The Florida House on Thursday passed House Bill 993, which in a previous incarnation carried an amendment by Rep. Christ Dorworth, R-Heathrow, that would have given the governor and members of the cabinet sweeping authority to repeal rules under an expedited “summary process.”
The latest version, which is now headed to Gov. Rick Scott for final approval, does not include the repeal provisions. Dorworth said those changes faced “constitutional issues,” so they were removed before the measure got to the floor.
Scott will now have to use normal procedures to strike the 1,683 rules identified for repeal under a review begun under executive order 11-01, which he issued when he took office. The order has since been succeeded by another, and the rules freeze is being challenged before the Florida Supreme Court. Scott has until May 12 to respond to the suit.
Lawmakers tacked a different controversial provision onto the bill, which will make it more difficult for people to challenge a variety of envrionmental permitting decisions. Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, who allowed the measure to be struck from an omnibus environmental bill, said the change wasn’t made for any “nefarious” purposes. The House was just accepting changes made by the Senate.