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The Florida Senate

CS/HB 7091 — Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

by State Affairs Committee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; and Rep. Pigman (CS/CS/CS/SB 1630 by Community Affairs Committee; Transportation Committee; Agriculture Committee; and Senator Montford)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Agriculture Committee (AG)

The bill addresses issues relating to agriculture and certain powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (department). Specifically the bill: 

  • Reorganizes ch. 570, F.S., the department’s general authorizing statute, into five separate parts;
  • Standardizes penalty language in the new part V which is cross-referenced in the various statutes enforced by the department;
  • Removes obsolete language to ensure accuracy;
  • Under certain conditions, allows property owners to file late for an agricultural classification for assessment purposes;
  • States that lands classified as agricultural and participating in a dispersed water storage program shall continue to be classified as agricultural;
  • Provides private landowners participating in a water storage program with an option to establish a baseline condition determining the extent of wetlands;
  • Adds a representative of the department to the Joint Task Force on State Agency Law Enforcement Communications;
  • Revises requirements for registration and distribution of discontinued pesticides;
  • Updates the department’s certification and licensure processes to include applying online;
  • Expands the authority of the Florida Forest Service, under certain conditions, to grant leases, permits, privileges, and concessions for the use of state forest lands to include any lands leased by or assigned to the Florida Forest Service for management purposes;
  • Authorizes the department to impose civil penalties for violations relating to private security, investigative, and repossession services;
  • Removes security bond and certificate of deposit requirements for fertilizer license applicants, since the department has sufficient authority to impose fines or to revoke licensure for licensees who do not pay inspection fees;
  • Adds additional criteria to determine whether commercial feed is adulterated;
  • Simplifies the information required to register as a seed dealer;
  • Revises food permit requirements, associated fees, and renewal procedures;
  • Exempts manually operated vending stands serviced by the Department of Education’s Division of Blind Services from permitting requirements;
  • Authorizes the department to close a food facility if it is found to pose an immediate danger or threat to public health, safety, and welfare;
  • Authorizes the department to inspect aquaculture facilities and to analyze their food samples;
  • Repeals a pilot program and permit for the use of Australian pine trees as windbreaks for citrus groves; and
  • Creates new requirements for qualifying as a “non-dealer” in limited sales of dressed poultry.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2014.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 112-0