The Florida Ports Council (FPC), represented by the Chairman, Bill Johnson, PortMiami; Legislative Co-Chairmen, Paul Anderson, Port of Tampa, and Steve Cernak, Port Everglades; Stan Payne, Port Canaveral; and Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee, presented the FPC Federal Legislative agenda to the Florida Congressional Delegation yesterday.
“With the state of Florida leadership already committed to creating jobs and improving freight movement, the Florida Ports Council also continues to also advocate with the same focus on Capitol Hill,” said Doug Wheeler, president of the Florida Ports Council. “The challenges at the Federal level are more about streamlining the processes and making sure that the federal government upholds its responsibilities in funding infrastructure needs.”
“Florida’s Congressional Delegation showed today that they are committed to Florida’s ports and their goals to enhance the economy and increase Florida’s ability to compete for freight business,” said Bill Johnson, port director of PortMiami. “It was an honor to relay our challenges and engage in a stimulating discussion with our Congressional members about the future of Florida’s ports.”
Specific issues on the FPC agenda include:
1. HMTF Reform/RAMP Act: authorizing full use of annual taxes deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for their intended purposes.
2. Water Resources Development Act: including improvements to the U.S. Army Corps (USACE) cost share formula and funding authority.
3. “New Start” Ban Elimination: lifting the “New Start” ban to enable allocation of funds to new projects with significant economic benefits.
4. USACE Process Reform: requiring the USACE to streamline and expedite their review process.
5. Freight Policy and Funding: ensuring that Florida’s freight implementation plan is recognized and supported in the national freight initiative, and that funding is authorized for critical freight projects.
Press Release, February 15, 2013