Daytona Beach Commission Approves Legislative Priorities

Daytona Beach Commission Approves Legislative Priorities

Projects to reduce flooding, infrastructure improvements for water quality enhancements, funding support for transportation projects, workforce housing support and providing economic incentives for existing business and economic development projects are some of the items on the Daytona Beach City Commission’s list of legislative priorities for 2024.

Commissioners unanimously approved the list for state and federal lawmakers earlier this month following a presentation by Hardy Smith, the city’s government relations coordinator.

Smith said if the list looks familiar, it should not be surprising.

“You have been very consistent on the issues and priorities you have communicated over the last several years, so we have carried forward the lists you have identified previously,” he said.

In addition to updated existing priorities, Smith said information from community surveys conducted by the city, strategic planning and budgeting workshops as well as staff input was incorporated into the final document.

One of the issues of particular interest to commissioners is the Live Local Act, passed by the Florida Legislature earlier this year. The legislation focuses affordable and workforce housing issues but has some local governments concerned, including City Commissioner Stacy Cantu, who said she wanted to make sure city officials are going to be watching for developments.

“Live Local is on the list,” Smith said. “In the last legislative session the Live Local Act was a priority of the Senate President and it was introduced and passed literally withing the first days.”

Smith said as local governments have looked into the language of the act, issues of concern have become apparent.

“We all want affordable housing and workforce housing, but the bottom line is somebody is going pay for it some way or another,”: he said.

Cantu said her main concern was the loss of city authority on affordable housing matters.

“We actually lose home rule,” she said. “We have no say about what is going on.”

Commissioner Quanita May asked Smith how many of the city’s legislative goals are successfully met at the state and federal level.

“There is so much in the legislative process, out of several thousands of bills only a few hundred actually make it,” Smith said. “You’re trying to win and ast the same time you are trying not to have any damage done. We were successful last year in stopping legislation that would have been extremely harmful to the city of Daytona Beach.”

The list of priorities will be presented Oct. 24 at a meeting of the Volusia County Legislative Delegation.