The 2019 Florida Legislative Session officially began on March 5, 2019 and ended 60 days later on May 3, 2019.
According to Florida Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples), “This year’s budget prioritizes Florida’s PreK-12 education system, while still giving $121 million to Florida’s citizens in tax relief, investing $1.85 billion for Hurricane Michael relief, and devoting more than $680 million to water quality and environmental protection projects. The 2019-20 budget dedicates $367 million for Everglades restoration, $100 million in springs restoration, $25 million in septic-to-sewer and wastewater treatment, $33 million for Florida Forever, and $50 million for beach restoration.”
Environment: More than $6.1 billion is allocated to the protection and restoration of the environment in Florida. The funding supports a wide range of programs, including:
- $23 million to the Department of Citrus, with more than $16 million devoted to addressing citrus health and crop decline.
- $367.2 million for Everglades projects.
- $149.1 million for water quality improvement, including septic-to-sewer/wastewater treatment.
- $10.8 million for the Blue Green Algae Task Force.
- $4.2 million for red tide research.
- $10 million for Innovative Technology Grants for harmful algal blooms.
- $50 million for Beach Management Funding Assistance.
District projects sponsored by Senator Passidomo for Collier, Hendry, and Lee counties received about $8.6 million in funding in this year’s budget. These projects include:
$500,000 for Marco Island South Barfield Drive Drainage Project. The storm drainage is very limited between San Marco Road which causes local connector streets to flood and become impassable. By creating a master planned stormwater management system will provide a means to fix this problem. Water quality will be improved by the reduction in harmful discharges.
$500, 000 for Marco Island – Barrier Island Emergency Services Fire Station: This building will serve as a primary housing facility pre-, during and post- storm this will allow emergency services to be provided to citizens. The project will provide all emergency management service coordination and act as the City’s Emergency Operations Center during disasters. This building will also house the post-disaster FEMA recovery area for citizens.
- $381,000 for City of Clewiston Storm Spill Prevention.
- $1.2 million for Naples Bay Red Tide/Septic Tank Mitigation.
- $1 million to connect Airglades Airport to the City of Clewiston Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- $2 million for the City of Clewiston C-21 Bridge Canal Crossing.
- $110,000 for City of LaBelle Emergency Generators.
- $312,500 for Plantation Island Hurricane Irma Waterway Recovery.
- $87,000 for Lehigh Acres Caloosahatchee River & Estuary Storage & Treatment.
- $100,000 for Caloosahatchee River Aqua Vegetation.
- $75,000 for Jewish Family and Community Services of SWFL – Dementia Respite & Support.
- $650,000 for Auditory Oral Intervention for Children with Hearing Loss.
- $279,000 for the David Lawrence Center Wraparound Collier Program.
- $85,000 for Lighthouse for the Blind – Collier County.
- $250,000 for Florida Network: Stop Now and Plan for Children.
- $500,000 for Destination Graduation.
- $250,000 for Learning for Life (Boy Scouts Program).
Senator Passidomo is proud of the work the legislature accomplished this session and is honored to serve as the Senate Majority Leader.