2019 Federal Legislative Session

Photo of Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi and Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson wi

Each year, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners approves a Federal Legislative Agenda that prioritizes issues to support. Here is the 2019 priority list.

1. SUPPORT RE-AUTHORIZATION OF THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM (NFIP) AND PROTECT ITS AFFORDABILITY

As a coastal community, Monroe County is highly reliant upon the continuation of the National Flood Insurance Program and its affordability. Flood insurance that is not affordable hurts our property owners, property values, local tax revenue and economic activity.

The State of Florida is the most impacted by changes to the federal program with 1.7 million of the 5 million NFIP policies -- more than any other state. And Monroe County has more than 30,250 policyholders with more than $7 billion in insured value.

Coastal communities generate 80% of the State of Florida’s Gross Domestic Product and 46% of the entire national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  The National Flood Insurance Program is important because it protects the economic engines that coastal communities represent to the State of Florida and nationwide.

Monroe County supports reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with the following reforms to the program that make it both financially sustainable and affordable:

  • Maintain focus on affordability; provide a more reasonable glide path for all properties;
  • Ensure rates are consistent for all properties, including second homes and businesses;
  • Ensure NFIP rates are not excessive or unfair by making the rate-setting process more transparent;
  • Reduce commissions for Write-Your-Owns and incentivize their NFIP policy sales efforts;
  • Encourage greater participation by those outside of the 100-year floodplain via expanded use of the Preferred Risk Policy;
  • Strengthen enforcement responsibilities to ensure those in the 100-year floodplain have and maintain flood insurance;
  • Ensure that any increased privatization maintains affordability and consumer protections, and requires whole profile of risk (no cherry picking);
  • Increase funding for flood mitigation (up to a 6:1 return on investment).

National Flood Insurance Program Information

2. SUPPORT TIMELY FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE REIMBURSEMENT FOR HURRICANE IRMA  

Monroe County incurred $42 million in emergency Category A and Category B expenses. To date, 15 months after Category 4 Hurricane Irma, the County has received $3 million in reimbursements.

3. SUPPORT 2020 FUNDING FOR:

  • PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES FUNDING: Support full and long-term mandatory funding of the Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.
  • FLORIDA KEYS WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM FUNDING: Support full funding of the Florida Keys Water Quality Improvements Program via the Army Corps of Engineers annual Work Plans.
  • FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY WATER QUALITY PROTECTION PROGRAM FUNDING: Support full funding of the South Florida Geographic Program/Florida Keys Water National Marine Sanctuary Quality Protection Program in annual Interior and Environment Appropriations bills.
  • EVERGLADES RESTORATION: Support efforts to improve the health of Florida Bay by restoring adequate fresh water flows through the Everglades.  Support funding for EAA Reservoir and CEPP and construction of the other elements of Central Everglades Planning Project.

4. OPPOSE OIL DRILLING AND EXPLORATION, LEASE EXPANSION AND SEISMIC TESTING ON FEDERAL LANDS AND WATERS

This include the Everglades, federal waters on Florida’s Outer Continental Shelf, off the eastern seaboard of the United States, and east of the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico, and within the boundaries of Florida’s territorial seas.