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Florida's Senate President is pushing for more creative solutions to workforce housing

Kathleen Passidomo
Wilfredo Lee/AP
FILE - Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, who was chosen to be the next president of the state Senate during the 2023 and 2024 terms, smiles as she stands on the dais during a legislative session at the Florida State Capitol, Monday, March 7, 2022 in Tallahassee, Fla. The results in the legislative races were part of a remarkable midterms performance for DeSantis and other Republicans, with statewide candidates flipping many longtime Democratic counties from blue to red, including the state's largest, Miami-Dade. "Tonight is a monumental win in the fight to keep Florida Free!" incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said in a statement. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) says people should be able to live near their work. She unveiled a plan Thursday called the “Live Local Act.”

The goal is to encourage developers to build more mixed income communities by offering more tax exemptions and loan programs. Passidomo says the plan would mean, teachers, law enforcement and nurses could live closer to their jobs.

“Think about this: there’s a hospital on the corner next door is a vacant strip center. Wouldn’t it be great if we could revitalize it, renovate it, build rental apartments so the nurse who works at the hospital can walk to work instead of driving an hour and a half to work and leave her kids at home," Passidomo said.

The proposal would also make it easier to redevelop commercial properties into residential housing. It earmarks $150-million in new recurring dollars for the State Apartment Incentive Loan program, or SAIL, which gives developers loans to build affordable housing units. And the proposal creates a tax donation program that gives businesses the ability to donate up to 100-million dollars annually in corporate tax or insurance tax premiums for workforce housing.

Passidomo unveiled her plan Thursday alongside Senator Alexis Calatayud (R-Miami) who will carry the measure through the legislative process.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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