Florida House District 99 - DEM
2022 General - Voter Guide Ranking
Florida House District 99 - 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?
Yes, I will vote against that legislation if elected, and lead the charge against it on the House Floor if given the opportunity.
- 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?
Yes, I agree that FDACS BMP program should be mandatory. I will use my office to advocate for this, including pressure on the Agriculture Commissioner and potential legislation to force BMP program to be mandatory. Furthermore, I agree that compliance should be verified. There should be no "Presumption of compliance". Compliance should be verified by inspectors in the field.
- 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?
Yes, I do support fees because our waters belong to the people of Florida, not corporations. These corporations are essentially getting "welfare" from the state of Florida, by not pitching in for what they use. Taxpayers pick up the tab in the end. As I've said in the past when I completed this questionnaire, Florida needs to impose stricter limits on this critical resource extraction and impose fees to ensure that these users pay their fair share of the costs.
- 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 have never taken any donation from the sugar industry, including U.S. Sugar, Florida Chrystal, or any of their associated PACs. They've spent tens of thousands of dollars against me in previous elections, and have spent money to support my opponent as recently as December in the special election that I competed in. He has taken money from sketchy Political Committees tied to other committees that are funded by the sugar industry, and takes his notes on this issue from former Rep. Bobby DuBose, who was a sugar puppet in the legislature. I am proud to have had your endorsement in the past, and look forward to having it again. I understand these issues, have done the research, and will work with you all if elected to ensure the greatest accountability on agriculture, pro-Everglades, and pro-water policy.
Yes, I do. In the past, I have spoken about this issue in committee meetings and lobbied elected officials to speak up on this issue.