Florida Ports Council President & CEO Doug Wheeler provided the following statement regarding today’s legislative action on Senate Bill 426.
“The Florida Senate Transportation Committee today advanced SB 426 after amending the bill to remove some of the unintended consequences which would have broadly preempted local government ownership of Florida’s 15 deep water seaports – a governance model that has been in place since before Florida’s 1845 statehood.
“The Florida Ports Council thanks Senator Jim Boyd for his willingness to seek a solution that protects Florida’s seaports governance structure, while also protecting international maritime commerce. However, we remain concerned the bill negatively impacts four municipal ports, restricting their ability to recruit new cruise ship port activity that would generate additional economic opportunities.
“As this bill, and its companion HB 267 continue to move through the legislative process, we look forward to working with lawmakers to help ensure that ownership and control of Florida’s 14 deep water seaports remain with their respective local governments.”
FLORIDA’S SEAPORTS ECONOMIC IMPACT:
- 14 deep water seaports.
- Generating 900,000 direct and indirect jobs, and
- $117.6 billion to Florida’s economy through cargo and cruise activities.
- Account for approximately 13 percent of Florida’s GDP, and
- $4.2 billion in state and local taxes.