Government State Boating Info Florida Boating News

Florida Boating News

March 19, 2009
Big Helping of Legislation on BoatUS Plate

Tallahassee bill includes boating safety, fishing licenses, and anchoring regulations.

BoatU.S is currently engaged in several boating related legislative proposals in the Florida state legislature. In the last few weeks the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has put several of its proposals into one bill, House Bill 1423. In the Senate, there are two bills: SB 2536 and SB 2618.

For current status on these bills, click here:

HB 1423

SB 2536

SB 2618

Background:

In the House, many issues are combined into one fifty-page bill.

Click here for a copy of the introduced language

HB 1423 addresses:
  • Trying to resolve some anchoring issues and creating pilot projects to test new anchoring/mooring scenarios
  • Creating phased in mandatory boating education; Changing the age that kids must wear a lifejacket to "under 10"
  • Increasing registration requirements for boats being stored on the water
  • Removing the shoreline exemption for a FL fishing license so that in the future, FL anglers don't have to pay for both a federal and a FL fishing license.
BoatU.S. is aware that a primary reason the Florida anchoring debate is so strong is the numbers of truly derelict or abandoned vessels in waterways across the state. What will happen to them during the next storm, and how will they impact others? While we actively seek solutions to reduce the abandoned boat problem nationwide, we know that the vast majority of boats and boaters are viable contributors to local economies and we believe that boaters should be treated as such.

Status

HB 1423 passed out of its first committee this week without any amendments. The sponsor, Rep. Baxter Troutman, expects well over 20 proposed amendments when the bill is heard again. The Senate bill has not yet been placed on an agenda. BoatU.S. is at the table working in both the House and Senate to find solutions to the problems without granting local governments undue added authority over boats and anchoring.

This issue will continue to change over the next six weeks of the Legislative session and most probably won't be decided until the closing moments of session in early May.

We encourage Florida boaters (or those aspiring to cruise there!) to check back often for the latest updates as this issue continues to develop.


For specific questions about boating issues or BoatUS Government Affairs, please e-mail the department at GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com
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