Legislative Update – January 24, 2020

Governor DeSantis Announces New Standards to Replace Common Core

Today, I joined Governor Ron DeSantis in Naples, where he announced completion of a new set of Florida education standards, which will be published next week.

The Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking  (BEST) will replace Common Core standards.  The changes include requirements for students to learn cursive, study the Constitution in grade school and meet several measures in literacy based on grade level.

“It really goes beyond Common Core to embrace common sense,” Governor DeSantis said.

Tourism Day at the Capitol

Wednesday, January 22, was Florida Tourism Day at the Capitol.  I was pleased to join with Lieutenant Governor Janet Nunez, President-Designate Wilton Simpson, Visit Florida CEO Dana Young, Representative Mel Ponder and 500 business leaders from across the state to rally in support of the tourism industry and the continuing authorization of Visit Florida.

More than 126 million visitors come to the Sunshine State every year, and they have an incredible impact on our economy, supporting big and small businesses throughout Florida.

Clean Waterways Act Passes Second Committee

Senate Bill 712: Water Quality Improvements by Senator Mayfield is a comprehensive environmental policy bill that addresses numerous environmental preservation efforts.

If passed, this bill would require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Health (DOH) to submit a report to the Legislature detailing the impacts of a type two transfer of DOH’s onsite sewage program to DEP.  SB 712 would require local governments with impaired water bodies or springs to adopt, implement and enforce Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Ordinances, while also educating and informing residents.

Through this bill, a wastewater grant program would be established within DEP for septic system retrofits, nutrient-reducing septic systems, septic to sewer hookups and advanced waste treatment.

If passed, Senate Bill 712 would also move oversight of septic tanks from the state DOH to the DEP and would direct DEP to adopt rules for septic tanks locations.

Department of Children and Families (DCF) Accountability Act Passes Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee

Senate Bill 1326 by President-Designate Simpson would make a number of changes to child welfare and behavioral health programs administered by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to improve performance and funding.

SB 1326 creates an Office of Quality Assurance and Improvement within the Department to measure and monitor program performance.   The bill would revise the current child welfare and behavioral health accountability and reporting requirements.

The program would provide a letter grade to contracted entities based on whether they meet performance standards. Contracted entities that receive poor grades will be offered technical assistance for improvement.  DCF would be able to terminate those low performing contracted entities if no improvements are made.

Senate Bill 1326 would also allow the department to investigate certain child abuse reports within 24 hours as opposed to the current requirement of 72 hours based on certain safety factors and would create a new funding formula for community-based care lead agencies.

Parental Consent Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Senate Bill 404 by Senator Kelli Stargel passed the Senate Committee on Rules on Wednesday.

This legislation would require a parent or guardian to give consent before a physician can terminate a pregnancy of a minor, with the exception of medical emergencies.

SB 404 would allow a minor to petition any circuit court in the area where she resides for a waiver of consent in order to obtain an abortion.  This process would be confidential.

This legislation also would increase the penalty from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony if a health care practitioner fails to provide an infant born alive after an attempted abortion with the same quality and level or care as any other newborn.

This bill aims to strengthen family units and ensure parental or guardian involvement and guidance in major decisions of their minor daughter during unplanned pregnancies.

Senate Bill 406, accompanying legislation that exempts the name of minors using the court waiver process from being disclosed in public records, also passed the Committee on Rules.

Legislation to Provide Girls and Young Women A Better Future

Senate Bill 1056 by President-Designate Simpson passed unanimously in the Appropriations Committee on Thursday.  The bill would authorize the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to contract with PACE Center for Girls, to provide services including, but not limited to, education, counseling, training and advocacy as an alternative to the commitment and institutionalization of girls and young women.

The PACE Center for Girls (PACE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy.

PACE has 21 centers in Florida, which serve over 3,000 girls and young women per year.  PACE is recognized as a national model for reducing recidivism and improving school success, employment and self-sufficiency among girls by multiple agencies, including the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and delinquency Prevention.

Occupational Licensing Reform Bill Passes Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee

On Tuesday, the Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee approved Senate Bill 474 by Senator Albritton.

SB 474 would make a number of changes to state occupational license and fee requirements for the purpose of helping create alternative pathways to traditional education.

Governor DeSantis mentioned this initiative as one of his legislative priorities in his State of the State address on the first day of the legislative session.

This proposal is one that has been brought up for several years, and the sponsor has been working with various groups in hopes of addressing their concerns to get this reform passed.

Health Policy Committee Passes Bill to Direct Cigarette Tax Revenue to Cancer Research

Senate Bill 494 would increase the percentage of the state’s cigarette tax revenue that is directed each month to the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.  The bill would increase the percentage from 4.04 percent to 7 percent, beginning on July 1 and again to 10 percent beginning in 2023.

The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center (Moffitt) was established by the Legislature in 1981.  Moffitt began its research on cancer in 1993 and became a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center in 1998.

Currently, Moffitt is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida.

Florida Senate Passes Measure Urging Congress to Improve Veteran Health Care Access

The Florida Senate unanimously voted to send Senate Memorial 420: VA MISSION Act of 2018, by Senator Manny Diaz, Jr., to the United States Congress.  This memorial urges Congress and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure the implementation of the VA MISSION Act of 2018.

The purpose of the VA MISSION Act of 2018 is to overhaul existing law on veteran health care to improve access to care for veterans, consolidate many community care programs and expand eligibility for comprehensive assistance for family caregivers of veterans.

This memorial sends a message to Congress that Florida is committed to supporting and protecting the more than 1.5 million veterans living in Florida.

SB 290 Strengthens Safety for Students on School Buses

Senate Bill 290 passed in the Infrastructure and Security Committee on Tuesday.  This bill would increase the minimum civil penalty for failure to stop for a school bus.

For a subsequent offense within five years, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) would suspend the driver’s license of the driver for no less than 180 days and no more than one year. The current suspension is a minimum of 90 days to a maximum of six months.

Senate Bill 290 would also raise the minimum civil penalty for passing a school bus on the side that children enter and exit, from $200 to $400.

Senate Education Committee Passes Committee Bill to Implement Proposed Recommendations from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission

Senate Bill 7040 would provide additional safeguards for Florida’s students and schools.  The bill builds upon the school safety and security foundation established in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act and the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.

