House Committee Headed to Florida for Field Roundtable on WRDA
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.
In The News
Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that the priorities and concerns of cities and counties across America are heard on Capitol Hill. The bipartisan Congressional Caucus of Former Local Elected Officials was formed... Read More
Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs organization. The Gerrymandering Threat Index rates all 50 states, and its authors argue their findings underscore the urgent need to pass the redistricting reforms within the... Read More
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House and the Senate and will likely be voted on before lawmakers head back to their districts at the end of the month. The proposal to extend... Read More
WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5. That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for... Read More