Issues of Interest

VOTER REGISTRATION DATA Over a year after approval by the Legislature, Governor DeSantis has authorized Florida’s 67 election supervisors to join the Electronic Registration Information Center. The bipartisan, non-profit group is a coalition of 29 states who share voter registration data to clean up voter rolls by identifying duplicate registrations, deceased voters, and other conflicting issues. The move was strongly endorsed by the supervisors.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY GOALS Florida’s investor owned utilities appeared before the Public Service Commission (PSC) in an effort to nearly eliminate required energy efficiency goals. Every five years, the companies are required to establish energy reduction goals based upon programs they implement, such as rebates for installation of efficient AC units or appliances. The companies are requesting goals of near, or at, zero. The PSC has yet to announce their decision.

HEMP LEGALIZATION With the possession of hemp becoming legal in Florida as of July 1st, state prosecutors are now in a quandary. Hemp and marijuana are nearly identical plants with the only difference being the level of THC. Probable cause laws allow law enforcement to perform searches based upon sight or smell. Because there is confusion on what procedures are to be followed, Gainesville prosecutors are dropping all cannabis cases, while other areas are studying the issue.

HILLSBOROUGH TRANSPORTATION TAX The see-saw battle over the transportation tax in Hillsborough County continues. Both the Florida Senate and House have joined the legal challenge seeking its repeal based upon constitutional issues. The tax was approved by 57 percent of Hillsborough voters.