Submitted by cmosteller on Sat, 11/11/2017 - 16:32

FAC News Clips –November 11, 2017

 

Local News

 

Florida Today

Political Spin: Jesus takes the wheel in County Commission debate

Tuesday's County Commission discussion related to seeking an audit of two of Melbourne's community redevelopment agencies took an unusual twist when Commissioner John Tobia brought Jesus Christ into the debate. It was the latest of a series of skirmishes between Tobia, a Republican representing District 3, and County Commission Chairman Curt Smith, a Republican representing District 4. Smith is seeking re-election next year, and Smith's announced opponent in a Republican primary is former County Commissioner Trudie Infantini.

 

Legislature

 

Florida Times Union

Ron Littlepage: State legislator is meddling with our tree ordinances

The sexcapades emanating from Tallahassee are rightfully garnering attention, but as always other nefarious things are bubbling to the top as the Legislature prepares for its annual session that begins in January. One of them that can’t be ignored is a slap in the face to all local governments in Florida, especially Jacksonville’s. A loose-cannon state senator from Sarasota, Greg Steube, has introduced legislation that would abolish city and county ordinances protecting trees.

 

Orlando Sentinel

Commentary: Investing tourist tax in tourism keeps our economy strong

Scott Maxwell’s Wednesday column, “We may finally use hotel tax for local needs,” and other columns over the years, insist on altering current Florida law regarding the permitted use of the tourist development tax on hotel rooms. Unfortunately, this shortsighted view takes the tourism industry and its substantial benefits to our state and local economy for granted. In 2015, out-of-state visitors spent $108.8 billion and, including indirect and induced impacts, generated $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

 

Tampa Bay Times

William March: Dana Young to push for statewide fracking ban again

State Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa, has introduced another fracking ban bill for the coming legislative session. But it’s unclear whether it will have any better chance than last session, when it appeared ready to pass in the Senate but never got a committee hearing in the House. Last year’s House sponsors were Reps. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, and Mike Miller, R-Winter Park. This year it’s Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-Treasure Island, who’s enthusiastic about the cause but has lost clout after conflicts with Speaker Richard Corcoran.

 

Orlando Sentinel

Lawmakers target special-taxing districts

TALLAHASSEE — A special taxing district that helped finance projects such as the Amway Center, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the renovation of Camping World Stadium could be phased out under legislation being considered by state lawmakers. Orlando’s downtown Community Redevelopment Agency is one of nine such districts in Orange County and 224 throughout the state. Some legislators believe CRAs have moved away from their original purpose, which was to wipe out blight and slums in urban areas. The agencies have become rife with mismanagement and are in need of reform, they say.

 

Recovery

 

WOKV

FEMA, SBA release new numbers about Federal assistance in wake of Hurricane Irma

Jacksonville, FL -  They want you to take a second look around your home or property and make sure there's nothing you missed. FEMA and the Small Business Administration want Florida residents to know, federal resources are still available to you, following Hurricane Irma back in September.  According to new numbers from FEMA, a number of Jacksonville residents are taking advantage of their disaster assistance.  "So far, FEMA has provided $24 million in housing assistance and that includes money to help people with home repairs and rental assistance for people who lost their home or are still repairing their home," explains FEMA spokesperson Gerard Hammink.

 

KeyNoter

Lower Keys storm-debris collection resumes

Collection of debris from Hurricane Irma resumed Thursday in the hardest-hit areas of the Lower Keys after a new haul-out contractor agreed to terms. DRC Emergency Services accepted a Monroe County offer to take over as the lead contractor in the area from mile marker 16 to mile marker 40. Debris pickup largely halted in late October after the Florida Department of Transportation, which had dispatched haul-out firms to the Lower Keys area from Sugarloaf Key to the south end of the Seven Mile Bridge, said its work was done.