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Florida Politics

Senators workshop fixes for affordable housing crisis

With rents increasing faster than pay in much of Florida, a state Senate committee contemplated recurrent issues with affordable housing Wednesday. Legislation that made affordable housing mandates “voluntary” was signed into law last year. And Sadowski Trust money has been raided in recent years. Before the 2018 Session, then-Gov. Rick Scott recommended sweeping $91.8 million from the then-$314 million Sadowski Trust. Lawmakers moved $182 million from the pool. Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended fully funding the trust, but more than $110 million was moved to the Panhandle in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Ultimately, just $85 million of a proposed $338 million allocation was spent on its actual purpose.

Florida Politics

Report: Florida ports lead the nation in resiliency

Florida’s seaports are among the best prepared for sea level rise and natural disasters, according to a new study released by the Florida Ports Council. The study says Florida’s 15 seaports are already equipped to handle 2.5 feet of tidal fluctuations, which is “within the range of anticipated sea level increases in 2050.” The report also asserts that the state’s ports “are already making significant efforts to minimize the extent and duration of impacts from natural disasters.” The Seaports Resiliency Report, released Tuesday, also provides recommendations for all ports across the state to be prepared for future environmental changes and disruptive events. “Our state’s seaports have a tremendous economic impact on the state of Florida, and we must ensure our port infrastructure is resilient in the face of these disruptions,” said Doug Wheeler, President and CEO of the Florida Ports Council.

Orlando Politics

Governor Ron DeSantis and FDEM Award $150.9 Million to Bay County and $20 Million to Mexico Beach for Hurricane Michael Recovery

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has awarded $150.9 million to Bay County and $20 million to Mexico Beach to help the communities recover from the impact of Hurricane Michael. Specifically, these funds will reimburse Mexico Beach for ongoing debris removal efforts and Bay County for the removal of wet and vegetative debris. With today’s announcement, FDEM has now awarded more than $400 million to Northwest Florida as it recovers from Hurricane Michael. “On my very first full day in office I went to northwest Florida and made a commitment that this administration will not waver in its dedication to making sure this community completely rebuilds,” said Governor DeSantis.