AP Day: Bill Galvano got his toll roads. Now he wants water, internet

Galvano_AP Day
The Senate President spoke Tuesday in Tallahassee.

Senate President Bill Galvano isn’t done with his toll road project just yet.

The Sarasota Republican wants to make sure, as major roadways move into rural counties, that water infrastructure and broadband internet come as well.

“There should not be areas in Florida where first responders don’t have access to internet, or school students, or businesses for that matter,” Galvano said Tuesday.

The Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance was Galvano’s priority in the 2019 Legislative Session.

Now, he’s promoting “M-CORES 2.0.” He’s challenging fellow state Senators to prioritize and focus on infrastructure investment this year.

At the pre-Session Associated Press Legislative Planning Session, Galvano continued to defend the aggressive road expansion. With some 900 people moving to Florida each day and nearly a billion visitors to the state each year, there must be accommodations for growth.

There have not been recent traffic analyses on what demands exist for the new infrastructure, but Galvano said previous studies show the need.

“The days of relying on a five-year plan are not realistic for modern Florida — the 14th largest economy on the planet,” Galvano said.

That doesn’t mean abandoning long-range planning with the Department of Transportation, he said. But there must be efforts to anticipate and prepare for growth rather than constantly retrofitting infrastructure.

Beyond roads, Galvano expressed confidence there will be progress with a renewed Seminole Compact, the gambling agreement between the Tribe and the state. He said in September that the 2017 agreement with the Seminole Tribe was “not a good deal.”

At AP Day, Galvano addressed a confluence of events including the tribe holding back payments to the state. In Galvano’s eyes, that means “no obligation on our part to continue to provide exclusivity.”

The state will see what opportunities exist working with pari-mutuels: “One way or another, we will increase our revenues from that industry,” he said.

Galvano also acknowledged that Gov. Ron DeSantis had placed a priority on E-verify legislation, something already filed by state Sen. Tom Lee. But it’s too early to predict its chances in the Senate.

“I can make arguments on both sides,” he said. ”A case will have to be made.”

Finally, the Senate President signaled support for a parental consent abortion bill—but predicted other legislation on abortion would have trouble gaining traction.

On DeSantis’ plan to increase starting teacher pay to $47,500 yearly, Galvano said the complication will be how much the state interferes with local governance of School Boards when it comes to salaries.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


3 comments

  • Sonja Emily Fitch

    October 29, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DAMN TOLL ROADS TO NOWHERE? WHO MADE THE MONEY FROM BUILDING THOSE TOLL ROADS? HAVE YOU BEEN ON THE JOKE OF TOLL ROADS ON I295 AND BUCKMAN BRIDGE JAX? WHO IS MAKING THE MONEY? TOLL ROADS ARE RIDICULOUS…SPENDING MORE ON PR THAN COLLECTING IN TOLLS OR GETTING APPROVAL FROM THE PUBLIC. SILLY WHITE MAN.

  • Cindy Stiles

    October 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    These toll roads mean the death of Florida. Say goodbye to nature, the land and potable water if these toll roads are built. We are already OVER POPULATED and OVER DEVELOPED. Stop with this “Urban Revitalization” shit and stop encouraging the hoards of people moving into this State. People move here and then don’t realize the delicate ecological system that Florida has and do things like sod their lawns with St. Augustine grass, fertilize it to death, water it to death and then throw all their debris down the storm drain. Just the other day I saw a man throwing plastic bags down the storm drain. I could not catch him in time so he got it from me, hook line and sinker. If you are going to continue to put the hoards of people into this State, then you better start educating them on how to take care of Florida’s ecological system or say goodbye to everything that Florida stands for.

  • PJ

    October 29, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    This story sounds like “someone” may have a development planned around those toll roads and needs more “free” infrastructure to make it happen.

Comments are closed.


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