House Committee Headed to Florida for Field Roundtable on WRDA

October 18, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – A House Panel that deals with water resource and environmental issues will travel to South Florida this weekend for a roundtable on infrastructure projects to be considered for inclusion in the next Water Resources Development Act.

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., chair of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., the panel’s co-chair, are hosting the discussion Saturday in Founders Park in Islamorada, Florida.

Among those scheduled to attend are Islamorada Mayor Deb Gillis; State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez; state Department of Environmental Protection Sec. Noah Valenstein; Florida Ports Council Vice President Michael Rubin; Mary Barley, founding director of the Everglades Foundation; Cheryl Meads, a member of the South Florida Water Management District board; and Jayantha Obeysekera, director of the Sea Level Solutions Center at Florida International University.

According to a release from the subcommittee, the purpose of the roundtable is to define the water challenges states and communities face and to determine possible solutions to address America’s infrastructure needs.

They are slated to discuss current and future U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ water infrastructure projects.

The roundtable comes two days after representatives from the South Florida “16 County Coalition” travelled to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress about the funding status of various water infrastructure projects in the region.

The coalition is made up of representatives from Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceloa, Palm Beach, Polk and St. Lucie counties.

On Thursday they met with representatives of the House Everglades Caucus, which is led by Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.

Hendry County Commissioner Karson Turner, a member of the coalition, told Ryan Nicol of FloridaPolitics.com that his goal in making the trip was to secure guaranteed federal funding for several projects going forward.

“We’ve had a handful of good conversations with different leaders and I think that there is some movement,” Turner said. “Not to mention, there’s a huge economic development aspect to this whole conversation with regards to job creation.”

A meeting of the Florida congressional delegation earlier this year also yielded discussion regarding the effort by the Army Corps of Engineers to review and revise the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule, which dictates the water levels of the lake.

The schedule guarantees Florida’s agricultural interests will have water during the state’s winter dry season, and that excess water will be released ahead of major hurricanes and tropical storms in the summer.

However, those releases from the lake are blamed for harm to coastal estuaries.

State News

Judge Rules Against Florida on Felons Paying Fines to Vote
State News
Judge Rules Against Florida on Felons Paying Fines to Vote

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida law requiring felons to pay legal fees as part of their sentences before regaining the vote is unconstitutional for those unable to pay, or unable to find out how much they owe, a federal judge ruled Sunday. The 125-page ruling... Read More

US Faces a Memorial Day Like No Other
In The News
US Faces a Memorial Day Like No Other

(AP) — Americans prepared to mark a Memorial Day like no other as the coronavirus pandemic upended traditional commemorations. U.S. authorities warned beach-goers to heed social distancing rules to avoid a resurgence of the virus that has infected 5.4 million people worldwide and killed over 345,000,... Read More

Former Elections Judge Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Fix Primary Results
Criminal Justice
Former Elections Judge Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Fix Primary Results
May 22, 2020
by Dan McCue

A former elections judge in Philadelphia pleaded guilty to accepting cash and "other things of value" in return for tampering with the results of city primary elections over several years, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Domenick J. Demuro pleaded guilty to “conspiring to deprive persons of... Read More

Dam Disaster Raises Concerns Communities Not Prepared For “Rough” Hurricane Season
State News
Dam Disaster Raises Concerns Communities Not Prepared For “Rough” Hurricane Season
May 21, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Thousands of Michigan residents were forced to evacuate their homes on Wednesday after heavy rains caused two dams to fail in Midland county, about 120 miles northwest of the city of Detroit. The breaches of the Edenville and Sanford Dams sent a deluge of water into... Read More

Trump Threatens Aid Freeze for Michigan, Nevada Over Baseless ‘Voter Fraud’ Charge
Political News
Trump Threatens Aid Freeze for Michigan, Nevada Over Baseless ‘Voter Fraud’ Charge

President Donald Trump took a page from his Ukraine scandal playbook Wednesday and threatened to withhold federal aid for Michigan and Nevada if the states allow residents to vote by mail in November’s general election. Trump, who was impeached last year for holding up $391 million... Read More

As All 50 States Start Reopening, Questions on Virus Tracking Data Fuel Concerns
State News
As All 50 States Start Reopening, Questions on Virus Tracking Data Fuel Concerns

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is defending his administration’s reporting of coronavirus data, after a state Department of Health manager said she was fired for refusing to manipulate COVID-19 tracking data as officials moved to reopen the state. Rebekah Jones, who was in charge of Florida’s online... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top