Solar Advocates Applaud Overwhelming Legislative Vote for Solar Bills
By: Edie Ousley
High Profile Business Groups and Solar Advocates Applaud Overwhelming Legislative Vote for Solar Bills
~SB 90 solar implementing bill passed today; onto Governor~
TALLAHASSEE & STATEWIDE (May 4, 2017) Today the Florida legislature passed SB 90, legislation that implements Amendment 4, the solar ballot initiative that 73% of voters supported last August. Amendment 4 provides Florida homeowners and businesses an exemption from burdensome property taxes on solar and renewable energy devices. Bills to implement Amendment 4 passed unanimously in both the Senate and House chambers, with support from a broad coalition of business groups, the solar industry, and clean energy advocates. Below are statements from statewide associations and Vote Solar in response to the passage of the legislation.
“Last August, Florida voters called for solar progress in one of the most popular amendments in the Sunshine State’s history,” said SCOTT THOMASSON, Southeast Director at Vote Solar. “We applaud Senator Jeff Brandes and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues for their leadership in working with all sides to pass a balanced bill that respects the will of the voters they serve while also protecting customers. Now, it’s up to Governor Rick Scott to honor the voters’ overwhelming support for solar development and deliver on the promise of more jobs and energy choices across Florida.”
“With technological advances, energy opportunities for Floridians are increasing, and now families and job creators will benefit from a targeted tax break on solar panels,” said DAVID HART, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber commends Senator Jeff Brandes and lawmakers for helping Florida achieve energy independence while also strengthening Florida’s economy.”
“The Florida Retail Federation commends the legislature for answering the will of the voters and passing SB 90 which implements solar Amendment 4,” said SCOTT SHALLEY, President of the Florida Retail Federation. “Thanks to bill sponsors Senator Jeff Brandes and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues retailers throughout the Sunshine State will be able to take advantage of this great solar energy policy.”
“A victory lap to the finish line on solar energy today. The Florida legislature passed a bill to implement what 2 million voters called for last election cycle in Amendment 4,” said JULIO FUENTES, President of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Our members include more than 604,000 Hispanic owned small businesses who support energy diversity and thank the legislature for their excellent work.”
“Tourism is Florida’s leading industry. Visitors and residents alike, will benefit from the energy savings resulting from the passage of this legislation,” said RICHARD TURNER, General Counsel and Vice President of Government Relations for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “The hospitality industry is excited to support our lawmakers’ smart policies that promote sustainability and diversify our energy grid.”
Republican lawmakers worked closely with clean energy and jobs advocates, including Vote Solar, the Solar Energy Industries Association, Advanced Energy Economy, and The Alliance for Solar Choice, to craft a bill that best serves Florida businesses and residents. The final bill has earned praise from a range of business, consumer and environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Florida Conservation Voters, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.