Issues of Interest

HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION FUNDING Governor Scott told the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to file a budget amendment to redirect funding for homelessness prevention services. The Legislature provided DCF spending authority in the FY 2018-19 budget for the Challenge Grant, but did not provide for the funding. The Challenge Grant funds are directed to local agencies that coordinate homelessness services to provide housing and support to individuals and families in communities throughout Florida.

SUNPASS Florida’s SunPass had a backlog of over 100 million toll transactions stemming from technical issues revolving around a computer software overhaul that went awry. Access to the system’s customer accounts was frozen and charges were not being processed correctly. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, late fees and penalties will not be assessed until the system resumes normal operation. The state has frozen payments to the IT vendor responsible for the overhaul.

HIGH SPEED RAIL The Brightline highspeed rail is currently operating from West Palm Beach to Miami and will begin service to Orlando in early 2021. Governor Scott announced that the State would consider leasing property to the railway for an expansion from Orlando to Tampa.

SPACE X Space X is building a rocket-processing facility on Cape Canaveral between the Kennedy Space Center’s visitors complex and the vehicle assembly building. The plans include a 32,000 square foot launch and landing control center, a 133,000 square foot refurbishing and storage facility and a garden of recovered rockets.

SARASOTA COUNTY MARIJUANA BAN Sarasota County is moving to pass an ordinance which would outlaw the cultivation of marijuana for recreational use. This comes after the County recently approved two medical marijuana dispensaries. The County attorney has advised the Commission that should the State legalize recreational use, the ordinance would be pre-empted by state law.