers not originally sold in this state or to pay the refund value and handling fees for them, etc.


    SB 138 — Beverage Law

    This bill was introduced on 1/14.

    “Repealing provisions relating to limitations on the size of individual wine containers and individual cider containers; revising provisions that authorize a restaurant to allow patrons to remove partially consumed bottles of wine from a restaurant for off-premises consumption; revising the requirements for the sale of branded products by a licensed craft distillery to consumers, etc.


    SB 168 — Drinking Water in Public Schools

    This bill was voted favorable by the Education Committee on 11/12. The bill was read for the 1st time on 1/14.

    “Subject to legislative appropriation, requiring district boards to coordinate with district school boards to identify certain schools and to provide funding to such schools; requiring certain school districts to install filters that meet certain specifications on drinking water sources; authorizing district boards to request additional funding to compensate school district staff for the installation or replacement of filters, etc. APPROPRIATION: $3,000,000”


    SB 182 — Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials

    This bill was introduced on 1/14.

    Deleting preemptions of local law relating to the regulation of auxiliary containers, wrappings, or disposable plastic bags; repealing the preemption of local laws regarding the use or sale of polystyrene products to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, etc.


    SB 300 — Food Pantries in Public Schools

    This bill was introduced on 1/14.

    Authorizing school districts to adopt a policy to allow schools to create food pantry programs in collaboration with nonprofit organizations; authorizing school districts to provide food from the pantry at no cost to students under specified circumstances; authorizing school employees to prepare and distribute donated food, etc.


    SB 326 — Environmental Regulation

    This bill was voted favorable by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee on 11/4, the Community Affairs Committee on 12/9, and Rules on 2/5. The bill is now on Calendar for a 2nd reading.

    “Specifying requirements for contracts between residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities and counties or municipalities for the collection or processing of residential recycling material; providing that a residential recycling collector or recovered materials processing facility is not required to collect, transport, or process contaminated recyclable material except pursuant to specified contractual requirements after a contract is executed; prohibiting local governments from requiring further verification from the Department of Environmental Protection for certain projects, etc.


    SB 456 — Minimum Wage

    This bill was introduced on 1/14.

    Revising the formula for the adjusted state minimum wage, etc.


    SB 680 — Shark Fins

    This bill was voted favorable by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee on 2/3. The bill is now in Commerce and Tourism.

    “Prohibiting the import and export of shark fins, etc.”


    SB 724 — Local Government Recycling Programs

    This bill was voted favorable by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee on 12/9. The bill is now on the Community Affairs Committee agenda.

    “Creating the Florida Recycling Working Group; requiring the working group to submit a report to the Legislature by a specified date; providing an expiration date for the working group; providing an exemption for fiscally constrained counties from recycling requirements, etc.”


    SB 786 — Public Records/Aquaculture Records/Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

    This bill was voted favorable by the Agriculture Committee on 1/14 and favorable on 2/3 by the Governmental Oversight and Accountability. The bill is now in Rules.

    Providing a public records exemption for certain aquaculture records held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; providing for future legislative review and repeal under the Open Government Sunset Review Act; providing a statement of public necessity, etc.


    SB 1096 — Bottled Water

    This bill is temporarily postponed.

    “Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to monitor certain consumptive use permits; providing penalties for nonpayment of fees; directing the department to adopt rules, etc.”


    SB 1098 — Fees/Bottled Water Companies/Department of Environmental Protection

    This bill is temporarily postponed.

    “Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to charge bottled water companies a specified fee per gallon extracted; requiring the fees to be deposited into the Water Protection and Sustainability Program Trust Fund, etc.”


    SB 1112 — Bottled Water Excise Tax

    The amendments for this bill were adopted on 1/21. This bill is temporarily postponed.

    “Imposing an excise tax upon bottled water operators; specifying the rate of the tax and the trust fund where tax proceeds are to be deposited; specifying requirements for bottled water operators in filing monthly returns and declarations of estimated tax with, and remitting estimated taxes to, the Department of Revenue; specifying the department’s authority to inspect, examine, and audit bottled water operator books and records, issue subpoenas, require testimony under oath or affirmation of certain persons, and apply for certain judicial orders, etc.”


    SB 1130 — Young Farmers and Ranchers

    This bill was voted favorable by the Agriculture Committee on 1/14. This bill is now in Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government.

    Creating the Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant Program within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; requiring the department to select grant recipients based on specified criteria; requiring the department to give preference to veterans, etc.”


