District 53 State Representative Randy Fine’s first bill for this upcoming legislative session is House Bill 153 “Indian River Lagoon (IRL) State Matching Grant Program.” His bill seeks funding from the State of $50,000,000 in the form of 50/50 matching funds to go towards what he says is the core of the problem contributing to the demise of the IRL.
Projects that qualify are ones that upgrade existing sewage treatment plants to higher nutrient removal standards, extend sewer lines to existing developments on septic systems, and to connect homes that are on septic but have a sewer line available to connect to.
The IRL spans across 5 counties in Florida and Fine says its impact is statewide effecting tourism, business, and property values. This is why he says it’s time for the State to get involved.
His bill is off to a great early start through the legislative process. He says:
“The bill has passed its first of three committee stops in the House unanimously. It still needs to be agendaed and passed out of two additional committees as well as scheduled and heard on the House floor. It still needs to clear all three committees plus the floor on the Senate side. We are doing very well from a timing perspective, given Session doesn’t officially begin for two months and very few bills have been heard in any committee at this point, but there is still a lot of work to do.”