Florida congressman wants to terminate EPA

It monitors adherence to clean water and air standards. It determines if a builder can drain a wetland to build a subdivision or shopping center. It monitors greenhouse gases – the stuff that’s causing sea level rise and flooding in coastal communities. And, for the past 20 years, it’s been monitoring the health of the Everglades, Florida’s signature ecosystem.

But one Florida congressman wants to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency, long a pinata for conservatives who believe the agency strangles businesses and job growth.

Some members of Palm Beach County’s congressional delegation have sounded off on the idea.

Everglades National Park, Fl. -- The office of longtime Miami-Dade County parks naturalist Roger Hammer --  Everglades National Park.  Photo by Peter W. Cross
Everglades National Park Photo by Peter W. Cross

Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation meets next week in Belle Glade

palm-beach-county-logoThe third and last hearing of the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation before the 2017 session starts will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Monday, Dec. 19, at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center on the Palm Beach State College Belle Glade campus, 1977 S.W. College Drive, Belle Glade.

At the hearing, the group — comprised of Palm Beach County’s state senators and state representatives — will vote on the local bills submitted for consideration and will take comments from the public. The proposed local bills can be found on the delegation website: www.PalmBeachDelegation.com.

For more, call the delegation office at 561-355-2406.

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Many new faces when Palm Beach County commissioners, legislators next meet

palm-beach-county-logoNew faces will abound when the Palm Beach County Commission and the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation hold their annual joint meeting early next year.

County Commissioners and Palm Beach County’s state senators and state representatives will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 4 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

At least two, and as many as four, of the seven county commissioners could be different. District 7 commissioner Priscilla Taylor was ousted by Mack Bernard in August. District 3 Commissioner Shelley Vana stepped down because of term limits. And commissioners Hal Valeche (District 1) and Mayor Mary Lou Berger (District 4) face challengers Nov. 8. Commissioners Melissa McKinlay, Steven Abrams, and Paulette Burdick are in through 2018.

Of the 13 state legislators in the Palm Beach County delegation, only one definitely will return to his post: Rep. Bill Hager, who was reelected without opposition.

Rep. Kevin Rader has been elected to the State Senate. Sen. Joseph Abruzzo moved to the House side and was elected without opposition.  Rep. Dave Kerner left to run for Vana’s county commission seat and Rep. Bobby Powell Jr. stepped down to run for State Senate. Irv Slosberg left the House for a failed State Senate run.

Out by term limits: Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs and Rep. Mark Pafford. Sen. Pat Rooney opted not to seek reelection.

Sen. Joe Negron, scheduled to be the incoming State Senate president, faces a challenger Nov. 8, as does Sen. Jeff Clemens and Reps. Lori Berman and MaryLynn Magar.