    SB 1276 — Department of Citrus

    This bill was voted favorable by the Agriculture Committee on 1/14 and favorable on 1/21 by the Governmental Oversight and Accountability. The bill is now in Appropriations.

    “Establishing the Friends of Florida Citrus Program within the Department of Citrus; creating the Friends of Florida Citrus Advisory Council adjunct to the department; authorizing the Department of Citrus to loan department employees to or share department employees with specified state and federal entities, etc.”


    SB 1384 — Florida Farm to School Program

    This bill was introduced.

    “Requiring vendors selling or delivering agricultural commodities to school districts in the Florida Farm to School Program to provide the school districts with an invoice that meets certain requirements, beginning on a specified date; requiring each participating district school board to submit the information monthly to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, etc.”


    SB 1414 — Fish and Wildlife Activities

    This bill was voted favorable by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee on 2/3. The bill is now in Agriculture.

    “Prohibiting certain harassment of hunters, trappers, and fishers within or on public lands or publicly or privately owned wildlife and fish management areas, or in or on public waters; authorizing the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to designate additional annual free freshwater and saltwater fishing days; prohibiting the keeping, possessing, importing, selling, bartering, trading, or breeding of certain species except for educational or research purposes; including green iguanas and species of the genera Salvator and Tupinambis in such prohibition, etc.”


    SB 1526 — Food Donation Programs

    This bill was introduced.

    “Creating an agricultural commodity donation tax credit; authorizing the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt rules; revising the department's powers and duties relating to school food and other nutrition programs; deleting a provision authorizing district school boards to opt out of implementing universal school breakfast programs; requiring the department to annually allocate to participating sponsors a reimbursement in addition to the sum appropriated for the Florida Farm to School Program if certain conditions are met; requiring the department to develop the Florida Gleaning Support Grant Program, etc. APPROPRIATION: $1,650,000”


    SB 1706 — Water Testing for Pollution

    This bill is on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee agenda.

    “Authorizing specified persons or businesses that suspect contamination of their private water systems, multifamily water systems, or certain public water systems to request that the Department of Health or its agents test such source for pollution, under certain circumstances; requiring such testing to be done within a specified timeframe and follow certain procedures; revising the specified purposes that funds in a County Health Department Trust Fund may be used for to include the costs and expenditures related to certain water testing provisions, etc.”


    SB 1720 — Florida Safe Drinking Water Act

    This bill was voted favorable by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee on 2/3. The bill is now in Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government.

    Requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt and implement rules for statewide maximum contaminant levels for specified pollutants by a date certain, etc.”


  • 4 Jan 2020 8:00 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    It’s a new year, and a new decade. In 2020, big changes are sure to come with the upcoming elections.

    For federal offices including the President and Vice President, campaigns are in full swing. Locally, State Senators in odd numbered districts and State Representatives in all districts will soon be facing the ballot box.

    Other local offices up for election and retention this year include State Attorney (Circuits 1-19) and Public Defender (Circuits 1-19), varying county offices such as the Board of County Commissioners and School Board (nonpartisan), and Judicial offices whose terms expire in January of 2021.

    A full list of General Election candidates can be accessed here.

    For voters, remember to mark your calendars. Registration to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) closes on February 18th and election day for the PPP is March 17th; Primary Election registration closes on July 20th with the Primary Election held on August 18th; and October 5th is the last day to register for the General Election which will be held on November 3rd.

    For more information on how to register to vote, check out our guide here.

    Interim Committee Sessions officially wrapped up on December 13th, 2019 and on January 14th, 2020, the Florida House of Representatives and Senate will resume the Regular Legislative Session.

    A calendar of the meetings scheduled from January 13-17th for the Florida House of Representatives can be found here

    Access a calendar for Senate meetings from week 1 (January 13-17th) here and week 2 (January 20-24th) here.

    As the year progresses, we will continue to provide updates on food-related legislation and noteworthy happenings in the legislature.

  • 4 Dec 2019 9:36 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    On January 14th, the 2020 Florida Legislative session will begin. Here is an overview of bills related to food policy that were filed in the House. 

    Bills can be also found on the Florida House of Representative's website here. Simply enter the bill number in the search bar. 

    You can also download the full House Bills Snapshot PDF version by clicking here.

