The Economic of Clean Water

By. Dr. Andrew Stainback
Economist, The Everglades Foundation

Florida is home to more than 21 million people and has an economy that produces over $1 trillion in economic output annually. With over 1,300 miles of coastline, numerous rivers and lakes, and the vast Everglades ecosystem, water plays an essential role in Florida’s economy and the quality of life of its growing population. While sustainably managing the state’s water resources is crucial for our daily activities, for example, the Everglades ecosystem alone provides the drinking water for nearly 9 million Floridians. It is also essential to critical sectors of Florida’s economy, such as real estate, tourism, and fishing.

Tourism and Recreation

According to Visit Florida, over 130 million out-of-state visitors came to Florida in 2019. A study by Rockport Analytics indicates that in 2018, out-of-state visitors contributed more than $91 billion to the state’s economy and supported over 1.5 million jobs via tourists spending money on hotels, restaurants, and other goods and services. Detailed surveys of these visitors by Visit Florida indicate that many of them are drawn to the state to participate in water-based activities like going to the beach, recreational fishing, and boating, making protecting water quality important for maintaining this critical part of the state’s economy.

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, recreational boating contributes more than $23 billion annually in Florida and supports over 92,000 jobs.

Recent estimates indicate that Florida anglers (both saltwater and freshwater) contribute more than $11.5 billion annually to the state’s economy while supporting over 100,000 jobs. In just the Everglades region, anglers contribute more than $1.2 billion to the economy with Florida Bay alone contributing more $439 million.

Real Estate

Real estate is another sector critical to Florida’s economy. According to the National Association of Realtors, the real estate industry accounted for about 22% of Florida’s economy in 2019. Just as water plays a substantial role in the tourism and recreational industries, it also plays a substantial role in real estate. For instance, a detailed study by the Florida Realtors Association estimated that water quality degradation due to a 2013 algae bloom in the St. Lucie Estuary, Loxahatchee Estuary, and the part of the Indian River Lagoon north of the

St. Lucie Inlet reduced residential real estate values in Martin County by $488 million. Estimates by Mather Economics indicate that Everglades restoration could increase residential real estate values by around $16 billion over a 50-year time horizon in South Florida alone.

Conclusion

It’s important to note that the studies above provide just a glimpse of the role of water in the state’s economy. Clean water is important for many other sectors of Florida’s economy. For instance, commercial fishing and seafood industries support over 76,000 jobs and contribute over $16 billion to the state’s economy. It’s clear that sustainably managing the state’s vast water resources is necessary to provide economic opportunity, jobs, and a high quality of life to present and future generations of Floridians.

A Great Week in Florida Politics and Government

Funding Florida forward

Governor DeSantis signed the state budget for fiscal year 2021-2022. The budget totaled $101.5 billion and includes $169 million in tax relief. The Governor vetoed $1.5 billion in total spending, including $1.35 billion from federal funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

“While other states advocated for never-ending lockdowns during the pandemic, Florida followed the science and led the nation in ensuring there were opportunities for Florida families to go to school, go to work, and provide for themselves and their families,” Governor DeSantis said.

The Florida Leads budget exemplifies Florida’s continued resolve and powerful economic foundation. It establishes Florida’s position as a nationwide leader in education, protecting the environment, creating a resilient economy, and ensuring public safety. And it accomplishes all of this while maintaining strong fiscal reserves and lowering taxes to make sure Florida families benefit this year and for decades to come.

This was done through the close work and cooperation of the Governor, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls.

 

Highlights of the new budget include:

  • Focusing on fiscal responsibility and providing tax relief to Floridians, leaving $9.5 billion in reserves and implementing a tax package which cuts taxes by $169 million.
  • Funding schools by increasing the base student allocation by $53 per student, adding $120 million for mental health initiatives and spending an historic $550 million to continue raising the minimum K-12 teacher salary to the goal of $47,500.
  • Protecting the environment with record investments for Everglades restoration and water resources by dedicating more than $625 million for these causes, plus $152 million to protect prized properties and waters in Florida, including $102 million for the Florida Forever Program, and $50 million for Florida’s award winning state parks. In addition, the budget contains federal funding of up to $500 million for the Resilient Florida program to fight sea level rise.
  • Making key investments in transportation and infrastructure, using resources to ensure continued job growth, workforce training, affordable housing and rural economic development. Investments in the Florida Department of Transportation total $10.3 billion.
  • The Florida Leads budget dedicates over $2.5 billion toward mental health and substance abuse prevention for children and adults.
  • Supporting military, veterans and their families with $28 million for Florida’s military presence and families, including the Florida Defense Support Task Force, the Defense Infrastructure Program, armory maintenance, military base protection, Florida National Guardsmen seeking higher education degrees and scholarships for children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans. Additionally, the budget includes up to $50 million for two new National Guard armories in Zephyrhills and Immokalee.
  • Investing $37.5 million in cybersecurity, so state agencies can improve information technology security measures and controls statewide to help protect Florida against the ongoing and evolving nature of cyber threats that can compromise critical state resources and sensitive information.

