Southeast
FlaPol

Florida Senate unlikely to revisit beach access law

There is little chance the Florida Senate will revisit a controversial state law that has impacted public access to some beach areas, according to top Republicans in the chamber.

Senate President Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican, and Senate Majority Leader KathleenPassidomo, of Naples, say they do not intend to reconsider a 2018 law that put in place an extensive process for local governments before they can continue so-called customary use of privately owned beach property above the mean high-water line.

The new law fueled heated debates last summer after some coastal property owners in Walton County were quick to keep people off dry sand portions of beaches.

Galvano said in November he did not want to revisit the issue, and Passidomo agreed during an interview Thursday.

“People need to understand that most of the beaches in Florida are public, open to the public and they will never be closed,” said Passidomo, who said the new law is meant to protect private property rights, not limit access to beaches. Passidomo said the law, which she championed last year, is controversial because it is misunderstood.

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