HB 1213 by Rep. Peters and SB 1590 by Senator Latvala both passed their first of three committees this week. These bills redefine the criteria for ranking beach projects to better capture the economic and storm damage protection benefits of the projects. They also contain criteria to recognize the availability of federal and local matching funds, recreational benefits, habitat protection, and strategies to conserve sand sources, among others. Additionally, the bills require enhanced funding for inlets, which will foster cost-effective use of limited sand sources and reduce nourishment costs for beach projects on adjacent critically-eroded beaches. The bills also include a three year work plan in order to maximize matching dollars. They were supported in both committee hearings by the Florida Association of Counties, Florida League of Cities and a number of coastal cities and counties.