FAC News Clips – June 17, 2024

COUNTY 

Orlando Sentinel  

Seminole predicts deep budget cuts if voters reject sales tax  

Government leaders across Seminole say they could find themselves facing dire budgetary decisions — even cutting some services — if voters in November don’t renew the county’s penny sales tax for another decade. 

 

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS  

Pensacola News Journal 

Florida Power & Light enhances energy grid with Escambia County upgrades  

Throughout 2024, Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) plans to make the following upgrades in Escambia County as part of its ongoing commitment to avoid outages and restore power faster following severe weather. 

 

LEGISLATION 

Bay News 9 

Housing, local storm prep projects among state budget vetoes  

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A number of line items affecting Pinellas County projects didn’t make the cut in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ $116.5 billion state budget. 

 

The Florida Bar 

Public records exemptions for county and city attorneys and clerk employees bills become law  

County and city attorneys and their deputies, and circuit court clerks, their deputies, and court clerk “personnel,” will receive additional protection from death threats and stalking under bills Gov. Ron DeSantis signed late Thursday. 

 

Tallahassee Democrat 

Florida First Amendment advocates pushing for Sunshine Law protections  

Worried that Florida’s long-lauded government transparency laws are in “a state of crisis,” open access advocates are pursuing legislation they hope will turn the tides. 

 

Sun-Sentinel  

Recent legislation strengthens Florida’s leadership in flood resilience | Opinion  

As we have seen in recent days, Florida communities are on the front lines of flooding and sea-level rise. As storms increase in frequency and severity every year, these communities are more and more vulnerable to disasters. 

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING  

Bay News 9 

Habitat for Humanity celebrates new housing in Seminole 

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A new affordable housing subdivision is complete in Sanford, where six new families will have a place to call home. 

FAC News Clips – June 12, 2024

COUNTY 

WJHG 

Hundreds of Bay County seniors given hurricane meal kits ahead of hurricane season  

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – A dynamic duo is providing much-needed assistance to several Bay County residents. 

 

WFTV 

Flagler County considers beach renourishment tax  

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — Renourishing Flagler County’s fragile coastline could fall on residents and businesses. 

 

My Suncoast 

Traffic signal technology coming to Manatee County 

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) – The Manatee Board of County Commissioners received an update on the pilot program designed to make it easier and safer for emergency vehicles to reach citizens in need by giving them green lights at intersections.    

 

Orlando Sentinel  

Seminole seeks voter extension of penny sales tax for 10 years  

Without discussion Tuesday, Seminole commissioners agreed to place a referendum on the November ballot asking voters if the county’s penny sales tax should be extended another decade. 

 

LEGISLATION 

Palm Beach Post 

Form 6: Federal judge blocks Florida financial disclosure law  

TALLAHASSEE — A federal judge has blocked a 2023 Florida law that required municipal elected officials to disclose detailed information about their personal finances, ruling that the law likely violated First Amendment rights. 

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 

Security Boulevard 

Using AI for Political Polling  

Public polling is a critical function of modern political campaigns and movements, but it isn’t what it once was. Recent US election cycles have produced copious postmortems explaining both the successes and the flaws of public polling. There are two main reasons polling fails. 

 

Route-Fifty 

AI in law enforcement is risky, but holds promise  

Leaders should not be reluctant to use AI in controversial applications, even if they risk blowback, one city’s CIO advises. 

FAC News Clips – June 11, 2024

COUNTY 

NWF Daily News 

Okaloosa County takes next steps in battling opioid crisis.  

SHALIMAR — In August, it was announced that the Pensacola Medical Examiners District, which covers Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties, is the deadliest district for opioid-related overdose deaths per capita in the state. 

 

Tech Hub 

Miami-Dade County receives over $13.5 million to improve digital equity in rural communities Miami-Dade County has received over $13.5 million in digital equity grant funding as part of the Florida Commerce Office of Broadband’s first round of subgrants to renovate and construct multi-purpose community buildings with the goal of enhancing access and resources for health monitoring, work and education in rural communities. 

 

Tampa Bay Times 

Florida homeless men sue Seminole County for criminalizing panhandling  

Carl Faustin and Rodney Wilson say the county’s ordinance violates their free speech rights. 

 

EMERGENCY RESPONSE 

Tallahassee Democrat 

TEAM Leon recipients chosen, work group to present final report  

All $1 million have been handed out to a total of 472 recipients as TEAM Leon plans to provide a final report to the county commission at Tuesday’s meeting. 

 

News 4 Jax 

FPL distributes hurricane meal kits to Nassau County seniors on Monday  

Kits contain one-day supply of shelf-stable food & water, and seniors could receive up to 3 kits 

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 

Florida Politics 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office partners with Florida Polytechnic on new AI lab  

The new technology creates a host of yet undiscovered possibilities for new crime, and PSCO officials are working with local researchers to get ahead of the problem. 

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING  

Keys News 

DeSantis signs affordable housing bill 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that will help create more affordable housing in the Florida Keys. 

 

Orlando Sentinel  

Osceola commissioners delay vote on massive impact fee hike  

More than doubling fees will raise money for transportation, but might also make housing more costly, they worry 

 

WLRN 

New plan will free up millions for affordable housing in Broward  

Broward officials have come up with a unique idea to raise money to address the countywide affordable housing crisis: Use funds from expiring Community Redevelopment Agencies, or CRAs, and relocate them. 

