As a Navy veteran and the son of a World War II veteran, Senator Rick Scott knows firsthand the sacrifices made by military members and their families. That’s why, throughout his time as Governor, he worked to make Florida the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation. Now as U.S. Senator, fighting for our heroes continues to be his top priority. See more in the video below.
“On this Veterans Day, we join together to reflect and honor our American heroes who bravely served our state and our nation. Our men and women in uniform are true heroes – they risk their lives every day to protect our freedoms and our way of life. We must take every opportunity, not just today, but every day, to thank them for their service. And as a United States Senator, I will never stop fighting to support our American heroes and their families. Thank you, and God Bless America.”
– Senator Rick Scott
Also this week, Senator Scott cosponsored:
- A resolution designating November 4th – 8th, 2019, as National Veterans Small Business Week; and
- Legislation honoring the United States Army Rangers Veterans of World War II for their extraordinary service to our nation.
See more of what Senator Scott has been up to this week below.
Sen. Rick Scott to Michael Bloomberg: Reconsider Supporting President Xi; Pull the New Economy Forum from Beijing
Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to Michael Bloomberg urging him to re-consider his decision to host the New Economy Forum in Communist China. Read more, including the full letter, HERE.
Senator Rick Scott released the following statement after questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray at the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on “Threats to the Homeland.” Senator Scott questioned Director Wray on his Threat Information Protocol for Sharing (TIPS) Act and whether anyone at the FBI was held accountable for its failures to address critical deficiencies in its handling of actionable intelligence on the perpetrators of mass violence.
Senator Rick Scott said, “I appreciate Director Wray’s response on steps the FBI has taken to hold individuals accountable and make changes following the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The FBI’s failure to investigate and act on specific tips about the shooter is inexcusable, and I am glad, after more than a year of demanding answers, that we were finally able to get information on accountability and changes being made at the FBI.
“I look forward to taking Director Wray up on his invitation to visit the FBI’s tip center and learn more about how they are preventing future tragedies. The next step for Director Wray is to meet with the families of the Parkland victims and give them as much information as legally possible about what happened leading up to the attack and how those responsible have been held accountable. They deserve an explanation in person.”
Watch video from the hearing HERE or below.
Senators Rick Scott, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio introduced the Luke and Alex School Safety Act in honor of Luke Hoyer, Alex Schachter and the 15 other victims of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year. This legislation will create a Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practices to help schools and their faculty, parents and community officials identify school safety measures and resources for implementing them.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the 17 souls that were taken from us in a brutal act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Following the tragedy, I worked with the families of the victims, including Max Schachter and Tom and Gena Hoyer, to pass the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act to make our schools safer and prevent future tragedies. I’m proud to sponsor the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, which honors two of the victims, Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, and continues our efforts to keep our schools safe so no family ever has to experience a tragedy like this again.” Read more HERE.
Senator Rick Scott joined Senators Marco Rubio, Jeanne Shaheen, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mitt Romney, Josh Hawley and Mike Braun to introduce the Taxpayers and Savers Protection (TSP) Act, which would prevent the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board from steering federal retirement savings to Communist China.
Senator Rick Scott said, “There’s absolutely no reason we should be using U.S. taxpayer dollars to prop up companies under the control of Communist China, which continues to steal our technology, abuse human rights and build up its military to compete with us. We have to take a stand against Communist China, and I’m proud to co-sponsor the Taxpayers and Savers Protection (TSP) Act to protect the retirement savings of federal employees from investments tied to China. No one should be doing business with Communist China, and the TSP Act is a logical step.” Read more from Senator Rubio’s office HERE.
Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to David Chavern, President and CEO of the News Media Alliance and American Press Institute, asking him to urge his members to reconsider their collaboration with China Daily, a publication owned by the Communist Party of China. Read more, including the full letter, HERE.
Sen. Rick Scott: Florida is the Best State in the Nation; It’s No Surprise the President is Moving Here
In the letter, Senator Rick Scott wrote, “I find it interesting that a Florida paper would choose to publish a guest columnist mocking his own state just to make a political point…
The truth is, Florida is the best state in the nation — to live, to work, and to raise a family. It’s ridiculous that someone would try to diminish the fact that our state has low taxes, as if that wouldn’t be motivation for a family to move here. Anyone who would argue otherwise has clearly never had to struggle to support a family.…
I’m glad the president is choosing to make Florida home, just like I’m glad every time a family or business chooses Florida. So let’s stop making everything about politics and just take a minute to appreciate what a great state Florida truly is…”
Read the full letter in the Orlando Sentinel HERE.
Pensions and Investments: Bill introduced to block TSP investment in China
Sen. Rick Scott meets with Hendry and Glade County Community Leaders
Senator Rick Scott visited LaBelle to meet with leaders from Hendry and Glades Counties to discuss issues important to their communities and make sure local families have all the resources they need to succeed.
Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, where NASA employs more than 300 veterans, was recognized as a Purple Heart entity this week. Congratulations, and thank you for supporting our nation’s heroes.
U.S. Small Business Association Economic Injury Disaster Loans are now available for small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the March 27, 2019 hailstorm in the following Florida counties: Alachua, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Marion, Suwannee and Taylor. Find out more HERE.
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Interim Committee Weeks Continue
This Friday concludes another week of interim committee meetings in Tallahassee.