The bill would require:

·        Each district school board to adopt a school district emergency event family reunification plan to reunite students and employees with their families in the event of an emergency;

·        Comprehensive participation from all members of a school threat assessment team;

·        Direct involvement of law enforcement officers in response to the school in the event of an emergency to be on campus and to perform the execution of emergency drills; and

·        Alignment of school-based diversion programs with local judicial circuit diversion programs.

Senate Bill 7040 would enhance the safe school officer position and the role of the county sheriff by:

·        Requiring school safety officers to complete mental health crisis intervention training; and

·        Making the sheriff responsible for the provision of Feis guardian training and clarifying the training requirements applicable to such training.

SB 7040 would also strengthen school mental health coordination and implementation and require:

·        A workgroup to provide guidance on the implementation of mental health-related recommendations of the commission;

·        Reporting requirements for mental health assistance allocation; and

·        Individualized Education Plans to include additional provisions related to post-high school transition.

Senate Bill 918 to Promote Civics Education Passes Education Committee

Senate Bill 918 by Senator Brandes would authorize the development and integration of a nonpartisan civic literacy practicum and create designations of public schools providing high-quality civic learning as a Freedom School.

Senate Bill 918 would require the Commissioner of Education to develop minimum criteria for a nonpartisan civic literacy practicum that may be incorporated into a school’s curriculum for a high school United States government course.

The bill would also require the Commissioner of Education to develop a process for district school boards to verify student completion of the practicum.

Appropriations Committee Reviews Governor’s Budget

The Senate Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Senator Rob Bradley, received a presentation on Governor Ron DeSantis’ Budget Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2020-2021.

The Governor’s $91.4 billion budget proposal includes significant funding for priority areas of: education, hurricane recovery, tax relief for Floridians, Everglades restoration, protection for valuable water resources, health and human services, transportation and elections security.

Currently, the Florida Senate is putting together budget recommendations and will consider the recommendations presented during this committee by the Governor’s budget chief. The Senate will work with the House of Representatives and Governor DeSantis to pass a balanced budget that best serves the citizens of Florida.

Bill to Provide Insurance Coverage for Children in Need of Hearing Aids Advances

Senate Bill 1006: Coverage for Hearing Aids for Children by Senator Dennis Baxley unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance, chaired by Senator Doug Broxson.

This legislation requires individual health insurance plans to provide coverage for hearing aids for children and young adults ages 21 and younger.

SB 1006 requires policies to provide a minimum coverage limit of $3,500 per ear within a 24-month period.  It is estimated that approximately 1,700 children who have been diagnosed with hearing loss will benefit from this legislation.

Committee Approves Bill to Help Save Lives of Police Canines

The Senate Committee on Health Policy, chaired by Senator Gayle Harrell, unanimously approved Senate Bill 842: Injured Police Canines by Senator Tom Wright.

This bill allows for a canine injured in the line of duty to be transported in an emergency vehicle to a veterinary clinic or hospital if no person requires medical attention or transport when the canine needs it.  SB 842 also authorizes Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics to provide emergency medical care to the injured police canine at the scene of the emergency or while being transported.

Legislation Increasing Penalties for Crimes Against Firefighters Passes Committee

Senate Bill 1142: Offenses Against Firefighters by Senator Ed Hooper unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, chaired by Senator Keith Perry.

This legislation increases the penalty for an individual, who commits first, second, or third degree murder or attempted murder against a firefighter, to life imprisonment without eligibility for release.  Similar penalties are currently in place for murder or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and other specified officers.

Florida’s firefighters put their lives on the line each day to protect our communities, and the Florida Senate is proud to support legislation in order to protect them.

Welcome to the Florida Senate

The Florida Senate welcomed the following groups to the Capitol:

·        Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

·        Brevard County

·        Citrus County Chamber of Commerce

·        Florida Cattlemen’s Association

·        Florida Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses

·        Florida Conference of Black State Legislators

·        Florida Occupational Therapy Association

·        Florida Trucking Association

·        Florida Women’s Political Network

·        Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

·        Junior League of Florida

·        Marion County

·        Space Florida (Florida Space Day)

·        Step Up For Students

·        University of West Florida

·        Visit Florida (Tourism Day)

Thank you to Stephanie Lucarelli of the Collier County School Board Member for stopping by the office this week.

It was great to meet with Clint Raulerson, who was in Tallahassee for Florida Cattleman’s Day at the Capitol.

It was wonderful to see so many members of the Southwest Florida Food and Restaurant Association. Many members traveled to Tallahassee this week for Florida Tourism Days at the Capitol.

It was a pleasure to meet with the staff of the Glades Electric Cooperative.  Their organization provides power to parts of Hendry County.

I was glad to have the chance to visit with members of the Lee County School Board.

What a wonderful opportunity it was to meet with so many pharmacy students. These students traveled to the Capitol this week to speak with legislators.

I received a visit from Patti Spears, who is the Administrator at Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center in LaBelle.

Thank you to the members of the Associated Builders & Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter for sitting down with me this week.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office any time that I can be of assistance.
 
Sincerely,

Kathleen C. Passidomo

Senate Majority Leader
State Senator, District 28

Naples Office:

3299 East Tamiami Trail
Suite 203
Naples, FL 34112
239-417-6205

LaBelle Office:

25 East Hickpochee Avenue
Room J-126
LaBelle, FL 33935
863-674-7122

Tallahassee Office:

330 Senate Office Building
Tallahassee, FL 32339
850-487-5028

Senator Rick Scott’s Week in Review January 24, 2020

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This week, Senator Rick Scott launched his “Let’s Get Back To Work” video series. Throughout the impeachment trial, Senator Scott will release videos of Floridians highlighting everything Congress is not getting done for the American people, like lowering the cost of prescription drugs, passing No Budget, No Pay and securing the border.

Senator Rick Scott said, “The House Democrats have made a mockery of our government. And you know who gets hurt the most during this trial? The American people, who are getting nothing from the federal government as long as this goes on. I knew Washington was dysfunctional, but this is a whole new level. While the Democrats continue their impeachment obsession, I remain focused on getting back to work on all the things Floridians care about, and I won’t stop fighting.”

Watch more in the video below.

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See more of what Senator Scott has been up to this week below.

