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  • Writer's pictureFlorida Trust

Week Five of Legislative Session Recap

The 2023 Florida Legislative Session is more than halfway through!


Lego model of Florida's Historic Capitol Building

This week, the Florida Legislature is taking a recess from Thursday, April 6 to Friday, April 7 in observance of Good Friday and Easter weekend. Consequently, the committees' agendas for week six are not available until early next week. When it is available, we will promptly provide relevant committee meeting information for our watched legislation.

We are hopeful that there will be continued action towards our advocacy goals next week!

 

Creating a State Historic Tax Credit


This week, we want to give special thanks to Representative Jessica Baker the

prime co-sponsor of House Bill 499, The Main Street Historic Tourism and Revitalization Act, and Representative Dana Trabulsy for signing on as a cosponsor!


In February, Representative Baker attended the Union Terminal Warehouse Tour in Jacksonville.

As a Representative of Duval County, she had a first-hand look at the power of the Federal Historic Tax Credit in her district's county. Representative Baker is an essential player in promulgating a Florida historic tax credit as she witnessed its ability to revive communities and restore historic structures. As the primary cosponsor, Representative Baker serves as another example of the bipartisan spirit toward historic preservation in our great state of Florida. We are so grateful for our Representative's support and initiative to protect Florida's heritage, historic places and Main Street Communities.


Many thanks to Representative Baker and Representative Trabulsy for championing this important legislation!

Representative Jessica Baker (R-17th) Representative Dana Trabulsy (R-84th)

 

House Bill 499, The Main Street Historic Tourism and Revitalization Act, is still currently awaiting action in the House Ways & Means Committee. Its companion bill SB 288, has been reported favorable by both the Senate Commerce and Tourism and Finance and Tax Committee. It will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.


Please reach out to your local lawmakers, or any you may know, and encourage them to support this bill. The more interest and support it receives from other lawmakers, the more likely it is for a State Historic Tax Credit to be passed. You can find your lawmakers here.

 

Protect Florida's Abandoned Cemeteries


Senate Bill 430, Abandoned and Historic Cemeteries, is waiting to be put on the Appropriations Committee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development. The committee is scheduled to meet on April 12 at 8:30 a.m. To date, no bills have been placed on the committee's agenda. Please reach out to Senator Ed Hooper, the committee chair, and ask him to put this bill on next week's agenda!


On March 31, the companion bill, House Bill 49, moved favorably through its third committee hearing in the State Affairs Committee. The bill is currently waiting to be placed on the Special Order Calendar and receive its Second Reading. It is paramount that HB 49 is given its Second Reading prior to April 30. Per Rule 10.18, after the 55th day of a regular session, no House bills on second reading may be taken up and considered by the House. Please urge the Rules and Policy Committee to send House Bill 49 to the House floor for its Second Reading!

 

FY2024 Historic Preservation Special Category Grant List


Check out our FY2024 Historic Preservation Special Category Grant booklet and explore the 33 statewide projects requesting grant funding. The Florida Division of Historic Resources Historic Preservation Grant Program provides funding to preserve significant historic and archaeological resources, to assist major archaeological excavations or research projects and to assist in the development and fabrication of major museum exhibits that will promote knowledge and appreciation of the history of Florida.


Showing your support for Florida's historic places is easy! Simply reach out to your representatives and share with them how important providing for Florida's history is to you.


  1. Call or email your state representative and senator. Find their contact information here.

  2. If you'd like, copy and paste the preservation grant messaging and ask below.

Click here to view the preservation grant messaging and ask to send your state representative

Florida's historic preservation grant program gives Florida's historic places a future. I am asking you to please support historic places in your community, and statewide, by fully funding the FY2024 Historic Preservation Special Category Grant list.

Over 137 years ago, a Resilient Little Red Schoolhouse was the first oasis of education in southeast Florida and needs help in preserving its educational legacy. A 132-year-old Opera House in Monticello needs structural support to stay standing. Both of these places are on the FY2024 Special Category Historic Preservation Grant list, which, if funded, could provide a future for 33 important pieces of Florida's unique history. Last year, the FY2023 Special Category Historic Preservation Grant list was fully funded and many important pieces of Florida's unique history were finally prioritized and protected. This year, we are asking that funding continues to assist in reviving Florida's most vulnerable places. ​

The Florida Division of Historical Resources Historic Preservation Grant program is one of the most significant ways the state protects our irreplaceable historic places, strengthens communities and supports local economies. The purpose of these grants is to provide funding to assist major local, regional and statewide efforts to preserve significant historic and archaeological resources, to assist major archaeological excavations or research projects, and assist in the development and fabrication of major museum exhibits that will promote knowledge and appreciation of the history of Florida.

The Florida Historical Commission reviews and ranks Special Category grants to create the annual list, which is then approved by the Florida Secretary of State before being sent to the legislature to determine funding. ​This year, fully fund the Historic Preservation Special Category Grant list, and give Florida's historic places a future.

 

Local Regulation of Nonconforming or Unsafe Structures


Senator Avila introducing SB 1346 to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources

On Tuesday, April 4, Senate Bill 1346, passed its second committee at the Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources. Senator Avila proposed a strike-all amendment that expands the legislation to reach many more flood zones, which increases the potential negative impact on our coastal historic communities. The bill, as amended by the strike-all, was passed unanimously.


Its companion bill, House Bill 1317, the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act, was voted on favorably at its second stop at the Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee. The bill is now referred to the Commerce Committee where it is waiting to be put on the agenda.


The Florida Trust team is continuing to work with preservation stakeholders to pass an amendment to this legislation that will protect Florida's history, heritage and historic structures. We are grateful to be working alongside passionate advocates from St. Augustine to Miami to members of the National Trust. The fight is not over for this legislation!

In addition to us, here are other organizations and groups that concerned with this legislation:

City of Coral Gables

City of Fort Myers

City of Miami Beach

City of Palm Beach

City of Fort Myers

City of St Augustine

Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board Dade Heritage Trust

Florida League of Cities

Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables

Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board

Miami- Dade County

Miami Design Preservation League

National Trust for Historic Preservation

One Thousand Friends of Florida

Palm Beach Art Deco Society Palm Beach Preservation Foundation

The Villagers

Read more about Florida Trust legislative initiatives in 2023, learn what the proposed historic tax credit can do for your community or sign up for our advocacy newsletter!

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