WHAT’S HAPPENING?
This Tuesday the House Business and Professions Subcommittee will be voting on two bad bills: HB 603 (prohibiting local straw ordinances), and HB 1299(prohibiting local straw ordinances and sunscreen bans, like the one recently passed in Key West).

Additionally, Sen. Hutson, the Senate sponsor of the bad straw bill (SB 588), is pushing to insert language into the budget that would eliminate Visit Florida tourism funding for communities that ban sunscreens that harm coral reefs. The language will be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, March 27th.

WHY WE CARE:
Plastic straws cannot be effectively or affordably recycled, and are a significant source of ocean and beach pollution. Plastic straws were the 7th most frequently found type of trash found during Ocean Conservancy’s 2018 International Coastal Cleanup, and they were the 5th most frequently found type of trash in Florida.

Oxybenzone and octinoxate are two ingredients believed to contribute to damage coral, making it more susceptible to disease and bleaching. According to the National Park Service, 14,000 tons of sunscreen enters coral reefs every year. These chemicals are believed to be one of the contributing factors to coral reef destruction. Most popular sunscreen brands are known to contain these dangerous chemicals.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
ACTION ITEM #1: Please call the members of the House Business & Professions Subcommittee and ask them to vote NO on HB 603 and HB 1299. See below for a list of the committee members and their phone numbers. C

ACTION ITEM #2: Contact your State Senator, and the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Remind them that reef protection is important and that local governments must be able to take action to save their local environment, recreational resources, and economy. Let them know you oppose the proposed budget provision that prohibits any Visit Florida funds from being used to promote a city or county that passes a reef-protection sunscreen ordinance. Click here to find your Senator.

HOUSE BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS

Rep. Fitzenhagen, Chair: (850) 717-5078
Rep.. Mariano: (850) 717-503

Rep. Fitzenhagen, Chair: (850) 717-5078
Rep.. Mariano: (850) 717-5036

Rep. Fitzenhagen, Chair: (850) 717-5078
Rep.. Mariano: (850) 717-5036

Rep. Newton: (850) 717-5070

Rep. Alexander: (850) 717-5008
Rep. Casello: (850) 717-5090
Rep. Donalds: (850) 717-5080

Rep. Fernandez-Barquin: (850) 717-5119

Rep. Fine: (850) 717-5053

Rep. Gottlieb: (850) 717-5098

Rep. Hage: (850) 717-5033
Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez: (850) 717-5105

Rep. Anthony Rodriguez: (850) 717-5118

Rep. Smith: (850) 717-5028
Rep. Tomkow: (850) 717-5039

Rep. Willhite: (850) 717-5086