Legislative session ends with good progress made

PHOTO CAPTION: 

State Sen. Charlie Dean

State Sen. Charlie DeanSession has come to an end! I am very excited by the progress we have made this year in the Florida Legislature.

 

I was proud to pass bills which protect Florida’s springs, honor our veterans, protect our state employees, and enable our counties to better serve their residents, along with numerous other issues.

 

In addition to the work on the bills, I was also excited to be able to fund new schools for Dixie and Levy Counties, items which will have a direct impact on those counties.

 

In the budget, as well, I was thrilled to work to fund new prison facilities in Dixie and Baker Counties, along with $30 million which will go directly to our springs and projects protecting and preserving these natural treasures for future generations to come.

 

However, I could not do this without your support and input throughout the entirety of this Legislative Session. Thank you for your visits, your phone calls, your emails and your letters.

Without your input, it is impossible for me to know your concerns and issues. Thank you, as always, for being involved and engaged in the Legislative process.

 

It is my honor to serve you in the Florida Senate and I am already looking forward to next year’s Session. If I can ever be of service to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

 

Sincerely,
Sen. Charles S. Dean

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This Legislative Session, Senator Dean passed 12 bills through the Legislature:

* Senate Bill 106: For county employees' benefits

Senate Bill 106, Relating to County Employees, passed the Senate by a vote of 40-0 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 116-0. The bill, requested by Columbia County, provides clarity to counties relating to the types of benefits they can offer to employees.

* Senate Resolution 382: For Springs Protection Awareness

Senate Resolution 382, Relating to Springs Protection Awareness Month, was adopted by the Florida Senate on April 3. The resolution recognizes April as Springs Protection Awareness Month in the State of Florida.

* Senate Bill 414: For animal medical researchers

Senate Bill 414, Relating to Public Records/Animal Medical Researchers, passed the Senate by a vote of 35-0 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 115-1. The bill creates a public record exemption for the personal identifying information of those who work for public research institutions and conduct animal medical research.

* Senate Bill 724: For military veterans

Senate Bill 724, Relating to Military Veterans, passed the Senate with a vote of 37-0 and the House of Representatives with a vote of 113-0. The bill changes the terms Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era to Korean War and Vietnam War, respectively. The bill also creates the Combat Medical Badge license plate for those who have been awarded the badge.

“As a veteran myself, I am proud to pass this bill which better honors the sacrifices made by our veterans in Korea and Vietnam. These men and women protected our freedom and I am honored to have a small part in recognizing them for all they have done for us,” Senator Dean said.

* Senate Bill 1024: For off-road vehicles on state trails

Senate Bill 1024, Relating to Off-Highway Vehicles, passed the Senate by a vote of 38-0 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 83-34. The bill revises definitions for Off-Highway Vehicles to allow current models to be used legally on authorized state trails.

* Senate Bill 1126: For boating safety

Senate Bill 1126, Relating to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, passed the Senate by a vote of 40-0 and the House Representatives by a vote of 111-3. The bill provides boating safety courses can be taken online or in a class, repeals fees on some licenses, and extends a mooring pilot program until July 1, 2017.

* Senate Resolution 1220: For the Trenton High School football program

Senate Bill 1220, Relating to Trenton High School Tigers/Class 1A State Championship, was adopted on March 26. The resolution honors the Trenton High School Tigers football team for winning the Class 1A State Football Championship, the first State Football Championship in Trenton High School history.

“I was excited to be able to honor this great football team,” said Senator Dean. “These students represented themselves, their school, and their community with class and I was proud to be able to recognize their outstanding achievements. I look forward to many more championships in the near future, and continued success.”

* Senate Bill 1414: For Ocala to sell alcohol at special Downtown events

Senate Bill 1414, Relating to City of Ocala, Marion County, passed the Senate with a vote of 40-0 and the House of Representatives with a vote of 114-1. The bill, requested by the City of Ocala, will allow alcohol to be sold at additional special Downtown events when the City Council approves a request by a bona fide non-profit.

* Senate Bill 1430: For the Citrus County Hospital Board

Senate Bill 1430, Relating to Citrus County Hospital Board, Citrus County, passed the Senate with a vote of 40-0 and the House of Representatives with a vote of 118-1. The bill, requested by the Citrus County Hospital Board, creates a community-wide trust to oversee the proceeds from the proposed lease of Citrus Memorial Hospital.

* Senate Bill 1582: For petroleum contamination

Senate Bill 1582, Relating to Rehabilitation of Petroleum Contamination Sites, passed the Senate by a vote of 40-0 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 112-0. The bill requires a competitive bidding process for the Petroleum Restoration Program.

* Senate Bill 1674: For competitive bidding of petroleum

Senate Bill 1674, Relating to Ratification of Rules of the Department of Environmental Protection, passed the Senate by a vote of 39-0 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 115-1. The bill approves rules issued by the Department of Environmental Protection relating to the competitive bidding process for the Petroleum Restoration Program.

* Senate Bill 1748: For minimum flows, levels for water bodies

Senate Bill 1748, Relating to Establishing Minimum Water Flows and Levels for Water Bodies, passed the Senate by a vote of 39-0 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 117-0. The bill ratifies the proposed Minimum Water Flows and Levels rules for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers, protecting more than 70 springs when the rule is approved and implemented.