SB 10 would authorize the use of bond funds to buy 60,000 acres of land to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. The plan is estimated to cost between $2.4 billion and $4 billion. Supposedly this would help solve pollution and toxic algae problems in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries from excess water releases from Lake Okeechobee. But scientific studies show that this will not solve the problem.
Studies have shown that the source of the excess water comes from north of Lake Okeechobee, not south of the lake.
Scientists and engineers recently reported district modeling showing storage north of the lake included in the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project will reduce the total discharge volume to the estuaries by more than 60 percent.
Studies also show that building the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee would take farmlands out of production and put many farmers out of business.
43% of South Florida is already owned by government for conservation.
Current plans for Everglades restoration already include building storage east, west, north, and south of Lake Okeechobee on land that has already been purchased, there is just no need to purchase more land.Read more
Two Important Bills to be heard in the Senate Community Affairs Committee next Monday April 3rd, 2017 at 4:00 PM
Support SB 188-Property rights are advanced when owners have the freedom to rent out their property as they so choose
Many property owners in Florida generate extra income by renting their homes to tourist vacationing in Florida. These types of rentals also help Florida’s tourism by allowing families to save money by staying together in a home instead of multiple hotel rooms.
This flexibility promotes more tourism, which produces $67 billion in economic activity every year.
SB 188 prevents local governments from passing new regulations on vacation rentals based solely on their classification, while not affecting local homeowners’ associations and neighborhoods that have adopted their own covenants, declarations, or bylaws.
Local governments have exploited current rental laws with excessive fines, penalties and fees. SB 188 will safeguard property owners from overreaching local governments with state-wide standards that protect property rights.
Support SB 1770: End the Slush Funds for Politicians
Under Florida law, local governments can designate areas as Community Redevelopment Areas (CRA). CRA’s are funded by property taxes and are charged with helping blighted neighborhoods. While the mission of a CRA is billed as anti-poverty measures, CRAs have been used to subsidize museums, concert halls, production studios and other pet projects of local political officials. CRAs are no longer being used for anti-poverty measures, but are now slush funds to reward political donors who fund elected official’s campaigns.
In 2016, a Miami-Dade County Grand Jury reported several abuses of a local CRA. Among the report’s findings they noted elected leaders rarely appoint civilians to boards so that, instead, elected leaders themselves can be in charge of the money. The report showed several examples of CRA boards spending large amounts of taxpayer dollars on what appeared to be pet projects of the elected officials.
SB 1770 will place tighter restrictions on CRAs and begin a phase out period for current CRAs.Read more
SB 166 deals with craft distilleries. A craft distillery is defined as one that is “a licensed distillery that produces 250,000 or fewer gallons per calendar year of distilled spirits on its premises.
SB 166 allows craft distilleries to get their product to more people by removing restrictions on how much distilleries can sell directly to customers. The current law says customers may purchase two bottles per brand/style per year.
The freedom to sell on-site is more profitable, and it allows for customers to try the product and share it with others outside the area. SB 166 also reduces the license fee for craft distilleries by 75 percent.Read more
Make Sure Ride-sharing Services have a Place in Florida
HB 221 would prevent local governments from regulating "transportation network companies" such as Uber and Lyft and would adopt a uniform, common sense law focused on safety and access to the new technology.
It makes no sense that 67 counties and 410 municipalities would create their own set of regulations, which would make it impossible for ride-share drivers to comply as they serve neighboring cities and counties.
This legislation establishes common-sense guidelines throughout the state, and allows people in Florida to continue benefiting from ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft and allow affordable, reliable rides.
Keep government out of our healthcare decisions
HB 161 provides that a direct primary agreement and the act of entering into such an agreement is not insurance and not subject to regulation under the Florida Insurance Code.
This legislation would protect direct patient/doctor agreements from burdensome government regulations and represents a first step toward real healthcare freedom in Florida.
Hold Judges Accountable
HJR 1 would "return the power to the people" by placing a 12-year cap on Florida’s state appellate and Supreme Court judges. A 12-year cap at the high court would place limits on the most powerful, least accountable branch of Florida government, increase the rotation of judges serving and broaden the pool of potential nominees – all positive outcomes.
Currently, the Florida Supreme Court justices and Appellate Court judges are appointed by the Governor and only face a merit retention system where citizens vote yes or no on the judge every six years. This merit retention system has failed to hold judges accountable and no judge has ever been ousted in a merit retention vote. Because judges know once appointed, they will never be voted out in a merit retention vote, they are free to push their political agenda in irreversible ways that affect the everyday lives of Floridians.
HJR 1 would ask the state’s voters to approve a 12-year term limit for all Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges. If passed by the Florida Legislature, it would go before voters in 2018.
