It’s not unusual for the Florida legislature to focus on short-term strategies and solutions to meet the needs of today while forgoing long-term planning. This could be the biggest unintended consequence of eight-year term limits. A void in long-term thinking has made the future-oriented work of the Florida Chamber Foundation and its Florida 2030 Blueprint all the more important. The 39 goals to secure Florida’s future are what shape the Florida Chamber’s legislative agenda on an annual basis. As we grow by 3.5 million more Floridians, 3 million more drivers and need to create 1.48 million more jobs, it’s important that Florida has the appropriate infrastructure in place to meet future demand.
We often say on the government affairs team that “leadership matters,” and this year is no exception. Speaker Paul Renner, who will serve as speaker from 2022-2024, has set forth an agenda that recognizes the need for long-term infrastructure planning and funding to better prepare for the 1000+ new residents Florida adds each day. This priority is illustrated by the creation of a new Infrastructure Strategies Committee with three subcommittees- Agriculture, Conservation & Resiliency; Transportation & Modals; and Water Quality, Supply & Treatment. These committees will look at infrastructure needs through 2045 and necessary funding to meet future demand. This long-range focus will help ensure Florida starts investing today to meet Florida’s projected growth and maintain Florida’s quality of life. It also will assist in tackling the key strategies and recommendations outlined in the Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study and meeting the following Florida 2030 Blueprint targets:
- Diverse, attainable housing to meet future demand
- Every resident has access to public and private mobility services
- All major population and economic centers connected to regional, national and global markets by high-capacity corridors
- World’s most capable spaceport, top tier airports, seaports and surface transportation hubs in U.S.
- 100% of Florida residents have access to high-speed communications connectivity
- Diverse and reliable energy, water and waste management resources to meet future demand
- All Florida residents protected by resiliency plans
Additionally, earlier this week Governor Ron DeSantis announced the “Moving Florida Forward” initiative to infuse $7 billion in state funding to expedite 20 congestion relief projects on Florida’s highways and roads over the next four years. The Governor’s proposal includes $4 billion in funding from General Revenue, which would be leveraged by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for financing and contracting. For a list of the 20 projects, click here.
To learn more or to join the Florida Chamber’s efforts to shape future infrastructure needs through the Infrastructure Coalition, contact Carolyn Johnson at email@example.com