Last Wednesday the House Transportation Committee workshopped this year’s transportation package. Among the bill’s provisions are several issues of interest to counties. Some of these include a requirement that counties adopt sound mitigation standards and regulations into their comprehensive plans that are applicable to proposed development projects adjacent to FDOT highways. The bill also allows for the creation of regional toll authorities by a county or two or more counties and it repeals the small county dredging program. It allows an increase in MPO membership from 19 members to 25, if an MPO includes a new urbanized area, or if there is the consolidation of two or more MPOs. Finally, it requires local governments to seek approval for the placement of parking meters in state rights-of-way and requires that half the revenues collected from such meters be shared with the state. The House bill will be carried by Representative Artiles and is expected to be heard in committee by the second or third week of session. On the Senate side, Senator Brandes has filed the companion (SB 1132). While both bills are nearly identical, there are minor differences. Specifically, SB 1132 specifically creates three regional toll authorities in the bill. They are: Northwest Florida (Escambia and Santa Rosa); Okaloosa-Bay (Okaloosa, Walton, Bay); and Suncoast (Citrus, Levy, Marion, Alachua). The bill also transfers the governance and control of the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority System to the Okaloosa-Bay Regional Tollway Authority.