State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 10/17/2021
My time in Tallahassee for the second Interim Committee Week ahead of the 2022 Legislative Session was extremely productive. Four of my committees met this week, including the Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government, and the Appropriations Committee.
I met with various organizations in my office this week. I want to recognize the following groups and individuals for taking the time to meet with me:
- Mental Health Association of Indian River
- The Small County Coalition
- The Florida Department of Citrus
- Florida Citizens Alliance
- Jerry Sansom with the City of Rockledge and Satellite Beach
- Satellite Vice Mayor, Dominick Montanaro
- Rockledge Councilman, Shaun Ferguson
- Rockledge City Manager, Dr. Brenda Fettrom
- Alzheimer’s Community Care
- Florida Independent Liquor Store Owner’s Association
- The Florida Student Association
I consider it a great honor to represent District 17. Please share this link with your friends and family so that 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!
Attorney General Moody Launches National Law Enforcement Recruitment Initiative
Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking Floridians and brave individuals across the country to be a Florida hero. On October 14th, Attorney General Moody unveiled Be A Florida Hero, a new recruitment initiative to encourage job seekers from across the country to pursue law enforcement careers in Florida. As part of the recruitment push, Attorney General Moody is launching a new interactive website that includes law enforcement career opportunities across Florida—creating a first-of-its-kind, one-stop-shop for anyone seeking to protect and serve.
According to the National Police Foundation, a majority of police departments nationwide experienced staffing shortages in 2020. With a downward trend in the number of individuals going into law enforcement, Be A Florida Hero aims at helping Florida law enforcement agencies effectively protect communities from crime while bolstering ranks.
Attorney General Ashley Moody went on to say, “As the wife of a law enforcement officer and as Attorney General, I see the struggles that many leaders in this profession are facing while trying to fill the increase in available positions. So, I am encouraging anyone looking to begin a law enforcement career or relocate to our state, to join one of our great agencies. You can begin your search at BeAFloridaHero.com.”
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Adds Over 20,000 Policies in September
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation was created by the Florida Legislature in August 2002 as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, government entity to provide property insurance to eligible Florida property owners unable to find insurance coverage in the private market.
In September 2021, Citizens added nearly 22,000 policies, which brings the policy total to more than 708,000. Citizens has seen massive growth since the middle of 2020 as private insurers have sought rate increases and dropped customers to reduce financial risks. Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway said recently that an initial forecast for next year includes 1 million to 1.3 million policies. Many state leaders have long sought to move policies from Citizens to the private market because of concerns about financial risks for the state if a major hurricane would hit.
Interim Committee Week Update
Committee Week #2
During committee weeks, we have the opportunity to hear reports from state agencies and prepare legislative priorities for the upcoming session.
The Senate Committee on Reapportionment met on Monday and heard from the legal counsel regarding Redistricting law, viewed a walkthrough and demonstration of the new website and mapping tool, and heard public testimony. To view the meeting, click here.
Through this website, members of the public have access to all of the same data and the map-drawing application used by the Legislators and staff, and after creating a free account can submit redistricting plans for Senators to consider. To access the Redistricting Website, click here.
The Senate Committee on Education met on Tuesday and held a panel on higher education focused on meeting Florida’s education, innovation, and workforce needs. The panel included members from the Florida College System and the State University System. To view the meeting, click here.
The Senate Committee on Transportation met on Tuesday and heard presentations from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and the Department of Transportation (FDOT). The DHSMV updated the committee on digital driver licenses and identification cards. FDOT gave an overview on transportation infrastructure resiliency in Florida. To view the meeting, click here.
The Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability met on Wednesday and heard presentations from the Department of Management Services (DMS) and Department of State (DOS). The DMS presentations were focused on an overview of fleet management and the Facilities program. The DOS presentation gave an overview on three divisions within the Department: Division of Historical Resources, Division of Library and Information Services, and Division of Cultural Affairs. To view the meeting, click here.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development met on Wednesday and heard the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Legislative Budget Requests for state agencies that are within their purview. Those agencies are Division of Emergency Management (DEM), Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Department of State (DOS), and Department of Transportation (DOT). To view the meeting, click here.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government met on Wednesday and heard presentations from Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Management Services (DMS), and Department of Financial Services (DFS). The DEP presentation was on the Acquisition Restoration Council List, which focused on the Florida Forever program. The DMS presentation was an update and overview of the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS). The DFS presentation was a progress update on Florida PALM, which is a system used for planning, accounting, and ledger management. To view the meeting, click here.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations met on Thursday and heard a presentation by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The presentation was an overview of the Long-Range Financial Outlook. The Outlook sets out recommended fiscal strategies for the state and its departments in order to assist the legislature in making budget decisions. An Outlook is a tool that provides an opportunity to both avoid future budget problems and maintain more financial stability between state fiscal years. To view the meeting, click here.
