Legislative forum covers wide spectrum of issues

Dozens of speakers signed up to draw attention to topics they think are important at Pasco County’s annual legislative delegation meeting. The topics ranged from fracking to Medicaid; the opioid epidemic to immigration; medical marijuana to homelessness; and, scores of budget requests. Some requests were for items vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, for … [Read more...]

A chance to talk with Pasco’s state legislators

Get ready to quiz members of the Pasco County legislative delegation, or make a plea for a favorite cause or program. Pasco legislators will have their annual pre-session public meeting on Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Sunlake High School Gymnasium, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. The annual get-together is an opportunity for residents, elected officials, representatives of city … [Read more...]

Education is key issue at town hall

Education was a recurring theme during a recent town hall meeting that featured U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, State Rep. Danny Burgess, and State Sens. Wilton Simpson and Tom Lee. About 100 residents gathered inside the Pasco Middle School Auditorium on Aug. 22 to voice their thoughts and concerns with their local representatives, via a question-and-answer-style town meeting that lasted more than … [Read more...]

Fleet of school buses to use alternative fuel

Pasco County Schools is making history with a new, fast-fill station and a fleet of buses that runs on alternative fuel. The school district, in partnership with Integral Energy and Clearwater Gas System, is the first in Florida to own and operate a compressed natural gas (CNG) station to fuel its growing fleet of CNG buses. By the end of the 2018 school year, school officials estimate … [Read more...]

Homestead exemption could increase

A property tax savings could be on its way to Florida homeowners, if a statewide referendum in 2018 boosts homestead exemptions to a total of $75,000. But, what could be tax relief to homeowners could pose financial challenges for local governments. If approved, homeowners can add another $25,000 to the existing standard of $50,000 (approved by voters in 2008) for homestead exemption on … [Read more...]

State funds sought for forensic training center

State legislators will try to secure about $4.3 million in state funds to build a forensic anthropology training center – also known as a body farm - next to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center, off U.S. 41. A local campaign also aims to raise about $200,000 for a tactical training program on-site for Pasco’s K-9 unit. Those efforts will be spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Wesley … [Read more...]

Education a key theme for upcoming session

Education was a recurring theme among speakers at a recent meeting held by the Pasco County Legislative Delegation before this year’s annual session. Local citizens and civic leaders voiced their concerns on this hot-button issue during a Jan. 18 gathering at Sunlake High School, with six local representatives to the state Legislature. Dozens of interest groups and local government leaders … [Read more...]

Push is on for forensic training center

A forensic training center – sometimes indelicately called a “body farm” – is being proposed for a site in Land O’ Lakes. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the University of South Florida, the Pasco-Hernando State College and Pasco County, in the quest for the facility. The “body farm” label has stuck as a colloquial description for this type of facility after crime … [Read more...]

Pasco wants more state funding

Pasco County commissioners have approved a list of local priorities for the 2017 legislative session, seeking to add state funds to the county’s coffers. Commissioners want more state money for road construction, storm water improvements, efforts to fight blight and help the homeless population, and other projects. The list of county priorities is expected to be presented to the local … [Read more...]

Various issues surface during town hall meeting

East Pasco residents flocked to the Dade City Courthouse to meet face-to-face with Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12); State Rep. Danny Burgess, R-San Antonio; and State Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby. About 100 residents gathered inside the Board of County Commissioners meeting room on Aug. 22 to voice their thoughts and concerns with their local representatives via a question-and-answer style town … [Read more...]