    House Bills 

    Number

     Title

     Filed By

    Last Action 

     HB 139

     Drinking Water in Public Schools

     Jenne; (Co-introducers) Ausley: Polo: Polsky: Webb

     Referred to PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee; PreK-12 Appropriations

     HB 147  Water Resources  Jacobs; (Co-introducers) Good; Polsky; Webb  Referred to Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee

     HB 159

     Sales and Use Tax

     Clemons; (Co-introducers) Bell; Fitzenhagen; Grieco; Killebrew; LaMarca; McClain; Plasencia; Sabatani; Smith; D.; Stone

     Referred to Ways and Means Committee: Commerce Committee; Appropriations Committee

     HB 161

    Prohibited Discrimination 

    Toledo; Webb ; (Co-introducers) Alexander; Aloupis; Ausley; Caruso; Casello; Cortes ; Daley; Diamond; Driskell; DuBose; Duran; Eskamani; Fernandez; Fitzenhagen; Geller ; Goff-Marcil; Good; Gottlieb; Grieco; Hart; Hattersley; Hogan Johnson; Jacobs; Jenne; Jones; Killebrew; LaMarca; Mariano; Mercado; Polo; Polsky; Raschein; Silvers; Slosberg; Smith, C.; Stark; Valdes; Watson, C.; Willhite

    Referred to Civil Justice Subcommittee; Business and Professions

     HB 165

    Youth in Solitary Confinement

    Driskell; (Co-introducers) Eskamani; Jenne; Polo; Polsky

    Referred to Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Judiciary Subcommittee

    HB 243

    Nonservice Animals
    Antone Referred to Business and Professions Subcommittee; Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee; Commerce Committee
    HB 401 Shark Fins  Jacobs; (Co-introducers) Casello; Daley; Duran; Killebrew; LaMarca; Mercado; Polo; Smith, C.; Stark; Stevenson; Webb   On Committee Agenda--Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee
     HB 413 Child Welfare   Byrd  Referred to Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; Health and Human Services Committee
     HB 521  School Food and Nutrition Services  Webb Referred to Ways and Means Committee; State Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee 
     HB 635 Unlawful Discrimination  Watson, B.   Referred to Civil Justice Committee; Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee; Judiciary Committee
    HB 689 Department of Business and Professional Regulation Rodriguez, A. Referred to Business and Professions Subcommittee; Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee; Commerce Committee
    HB 715   Recycled Water Maggard   Referred to Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee
     HB 767 Assisted Living Facilities  Grant, M.   Filed
    HB 827 Recovery Care Services   Stevenson  Filed
    HB 861  Bottled Water Excise Tax  Willhite  Filed
    HB 2075 Treasure Coast Food Bank - Farmers Fresh Invest Hogan Johnson   Now in Appropriations Committee
    HB 2347 Curley's House of Style Inc./Hope Relief Food Bank - Elderly Meals and Social Programs   Bush  Now in Appropriations Committee 
    HB 2547  WateReuse Florida Recycled Water for Potable Purposes Education Campaign  Maggard On Committee Agenda--Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee 
    HB 2799 Feeding Florida Healthy Food Initiative   Roth  On Committee Agenda--Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee
    HB 3399  Haitian American Food Bank of South Florida   Jacquet  Referred to Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee
    HB 3419  Florida Student Association, Inc. - Food and Housing Insecurity Ponder; Joseph  Referred to Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee 
     HB 3437 North Miami Food Pantry  Joseph   On Committee Agenda--Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee
    HB 3851   Primary Care Medical Services of Poinciana Patient Transportation & Mobile Food Pantry Program La Rosa  Referred to Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee 
     HB 3881 Culinary Workforce Training Program - Second Harvest Food Bank Mercado  Referred to Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee 
  • 4 Nov 2019 8:05 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    On January 14th, the 2020 Florida Legislative session will begin. Here is an overview of bills related to food policy that were filed in the Senate. 

    Bills can be also found on the Florida House of Representative's website here. Simply enter the bill number in the search bar. 

    You can also download the full Senate Bills Snapshot PDF version by clicking here.

