STAFF & WIRE REPORTS
The Florida Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association recently announced their 2022 Legislative Champions during its annual Legislative Fly-In.
Legislative Champion Awards were presented to individuals promoting legislation in support of the waste and recycling industry during Florida’s 2022 legislative session.
“Our Legislative Champions always love their unique awards,” said Keyna Cory, NWRA’s government affairs representative in Florida. “This year’s awards were made in the USA and of recycled materials.”
Rep. Fred Hawkins (R-Orlando) and Senate President Pro Tempore Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) were presented with a Legislative Champion Award for their work addressing liquidated damages by some local governments. With a reduction of workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some team members were not finishing routes within time limits set by local governments. If some routes were not finished on-time, due to worker shortages, members were assessed excessive fines for health and safety issues out of their control. The legislation filed by Rep. Hawkins and Senator Baxley included recommendations that liquidated damages and/or fines be waived or reduced for COVID-19-related service issues, especially during a declared state of emergency.
Rep. Lawrence McClure (R-Plant City), Rep. Toby Overdorf (R-Stuart) and Senator Jason Brodeur (R-Lake Mary) received a Legislative Champion Award for passing legislation addressing the regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The legislation they sponsored is a commonsense approach that will allow EPA to determine certain allowable levels of PFAS before the Florida Department of Environmental Protection promulgate rules. However, they included a safety-net so that if EPA does not set certain standards by 2025, then FDEP could move forward with setting standards.
Rep. Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) and Sen. Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) won Legislative Champion Awards for passing legislation that will help with the rehoming of gopher tortoises. These creatures are found in every county in the State of Florida and if found on a commercial or even a home construction site, they must be captured and rehomed. With the current limited space where gopher tortoises could be relocated, the costs for these services have been increasing steadily. The legislation passed by Rep. Sirois and Senator Hutson expanded the area where gopher tortoises can be rehomed and therefore, the cost of rehoming should start to decrease.
Rep. Bobby Payne (R-Palatka) won his second Legislative Champion Award.
This award was presented to him for passing a tax package that included sales tax holidays for hurricane preparedness, back-to-school supplies and a new holiday that eliminated the sales tax on certain tools used by our employees.
Also, the tax package included for the first time a sales tax reduction on gas for the month of October.●
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, visit www.wasterecycling.org.