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Posted on: May 19, 2021


Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson with the Tallahassee lobbying team standing behind her.

Monroe County Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson presented the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) a legislative session wrap-up discussion with the County’s lobbying team. The Florida State legislative session concluded Friday, April 30, 2021, as scheduled. 

The BOCC’s priorities included appropriations for Stewardship funding, land acquisition, vessel pump-out services, upgrades to the local Baker Act facility, preservation of affordable Citizens wind insurance rates, reduction of derelict vessels, resiliency funding, vacation rental grandfather protection, and preservation of home rule authority. 

A brief recap of Monroe County’s session outcomes, to be signed by the Governor on or before July 1: 

  • Successful in securing Stewardship and land acquisition funding appropriations requests in full. This is the first year the County secured the entire $25 million request for Stewardship. 
  • Secured funding for the local pump-out program for $1 million.
  • Secured $200,000 for Baker Act facility upgrades.
  • Successfully defeated efforts to eliminate the Citizen’s wind insurance rate cap and reduce the replacement value of new roofs, but there will be a 1 percent increase in the rate cap each year for the next five years.
  • Secured approval for a new 90-day anchoring limit for all the waters of the Florida Keys with a requirement to place 300 new mooring balls. The County is determining need and looking to identify ways to make mooring ball permitting and placement easier and less costly.
  • Supported State initiative to provide resilience funding via the passage of HB 7019/SB 1954, which authorizes $100 million annually for local government flood mitigation projects. The County successfully amended the bill’s language to ensure local flood mitigation projects will qualify for the new funding.
  • Instrumental in the efforts to amend a bill limiting local government authority to issue emergency orders allowing the County to maintains its ability to issue hurricane-related evacuation and road closure emergency orders. 
  • While home rule was more challenged than ever this year with the passage of several significant new preemption bills, this session’s vacation rental bill did not pass. Monroe County’s grandfathered vacation rental regulations remain untouched.

“Monroe County also supported and applauds the levels of funding in this year’s State budget for Everglades restoration and Florida Forever,” said Tennyson. 

The BOCC will also send a formal veto request for three bills on the Governor’s desk. The three bills are regarding home-based businesses, occupational licensing, and anonymous code compliance complaints. 

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