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    MIAMI, FL – October 3, 2019 – Joseph R. Salzverg, associate and government consultant in GrayRobinson’s Miami and Tallahassee offices, was quoted in the Miami Today article, “Downtown Development Authority to Seek Baywalk Funds”. The article discusses Miami’s Downtown Development Authority's (DDA) 2020 state legislative priorities, many of which are hard-fought battles. 

    First, last year, the DDA, a firm lobbying client, won funding for the design of a pedestrian bridge near the MacArthur Causeway that would help complete Baywalk, but Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the item. Salzverg mentions how this year, the DDA will seek state funding for “shovel-ready” parts of the Baywalk, including behind the First Miami Presbyterian Church on Brickell Avenue.

    Second, the DDA will again support a $400,000 grant for Judge Steven Leifman's diversion center, a resource for mentally ill people which was successfully advocated for last year, and a recurring $4 million grant for the South Florida Behavioral Health Network.

    Third, the DDA joins the City of Miami in supporting the installation of back-flow pumps to counter the effects of sea-level rise and storm surge. "Last year, we were playing defensive, but this year we're going to be proactive," says Salzverg about the initiative. 

    Fourth, on the legislative agenda, is the bright paint markings that cover downtown sidewalks. Utility companies spray them to mark where lines run underground. State law requires the paint to be non-permanent, but Salzverg points out that there is no definition of what 'non-permanent' means and that the goal is to define it or loosen the rule so that local government has the authority to regulate it.

    Last, is the issue of affordable housing. Years ago, the state instituted the Sadowski Fund, comprising a percentage of fees from real estate transactions. Since the Great Recession, the state has raided the fund, and the funds have not been going towards creating affordable housing, Salzverg says.

    The article concludes with Salzverg discussing that several continuing issues will probably be hashed out again, including oversight of community redevelopment agencies and the film incentive controversy. Read the full article here. (subscription required)


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