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Sen. Rick Scott: Let’s Get Back To Work and Lower the Cost of Health Care for the American People

Episode 1 of Senator Rick Scott’s “Let’s Get Back to Work” video series features Floridian Bill Wheelen of Wellington, who is concerned about the skyrocketing rising cost of health care for his family. See HERE or below.

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Sen. Rick Scott: Let’s Get Back To Work and Support American Business Owners

Episode 2 of Senator Rick Scott’s “Let’s Get Back to Work” video series features Floridian, veteran and business owner Gaston Merideth of Tampa, who wants Congress to stop focusing on impeachment and start tackling real issues to help our nation’s families and businesses. See HERE or below.

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Sen. Rick Scott: Let’s Get Back To Work and Support Our American Heroes

Episode 3 of Senator Rick Scott’s “Let’s Get Back to Work” video series features Floridian Dan McCort of Pensacola, who wants Congress to focus on supporting our military, veterans and their families, and give our Armed Forces the resources they need to protect and defend our nation. See HERE or below.

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Senators Rick Scott, Marco Rubio Urge Army Corps to Prioritize Projects That Help Protect Florida’s Environment

Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio wrote a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging them to prioritize projects that will help protect Florida’s environment. This includes projects that build on Senator Scott’s efforts to restore Florida’s Everglades, like the Central Everglades Planning Project and Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir.  Read more, including the full letter, HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Urges CDC to Take Swift Action to Combat Threat of the Coronavirus

Senator Rick Scott wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director requesting information about the agency’s plan to combat the threat of the coronavirus and urging quick action to protect the health of American families. Considering China’s position as a global adversary and their general unwillingness to share information, Senator Scott is urging the CDC to take extra precautions against the spread of this deadly virus. Read more, including the full letter, HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Leads Colleagues in Urging American Hospitals to Protect U.S. Research from Communist China’s Influence

Senators Rick Scott, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton sent a letter to American Hospital Association President Richard Pollack requesting information on the steps they have taken to safeguard U.S. research and intellectual property from the influence of foreign adversaries, including Communist China. This follows Senator Scott’s letter to Florida university presidents last month urging them to protect national security by safeguarding U.S. research from Communist China. Read more, including the full letter, HERE.

Senators Rick Scott, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio Request Information on NAS Pensacola Shooter’s A-2 Visa Approval Process

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Marco Rubio in a letter to Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf requesting information on the process through which the NAS Pensacola shooter received a visa to participate in military training in the United States. Read more, including the full letter, from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Applauds Trump Administration for Action to Combat Counterfeit Goods from Communist China 

Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following the decision by the Trump Administration to crackdown on counterfeit goods sold online. This decision comes after Senator Scott sent a letter to the President in November asking him to work to make sure that counterfeit goods from Communist China do not enter our country. Senator Scott also has a bill, the Promoting Responsibility In Markets and E-Retailers (PRIME) Act, which will require online retailers to list the country of origin for each product they sell and requires digital apps to disclose their country of origin.

Senator Rick Scott said, “I applaud the Administration for taking swift action to combat the growing threat of counterfeit goods from Communist China. We have to get serious about where our money is going, and we must remain vigilant about where our products come from. Protecting Americans from counterfeit goods is a positive step, but we must keep working. American consumers should know where the products they buy online are made, and my PRIME Act will create more transparency in the online retail space so consumers can make informed choices for themselves and their families.” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott: I’m Committed to Protecting Life

Senator Rick Scott released a video in recognition of the 47th annual March for Life. Watch the video HERE or below.

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Sen. Rick Scott Urges Trump Administration to Protect Americans by Declaring Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency

Senator Rick Scott released the below statement amid reports of more confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and following a briefing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On Wednesday, Senator Scott sent a letter to the CDC Director requesting information about the agency’s plan to combat the threat of the coronavirus and urging quick action to protect the health of American families.

Senator Rick Scott said, “We have to get serious about the threat of coronavirus coming from China. I don’t trust Communist China to coordinate in a transparent and efficient manner when it comes to combatting the treat of the virus, so we have to do everything we can to protect Americans. Today, I’m calling on the Administration to declare a national public health emergency to stop the coronavirus from spreading within the United States. While all of the cases are still travel-related, we must take every precaution. Just like we did in Florida to curb the spread of the Ebola and Zika viruses, we must take action to make every resource available to contain the disease and keep Americans healthy.
 
“At the same time, we must examine the ways the virus is transmitted – including outside the body. Until we have a greater understanding of how the virus is transmitted, we must increase screening and inspections on all products and produce coming into the United States from China.” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott to SEC: Protect American Businesses from the Growing Threat of Communist China

Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman expressing concerns about how Communist China’s recently enacted cryptology laws will affect the security of American businesses and urging the SEC to require disclosures for investors, outlining the alarming reality of the risks they face by investing their hard earned dollars in companies doing business with Communist China. Read more, including the full letter, HERE.

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WEAR: Florida Sen. Scott to release video series during Senate impeachment trial

Accion 97.9: Senador Rick Scott lanza serie de videos “Regresemos a Trabajar

Fox Business: Impeachment trial will be fair in Senate: Sen. Rick Scott

Fox News Radio: Senator Rick Scott On Impeachment & Falling Frozen Iguanas

Washington Examiner: Republican senators demand DHS to explain why Pensacola shooter was granted a visa

Washington Times: Senate Republicans demand to know how Pensacola shooter was approved for visa

Florida Daily: Florida’s Senators, Ted Deutch Call on White House to Pressure Iran to Return Hostages

The Hill: Senators press DHS over visa approval for Pensacola naval base shooter

Florida Daily: Rick Scott, Marco Rubio Urge Hospitals to Protect U.S. Research from Communist China’s Influence

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Urges CDC to Take Swift Action to Combat Threat of the Coronavirus

WPLG: Sen. Rick Scott fears threat of deadly Wuhan coronavirus

The Floridian: Rick Scott guilts Europeans for visiting Cuba

Florida Politics: Rick Scott warns CDC not to trust China, be on high alert for coronavirus

The Floridian: Scott Invites Sec. Wilkie to address Veterans’ Issues

WPEC: Sen. Rick Scott urges Trump administration to declare Coronavirus public health emergency

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Congratulations to the Florida-based soldiers of the 2nd Battalion and 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) who were recognized with valor medals for their actions in support of Operation Resolute Support, and thank you for your service!
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WASHINGTON, D.C.
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Legislative Update – January 17, 2020

Senator Rick Scott’s Week in Review January 17, 2020

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While the House Democrats focus all their attention on trying to impeach the President, Senator Scott continues to push hard to get things done for the people of Florida. This week, the Senate passed the USMCA to support American businesses, President Trump released disaster funding for Puerto Rico at Senator Scott’s urging, and Senator Scott continued to push for answers on exactly what led to the terrorist attack at NAS Pensacola so we can make sure our men and women in uniform are safe.
Also this week, Senator Scott co-sponsored:

See more of what Senator Scott has been up to this week below.