See the Florida Leads budget highlights here: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/FY-21-22-Budget-Highlights-6.2.21-FINAL.pdf

See the veto list here: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2021-Veto-List-Final.pdf

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/06/02/governor-ron-desantis-signs-the-florida-leads-budget/

Legislation

Republican leaders and Governor DeSantis are protecting women and girls from being unfairly and dangerously forced to compete against biological boys in sporting events. Governor DeSantis signed SB 1028 creating the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” preserving fair opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their skills in athletic competition.

Any athletic team or sport that is designated for females may not be open to students of the male sex, based on the student’s biological sex listed on the student’s official birth certificate. The law applies the requirements to interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by public schools, colleges, or universities.

This is a popular law. Multiple polls have shown that 60 to 70 percent of Americans believe that biological males should not be participating in women’s sports.

“As a father of two daughters, I want my girls, and every girl in Florida, to compete on an even playing field for the opportunities available to young women in sports,” Governor DeSantis said. “Women have fought for decades to have equal opportunities in athletics, and we have to prevent those opportunities from being eroded as is happening in other states. It’s common sense. Many thanks to Senator Stargel and Representative Tuck for their thoughtful work on this bill to ensure fairness in women’s sports.”

Florida Update

Cheaper prescription drugs may be on the way to Floridians struggling with ever-increasing health care costs.

At the direction of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration filed an Amicus brief in support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ final rule implementing Section 804 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, to facilitate the importation of prescription drugs, based in part off Florida’s 2019 importation concept paper.

In 2019, at President Donald Trump’s direction, HHS was tasked to work diligently with Florida to fully implement provisions of the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act related to the importation of Canadian prescription drugs.

“Today’s filing reinforces Florida’s position — that the lawsuit is another desperate attempt by Big Pharma to prevent the importation of safe and effective prescription drugs from Canada,” Governor DeSantis said.“Floridians have been waiting long enough for lower prescription drug prices, and it is unnecessary to keep them waiting. I look forward to the dismissal of the suit and the immediate approval of Florida’s plan by the federal government.”

The Biden administration subsequent to the filing signalled that it will agree to Florida’s efforts.

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An awesome documentary of Governor DeSantis’ principled leadership through the Covid pandemic has been produced by the Epoch Times and American Thought Leaders. It’s a behind-the-scenes look in the words of Governor DeSantis, his advisors and others that the mainstream media would never dream of doing.

Watch the documentary here: https://www.theepochtimes.com/exclusive-documentary-desantis-florida-vs-lockdowns_3834081.html

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AG Ashley Moody is fighting for Florida jobs and the nation’s energy independence by challenging President Joe Biden’s unlawful executive order that cancelled construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The AG is joining attorneys general from 22 states in an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to block Biden’s unconstitutional and unlawful attempt to cancel the Keystone Pipeline.

Moody said, “Minutes after taking the oath of office, President Biden signed an unlawful executive order reversing an Act of Congress and eliminating Florida jobs. His order, halting construction of the Keystone Pipeline, is not only a jobs killer, it risks our nation’s energy independence and national security — we all saw last month how quickly losing access to just one pipeline can cause chaos and uncertainty in a large portion of our country.

“I recently met with Congressman Neal Dunn, who has been speaking with Floridians in his district who lost work because of Biden’s reckless order. We must help these Floridians get back to work.”

Read more: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/0907C4335CE527FE852586E80052A99A

ICYMI

Nikki Fried finally made official what she has been doing unofficially at taxpayer expense for two-and-a-half years — running for Governor. She’s been wrong on virtually every issue of the past two years, and politicized them for her own personal political enrichment. She faces charlatan Charlie Crist, who has been a member of three parties in the past 10 years in desperate attempts to win an office.

RPOF Executive Director Helen Aguirre Ferre had this to say about Nikki Fried’s announcement:

“Nikki Fried is conspiracy-spouting lockdown zealot who has accomplished absolutely nothing while in office.  Instead of working for the people of Florida, Fried spends her time pushing partisan lies on social media.  Her claim to fame is wasting tax dollars to plaster her face on gas pumps and cash registers across Florida.  Rather than seek a promotion, she should refund her taxpayer-funded salary to atone for the complete waste her tenure in office has been.”

And now we find out that Fried “accidentally” forgot to include $350,480 in her 2018 tax filings. She amended her filing May 28, just days before announcing her run for governor.

