Sen. Annette Taddeo has filed a bill that would allow local governments to approve stricter gun measures without state approval. Currently, local governments are preempted from passing gun control measures that are more restrictive than those passed by the state Legislature. But Taddeo’s bill (SB 134) would fully repeal a 1987 law that preempted that state action. It’s unlikely the GOP-controlled Legislature would go along with such an effort. The late Wednesday filing comes less than two weeks after a pair of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. Wednesday also marked the start of the 2019-20 school year.
Nassau County is getting a financial boost from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for work that had to be done after Hurricane Matthew. Nassau’s Director of Emergency Management Greg Foster says the $1.7 million dollars is for the stabilization effort on the southern part of Amelia Island. He says the project covered the areas near the Ritz Carlton, Summer Beach, Amelia Island Plantation and in the state parks. “Among other things it’s covering the beach re-nourishment from the erosion that was caused by Hurricane Matthew when it passed by us,” Foster says.
It's been a bad year for Florida's waterways. Since the first of the year, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has recorded 932 "Notices of Pollution" including an event on Sunday in Satellite Beach, when 2,000 gallons was spilled. For Brevard Republican Randy Fine the spills are the source of consistent concern from voters. "There are entrenched special interests who don't want to solve the problem," says Fine. "On my bill that would have stopped local government from dumping into the lagoon, that bill was opposed by local governments." Fine's bill (HB 141) passed the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee 11-0, but died in the State Affairs Committee. Senate companion bills also did not pass.
Brevard County Commission Vice Chair Bryan Lober's proposal to reward residents for ideas that could save county government money didn't quite make the cut with his fellow commissioners. Three of the five county commissioners said they were against pursuing the proposal, with the opponents expressing concerns the measure would be too cumbersome and too subjective to implement, and could burden county staff with spending an extensive amount of time analyzing submissions from the public. Lober decided against seeking a formal vote on the proposal, saying: "I'll save the symbolic loss on this, and let it go."
Orange County’s 2020 Charter Review Commission is surveying residents on the prospect of expanding the current seven-seat Board of County Commissioners with two more members. The CRC’s committee reviewing the Orange County Commission is moving toward proposing a county charter amendment on the 2020 countywide ballot, proposing creation of seats for two additional members. The question comes up every in almost every Charter Review Commission, which meets every four years. The 2016 Orange County Charter Review Commission decided to not put the question before voters, as did the previous ones.
Pensacola News Journal
Escambia County Administrator Janice Gilley is creating a new ethics compliance unit in the county government. Gilley announced she was creating the new office in the county during the County Commission meeting Thursday morning. The county's internal investigator Keith Morris will lead the new unit, which will be put together with existing resources inside the county. Gilley told the News Journal after the meeting Thursday that the new unit would have two main goals to review existing county policy, ordinances and codes to ensure there are no conflicting rules and to ensure all county employees are operating under those rules consistently.
Sunshine State News
In the first six months of 2019, Florida has seen record tourism numbers according to new figures from Visit Florida and the governor’s office. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that almost 69 million tourists visited the Sunshine State during the first half of the year, beating the record high figure from last year by 5.6 percent. Most of those tourists--61.2 million--are Americans while 2.4 million came from Canada and 5.2 million from overseas. DeSanits noted how the state’s economy continues to rely on tourism.