Companion bills SB 462 and HB 237 seek to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other forms of well stimulation in Florida. Supporters of the bills claim that a ban on fracking in Florida would not impact the state’s existing oil and gas industry. This is simply not true.
The Florida Legislature is a remarkable institutional setting for the great philosophical debates that occupy the time of our elected officials -- except when it isn’t.
The Lake Point lawsuit against Maggy Hurchalla, a former Martin County commissioner and environmental activist, alleging she interfered with the western Martin rock mine's contracts, finally … finally … goes to trial Monday. The county has endured five years of legal wrangling, accompanied by the choreographed hand-wringing and inflammatory remarks by Hurchalla groupies to get to this point.
This week, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., South Florida’s only Member on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and the sponsor of the “VITA Permanence Act," highlighted the need for permanent, free tax preparing services for low income South Floridians in a Subcommittee on Oversight. Curbelo highlighted the legislation’s bipartisan support within the House of Representatives, and emphasized how free tax preparing services help vulnerable populations receive highly-accurate guidance to ensure the largest possible tax returns.
I recently introduced legislation in the Florida House to start the process of moving the Capital to better serve Floridians - for the next 500 years. Tallahassee was the right place for Florida’s Capital 150 years ago, when the state’s center was between Pensacola and Jacksonville. That criteria (the state’s center) still applies today.
I recently traveled to Tallahassee to represent the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association (FL VRMA), and an industry which has become a vital part of Florida’s tourism economy, at Tourism Day at the Capitol. There I had the opportunity to listen to an encouraging speech given by Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) President and CEO Carol Dover. One that we would like to hold her to.
In a formal objection letter sent on Thursday to the U.S. Interior Department, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., urged the agency to preserve critical offshore drilling safety regulations adopted after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The public comment period on the agency’s proposal closes on Monday.
It has been said that Everglades restoration efforts are often hindered by analysis paralysis. In the past, projects have been slowed, or even stopped, because concerns were raised about a good project not being perfect.
Towards the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. and U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., led the entire Florida congressional delegation in urging U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to ensure that the recent Interior Department offshore proposal does not “adversely affect military readiness and training activities off of Florida’s coasts.”
During a hearing late Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., senior deputy majority whip and a member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, noted that regulators need to work more closely and less antagonistically with financial firms to avoid future calamities. The comments came during a mark-up of his bill, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Improvement Act of 2018. Ross said the following: