While ARC Gateway Pensacola is laying off staff and eliminating in-home support, day care and supported living services. State Rep. Clay Ingram’s fertilizer bill, HB 457, keeps chugging along. Rarely in the annals of Escambia County politics have we had a lawmaker so openly dedicated to manure, as the freshman legislator.
I received this press release yesterday:
Following several weeks of discussion surrounding a statewide fertilizer rule, lawmakers reached common ground with a new amendment offering both retail-friendly guidelines and a locally-controlled rulemaking process. Filed by Rep. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), the amendment to HB 457, sponsored by Rep. Clay Ingram (R-Pensacola) and Rep. Bryan Nelson (R-Apopka), would protect statewide commerce and keep intact all pre-existing local fertilizer rules. Additionally, other municipalities can continue adopting additional regulations under the condition they properly report their rules to state.
Cities and counties who choose to follow the current state model ordinance would be protected by homeowner fertilizer use guidelines which were crafted by the legislature-appointed Urban Fertilizer Use Task Force in 2007. This includes prohibiting the application of fertilizer before a heavy rain, maintaining a 10-foot buffer zone between a fertilized-area and any water bodies and deflector shield requirements.
Additionally, HB 457 would allow the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the exclusive authority to regulate the sale and composition of fertilizer and offers an added layer of accountability to the local fertilizer rulemaking process. The exclusion of sales bans helps retailers create a uniform method for distribution.
…if only our most vulnerable citizens got the same attention from Rep. Ingram as the fertilizer retailers.