Representative Jimmy Patronis

R.Benk / WFSU-News

Both chambers of the Florida Legislature are trying to push through reforms to the way the state regulates the environment. Some call the proposals an affront to local sovereignty, while others call the move common sense. But increasing differences between the Senate and House versions of the measure are leading some to question whether it has a chance of passing this session.

Kim Seng

Representative Jimmy Patronis (R-Panama City) says his bill will cut red tape for Florida’s farmers by removing excess regulations.  Currently, county governments in Florida can set standards for wetlands and springs protection and drilling wells. Patronis’s bill would take some of that ability away from local governments and leave it to the state. But Lee County lobbyist Sarah Bleakly says her county’s diverse environment requires local regulation.

The Florida House held a special session Thursday to remember State Representative Clay Ford, who passed away Monday.

Before his time in the Florida Legislature, Representative Clay Ford was a member of the Arkansas Legislature and a former member of the U.S. Army.

Later, when he moved to Florida, the Pensacola Republican was elected to the Florida House in a special election in February 2007 and served his Panhandle district until Monday, when he lost a battle to cancer.