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Senator Rick Scott Applauds Decision to Make Bases Safer, Pushes for Hard Reset of Foreign National Training Program

Senator Rick Scott released the following statement after an update on the findings of the FBI investigation into the shooting at NAS Pensacola last month.

Senator Rick Scott said, “I’m glad federal officials are taking steps to make our bases safer, including sending a number of potentially dangerous individuals back to their home country. This is a positive step, but more must be done when it comes to addressing the failures in this program that led to the tragic terrorist attack at NAS Pensacola. Given the FBI’s confirmation that a number of Saudi nationals engaged in troubling conduct, it’s clear we need a hard reset. I’m calling on the Saudi government to recall all Saudi nationals training in the U.S. back to their home country until the Department of Defense can conduct a full review of the program. I will continue to work with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Inhofe and administration officials to get to the bottom of exactly what went wrong so we can figure out if these training programs are safe to continue.” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott to 82nd, 101st Airborne Divisions: You Should Be Incredibly Proud of Your Mission

Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions recognizing their significant and historic role in World War II and thanking them for their work to protect our nation, our allies, our families and our freedoms. Senator Scott visited Belgium and Luxembourg last month to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge and honor the soldiers who proudly served our nation during World War II, including the Senator’s father. Read more, including the full letters, HERE.

Senator Rick Scott Urges Florida Universities to Submit Responses on Plan to Combat Threat of Chinese Influence

Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following his letter to Florida university presidents requesting information on the steps they have taken to safeguard technology and intellectual property from the influence of foreign adversaries, including Communist China.
Senator Rick Scott said, “We cannot take the threat from Communist China lightly. They are actively trying to use strategic relationships to advance their geopolitical and economic goals, which threatens our nation’s security. I appreciate the responses I’ve received from some Florida universities detailing the steps they are taking to protect their information from Communist China. But I’m still waiting to hear from many universities in Florida. Everyone needs to understand this risk, and I look forward to hearing back from every institution as we work to protect our universities and our students.” Read more HERE.

Senator Rick Scott Statement on China Trade Deal

Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following the President’s signing of Phase 1 of the China trade deal.
Senator Rick Scott said, “I applaud the President for trying to negotiate deals that put American businesses first. But Communist China never lives up to its commitments and I don’t believe they will honor this deal. Communist China is militarizing the South China Sea, breaking the agreement to give Hong Kong autonomy and freedom, and attacking religious freedom by detaining possibly more than one million Uyghurs in internment and re-education camps. Our relationship with China is about more than just trade. We have to talk about human rights and we have to talk about China’s growing influence around the world. The United States has been down this road before with Communist China. They never live up to their agreements, so why should we believe them now?” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott on the Peace Corps Ending Programs in Communist China: I’m Glad They Finally Came to Their Senses

Senator Rick Scott released the following statement after the Peace Corps announced its decision to wind down operations in Communist China. This decision follows months of Senator Scott calling for the Peace Corps to get out of Communist China, and the introduction of Senator Scott’s Peace Corps Mission Accountability Act, which prohibits all Peace Corps activity in hostile countries, including Communist China.
Senator Rick Scott said, “I’m glad the Peace Corps has finally come to its senses and sees Communist China for what it is: the second largest economy in the world and an adversary of the United States. Communist China continues to be a horrible human rights violator, one of the largest polluters in the world and a geopolitical threat. There is no reason we should prop up our adversaries with U.S. tax dollars. I’ve repeatedly asked the Peace Corps to pull all volunteers and resources from Communist China immediately, and I’m glad they finally decided to start protecting both taxpayer money and the American people. I will also be asking the Peace Corps to present their plan to me to ensure a speedy withdrawal of their resources in Communist China.” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Applauds Senate Passage of USMCA

Senator Rick Scott applauded the Senate’s passage of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). Senator Rick Scott spoke about his support of the USMCA in a meeting of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation this week after receiving commitment from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that Florida’s seasonal produce growers will be protected. Watch video from the hearing HERE.
Senator Rick Scott said, “I’m proud the Senate passed the USMCA as we work with the Administration to negotiate trade agreements that put American businesses first. I want to thank President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for all the work they did to get this deal done. While the deal is not perfect, I have received written commitments from USTR that they will work to make sure all Florida growers’ concerns are properly addressed and domestic seasonal producers in Florida are protected. I will not stop fighting until Florida growers have what they need to succeed.” Read more HERE.

Senator Rick Scott joins Senator Daines and Colleagues in Resolution Recognizing Religious Freedom Day

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Steve Daines and colleagues to introduce a resolution designating January 16th as Religious Freedom Day.
Senator Rick Scott said, “As countries around the world, like Communist China and Iran, refuse to respect religious liberty. It is more important than ever that the United States recognize this basic right, and I will always fight to protect our religious freedoms.” Read more from Senator Daines’ office HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Applauds Trump Administration for Releasing Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Funds and Heeding His Call for Transparency and Accountability 

Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) release of $8.3 billion in disaster relief funding to help Puerto Rico’s ongoing recovery after Hurricane Maria. HUD will also appoint a Federal Financial Monitor, which follows Senator Scott and Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón’s letter to President Trump asking the Administration to appoint a Federal Coordinator to oversee responsible implementation of Puerto Rico’s disaster funding. The Coordinator will ensure disaster relief funding gets to the Island’s families in a transparent and efficient manner.
Senator Rick Scott said, “I am proud the Trump Administration is releasing disaster aid funding for Puerto Rico to help the Island recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. I’ve spoken to President Trump multiple times about the importance of getting Puerto Rico the resources they need in a transparent and efficient manner. I’m glad the Administration decided to appoint a Federal Financial Monitor, which I fought for to make sure that families in Puerto Rico get the help they need following the devastation of Hurricane Maria and that U.S. taxpayer money is spent wisely. I will continue to do everything I can to support our brothers and sisters on the island.” Read more HERE.

