I am pleased to present the 2013-2014 Annual Report of the Delegation for use by the residents and governmental officials in Broward County.
In preparation for the 2014 Legislative Session, the Delegation met at locations throughout Broward County to involve all segments of the community. We listened to a wide variety of individuals, organizations and businesses. In an effort to reach consensus on priority issues for Broward County residents, workshops were scheduled with the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, the School Board of Broward County and the Broward League of Cities.
This report includes contact information for the members of the Broward Delegation which includes their district and Tallahassee addresses and phone numbers, legislative committee assignments and staff. Information regarding specific legislation sponsored by the members can be found at: myfloridahouse.gov and flsenate.gov.
In the past few years, the state revenues have been on the upswing. Funding for Broward County was up this year with substantial funding for cultural services, elder services, water projects, schools and transportation/infrastructure. All in all the delegation members brought home an estimated $786,000,000.
Some of the highlights are:
- $2.03 million for beach re-nourishment
- $3.5 million for Cultural Centers and Programs
- $2.4 million for Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly
- $5.7 million for municipal water projects
- $71.5 million for workforce development
- $516 million for transportation, roads, highways
- $16 million for Port Everglades Expansion
- $38.9 for Volunteer Pre-K program
- $3.25 million for Topeekeegee Yugnee (TY) park improvements
- $5 million increase for Community Care for the Elderly
- $29 million increase in library funding.
Some of the overarching issues of the 20142 Legislative Session was Medicaid expansion and expansion of gaming in Florida. Medicaid expansion this session was an issue that was unworkshopped, undebated and unlegislated. Instead under the healthcare scope, the Legislature focused on the state’s healthcare systems. The Legislature spent a great amount of time workshopping and creating a bill that would have expanded gaming in the state, the bill passed out of the House Gaming committee but died in Regulatory Affairs, however the Senate could not agree on how they wanted to proceed and the bill was never voted on in committee. Other issues that were of great discussion this session were regulating E-cigarettes, toughening of sexual predator laws and regulating and creating insurance requirements for parasailing. The Delegation spent much time focusing on a Civil Citation Program for Broward. The formation of the Local bill was through numerous discussions with the different stakeholders throughout the county. A constitutional issue stopped the progression of the bill through the House; we are currently looking into solutions for the program for the future.
It was a great honor to serve as Chair of the Broward Legislative Delegation. I want to thank Senator Jeremy Ring, our Vice Chair, and the entire Broward Delegation for their help, support and cooperation. During my time as Chair the Executive Director position in the Delegation office has been a revolving Door, Lisa K Aronson was the Interim Executive Director through the fall; once her contract ended, Sandy Harris returned to assist for one last session. At the end of Session I appointed Victoria Nowlan as the Executive Director for the office. I would like to thank all three for the support provided throughout my chairmanship. I also want to thank the Administrative Coordinator Faith Lombardo, who assisted with keeping the office running during the changing of the Directors, and Delegation Attorney Eugene M. Steinfeld. Their support was instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. I also want to thank all of the citizens of Broward County for continuing to make Broward County a better place to live – now, and in the future.
Representative Jim Waldman
Chair, Broward Legislative Delegation