Read more: https://tallahasseereports.com/2021/06/02/nikki-fried-amends-financial-disclosure-ahead-of-campaign-announcement/

Legislative Update May 21 – Senator Kathleen Passidomo

This week, Senators and Representatives met in Tallahassee for a special session on gaming.  On May 19, 2021, the Florida Legislature approved the 2021 Gambling Compact proposed by Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  The newly approved 30-year gaming Compact restores the state’s relationship with the Tribe, preserves and offers new opportunities for Florida’s legacy pari-mutuel industry, and provides substantial new revenues for the State of Florida.

Today, the Governor signed HB 7061 into law, cutting $196.3 million in taxes for Floridians and establishing three tax-free holidays this summer.  The first opportunity to shop tax-free begins May 28.  During the  Preparedness Tax-Free Holiday, Florida residents can save when they stock up on items to prepare for hurricane season, which begins June 1.

 

Gaming Compact Agreement Reached Between Florida Legislature This Week

This week, Florida lawmakers met to discuss and debate the 2021 Gaming Compact and related legislation.

As a sovereign nation, the Seminole Tribe has the right to offer gambling on its properties.  Through a previously established agreement, the Tribe shared revenue with the state of Florida to support education, law enforcement and infrastructure, among other investments.  However, since the agreement expired in 2015, the state has not benefited from this revenue.

The 2021 Gaming Compact was negotiated by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida.  The historic 30-year Compact restores Florida’s relationship with the Seminole Tribe, offers new opportunities for Florida’s legacy pari-mutuel industry, and provides substantial new revenues for our state.  Importantly, it preserves Florida’s reputation as a family-friendly and safe world-class destination.

The goal of our legislation was to balance the requirements of federal Indian gaming law and Florida’s complex pari-mutuel regulatory structure, while also strengthening and enforcing restrictions against illegal and compulsive gambling.  Responsible regulation is central to gaming, and as with other industries, such regulation should reflect current needs and current gaming violations and activities.

That is why we created an independent Gaming Control Commission to safeguard the public from illegal gaming activity and uphold the integrity of the industry.

The Compact also includes several provisions to help prevent compulsive gambling abuse, such as requiring the Seminole Tribe to make a substantial annual contribution ($250,000) per operational gaming facility to the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.

Additionally, all advertising and marketing at tribal gaming facilities and all online betting sites must contain a responsible gaming message and a toll-free helpline number for gamblers.

The 2021 Compact will generate a minimum of $2.5 billion in new revenue for the state over the next five years and an estimated $6 billion through 2030.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted in favor to ratify the agreement.  On Wednesday, the House voted to approve the measure.

 

Governor Signs Tax Relief Package to Help Floridians Find Cost Savings

On Friday,  May 21, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7061 which offers a variety of tax credits and holidays for Floridians to save on costs as many begin to rebuild beyond the pandemic. The approved tax package is expected to create $196.3 million in relief for Floridians.

This includes three tax holidays for Floridians. Two of which have historically played a major role in annual cost savings: Hurricane Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday and the Back-to-School Tax Holiday.

The Florida Legislature expanded the dates and item eligibility to help Floridians take advantage of tax-free supplies needed to secure your homes from hurricanes and prepare our students for the new school year.

The Hurricane Disaster Preparedness Holiday runs from Friday, May 28 through June 6. The Back-to-School Tax Holiday begins July 31 until August 9.

In addition,  Floridians can benefit from a new tax holiday: “2021 Freedom Week.”  This holiday will allow Floridians to purchase eligible event tickets, outdoor gear and beach or boating items tax-free from July 1 through July 7.

The goal is to encourage Floridians to take advantage of the recreational and entertainment opportunities here in the Sunshine State and help support local economies and businesses.

 

Hurricane Season Is Rapidly Approaching, Are You Prepared?

Though the Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins on June 1, forecasters have already spotted tropical storms forming as early as mid-May.

Visit FloridaDisaster.org to help your family and/or business establish a plan to remain safe in the event of a disaster.

Utilize this checklist to help keep you organized and plan your shopping list for the upcoming Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday.

Stay informed and view the latest updates on hurricane forecasts here.

 

Save On Hurricane Supplies Starting May 28 During the Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday

The tax relief package (HB 7061) Governor DeSantis signed into law this month includes the continuation of the annual Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday.  This year, the Florida Legislature expanded the tax-free savings to 10 days, which starts on Friday, May 28, and lasts until June 6.

Eligible items include:

·         Portable self-powered light source selling for $40 or less;

·         Certain portable radios selling for $50 or less;

·         Tarps selling for $100 or less;

·         Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits selling for $100 or less;

·         A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $50 or less;

·         Packages of certain battery types, selling for $50 or less;

·         A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $60 or less;

·         Portable generators for use in a power outage selling for $1,000 or less;

·         Reusable ice selling for $20 or less; and

·         Portable power banks selling for $60 or less.

