Florida House District 120 - DEM
2022 General - Voter Guide Ranking
Florida House District 120 - DEM
2022 Clean Water Questionnaire Responses
To read each question, answer and candidate comments click below.
- Question 1 : Yes1) In response to blue-green algae blooms on Florida's east coast and red tide on the west coast, the State created the Blue-Green Algae and Harmful Algal Bloom/Red Tide Task Forces to study the problem and propose solutions. But only a few of the task forces' recommendations have been adopted. Do you support full implementation of all task force recommendations, including verification/testing of agricultural Best Management Practices and requiring the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to adopt EPA guidelines for blue-green algae toxins as new water quality standards in Florida?
- Question 2 : Yes2) The degradation of water quality throughout Florida has in turn led to a significant decline in seagrass, the primary food source for manatees. Starvation became the leading cause of manatee deaths in 2021 and continues today. Despite this, in 2022 the Florida Legislature passed measures which could actually increase nutrient pollution in our waters, and debated a seagrass "mitigation banking" bill that some experts believe could cause a further decline in seagrass. If elected, will you vote against all legislative proposals that could add to the nutrient load in our waters or which in any way could inflict further harm on our seagrasses?
That seagrass bill was a disaster from the start and never should have even made it to a committee. I will vote against any and all legislative proposals that could add nutrient load to our waters and I will certainly not support anything that could harm seagrass.
- Question 3 : Yes3) State legislation, FDEP data and the Blue-Green Algae Task Force all report that agriculture is the dominant source of phosphorus and nitrogen within impaired watersheds in Florida. Yet the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ best management practices (BMP) program remains voluntary, BMPs have never been field verified to reduce pollution, the state does little to no testing to verify compliance and agricultural producers enrolled in BMPs are afforded the "presumption of compliance." Do you agree industries and property owners should be held to enforceable pollution standards; that BMPs should be mandatory; that the "presumption of compliance" should end and regulators should implement systemic inspection/testing programs?
BMPs are kind of like shopping carts in a grocery store parking lot. Sure, some folks will place their carts back where they belong, but many don't. Some leave them in the middle of the parking lot, in parking spaces, or in other dangerous areas. Some will flagrantly put the carts anywhere and then fight you for calling them out on it. While there may be some good actors that follow BMPs, the obvious and recurring negative impact of bad actors not following them should necessitate that BMPs be mandatory. Water and our environment are too important and too sensitive to allow big ag to act without oversight. I support enforceable pollution standards, mandatory BMPs, regular inspection/testing, and an end to the "presumption of compliance."
- Question 4 : Yes4) Currently, Florida's largest water users are allowed to extract millions of gallons of water each day without paying anything to the state for the use of our most precious natural resource. Over-pumping has harmed Florida's springs, rivers, estuaries and aquifers and cost Florida taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Do you support a reasonable fee on permitted water withdrawals to offset the damage caused by over-pumping?
Water resources belongs to the people of Florida. I oppose corporate handouts and overpumping.
- Question 5 : Yes5) Special interests in Florida spend lavishly to influence elections at the local, state and federal level. The sugar industry, phosphate mining industry and big utilities, among others, spend millions to aid candidates who then back their preferred legislation - too often, at the expense of clean water. Do you agree your campaign will accept no contributions from any source with ties to polluting industries including, but not limited to, the sugar, phosphate and utility industries?
I've never accepted or sought money from Sugar or groups affiliated with Sugar interests and I never will. In 2016, I signed the Now or Neverglades Declaration and publicly challenged my opponent for not doing so. As a candidate, clean water has always been a priority and core policy platform for me. As a legislative aide in the State Senate, I worked on clean water policy. As District Chief in Congress, my Representative served on the Water Subcommittee in Congress and I directed all policy and legislation initiatives dealing with water, Everglades, Florida Bay, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Water is always a priority for me and it will continue to be so once I become a State Representative for my district.
Lack of oversight and enforcement has become the norm in Florida when dealing with big agriculture interests and pollution. I definitely support full implementation of task force recommendations for address algae and red tide, FDEP adoption of EPA guidelines, and enforcement of BMPs.