State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 10/3/2021

Good Morning!

This week, I had the pleasure of chairing the 2021 Brevard County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Brevard County Commission Chambers. I would like to thank the Brevard County Commission for graciously hosting our meeting and being so accommodating to not only the delegation members, but also the many residents who attended. During the four-hour meeting, we were fortunate to hear from over 100 citizens, local officials, and community organizations who shared their concerns and ideas to make our community an even better place to live.

I truly appreciate everyone who took the time to participate in the meeting, your perspective means a great deal to me. We know how difficult it is for many of you to travel to Tallahassee during Committee Weeks and Session, and I always look forward to our annual delegation meeting to discuss the issues that mean the most to the constituents of District 17.

If you missed the meeting, you may watch the archived video 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

FWC Commission Meeting

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet October 6th and 7th at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort, 500 South Legacy Trail, St. Augustine, Florida, 32092. The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. each day and is open to the public. There will be time for public comment on each agenda item, as well as, items not on the agenda.

The Commission will receive an update from the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida on activities and fundraising efforts over the last year. Staff will present several reports to the Commission that will cover topics including redfish, sharks, aquaculture of largemouth bass, and FWC managed shooting ranges. Additionally, staff will report on actions and discussions from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC). 

The Commission will vote on the following items:

  • A draft rule for a limited, highly regulated harvest of goliath grouper; 
  • Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Legislative Budget Request and Agency Legislative Package. 

The meeting will be livestreamed at https://thefloridachannel.org/

The next Commission Meeting is scheduled for December 15 – 16, 2021.

Governor DeSantis Announced More Than $114 Million for Wastewater Treatment Grants

Governor DeSantis announced the awards for the Wastewater Treatment Grant Program, which was established in SB 712 (2020), the Clean Waterways Act, and funded in this year’s Florida Leads Budget. I was proud to sponsor the Clean Waterways Act, which garnered unanimous bipartisan support and implemented sweeping reforms to improve water quality in our state, including the creation of the Wastewater Grant Program within the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (DEP). Under Governor DeSantis and President Simpson’s leadership, Florida has tackled the state’s water quality issues head on. I am thrilled to see the continued implementation of the provisions set forth by my bill.

Eligible projects include those that upgrade traditional septic systems to include nutrient removal technology, provide advanced wastewater treatment, or convert septic tanks to central sewer. Out of the total $114 million awarded, more than $53 million of the wastewater grants is being granted to the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). The project list includes 10 projects within my district; the first on the list is West Wabasso Phase 3 Septic to Sewer Conversion. 

With this funding, applicants have proposed projects to benefit the IRL by:

  • Connecting an estimated 3,000 septic tanks to central sewer, resulting in an estimated reduction of more than 62,000 pounds of Total Nitrogen (TN) per year and more than 5,000 pounds of Total Phosphorous (TP) per year.
  • Upgrading three wastewater treatment facilities, resulting in an estimated reduction of more than 200,000 pounds of TN per year and more than 37,000 pounds of TP per year.

“The Governor’s announcement is really exciting because it is a transformational investment of state funds to improve wastewater infrastructure along the Indian River Lagoon to improve water quality,” said Duane De Freese, PhD., Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council and the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program.

Governor DeSantis Announces Terran Orbital Will Invest $300 Million in Florida to Construct the World’s Largest, State-of-the-Art, Commercial Spacecraft Facility

Governor DeSantis announced Terran Orbital’s decision to partner with Space Florida and construct the world’s largest satellite manufacturing facility in Brevard County. This will bring valuable spacecraft manufacturing opportunities and capabilities to the State of Florida by investing more than $300 million in new construction and equipment. The new Commercial Spacecraft and Constellation Facility project is expected to create approximately 2,100 new jobs with an estimated annual average wage of $84,000 by late 2025.

Governor DeSantis Directs Florida Secretary of State to Investigate Facebook for Alleged Violations of Election Laws

On September 27th, Governor DeSantis directed Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee to investigate Facebook for alleged election interference, following a report that Facebook was inappropriately involved in numerous state and local races by exempting elite users from Facebook’s own rules.

“It’s no secret that Big Tech censors have long enforced their own rules inconsistently,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “If this new report is true, Facebook has violated Florida law to put its thumb on the scale of numerous state and local races. Floridians deserve to know how much this corporate titan has influenced our elections. That is why I am directing Secretary Lee to use all legal means to uncover violations of Florida’s election laws. The thought of Facebook clandestinely manipulating elections is an affront to the basic principles of our republic. We the people have the right to choose our representatives, whether or not Silicon Valley approves.”

Governor DeSantis Takes Action to Protect Floridians from the Dangerous Impacts of the Biden Border Crisis

On September 28th, Governor DeSantis was joined by Attorney General Ashley Moody to announce three significant actions Florida is taking to address the Biden Border Crisis.

