TALLAHASSEE — The business lobby quest to repeal Florida’s once-heralded growth management law just got a little easier as the clock winds down on the lawmaking session.
As part of the ongoing budget negotiations between House and Senate Republicans, Senate leaders agreed Friday to include the House’s growth-management repeal within the larger $67 billion-plus budget.
That means lawmakers will have to approve the biggest change in growth laws in more than two decades as part of the process of approving the spending plan, which the Legislature is constitutionally required to pass each year.
“It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t perfect. But it’s done,” Senate budget negotiator Don Gaetz pronounced after a noontime meeting nearly broke
down over the growth management disagreement.
While the House has already passed a full repeal of the growth-management act, which was enacted to control sprawl and require developers to provide roads, infrastructure and schools when they build new housing and shopping centers, the Senate had been taking a more measured approach.
But after House leaders agreed to add amendments to their growth bill offered by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, the Senate agreed to take the House bill.
“I’m not happy about the way this has been done,” Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said, complaining that senators should have the option of voting on the growth repeal itself, like House members did.
“I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t like the product.”