From toll roads to sales taxes | May 12
This road plan maps our future
Florida has been and will always be uniquely situated for new and expanding business opportunities. Our infrastructure provides us with access to global markets, allowing us to efficiently and effectively move goods, people and ideas, and we've long strived to pave the way as a pro-business state for new and established businesses and companies.
However, we're constantly competing with other states, and resting on our laurels could mean we might wake up one day and find ourselves being one of the worst places to do business.
This is why the "Innovation in Infrastructure" plan, SB 7068, that is now being considered by Gov. Ron DeSantis, is critical in maintaining our edge as a business-friendly state. Specifically, this plan would strengthen Florida's infrastructure by speeding up the strategic planning of three multi-use corridors from Polk County to Collier County, the Suncoast Parkway Extension to Georgia and the Northern Turnpike Connector.
These multi-use corridors have the potential to deliver not only traditional transportation elements, like roads and bridges, but also include utility and communication resources, clean water and reliable broadband connectivity.
This overall plan would give businesses and tourism the infrastructure they need to improve accessibility; advance rural development by addressing energy, digital and connectivity gaps; and expand global competitiveness, solidifying Florida as the hub for trade, logistics, visitors, talent and investment.
Florida is the third-most populous state in the United States, with more people and businesses relocating here every day. As the governor considers this bill, I encourage him to keep in mind the overwhelming evidence that shows this legislation is needed.
Will Weatherford, Wesley Chapel
The writer, managing partner of Weatherford Capital, served in the Legislature from 2006-2014 and as speaker from 2012.
Is America ready for John Bolton's war with Iran? | Left/Right File, May 13
Don't make Iran like Iraq
This is sounding a lot like the lead-up to the Iraq war with National Security Adviser John Bolton at the center again. When will Republican lawmakers become more afraid of another war than they are of President Donald Trump and stand up for their constituents who would have to serve in a war?
Alice Smith, St. Petersburg
Trump now backs Everglades funds | May 15
Take advantage right now
I just drove through our beautiful Everglades and agree that restoring it is a national priority. And now President Donald Trump has tweeted his support. Let's spend the money before he changes his mind.
Kathleen Good Jenkins, Tampa
Let's pay the fines ourselves
How about setting up a GoFundMe page for all felons who fulfilled their sentences and need the financial help to regain their voting rights? In exchange, they must register to vote. With the full weight of those of us who want to see the voters' voices heard, we can get some justice for these citizens who already paid their debt. The Florida Legislature is initiating what is basically a poll tax. Let's thwart their efforts.
Danielle Stutts, Tampa