The Legislature will meet in Tallahassee again next week before heading home and returning back to our Capitol the week of December 9th. As always, please contact my office if you have any issues or input on legislation or to set up a time to visit if you are up in Tallahassee.
To follow the process of any legislation or to review any committee materials go to the Florida Senate website: www.flsenate.gov and click on “Committees” or “Tracker”.
Governor DeSantis Announces Protecting Florida Together Initiative in Lee County
On Tuesday, November 5, Governor and First Lady DeSantis traveled to Fort Myers Beach to announce the Protecting Florida Together Initiative.
It will be an online resource for Floridians to receive and review information on ongoing water quality efforts in the state. The website is a collaborative effort of state agencies including the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Department of Health (DOH).
Floridians may sign up to receive email updates and monitor water levels of lakes and rivers across the state on the Protecting Florida Together website.
Visit Protecting Florida Together: protectingfloridatogether.gov
Senate Committee Approves Authorization of Visit Florida
The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee advanced Senate Bill 362 by Senator Hooper to extend the authorization of Visit Florida to July of 2028.
Before Senate Bill 362 passed this week, Visit Florida’s state authorization was set to expire in July of 2020. Although SB 362 does not provide funding to Visit Florida, the bill does provide the agency an opportunity to continue their operations without the previous year-to-year uncertainty. Funding for Visit Florida will be taken up in the Appropriations Committee as we craft the 2020 budget.
Visit Florida is the state’s tourism marketing agency, promoting all that Florida has to offer to potential tourists throughout the nation and around the world.
Everglades Restoration and Water Resources Discussed in Appropriations Committee
The Senate Appropriations Committee met on Thursday for a presentation on Everglades Restoration and Protection of Water Resources from the Department of Environment Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein.
During the 2019 Legislative Session, the Florida Senate approved more than $625 million for Everglades and water quality funding. The allocation provides $413 million in Everglades restoration, $100 million for the protection and restoration of springs and $10.8 million toward the environmental accountability and transparency efforts.
The DEP is also investing significant resources provided by the Legislature in targeted water quality improvements, alternative water supply and innovative technologies and research.
Members of the committee had the opportunity to ask questions of DEP’s ongoing initiatives and permitting timelines.
The committee also received an update from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) on their medical marijuana pilot program designed to conduct new research and educate the public.
Canadian Drug Importation Program Implementation
At the Senate Health Policy Committee, senators received an update from Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) Secretary Mary Mayhew on the Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program that passed last legislative session.
The legislation gives the state the ability to negotiate and seek participation to lower the cost of prescription drugs and improve access for Floridians. The program requires separate federal approval before being enacted.
Secretary Mayhew is hopeful that the approval from the federal government will occur in the next 18 months and expects the program to save the state more than $100 million a year.
Health Policy Committee Approves KidCare Bill
Senate Bill 348 by Senator Bean was reported favorably this week in the Health Policy committee. The bill removes the lifetime maximum cap of $1 million on covered expenses for a child enrolled in the Florida Healthy Kids Program.
The Florida KidCare Program is The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that offers health insurance to uninsured children in low-income families either through a Medicaid delivery system, a separate children’s health program or a combination of both. This bill will ensure needed access to care for children and protect them from disenrollement from the Healthy Kids program if he or she has reached the lifetime maximum of $1 million.
Single-Subject Amendment Proposal Passes Judiciary Committee
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senate Joint Resolution 176, which would limit any amendment to the Florida Constitution proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission to “one subject and matter connected therewith.”
Currently, the Commission has the capacity to embrace multiple subjects in each proposal and is able to propose a singular revision of the entire Constitution. This Joint Resolution was sponsored by Senator Rodriguez and passed the committee with bi-partisan support.
Water Reuse Presentation in Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee
This week, the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee received a presentation from the Potable Reuse Commission (PRC) Chair, Lynn Spivey.
Potable reuse is an emerging alternative water supply option that may be able to help to safely meet Florida’s future water needs and provide resiliency during natural drought cycles for decades to come.
A consensus-based partnership between water professionals and a diverse stakeholder group, the PRC identifies and addresses technical, regulatory and implementation barriers to potable reuse in Florida.
The purpose of the PRC is to develop a framework document for potable reuse implementation in Florida to augment future water supply and support water quality initiatives.
Measure Providing Tax Relief to Florida Property Owners Passes Committee
This week the Senate Committee on Community Affairs, chaired by Senator Anitere Flores, unanimously voted to approve Senate Joint Resolution 146: Homestead Property Tax Assessments/Increased Portability Period by Senator Jeff Brandes. This legislation aims to save Florida property owners millions in tax dollars statewide.
The Save Our Homes amendment contained in our state’s constitution limits the amount that the assessed value of a homestead property may increase annually.
SJR 146 proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution to extend from two to three years the “portability” period during which a person may transfer up to $500,000 of accumulated Save Our Homes benefit from a prior homestead property to a new homestead property.
If adopted by the Legislature, this proposed amendment would appear on the November 2020 ballot for Florida voters consideration.
Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts Continue Over One Year Later
Director of the Florida Forest Service (FFS) Jim Karels joined the Senate Committee on Agriculture, chaired by Senator Ben Albritton, to provide an update on Hurricane Michael recovery efforts pertaining to timber and tree loss.
The Category 5 storm devastated Florida’s Panhandle in October of last year and caused an estimated $1.3 billion in damages to Florida’s timber industry and significantly increased the threat of wildfires.
Director Karels reported that within the first year of recovery FFS has cleared 1,094 miles of roads and fire lines, assisted over 780 forest landowners with documenting damage, distributed over 12,000 native trees to residents, suppressed 275 wildfires and approved more than $500,000 in grants through the Volunteer Fire Assistance program.
Director Karels also informed the committee that the FFS is working diligently with other state agencies and the Governor’s office to request Federal Disaster Supplemental Aid. The request includes $370 million dollars to offset timber production losses from Hurricane Michael and an additional $230 million in reforestation money from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Subcommittee Receives Updates on Key Environmental and Agricultural Issues
The Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government, chaired by Senator Debbie Mayfield, received updates on some of the critical environmental and agricultural issues facing Florida.
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Executive Director Drew Bartlett briefed the subcommittee on the status of several priority water projects, including expediting projects to restore Florida’s Everglades and restore water quality.
Mike Sparks of Florida Citrus Mutual provided an update on the state’s citrus industry and the Citrus Research and Field Trials (CRAFT) Program.
The citrus industry has faced serious challenges including combatting invasive pests and diseases as well as suffering damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. However, through CRAFT, industry leaders are hopeful that by moving research to the field, Florida’s citrus will be able to transform and regrow.
The subcommittee also heard from Holly Bell, Director of Cannabis at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, on the status of the state hemp program.
During the 2019 Legislative Session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1020 by Senator Rob Bradley, creating the state hemp program within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The state hemp program is now focused on continued research and education, effective collaboration with other state agencies and development of best management practices.
ICYMI: State Breaks Ground on Embankments and Canals to Complete Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir
Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis visited the site of the Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir to break ground on the embankments and canals to complete an important Everglades restoration project.
The Governor was joined by members of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as well as conservation groups, local community leaders and other environmental stakeholders.
The C-43 Reservoir will reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary during the wet season that can lead to harmful algal blooms. It will also allow water managers to deliver critical freshwater to the Caloosahatchee River and estuary during the dry season. The reservoir is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
The SFWMD is working to build approximately 19 miles of embankments, allowing the two-cell reservoir to hold 170,000 acre-feet of water (approximately 55.4 billion gallons). An additional 15 miles of perimeter canals, 14 water control structures and public recreational features will all be incorporated into the completed site.
To learn more about the efforts to expedite these projects, please visit: www.SFWMD.gov/AchieveMoreNow
Make your Voice Heard on FWC’s Revised Bear Management Plan
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is currently seeking public comment on their newly-drafted Bear Management Plan, as they are in the process of reviewing and updating it for the first time since 2012. It will be discussed by the Commission at their December meeting.
Bear Management is a topic I have heard from a number of constituents on in the Eastern Part of Collier and Lee Counties, in the Livingston Road and Imperial Parkway area.
Review the draft management plan here: https://indd.adobe.com/view/ba5d4202-3cb0-4056-9a54-5ab4c5765951
Newest Lawyer in Florida
On Monday, my youngest daughter, Gabriella, was sworn into the Florida Bar by the Honorable Charles T. Canady, Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. It was a special moment for her two lawyer parents!
Welcome to the Florida Senate
This week, the Florida Senate welcomed the following groups to the Capitol:
· American Advertising Federation
· Florida Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation
· Florida Clerk and Comptroller Day
· Florida Renal Association
· Osteopathic Medical Association
· Students from the University of Central Florida (UCF)
· Tampa General Hospital Patient and Family Coalition
I received a visit this week from local leaders of Hendry County, the City of LaBelle, and the City of Clewiston. This group traveled to Florida’s capitol to advocate for the Heartland on a unified front.
On Wednesday, I met many future osteopathic physicians from across Florida.
Honoring All Who Have Served
To all the men and women who have worn the uniform to defend our freedoms, we salute you. Happy Veteran’s Day!
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office any time that I can be of assistance.
Kathleen C. Passidomo
Senate Majority Leader
Not paid for at taxpayer expense.
Paid political advertisement paid for by Working Together for Florida P.C., 133 South Harbor Drive, Venice, FL 34285.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart issued the following statement regarding UNPACU leader, Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was forcefully removed from his home on October 1, 2019, and remains detained by the Cuban regime. Reports from his wife and children mention his deteriorating wellbeing and suspicious marks on his body.
“I remain profoundly concerned for the welfare of UNPACU leader and courageous independent journalist Jose Daniel Ferrer, who remains imprisoned in Cuba. Reportedly, he is gravely ill while being denied necessary medical care. The brutal regime in Cuba has the blood of thousands of innocents on its hands. We cannot remain silent in the face of this egregious injustice to one of Cuba’s heroes. I call on the international community to join me in demanding the immediate, unconditional release of Jose Daniel Ferrer and all political prisoners in Cuba.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart issued the following statement after Miami-Dade County was awarded a $22 million BUILD grant for The Underline Project.
