Driven largely by a swift response from Florida boaters, the Florida State Senate has elected to kill what many are calling “anti-anchoring” amendments that was introduced in the eleventh hour by special interest groups to the Fish and Wildlife Bill, BoatUS reports.
House Bill 955 and Senate Bill 1126, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Christopher L. Smith (Fort Lauderdale) and Representative Eduardo "Eddy" Gonzalez (Miami Springs), aimed to give counties uninhibited control over the restriction of anchoring within their jurisdictions.
BoatUS reported in a press release that, “attempts were made to add these amendments to the Florida Fish and Wildlife bills in both Senate and House, and would have established a dangerous precedent for the rest of the state, lead to a patchwork quilt of anchoring restrictions and exposed boaters and legitimate cruisers to citations and fines.”
Florida state legislators received 5,800 comments from Florida Boaters urging their representatives to remove the anti-anchoring amendments from the Fish and Wildlife bill.
The video below was taken at yesterday’s session and, as Claiborne Young, cruising guide author and operator of the online Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net writes on his blog, “gives what is perhaps one of the most penetrating insights I've seen into the mind set of those who would have the state of Florida return to the 'bad old days' of local anchoring regulations.”
BoatUS reports that though the amendments have been removed from the Fish and Wildlife bill for 2014, they are remaining ever vigilant.
“BoatUS is on watch,” said David Kennedy, BoatUS government affairs senior program coordinator. “Working with Sunshine state boaters, we can be effective when others decide to try to negatively impact our boating. But we know from experience that this will happen again – it’s just a question of time and in which statehouse will someone else decide boaters don’t matter.”
Push the slider to the right, until you reach the 401:00 mark. The debate and eventual “NO” vote, occurs between times 401:00 and 411:00.