Support SB236: Stop giving our taxpayer dollars to billionaire sports team owners

The state of Florida is taking our taxpayer money and handing it out to billionaire sports team owners. The Florida Legislature currently budgets monthly payments from the state of $166,667 for 30 years, for an annual payment totaling $2,000,004 to each of the nine major sports franchises like the Miami Dolphins.

In 2014, the Florida legislature decided to give sports team owners even more of taxpayer money by making available funding for privately owned stadiums to build or renovate sporting centers. Teams would apply to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity for sales tax rebate funding. The money can be used for “constructing, reconstructing, renovating, or improving a facility or reimbursing such costs.

Economists consistently find that stadium construction subsidies fail to generate much, if any, "economic impact" in local markets in terms of metro-area wide employment and income. Sports subsidies are poor uses of taxpayer money.

SB 236 will repeal the 2014 legislation.

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Support SB188: Property rights are advanced when owners have the freedom to rent out their property as they so choose

Many property owners in Florida generate extra income by renting their homes to tourist vacationing in Florida. These types of rentals also help Florida’s tourism by allowing families to save money by staying together in a home instead of multiple hotel rooms. This flexibility promotes more tourism, which produces $67 billion in economic activity every year.

SB 188 prevents local governments from passing new regulations on vacation rentals based solely on their classification, while not affecting local homeowners’ associations and neighborhoods that have adopted their own covenants, declarations, or bylaws.

Local governments have exploited current rental laws with excessive fines, penalties and fees. SB 188 will safeguard property owners from overreaching local governments with state-wide standards that protect property rights.

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Two Important Bills to reduce regulations will be heard in the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government

Support SB 166- Free Craft Distilleries from Unnecessary Regulations

SB 166 deals with craft distilleries. A craft distillery is defined as one that is “a licensed distillery that produces 250,000 or fewer gallons per calendar year of distilled spirits on its premises.

SB 166 allows craft distilleries to get their product to more people by removing restrictions on how much distilleries can sell directly to customers. The current law says customers may purchase two bottles per brand/style per year.
The freedom to sell on-site is more profitable, and it allows for customers to try the product and share it with others outside the area. SB 166 also reduces the license fee for craft distilleries by 75 percent.

Support SB 554-Allow small Craft Breweries to Self-Distribute

Craft Breweries are prohibited by law (Three-Tier System) from distributing directly to retailers and are required to sell their beer to distributors, who then sell to retailers. Using a distributor can be an efficient way to get products into the marketplace — when it is voluntary. But mandatory wholesaling can prevent other competitive business models from emerging, especially small breweries.

Many small breweries in Florida don’t brew in substantial volume. Having the freedom to self-distribute can be more profitable for a small brewer. Craft breweries know what’s best for their beer; from how it should be stored, to how it’s sold, where it’s sold and how it’s delivered. Selling directly to a retailer allows higher profit and the ability to develop their product and brand. SB 554 will allow small craft breweries to self-distribute.

TAKE ACTION

SB 166 and SB 554 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government on Thursday April 13th, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Call and e-mail the members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and tell them to support SB 166 to free craft distilleries from unnecessary regulations and support SB 554 to allow small Craft Breweries to self-distribute.

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL THE MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE

Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government

   

Denise Grimsley

Grimsley.Denise@flsenate.gov

850-487-5026

Aaron Bean

Bean.Aaron@flsenate.gov

850-487-5004

Doug Broxson

Broxson.Doug@flsenate.gov

850-487-5001

Daphne Campbell

Campbell.Daphne@flsenate.gov

850-487-5038

Rene Garcia

Garcia.Rene@flsenate.gov

850-487-5036

Debbie Mayfield

Mayfield.Debbie@flsenate.gov

850-487-5017

Jose Rodriguez

Rodriguez.Jose@flsenate.gov

850-487-5037

Darryl Rouson

Rouson.Darryl@flsenate.gov

850-487-5019

Victor Torres

Torres.Victor@flsenate.gov

850-487-5015

 


SB 10 still puts us into debt and will not solve the problem.

SB 10, the bill that would put us into debt by authorizing the use of bond funds to buy 60,000 acres of land to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee has been scaled back. The original language was estimated to cost between $2.4 billion and $4 billion. The new language would reduce costs by building the project on land already owned by the state, but still would cost $1.5 billion to build reservoirs and water treatment facilities south of Lake Okeechobee.

SB 10 is supposed to address the pollution and toxic algae problems in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries from excess water releases from Lake Okeechobee by sending the water south.

But scientific studies show that this will not solve the problem, the source of the excess water comes from north of Lake Okeechobee, not south of the lake. Storing water north of the lake will reduce the total discharge volume to the estuaries by more than 60 percent.

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Make Sure Ride-sharing Services have a Place in Florida

SB 340 would prevent local governments from regulating "transportation network companies" such as Uber and Lyft and would adopt a uniform, common sense law focused on safety and access to the new technology.

