Disaster staging, wrongful incarceration bills go to DeSantis

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2019 file photo, Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at pre-legislative news conference on in Tallahassee, Fla. The state of Florida is asking a U.S. appellate court in Georgia to set aside an earlier judge's ruling that allowed some impoverished felons to regain access to the ballot box, despite owing fines and other legal debts. The matter that will play out Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 before the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals is far from inconsequential because of the razor-thin margins that sometimes decide election contests in Florida, a perennial battleground state.(AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

A proposal that would change how the state sets up disaster-relief staging areas, with a focus on small counties along a series of proposed toll roads, was among six bills sent Tuesday to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The measure (SB 7018) would direct the Department of Transportation to plan and build staging areas for emergency response along the turnpike system, with a priority in “counties with a population of 200,000 or less in which a multi-use corridor of regional significance is located,” according to a Senate analysis of the bill.

Supporters of the measure argued that larger counties already have airports and business centers that can be used to stage disaster relief.

Critics of the proposal linked it to controversial plans to build three new or expanded toll roads stretching from Collier County to the Georgia border.

The measure also would require the Public Service Commission to work with the transportation department and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to develop electric vehicle charging stations along state highways.

DeSantis has until June 10 to act on the measure, along with other bills sent to him Tuesday.

Those bills include a proposal (SB 28) that would pay $2.15 million to Jacksonville’s Clifford Williams, who was wrongfully imprisoned for almost 43 years, including five years on Death Row.

RELATED: Previous coverage of Clifford Williams case

Another bill (SB 716) would accommodate a property owner looking to develop a housing development by moving 0.65 acres from St. Lucie County to Indian River County and a corresponding 5.56 acres from Indian River County to St. Lucie County.

DeSantis has signed 16 bills from the legislative session that ended in March. Another 184 bills, including a $93.2 billion budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year that begins July 1, have not been formally sent to him.