State Rep. Jim Mooney and state Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez met with municipalities up and down the Keys by way of Zoom on Sept. 28 to listen to their requests and priorities with one other legislative session in Tallahassee approaching.
Full funding for the Florida Keys Stewardship Act, tackling derelict vessels and sustaining residence rule had been among the many widespread messages native governments informed Mooney and Rodriguez to advocate for as they put together for the session in January.
Final 12 months’s session, at a closed state capital because of COVID-19, noticed the legislature approving and Gov. Ron DeSantis subsequently signing a price range, which included $20 million in stewardship funding and $5 million for land acquisition. Keys officers are once more asking for full funding for a program that helps native water high quality tasks and land acquisition.
“I hate to ask you to do it over again, however we want you to do it over again,” Monroe County legislative affairs director Lisa Tennyson stated.
She additionally mentioned a unbroken push to fight derelict vessels off the Keys waters. Final session, the Florida Home and Senate handed a invoice that allowed for 90-day anchor limits. Whereas calling it an efficient technique, Tennyson acknowledged that it will be laborious to enact with a situation within the invoice for Monroe County to position 300 mooring balls.
Native officers examined mooring websites following the state invoice that requested 300 extra mooring buoys. It doesn’t go into impact till the county approves, permits and opens new moorings for public use, not less than 250 moorings, inside a mile of the Key West Bight Metropolis Dock and 50 on the Key West Harrison Bight Mooring Area.
“We labored intently with stakeholders and cities and talked in regards to the want for brand new balls there, however not 300,” she stated.
On the funding aspect, Tennyson stated the county is seeking to safe funding by a brand new Florida program for coastal resiliency tasks. Monroe County is inserting six tasks in this system portal, and people embody the Key Largo communities of Twin Lakes and Stillwright Level the place flooding throughout king tides is seen.
“These tasks are vital to us,” Tennyson stated.
Wind insurance coverage fee caps which might be seeing 1% will increase over 5 years and defending native management over trip leases had been additionally highlighted in the course of the delegation assembly.
Key West Mayor Teri Johnston is searching for assist from state officers to safe some funding for a brand new crushed glass repurposing effort. She stated the town produces an unbelievable quantity of glass by crushed beer bottles that’s transported some 176 miles for disposal.
“We’ve got an actual alternative to repurpose glass in Key West and Monroe County,” she stated.
Johnston, too, relayed the significance in securing extra funding for the Florida Keys Stewardship Act. She additionally mentioned the Sadowski Belief Fund and inexpensive housing.
“We simply attended a Housing Authority assembly, and also you wish to know the way dangerous inexpensive housing is?” Johnston stated. “We’ve got a ready listing of 128 years. That features locals and people outdoors of Key West requesting housing.”
Marathon Metropolis Supervisor George Garrett stated his listing of points for the upcoming session is in step with Monroe County’s agenda, together with native regulation over trip leases.
“We will definitely proceed to struggle for it,” he stated. “If we’ve got to go on the protection to guard our skill to try this, then we are going to.”
Islamorada, too, is searching for to guard its grandfathered trip rental ordinance. The village additionally requested state officers to protect the village’s vessel exclusion zone off White Marlin Seaside to take care of residents’ high quality of life.
Coming into his second 12 months as state consultant, Mooney ventured to Tallahassee the place committee conferences kicked off final week. He acquired his committee assignments by the home speaker, they usually embody Pandemics and Public Emergencies, State Affairs, Infrastructure and Tourism Appropriations, Early Studying and Elementary Training, Finance and Services, Publish-Secondary Training and Lifelong Studying, Setting, Agriculture and Flooding.
Mooney and Rodriguez had been additionally assigned to function members of the State Redistricting Committee within the Home and Senate. Coming into her second 12 months as state senator, Rodriguez stated she’s excited to be a part of a redistricting course of that takes place each 10 years.
“We’re simply excited to get the session began and listen to the priorities,” Rodriguez stated.
Common session convenes Jan. 11, 2022. The 60-day session concludes March 11, 2022.