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Posted on: October 25, 2023


Old and new Florida State Capitol with short and tall building landscape

The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners approved the County’s state legislative priorities for the 2024 session at last Wednesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson presented and explained Monroe County’s priorities for the upcoming session from Jan. 9 through March 8, 2024. Highlights of the agenda include:

  • The County’s number one priority is to secure a $25 million appropriation through the Florida Keys Stewardship Act (FKSA): $20 million for water quality projects, like canal restoration, and $5 million is for land acquisition and have the Stewardship Act funded in the State’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund that funds environmental priorities annually with documentary stamp taxes. 
  • Oppose legislation to consolidate the State’s judicial circuits, specifically the 16th (Monroe) and 11th (Miami) circuits. 
  • Support legislation to maintain Citizens’ annual rate cap at 10%, raise the Citizens’ value cap of primary homes to $1.5M, require only properties at flood risk to carry flood insurance, and allow that wind and flood policies not “be identical” as they relate to contents coverage. 
  • Support legislation to expand the eligible uses for Tourist Development Tax-generated funds to include affordable/workforce housing for tourism sector workers. 
  • Support legislation that gives temporary flexibility to Monroe County’s SHIP program regarding its income distribution requirements to ensure Monroe County can use the full allocation to assist qualified families. 
  • Support legislation to enable local governments to provide ad valorem property tax relief to owners of privately owned rental properties that voluntarily comply with affordability criteria. 
  • Water Quality: Support legislative appropriation for the development of mooring field shoreside facilities, support changes to the State’s Derelict Vessel Grant Program to improve removal timeframes, support statutory language to define and classify “migrant vessel” to allow for their immediate removal, and support continued DEP funding and management of the County marine vessel pump-out program
  • Support legislation for continuing local licensing programs for small, specialty tradespeople and contractors by repealing preemption and clarifying Monroe’s exemption (carve-out) language. 
  • Support Monroe’s projects submitted to the Resilient Florida grant program and for elevation/buyout/demo-rebuild programs, and reduce the 50% match requirement.
  • Support legislation that ensures that State affordable housing, land use, or development-related preemptions do not supersede Monroe County’s local comprehensive plan regulations
  • Support legislation to exempt Monroe County from preemptive vacation rental legislation.

“Monroe County has been fortunate to see success in the past due to State leadership that is committed to protecting the unique and fragile ecosystem of the Florida Keys and those living and visiting here,” Tennyson said. “We are optimistic we will continue to see success in the 2024 session.”

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