El senador Rick Scott aplaude a la administración Trump por liberar fondos de ayuda para desastres en Puerto Rico y atender su llamado a la transparencia y rendición de cuentas

El senador Rick Scott hizo la siguiente declaración luego de que el Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano de los Estados Unidos (HUD) liberara $8.3 billones en fondos de ayuda para desastres y así continuar ayudando a Puerto Rico en la recuperación en curso luego del huracán María. HUD también designará un monitor federal, como solicitado en la carta del Senador Scott y la Congresista Jenniffer González-Colón al Presidente Trump pidiéndole a la administración que designara un coordinador federal para supervisar la implementación responsable de los fondos para desastres en Puerto Rico. El coordinador se asegurará de que los fondos de ayuda para desastres lleguen a las familias de la isla de manera transparente y eficiente.
El senador Rick Scott dijo: “Estoy orgulloso de que la administración Trump esté liberando fondos de ayuda para desastres para Puerto Rico y así continuar ayudando a la isla a recuperarse de la devastación del huracán María. He hablado varias veces con el presidente Trump sobre la importancia de que Puerto Rico obtenga los recursos que necesita de manera transparente y eficiente. Me alegra que la administración haya decidido nombrar un monitor federal, el cual solicité para asegurarme de que las familias en Puerto Rico reciban la ayuda que necesitan después de la devastación del huracán María y que el dinero de los contribuyentes estadounidenses se gaste sabiamente. Continuaré haciendo todo lo posible para apoyar a nuestros hermanos y hermanas en la isla”. Lea más AQUÍ.

Senator Rick Scott to Tourists: Stand up for Freedom; Don’t Travel to Cuba

Senator Rick Scott released an open letter to all European and Canadian tourists traveling to Cuba. The letter urges all tourists to stand for freedom and reconsider plans to visit Cuba, since a trip to Cuba supports the ruthless Cuban regime, which denies Cubans their basic rights and controls everything and everyone on the island. Read more, including the full letter, HERE.

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Sen. Rick Scott on Fox: Congress Needs to Stop Wasting Time on Impeachment and Get Back to Work
Watch the full interview HERE or below.

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Sen. Rick Scott: My Father’s Fight for Freedom During World War II Continues to Inspire Me

Senator Rick Scott wrote an op-ed for Fox News about his father, a World War II hero, who inspires him to fight for freedom every day.

In the op-ed, Senator Rick Scott wrote, “My dad’s story is the story of many in his generation. Born in 1925. Kicked out of his house at 9 because his parents got divorced and neither could afford to feed him. He grew up during the Depression with almost nothing by moving in with family and friends. He joined the Army as a teenager.…

But I often wonder if he recognized how important he, and those like him, were to the fabric of American society. I think for my dad, a man who never had any financial success, World War II was a time he felt important.

We seldom give credit to the men and women who struggle financially and simply show up, day in and day out, doing the best they can. I think that’s a mistake. They are the foundation of a country that always yearns for more, for better. The forgotten men and women not only must not be forgotten, but they must also be appreciated, valued.…

Last month, I went to Luxembourg for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.

I learned about the German surprise attack on American troops. About how American troops were initially outnumbered three to one. About Germans massacring unarmed American prisoners of war. About the lack of food and medicine. About the bitter cold and snow. About sleeping in foxholes with no winter clothing.…

I always loved my dad. I was always proud of him. But as I learned more about what he and others did to make sure we have the freedoms we enjoy, I was even more awe-inspired.…

Freedom is fleeting and worth fighting for. I hope we will never forget the primary goal of the federal government is to provide for the common defense, so our children and grandchildren live in freedom and peace, and our sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters never have to fight in the dead of winter for American freedom.”

Read the full op-ed in Fox News HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott to Floridians: Thank You for the Opportunity to Work on Your Behalf

Senator Rick Scott wrote and op-ed reflecting on his first year in the United States Senate and thanking Floridians for the opportunity to fight for them in Washington.

In the op-ed, Senator Rick Scott wrote, “…This year, we got some big wins for Florida. Following my questions at a Homeland Security Committee hearing, the FBI finally acknowledged they held their employees accountable for mistakes prior to the Parkland shooting, and revamped and improved their tip center process.

The Federal Department of Transportation made significant investments in Florida’s infrastructure and I fought to secure the full $200 million for Everglades restoration.

In December, President Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which included a number of provisions that I fought for, such as an authorization of over $1.5 billion to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base, a well-deserved raise for our military, a provision to hold Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro accountable and a restriction on buying Chinese products that are a risk to our safety and security.

I know my job: make life better for the 22 million who call Florida home.

Forcing the federal government to embrace competence, efficiency and common sense will not be easy. But we have to do it. Thank you for the opportunity to work on your behalf.”

Read the full op-ed in the Florida Times-Union HERE.

WFLA: Sen. Scott ahead of Senate trial: Time for Democrats to ‘sit down and shut up’

Florida Daily: Marco Rubio, Rick Scott Back Trump’s Efforts But Warn China Won’t Follow Through on Trade Deal

Gray TV: Sen. Rick Scott wants to restructure training program after NAS Pensacola shooting

CNBC: Sen. Rick Scott: I don’t believe China will ever comply on trade

CNBC: GOP senator blasts Pelosi for trying to control the impeachment trial — ‘she just hates Trump’

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Visits Puerto Rico to See How Island is Recovering From Earthquakes

Washington Post: Scott says he’s ‘absolutely’ prepared to dismiss case against Trump

Breitbart: Rick Scott: ‘I Didn’t Get Elected to Have Nancy Pelosi Play Games’ — ‘She Hates Donald Trump’

Florida Daily: Rick Scott: 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions Should Take Pride in Their World War II Service

The Epoch Times: Florida Calls for Greater Protections Against Chinese Espionage at Universities

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Sen. Rick Scott Attends Florida Sheriffs Association Winter Conference

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Congratulations to the Wounded Warriors who participated in this year’s Soldier Ride through the Florida Keys last Saturday! Thank you to everyone involved, and to our veterans – thank you for your service.

It’s no secret that the space industry has long been an important and iconic part of Florida’s history. Last week, Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering landmark last week – congratulations!

