Save the ‘sporks’? Amendment yanked from Senate veggie garden bill

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A broad amendment to the Senate vegetable garden bill that would have preempted local ordinances that ban plastic straws, or really any plastic utensils, was withdrawn Wednesday after facing scrutiny.

“I am going after the paper straws,” Sen. Rob Bradley said.

The powerful state senator and sponsor of the bill (SB 1776) filed the utensil amendment two hours before the Senate brought the vegetable garden bill up for debate.

“My wife has started a little garden, how would your amendment on straws impact her garden?” said Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat.

Bradley said it would not affect it and that “freedom would reign in the Thurston household.”

But after concerns were raised on the amendment, Bradley pulled it from consideration and asked to push his vegetable garden bill to third reading.

Without the straw amendment, the bill would only preempt local bans on vegetable gardens.

“The Legislature intends to encourage the development of sustainable cultivation of vegetable and fruits at all levels of production, including for personal consumption, as an important interest of the state,” the bill states.

If passed, the proposal would make local ordinances regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties “void and unenforceable.”

Ana Ceballos

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.



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