Federal Legislative Priorities

The Board's 2022 platform reflects the legislative priorities that will help Manatee County better achieve its mission to provide efficient, effective, responsive government that is always mindful of our sensitive natural environment and serve our residents and visitors, while achieving the Commission's vision for the County as a premier place in which to live, work and play.

Download Manatee County's 2022 Federal Legislative Platform


2022 Manatee County Legislative Priorities

Ft. Hamer Bridge  Ft. Hamer Bridge & Roadway Widening

With the tremendous growth in migration and corresponding residential development of east and north Manatee County regions and subsequent pressures on transportation services and traffic movement, the County will continue traditional rebuilding and capacity widening projects. This will be accomplished mostly through the rebuilding and widening of existing two-lane corridors to four-lane corridors along existing thoroughfare roadways.  Upon evaluation of the Federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF), specific project selection criteria priorities include such features as interstate movement of goods and services, hurricane evacuation routes, highway capacity improvements and state and local road relievers to the interstate highway system.

Community VeteransVeterans Services & Housing

County leaders envision remodeling the old jail facility which abuts the Judicial complex to provide shelter for local homeless veterans who don’t have anywhere else to go. The center is expected to provide temporary housing, mental health services, job training and other resources.

Palmetto Trails SitePalmetto Trails Connectivity & Mobility Project

With Palmetto’s pedestrian and bicycle fatality rates significantly higher than the national average and projected traffic increases of 46% over the next 20 years, safety is a priority. Residents who can travel for work, spend a quarter of their household income on transportation, with 11% zero-car households requiring public or multimodal options. The Palmetto Trails Network Plan (PTCMP) creates seven multimodal connections between local schools, parks and community activity centers. Preconstruction activities will be finished before June 20, 2025, and the entire program of improvements will be completed prior to September 2030.

Affordable Housing ProjectAffordable Housing

Manatee County and much of Florida is experiencing a problem in the availability of affordable housing. The Florida Congressional delegation is urged to act in unity to support solutions to this crisis. While the final FY22 Congressional spending bill recently signed into law provides meaningful increases for vital HUD and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, far more resources are needed to address our growing affordable housing and homelessness situation. Manatee County has seen the immense benefits of the 4% and 9% Federal tax credit programs and supports legislation that expands the availability of Affordable Housing Tax Credits on a permanent basis. HR 2573, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act is one bill before Congress that could potentially improve the situation for many. Significant additional housing investments are needed to address a critical driver of inflation: skyrocketing rents. Targeted housing investments must be retained in any legislation and future budget reconciliation packages to help bring down housing costs for America’s lowest-income and most marginalized households.

Manatee Protecting Our Manatees

Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) has introduced legislation to grant manatees the highest level of federal protection available as manatee deaths reach historic levels. The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) reports nearly 1000 manatees have died in 2021. That number is more than Florida’s total number for any other year. Even more alarming is that by FWS’ (the Fish and Wildlife Services’) own estimates there are only around 6,500 West Indian manatees remaining in the southeastern United States. The Manatee Protection Act, H.R. 4946, would officially upgrade the West Indian manatee from “threatened” to “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. Upgrading their status to "endangered" under the ESA will not only require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to refocus their attention on manatee population rehabilitation, but also allow for increased federal resources including more funding and personnel.