In preparation for the 2020 legislative session, state lawmakers arrived in Florida’s Capital to begin tackling important issues in committee meetings. State agencies and organizations presented their priority issues, budget requests, and activities and achievements over the past year.
Representatives sat in on meetings that covered a variety of priority topics including health and human services, education, commerce, business and professions, and veterans affairs, among others I was able to vote to support my colleague, Representative Chris Sprowls from Palm Harbor, to become the future Speaker of the Florida House following the 2020 Election. The 2020 legislative session will begin on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
Once again, our Florida Park Service has been recognized nationwide with the 2019 National Gold Medal for Excellence for park and recreation management. This is Florida’s fourth Gold Medal and is the most in the nation. I am proud to say that Broward County and our district is home to the award winning Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. As with many of Florida’s pristine state parks, our eight beach parks are especially vulnerable. We must stop littering, especially people dropping cigarette butts on our beautiful beaches. Let’s continue to make our state parks a clean source of recreation for all.
The South Florida Water Management Caucus was invited to take a tour of the water management facility. The South Florida Water Management District is in charge of managing and protecting the water resources of sixteen counties, which stretch from Orlando to the Florida Keys. Out of the five water management districts in Florida, the South Florida Water Management District is the oldest and the largest.
The South Florida Water Management District operates and maintains the regional water management system known as the Central and Southern Florida Project. This system was authorized by Congress more than 60 years ago in order to protect residents and businesses from floods and droughts in the region. The system of canals and natural waterways are connected to community drainage districts, along with hundreds of small neighborhood drainage systems. They are needed to manage the floodwaters during heavy rainfall.
More than three billion gallons of water are used every day in Central and Southern Florida by 8.1 million residents and millions of visitors, for drinking and bathing, watering our lawns, growing our crops and servicing our industries. The South Florida Water Management District ensures the regional water management system operates efficiently to provide flood control, whether it is a summer rainstorm, a hurricane, or drought. Their main goal is to move water in order to meet the varying conditions, and in order to sustain South Florida’s people, economy and our environment.
My priorities this session will be focused around consumer protection issues and ensuring that we remain one of the top locations across the country to attract and retain businesses and residents. I will continue to stand up and be a vocal supporter of our beaches and our environment.
It is always a tremendous honor to serve you as your State Representative in Tallahassee.