After two close tries in as many years, the 1995 Florida Legislature passed the Property Rights Act to protect landowners who have been denied reasonable use of their property due to governmental regulatory actions. Part II of this Article reviews the political climate that made passage of the Act possible and places the property rights initiative in the historical context of populist politics. Part III examines takings law and explains the failures that encouraged passage of the Act. Part IV articulates an interpretive framework for the Act, briefly describes the law, and applies that framework to key issues posed by the Act. Part V explains how the settlement order mechanism is a type of decentralized decisionmaking and explores why decentralized decisionmaking is becoming a trend in regulatory reform. It also examines how information asymmetry, transaction costs, perceived risks, and other factors could affect the strategic behavior of property owners and agencies, thereby skewing incentives in the settlement order process. Finally, Part VI suggests reforms that, even at this early stage, need to be considered in order to avoid results not intended by the Act.
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