NEW THIS MORNING: FL State Rep. Clay Ingram says:
1. BEULAH INTERCHANGE/CONNECTOR: The reporting on this has been a bit unclear, and even Ingram was uncertain whether the Governor had vetoed funding for the interchange itself or just the next phase connector corridor to Muscogee Road area. After the interview, Ingram confirmed that the veto was ONLY for the connector study. (This means the Interchange is still on track and in the PD&E phase.) Also, the state already has $4.7 million committed to the Connector project and the County has $5.6 million, so the $1.0 million vetoed was 1/11th of the cost of the next phase. Read more here: https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Session/FiscalYear/FY2018-19/LocalFundingInitiativeRequests/FY2018-19_S1741.PDF
2. GARCON POINT BRIDGE: Ingram says the House resisted this bill because it appeared to be a bailout of the bondholders. He believes the Legislature may try again next year at an even lower dollar amount. Also, at the end of the bond term, the bridge will revert to the State in whatever condition it is in then.
3. BLUFFS; This project is on track and received additional funding in the recently signed budget.
4. FIU BRIDGE: The State did not have a part in this bridge. Ingram believes it was entirely a federally funded project executed by the University.
5. BACKROOM ARM-TWISTING: House leadership (Richard Corcoran) did not try to pressure Reps. Clay Ingram, Frank White, and Jayer Williamson to vote for the school safety/gun control bill because he knew it was a matter of core values to them and (presumably) voters in this area. However, Ingram did acknowledge that last year there was significant pressure brought to get our delegation vote for Corcoran's agenda on Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida or else risk losing the 75% promised Triumph Funds of $1.5 Billion to the Panhandle. Wow.
6. INGRAM'S FUTURE: Since he and his wife had no children when he first ran, he is glad to take some time to just be CEO/President of the Greater Pensacola Chamber. Elected office may be in the future, but not in the near future.
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