Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018
The Senate has not yet taken up its WRDA bill, S. 2800 (115), since it advanced the bill unanimously out of committee in May. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barrasso (R-Wy) has indicated that he hopes to move S. 2800 to the Senate floor before the August recess. The House passed its version, H.R. 8 (115), by a 408-2 vote on June 6. Once the Senate passes S. 2800, the chambers will convene a conference committee to resolve differences between the two bills.
Congress generally aims to pass a WRDA bill, which authorizes federal (Army Corps of Engineers) navigation, flood control and protection, ecosystem restoration, and other types of water projects, every two years. Both the House and Senate bills include Florida-specific provisions including hurricane and storm damage risk reduction in St. Lucie and St. Johns Counties, as well expediting construction of the water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee with the goal of reducing water discharges from the lake. The reservoir project was previously authorized in 2017 state legislation as a priority of outgoing Florida Senate President Joe Negron.