Reports: Rick Scott is responsible for current beach access confusion

July 20, 2018 - For Immediate Release - Contact: Nate Evans - nathan@floridadems.org Numerous news reports have explained Rick Scott's role in creating the current controversy over public access to beaches around Florida. Rick Scott signed H.B. 631 earlier this year, then, under pressure, he tried to fix the problem he created with toothless executive action that only caused more problems and confusion. Rick Scott's handling of the customary use issue is yet another example of how Rick Scott will do or say anything to get elected, but Floridians won't forget it was Rick Scott who created the mess that is restricting access to our beaches.  Here are some key points from various reporting over the past couple weeks: WTSP: Videos highlight confusion, and one man's fight, regarding Florida's beach access law

  • "Gov. Rick Scott supported the new law, which passed the legislature in a landslide, allowing beachfront owners to kick people off their sandy property."

  • "The new law, the first of its kind in the country, goes against Florida's long-standing "customary use" beach policy."

  • "It's not a charade," another man said. "We're trying to protect the beaches that we have. What's a charade are the people who go in and lobby other people we don't know about under us to take the beaches away that we've had our entire lives here. That's a charade."

WFTS: Florida deputies tell man to leave portion of public beach for trespassing following new beach law

  • "A Walton County man says a private property owner called deputies on him two days in a row for sitting on a stretch of sand outside Vizcaya Dune Allen, a gated community on Santa Rosa Beach."

  • "I’m a 45-year-old man who's lived in Florida most of my life,” Uhlfelder said. "I have never been told I have to leave a beach."

  • "They should call a special session of the legislature to repeal the law, and the governor has that authority to call for a special session to repeal this law. Because this law is, bad law,” Uhlfelder said."

Northwest Florida Daily News: Town hall meetings addresses customary use issues in Walton County

  • "The law, and subsequent backtracking by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, created confusion and escalated tensions in a county that sees millions of beach visitors every year."

Orlando Weekly: Video shows Florida cops struggling to explain Rick Scott's incredibly vague public beach law

  • "Last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order telling authorities not to enforce his own dumb law limiting public beach access, and now, a video shows just how confusing this whole thing really is."

Panama City News Herald: Customary use battle reaches boiling point in Walton County

  • "It could negatively affect the tourism, and my understanding is that’s what drives everything down here,” Jamie said. “Every time people come here, you rent a home for $4,000, you spend $500 for groceries, you go out to eat and spend $300. In three days I’ve spent $7,000, and if you don’t want that money ’cause you’ve run everybody off, that could create a problem."

Winter Haven News Chief: Customary use battle at fever pitch for beach use

  • "It kind of sucks a little bit,” Stoy said. “We weren’t told that this was a private beach and this was a rule. We came from Oklahoma and we’re just not aware of what is public and what is private, and this is pretty much all private, apparently."

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