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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/CS/SB 1078 — Soil and Water Conservation Districts

by Appropriations Committee; Ethics and Elections Committee; Environment and Natural Resources Committee; and Senator Hutson

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Environment and Natural Resources Committee (EN)

The bill contains procedures for subdivision of new soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs).

The bill allows one SWCD supervisor to be elected from each subdivision, and provides for staggered terms. The bill requires SWCD supervisors to be eligible voters who reside within the district and who are actively engaged, or retired after ten years of being engaged in, agriculture; are employed by an agricultural producer; or own, lease, or are actively employed on agricultural land. Candidates will be required to file a statement affirming they meet the qualifications to serve as a supervisor.

The bill requires all five supervisors of the governing body of each district meet at least once a year in a public meeting. The bill provides for automatic dissolution of districts if they should fail to meet as required. The bill dissolves the Baker and Martin SWCDs.

The bill provides that each supervisor shall be elected at the 2022 general election. It provides that by January 1, 2023, an SWCD in existence on July 1, 2022 must be subdivided in the manner provided by the bill. The bill contains election procedures for existing SWCDs.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.

Vote: Senate 21-16; House 77-39