Pensions, Water Supply, Synthetic Drugs, Billboards on League of Cities' 2013 Priority List

By: Jim Turner | Posted: December 8, 2012 3:55 AM

Billboard, Synthetic Drugs and a Water Plant

From left: Billboards, synthetic drugs and a Dania Beach water plant.

The Florida League of Cities outlined its priorities for the 2013 legislative session that include support for a statewide sustainable energy program, home rule on billboards, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s crackdown on synthetic drugs, and the ability of local governments to set their own fertilizer ordinances.

Among the priorities:

* Pension Reform: “The Florida League of Cities supports legislation that provides comprehensive municipal firefighter and police officer pension reform and disability presumption reform.”

* Economic Development: “Recognizing that 89 percent of all businesses in Florida have 12 or fewer employees, the Florida League of Cities supports legislation that dedicates to small businesses state economic development resources emphasizing technical assistance, access to capital, public infrastructure and urban infill.”

* Communications Services and Local Business Tax Protection: “The Florida League of Cities opposes legislation that restricts or eliminates municipal revenues generated under the communication services tax and the local business tax.”

* Water: “The Florida League of Cities supports legislation which recognizes that diminished water quality and quantity affect existing business, future economic development, local and state government budgets, and the public health and safety. Cities must retain the necessary tools to meet their obligations and responsibilities to comply with water-quality standards and water supply planning, development and source protection. These tools include the authority of local governments to adopt and implement fertilizer ordinances; the ability to cooperatively fund expanded wastewater, stormwater, potable water and surface water infrastructure; and statutory clarification of municipal authority to establish stormwater utilities and charge assessments and fees to the users of such systems, including state agencies and school boards. Further, the League supports legislation that establishes environmental, technical and scientific criteria for the protection and recovery of water resources and also assists municipalities’ economic development efforts.”

* Housing Policy: “The Florida League of Cities supports legislation directing $300 million from the landmark national foreclosure settlement agreement to be used for existing local government affordable housing initiatives to meet the housing needs of the local communities.”

* Energy: “The Florida League of Cities supports legislation that establishes a comprehensive statewide policy on sustainable energy development and conservation, and that incentivizes the development and implementation of renewable and alternative energy sources. In addition, the League supports legislation that authorizes the use of $192 million in Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds allocated to the state of Florida for local government energy efficiency projects.”

* Sober Homes: “The Florida League of Cities supports legislation that defines and establishes minimum regulatory standards for sober home facilities and allows for more stringent local regulations of these facilities.”

* Transportation Funding: “The Florida League of Cities supports legislation that preserves local control of transportation planning and provides opportunities for additional revenue options to fund municipal transportation infrastructure projects.”

* Billboards: “The Florida League of Cities supports legislation that maintains the home rule authority of municipalities to more strictly regulate outdoor advertising. Additionally, state legislation that maintains the Federal Highway Beautification Act, as enhanced by the Florida Legislature in 1985, should be the baseline standard for regulating off-premises outdoor advertising.”

* Synthetic Drugs: “The Florida League of Cities supports legislation and the efforts of the attorney general and law enforcement to ban the manufacture, possession, distribution, purchase or sale of synthetic drugs, including without limitation, herbal incense, bath salts, synthetic marijuana and/ or any cannabinoids in Florida and also encourages funding for drug abuse education.”

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (5)

1:39PM DEC 9TH 2012
Meanwhile, why worry about any of this - - the Florida Legislature was just rated as 6th worst Legislature in the country . . . losing out only to 5th ranked Georgia (attempted to "nullify" first amendment freedom of assembly), 4th ranked North Carolina (attempted to outlaw scientific sea-level rise projections), 3rd place New Hampshire (among many items - attempted to strip state courts of their powers of judicial review), 2nd place Oklahoma (mandated the teaching of evolution shortcomings after listening to a radical preacher rant that "the kids across the nation are taught they are advanced mutations of a baboon"), and 1st place Tennessee (mandating a new abstinence-only sex education program that critics warned would prohibit almost any discussion of sexual activity during sex ed, while sponsoring state Senator Stacey Campfield justified his bill by declaring that it is "virtually impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex").

Yes, Republican governance at their wacky best . . . . although Florida has a chance to move up on the list . . . the next Tea Party filled legislative session begins March 5th . . . . . just a few days before the Ides of March . . . . . thrilling . . . . . . . maybe Dec. 21st has some weird basis in reality afterall . . . . .
Joanne Walczak
12:03PM DEC 8TH 2012
If any one cares any longer about where our country is headed please
pick up a copy of Agenda 21. Control,control control by the government!! Now I have read that our farms,our private lands are no longer viable.Remember what the man in the WH said about this very thing? UN domination
12:39PM DEC 8TH 2012
Of course, you must be right . . . . the black helicopters are flying over, and we have blue helmeted troops at every church entrance . . . .yes, you must be right, the UN is here, the UN is here . . . . might I help you over to this padded chair with these nice arm straps . . . . . .at least until you get fully checked out to see just how crazy and dangerous to yourself your insanity truly is. . . . . . .perhaps it will be enough to wean your weak mind from FoxNews TV and Rush Limbaugh radio . . . those chronic purveyors of such "Big Lies" and truthiness . . .

Pathetic, panhandle Tea Party nonsense . . . . .
8:15AM DEC 8TH 2012
What are sober homes? For recovering or alcoholics in treatment?
12:08PM DEC 9TH 2012
Clearly not Joanne's.

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