“Once again, I am glad to have played a part in securing these funds for an important project in Miami-Dade County. As Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations subcommittee (THUD), and serving as its Chairman the previous 4 years, I have allocated billions of dollars into rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and have helped bring portions of that funding to our community. Miami-Dade County is among the most dangerous places to bike and walk in the United States. The Underline creates a 10-mile pedestrian corridor beneath the Miami Metrorail consisting of bike and walking lanes, thereby creating a safer commuting option for residents and visitors alike. I thank Secretary Elaine Chao for her continued responsiveness, commitment to our nation’s infrastructure needs, and consideration of our community and the state of Florida.”
President Trump’s policies have put the American economy into high gear.
• Since President Trump was elected over 6.9 million jobs have been created.
o This is 4.8 million more jobs than what the Congressional Budget Office projected prior to the 2016 election.
o Since the President was elected, 2.1 million prime-age workers have come off the sidelines and joined the labor force.
• Highlights of October’s jobs report:
o A net 223,000 jobs were added and the total employment “jumped to 158.5 million” a new record high.
▪ The August report was revised from 168,000 to 219,000 and the September report revised from 136,000 to 180,000.
o The unemployment rate was a near historic low 3.6%.
▪ October marked the 20th consecutive month that the unemployment rate has been at or below 4%.
o Wage growth remained strong at 3% year over year.
• Throughout the Trump Administration we have seen record low unemployment for women, African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans.
• The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record highs more than 80 times under President Trump, including closing higher than 26,000 points for the first time in its history.
• Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed historic tax cuts and relief for hard-working Americans. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the first major tax reform signed in 30 years.
o As a result of the historic tax cuts, nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones were created in all 50 states, DC, and 5 territories. Opportunity Zones will spur $100 billion in private capital investment and impact nearly 35 million Americans.
o The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the Child Tax Credit by 100% keeping more money in the pockets of hardworking mothers.
• Economic confidence rebounded to record highs under President Trump because his pro-growth policies have and continue to put American workers and businesses first.
• President Trump has rolled back unnecessary job-killing regulations at a historic pace.
o The administration has cut 8 and a half regulations for every new rule.
▪ This far exceeds the promise made to cut 2 regulations for every 1 regulation added.
o Regulatory costs have been slashed by nearly $50 billion and have saved taxpayers $220 billion once actions are implemented.
o The deregulation efforts will save American households an estimated $3,100 per year.
o The Administration formed the Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation which aims to better align state and Federal efforts to cut additional unnecessary regulations and costs.
President Trump is working to secure our border.
• President Trump is fulfilling his promise to build a border wall, with sizable portions already finished or under construction.
o It’s expected that 450 miles will be finished by the end of the year. o To date, 66 miles of the new wall has replaced an old and ineffective barrier.
o Currently, 167 miles of wall is under construction in high entry sectors such as San Diego, El Centro, El Paso, and Yuma.
o The new wall has contributed to a 56% overall decrease in the number of illegal migrant arrivals at the border.
• Under President Trump, the U.S. Border Patrol has arrested hundreds of members of dangerous gangs.
• The President has strongly enforced our nation’s immigration laws by cracking down on illegal immigration and taken aim at “sanctuary cities.”
• President Trump has called on Congress to close dangerous loopholes such as “Catch and Release,” end chain migration, and end the visa lottery program which enables illegal immigration.
• The administration is looking to close the Flores Settlement Agreement that requires the government to release families into the country after 20 days. This loophole has been exploited by smugglers who use children as pawns to enter our country.
• We are closing asylum loopholes – recently, the administration instituted a new rule requiring migrants who come to our border to have previously applied and been denied to a country they passed through.
• The Trump Administration announced they are releasing a “Public Charge Rule” that will ensure non-citizens do not abuse our nation’s public benefits. This rule will go into effect on 10/15/19.
• President Trump was successful in his efforts to get Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries to step up and help stop the crisis at the border.
o President Trump’s successful negotiations have led to 28% drop in migrants taken into custody in June.
• In May, President Trump announced a new immigration proposal that would modernize our system and secure the border.
• The Administration has made it a priority to end human trafficking and is using many resources to do so.
o The Administration provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
o The Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative more than doubled convictions of human traffickers and increased the number of defendants charged in ACTeam districts.
President Trump has restored our nation’s standing in the world and is standing up to bad actors.
• The United States has successfully decimated ISIS.
• Under President Trump, the number one terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was taken out.
• President Trump fulfilled his promise to name Jerusalem Israel’s capital city and moved the U.S. Embassy
• President Trump held two historic summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, further demonstrating the Administration’s commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula.
• President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Agreement and instituted the toughest sanctions in history to drive the regime’s oil exports to zero.
o In June 2019, President Trump signed an executive order that authorizes expanded sanctions against Iran.
• The Administration has vigorously and quickly enforced red lines against regimes and individuals that use chemical weapons.
• The Trump Administration has imposed sanctions on Russian entities and individuals previously indicted for their roles in Russian interference in our election.
• The Trump Administration imposed hard-hitting sanctions against Iran’s national bank.
President Trump is delivering on his promise to correct trade imbalances.
• The Trump Administration had taken unprecedented steps to modernize and improve trading practices and negotiate freer, fairer, and reciprocal trade agreements with our global allies.
• President Trump has kept his promise to deliver a modern and rebalanced trade deal to replace NAFTA. The United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA)
o When ratified, the USCMA would spur economic growth, create 176,000 jobs, add $68.2 billion to the U.S. economy, and raise wages.