  • Governor DeSantis has issued Executive Order 21-223 to prohibit state agencies under the Governor’s purview from providing support for the resettlement of illegal aliens to Florida. Additionally, the EO requires state agencies to gather information regarding the scope and costs of illegal immigration in Florida.
  • Governor DeSantis announced the appointment of Larry Keefe, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, as Public Safety Czar to ensure the actions directed by the executive order are carried out.
  • Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Moody announced that Florida has filed suit against the Biden Administration challenging its “catch and release” policy.

I appreciate Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody for taking actions to protect Florida’s borders from illegal immigration.

Emergency Rules on COVID-19 Policies Will Be Discussed at Board of Education Meeting

On October 7, 2021, the State Board of Education will meet at 1:00 pm to take action on consideration of probable cause for noncompliance with Department of Health Emergency Rule 64DER21-15, Protocols for Controlling COVID-19 in School Settings. The new rule further safeguards the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians to be involved in the health care decisions for their child, including whether or not to keep their healthy child home from school after an exposure to COVID-19. The following 11 school districts have demonstrated an aspect of noncompliance: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, and Sarasota counties. 

The meeting will be livestreamed on https://thefloridachannel.org/

To view the agenda, click here

 

Constituent of the Week

Our constituent of the week is Mr. Wayne Collier of Vero Beach, who is celebrating his 89th birthday on October 22nd!

He is a fourth generation Floridian and an agriculture expert. Prior to moving to Vero Beach with his family, Mr. Collier was the first vine ripe tomato farmer in Broward County. Mr. Collier advanced his farming skills from tomatoes to citrus in Vero Beach and works closely with the agriculture department of his alma mater, the University of Florida, to produce trees with less susceptibility to greening. Mr. Collier is currently growing an experimental citrus grove just west of Vero Beach. 

Wayne and his wife are members of Christ by the Sea United Methodist Church in Vero Beach. When you speak with others, you’ll find he is well known for his service as a church trustee and for having changed the lives of over 30 individuals by sharing his guesthouse to those in temporary need of housing. 

Please join us in celebrating Mr. Collier’s birthday and thanking him for his years of service and expertise in Indian River County’s and our State’s robust agriculture industry.  

 

District 17 Highlights

 

Brevard County

Satellite Beach Police Sergeant Eric Bell and Officer Timothy Wright received the Meritorious Conduct Award

Satellite Beach Police Sergeant Eric Bell and Officer Timothy Wright received the Meritorious Conduct Award during a Satellite Beach City Council meeting. Sergeant Eric Bell and Officer Timothy Wright were recognized for their exemplary response to a traffic stop that involved a person with a mental health issue. Both men used their mental health awareness training and de-escalation techniques to bring a rapidly evolving situation to a safe conclusion. 

Blue Mass Event Hosted by St. John’s Evangelist Catholic Community

This past week I had the honor of attending St. John’s Evangelist Catholic Community’s Blue Mass event recognizing our communities’ noble first responders. The history of the event is rooted decades ago in a “First Mass” to pray for police and military on the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of police officers and the military. At that time, police and fire uniforms were both a shade of blue and the event came to be known as the Blue Mass. This honorary practice has advanced nationwide to include public safety workers in addition to police and fire personnel, and it is celebrated annually. 

St. John’s Evangelist Catholic Community set aside September 29th at 12:05 pm to join in prayer for all first responders’ safety as they selflessly serve and protect the residents and visitors of Brevard County. Father John and Deacon Mike inspired the community and celebrated our first responders and their families with compassion, gratitude, and faith. Thank you to all who serve and protect.

Brevard School Board will Meet Again on Mask Mandate

On Tuesday, October 5th, the Brevard Public School Board will hold a Special Board meeting to discuss face coverings and the Florida Department of Health’s recent COVID-19 Emergency Rule 64DER21-15. The meeting begins at 9:00 am in the Board Room of the Brevard County School District Administration Building. Anyone who wishes to speak during the public comment will have one minute. Sign-up begins at 8:15 am.

During the 2021 Brevard Legislative Delegation Meeting, Representative Fine and I indicated our disappointment in the recent decisions of the Brevard County School Board to Chair, Misty Belford. In response to the school board’s defiance of rules set forth by Governor DeSantis, the Parent’s Bill of Rights, the State Board of Education, the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Education, I made the following statement:

“The School Board has chosen to not listen to the Board of Education’s rule, but yet you are sending kids home when they are not listening to your rule. So I ask that the School Board reconvene, and they consider how inappropriate it is to not to abide by the rules set forth by the Board of Education.”

 

Indian River County

Indian River County to Close Broadband Survey on October 8th

In July 2021, Indian River County launched a digital survey on the availability and accessibility of broadband use by households and businesses. The digital and paper surveys will be incorporated into the County’s Broadband Feasibility Study, which will determine low cost and effective ways to improve broadband infrastructure across Indian River County. The survey ends on Friday, October 8th, 2021. 

To fill out the online survey, click here

To fill out the paper survey in English, click here

To fill out the paper survey in Spanish, click here