Congratulations to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on being named #1 in the nation among 97 schools providing online undergraduate degree programs specifically tailored for veterans, and thank you for your work to support our American heroes.

Thank you to all of Florida’s law enforcement officers who work every day to serve and protect our families. A special thank you to Martin County Sheriff’s Office Sgt.Timothy Baltes and Walton County Sheriff’s Office’s newest K-9 officer, Colt, for going above and beyond the call of duty! Keep up the good work!

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WASHINGTON, D.C.
716 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5274
TALLAHASSEE
111 N. Adams Street, Suite 208
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 942-8415
Fax: (202) 228-4535
TAMPA
801 North Florida Avenue, Suite 421
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: (813) 225-7040
NAPLES
Collier County Government Center
3299 Tamiami Trail East, #106
Naples, FL 34112
Phone: (239) 231-7890
WEST PALM BEACH
415 Clematis Street, Suite 201
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone: (561) 514-0189
ORLANDO
Landmark II Building
225 East Robinson Street, Suite 410
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 872-7161

Diaz-Balart Secures Nearly $90M for Homelessness Programs in Florida

WASHINGTON, D.C. ­­–– Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement after Secretary Ben Carson announced nearly $2.2 billion in grants to support local homeless assistance programs across the nation, including nearly $90 million for Florida.

“As former Chairman, and now Ranking Member, of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, reducing, and ultimately ending homelessness in our communities is a top priority. I am particularly proud of the progress we’ve made in Southern Florida toward this goal. These grants will help our communities advance further as we continue to work to eliminate homelessness, particularly for the most vulnerable among us, including veterans, the elderly, families with children, and the disabled. I thank Secretary Carson for his longstanding commitment to bettering our communities, and I look forward to our continued work as we improve the quality and efficiency of our housing programs.”

Trump Administration Accomplishments January 2020

The below is a brief summary of the top accomplishments achieved under President Trump’s administration.

Economy

President Trump’s policies have put the American economy into high gear.

  • Since President Trump was elected 7.3 million jobs have been created.
  • In 2019, 2.1 new jobs were created.
    • In 2019, 1.5 million jobs were added for women. This accounts for more than 50% of total job gains for the first time ever.
  • Over 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since the President was elected.
  • The current unemployment rate is 3.5%, a 50-year low.
  • Highlights of December’s jobs report:
    • 174,000 jobs were created in December.
    • December marked the 22nd consecutive month that the unemployment rate has been at or below 4%.
    • For 22 consecutive months, wage growth has been near or above 3%.
  • Throughout the Trump Administration we have seen record low unemployment for women, African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans. In December:
    • African American unemployment rate was at 5.9%.
    • The Hispanic American unemployment rate remained at a near record low of 4.2%.
    • The Asian American unemployment rate was 2.5%, near a historic low.
    • The adult women’s unemployment rate hit 3.2%, the lowest since 1953.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record highs over 100 times under President Trump.
  • Under President Trump, 7 million people have come off food stamps.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Regulatory costs have been slashed by nearly $50 billion and have saved taxpayers $220 billion once actions are implemented.
    • The deregulation efforts will save American households an estimated $3,100 per year.
    • 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.

Immigration

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.
    • It’s expected that 450 miles will be finished by the end of 2020.
    • The Trump Administration has constructed 100 miles of new border wall system.
    • Currently, 167 miles of wall is under construction in high entry sectors such as San Diego, El Centro, El Paso, and Yuma.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Administration provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
    • The Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative more than doubled convictions of human traffickers and increased the number of defendants charged in ACTeam districts.

Foreign Policy

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 ordered the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and an evil, ruthless, and deadly terrorist.
  • 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.
    • 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.

Trade

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)
    • The USCMA will 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 partnership. 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:
    • Works toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies on non-automotive industrial goods.
    • Makes it easier for the EU to purchase liquefied gas.
    • Reduces trade and bureaucratic obstacles between the U.S. and the EU.
    • Addresses unfair trade practices.
  • President Trump agreed to a phase one trade deal with China that includes a strong enforcement mechanism.
  • 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.

Judicial

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 continues to reshape the Federal judiciary at a record pace.
  • President Trump has installed more federal court judges than any president in the past four decades.
  • The President is following through on his promise to appoint judges who will uphold the Constitution and rule of law for generations to come.
  • President Trump has nominated, and the Senate has confirmed a grand total of 187 Article III judges.
    • 2 Supreme Court Justices – Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh.
      • 50 Circuit Court judges.
      • 133 District Court judges.
      • 2 Court of International Trade Judges
  • President Trump’s judicial confirmations have “flipped” 3 – 2nd, 3rd, 11th Circuits – federal appeals courts to Republican.
  • In 2018, President Trump broke the record for the most circuit court of appeals judges (29) confirmed in the first 2 years of a presidency.

Health Care

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’ health care 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.
  • HHS is finalizing a rule that will require hospitals to make prices publicly available online and in a more consumer-friendly format.
  • The Administration has proposed a rule to require insurance companies and group health plans to provide enrollees with cost estimates.
  • The Trump Administration has promoted innovation and solutions to expand treatment options for Americans living with disease including HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, pediatric cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more.
  • The Administration launched a program to provide the HIV prevention drug PrEP to uninsured patients for free.
  • Signed the bipartisan Tobacco-Free Youth Act to raise the nationwide age for purchasing tobacco and vaping products to 21 years old.
  • Costly Obamacare taxes were repealed including the “Cadillac tax” and the Medical Device Tax.

Environment

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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Just this year, President Trump signed legislation designating 1.3 million new acres of wilderness – the largest public lands legislation in a decade.
      • The Department of the Interior proposed to open more than 1 million acres of land for expanded hunting and fishing access. The President took important action to improve management of forests to help prevent devastating forest fires.
  • President Trump issued changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to reduce regulation and allow for infrastructure and transportation projects to move forward.

Energy

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.

Agriculture

President Trump and his Administration continue to help our farmers.