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Support HB 13: End the Slush Funds for Politicians

Under Florida law, local governments can designate areas as Community Redevelopment Areas (CRA). CRA’s are funded by property taxes and are charged with helping blighted neighborhoods. While the mission of a CRA is billed as anti-poverty measures, CRAs have been used to subsidize museums, concert halls, production studios and other pet projects of local political officials. CRAs are no longer being used for anti-poverty measures, but are now slush funds to reward political donors who fund elected official’s campaigns.

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April LFN Legislative Update

We held the Liberty First Network April Legislative agenda call on April 3rd at 7:00 PM.

Click on the link below to see the presentation and listen to a recording of this call.

https://fccdl.in/d9aAUC05b

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LEGISLATIVE TICKER

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GUN TICKER


Two Important Bills to be voted on by the full House this week. Take Action Now!

Make Sure Ride-sharing Services have a Place in Florida

HB 221 would prevent local governments from regulating "transportation network companies" such as Uber and Lyft and would adopt a uniform, common sense law focused on safety and access to the new technology.

It makes no sense that 67 counties and 410 municipalities would create their own set of regulations, which would make it impossible for ride-share drivers to comply as they serve neighboring cities and counties.

This legislation establishes common-sense guidelines throughout the state, and allows people in Florida to continue benefiting from ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft and allow affordable, reliable rides.

 

Common-Sense Protection for Concealed Weapon Permit Holders

HB 779 Would protect concealed weapons permit-holders from arrest or criminal charges if they “temporarily and openly display” their gun.

If HB 779 passes, law enforcement cannot penalize a concealed weapon permit holder for temporarily displaying a weapon, such as a wind blowing a jacket open, or a situation where the pistol grip was unintentionally exposed.

 

TAKE ACTION

HB 221 and HB 779 will have their second reading on the House Floor this Tuesday April 4th, 2017 and could receive an up or down vote by the full House this week.

Call and e-mail your district Representative and tell them to support the following two bills on the House floor this week:

HB 221 Make Sure Ride-sharing Services have a Place in Florida

HB 779 Common-sense protection for concealed weapon permit holders.

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

IMPORTANT: Make sure you save the contact information to your representative in your cell phone. 


TAKE ACTION: SB 10 will put us in debt, cause job losses and not solve the problem.

SB 10 would authorize the use of bond funds to buy 60,000 acres of land to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. The plan is estimated to cost between $2.4 billion and $4 billion. Supposedly this would help solve pollution and toxic algae problems in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries from excess water releases from Lake Okeechobee. But scientific studies show that this will not solve the problem.

Studies have shown that the source of the excess water comes from north of Lake Okeechobee, not south of the lake.

Scientists and engineers recently reported district modeling showing storage north of the lake included in the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project will reduce the total discharge volume to the estuaries by more than 60 percent.

Studies also show that building the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee would take farmlands out of production and put many farmers out of business.

43% of South Florida is already owned by government for conservation.

Current plans for Everglades restoration already include building storage east, west, north, and south of Lake Okeechobee on land that has already been purchased, there is just no need to purchase more land.

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Two Important Bills to be heard in the Senate Community Affairs Committee next Monday April 3rd, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Support SB 188-Property rights are advanced when owners have the freedom to rent out their property as they so choose

Many property owners in Florida generate extra income by renting their homes to tourist vacationing in Florida. These types of rentals also help Florida’s tourism by allowing families to save money by staying together in a home instead of multiple hotel rooms.

This flexibility promotes more tourism, which produces $67 billion in economic activity every year.

SB 188 prevents local governments from passing new regulations on vacation rentals based solely on their classification, while not affecting local homeowners’ associations and neighborhoods that have adopted their own covenants, declarations, or bylaws.

Local governments have exploited current rental laws with excessive fines, penalties and fees. SB 188 will safeguard property owners from overreaching local governments with state-wide standards that protect property rights.

Support SB 1770: End the Slush Funds for Politicians

Under Florida law, local governments can designate areas as Community Redevelopment Areas (CRA). CRA’s are funded by property taxes and are charged with helping blighted neighborhoods. While the mission of a CRA is billed as anti-poverty measures, CRAs have been used to subsidize museums, concert halls, production studios and other pet projects of local political officials. CRAs are no longer being used for anti-poverty measures, but are now slush funds to reward political donors who fund elected official’s campaigns.

In 2016, a Miami-Dade County Grand Jury reported several abuses of a local CRA. Among the report’s findings they noted elected leaders rarely appoint civilians to boards so that, instead, elected leaders themselves can be in charge of the money. The report showed several examples of CRA boards spending large amounts of taxpayer dollars on what appeared to be pet projects of the elected officials.

SB 1770 will place tighter restrictions on CRAs and begin a phase out period for current CRAs.

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