Update: A spokeswoman for Sen. Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, has emailed to say the vote has been recalled because Rich did in fact object to the bill being brought for a vote. The bill may come up for a vote tomorrow.
Last Friday, the Florida Senate drew criticism for sneaking growth management provisions into a budget bill, which would allow lawmakers to bypass the normal legislative process to roll back 25 years of environmental regulations. Members responded that they had the votes to pass the bill normally. Looks like they were right.
The Senate approved S.B. 1122 30-9, in four minutes, without debate. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, managed to ask a couple of questions, but nobody objected as Senate President Mike Haridopolos rolled the measure over for approval. Nobody sounded a voice of caution about the weight of the decision lawmakers were about to make.
Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, tacked on a few amendments. Under one of them, projects such as hotels and rock quarries could no longer be considered “developments of regional impact.” Another eliminates comprehensive growth planning at the state level for transportation and other considerations.
The bill is now headed back to the House for another vote, before it goes to the governor. Florida’s growth management laws, meanwhile, are headed back to the 1980s.