    Senate Bills 

    Number

     Title

     Filed By

    Last Action 

     SB 6

     Relief of Shuler Limited Partnership/Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

     Montford

     Referred to Special Master on Claim Bills; Judiciary; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations

     SB 34

     Prohibited Discrimination

     Rouson

     Withdrawn Prior to Introduction

     SB 38

     State Symbols

     Book

    Referred to Commerce and Tourism; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Rules 

     SB 40

     Prohibition of Carryout Bags and Straws

     Rader; (Co-introducers) Stewart; Berman

     Referred to Commerce and Tourism; Community Affairs; Rules

     SB 42

     Donor Human Milk Bank Services

     Book; (Co-introducers) Stewart

    Referred to Health Policy; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations 

     SB 50

     Beverage Container Deposits

     Rader

     Referred to Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations

     SB 108

     Specialty License Plates/Florida State Beekeepers Association

     Rader

    Referred to Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations 

     SB 110

     Fees/Florida State Beekeepers Association License Plate

     Rader

     Referred to Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations

     SB 138

    Beverage Law 

     Hutson

     Referred to Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Commerce and Tourism; Rules

     SB 168

     Drinking Water in Public Schools

     Cruz; (Co-introducers) Pizzo; Berman; Gibson; Book; Stewart; Rader; Rouson; Taddeo; Torres; Farmer

     Referred to Education; Appropriations Subcommittee on Education; Appropriations

     SB 182

     Preemption of Recyclable and Polystyrene Materials

     Stewart; (Co-introducers) Rodriguez; Berman

     Referred to Community Affairs; Environment and Natural Resources; Rules

     SB 216

    Assistance for Micro Businesses 

     Rodriguez

     Referred to Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations

     SB 278

     Climate Health Planning

     Rodriguez

     Referred to Health Policy; Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations

     SB 280

     Climate Fiscal Responsibility

     Rodriguez

     Referred to Infrastructure and Security; Finance and Tax; Appropriations

     SB 286

     Tax Credit for Carbon Farming

     Rodriguez

     Referred to Agriculture; Finance and Tax; Appropriations

     SB 300

     Food Pantries in Public Schools

     Farmer

     Referred to Education; Appropriations Subcommittee on Education; Appropriations

     SB 326

     Environmental Regulation

    Perry

    On Committee agenda--Environment and Natural Resources, 11/04/19 

     SB 456

     Minimum Wage

     Rodriguez

    Referred to Commerce and Tourism; Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Rules 

     SB 482

     Beverage Law

     Brandes

     Referred to Commerce and Tourism; Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Rules

     SB 638

     Apalachicola Environmental Stewardship Act

     Montford

    Filed 

     SB 644  Florida Civil Rights Act  Braynon Filed 
     SB 680  Shark Fins  Hutson; (Co-introducers) Gruiters Filed
     SB 690 Water Resources   Albritton Filed
     SB 724  Local Government Recycling Programs  Albritton Filed 
  • 5 Oct 2019 8:18 AM | Administrator (Administrator)


    In September, Florida lawmakers returned to the Capitol to begin committee meetings for the 2020 Legislative Session. Here’s a rundown of some of the issues covered that we know are important to you. 

    On September 17, the Agriculture Committee received an update from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services about hemp issues. The legislature passed SB 1020 on May 3 and it became law on July 1. The FDACS presentation highlighted points such as increasing interest in the hemp program by consumers and growers, collaboration with other government bodies for regulation, a timeline of the release of permits, and what lies ahead for farmers and best management practices. It was also announced that Fresh From Florida will be starting a hemp program to assist farmers with resources and education. After questions, representatives from hemp pilot projects at Florida A&M University and the University of Florida also shared test results with the committee.

    The full meeting can be viewed here. 

    The Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government met on September 18 for presentations on the transfer of Florida’s information technology by the Department of Management Services, on Agricultural Water Policy from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and on invasive species impacts, prevention, and enforcement by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    The Director of the office of Agricultural Water Policy gave a presentation  on the responsibilities of OAWP, how those tasks are carried out, and explanations for specific budget requests. Specifically, how best management practices such as Nutritional Management BMPs, Irrigation Management BMPs and Water Resource Protection BMPsare created and how they are implemented to assist famers was discussed. A breakdown of how current and requested funding is used in research and BMP creation was also explained to the committee, as well as how hemp regulations will increase the need to employ more workers.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission then gave a presentation on invasive species. The main roles of the FWC were covered, which include prevention, control and management, and research support. One important point that was briefly mentioned was the economic costs and agricultural impacts that are seen from invasive species. 

    A video of the meeting is provided here. 

    The Appropriations Committee also convened on September 18 to hear a presentation on the Long-range Financial Outlook for the state of Florida compiled by the Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic.  The Outlook includes economic, demographic, and debt analyses that provide a framework for financial projections and covers the upcoming three state fiscal years: 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23.  

