ACTION ALERT: A Bill that could subvert efforts to block Mosaic mining


SB 1720 related to the Bert Harris Act, would place sweeping new limits on planning and growth management.  It is up for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, April 8 at 4:00 p.m.  More details and who to contact are included below.

Harris Act Bill (SB 1720) Call to Action — Calls needed by 4 p.m. on Monday, April 8
The Legislature is considering sweeping new limits on local planning and growth management!  

Please contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote “no” on SB 1720, which will be heard on Monday, April 8 at 4:00 PM.  Contact information is at the bottom of this section.

Senate Bill 1720 (Senator Lee, R-Brandon) and House Bill 1383 (Representative Grant, R-Tampa) would make far-reaching changes to the Harris Act.

The Harris Act allows property owners to sue local governments for compensation when a local government rule inordinately burdens that owner’s real estate. The change proposed in these bills would apply any settlement between a local government and a landowner in a Harris Act claim to all similarly situated landowners.

That change would essentially cause a successful Harris Act claim to invalidate local government zoning and planning rules. But a successful Harris Act claim doesn’t mean that the city or county rule wasn’t in the public interest. The successful claim just means the rule cost a landowner some profit.

Essentially, this change elevates landowner’s interests above all other considerations. Whereas the current Harris Act requires local governments to pay landowners for the right to regulate, these changes add another outcome: voiding the regulations!

In 1995, the Legislature adopted the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act (also called the Harris Act). The Harris Act grants monetary relief to property owners whose land is inordinately burdened by regulation. The Harris Act “provides a cause of action for governmental actions that may not rise to the level of a taking under the State Constitution or the United States Constitution.” Fla. Stat. § 70.001(9).

1000 Friends believes that local government planning improves Florida’s communities. We oppose this broad change to the Harris Act because it will invalidate city and county planning rules.

Please urge the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote “no” on SB 1720 because these sweeping changes to the Harris Act could invalidate local government planning and zoning rules:

Chair: Senator David Simmons (R),, (850) 487-5009

Vice Chair: Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez (D),, (850) 487-5037

Senator Dennis Baxley (R),, (850) 487-5012

Senator Audrey Gibson (D),, (850) 487-5006

Senator Travis Hutson (R),, (850) 487-5007

Senator Kelli Stargel (R),, (850) 487-5022