Don’t wait, get prepared today!

 

Memorial Day Weekend Festivities in Southwest Florida

There are a variety of Memorial Day activities your family can safely participate in this year.  Enjoy time at the beach, grill out in the backyard, attend a summer event or just keep it local this long weekend.

Many of Southwest Florida’s local restaurants and shops are offering opportunities for friends and family to gather for the holiday.  You may find some local resources below.

·         Beach Locations & Information

·         Events

·         Local Shopping & Sales

 

Fun Florida Activities for Your Family This Summer

As families and parents prepare for school to end next month, don’t let the education end outside of the classroom!

There are a variety of activities in Southwest Florida that can help your children exercise their minds and bodies.

View the links for summer activity ideas in your region:

·         Collier County

·         Hendry County

·         Lee County

A Man Who Understands History

The founder of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid, was asked about the future of his country, and he replied,

“My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I ride a Mercedes, my son rides a Land Rover, and my grandson is going to ride a Land Rover, but my great-grandson is going to have to ride a camel again.”

Why is that, he was asked? And his reply was,

“Hard times create strong men, strong men create easy times.

Easy times create weak men, weak men create difficult times.

Many will not understand it, but you have to raise warriors, not parasites”

And add to that the historical reality that all great “empires”…the Persians, the Trojans, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and in later years the British…all rose and perished within 240 years. Each “rotted from within”.

America has now passed that 240 year mark and the “rot” is visible all around us and now accelerating quickly.

We are past the Mercedes and Land Rover Years and the camels are in our yards. And 81 million Americans demonstrated last November by voting for Biden that they know nothing of history and/ or think we should all be riding camels!”

 

Republican Party of Florida Update

Governor DeSantis signs groundbreaking school choice law

Florida’s nation-leading school choice legislation is now law, and the parents of millions of disadvantaged Florida children will have new opportunities to improve their children’s education and hopes for better lives. Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 7045 Tuesday, providing historic levels of educational opportunities through expanded eligibility for low-income students, and prioritizing military, foster, and adopted students.

“This legislation creates historical levels of flexibility in both schooling and educational services for millions of low-income families and families of students with unique abilities,” Governor DeSantis said.

“By giving parents increased options to choose the education that best meets their child’s needs, we are giving those students unlimited opportunity,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran.

Highlights of the ground-breaking law include:

  • Increasing individual scholarship amounts to 100% of the state funding allocated to the child’s education, and expanding access to Florida’s scholarship programs for more families.
  • Expanding the Family Empowerment Scholarship, lifting children in foster care, out-of-home care, or whose household income level does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level.
  • Giving military families the ability to maximize their school choice options.
  • Expanding use of scholarship funds to cover the full spectrum of a student’s educational expenses, such as tuition and fees, and transportation to another public school, along with providing for special needs of students.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/11/governor-ron-desantis-signs-transformational-legislation-to-expand-school-choice-options/––––

While Democrats challenge our enhanced election integrity laws, we are looking forward to 2022, gearing up with aggressive plans for voter registration and absentee ballot registration. Covid-related issues allowed Democrats to surpass us in absentee voting registration in 2020, and those will still be in effect for the 2022 cycle.

But we are organizing now to counter their advantage in that area by working with our county Republican Executive Committees and grassroots at the local level. More will be coming on this, including how everyone can get involved.

Legislation

Governor DeSantis signed into law the largest investment in Florida’s history to prepare communities for rising sea levels and flooding. Senate Bill 1954 creates a coordinated approach to Florida’s coastal and inland resiliency and enhances efforts to protect inland waterways, coastlines, shores and coral reefs, which serve as invaluable natural defenses against sea level rise.

This bill and the 2021-2022 budget are part of the largest investment in the state’s history — more than $640 million — ensuring state and local communities are prepared to deal with the impacts of sea level rise, intensified storms and flooding.

The budget portion includes:

  • $12.5 million for resilience projects and coral reef protection.
  • $500 million in federal funding to implement statewide resilience projects through the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan.
  • $100 million for Resilient Florida Grant Program projects in partnership with local communities, beginning in 2022.

“Since day one, the resiliency of our state has been a top priority for my administration,” Governor DeSantis said.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/12/governor-ron-desantis-signs-bill-to-further-strengthen-floridas-resiliency-efforts/

Florida Update

Governor DeSantis urged the U.S. Army Corp to reduce harmful discharges to northern estuaries in its new Lake Okeechobee system operating manual. The Governor was joined by Florida DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein and the South Florida Water Management District Board of Directors on a visit to Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers. The visit came as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalizes a new water control manual.

