FYI Miami: June 11, 2020
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
FPL RATES STAND: In an issue stemming from US tax cuts approved in 2017, state regulators rejected an effort to force Florida Power & Light to reduce base electric rates. The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers, and two business groups long argued that FPL had not properly passed along savings from the 2017 tax overhaul to ratepayers and filed a case at the state Public Service Commission seeking lower rates. But the commission closed the case Tuesday.
NO COUNTY ROAD FEES: A ordinance that would bar municipalities in Miami-Dade from charging fees, imposing requirements or requiring permits for work on county-owned roads or rights-of-way has cleared the first of three legislative hurdles before becoming law. The amendment to the county code, sponsored by Eileen Higgins, is next scheduled for a hearing at the Health Care and County Operations Committee July 15. “Prohibiting municipalities from requiring permits or the payment of a fee for work on county-owned or county-maintained rights-of-way would help streamline both county public works projects and private construction projects that affect county rights-of-way,” an accompany memo said. Ms. Higgins’s item also amends a recent ordinance by Joe Martinez that requires any person or entity that damages a county-owned right-of-way to replace the damaged area with materials of equal or greater quality than what had been there before. Mr. Martinez’s item required that repairs be made within 45 days “to … legally permissible preexisting condition, including private property damaged during construction,” with violators subject to $500-per-day fines. Ms. Higgins’s item shortens the repair window to 30 days.
TENANTS’ RIGHTS EDUCATION: Residents renting apartments, townhouses and single-family units in Miami-Dade may soon be more knowledgeable about what their rights are when landlords try to evict them with methods like illegal lockouts and utility shutoffs. A resolution that on Monday cleared the Housing, Social Services and Economic Development Committee would, if approved July 8, direct Mayor Carlos Giménez’s office to collaborate with pro bono law group Legal Services of Greater Miami Inc. to develop a tenant right and education program. The program would focus on tenants’ rights enumerated in state and local statutes, what steps tenants can take to seek redress with agencies that provide utility services to their homes, which agencies tenants can contact for assistance and other information that they may need. The resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, would also direct the mayor’s staff to find funding for the program and report within 60 days on progress to create the program.