DeSantis holds Visit Florida fate in his hands

by | May 4, 2022

 

The Legislature on Tuesday sent 20 bills to Gov. Ron DeSantis, including a measure that would help ensure the Visit Florida tourism-marketing agency continues operating until Oct. 1, 2028. Lawmakers passed the bills during the legislative session that ended in March but had not formally sent them to DeSantis.

Under current law, Visit Florida would be repealed Oct. 1, 2023, without an extension. But if DeSantis signs the bill (SB 434), the agency would be authorized for six additional years.

Among the other bills sent to DeSantis was a measure (HB 7053) that includes setting up a new resiliency office directly under the governor to address issues related to rising sea levels. DeSantis used an executive order to create the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection in the Department of Environmental Protection days after he became governor in January 2019.

In addition to setting up the office under DeSantis, this year’s bill would require the development of a resilience action plan for the state highway system, require a prioritized list of resilience projects that would include costs and timelines and create a database that would identify such things as medical centers, utilities, emergency operation centers and airports that would be threatened by rising sea levels.

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