Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a controversial measure on Friday that blocks localities from becoming sanctuary cities and mandates they cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. “I am proud to sign the bill presented to me by the Florida Legislature to uphold the rule of law and ensure that no city or county jurisdiction can get in the way of Florida’s cooperation with our federal partners to enforce immigration law," DeSantis said in a statement on Friday. "This is about public safety, not about politics. We must do everything within our power, and use all the tools available to us, to ensure that our communities are safe.”
As planned, the Legislature on Friday sent a proposed $91.1 billion budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Governor, who has vowed to use his line-item veto power to trim the budget, is expected to sign the document (SB 2500) and issue vetoes next week. The 488-page budget was one of 10 bills formally sent to DeSantis on Friday. Among the other bills were a measure that would create a hemp program administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (SB 1020); a measure that would make a series of changes in the election system (SB 7066); and a proposed Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative that would involve a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory (SB 1552).
Tampa Bay Times
The Supreme Court will soon decide whether President Donald Trump’s administration can ask 2020 Census respondents if they’re a U.S. citizen. Census experts have long urged against a citizenship question on the decennial survey, warning it will lead to an undercount. Studies have shown minority populations, especially Hispanic communities, are less likely to respond out of fear of retribution. States like Florida could lose congressional seats and millions in federal financial assistance. Democrats say it’s a political move by Republicans.
Citrus County Chronicle
Citrus County is special, and we all know it. But the state has identified Citrus County as special in a way that’s not really so great. It’s one of just nine counties in the state that have been designated Priority Focus Areas — areas where the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) finds it necessary to impose special water quality protections, or where septic systems contribute more than 20 percent of the pollution load. The state adopted new rules aimed at improving Florida’s outstanding springs systems that are in peril. Citrus County has two on the list: Crystal River/Kings Bay and the Homosassa and Chassahowitzka Springs groups.
The Real Deal
Airbnb provided tax-compliance guidance to its hosts in Palm Beach County as commissioners prepared to vote on revised rules for short-term rentals listed on Airbnb and other online platforms. Airbnb advised Palm Beach County hosts in an email to establish accounts with the county government for paying the Tourist Development Tax and obtaining a Business Tax Receipt from the Palm Beach County Tax Collector. Failure to establish accounts to pay county taxes “could prevent you from hosting short term stays in the future,” Airbnb said in the email to Palm Beach County hosts.
Southeast AG Network
Three meetings this week in three different areas of the state brought more discussion that should wake up producers and others in agriculture who have remained mostly silent for decades. As the state’s population continues to swell by a 1,000 new residents each day, Florida’s population will likely exceed 22-million next year for the nation’s third most populous state with no end in sight. The first meeting of the newly appointed Blue-Green Algae Task Force (BGATF) met at Florida Department of Protection (FDEP) headquarters in Tallahassee all day Wednesday. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board gathered for its monthly in West Palm Beach on Thursday, after changing earlier plans to hold its June meeting in Okeechobee.