Buchanan, Robinson Lead House Committees into Session

Todays News

Area lawmakers enter this year’s legislative session in positions of significance in the Florida House.

Rep. James Buchanan chairs the House Environment, Agriculture & Flooding Subcommittee, where preservation of wildlife corridors and coastal resiliency loom large. Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton, heads the House Professions & Public Health Subcommittee, and also holds a vice chair spot of the House Legislative Redistricting Subcommittee. That means both with tackle bills this significantly impact the business and ecological environment of Florida in ways that could have impacts for years.

“We're doing some of the finishing touches this session on some of the resiliency work that we got done last year,” said Buchanan, referencing legislation that helped standardize projects to make more comprehensive and equitable evaluations of merits. He would like to see the leveraging of some state dollars to help projects of ecological significance advance. He’d like to see efforts like preserving contiguous wildlife resources and stopping damage to the environment before the state needs to fund restoration. “Number one needs to be solving the source of the problem,” he said, “because the other piece is a lot more costly, when you are cleaning up later.”

Robinson is working in some similar areas, like seeking appropriations to buy Rattlesnake Key.

He’s also working on cleaning up some of the fee structures in Florida. For example, many governments are shifting more from road impact fees to mobility impact fees, which can be used for multi-modal improvements like bike lanes and bus stops. “But there's nothing in statute that provides a framework or guide posts for what a mobility fee means,” Robinson said.

He’s found even some local governments who collect such fees would like a framework that clearly defines how money can be used and avoiding.

He also has legislation to guard individuals’ investments, a response to a court ruling he found atrocious. But he’s using fewer bill slots this year and focusing more on his committee work, governing what happens with business certification and regulation requirements statewide.


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