  • In 2018, President Trump signed a sweeping new Farm Bill into law.
    • The Farm Bill provides support and stability to our farmers, expands crop insurance, doubles how much farmers can borrow and helps open new markets for our farmers.
  • The President authorized the year-round sale of E15 gasoline which provided a boost to America’s corn growing communities.
  • Red tape that has harmed American farmers have been rolled back.
    • This includes eliminating the burdensome Obama-era Waters of the United States rule.
  • The historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act protected family farmers from the estate tax.
    • Thanks to the President’s historic tax cuts legislation, the effective tax rate for farmers is expected to fall from 17.2% to 13.9%.
  • President Trump is standing up for America’s farmers by negotiating fairer, freer, and more reciprocal trade deals that remove barriers and open markets for American farmers.
    • President Trump negotiated the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), getting a better deal for American farmers and ranchers.
      • The USMCA will increase America’s Agricultural exports by $2.2 billion.
      • The USMCA will eliminates Canada’s discriminatory programs that allow low-priced dairy products to undersell our nation’s dairy producers.
      • USMCA includes expanded market access for dairy products, eggs, and poultry.
    • In a deal with the European Union, American soybean exports will be increased.
      o President Trump reached a new trade agreement with Japan. As a result, Japan will eliminate or reduce tariffs on approximately $7.2 billion in U.S. agricultural exports.
    • President Trump continues to stand up to China and their unfair trade practices which target our farmers.
      • The Administration provided $16 billion in funds to support our farmers against unfair trade retaliation.
  • The Trump Administration continue to support and expand markets for America’s farmers.
  • Japan’s market has been opened to all American beef.
  • Restrictions have been eliminated on:
    • American pork exports to Argentina.
    • American beef to Brazil.
    • Idaho chipping potatoes to Japan.
    • American poultry to South Korea.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order directing Federal agencies to streamline the agricultural biotechnology regulatory process.
  • The Trump Administration is working to promote connectivity in rural American by investing in rural broadband.  President Trump is working to protect our Nation’s forests.
    • In 2018, the President signed an Executive Order aimed at increasing responsible forest management and coordinating Federal, State, tribal, and local assets to prevent and combat wildfires.
    • In order to preserve the health of our forests, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law.
  • President Trump and his administration continue to provide necessary disaster relief to impacted areas.

Education

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 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.

    • President Trump signed the FUTURE Act into law. The law permanently funds HBCUs and simplifies the FAFSA application
  • The President is committed to expanding and strengthening education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM).
    • President Trump issued a presidential memorandum encouraging the Department of Education to promote STEM, especially Computer Science.
    • President Trump directed more than $200 million per year to technology education grants for women and programs that encourage participation in STEM careers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • President Trump encouraged passage of the STOP School Violence Act to provide funding grants to schools to improve security measures.
    • The Administration established a Commission on School Safety to examine ways to make schools safer for all students and teachers.
  • Additionally, the Administration proposed a new $5 billion annual tax credit to promote school choice. This move is supported by 2/3rds of black Americans.

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 three historic National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA).
    • The FY2020 NDAA includes a much needed 3.1% pay raise for our troops.
    • The FY2020 NDAA establishes the United States Space Force to ensure American dominance in space.
  • 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.
  • The President has secured $73.1 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs – the highest funding for the VA in history.
  • 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.
    • The President also called upon all 50 states to ensure that disabled veterans do not pay state tax on their forgiven debts.
  • The unemployment rate among veterans is at a record low of 2.8%.
    • 9.1 million veterans are employed.
    • The number of unemployed veterans has been reduced by 40% under President Trump.
  • In November 2019, President Trump became the first president to walk in the New York City Veterans Day Parade.

Women

Under President Trump’s administration, women have been empowered to reach their economic potential.

  • Women have experienced record low unemployment under President Trump.
  • Since he was elected, President Trump has created over 4.3 million new jobs for women.
    • In 2019, 1.5 million jobs were added for women. This accounts for more than 50% of total job gains for the first time ever.
    • In December, the adult women’s unemployment rate hit 3.2%, the lowest since 1953.
    • The unemployment rate among women has been under 4% for 18 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.
  • President Trump was the first president to include a paid family leave policy 2 budget proposals.
  • The FY2020 NDAA included paid parental leave for federal workers.
  • The President and his Administration are committed to keeping families and communities safe.
  • The Trump Administration has prioritized empowering women to pursue careers and realize their economic potential.
    • President Trump directed more than $200 million per year to technology education grants for women and programs that encourage participation in STEM careers.
    • President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the National Council For The American Worker.
    • 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.
    • Ivanka Trump created the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) to help 50 million women in 22 developing countries realize their economic potential by 2025.
  • Additional Trump Administration efforts to empower women globally include:
    • The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi): Aims to mobilize more than $2.6 billion in capital for women entrepreneurs in 26 developing countries.
    • The WomenConnect Challenge: Seeks to growth women’s access to digital technology and bridge the digital gender divide.
    • 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.

Black Americans

Black Americans have a true champion in President Trump.

  • President Trump has created an astonishing 1.6 million new jobs for black Americans since his election. o In December, the black unemployment rate was at 5.9%.
    • The black American unemployment rate has been at or below 7% for 23 consecutive months.
    • Prior to President Trump’s administration, the black unemployment rate had never dipped below 7%.
    • In 2019, the African American unemployment rate hit a record low and remained below 7% for the entire year.
  • Under President Trump, incomes for black Americans have increased by 2.6%.
  • Under the Trump Economy, wages are continuing to rise which significantly benefits the lowest-paid workers.
  • The poverty rate among black Americans is at its lowest level in history.
    • Under President Trump, 350,000 fewer black Americans are living in poverty.
  • During the President’s first year in office, the black American poverty rate fell to 21.2% down from 22% the year before.
  • 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.
    o Opportunity Zones which will create jobs and spur investment in disadvantaged communities.
    o These 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.
    • The FIRST STEP ACT has been widely hailed as the most meaningful criminal justice reform in a generation.
    • This landmark legislation included necessary reforms to our justice system, improves our prison system, and prepares inmates for reentry in our communities.
    • As a result of the First Step Act, more than 3,000 Americans have been released from prison and 90% of those who have had their sentences reduced are black Americans.
    • The First Step Act shortens mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes and provides judges greater liberty to go around mandatory minimums.
    • The law also allows offenders sentenced under racially motivated mandatory minimums to petition for their cases to be re-evaluated.
    • 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 supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) a top priority.
    • In February 2017, President Trump announced the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
    • The President signed an Executive Order on HBCUs in February 2017, the earliest any President has signed an Order on HBCUs.
    • The EO established an Interagency Working Group to advance and coordinate work regarding HBCUs.
    • The federal HBCU initiative office was moved back into the White House, a move that leaders had requested under President Obama.
    • President Trump has appropriated more money than any other president to HBCUs.
    • The President signed legislation to increase federal funding for HBCUs by 13%, the highest level ever.
    • President Trump signed the FUTURE Act into law. The law permanently funds HBCUs and simplifies the FAFSA application.
    • The President worked with Congress to lift the ban on Pell Grants on summer classes.
    • Through the Capital Financing Program, the Administration has provided more than $500 million in loans to HBCUs.
    • 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.
    • The Administration has forgiven more than $300 million in outstanding debt for four schools impacted by natural disasters and the budget provided $10 million to defer loan payments for 6 school facing financial difficulties.
    • The Department of Education worked with HBCUs to protect $80 million in Title III carryover funding.
    • President Trump took a big step to end discriminatory restrictions to prevent faith based HBCUs from accessing federal support.
    • The Administration continues to work with HBCUs to expand apprenticeship opportunities, career choices, and ensure they are receiving adequate support.