• President Trump negotiated a new United States-Japan trade deal with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Japan is one of our strongest economic partners and this trade deal builds on that artnership. It is a big win for American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses.
• The Administration revised the United States -Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to make it more beneficial to American workers.
• The President and European Union President Juncker agreed to a new trade deal that strengthens and reforms our trade relationship. The agreement:
o Works toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies on non-automotive industrial goods.
o Makes it easier for the EU to purchase liquefied gas.
o Reduces trade and bureaucratic obstacles between the U.S. and the EU.
o Addresses unfair trade practices.
• President Trump used tariffs to rattle China’s economy and leaders for their trade cheating. The Administration is continuing to wok on this trade agreement and will not accept a bad deal
• President Trump withdrew the United States from the flawed Trans-Pacific Partnership.
• President Trump has forced our allies to recommit to NATO.
• The Trump Administration has protected farmers from unfair trade practices by authorizing $12 billion in aid to the American agricultural heartland under The Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.
President Trump continues to reshape the Federal judiciary at a record pace and is following through on his promise to appoint judges who will uphold the Constitution and rule of law.
• President Trump has nominated, and the Senate has confirmed a grand total of 155 Article III judges:
o 2 Supreme Court Justices – Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh.
o 43 Circuit Court judges
o 110 District Court judges
President Trump has reduced the cost of health care and taken significant steps to fight the opioid epidemic.
• President Trump has prioritized fixing our broken health care system and worked with Congress to implement a system that works for all Americans.
• The President has made it clear patients with preexisting conditions will be protected.
• The individual mandate penalty has been eliminated.
• Association Health Plans have been expanded.
• Short-term, limited duration insurance plans have been extended. • President Trump is working to implement his plan to lower prescription drugs.
• Under the Trump Administration, we have seen the first ever decline of average benchmark premiums on the federal health care exchange.
• The President signed an Executive Order to improve seniors’ healthcare and improve the fiscal sustainability of Medicare.
• Reforms to expand Medicare Advantage options and Health Reimbursement Accounts have been expanded.
• President Trump mobilized his entire administration to address the drug addiction and opioid abuse by declaring a Nationwide Public Health Emergency.
• President Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act to fight the opioid epidemic.
• The Administration launched FindTreatment.gov a public resource to help combat substance abuse.
• President Trump signed an Executive Order that increases price and quality transparency.
• The Administration has committed to ending surprise billing.
• The Trump Administration has promoted innovation and solutions to expand treatment options for Americans living with disease.
President Trump is promoting a clean and healthy environment for all Americans.
• The President and the Administration are continuing to pursue policies that encourage environmental protection while promoting economic growth.
o Since 2005, our energy related carbon emissions have declined more than any other country. This is expected to decrease in 2019 and 2020.
• Our nation’s environmental record is one of the strongest in the world.
o According to the White House, from 1970 to 2018, the combined emissions of the most common air pollutants fell 74% while the economy grew over 275%.
• We have the cleanest air on record and remain a global leader for access to clean drinking water. The President has taken important steps to restore, preserve, and protect our land, air, and waters.
o The Save our Seas Act was signed into law in 2018. This law reauthorized the NOAA Marine Debris Program, promoting international action to reduce marine debris and authorizing cleanup and response actions that may be needed.
o The EPA has taken significant steps to clean up our contaminated sites and hazardous sites.
▪ In FY2018, the EPA completed cleanup work on 22 Superfund sites from the National Priorities list. This is the largest number in one year since 2005.
o The EPA is more efficiently implementing air quality standards that will better protect the environment and human health.
• The President’s management of our nation’s lands promotes conservation while encouraging good stewardship and expanding recreational opportunities.
o Just this year, President Trump signed legislation designating 1.3 million new acres of wilderness – the largest public lands legislation in a decade.
o The Department of the Interior proposed to open more than 1 million acres of land for expanded hunting and fishing access.
o The President took important action to improve management of forests to help prevent devastating forest fires.
President Trump’s policies have begun to unleash our nation’s energy potential.
• President Trump signed an Executive Order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and open more leases to develop offshore drilling.
• The Administration acted aggressively to increase exports of energy resources to the global market and allowed financing for coal and fossil energy projects.
• President Trump has approved the infrastructure and provided the resources needed to unleash Oil and gas production in the U.S. o The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines were approved, supporting an estimated total of 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in wages.
o The New Burgos Pipeline, a cross-border project that will export U.S. gasoline to Mexico, was approved.
o The Trump Administration reversed President Obama’s moratorium on new leases for oil and gas development on Federal lands.
• The President rescinded President Obama’s costly Clean Power Plan.
• The President proposed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule to reduce greenhouse gasses, empower states, promote energy independence, and facilitate economic growth and job creation.
• The Administration has rescinded many costly Obama-Era regulations including the methane emissions rule that would cost American energy developers an estimated $530 million annually.
• The President announced his intent to withdrawal the U.S. from the unfair Paris Climate Accord.
President Trump and his administration are putting students and families first.
• The President understands the importance of education and continues to declare the last week in January National School Choice Week.
• The President signed a historic Executive Order that promotes and protects free speech on college campuses.
• President Trump and his Administration support the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act.
• In 2019, President Trump signed a memorandum that eliminates 100% of student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans.
• The President continues to work with the Department of Education to expand transparency and give students expanded access to vital information about the career outcomes of the programs they enroll in.
