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Veto Clock is Winding Down


TALLAHASSEE  Today is the final day for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto legislation approved in the state's 2023 legislative session. Citizens and activists are eagerly awaiting to see whether the governor will respond to veto petitions on several key pieces of legislation.

Chief among them is SB 540, which was lobbied for by Big Development. The controversial legislation is aimed at eliminating the ability of citizens and organizations to challenge development decisions by making unsuccessful legal challenges subject to the legal costs of developers and local governments.

Environmental group 1000 Friends of Florida organized a widespread petition urging the governor to veto the bill, which the group said would signal a death knell to citizens' ability to legally challenge amendments to their communities comprehensive plans.

Of local interest, CS/HB 947, filed by Rep. Will Robinson (R-Bradenton) and passed by the legislature, would allow Manatee County to permit a parking garage on Anna Maria Island without meeting the Land Development Codes and Comprehensive Plans approved by the City of Holmes Beach. Multiple petition drives were organized, asking DeSantis not to violate home rule and allow the decision to remain with the city.

The legislation coincided with a disagreement between Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge and the City of Holmes Beach after the city refused the commissioner's demands to increase public parking spaces, despite having the most public spaces of the three island cities.


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