FAC News Clips - May 18, 2018 -

FAC News Clips – May 18, 2018

Local News

 

Foster Folly News

County Administrator says Washington County officials do pay attention to constituents ………….

Keynote speaker for Thursday’s luncheon was Washington County County Administrator Jeff Massey who commented on the proactive approach that the Washington County Board of County Commissioners is taking dealing with county business.  Top of the list was the debt paydown being stressed by commissioners.  Massey said commissioners are actively working to bring the county government into a better financial situation and work on the 2018-19 budget is already well underway.  He said the current Board didn’t want to wait until July to start work but got the ball rolling back in early April.

 

Northwest Florida Daily News

Medical examiner sues all four District 1 counties in financial records dispute

Andrea Minyard is seeking a non-monetary declatory judgement as to her rights under the various contracts that she has with the four counties. Longtime District 1 Medical Examiner Dr. Andrea Minyard has filed a lawsuit against the four counties in the district, which she claims have no right to audit all of her office’s financial records. Minyard has served since 2004 as the medical examiner for District 1, which encompasses Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties and is based in Pensacola.

 

Citrus

 

Sarasota Herald Tribune

Florida Citrus Department struggles with budget

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Citrus is banking on storm-battered and disease-hardened growers being able to pick more fruit from their trees next growing season. As it starts to patch together a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the department is projecting that revenues from taxes on harvested fruit will increase by just over $400,000 through upticks in orange, grapefruit and specialty-fruit production, according to numbers released by the agency. But a continued decline in the forecast for the ongoing growing season forced the Bartow-based department to once again squeeze its current operating budget.

 

Eminent Domain

 

Miami Herald

Despite Supreme Court ruling, Florida protects property owners from eminent domain

Your home is your castle, right? Well, that depends on which state you call home. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the infamous Kelo case that the city of New London, Connecticut, could use its power of eminent domain to take away the homes of blue-collar workers who enjoyed a spectacular waterfront view. What made the ruling so outrageous was that the government wasn’t taking these people’s homes for a public use — for a project the public would own and use, like a courthouse, as required by the U.S. Constitution — but for someone else’s private gain.

 

Farm Bill

 

Fort Myers News Press

Sugar policy won't change as part of Farm Bill as House rejects amendment

The U.S. House on Thursday killed a Farm Bill amendment that would have drastically changed American sugar policy. The Sugar Policy Modernization Act amendment would have eased import quotas on foreign sugar and eliminated government bailouts of the sugar industry.  The vote was 278-137, with U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, voting to eliminate sugar price supports, spokesman Brad Stewart said. “After decades of brutal water issues, the status quo must change," Mast said in a news release.

 

FEMA

 

Orlando Sentinel

Bill Nelson files bill to force more FEMA aid for displaced Puerto Rican families

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Thursday filed legislation to force FEMA to offer additional housing assistance for families displaced by last year’s hurricanes, his office said. In a press release, Nelson’s office said the bill would require FEMA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program as a means to extend aid for those affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria through February 2019. The bill’s filing comes as hotel vouchers issued through FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program — on which hundreds of displaced Puerto Rican families in Florida have been relying since Maria devastated the island — are slated to expire June 30.

 

Around the country…

 

Chicago Tribune

Chicago selling 3,000-plus properties through $1 vacant lot program

Chicago is again seeking city residents interested in buying vacant lots in their neighborhoods for $1. The city is marketing 3,219 empty lots on the South and West sides as part of its Large Lots program. About one-third of the properties offered for sale are new to the program while the others previously have been offered and either had no buyers or the transactions didn't close. Begun four years ago as a way to rejuvenate neighborhoods and bring in new property tax revenue, the city has sold 1,240 lots, according to the program's website.

FAC News Clips – May 18, 2018

Local News

 

Foster Folly News

County Administrator says Washington County officials do pay attention to constituents ………….

Keynote speaker for Thursday’s luncheon was Washington County County Administrator Jeff Massey who commented on the proactive approach that the Washington County Board of County Commissioners is taking dealing with county business.  Top of the list was the debt paydown being stressed by commissioners.  Massey said commissioners are actively working to bring the county government into a better financial situation and work on the 2018-19 budget is already well underway.  He said the current Board didn’t want to wait until July to start work but got the ball rolling back in early April.

 

Northwest Florida Daily News

Medical examiner sues all four District 1 counties in financial records dispute

Andrea Minyard is seeking a non-monetary declatory judgement as to her rights under the various contracts that she has with the four counties. Longtime District 1 Medical Examiner Dr. Andrea Minyard has filed a lawsuit against the four counties in the district, which she claims have no right to audit all of her office’s financial records. Minyard has served since 2004 as the medical examiner for District 1, which encompasses Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties and is based in Pensacola.

 

Citrus

 

Sarasota Herald Tribune

Florida Citrus Department struggles with budget

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Citrus is banking on storm-battered and disease-hardened growers being able to pick more fruit from their trees next growing season. As it starts to patch together a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the department is projecting that revenues from taxes on harvested fruit will increase by just over $400,000 through upticks in orange, grapefruit and specialty-fruit production, according to numbers released by the agency. But a continued decline in the forecast for the ongoing growing season forced the Bartow-based department to once again squeeze its current operating budget.

 

Eminent Domain

 

Miami Herald

Despite Supreme Court ruling, Florida protects property owners from eminent domain

Your home is your castle, right? Well, that depends on which state you call home. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the infamous Kelo case that the city of New London, Connecticut, could use its power of eminent domain to take away the homes of blue-collar workers who enjoyed a spectacular waterfront view. What made the ruling so outrageous was that the government wasn’t taking these people’s homes for a public use — for a project the public would own and use, like a courthouse, as required by the U.S. Constitution — but for someone else’s private gain.

 

Farm Bill

 

Fort Myers News Press

Sugar policy won't change as part of Farm Bill as House rejects amendment

The U.S. House on Thursday killed a Farm Bill amendment that would have drastically changed American sugar policy. The Sugar Policy Modernization Act amendment would have eased import quotas on foreign sugar and eliminated government bailouts of the sugar industry.  The vote was 278-137, with U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, voting to eliminate sugar price supports, spokesman Brad Stewart said. “After decades of brutal water issues, the status quo must change," Mast said in a news release.

 

FEMA

 

Orlando Sentinel

Bill Nelson files bill to force more FEMA aid for displaced Puerto Rican families

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Thursday filed legislation to force FEMA to offer additional housing assistance for families displaced by last year’s hurricanes, his office said. In a press release, Nelson’s office said the bill would require FEMA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program as a means to extend aid for those affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria through February 2019. The bill’s filing comes as hotel vouchers issued through FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program — on which hundreds of displaced Puerto Rican families in Florida have been relying since Maria devastated the island — are slated to expire June 30.

 

Around the country…

 

Chicago Tribune

Chicago selling 3,000-plus properties through $1 vacant lot program

Chicago is again seeking city residents interested in buying vacant lots in their neighborhoods for $1. The city is marketing 3,219 empty lots on the South and West sides as part of its Large Lots program. About one-third of the properties offered for sale are new to the program while the others previously have been offered and either had no buyers or the transactions didn't close. Begun four years ago as a way to rejuvenate neighborhoods and bring in new property tax revenue, the city has sold 1,240 lots, according to the program's website.