At Tuesday’s meeting, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners approved the addition of new policy statements to the official Leon County 2021 State and Federal Legislative Priorities. This comes after the Board proposed a discussion on these policies during their Jan. 26 meeting.
The policy statements, which are projected to have no fiscal impact according to the County agenda, are listed as follows.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (HB 387)
This bill will expand the capabilities of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs in Leon County, where there are currently commercial and residential programs of this kind already in place. Should the bill pass, it would allow for an expansion of projects eligible for financial coverage under PACE, such as storm and flood resistance, wastewater treatment improvement, water conservation and emergency battery storage systems.
Florida Competitive Workforce Act/Prohibited Discrimination (HB 107/SB 256)
This bill, which will support the proposed Florida Competitive Workforce Act (FCWA), will “prohibit employers from providing less favorable employment opportunities to employees based on their sex.” The FCWA initiative seeks to prohibit discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, employment or housing status. The Florida Legislature has considered similar policies to support the FCWA initiative, although the Board has not heard any of these initiatives in recent years.
Regional Planning Councils (SB 62)
Contrary to the two other proposed statements, the Board took the staff recommendation to oppose this bill as it would “limit, reduce or eliminate” the defined duties of the Regional Planning Councils in the State of Florida, which have been in place since the council’s establishment in 1980. Under the proposed bill, the designated regional planning councils would be abolished, with their responsibilities being reassigned to local governments and state bureaucracy.