The Growth Management, Agriculture & Environment Policy Committee had a very productive meeting last week, discussing several issues that we anticipate will receive heightened attention during the upcoming legislative session.    FAC would like to thank the Committee Chairman, Commissioner Jean Monestime (Miami-Dade County) for his excellent work leading the discussion, moderating the debate and directing the Committee’s focus.  

In the Environmental and Agricultural policy areas, the Committee discussed several topics including conservation lands, stormwater fees, and utility liens, not to mention the ever-present issue of urban fertilizer application.  The Committee then selected its priorities for the coming legislative session -- water funding, springs protection and citrus greening.   

After spirited debate, the Committee approved – and the Executive Committee adopted -- the following policy statements as FAC’s legislative position on these priority issues:    

 Water Funding: 

SUPPORT legislation that enhances regional and local financial capacity to address water supply development and the flexibility of all available funding sources. 

SUPPORT the funding of the Water Protection and Sustainability Program within the Department of Environmental Protection for the development of alternative water supplies, water quality improvement projects, and comprehensive water infrastructure needs.   

SUPPORT sustained commitment of state resources for regional systems of statewide importance, such as rivers, springs and the Everglades. SUPPORT renewed funding for alternative water supply projects, conservation, and the TMDL program.

Springs Protection

SUPPORT state funding for nutrient load reduction programs within Florida’s springsheds.

SUPPORT state funding for projects that will improve water quantity and water quality within Florida’s springsheds.

Citrus Greening:

SUPPORT state, federal and local efforts to include research and assist the citrus industry in addressing and controlling the damage and threat caused by citrus greening / Huanglongbing (HLB).

For information on any of the Environment and Agriculture policy statements of related bills, please contact Stephen James.