• President Trump has made supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) a top priority.
o In February 2017, President Trump announced the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
o The President signed an Executive Order on HBCUs in February 2017, the earliest any President has signed an Order on HBCUs.
o The EO established an Interagency Working Group to advance and coordinate work regarding HBCUs.
o The federal HBCU initiative office was moved back into the White House.
o The President signed legislation to increase federal funding for HBCUs by 13%, the highest level ever.
o The President worked with Congress to lift the ban on Pell Grants on summer classes.
o Through the Capital Financing Program, the Administration has provided more than $500 million in loans to HBCUs.
o The President directed the entire federal government to develop a strategy to support HBCUs. To date, this has been supported by 32 departments and agencies.
o The Department of Education worked with HBCUs to protect $80 million in Title III carryover funding.
o President Trump took a big step to end discriminatory restrictions to prevent faith based HBCUs from accessing federal support.
o The Administration continues to work with HBCUs to expand apprenticeship opportunities, career choices, and ensure they are receiving adequate support.
• The President is committed to expanding and strengthening education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM).
o President Trump issued a presidential memorandum encouraging the Department of Education to promote STEM, especially Computer Science.
o President Trump directed more than $200 million per year to technology education grants for women and programs that encourage participation in STEM careers.
o The President signed the bipartisan reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. This law provides the necessary training for students and workers to succeed in the 21st century economy.
o The President donated his 2017 second quarter salary to the Department of Education. The funds were used to host a STEM focused camp for students.
o President Trump signed the INSPIRE Act which encourages NASA to have more women and girls participate in STEM and pursue careers in aerospace.
• The President signed an Executive Order to expand apprenticeships in America.
• President Trump has encouraged state and federal lawmakers to expand school choice.
• The administration lowered regulatory hurdles and restored flexibility to schools with respect to menus in their cafeterias.
• President Trump is committed to making our schools safer.
o President Trump encouraged passage of the STOP School Violence Act to provide funding grants to schools to improve security measures.
o The Administration established a Commission on School Safety to examine ways to make schools safer for all students and teachers.
Military and Veterans
President Trump is protecting America and our allies by rebuilding our military and ensuring our veterans receive the care they deserve.
• President Trump has restored American military strength.
• Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed two historic National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) which allocate almost $1.5 trillion combined to rebuild and grow our military.
• The FY2019 NDAA included a 2.6% military pay raise, the largest in 9 years.
• President Trump signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
• The President signed the V.A. Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program (VCP).
• The Trump Administration created a new White House V.A. Hotline, staffed by veterans and family members.
• The Administration has secured a record $8.6 billion in funding for mental health services with the goal of ending the tragedy of veteran suicide.
• The Trump Administration has created the PREVENTS initiative, a task force aimed at unifying the efforts of government, businesses, and nonprofit groups to help our veterans.
• Veterans Affairs increased transparency and accountability by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool.” This provides veterans a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
• In 2019, President Trump signed a memorandum that eliminates 100% of student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans.
o The President also called upon all 50 states to ensure that disabled veterans do not pay state tax on their forgiven debts.
• The number of unemployed veterans has been reduced by 37% under President Trump.
Under President Trump’s administration, women have been empowered to reach their economic potential.
• Women have experienced record low unemployment under President Trump.
o In October, the women’s unemployment rate fell to a near record low 3.5%.
o The unemployment rate among women has been under 4% for 16 straight months.
• During the President’s first year in office, the number of American women in poverty fell by nearly 600,000.
• Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the child tax credit was doubled to $2,000 per child.
• The Trump Administration has prioritized empowering women to pursue careers and realize their economic potential.
o President Trump directed more than $200 million per year to technology education grants for women and programs that encourage participation in STEM careers.
o President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the National Council For The American Worker.
o Over 300 companies and associations of all size and industry have signed the Administration’s Pledge to America’s Workers, promising to create more than 14 million education, training, and skill-building opportunities over the next 5 years.
o Ivanka Trump created the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) to help 50 million women in developing countries realize their economic potential by 2025.
• Additional Trump Administration efforts to empower women globally include:
o The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi): Aims to mobilize more than $2.6 billion in capital for women entrepreneurs in 26 developing countries.
o The WomenConnect Challenge: Seeks to growth women’s access to digital technology and bridge the digital gender divide.
o The 2X Women’s Initiative: Aimed at mobilizing $1 billion in capital to support women living in the developing world. This initiative has already mobilized more than $140 million from the private sector to support women in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The African American community is benefitting thanks to President Trump’s leadership and the booming economy.
• Under the Trump Administration, African American unemployment has reached record lows.
• In October, the African American unemployment rate hit a record low of 5.4%.
o The African American unemployment rate has been at or below 7% for 20 consecutive months.
o Prior to the Trump Administration, African American unemployment rate never dipped below 7%.
• Over 1.4 million new jobs have been created for African Americans.
• The poverty rate among African Americans is at its lowest level in history.
o During the President’s first year in office, the African American poverty rate fell to 21.2% down from 22% the year before.
o In 2016, 241,000 more African Americans were living in poverty.
• As a result of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones were created in all 50 states, DC, and 5 territories. Opportunity Zones will spur $100 billion in private capital investment and impact 1.4 million minority households.
