Ahead of the 2020 Legislative Session, Senator José Javier Rodríguez (D-Miami) has filed an early suite of bills aimed at Florida’s response to climate change. As he did during the entirety of the 2018 and 2019 Sessions, Rodríguez will wear rain boots with the hashtag #ActOnClimateFL during the 2020 Session that starts in January in order to highlight the urgency of climate legislation.
Sen. Rodríguez said:
“Responding to climate change comes down to looking out for everyday Floridians since it affects every aspect of our lives from our health to the economy. The legislation I am proposing is all aimed at making sure the State of Florida moves quickly and boldly to take climate seriously, to protect and prepare our residents and to make sure we’re doing our part not to contribute to its causes.”
The initial series of bills related to climate change are as follows:
- Public Financing of Construction Projects, SB 178, if passed would require that state-funded infrastructure projects near the coast be preceded by a sea-level impact studies. The bill is identical to last year’s SB 78 (2019), which was unanimously approved by two Senate committees, and a House companion is anticipated.
- Climate Health Planning Report, SB 278, if passed would require an annual report from the Department of Health assessing the human health impacts posed by various aspects of climate change with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.
- Climate Fiscal Responsibility Report, SB 280, if passed would require the Economic Estimating Conference to annually study the effect on the impact of short-term shocks and long-term trends related to climate change on Florida’s credit rating, bonding capacity and tax base.
- Renewable Energy, SB 256, and its counterpart HB 97 (Rep. Eskamani) would require all of Florida’s energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2050 and establish renewable energy standards for Florida’s utilities.
- Carbon Farming Act, SB 286, if passed would give farmers financial incentives for climate-smart practices such as carbon sequestration.
- Private Property Rights, SB 288, a legislation similar to 2019’s SB 222 that would allow businesses to generate and sell electricity from solar energy.
Determined to see significant action this year, Sen. Rodriguez and colleagues are not done either. He is also working on legislation aimed at generating savings from state government energy efficiency to fund our response to climate impacts; and working with Agriculture Commissioner Fried on her agency’s energy and resiliency priorities.