FAC News Clips – April 16, 2024

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 

Route-Fifty 

‘Artificial intelligence is not innovation,’ it’s a tool. How governments use it will vary.  

Some state and local governments may embrace AI wholly, while others may take a more measured approach. Either way, experts said, the competition to be first is moot. 

 

HURRICANE SEASON 

News-Press 

2024 hurricane season compared to 5 similar years: Lessons to learn  

All the early predictions are calling for a very active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. 

 

LEGISLATION 

Click Orlando 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs 14 more bills into law. Here’s what they are, when they take effect  

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed 14 bills into law that cover a variety of issues, including tax collection, home construction warranties and swimming lessons for children. 

 

Route-Fifty 

Feds move to make gov websites more accessible to people with disabilities 

It’s the first time the federal government has ever issued rules clarifying how the more than 30-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act applies online. But the new rules come with a hefty price tag for state and local governments. 

FAC News Clips – April 15, 2024

COUNTY 

WESH 

Orange County combats overdoses with CDC campaign  

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County is working to address the growing number of drug overdose deaths, by adopting an initiative created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

 

LEGISLATION 

Bay News 9 

New state law blocks demolition of old buildings  

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Some communities try to stay the same: maintaining dated buildings like motels, old shops and establishments that make it special to those who live there. 

 

Florida Politics 

Gov. DeSantis signs bills restricting harassment, civilian oversight of cops  

‘If you do that we view that as a problem and now you’re going to be held accountable.’ 

 

ENVIRONMENT  

Tampa Free Press 

Judge Nails Down Decision In Florida Wetlands Case  

In a case closely watched by business and environmental groups, a U.S. district judge Friday finalized his rejection of a 2020 move by the federal government to shift permitting authority to Florida for projects that affect wetlands. 

FAC News Clips – April 12, 2024

LEGISLATION 

Tampa Bay Times 

DeSantis signs bill preventing cities from requiring heat safety protections for workers  

The legislation also blocks local governments from controlling what their contractors pay their employees. 

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING 

WINK 

Collier Commissioners change rules for affordable housing projects under Live Local Act  

Anyone wanting to build affordable housing in Collier County under Florida’s Live Local Act will have to deal with a few new rules. 

 

COUNTY 

Tampa Bay Times 

Pasco ponders new tax to maintain county parks 

Commissioners said they know there are unmet needs and ask staff to move forward with a taxing plan. 

 

WESH 

Brevard County lifeguard funding debated by county, city 

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Brevard County beach cities don’t like the idea, but the county moved forward with a plan to cost-share county ocean lifeguards on city beaches. 

FAC News Clips – April 10, 2024

COUNTY 

WCTV 

Leon County receives nearly $2.4 million in opioid litigation settlement, millions more to come  

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – At Tuesday afternoon’s meeting, Leon County commissioners accepted nearly $2.4 million in settlement funds from an opioid lawsuit. 

 

WCJB 

Single-member Alachua County commission districts going back on the ballot  

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – Voters in Alachua County are not done deciding whether commissioners should represent individual districts or the entire county. 

 

ABC 7  

Lee County seeks to restore FEMA flood insurance discounts  

FEMA is giving Lee County and four other communities a second chance to reclaim FEMA flood insurance discounts for more than 100,000 residents. 

 

Orlando Sentinel  

Orange County abandons proposed transportation sales tax  

With consensus proving elusive, Orange County commissioners decided Tuesday to abandon a November sales tax referendum to improve a failing transportation network. 

 

Miami Times 

$2.5 billion bond postponed by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava  

A little more than two months after Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava floated a $2.5 billion general obligation bond (GOB) referendum during her State of the County address to pay for a series of expansive projects, she’s had a change of heart. 

 

LEGISLATION 

Florida Phoenix 

Legislation in Florida would ban local workplace heat protections; Arizona just approved measures  

From the east to the west, two states in the U.S. — Florida and Arizona — have something in common: Extreme heat. 

 

CYBERSECURITY  

Route-Fifty 

Lessons learned from whole-of-state cybersecurity efforts 

More than two years into the federal cybersecurity grant program, state and local tech leaders say information sharing between the different levels of government is the most important aspect of the approach. 

FAC News Clips – April 9, 2024

COUNTY 

News Press 

Lee County municipalities have 30 days to save flood insurance savings  

FEMA announced a 30-day pause to planned actions that would slash discounts to many municipalities’ flood insurance to allow affected Southwest Florida communities to keep their status. 

 

WFLA 

Hernando commissioners to decide on millage renewal for November ballot  

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hernando Board of County Commissioners is set to vote Tuesday to put the renewal of a millage on the November ballot. 

 

LEGISLATION 

Florida Politics 

Gov. DeSantis announces expansion of opioid recovery program as he signs new fentanyl laws  

The CORE program is being expanded to 17 additional counties across the state. 

 

Florida Politics 

Gov. DeSantis signs ‘Veterans Appreciation Month’ measure  

This replaces Veterans Week, which the Legislature approved last year. 

 

HOUSING 

Fox 28 

Florida Sees 13.6% Growth in Total Housing Units Over the Past Decade, 7th Largest in the U.S.  

The need for affordable housing in the United States has never been greater. After a dizzying run-up in residential real estate prices and rents in the last few years, housing costs are putting a financial squeeze on renters and homebuyers nationwide as they compete for a scarce, expensive supply of housing. 

FAC News Clips – April 5, 2024

LEGISLATION 

WFLA 

Florida designates $450 million in gambling funds for environmental projects  

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A multi-billion dollar gaming agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is making way for a new law allocating millions of dollars to environmental conservation efforts in the state. 

 

COUNTY 

Marco News 

Lee County flood insurance: Byron Donalds ask FEMA to restore discount  

Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, as well as House Reps. Byron Donalds and Greg Steube urged FEMA to reconsider its decision made last week to downgrade Lee County and four municipalities’ floodplain management ratings to the lowest possible class, thereby eliminating a 25% discount to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) residents previously enjoyed. 

 

ABC Action News 

Judge rules all Florida counties must collect money for home energy program  

Florida homeowners face liens and possible foreclosures as legal battle looms between PACE program lenders. 

 

Pensacola News Journal 

Santa Rosa impact fees tied to half cent sales tax in referendum  

Santa Rosa County’s most vocal residents have been telling their county commissioners for quite some time that if they don’t impose impact fees on developers, the half cent sales tax they will seek via referendum in November is doomed to failure. 

 

TRANSPORTATION 

Orlando Sentinel 

Osceola County mulls increasing SunRail fares  

Higher fares could be coming to SunRail riders in Osceola as county commissioners discuss how to cover funding for their portion of the system before year-end. 

 

PUBLIC CAMPING 

CBS 12 

Palm Beach County will not open a homeless camp, mayor says  

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A new state law allowing local governments to create encampments for people experiencing homelessness takes effect in October, but the mayor of Palm Beach County is already expressing concerns about whether her county will implement it.