Negron wants state to control Lake Okeechobee
State Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) asked federal lawmakers Thursday to give control of Lake Okeechobee to Florida during a congressional hearing on the adverse economic and health impacts of water releases into estuaries on both sides of the state.
The request to wrest control of the lake from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came as members of Congress, working amid the shadow of the ongoing federal-government shutdown, repeatedly expressed bipartisan support for longstanding efforts to clean waterways east and west of the lake and to secure funding so more water can be directed to the south.
"I'm sorry that we have a dysfunctional Washington," U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., told South Florida residents and officials who trekked to Washington for the hearing.
"This is an issue that affects all of our state. When people in Great Britain or Germany or in Chicago, New York come and visit, our snowbirds, our vacationers that come visit and see this, I don't care if it's the east coast or the west coast, it affects Florida," he said.
"We don't want those trips to be canceled, we want more people to come to enjoy our beaches and help our economy," Radel added.