New Florida beach access law goes into effect

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Florida is home to beautiful beaches, but there might be fewer options for visitors to enjoy the sand and surf.

A new beach access law went into effect Sunday that will make it tougher for cities to fight for public access to private beach areas. The state law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, makes it necessary for local government to go through a judge to declare beaches as customary for public use.

MORE: New Florida law affects public access to private beaches

Sen. Kathleen Passidomo supports Gov. Scott on the issue because “it comes down to property rights.”

Sen. Passidomo says she would rather have the courts decide because “it is appalling that local government could simply take away property” just so people can walk or sunbathe on the beach.

Many tourism agencies say the law could affect the number of people coming to Florida to enjoy the beaches.

The new law doesn’t change Florida’s constitutional law that requires the state to ensure “the public’s right to reasonable access to beaches.”

The new law went into effect July 1.

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