Latino Americans

Under President Trump’s leadership the Latino American community has thrived.

  • Under President Trump, Latino Americans have experienced record low unemployment.
  • More than 2.9 million jobs have been created for Latino Americans since the President was elected.
    • In December, the Latino American unemployment rate was at a near record low of 4.2%.
    • The Hispanic American unemployment rate hit several record lows in 2019, including falling below 4% for the first time in history.
  • The median Latino American income rose by $1,786 during President Trump’s first year in office.
    • 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.
    • Thanks to pressure from President Trump, 50 countries followed President Trump’s leadership in recognizing Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
    • The Trump administration has rolled back President Obama’s disastrous rapprochement with Cuba, which only benefited the country’s dictatorship instead of its people.
    • 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.

Asian Americans

Under President Trump’s leadership Asian American unemployment has reached record lows.

  • In December, the Asian American unemployment rate was 2.5%, near a historic low.
  • The lowest ever record unemployment rate for Asian Americans (2.1%) came in June 2019.

Congressman Rooney Testifies on the Defending Our National Marine Sanctuaries from Damaging Chemicals Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Francis Rooney testified on the importance of the Defending Our National Marine Sanctuaries from Damaging Chemicals Act, H.R. 1834, before the House Natural Resources Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee. Congressman Rooney introduced H.R. 1834 last year which prohibits the use of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate near coral reefs in federally protected waters within the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Congressman Rooney stated, “Coral reefs are the foundation of the marine ecosystem. They nurture marine life and provide for certain species of fish that rely on them for food. Coral reefs similarly play a major role in preventing coastal erosion and protecting the coastal wetlands. In Florida, they also significantly contribute to a $8.5 billion dollar a year tourism economy. This legislation will protect these critical components of our marine ecosystem and assure that they can be enjoyed and studied for generations to come. There are safe sunscreen options available that do not bleach or harm coral reefs, and the use of those should be encouraged. We must act now to prevent the use of these chemicals in National Marine Sanctuaries.”

Background:

  • The Defending Our National Marine Sanctuaries from Damaging Chemicals Act was introduced by Congressman Rooney on March 18, 2019.
  • This bill prohibits the use of sunscreen containing oxybenzone or octinoxate in a National Marine Sanctuary that contains coral.
  • Sunscreen is essential for healthy skin and there are safe sunscreen options that can be used when visiting coral reefs so that coral bleaching will not occur.
  • Congressman Rooney will work with Subcommittee Chairman Jared Huffman to advance this critical legislation in Congress.

Campaign 2020 Next Big Steps

Nanette Rivera
Co-Chair Campaign 2020 Committee

Campaign 2020 Co-Chair Nanette Rivera announced the next steps in the campaign after a smashingly successful Hispanic voter drive and Three Kings Celebration.

The next steps include

  • Continuing to engage the Collier County Hispanic swing voters by institutionalizing the summary tag line of Hispanic Values = Republican Values
  • Deliver Volunteer Recruiting door hangers to 12,000 Hard Republican homes – with the objective to build an army of 400 volunteers.
  • When the volunteer army is in place – we will deliver door hangers to 40,000 No Party Affiliates – the largest swing voter group.

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Staying on Message – State Committeewoman Jan Face Glassman

Jan Face Glassman
Collier County State Committtewoman

Over the past several weeks, I have had numerous people who are strong supporters of our President either email me, or speak with me, about how scared they are for the President and our Country because of the impeachment proceedings.

My message to them is that we need to take a lesson by observing the President himself. On campaigns, successful candidates stay on message, especially when their opponent tries to pull them off into other issues. The President is staying fully on message and proceeding to accomplish more of his goals. He is not distracted, nor should we be. We need to ignore the ‘impeachment chatter’ and stay on message to win his re-election in November.

The unintended consequence for the Democrats appears to be the potential loss of their majority in the House. The best way we can help the President is to take back the Republican Majority in the House and keep it in the Senate. If we have both houses, he will able to complete his goals and make America even greater!

In Collier County, we are fortunate to have two Republican Congressmen. Our friends in other Florida Congressional Districts and in many other states are not so fortunate. If you have friends who live in a Congressional District currently held by a Democrat, talk to them about the importance of taking back Congress.

Just as we are doing here in Collier County, encourage them to activate their grassroots by talking to their friends, neighbors and co-workers about the importance of taking back these Democrat-held seats. Remind them how much of their money, as taxpayers, is being wasted on impeachment and how the important business of government has been ignored because of the Democrats.

If you have political insight from living in a location in another state before moving here, offer your help by sharing your thoughts and your expertise in conversations.

Most importantly, we must continually stress the 11th commandment which President Reagan used during his 1966 gubernatorial campaign. ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican’.

We will have Congressional, State Representative, and County Commission primaries. It is important to remember that anything we say against another candidate during a Primary will be used by the Democrat in the General election. ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ could not have more meaning than during this election.

We are on the cusp of a major Republican sweep in November across the country, up and down the ticket, led by President Trump. We need to think before we speak and hold off overnight before we post on social media or send a written document that could damage our Republican candidates.

If we stay united and work together as a total American Republican team, the Democrats will suffer the greatest unintended consequence of the impeachment – Donald Trump will be elected to a 2nd term and have the U. S. House and Senate majorities to fully support him.