FAC News Clips – June 6, 2024

COUNTY 

Sun-Sentinel  

Time draws near for Broward to seek U.S. funds for south county rail  

South Florida rail riders yearning for more cheap local train trips can expect the proposed Broward Commuter Rail South project to come alive no earlier than the end of 2027, with the county applying for federal money to fund construction by the end of this year. 

 

WESH 

Hurricane trauma: Florida camp helping kids heal after storms  

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Hurricanes can leave behind a lot of physical damage, as we’ve unfortunately seen here in Central Florida. 

 

Tampa Bay Times 

How one Florida county is trying to help domestic violence victims seeking legal protection  

ORLANDO — A few years ago Grant Maloy said he “cringed” when he saw a young woman crying in a hallway at the Seminole County Courthouse while she filled out lengthy forms to ask a judge for a protective order from her abuser. 

 

Tampa Bay Times 

Pasco commission OKs new tax on park upkeep but questions road assessment  

Pasco property owners will be seeing something new on their tax bill this fall, possibly two new taxes to help keep up with maintenance of the county’s existing roads and parks. 

 

PUBLIC CAMPING 

Wear TV 

Escambia County prepares for new law banning homeless camps on public property  

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. — Homeless people in Florida will not be able to camp on public property starting Oct. 1. 

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 

Route-Fifty 

Proposed federal AI roadmap would fund local election office 

Amid warnings that artificial intelligence could “totally discredit our election systems,” a group of U.S. senators released a sprawling roadmap that includes grant funding to keep elections safe from AI. 

FAC News Clips – June 5, 2024

COUNTY 

Sun-Sentinel 

Palm Beach County working to become a premier destination 

Palm Beach County and the cities within it are taking the next step to becoming a bustling hub for tourists with the adoption of a 20-year tourism plan and a donation to an upcoming premier South Florida spot. 

 

Route-Fifty 

The homeowner mutiny leaving Florida cities defenseless against hurricanes  

The federal government is refusing to restore eroded beaches in Pinellas County unless homeowners agree to one condition: public access.  

 

My Panhandle  

Holmes County Commissioners still awaiting approval for large scale event ordinance  

HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Holmes County residents will have to wait a bit longer to find out if there will be a special events ordinance in the future. 

 

Florida Weekly  

Florida Power & Light enhances energy grid with planned upgrades in Lee County  

Throughout 2024, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) plans to make the following upgrades in Lee County as part of its ongoing commitment to avoid outages and restore power faster following severe weather.   

 

ABC 7 

Lee County gives FEMA flood insurance update  

Lee County provided an update on the FEMA flood insurance issue on Tuesday. 

 

Orlando Sentinel 

Key support emerges for Orange County rural growth-control vote  

The up-again, down-again proposal to put an Orange County rural growth-control referendum on the November ballot may be headed toward an improbable victory, as county Mayor Jerry Demings said for the first time Tuesday he is “leaning towards doing something with a rural boundary.” 

 

Flagler Live 

For Flagler County, New Tax to Raise $7 Million a Year to Preserve Beaches Concedes Realities of Climate Change  

Monday’s milestone by the Flagler County Commission–seeking a new funding mechanism to rebuild and maintain the county’s 18 miles of beaches–was the culmination of a four-year process.   

 

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING 

CBS 12 

Palm Beach County Commission takes action on affordable housing  

WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) — Elected leaders in Palm Beach County are a step closer to getting more affordable housing built in Palm Beach County. 

 

My Suncoast 

More affordable housing in the works for Downtown Sarasota  

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – The Sarasota County Commission Tuesday briefly discussed allocating additional funding for more affordable housing units, including some in downtown Sarasota. 

 

CYBERSECURITY 

Route-Fifty 

Why cybersecurity begins with users  

COMMENTARY | Employees who are the least aware of security threats often present the biggest risk. 

FAC News Clips – June 4, 2024

COUNTY 

Bay News 9 

County leaders discuss potential development restrictions  

ORLANDO, Fla. — In a regularly scheduled county commission meeting Tuesday, Orange County leaders will take on the rural boundary discussion. 

 

SRQ Magazine 

Sarasota County Honored with National Award  

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) has been honored with a 2024 National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) award 

 

My Panhandle 

Commissioners review possible changes to Walton County beach rules  

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — A handful of changes could be coming for those that enjoy Walton County waterways and beaches.    

 

WESH 

New domestic violence service center opened in Seminole County  

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — “It’s very, very empowering.” 

 

HURRICANE PERPAREDNESS  

Tampa Bay Times 

As busy hurricane season looms, FEMA warns it could run out of disaster cash  

With a grim storm forecast ahead, the nation’s top disaster responders are in danger of running out of cash at the peak of hurricane season — again. 

 

LEGISLATION 

Florida Bar 

Public records exemptions for county and city attorneys and clerk employees bills hit the governor’s desk  

City and county attorneys and their deputies, and Florida court clerks and “clerk personnel,” would have additional protections against death threats and stalking under bipartisan bills that lawmakers have forwarded to Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

 

Click Orlando  

Here are the all of the new Florida laws going into effect next month  

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Over the past few months, Florida lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis have been busy passing new laws as part of the 2024 Legislative Session. 

 

BROADBAND 

Route-Fifty 

23M households will no longer receive monthly federal internet subsidy  

The Affordable Connectivity Program has officially run out of money. But more than a dozen internet providers have pledged to offer plans at $30 or less through 2024 for low-income households.