Following an economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida has rebounded stronger than expected largely due to swiftly re-opening our economy. While some economic uncertainty and challenges still remain, Florida is in a far better position than other states.
To view the Long-Range Financial Outlook, click here.
Remembering Michael J. Collins
I would like to take a moment to reflect and mourn the sudden passing of South Florida Water Management District Governing Board member, Michael Collins.
Michael J. Collins was appointed to the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board by Governor Jeb Bush in 1999. He spent a total of 11 years on the Governing Board and served as Board Chairman when the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was authorized by Congress in 2000. Sadly, he passed away unexpectedly on October 13, 2021, in Lake Nottely, Georgia.
He was part of the “Acceler8” movement, which was an initiative to expedite the funding, design and construction of a series of Everglades restoration projects that would restore 100,000 acres of wetlands, expand water treatment areas, and provide 428,000 acre-feet of additional water storage.
My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.
Constituent of the Week
This week, our Constituent of the Week is Bob and Sandy Brackett. Mr. Brackett moved to Vero Beach in 1947 with his family. Bob and Sandy have been true trailblazers for the city of Vero Beach for decades. Together, the couple has four children, who were all raised in Vero Beach. Bob graduated from Vero Beach High School in 1952 and attended the University of Florida from 1952 to1954. In addition, he served in the Army Occupation of Europe in 1954.
Recognizing the historical value of downtown Vero Beach has always been the impetus of Bob and Sandy’s passion for revitalizing properties. The Brackett’s contributions to the “Downtown” has been focused on preserving history and blending it with modern times. The refurbishment of Theatre Plaza, Pueblo Arcade, Seminole Courtyard, the New Seminole Building, as well as the Old Indian River County Courthouse, now the Courthouse Executive Center, are just a few examples of the Brackett’s revitalization work in Vero Beach. In addition to the restoration of a number of buildings in Downtown Vero Beach, Bob and Sandy were actively involved in the 14th Avenue Model Block renovations. The Model Block renovation included brick pavers along two stretches of sidewalk, landscaping enhancements, and an addition of decorative street lighting. His coordination and contributions toward the installation of wooden memorial benches throughout the downtown area have added a special touch to the streets of Vero Beach, with each bench being dedicated to individuals who have made a difference within the community. To date, more than 90 such benches are in place.
In addition to his many accomplishments as a developer, Bob has also served on countless committees and boards in Indian River County over the years, currently serving on Dollars for Scholars of IRC and the Indian River Medical Center Foundation Board. In addition, he is the past President of the Associated Credit Bureaus of Florida. Along with countless community recognitions Mr. Brackett has received, he was designated as Entrepreneur of the Year at IRSC in 2001, the IRC Alma Lee Loy Community Service Award in 2009, and in 2010 received the Mt. Dora Christian Home and School Blue Diamond Award for funding the Brackett Gymnasium.
Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Brackett for the many improvements and blessings you have brought to the Vero Beach community.
EFSC Paramedic Program Accepting Applications
The Public Safety Institute at Eastern Florida State College is actively recruiting for its upcoming Paramedic program set to start Spring Term.
Classes will begin on January 10, 2022, and run for 16 weeks through Spring Term, 12 weeks through Summer Term, and 16 weeks in Fall Term through November 2022. The deadline for applications is October 24, 2021. Intake for Paramedics is scheduled for November 1 and is by invitation only.
All prospective students must complete the online application for admission to Eastern Florida State College, as well as the separate online application to the Public Safety Institute.
Indian River County
Indian River County Firefighters, Paramedics Receive 4% Salary Increase
On Tuesday, October 12th, the Indian River County Commission reached a unanimous agreement to raise the Salaries of all paramedics and firefighters in the county. The estimated fiscal impact of this increase is $933,656. this raise comes after all other county employees were given the same wage increase.