Senate Bill sb0098

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    Florida Senate - 2005                                    SB 98

    By Senator Saunders


  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to water resources; creating

  3         the 2020 Water Study Commission; providing for

  4         appointment and qualification of members;

  5         providing duties of the commission; providing

  6         for public hearings; providing for an executive

  7         director and for technical advisory committees;

  8         requiring reports; providing duties of the

  9         Department of Environmental Protection;

10         providing an appropriation; providing an

11         effective date.


13         WHEREAS, the management of the water resources of the

14  state is critical to preserving this state's unique natural

15  systems and to protecting the health and welfare of the people

16  of the state, and

17         WHEREAS, the Legislature has enacted into law a series

18  of water resource planning and regulatory programs aimed at

19  protecting, preserving, restoring, and enhancing the state's

20  water resources, and

21         WHEREAS, the Legislature has also enacted laws to

22  encourage conservation, the efficient use of water, and the

23  development of cost-effective alternative water supply

24  technologies in order to minimize dependence upon historic

25  water supply sources, and

26         WHEREAS, despite these efforts, the future availability

27  of water necessary to maintain the state's natural systems,

28  and to meet the future demands of the state's agricultural and

29  urban areas, remains in question, and

30         WHEREAS, regular evaluation of the Florida Water Plan

31  and district or regional water supply plans, including the


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    Florida Senate - 2005                                    SB 98

 1  alternative water supply development provisions, is necessary

 2  to determine whether state goals are being attained and to

 3  ensure that necessary revisions are prepared through

 4  coordinated action by state and regional agencies and local

 5  governments, and

 6         WHEREAS, local and regional governments throughout the

 7  state repeatedly request funding assistance from the state to

 8  address water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure

 9  needs, and

10         WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that there is a need to

11  comprehensively consider how the multibillion dollar water

12  resources infrastructure needs are to be met in order to

13  preserve and enhance the quality of the state's water

14  resources and protect the health and welfare of the people of

15  the state, NOW, THEREFORE,


17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:


19         Section 1.  (1)  The 2020 Water Study Commission is

20  created. The commission shall be composed of 17 voting

21  members, 7 of whom are appointed by the Governor, 5 of whom

22  are appointed by the President of the Senate, and 5 of whom

23  are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

24  In addition, the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Secretary of

25  Community Affairs, and the Secretary of Environmental

26  Protection or their designees shall serve as ex officio,

27  nonvoting members of the commission. The Governor's

28  appointments must include at least one appointment from each

29  of the following interest groups:

30         (a)  Business interests, such as development or real

31  estate businesses.


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    Florida Senate - 2005                                    SB 98

 1         (b)  Agricultural interests, such as farming, forestry,

 2  aquaculture, or silvaculture.

 3         (c)  Environmental interests, such as resource-based

 4  conservation and environmental quality or conservation groups.

 5         (d)  Community representatives, such as citizen groups,

 6  not-for-profit community associations, citizen planners, or

 7  affordable housing groups.

 8         (e)  Local and regional governments, such as

 9  municipalities, counties, special districts, metropolitan

10  planning organizations, water management districts, or

11  regional planning councils.

12         (f)  Water resources management and planning

13  specialists, such as professional planners, attorneys,

14  engineers, or architects.


16  The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of

17  Representatives shall each select one appointee from five of

18  the six categories listed in paragraphs (a)-(f) and, in

19  addition, shall each appoint two members from their respective

20  chambers of the Legislature to serve on the commission as ex

21  officio, nonvoting members. Appointments under this subsection

22  shall be made by July 1, 2005, and the first meeting of the

23  commission shall be held no later than September 1, 2005. The

24  chair of the commission shall be elected from the voting

25  members by the majority of the voting members present at the

26  commission's first meeting. Any vacancy occurring in the

27  membership of the commission shall be filled in the same

28  manner as the original appointment.

