State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 10/10/2021

Good Morning!

My thoughts and prayers are with the DeSantis Family, as our state’s First Lady, Casey DeSantis battles Breast Cancer. First Lady DeSantis is a strong-willed woman and I have no doubt that she will fight and win this battle.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please take time to understand the symptoms of Breast Cancer. The best protection is early detection. Learn more about the symptoms by clicking here.

I consider it a great honor to represent District 17. Please share this link with your friends and family so they too can sign up for the Mayfield Minute.

If you or someone you know needs my assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are here to serve you!


Statewide Updates

Visit Florida Attracting International Travelers

Visit Florida President and CEO, Dana Young, said that Florida is ready for an influx of international visitors. U.S. travel restrictions will be loosened in November for international visitors, including people from the United Kingdom and the European Union. Under the plan, non-citizens visiting the United States will have to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure. 

“Our hospitality industry is well-poised to give a great experience. Florida is a sure bet. It’s open, and we are confident it will not close (to international visitors) or putting in capacity restrictions or mask mandates.” Said Young. 

Attorney General Moody Expresses Strong Support of Congressional Hearings Addressing Youth Social Media Use

Attorney General Ashley Moody and a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorney generals expressed strong support for the hearings conducted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. The hearings addressed the protection and safety of kids and teens using social media. Attorney General Moody signed on to the National Association of Attorneys General letter urging the committee to be thorough in its proceedings and to make clear how social media companies use children’s and adolescents’ data.

To read the full letter, click here

FWC Commission Meeting Recap

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) held its two-day commission meeting this past week. Please see the highlights below: 

  • Approved a draft proposal for a limited, highly regulated harvest of goliath grouper in Florida state waters. Staff was directed to explore additional changes before bringing the proposal back for final approval at the March 2022 meeting.
  • Approved the creation of new regulations for spot and atlantic croaker in state waters from the Florida-Georgia border through Miami-Dade County. 
  • Approved temporary closures to recreational harvest of gray triggerfish, red grouper, blackfin snapper, queen snapper, silk snapper, and wenchman in the Gulf of Mexico state waters starting Monday, October 11th. These closures are consistent with recent closures in the Gulf of Mexico federal waters. 

Winners of the lionfish removal and incentive program were announced during the Commission meeting. A total of 21,146 lionfish were removed during the 3.5-month program. The first-place winner in the recreational category was Brooks Feeser of Palm Beach County who removed 1,632 lionfish. The first-place winner in the commercial category was Rachel Bowman of Monroe County who removed 730 pounds.

State Board of Education Meeting

The State Board of Education met on Thursday, October 7th, 2021 to consider the probable cause for noncompliance of eight school districts regarding the Department of Health’s emergency rule 64DER21-15, Protocols for Controlling COVID-19 in School Settings. Upon the start of the state board meeting, the Hillsborough, Indian River, and Sarasota School Districts were found to be in compliance. These districts were removed from the agenda due to school board members reversing their mandatory mask mandates by implementing an opt-out provision.

The remaining eight school districts that were determined to be in noncompliance were Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Leon, Miami Dade, Orange, and Palm Beach Counties. The State Board voted to approve the sanction of withholding state funds in an amount equal to 1/12 of all school board members’ salaries, as well as withholding state funds in an amount equal to any federal grant funds awarded to the School District to offset the penalties.

Thank you to Governor DeSantis, the State Board of Education members, and Commissioner Corcoran for following Florida Law and holding these elected school board members accountable.


Committee Week #2

During the second legislative committee week in Tallahassee, four of my committees will be meeting:

  • Government Oversight and Accountability Committee

October 13th at 9:00 AM

  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development

October 13th at 12:30 PM

  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government

October 13th at 3:30 PM

  • Appropriations Committee

October 14th at 11:00 AM

These meetings will be streamed live on the Florida Channel at their specified times.


Constituent of the Week

This week, the constituent of the week is Brevard County resident, Susie Mieczkowski. Mrs. Mieczkowski and her husband, Mark have resided in Brevard County since 2004. Together, the couple has three children, Michael (22), Lauren (17), and Sarah (20), who is an intern in my office.

For over 13 years, Mrs. Mieczkowski taught Pre-k, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade at Ascension Catholic School, where all three of her children attended. The Mieczkowski Family continues to be involved, as members of the Ascension Parish.

Mrs. Mieczkowski is more than just a wife, mother, and teacher- she is a survivor. In 2019, Mrs. Mieczkowski was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Throughout her battle, she remained determined to fight cancer with everything she had. In 2020, Mrs. Mieczkowski won her battle and is now a proud Breast Cancer survivor. In celebration of this victory, the entire Mieczkowski Family will be taking part in the “Making Strides” Breast Cancer Walk.

This event will be held on Saturday, October 23rd at 7:00 a.m. at The Avenue Viera. This annual event was created to raise awareness and money to help fund breast cancer research and patient services. For more information, click here.

Thank you, Susie Mieczkowski, for being an inspiration to our community during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Upcoming Events

Marine Resource Council Hosting Low Impact Conference

The Marine Resources Council (MRC) is hosting east-central Florida’s first Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure Conference on October 21st and 22nd at the Center for Collaboration in Rockledge, Florida. Experts from all over the country will be speaking on the full range of LID/GI tools from comprehensive land use planning and manual creation to engineered design and construction of green roofs, infiltration devices, cisterns, and bio-retention areas. These experts will share case studies that demonstrate cost-effective means to set and meet pollution load reductions, recharge groundwater aquifers, and prevent flooding.  Limited seating is still available, register today at MRC’s website.

Laura Riding Jackson Foundation Hosts Veteran Writers Workshop 

On Sunday, November 14th at 9:00 a.m., the Laura Riding Jackson Foundation (LRJF) will be partnering with the Veterans Council of Indian River County to host a veteran writers workshop. The workshop is open to IRC Veterans, Military Moms, and Gold Star Moms and will be held at the LRJF Writing Center.

For more information, email Coordinator Michael Howard.


District 17 Highlights

Brevard County

Hotel Groundbreaking at Melbourne Orlando International Airport

Officials gathered on October 5th at the Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB) for the ceremonial groundbreaking of a 143-room Hyatt Place Hotel scheduled to open in 2022. The developer is ADËLON Capital, headquartered in Hollywood, Florida, and the hotel will be constructed by Certified General Contractors of Melbourne, Florida. The development is expected to create more than 100 jobs during construction and more than 20 operational jobs once opened.

The new hotel will be located on airport property at Air Terminal Parkway and NASA Boulevard. With its proximity to the terminal, the hotel is strategically positioned to add a covered walkway linking passengers between the hotel and the terminal. Hotel guests will the opportunity to park their private aircraft near the hotel and enter directly into the lobby.

EFSC Offering Short-Term, Non-Credit Welding Class

On October 7th, Eastern Florida State College announced that registration is now open for a non-credit welding course. This class is focused on teaching the three most popular welding processes: Shielded Metal Arc (stick); Gas Metal Arc (MIG); or Gas Tungsten Arc (TIG).

The course will last eight weeks, from October 18th to December 15th, and will be taught Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Eastern Florida State College’s Cocoa campus. The evening hours were designed to be convenient for working adults who want to learn welding skills and those who want to learn welding capabilities as a hobby.

For more information, click here.

Indian River County

IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium Announces its “Starlight Series”

Indian River State College announced the “Starlight Series” show lineup for 2021 and 2022. This IRSC program provides children the opportunity to attend shows focused on addressing topics related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). Starlight Series shows are presented Fridays at 7:00 & 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:00 & 2:30 p.m.

For more information on the show line-up, click here.