From: Dan Peterson, Director,
Center for Property Rights,
The James Madison Institute

POLICY PRIORITY UPDATE 
Federal Issues
In August, JMI’s Center for Property Rights released a Policy Brief titled “Waters of the United States: A Case Study in Government Abuse.” View that report here.A few weeks ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit released a nationwide Order of Stay against implementation of the “Waters of the U.S.” Rule. This means the proposed EPA rule will not be applied until it is re-litigated and approved in the court system.This is good news for all property owners in Florida, especially in light of research conducted by the Florida Farm Bureau (FFB). The FFB has taken maps of areas of Florida revealing the extent of Florida land that would be under EPA jurisdiction. Click here to see their maps and findings:New maps show the final rule’s dramatic impact on Florida.State IssuesCommittee weeks for the 2016 Legislative Session (January/February) have begun. JMI’s Center for Property Rights has several issues on which to focus in the name of good public policy.First, Sen. Charlie Dean will be re-filing his water policy legislation. Last year, it passed in the Senate but, died in the House. Various stakeholders and experts have been looking at the bill. This week, the bill (SB552) will be heard in the Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.Second, funding from Amendment 1 will be allocated again this Session. At a recent forum on water, Sen. Alan Hays, chairman of the Senate General Government Appropriations Committee, and other elected officials, defended last year’s allocations saying they saw no reason to change this year. This is good news for Florida because it means government owned lands will be a priority as opposed to buying more land.The Center released an Issue Commentary back in June titled, “Priority Restoration Projects Deserve Amendment 1 Funding.” Click here to view.Third, Rep. Keith Perry will re-file a bill requiring all local (county and municipality) comprehensive plans to include a property rights element. This will help to ensure the rights of property owners are given consideration in local decisions and disputes.Finally, the Center is also standing up for the property rights of business entities. Recently, I appeared before a senate committee to address the easement rights of a telecom. A telecom had been granted an easement by a property owner. A municipality purchased that property and made the claim that the granted easement had been extinguished. Not so. Easements travel with a property when it is sold to another and must be acknowledged and honored. The legislation before the committee (SB 416) will clarify this situation. And, clarity is always good public policy. My column on the topic was recently published in Sunshine State News and can be read here.If you need a speaker on property rights to visit your area, please email JMI’s Events Director Alyssa Gill at agill@jamesmadison.org to book.JMI’s Center for Property Rights will continue to keep you informed on many of these issues as the political process unfolds.Sincerely yours,
Dan Peterson

Dan Peterson, Director, Center for Property Rights at The James Madison Institute
2878 South Osceola Avenue | Orlando, FL 32806
(850) 407-758-2491
www.jamesmadison.org
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