29         (2)  Each voting member of the commission is entitled

30  to one vote, and action of the commission requires a

31  two-thirds vote of the voting members present. Action of the


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    Florida Senate - 2005                                    SB 98

 1  commission may be taken only at a meeting at which a majority

 2  of the voting commission members are present.

 3         (3)  The commission shall review the operation and

 4  implementation of this state's water resource management and

 5  planning laws, including, but not limited to, chapters 163,

 6  373, and 403, Florida Statutes, for the purpose of formulating

 7  specific recommendations relating to:

 8         (a)  Funding for the cleanup of all the water bodies

 9  that have been determined by the Department of Environmental

10  Protection pursuant to section 403.067, Florida Statutes, to

11  be impaired;

12         (b)  Identifying regulatory and financial incentives to

13  local governments to increase the amount of water utility

14  collection fees dedicated to the implementation of

15  conservation, efficient water use, and water-reclamation

16  projects;

17         (c)  Simplifying and streamlining permitting processes

18  at both the state and federal levels for alternative water

19  supply technologies;

20         (d)  Increasing water reuse, including resolving

21  disputes relating to determining the feasibility of

22  infrastructure financing and development and the colocation of

23  power generating facilities;

24         (e)  Identifying the appropriate role of the state in

25  assisting local governments in implementing alternative water

26  supply projects, including, without limitation, providing

27  additional financial and technical assistance;

28         (f)  Promoting cost-effective agricultural water

29  conservation and efficiency practices, including providing

30  long-term funding support for the Urban Irrigation Laboratory

31  Programs; and


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    Florida Senate - 2005                                    SB 98

 1         (g)  Providing public education about, and increasing

 2  public participation in, programs that promote the protection

 3  and conservation of water resources, including those that

 4  increase efficiency in the various water uses.

 5         (4)  At least six public hearings must be held by the

 6  commission in different regions of the state to solicit public

 7  input as to how residents want the state, regional agencies,

 8  and municipalities and counties to provide for the protection

 9  and enhancement of the state's water resources.

10         (5)  The commission shall, by February 1, 2006, provide

11  to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of

12  Representatives, and the Governor an interim written report of

13  the specific recommendations that may be formulated at that

14  time. A final written report shall be provided to the same

15  officers by February 1, 2007, with recommendations for all the

16  issues identified in paragraphs (3)(a)-(g), including

17  legislative recommendations.

18         (6)  The commission may establish and appoint any

19  necessary technical advisory committees. Commission members,

20  and the members of any technical advisory committees that are

21  appointed, shall not receive remuneration for their services,

22  but commission and committee members other than public

23  officers and employees are entitled to be reimbursed by the

24  Department of Environmental Protection for travel or per diem

25  expenses incurred while carrying out official business of the

26  commission in accordance with chapter 112, Florida Statutes.

27  Public officers and employees shall be reimbursed by their

28  respective agencies in accordance with chapter 112, Florida

29  Statutes.

30         (7)  The commission may select an executive director

31  who shall report to the commission and serve at its pleasure.


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    Florida Senate - 2005                                    SB 98

 1  The Department of Environmental Protection shall provide other

 2  staff and consultants after consultation with the commission.

 3  Funding for these expenses shall be provided through the

 4  Department of Environmental Protection.

 5         (8)  All agencies under the control of the Governor are

 6  directed, and all other agencies are requested, to render

 7  assistance and cooperation to the commission.

 8         (9)  The commission shall continue in existence until

 9  its objectives are achieved, but not later than September 1,

10  2007.

11         Section 2.  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated from

12  the General Revenue Fund to the Department of Environmental

13  Protection for the purpose of implementing this act.

14         Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

15  law.


17            *****************************************

18                          SENATE SUMMARY

19    Creates the 2020 Water Study Commission, composed of
      appointees of the Governor, the President of the Senate,
20    and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and
      nonvoting, ex officio members, to study state water
21    resource management and planning laws and make
      recommendations with respect to water resource protection
22    and use. Requires a final report with recommendations by
      February 1, 2007.










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