Donalds addresses bipartisan issues | News, Sports, Jobs

Congressman Byron Donalds

Never in the history of this country have the two major parties been so divided. On everything from infrastructure to managing vaccination mandates and climate change, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything.

Well, almost anything.

There are issues here in the state of Florida that affect us regardless of party affiliation. This means that it will take a bipartisan effort at state and federal levels to resolve them.

US Representative Byron Donalds, R-District 19, acknowledges this. And last week, during a visit to local VFW Post 10127, he said issues like water quality and flood insurance could have a huge impact on Southwest Florida. .

The problem of water quality is something that will take years to resolve, if ever. Donalds said the C-44 reservoir is nearing completion and other projects are underway and the Army Corps of Engineers is adjusting the discharge from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River.

“The new LOSOM modeling looks pretty good for Southwest Florida. I think we are in a good position, and we continue to work hard with the army corps and the various members of our constituency here to get good water quality ”, said Donald.

Donalds said good water quality is something everyone should be able to agree on because it is necessary for the survival of our tourism industry.

Much of that comes from small businesses, which Donalds came to tout several weeks ago at the Zeal Institute. He said that as the backbone of our economy, the government needs to make things as easy as possible for small business owners.

“For small businesses, the most important thing in Washington is to try to get the majority party out of what everyone else is trying to do. In the Build Back Better bill, even some of these things they want to pass will be destructive for small business owners, ” said Donald. “It will be more difficult for them to find employees. If they don’t have one, how will they work? If they can’t work, what does that mean for our economy? “

These companies, large and small, must pay their workers a living wage. However, the cost of living has skyrocketed, especially for housing, where the cost of a house or renting an apartment has risen sharply.

And with the lack of affordable housing in Southwest Florida, the problem has become more acute, especially for people in their twenties.

This is an issue that Donalds said he spoke to county commissioners and municipalities.

“You have to consider densities and elevation when it comes to zoning. If all you can build is a two story structure, you won’t have enough units per acre to make it affordable, ” said Donald. “Cities and County need to be more proactive in their zoning. “

But if the cost of owning a home doesn’t prevent potential buyers from buying, the cost of flood insurance could. FEMA 2.0 threatens to triple the cost or more, which will affect Lee County, as well as most southern states.

Donalds said he signed Senator Marco Rubio’s bill calling for a break in FEMA 2.0 because they haven’t seen the formula used to determine where the flood zones are.

“The biggest problem we have is that Florida is a donor state when it comes to flood insurance. We do not support almost the amount of damages claims for what we pay from the premiums ”, said Donald. “It extends the risk associated with flooding to the Midwest and Northeast because they haven’t built the floodplain infrastructure when you have heavy rains and flood cycles like we did. “

Donalds said southern lawmakers on both sides are coming together to find a better solution than FEMA 2.0 because it doesn’t make much sense to those in the Southeast.

“What they’re trying to do is subsidize us for the people of the Northeast and Midwest because they’re not used to paying for flood insurance. They take the dollars for the damages, but if we have to pay for the risk they take, it should be easier. Florida shouldn’t pay the price ”, said Donald.

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