The Governor urged the U.S. Army Corps to improve lake management to create more beneficial releases and send more water south during Florida’s dry season, and allow flexibility to avoid harmful discharges in Florida’s northern estuaries.

“In Florida, we are doing our part to expedite Everglades restoration projects and restore the flow of water south from Lake Okeechobee. Under my administration, we have expedited the EAA Reservoir Project, begun constructing the Stormwater Treatment Area 12 months ahead of schedule, and invested over $2 billion in water quality and Everglades funding,” Governor DeSantis said.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/10/governor-ron-desantis-urges-u-s-army-corps-to-reduce-harmful-discharges-to-northern-estuaries-in-new-lake-okeechobee-system-operating-manual/––––

Governor DeSantis is honoring Florida’s law enforcement officers this week by lighting the Florida Historic Capitol blue during National Police Week. National Police Week recognizes those who protect our nation and the State of Florida, and those who have made the supreme sacrifice with their lives to protect the freedom of others and preserve law and order in our communities.

“In Florida, we stand behind our police officers who protect our freedoms and defend our society – putting themselves in harm’s way to keep our people safe and our businesses secure,” Governor DeSantis said. “This week we honor them for always responding to those in need.”

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/09/governor-ron-desantis-honors-floridas-police-force-during-national-police-week/

Watch here: https://spacecoastdaily.com/2021/05/watch-gov-ron-desantis-honors-floridas-police-force-during-national-police-week

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Governor DeSantis announced that more than $111 million has been awarded to 22 communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. The Rebuild Florida General Infrastructure Repair Program is designed to provide funding for local governments to strategically rebuild and harden infrastructure in order to prevent or reduce losses from future disasters.

“Hurricane Michael caused catastrophic damage to Northwest Florida and we remain one-hundred percent committed to helping these communities rebuild and recover stronger than before,” Governor DeSantis said.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/06/governor-ron-desantis-announces-111-million-in-infrastructure-awards-for-communities-impacted-by-hurricane-michael/

Governor Ron DeSantis

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

Governor DeSantis continues to receive praise from Floridians for his management through the pandemic. Florida parents, nurses, small business owners, educators, hospitality workers and cruisers are applauding the Governor’s leadership.

You can read them here:
https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/13/what-they-are-saying-florida-parents-nurses-small-business-owners-educators-hospitality-workers-and-cruisers-applaud-governor-ron-desantis-policies/

Update to Memorial Weekend “Fun”draiser

The following candidates have confirmed attending the Memorial Weekend “Fun”draiser:

Congressman Byron Donalds, State Representative Bob Rommel,, Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards, and Clerk of Court Crystal Kinzel.

Join us for our first “Fun”draiser

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND BBQ

Help us keep Florida Red by helping raise funds to support and improve local candidates through outreach, candidate ratings and recruitment. (limited to first 100 people)

Friday, May 28th – 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

  • Meet and rub shoulders with local elected officials
  • Support CCCVPAC efforts to keep Florida Red
  • Live Music by Jason Beal
  • Video by Vincenzo Ruggieri
  • Have a Great Time!

Confirmed Elected Officials Attending

Congressman Byron Donalds, State Representative Bob Rommel,, Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards, Clerk of Court Crystal Kinzel Naples City Councilman Ted Blankenship.

Get Tickets – Click Here

Republican Party of Florida Update

Florida’s new election integrity law: Easier to vote, harder to cheat

Florida is leading the way on election integrity because we have a Governor and a Legislature willing to proactively ensure that all legal votes count.

To that end, Governor DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 90 this morning in Palm Beach County. Florida’s new election integrity bill strengthens voter identification, prohibits the unsolicited mass mailing of ballots, bans ballot harvesting and prohibits private money from administering elections in our state.

“Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections,” Governor DeSantis said. “Floridians can rest assured that our state will remain a leader in ballot integrity. Elections should be free and fair, and these changes will ensure this continues to be the case in the Sunshine State.”

“Safeguarding and maintaining the integrity of our elections is important to all of us,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “We all lose when people have no confidence in the integrity of an election. That’s what we want to avoid. We don’t want to backslide. Florida was a model for the nation in November, and that is something we can all take pride in.”

The new law is a win for everyone who wants voting easier but cheating harder.

“Floridians have more options to cast their ballot than ever before. With that variety must come assurance of security, accountability, and transparency,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/06/governor-ron-desantis-signs-bill-to-safeguard-the-sanctity-of-florida-elections/

Watch a Fox News clip here: https://video.foxnews.com/v/6252896639001#sp=show-clips

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Charlie Crist has announced for Governor, bringing an endless stream of failures in public office — his biggest being those that failed the people of Florida. Repeatedly.