• President Trump signed the historic FIRST STEP Act into law.
o The FIRST STEP ACT has been widely hailed as the most meaningful criminal justice reform in a generation.
o This landmark legislation included necessary reforms to our justice system, improves our prison system, and prepares inmates for reentry in our communities.
o President Trump was awarded the 2019 Bipartisan Justice award by the nonprofit 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center. The President received this award for his “ability to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful progress in reforming our criminal justice system.”
• President Trump has committed his Administration to advancing second chance hiring for former prisoners. This includes launching a “Ready to Work Initiative.”
• The Trump Administration has fought for a federal tax credit on donations that fund scholarships to private schools, a proposal supported by 64% of African Americans.
• President Trump has made Historically Black Colleges and Universities a priority, including appropriating more money to HBCUs in one year than any other president and establishing a Presidential Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
Under President Trump’s leadership the Latino American community has thrived.
• Under President Trump, Latino Americans have experienced record low unemployment.
• More than 2.7 million jobs have been created for Latino Americans.
• In October, the Latino American unemployment rate remained at a low 4.1%.
• The median Latino American income rose by $1,786 during President Trump’s first year in office.
o In 2017, the median Latino American income hit its highest ever recorded level ($50,486).
• Since taking office, the Latino American homeownership rose by more than a percentage point (46.3% to 47.4%).
• In addition to the booming economy, President Trump renegotiated freer and fairer trade deals such as the USMCA.
• President Trump has stood up to socialism and communism in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
o Thanks to pressure from President Trump, 50 countries followed President Trump’s leadership in recognizing Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
o The Trump administration has rolled back President Obama’s disastrous rapprochement with Cuba, which only benefited the country’s dictatorship instead of its people.
o At the direction of President Trump, the Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against senior officials in the Nicaraguan regime for their role in human rights abuses and undermining democracy.
• The President has made it clear that American interests do not align with failed socialist policies.
Under President Trump’s leadership Asian American unemployment has reached record lows.
• Asian American unemployment hit a near record low of 2.9% in October.
• The lowest ever record unemployment rate for Asian Americans (2.1%) came in June 2019.
Fundraising Chairman John Dugan shared the progress for the month for beginning advertising sales for the 2020 Victory Guide that will be created for the Lincoln Reagan Dinner on February 15, 2020.
The guide will have updates on the status of the Republican party in Collier, goals and stories on the Republican Executive Committees goals and programs.
This project is the first project to be undertaken by the fundraising committee to raise the necessary funds to ensure Trump and fellow Republicans are elected in the 2020 election cycle.
Committee members Terry Capsay and John Thomas gave stories of the willingness of the business community to participate in the effort and share methods they used the past month to make the sales process easier for all members.
To join the team or to place an ad, contact John Dugan and the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest Presentation: Larry H. Ray, the Collier County Tax Collector, gave an informative and interesting presentation on the responsibilities of and services provided by the Collier County Tax Collector. The tax roll for Collier County for this year is over $1,100,000,000, which is slightly higher than last year.
Last year his office collected all the taxes that were due except for $10,000. He pointed out that he is one of five Constitutional Officers in Collier County, and soon every county in Florida will require its Tax Collector to be a Constitutional Officer.
The Tax Collector is also responsible for Department of Motor Vehicles, Driver Licenses, Concealed Carry Permits, Beach Parking Passes, among other things, and it carries out its business in twelve offices throughout the county.
Mr. Ray stressed that “service is our only product.”
Campaign Co-Chair Nanette Rivera updated the membership on the Hispanic Outreach program underway to the Collier County Republican Executive committee on November 4, 2019.
The highlighted points included the following:
This week, Senator Rick Scott released another episode of his series, How Washington Wastes Your Money, in partnership with The Heritage Foundation. This week’s episode highlights No Budget, No Pay legislation: If members of Congress fail to do their jobs, which includes passing a budget on time, they shouldn’t get a taxpayer-funded salary.
Senator Scott is proud to sponsor the No Budget, No Pay Act, which simply requires Congress to pass an annual budget and meet appropriations bill deadlines, or forgo their own salaries until the job is done. There is no reason members of Congress should be held to a different standard than American families and businesses across the nation, and Senator Scott will continue to fight for this commonsense reform.
See more in the video HERE or below.
See more of what Senator Scott has been up to this week below.
Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following President Trump’s announcement of the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Today’s announcement of the killing of Baghdadi – one of the most notorious terrorists in the world – is great news for the security of the United States and our allies. I want to thank our men and women in uniform that carried out this mission and continue to fight for freedom around the world. This is an important step in the fight to defeat ISIS, a terrorist group that inspired the Pulse terrorist attack and that is responsible for the deaths of thousands around the world, including Floridian Steven Sotloff.
“To the enemies of the United States, this is yet another reminder that there is nowhere you can go, there is nowhere you can hide. We will not stop until justice is served. Today the world is a little safer, a little kinder, a little more free.” Read more HERE.
Senator Rick Scott announced two amendments to the package of spending bills currently before the Senate to prohibit the U.S. Government from purchasing technology manufactured in Communist China.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Communist China is STEALING our technology and intellectual property, yet the U.S. Government continues to buy critical technology, like drones and communications equipment, with American tax dollars from Chinese companies backed by their government. For far too long, we have turned a blind eye to Communist China and allowed their technology into some of the most critical operations of the U.S. Government. We have to get serious about this, and I’m working to make sure American national security comes first.” Read more HERE.