    In the Outlook, funding for programs within the Departments of Environmental Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission include: Water Projects, Drinking Water and Wastewater Revolving Loan Programs, Florida Keys, Herbert Hoover Dike, Florida Resilient Coastlines Program, Agricultural Programs, Citrus Canker Eradication Litigation and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Programs. 

    Notably, the report states that, “Agriculture continues to be an important industry in Florida. Based on a three-year average, $25.5 million in nonrecurring General Revenue funds and $6.2 million from trust funds are included for each fiscal year in the Outlook. This includes funding for water quality improvement initiatives and water conservation and supply planning. Funds are also included for the replacement of critical wildfire suppression equipment, promotional campaigns for agricultural commodities, citrus greening research and citrus health management areas, agricultural promotional and educational facilities, and the distribution of food to needy families through food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters…  

    The use of General Revenue funds to support the Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund is also in the report, “Section 570.1912, Florida Statutes, requires an appropriation from the General Revenue Fund to the Agriculture Emergency Eradication Trust Fund in an amount equal to the previous year’s transfer into the trust fund from fuel tax collections. Based on the results of the August 2019 Transportation Revenue Estimating Conference, the Outlook includes nonrecurring General Revenue funds of $13.0 million in Fiscal Year 2020-21, $13.3 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22, and $13.7 million in Fiscal Year 2022-23.”  

    In regards to Natural Resources, funding for life and safety repairs for agricultural and wildlife conservation infrastructure located throughout the state is also mentioned. These improvements include, “state offices and laboratories, forestry wildfire prevention facilities, and state farmers markets. The Outlook includes a three-year average of $1.5 million of nonrecurring General Revenue and $4.5 million from trust funds for each of the Fiscal Years 2020-21 through 2022-23.” 

    The full Outlook contains a wide range of information which is available here, and the legislative meeting is viewable online here. 

    In the upcoming months, we will be following up with updates on legislative meetings and proposed food-related policies put forward by congress members. 


  • 28 Aug 2019 8:29 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    2018-2020 Florida Senate Committee on Agriculture Members


    As a Floridian, by sharing your opinions and ideas with your representatives and senators in Tallahassee, you can help them decide what to do about the issues and pending legislation that affects us all. In order to do this, you need to know which representatives to contact and how to contact them.

    Below is a list of Senators on the 2018-2020 Committee on Agriculture, the food-related legislation they supported in 2019 and their contact information. 

    You can download a PDF version of this information here.

    Committee on Agriculture Members


    Chair  
    Ben Albritton  
    (R-District 26)  

    Introduced Bills:  

    -SB 628 Water Resources  

    -SB 880 Young Farmers and Ranchers 

    -SB 1058 State Hemp Program 

    -SB 1646 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 

    -SB 1804 Emergency Loans for Agricultural Producers

    Co-Introduced Bills:  

    -SB 66 Drinking Water in Public Schools  

    -SB 1020 State Hemp Program 


    Contact:

    Capitol Office  

    Phone:(850) 487-5026

    Address:308 Senate Building, 404 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 

    Vice Chair
    George B. Gainer  
    (R-District 2)

     

    Co-Introduced Bills: 

    -SB 880 Young Farmers and Ranchers  

    Contact:

    Capitol Office

    Phone: (850) 487-5002

    Address:302 Senate Building, 404 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

    Senator  
    Doug Broxson  
    (R-
    District 1)

     

    Introduced Bills:

    Contact:

    Capitol Office

    Phone: (850) 487-5001

    Address: 318 Senate Building, 404 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

    Senator 
    Bill Montford
    (D-District 3)


    Introduced Bills:

    -SB 384 Medical Use of Marijuana in Schools

    -SB 998 Public Notification of Pollution

    -SB 110 Water Testing for Pollution

    -SB 1256 Apalachicola Bay Area of Critical State Concern

    Contact:

    Capitol Office

    Phone: (850) 487-5003

    Address:410 Senate Building, 404 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

    Senator 
    Kevin J. Rader
    (D-District 29)

    Introduced Bills:

    -SB 486 Specialty License Plates/Florida State Beekeepers Association

    -SB 502 Prohibition of Plastic Carryout Bags and Straws

    -SB 510 Income Inequality Impact Statements

    -SB 108 Specialty License Plates/Florida Beekeepers Association

    Co-Introduced Bills:

    -SB 66 Drinking Water in Public Schools

    -SB 352 Shark Fins and Ray Parts

    Contact:

    Capitol Office

    Phone: (850) 487-5029

    Address: 222 Senate Building,  404 South Monroe Street,  Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100


<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software