He claims now to care about jobs. But under his leadership as Governor (when he was a Republican, before he was an Independent, which was before he was a Democrat, which he is at this moment) Florida’s unemployment rate soared to 11.1 percent — triple what it had been. More than 800,000 Floridians lost their jobs under Crist. Bankruptcies and foreclosures soared and Crist steered the state budget deep into debt.

But as the times got tougher under his governorship, he began looking for ways to run away from the problems he created, quitting on Floridians to pursue other elected offices. The job he really cares about is his own.

And now that back-to-back Republican governors in Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis have righted the ship that he nearly capsized and set the state in perhaps the strongest economic and financial position in the country, he wants back in the Governor’s mansion he ran away from in disarray. Apparently totally screwing up the state once was just not enough for him.

Crist is the epitome of the self-absorbed, empty suit politician and Floridians can do much better — and already are under Governor DeSantis.

Senator Rick Scott released an awesome video documenting Crist’s almost innumerable failures and lack of personal character.

Watch Senator Scott’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vklOIQsvwdg&ab_channel=OnmessageInc

Helen Aguirre Ferre, Executive Director of RPOF, out out a strong statement on Crist:

“While Governor DeSantis put seniors first, kept our kids in school, and businesses open, Charlie Crist advocated for lockdowns, restrictions on businesses, and backed the teachers’ unions efforts to keep our kids from the classroom. Crist supports defunding the police and has voted 100% of the time for Nancy Pelosi’s radical agenda. He even betrayed those who fled communism when he embraced Castro regime officials in a secret trip to Cuba.”

Legislation

Banning vaccine passports, Governor DeSantis was joined by legislative leaders and small business owners in St. Petersburg where he signed landmark legislation, SB 2006, aimed at stemming the tide of local and state government overreach.

The bill takes aim at arbitrary lockdowns and vaccine passports and enhances emergency preparedness for future emergencies. The Governor also signed Executive Orders 21-101 and 21-102 suspending all local emergency orders until July 1, at which point local orders will be permanently invalidated under SB 2006.

“Over the last year we’ve avoided protracted lockdowns and school closures in Florida because I have refused to take the same approach as lockdown Governors. This legislation ensures that legal safeguards are in place so that local governments cannot arbitrarily close our schools or businesses,” Governor DeSantis said. “In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/03/governor-ron-desantis-signs-landmark-legislation-to-ban-vaccine-passports-and-stem-government-overreach/

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To ensure Florida children are ready for school, Governor Ron DeSantis signed new laws that will prepare our kids for kindergarten and monitor academic progress through middle school. Catching the children who need help early on will make a big difference in their educational outcomes.

The Governor signed HB 419 that makes historic improvements to state accountability for early learning programs. Additionally, he signed HB 7011 creating a statewide progress-monitoring tool to quickly understand Pre-K through 8th grade students’ academic progress in real-time and rapidly identify any personalized interventions for students that need additional support. The goal is to have 90 percent of Florida’s third graders reading on grade level by 2030.

“As a parent of three young children, I know how important it is that parents have access to high quality early learning programs,” Governor DeSantis said. “Early learning is critical for the lifelong success of our students, and supporting our earliest learners will take the guesswork out of providing personalized interventions and instruction for our vulnerable students that may be falling behind.”

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/04/governor-ron-desantis-signs-groundbreaking-early-learning-and-literacy-legislation/

And here: https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2021/05/05/gov–desantis-signs-literacy–early-learning-education-bills-into-law

Florida Update

A one-time bonus of $1,000 will be headed to 174,000 Florida first responders, including law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and firefighters, after Governor DeSantis traveled to Satellite Beach, Temple Terrace and Fort Myers to announce the bonuses.

“Supporting our law enforcement and first responders has been a top priority for my administration, and it has never been more important than over the last year. As a state, we are grateful for their continued service to our communities,” Governor DeSantis said. “This one-time bonus is a small token of appreciation, but we can never go far enough to express our gratitude for their selflessness.”

“When the Coronavirus came to Florida, our first responders worked overtime to protect our communities and get people the care they so desperately needed,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis. “They performed with honor and distinction during this global pandemic.”

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/05/governor-ron-desantis-announces-1000-pandemic-bonus-for-floridas-first-responders/

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Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis launched his first digital ad for his re-election campaign this week, called “Let’s Keep Florida Open.”

The spot talks about CFO Patronis’ family restaurant business and the difficulties it endured because of local shutdowns, reinforcing the importance of keeping Florida open. And he highlighted his successes in making nearly 4,000 arrests for fraud and abuse of funds while paying back nearly $200 million in restitution.

