Legislative Priorities

Manatee County's 2022 State Legislative Platform highlights local priorities including Piney Point funding, appropriations to widen Moccasin Wallow Road, better funding for community-based foster care, and more.

Download Manatee County's 2022 State Legislative Platform

 

Piney Point

   Piney Point Funding

Manatee County requests continued priority funding to ensure the safe and efficient closure of the Piney Point reservoirs to reduce potential for future degradation of water quality/ecological and economic viability of the Tampa Bay region. FDEP clearly identified Deep well injection as a critical element for the necessary water disposal that will enable the ultimate closure of the Piney Point facility once and for all, to permanently eliminate the threat to the environment and the community. Funding should include direct reimbursement for the cost of drilling the well, the ongoing discharges, and full funding for the closure of Piney Point.

Traffic

  Moccasin Wallow Road

Manatee County requests a non-recurring state legislative appropriation of $7.5 million to match local funding to widen Moccasin Wallow Road between 1-75 and U.S. 301 in one of the county's fastest growing areas. The funding will allow the County to widen the road from two lanes to four lanes and add bicycle lane and sidewalks.

Foster kids

  Community-based Foster Care

Manatee County supports the Florida Department of Children & Families’ invaluable role in overseeing the care and placement of Florida’s 23,000 estimated children in foster care due to child abuse and or neglect. Manatee County – which ranked in the top four counties in Florida for child removals in both 2018 and 2019 – also supports immediate equitable funding for the child welfare system which has been insufficiently and inequitably funded by the state for many years.

Specifically, Manatee County SUPPORTS a state funding formula that does not rely on risk pool funds but adequately and equitably distributes state funding to support community-based care lead agencies that provide child welfare services in our community as intended by SB 1326 passed during the 2020 Legislative Session. Insufficient and inequitable funding leads to increased caseload sizes for Case Managers, less ability to focus on prevention and diversion services keeping children out of foster care and a general lack of ability to be flexible when responding to child welfare needs in the community.

  Transportation & Infrastructure

Key Bridges

Manatee County supports the expeditious replacement of the bridges leading to Anna Maria Island; via Cortez Road, Manatee Avenue and Longboat Pass as well as the expansion of the Fort Hamer Bridge.

DeSoto Bridge Replacement

Manatee County supports the State's Bradenton-Palmetto Connector PD&E and requests consideration be given to all capacity alternatives identified in the Central Manatee Network Alternatives Analysis that will facilitate improved mobility over the Manatee River. The DeSoto Bridge replacement is a top priority for multiple organizations since the project will facilitate improved north/south capacity on the U.S. 41 corridor.

Palmetto Trails Connectivity and Mobility Project

Manatee County requests support in state funds for the design of a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the 4 lane U.S. 41 roadway at 17th Street East in Palmetto. The pedestrian crossing at US 41 and 17th street at Lincoln Park has been identified in the Palmetto Trails study as an intersection requiring improvements for both traffic movement and pedestrian safety. The proposed pedestrian overpass at this intersection represents the needed pedestrian safety measures to complement the Palmetto Trails Mobility study recommendations as well as providing access to a community park, splash park. Pool, soccer fields, football, and basketball courts.

Broadband

Manatee County supports measures that increase broadband accessibility including encouraging private investment in the deployment of infrastructure in rural and underserved areas.

Affordable Housing

Manatee County is experiencing a major shortage of affordable housing options. As our population continues to grow, it is imperative that the state use the statutorily dedicated funds for actual housing needs and to increase the number of affordable housing units. Business leaders point to the shortage of workforce housing stock as a significant reason they have trouble attracting and retaining talent. Manatee County supports allocating the full amount of dedicated documentary tax revenues to fund the State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) Trust Fund as well as the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund and its distribution to local governments for affordable housing activities.

  Environmental

Oyster & Clam Restoration for Water Quality

Manatee County requests $950,000 in state assistance for an oyster and clam research and restoration pilot project in the coastal waters of Manatee County. The pilot project will quantify the roles of oysters and clams in improving water quality, and their ability to control blue green algae and red tide bloom intensity in Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay.

Green Bridge Fishing Pier

Manatee County requests million in state funding for the design and planning for demolition of the Green Bridge Fishing Pier. The pier has been closed to vehicular traffic for years but it has become a popular fishing spot for many locals. The pier which extends into the Manatee River, would be replaced with a new wooden fishing pier. The project will transfer a structurally deficient bridge into an artificial reef offshore.

Anna Maria Island Beach Erosion Control

Manatee County requests $2.3 million for construction and monitoring.