2019 Legislative Priorities Gainesville City Commission

The Gainesville City Commission has adopted its five priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. The city agreed to prioritize areas they felt would benefit the city and improve the cooperative relationship between Gainesville and Alachua County. Learn more below.

The Blount Center is currently number six on the Department of Education PECO list

(1) Funding for downtown Santa Fe campus

a. The city will support the Blount Center expansion in downtown Gainesville as an asset to both the college and the city. The Blount Center offers G.E.D. and other adult education classes. Additionally, the Blount Center offers free meeting rooms for civic, professional and business groups.

b. The city will be supporting funding the Blount Center, which is currently number six on the Department of Education PECO list, at Santa Fe College’s request of $18.5 million.

(2) Protect home rule authority for dockless bicycles/e-scooters

a. The City of Gainesville will support local governments ability to adopt ordinances relating to dockless bicycles.

b. Recognizing that dockless bikes and e-scooters represent innovative and alternative transportation solutions, the city would ask the legislature to allow local governments the ability to negotiate with prospective service providers on placement, prohibited areas, etc.

(3) Seek funding for GRACE Homeless Empowerment Center

a. GRACE is a regional shelter and community center that provides safe shelter, effective services, and permanent housing solutions for people who are seeking short and long-term housing. Grace Marketplace serves about 115 homeless people daily and provides bedding, showers, food and health service

b. The city is seeking $1,000,000 for the construction of a dormitory that will transition homeless from tent style accommodations to a more permanent living structure for transitional living.

(4) Promote the expansion of broadband to under served areas; Maintain government-owned networks ability to provide broadband services

a. The city will support efforts that allow local governments the ability to provide broadband services to rural and under served urban areas in the form of economic development grants and legislative policies.

b. GRUCom is the Gainesville area's only all-fiber-optic network. With more than 500-plus miles of fiber in Alachua County and connections to hundreds of locations around the world, GRUCom provides business' reliable internet, data transport and networking needs.

(5) Support the adoption of a statewide food policy that addresses current issues facing Florida’s homeless and poverty-ridden families

Community event on Feb. 12 at the Alachua County Library examined issues of hunger and food inaccessibility in Gainesville

a. Low income Floridians in rural areas face a crisis in obtaining food at a reasonable price and convenient location.

b. The city will support legislation addressing food deserts as well as compelling the Department of Health to research the ability for restaurants, grocery stores and others to expand the donation of foods that are not purchased before their expiration date.

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