Issues of Interest

BP SETTLEMENT FUNDS Four regional economic development projects in Northwest Florida will receive $19 million from Triumph Gulf Coast, the organization created to administer the settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The Port of Panama City and Wakulla, Escambia and Okaloosa counties are the initial project recipients, with more than $1.5 billion anticipated for other projects over the next 13 years.

PARKLAND COMMISSION The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission held its first meeting on April 24th on Broward College’s Coconut Creek campus. The 16-member commission was created as part of the school safety bill passed by the Legislature in March. The Commission is expected to review the mass shooting at MSD High and make recommendations to prevent future tragedies. Three parents of victims as well as law enforcement representatives, school system representatives, a mental health expert, a prosecutor, and local Senator Lauren Book serve on the commission.

FLORIDA POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY Florida Polytechnic University, which was created as an independent university in 2012, graduated its first class on May 5th. A total of 222 students participated in the commencement ceremonies.

FLORIDA KEYS WORKFORCE HOUSING Governor Scott asked the Department of Economic Opportunity to propose enhanced workforce housing in the Florida Keys as part of the continued efforts to recover from Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma destroyed much of the housing that served the workforce population and the initiative will allow up to 1,300 new building permits for housing throughout the Florida Keys.

FEDERAL DEFENSE GRANTS The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will be administering $3.5 million in grants from the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program and the Defense Reinvestment Grant Program, awarded to support community projects at military installations across the state. The grants provide funding for local infrastructure and land acquisition needs, as well as assisting communities surrounding military installations in diversifying their economies. You may view the grant recipients here.