Naples Daily News
Name: Kathleen C. Passidomo
Family: Husband, John; daughters Catarina, Francesca and Gabriella; grandsons William and Emilio
Lived in the district since: 1979
Work background: October 1999 to present, partner at Kelly, Passidomo & Alba, LLP; March 1995 to October 1999, partner at Kelly, Price, Passidomo, Siket & Solis, LLP; March 1984 to March 1995, partner (1987) at Harter, Secrest & Emery; September 1982 to March 1984, owner of Kathleen C. Passidomo, Esq.; May 1981 to September 1982, partner at Schweikhardt & Passidomo, P.A.; October 1979 to May 1981, associate at William Schweikhardt, Attorney At Law.
Public service: Florida House of Representatives, 2010-16; Florida Senate since 2016
Political affiliation: Republican Party
Q: Why should voters elect you?
A: I am a consensus builder who has been able to work collaboratively with my colleagues from both political parties over the last eight years to pass almost 50 bills ranging from strengthening laws to protect the elderly from financial abuse, foreclosure and guardianship reform to complex technical bills dealing with corporate and business laws. I understand the legislative and budgetary processes and I get things done. In the time I have left before being term limited I have a number of important initiatives I plan on undertaking and will put the same drive, energy and creativity into tackling those issues.
Q: What would be your top three priorities if you are elected?
1. The Legislature included $69 million in the PreK-12 budget for mental health assistance in the 2018-19 budget, however, that funding is just a start. In 2016 the Legislature passed a mental health and substance abuse initiative (SB 12). My goal is to fund the bill.
2. Over the last six years over $662 million has been swept from the affordable housing trust funds. Last session I filed a bill that would have prohibited this.I am committed to discontinuing the sweep of housing trust funds so they may be used for the purposes intended.
3. One significant unaddressed water quality concern is inadequately treated septic tank effluent seeping into the aquifer. It is imperative the state address these antiquated systems.
Q: Is Florida doing enough to solve Southwest Florida’s algae crisis? Why or why not?
A: Government at all levels can and should do more. We need to complete the Everglades restoration plan authorized in 2000 and delayed during the economic downturn due to funding availability. Now, as the economy strengthens and with Congress passing the Water Resources Development Act we are in a position to fund those projects in addition to funding the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir Project (SB 10) to provide more water storage. Also, to address the root causes of the problem the state and local governments need to work collaboratively to address statewide stormwater management, fertilizer runoff, wastewater treatment and septic seepage.
Q: What role does the state have in regulating growth in Southwest Florida?
A: Implementation of the state’s growth management policy and decisions on growth regulations should be made at the local level. Some requirements of the state’s policies have hindered the ability of local governments to effectively manage growth within their communities. Currently, every local government has a comprehensive plan in place and local land use regulations to implement the plan. Local governments are now more sophisticated and are employing creative planning techniques to guide growth. The state should not “micromanage” local government but should provide legislative and statutory oversight and partner with local governments in implementing best practices and common-sense regulations that are tailored each community.