Watch his video launch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zonIXiYjx0&ab_channel=JimmyPatronis

May 10th Weekly Wrap-Up with Congressman Byron Donalds

The House of Representatives remained in recess this past week, affording me ample time at home in Southwest Florida to meet with you, the hardworking constituents of Florida’s 19th Congressional District, as well as local leaders and business owners.

 

However, Congress being in recess doesn’t stop my Democrat colleagues from their usual power-grabbing tactics. Rather than work in a bi-partisan manner, Senator Chuck Schumer and the Democrats try to sneak massive immigration reform into a budget reconciliation. This overhaul circumvents the legislative process and attempts to push through radical immigration policies without debate or congressional oversight and grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.

In April, the number of unaccompanied migrant minor children in the U.S. reached an all-time high of over 22,000- what this country needs is sensible immigration reform, not a free pass for all that fails to address the actual issue. Unfortunately, this kind of so-called leadership from Chuck Schumer and the Left is what happens when radical progressives get drunk with power. Rest assured, I am doing everything in my power to stop this drastic and potentially detrimental policy from becoming law.

The recent April jobs report that was just released proved true what we already knew: what incentive do the American people have to return to work when the federal government and the Biden Administration are mailing them free checks? Despite millions of job openings, unemployment numbers increased up to 6.1 percent. While this news is far from surprising, it’s unsettling, to say the least. The Biden Administration’s insistence on raising taxes, cutting jobs, supporting continued lockdowns- are all crushing the American Worker. It’s time to cut the bureaucratic red tape, open up our country, and get the American people back to work.

While in Southwest Florida this past week, I was happy to travel throughout FL-19, meeting with constituents and providing them a Congressional update. For a recap on the legislation that I just introduced to uphold IP protection from the threats of our communist adversaries, information on upcoming town halls, and more, keep reading!

Legislative Updates

Since the mainstream media and Congressional Democrats refuse to conduct necessary oversight on John Kerry’s dealings with the Iranian regime, my GOP colleagues and I will. Every day we waste is another day John Kerry is compromising our national security.

Read my full statement regarding John Kerry below:

Last week, along with the support of the Republican Study Committee Chairman Representative Jim Banks (R-IN), I introduced a bill aimed at preventing the Biden Administration from senselessly giving away America’s intellectual property rights to countries to China.

 

Read more about this critical legislation on Fox Business.

 

My full statement below:

As the Republican Party evaluates who will chair the Republican Conference in Congress, I am choosing the direction of new leadership that embodies the future of the party, not the past; I am choosing to support Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

as the next Chair of the House Republican Conference.

My full statement of support is below.

In the District
Last week, I addressed members of the Cape Coral City Council to discuss the needs of the city, provide a Congressional update, and discuss potential opportunities for federal and local partnerships in order to best serve the people of Southwest Florida.
I was happy to speak to the members of the Republican Club of Southwest Florida in Bonita Springs, FL last week. We were fortunate enough to have a packed house as we discussed pro-life legislation in Congress, the Biden Border Crisis, and Florida leading the nation in election integrity.
Community Engagement in Southwest Florida
I’m excited to announce that I am hosting my first Tele-Town Hall tonight, May 10th at 7 PM EST. This Tele-Town Hall serves as an opportunity for constituents to receive a Congressional update, ask questions, and to share the most pressing needs of Southwest Florida communities. For more information, click the link below:

 

Congressman Donalds Announces Tele-Town Hall

 

 

On May 24th, 2021 I am hosting a Veterans Town Hall. This event serves as an opportunity for Southwest Florida veterans to address their concerns, receive a Congressional update, and to learn about available federal resources. The Town Hall will be held at the American Legion Post 38, in Fort Myers, Florida. For event details, visit my website, by clicking here.

 

Reminder: Throughout the month of May, in celebration of Small Business Month, my office will be recognizing small businesses in Florida’s 19th Congressional District that are committed to serving the community and giving back. Click the link below to nominate a small business in Southwest Florida for a Congressional Recognition:

 

Office of Congressman Byron Donalds Small Business Nominations

 

In the Media
I had the opportunity to join Pete Hegseth on ‘Fox News Primetime’ last week to discuss the Left’s newest tactic of bringing race into policy debates. Watch the fiery interview below:

 

Fox News: Rep. Donalds Discusses Race in America

 

I joined Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield last week to discuss Attorney General Merrick Garland, the violent history of Antifa, and the Biden Administration using government agencies like the FBI for political gain. Watch the interview below:

 

 

ICYMI: I joined Pete Hegseth, Jedediah Bila, and Lawrence Jones on ‘Fox & Friends’ this past weekend to discuss the long-term economical impacts of rising unemployment and the current state of policing in America. Click below to watch the interview!

