Winter Springs Legislative Update

This year the Winter Springs Community Association has been proud to have sponsored federal and state legislative updates from US Congressman Cory Mills, Representative Rachel Plakon, and Senator Jason Brodeur. We are grateful to all of our representatives for their work on behalf of our city residents. Below is a recap of Senator Brodeur’s presentation and a comprehensive summary of various laws and appropriations affecting Seminole County. Thank you to Senator Brodeur’s staff for this information:


In the 2023 General Appropriations Act, SB 2500, Senator Brodeur secured more than $44 million in state funding for fifty-one (51) of his Local Funding Initiative Requests. Twelve (12) projects were vetoed by Governor DeSantis, totaling in thirty-nine (39) projects receiving funding.

Environment & General Government – $6.36 Million

  • Seminole County Lake Jesup Watershed Project – $1,000,000
  • Seminole County Septic to Sewer: Phase 1 Wekiva Priority – $1,000,000
  • Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens Security Enhancement Project – $185,000
  • Oviedo High Water/Wildland Fire Apparatus – $275,000
  • Oviedo Wastewater/Septic to Sewer Master Study – $250,000
  • Sanford Nutrient Reduction at Lake Jesup and Lake Monroe – $2,900,000
  • Sanford – Orlando Sanford Int’l Airport Stormwater Management System Upgrades – $750,000

Health and Human Services – $1.45 Million

  • Seminole County Hope and Healing Center (Opioid/Addiction Recovery Partnership) (Seminole County) – $500,000
  • Operation G.R.O.W. (Seminole County) – $348,618
  • IMPOWER/The Grove (Seminole County) – $600,000

Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development – $1.14 Million

  • Five Points Village: Workforce Development Housing – $495,000
  • West Orange Trail Extension (Phase 4) Welch & Wekiva Springs Rd. – $640,080

Education – $6.98 Million

  • Seminole State College – Student Services Center – Altamonte Springs – $377,665
  • Seminole State College – Workforce Building B – $4,376,555
  • SCPS – Health Careers Pipeline Modernization – $2,000,000
  • Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens Education Support Services Building – $225,000

Criminal and Civil Justice – $67,680

  • Winter Springs Police Worn Body Cameras – $67,680 (Smith)

HB 1: Education

  • Expands eligibility for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program and Family Empowerment Scholarship Program for education options to any student that is a resident of Florida and is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a public school.
  • Retains the priority for FTC and FES-EO scholarships for those students whose household income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and creates a second priority for households with income not exceeding 400 percent of the FPL.
  • Increases the number of students served under the Family Empowerment Scholarship for students with disabilities.

HB 837: Civil Remedies

  • Repeals Florida’s one-way attorney fees for insurance cases, while maintaining that a jury has the ability to award attorney fees based on who is actually found at fault.
  • Provides that a contingency fee multiplier for attorney fee awards are only in rare and exceptional circumstances decided by a judge.
  • Limits the insurer’s bad faith liability when there are multiple claimants in a single case if the insurer pays the total amount of the policy limits at the outset to the court through an interpleader action or, through binding arbitration.

SB 102: Housing

  • SB 102, cited as the “Live Local Act” is comprehensive legislation aimed at ensuring all citizens have access to affordable housing that costs less than 30% of their income. This bill completely revises Florida’s State Housing Strategy and shifts our state’s approach to affordable housing by emphasizing homeownership and rental assistance for not only low income but moderate income individuals and families.
  • Creates the “Missing Middle” Property tax exemption for newly constructed (within the last 5 years) or rehabilitated developments that participate in setting aside affordable and workforce housing units.
  • Appropriates $100 million in nonrecurring funds from the General Revenue Fund to implement the Hometown Heroes Program.

SB 250: Natural Emergencies

  • Requires the Division of Emergency Management to post on its website a model debris removal contract for local governments to use, prioritize technical assistance and training to fiscally constrained counties, and encourages local governments to create emergency financial plans in preparation for major natural disasters.
  • Authorizes local governments to create specialized building inspection teams following a natural disaster, encourages inter-local agreements for additional building inspection services during a state of emergency, and makes the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program a revolving program with $50 million.
  • Directs the Division of Emergency Management to administer a revolving loan program for local government hazard mitigation projects, funded with $11 million of state and federal funds.

SB 7052: Insurer Accountability

  • Prohibits authorized insurers from canceling a property insurance policy until after the repairs are complete.
  • Provides that violations for improper claims handling practices are subject to fines being doubled.
  • Provides OIR the regulatory tools to determine whether an insurer’s operations are a threat to its policyholders, creditors, or the general public and provides OIR the ability to take action to ensure that the insurer begin improving its financial condition.

SB 106: Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail Network

  • Enhances the planning, coordination, and marketing of the state’s bicycle and pedestrian trail system and the Wildlife Corridor.
  • Requires the FDOT to erect uniform signage identifying trails that are part of the SUN Trail Network and to submit a periodic report on the status of the SUN Trail Network.
  • Increases recurring funding for the SUN Trail Network from $25 million to $50 million and provides a non-recurring appropriation of $200 million to plan, design, and construct the SUN Trail Network.

HB 341: 911 Public Safety Telecommunicator Certifications

  • Increases the timeframe, from 180 days to six years, within which a 911 public safety telecommunicator (PST) certificate holder may renew an involuntarily inactive PST certificate before said certificate permanently expires.

HB 365: Controlled Substances

  • Revises the causation requirement for the first-degree murder offense of “death caused by the unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.”
  • Makes it a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony (second or subsequent offense) for an adult to unlawfully distribute heroin, fentanyl, fentanyl-related substances, and mixtures containing any of these substances, and an injury or overdose results, when such substance or mixture is proven to have caused or been a substantial factor in causing the injury or overdose.
  • Specifies that this unlawful distribution occurs if a person, either directly or indirectly through another person, distributed to the user who was injured or overdosed the fentanyl or other specified substances or mixture.

SB 736: Controlled Substances

  • Adds nitazene derivatives (“nitazenes”), which are synthetic opioids, to the list of Schedule I controlled substances.

HJR 1157: Fishing and Hunting

  • Proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution to preserve hunting, fishing, and the taking of fish and wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, in perpetuity as a public right.
  • Makes hunting, fishing, and the taking of fish and wildlife the preferred means of responsibly managing and controlling fish and wildlife.

SB 1550: Prescription Drugs

  • Addresses the transparency of a manufacturer’s prescription drug price increases above certain thresholds and the relationships between pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), pharmacy benefits plans and programs, and pharmacy providers for delivering pharmacy services to covered persons.
  • Requires prescription drug manufacturers and nonresident prescription drug manufacturers to disclose reportable prescription drug price increases.
  • Requires PBMs to obtain a certificate of authority for an administrator under the Florida Insurance Code (FIC) and makes them subject to existing and enhanced requirements as set forth in the bill under the FIC.
  • Proscribes and prescribes certain disclosures and actions governing contractual relationships between PBMs and pharmacy benefits plans and programs and also between PBMs and pharmacy providers.