Senators Rick Scott, Ron Johnson and James Lankford introduced the Threat Information Protocol for Sharing (TIPS) Act to hold the FBI accountable for its failures to address critical deficiencies in its handling of actionable intelligence on the perpetrators of mass violence. This legislation is supported by Stand with Parkland, an organization founded by the family members of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the 17 souls that were taken from us in a brutal act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Following the tragedy, we all worked together to pass the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act to make our schools safer and prevent future tragedies, but we aren’t finished. We cannot accept the repeated failures of the FBI to properly investigate and act on specific tips received about the Parkland shooter, as well as other perpetrators of mass violence in Florida. I’m proud to introduce the TIPS Act, which bridges the gap between federal and state law enforcement agencies by mandating information sharing of all state-specific criminal intelligence tips. This is about getting information on threats into the hands of the right people, who can ultimately prevent violence and protect our families.” Read more HERE.
Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Jim Inhofe and colleagues to introduce the Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act, which would prohibit abortion based on an unborn child having Down syndrome.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Every child is born with dignity and deserves to be welcomed into the world. As a father and a grandfather, I am proud to fight for every life, and I hope all of my colleagues join me in protecting the most vulnerable among us.” Read more from Senator Inhofe’s office HERE.
Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following the Department of the Interior’s decision to ground its fleet of Chinese drones amid concerns of foreign surveillance. Last month, Senator Scott introduced the American Security Drone Act of 2019, which prohibits the U.S. Government from purchasing drones manufactured in countries identified as national security threats, like Iran and China.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Following many conversations between my office and the Interior Department, I’m glad to see the Department has seen the light and reversed course. We should not, under any circumstances, put American national security at risk by using taxpayer dollars to purchase Chinese tech. We must pass my bill to codify this policy and extend it to all federal agencies, as well as local law enforcement agencies that use federal grants. We need to completely reassess our posture towards Communist China, and passing my bill is a good start.” Read more HERE.
Senators Rick Scott, Josh Hawley and John Cornyn introduced the Hong Kong Be Water Act condemning Communist China’s violation of human rights in Hong Kong. The legislation also calls for sanctions against the Hong Kong authorities and Communist Chinese government officials who are denying human rights to the people of Hong Kong under orders from President Xi.
Senator Rick Scott said, “During my trip to Hong Kong earlier this month, I met with protesters who are fighting to regain the freedom they were promised by Communist China. I heard horrible stories of police brutality, threats, and intimidation. As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue. I’m proud to sponsor the Hong Kong Be Water Act as we stand with the brave Hong Kongers fighting for freedom and basic human rights that are being suppressed by Communist China.” Read more HERE.
Senator Rick Scott spoke on the Senate Floor about the Democrats’ latest attempt to prevent states from having any flexibility to provide better healthcare services to their citizens. Senator Scott is working on real solutions to lower the cost of healthcare for Americans.
Read excerpts of Senator Scott’s remarks as prepared for delivery below or his full speech HERE.
The issue this week is what’s called 1332 Waivers.
These waivers allow states flexibility in how they implement healthcare programs.
It’s a simple concept. Every state is different. Every state should have the flexibility to design their healthcare programs and regulations in a way that best fits the needs of their citizens.…
But here’s the problem…the Democrats don’t believe in state’s rights, or allowing state taxpayers and citizens ANY flexibility to provide better healthcare services to their citizens.
The Democrats want these top-down, one-size-fits-all federal programs. If there is choice and flexibility, they want to restrict it. It’s how big government works, and the Democrats love big government, restrictive mandates, and socialism.…
We need to reduce healthcare costs and provide a safety net for those who cannot afford their healthcare, not create a federal government-organized healthcare market, which causes healthcare costs to skyrocket.
Giving flexibility to the states is an easy way to increase access and quality of care for the American people.…
Enough with the misrepresentations. Enough with the nonsense. Enough with the fear mongering. The American people deserve better.
Let’s work together to lower the costs of healthcare, so all taxpayers can get the care they need at a price they can afford.
Senator Rick Scott wrote an op-ed for the Washington Examiner to share his personal story and priorities as a United States Senator.
In the op-ed, Senator Rick Scott wrote, “… Even though my Mom had no money, she was optimistic and hopeful. She told us we were blessed because God and our founders created the greatest country ever, where anything was possible.…
While I didn’t always appreciate my tough-love, my-way-or-the-highway Mom growing up, I now thank God every day for my Mom and this country. She gave me the opportunity to experience every lesson this country had to offer before I was 20.
Unfortunately, the left has worked hard over the last 50 years to discredit the values of the America I was raised with and the values of the America I want my grandsons to grow up with. We all acknowledge that Americans, our country, and our institutions have flaws, but the left has worked to discredit our founders, our institutions, our churches, our law enforcement, our morals, and almost everything my mom taught me.…
The values that I grew up with, the ones my tough-love mom taught me, are becoming a way of the past. But I believe these values, these virtues, can and should be part of our country’s future.…
In the meantime, let’s fight for the country I was raised in because that is the country our children and grandchildren deserve.”
Read the full op-ed in the Washington Examiner HERE.
As the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family, it’s no wonder everyone wants to move to Florida. This week, the State of Florida was proud to welcome a new resident…
President Donald J. Trump!