“It’s exciting that Florida has so many
opportunities in front of it.”
Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby), Chair, Senate Community Affairs Committee
According to research from the Florida Chamber Foundation, Florida’s water use is expected to increase by approximately 28 percent between now and 2030. That’s about 2 billion more gallons of water used per day!
For Florida, a long-term, science-based water policy is key to future growth. Senator Wilton Simpson discusses the importance of sustainable plans and his bill, SB 918.
“[SB] 918 is very important to being able to preserve our spring sheds, our everglade sheds, Northern Everglades and our quality of live,” said Senator Simpson. “Going to nine billion gallons a day – it’s important that we have a statewide policy that gives a clear road map to what is the best way to meet Florida’s challenges.”
As for the progress of Amendment 1 implementation, Senator Simpson and members of the legislature are ensuring the law be implemented in a fiscally responsible way.
“I think the state of Florida, in total, will be very satisfied with the way we end up spending the 33 percent of doc stamps,” explained Senator Simpson. “There’s a couple of things that people in the state should be very pleased with. We are going to spend many hundreds of millions more than that from GR (general revenue) and other revenue sources on these items, first of all. And then second of all, we hear a lot about ‘well this group isn’t going to be happy if we do it one way or another way.’ So what I would add to this is that depending on where you are from, is going to be whether we met the intent of the constitutional amendment, your opinion will be. For instance, if you are from the Everglades, clearly you want to more of the money spent in South Florida. If you are along the coast of the state of Florida, maybe you’re more interested in beach nourishment and restoration, if you’re in North Florida its springs, if you’re in the Orlando area it’s the CFWI. So I think depending on where you are from will determine your true opinion of what we’ve done. But if you take in total all the projects we’re doing around the Everglades, the Caloosahatchee, the St. Lucie, Indian River Lagoon, the springs protection that is in [SB] 918, you should be very satisfied that we were frugal with your taxpayers dollars and that we did the best we could to spread it out evenly over those districts.”
On Sector Plans and Developmental Regions of Impact (DRI), Sen. Simpson explains the need to ensure streamlined processes.
“Right now about 65 percent of our population doesn’t not live under a DRI review,” said Senator Simpson. “So what we are saying is because it is duplicative in nature, or tri-plicative in nature, there is no reason to have this extra layer of red tape when you are trying to develop a subdivision. When you are looking at these regulations, by eliminating them I believe we are going to have a better product at the end. I think it’s going to add a lot of positive effects to future Florida growth and it’s going to eliminate major headaches that shouldn’t exist anyways.”
Florida’s growth opportunities don’t just exists in the United States, but around the globe.
“I believe that in the next three to five years, Florida will become a major manufacturing hub to the United States and the rest of the world,” said Senator Simpson. “The question is now, how do we remain globally competitive and be able to access our ports and our rail line appropriately. This bill attempts to give priory funding for those areas for counties or multi counties who come together with logistic areas for access to those areas. It’s exciting that Florida has so many opportunities in front of it. And I believe that bill is another step in the right direction toward making sure that we can be competitive globally for manufacturing jobs in the state of Florida.”