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Palm Beach County nonprofits celebrate bipartisan success of state legislative session

State senators work together to bring funding to Palm Beach County and pass legislation
Posted at 11:37 PM, Sep 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-14 01:18:13-04

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County nonprofits and senators gathered at Loggerhead Marinelife Center on Wednesday to celebrate a successful state legislative session for the region.

“We were one of the lucky organizations to receive about $500,000 in state-appropriated funding this year,” Loggerhead Marinelife Center President and CEO Andy Dehart said.

Another nonprofit, the Els for Autisim Foundation, received double that amount.

"We just received our first state appropriation of $1 million and that’s going to be for our new project, our construction project which is a specialized autism-friendly recreation complex," Els for Autism Foundation Executive Director Marlene Sotelo said.

The non-partisan Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation was able to secure funding for health, infrastructure and environmental efforts. They also worked together to pass laws against issues like antisemitism.

"Oh my goodness, this last year we were so successful in really bringing back the resources to Palm Beach County and it was a delight to hear so many community partners come and express their gratitude," District 31 Sen. Gayle Harrell, a Republican, said at the news conference

"We all work together. These projects are non-partisan projects," District 26 Sen. Lori Berman, a Democrat, said of their progress. "I mean it’s not partisan to decide that we need roads and bridges and water and nonprofits in our county who are doing amazing work."

Because of those efforts in Tallahassee, their community is reaping the rewards.

"The state funding makes a huge difference in our ability to operate and conduct the programs that are essential to sea turtle health and also ocean health," Dehart said.