Senate passes bill to ban lab grown meat, regulate EV charging stations, more


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services bill passed on the Senate floor which will ban lab-grown meat, allow the state to regulate electric vehicle charging stations and a number of other provisions.

The bill, SB 1084, carried by Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa, passed 26-10. A similar bill is being carried in the House by Rep. Danny Alvarez, R-Riverview.

Florida’s Voice previously reported Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference that he opposes the promulgation of lab-grown meat in Florida. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson worked with lawmakers on the bill.

According to the bill’s analysis, it will preempt “the regulation of electric vehicle charging stations to the state and prohibits local governmental entities from enacting or enforcing such regulations.”

It also “prohibits and creates penalties for the manufacture for sale, sale, hold or offer for sale, or
distribution of cultivated meat in this state and provides it is a violation to knowingly violate
this section.”

It bans the “willful destroying, harvesting, or selling of saw palmetto berries on private or public land without the written permission of the landowner, provides penalties for violations, and grants rulemaking authority to the department.”

The bill provides that a “student’s participation in a 4-H or Future Farmers of America (FFA) activity
is an excused absence from school.”

The legislation also will create criminal penalties for “trespassing on land classified as commercial agricultural property.”

An amendment passed Thursday that removed language amending the definition of hemp extract from the bill. Collins said this puts them “in line” with the House bill.

Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Hollywood, proposed an amendment in regards to requirements for electric vehicle charging stations.

He said the amendment “gives that rule-making authority we’ve all been asking about to the agency to be able to go ahead and produce these ratios so we have uniformity throughout the state.”

According to the bill, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services “shall adopt rules to provide requirements for electric vehicle charging stations to allow for consistency for consumers and the industry.”

Collins voiced support for Pizzo’s amendment.

In debate, Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, said she had “delicious meatballs” at lunch and said she “loves meat,” but is “against banning something just because we’re a little afraid of it or we’re making it sound really gross.”

“I think this bill is not ready for prime time, I think this EV section is a mess, I think it’s the wrong message we’re sending on innovation, and let’s do something good for the people of Florida and vote this bill down,” Polsky said.

In closing, Collins said the Department of Agriculture Consumer Services “has a responsibility to keep our consumers safe.”

“That’s what this does,” Collins said.

“I would ask you to support this very good bill and make sure that we keep the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services moving forward for our agricultural community now and in the future,” Collins said.

The House chamber still needs to approve the legislation.


Source link