 

Rep. Donalds: We Can’t Rely on the Government to Put Money into Everyone’s Pocket

 

Serving the hardworking men and women of Florida’s 19th Congressional District is my distinct honor and privilege. It’s time Washington works for our community’s values, and every day I will always strive to ensure your government is working for you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Byron Donalds
Member of Congress

Senator Rick Scott Shares 117th Congress Committee Assignments

Sen. Rick Scott Shares 117th Congress Committee Assignments
The United States Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation’s military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy (as pertaining to national security), benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and other matters related to defense policy.
The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is the chief oversight committee of the United States Senate. It has jurisdiction over matters related to the Department of Homeland Security and other homeland security concerns, as well as the functioning of the government itself, including the National Archives, budget and accounting measures other than appropriations, the Census, the federal civil service, the affairs of the District of Columbia and the United States
The United States Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is composed of seven subcommittees, which together oversee for the vast range of issues under its jurisdiction. These issues range from communications, highways, aviation, rail, shipping, transportation security, merchant marine, the Coast Guard, oceans, fisheries, climate change, disasters, science, space, interstate commerce, tourism, consumer issues, economic development, technology, competitiveness, product safety, and insurance.
The United States Senate Committee on the Budget was established by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. It is responsible for drafting Congress’s annual budget plan and monitoring action on the budget for the Federal Government.
The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging was initially established in 1961 as a temporary committee; it became a permanent Senate committee in 1977. As a special committee, it studies issues related to older Americans, particularly Medicare and Social Security.
 

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Senate Armed Services Committee Announces Subcommittee Leadership for 117th Congress

Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) announced the subcommittee assignments for the 117th Congress.

Senator Rick Scott has been assigned to:
• Subcommittee on Airland
• Subcommittee on Seapower
• Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities

Senator Rick Scott said, “I’m honored to continue serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee and on the subcommittees for Airland, Seapower and Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Florida has 20 military bases and three unified commands, more than almost any other state, and I will always do everything I can to support our armed services and the brave individuals who serve our nation. As a Navy veteran myself, I will never forget my most important job as U.S. Senator is to protect and serve the families of our nation, and we must continue to invest in America’s greatest asset — the men and women of our armed forces.”

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Leaders Announce Subcommittee Membership

Senators Gary Peters and Rob Portman, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced members that will serve on the committee’s subcommittees in the 117th Congress. Senator Rick Scott will be serving on the following subcommittees:

• Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI)
• Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight

Senator Rick Scott said, “I’m proud to continue serving on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, including on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight. I look forward to continuing our work to protect our nation from foreign and domestic threats and to reform Washington so that every taxpayer dollar spent gets a return on investment for Americans.”

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Announces Subcommittee Leadership for 117th Congress

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chair Senator Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member Senator Roger Wicker announced the new Commerce subcommittee structure and leadership for the 117th Congress, including Senator Rick Scott’s new role as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion.

Senator Rick Scott said, “I’m proud to continue serving on the Senate Committee for Commerce, Science and Transportation, and as Ranking Member on the new Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion. Tourism is essential to the success of Florida’s economy and supports millions of jobs in communities of every size across our state. While I was Governor, we proudly welcomed hundreds of millions of visitors every year, shattering tourism records. Each of these visitors supported small businesses, fueled job growth and helped us increase our state and local investments in the environment, transportation, public safety and education.

“As our state and nation work to recover from the coronavirus and get our economy back on track, I remain committed to doing everything I can to support our tourism industry in Florida and across the United States. I also look forward to continuing my work on the committee to improve our nation’s infrastructure, maintain the United States’ role as a leader in commerce and space exploration, and protect our national security, citizens and networks from the threat of Communist China.”

And They’re Off – A Great Start and not the Kentucky Derby

Russell Tuff
Chairman, CCCVPAC

We are excited at the progress that has been made in developing Collier County Citizens Values Political Action Committee (CCCVPAC). The board has been three times and have committees established, events planned, and volunteers signing up.

Upcoming Events

Our first event will be help over the Memorial Day weekend, Friday, May 28th from 5:30 pm  to 8:30 pm. It will be a great BBQ with all of the fixin’s live music and talks from local elected officials. Get details and tickets here.

To ensure success, we need to build a war chest of $200,000 to effect the election locally. This event and future events will be held to raise funds. If you want to donate click here

Outreach Has Begun

Our first trifold flyer has been printed and in distribution. The plan is to get this flyer in the homes of all new residents to encourage them to change their voting habits from up north and help us Keep Florida Red.

We have teams in Eastern Collier County and South Collier in possession of 1,500 flyers. If you would like to help, sign up here.

See the flyer here

Candidate Ratings and Recruitment

The candidate rating committee has set down guidelines to accurately rate candidates and where candidates appear lacking in our values, we plan to recruit new candidates. Sign up for ratings or candidate recruitment here.