New policies could have helped to reduce flooding, extreme heat, financial burdens, and our over-dependence on fossil fuels. Florida lawmakers need to vote with the hardworking people of their state and pass these bills into law. Too often, big corporations use money to influence lawmakers’ votes, harming our communities and holding us back from opportunity.
Each year, organizations that work to protect Florida’s environment and communities meet to select the bills that are included in this scorecard. Lawmakers get credit each time they vote for a bill that benefits all Floridians, especially the residents most impacted by the climate crisis. This means that they have multiple chances to vote on the side of people over corporations.
This legislation would add anti-solar talking points to existing energy policy, reduce the credit that rooftop solar users earn for the power that they contribute to their local electrical grid, and allow utilities to impose new charges and minimum bills on solar customers. The legislation would provide a short window for rooftop customers to recoup their investment and create an unfair barrier for anyone who doesn’t yet own or cannot yet afford to buy rooftop solar for their home. This bill was part of an offensive by investor-owned utility companies, particularly Florida Power and Light, seeking to limit their customers’ fair energy choices. The bill passed in the Senate and House, but Floridians made their overwhelming opposition heard and pressured a veto by the Governor.
This legislation would initiate a study of brownfield sites to determine if they are viable locations for redevelopment as solar energy facilities. Brownfield sites include abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities where redevelopment is complicated by environmental contamination. The bill passed unanimously in two Senate Committees, but died in the Appropriations Committee.
This legislation would allow businesses to sue local governments for any ordinance or charter that causes at least a 15% loss in revenue for the business. This would be a threat to workers’ wages, environmental protection, and local health and taxing policy. The bill passed in the Senate and House, but Floridians made their overwhelming opposition heard and pressured a veto by the Governor.
This legislation would tip the scales against local governments in legal disputes over issues that the state controls with harsh penalties for local governments that lose court challenges. This would create an unfair advantage for the state and intimidate local governments from taking action on "pre-empted" climate or environmental justice issues that the state claims authority over. The bill passed in two Senate Committees, but died after being postponed in the House.
This legislation would set up a task force to issue recommendations for a just transition to renewable energy technologies within minority, underserved, rural, and low-income communities. The task force would suggest proactive ways to avoid solar siting issues and offer efficiency options to make energy costs more affordable for low-income communities. The bill passed unanimously in two Senate Committees, but died in the Appropriations Committee.
This legislation would establish responsibilities for employers and state agencies to implement a heat exposure safety program for outdoor workers. This program would include training on effective communication, preventive strategies, and the need for access to water, shade, and rest during working hours. This is the third time that a bill of this kind was introduced but not passed into law by the Florida legislature. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate Agriculture Committee, but died in the Health Policy Committee.
This legislation would give sugar growers more control over water stored in Lake Okeechobee, a vital source of water for the fishing businesses that work Florida Bay and for restoring the Florida Everglades. The legislation would also grant the state agriculture commissioner land-buying powers to help their large agribusiness donors while harming natural spaces and displacing current land owners. The bill passed in the Senate and House, but Floridians made their overwhelming opposition heard and pressured a veto by the Governor.
This legislation would erase every type of local government ordinance passed to establish a living wage for its workers. It would reduce non-union, City, and County workers’ wages to the state minimum. That's not enough to keep up with the rising cost of housing, electricity, and healthcare amid price hikes, extreme weather events, and climate stressors like chronic flooding. Working people deserve fair pay for their labor and sufficient income to maintain a healthy quality of life. This has been addressed by local governments across the state through living wage ordinances. The bill passed in the Senate Community Affairs Committee, but died in the Commerce and Tourism Committee.