Pelham blasts growth bill; legislators miffed
In a strongly worded statement on the eve of a House debate of a major growth management bill, Department of Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham warned lawmakers that the proposal would "substantially undermine Florida's growth management laws.''
The bill was temporarily postponed this morning on the House floor. But Pelham has consistently said he supports the Senate's growth management bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett, SB 360. But he has been on record opposing a new bill by Bennett, SB 362, that includes many of the controversial provisions of the House's growth management plan. Pelham reminded members of his dissatisfaction with the House approach but, word is, legislators are steamed. The governor, who has stood by Pelham during most of this debate, is reportedly not real happy about him releasing the statement. More later.
Here's Pelham's statement:
"Last week, the House voted in favor of HB/CS/CS/SB360, which substantially revised SB360. This week, the Senate is reported to be moving forward with Senate Bill 362 which closely mirrors CS/CS/SB360.
"SB362 and HB/CS/CS/SB360 contain numerous provisions which will substantially undermine Florida’s growth management laws. Among other things, these provisions open up the state’s major rural areas to unchecked development, and eliminate transportation concurrency and the DRI review process in major portions of the state without providing any alternative means of addressing transportation and other extrajurisdictional impacts.
"After careful evaluation of SB362 and HB/CS/CS/SB360 and the many concerns raised about these bills, the Department has concluded that the bills do not constitute good public policy and will seriously undermine Florida’s growth management laws. Therefore, the Department opposes SB362 and HB/CS/CS/SB360."