HB 221, HB 161, and HJR 1 will have their second reading on the House Floor this Wednesday March 29th, 2017 and could soon receive an up or down vote by the full House this week.
Call and e-mail your district Representative and tell them to support the following three bills on the House floor this week:
HB 221 Make Sure Ride-sharing Services have a Place in Florida
HB 161 keep government out of our healthcare decisions.
HJR 1 Hold Judges Accountable
IMPORTANT: Make sure you save the contact information to your representative in your cell phone.
HB 141 deals with craft distilleries. A craft distillery is defined as one that is “a licensed distillery that produces 250,000 or fewer gallons per calendar year of distilled spirits on its premises.
HB 141 allows craft distilleries to get their product to more people by removing restrictions on how much distilleries can sell directly to customers. The current law says customers may purchase two bottles per brand/style per year.Read more
SB 340 would prevent local governments from regulating "transportation network companies" such as Uber and Lyft and would adopt a uniform, common sense law focused on safety and access to the new technology.
It makes no sense that 67 counties and 410 municipalities would create their own set of regulations, which would make it impossible for ride-share drivers to comply as they serve neighboring cities and counties.Read more
Support HB 425-Property rights are advanced when owners have the freedom to rent out their property as they so choose
Many property owners in Florida generate extra income by renting their homes to tourist vacationing in Florida. These types of rentals also help Florida’s tourism by allowing families to save money by staying together in a home instead of multiple hotel rooms. This flexibility promotes more tourism, which produces $67 billion in economic activity every year.Read more
SB 646 Would protect concealed weapons permit-holders from arrest or criminal charges if they “temporarily and openly display” their gun. If SB 646 passes, law enforcement cannot penalize a concealed weapon permit holder for temporarily displaying a weapon, such as a wind blowing a jacket open, or a situation where the pistol grip was unintentionally exposed.Read more
By Paul Henry
March 24, 2017
House Bill 6007, the 2017 version of a red light camera ban passed the House by a greater margin than ever before: a total of 94 Yeas and only 22 Nays, or 78% for banning cameras. Last year the vote was 86 Yeas to 34 Nays, with the Senate Companion Bill 168 dying in Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.
In a time of candidates getting barely 50% of a vote, this 78% vote clearly reflects the will of the people of Florida. Unfortunately, a key vote in the Senate Transportation committee killed the companion Senate Bill 178. Of the 5 members on the committee, only 4 were present, and the vote was a tie, 2 to 2, which meant the bill again died in committee. What is telling here is that as anti-camera House members such as Frank Artilles move to the Senate, the balance there is shifting away from support for the cameras.
The demise of automated for-profit law enforcement is on the way, camera supporters can only keep them on life support for so long. This demise is inevitable once citizens find out how the scheme actually works and see the lack of a safety benefit. Floridians do not like laws that make them innocent until proved guilty. Floridians do not like kangaroo courts where one side picks the judge and normal rules do not apply.
Become a member of the Liberty First Network so we can keep fighting this battle in Tallahassee. For more information on becoming a member contact Alex Snitker at (813) 315-0513
Liberty First Network has launched our "ACTION ALERT TEXT" service to make engaging legislators easy and painless, with a quick swipe of the phone.
One of the most effective ways that you can influence the agenda is by calling specific representatives on bills when these bills are in their committees and these representatives will be voting on or scheduling these bills for a hearing
With the ACTION ALERT TEXT you will get all the information you need to make the call in one text. The text will have up to 2 Representatives to call and will not take more than 5 minutes to complete. You can call when you’re walking to your office or when you are on a coffee break.
With a tap of your finger, you can do your part to restore liberty in Florida.
This service is available to all members of the Liberty First Network. If you would like to know more on becoming a member you can call or text Alex Snitker at (813) 315-0513
Below you will see our latest ACTION ALERT TEXT
LIBERTY FIRST NETWORK ACTION ALERT TEXT: Support SB 236 & HB 6023: Stop giving our taxpayer dollars to billionaire sports team owners
The Florida Legislature already budgets annual payments totaling $2 million to each of the nine major sports franchises like the Miami Dolphins.
In 2014, the Florida legislature decided to give sports team owners even more of taxpayer money by making available funding for privately owned stadiums to build or renovate sporting centers.
SB 236 & HB 6023 will repeal the 2014 legislation.
Call Senator Montford 850-487-5003 and ask him to schedule SB 236 in the next Commerce and Tourism Committee meeting.
Call Representative Beshears 850-717-5007 and ask him to schedule HB 6023 in the next Careers & Competition Committee meeting.
TIP: REMEMBER TO USE THE BILL NUMBER AND COMMITTEE WHEN CALLING
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