Legislative Delegation season is here


SOME COUNTIES’ LEGISLATIVE DELEGATIONS HAVE ALREADY MET, MANY OTHERS ARE COMING UP THIS MONTH

by Eugene Kelly, Sue Mullins, and Valerie Anderson

WHAT

A Legislative Delegation is an office within (most) county governments and the group of state-level legislators that represent that county. This group holds public meetings once a year in the Board of County Commissioners chambers or some other public meeting place. This meeting is in the winter, between December and February. Members of the public who wish to speak must submit a completed Public Hearing Form well before the meeting, although in most cases citizens can show up and file a card on the spot to speak to the delegation.

This Legislative Delegation meeting provides local constituents with a rare opportunity to speak directly with the state lawmakers who represent them in Tallahassee. Local politicians often attend these events, so they will hear your concerns, too.

WHY

Protecting native plants and their habitats in Florida requires action by our state legislature. Attached is the schedule of the state’s remaining meetings for 2019. Fill out and submit a speaker’s card if the deadline hasn’t already passed. Speak as a citizen, not as a representative of the Florida Native Plant Society.


MAJOR POINTS TO EMPHASIZE

  1. Restore Florida Forever funding.
    Let them know that when you voted in support of Amendment 1, you intended for a large portion of the funds to be used to conserve land. Annual funding for Florida Forever should at least equal the $300 million that was allocated before funding was cut in response to the recession. This amount is not cost-prohibitive given that annual Amendment 1 funding exceeds $750 million.
  2. Manage Florida’s conservation lands responsibly.
    The land we have already conserved represents a valuable investment and proper management is necessary to protect our investment. Management shouldn’t be short-changed by inadequate staffing or funding. Funding should be sufficient to implement the management plans that have been adopted for each property. 
  3. Adopt a comprehensive approach to protection of our water resources. Such an approach must account for the water needs of our springs, rivers, estuaries, and other water-dependent natural systems.
  4. Florida’s extreme vulnerability to sea level rise must be recognized as an immediate and long-term threat to our environment, economy and groundwater resources. It demands a comprehensive statewide response to conserve our beaches, coastal wetlands and seagrasses, and the fisheries that depend on them.

WHEN

Thursday Jan 17, 2019

  • St. Lucie County, Fort Pierce, 9:00AM-12:00PM, link | map
  • Palm Beach County (Joint Workshops), Jupiter 12:45PM-5:15PM link | map
  • Putnam County, Palatka 1:00PM-4:00PM link | map
  • Osceola County, Kissimmee 9:00AM-12:30PM link | map

Friday Jan 18, 2019

  • Okeechobee County, Okeechobee 9:00AM-10:30AM link | map
  • Highlands County, Sebring 12:00PM-2:00PM map

Monday Jan 28, 2019

  • Palm Beach County Belle Glade 2:00PM-5:00PM link | map 
  • Orange County, Orlando, 9:30PM-6:00PM link | map

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