Legal & Judicial
SB 1794 – Relating to Constitutional Amendments
On Monday, March 9, SB 1794 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) was read a third time on the Senate floor and passed with 23 yeas and 17 nays.
The Florida Constitution is the charter of the liberties of Floridians. It may be amended only if the voters approve an amendment originating from the Legislature, the Constitution Revision Commission, the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, a constitutional convention, or a citizen initiative.
The bill modifies several aspects of the citizen initiative process to increase transparency, strengthen the integrity of the ballot, and reduce costs for the supervisors of elections. Specifically, the bill changes the deadline for gathering signatures, the Fiscal Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC) analysis process, the ballot language requirements, and the requirements for supervisors of elections.
SB 1794 will now go to the House for consideration.
AIF supports the measures contained in this bill to prevent interest groups’ circumvention of the legislature in revising Florida’s constitution.
HB 519 – Relating to Private Property Rights Protection
On Monday, March 9, HB 519 by Representative James Grant (R-Tampa) was read a third time on the House floor and passed with 83 yeas and 36 nays.
The Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from depriving a person of his or her private property for public use "without just compensation." However, not every government action burdening private property amounts to an illegal "taking" under the Takings Clause. Florida law provides legal remedies when a local government burdens property rights in a manner that does not amount to a "taking.”
The bill requires a local government, when settling property rights claims, to treat similar properties similarly. If the government settles or the property owner secures a judgment declaring an inordinate burden, there is a presumption that similarly situated parcels are also inordinately burdened and entitled to the same settlement terms or judicial determination. The bill also makes it easier for a private property owner to challenge a local regulation burdening his or her property.
Additionally, when a local government is poised to impose an exaction upon private property, the bill allows the property owner to sue without having to wait for written notice of the exaction.
HB 519 will now go to the Senate for consideration.
AIF supports private property rights which create a prosperous business climate in Florida.