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Florida senator files bill to set up permanent statewide resiliency office

A similar proposal for an office to address the impacts of climate change didn’t get through committees in 2021.
Senator Jason Brodeur, R- Lake Mary, embraces someone ahead of the Senate session at the Capitol in Tallahassee on Opening Day of the Florida Legislature on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Senator Jason Brodeur, R- Lake Mary, embraces someone ahead of the Senate session at the Capitol in Tallahassee on Opening Day of the Florida Legislature on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jan. 10

A priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis to permanently set up a statewide office to address the impacts of climate change is back before the state Senate.

Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, on Monday filed a bill (SB 1940) that would establish within the governor’s office the Statewide Office of Resiliency, which would be run by the chief resilience officer.

A similar proposal during the 2020 legislative session drew unanimous support in the Senate but didn’t pass the House. A 2021 proposal didn’t get through committees.

DeSantis used an executive order to create the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection within the Department of Environmental Protection days after he became governor in January 2019.

DeSantis has requested $550 million for coastal resiliency as part of his budget proposal for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Related: DeSantis' new climate change plan: $270 million for first wave of statewide projects

In November, DeSantis named Wesley Brooks, who had served as director of federal affairs at the state Department of Environmental Protection, as chief resilience officer. Julia Nesheiwat, who was hired by DeSantis in 2019 as Florida’s first chief resilience officer, left in 2020 for a federal job.

Brodeur’s bill is filed for the legislative session that will start Tuesday.

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