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State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 01/23/2022

Good Morning!

 
This past week I had the opportunity to meet with organizations from District 17 that traveled to our state Capitol. It was a pleasure to visit with Treasure Coast Chamber of Commerce and Indian River County Commissioners. Additionally, I met with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Florida Trucking Association, and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.
 
The Florida Senate passed the first bills of the 2022 Legislative Session this past week. Two of the bills passed were the redistricting bills titled “SB 100 Joint Resolution of Reapportionment” and “SB 102 Establishing the Congressional Districts of the State.”
 
When a bill is voted favorably by the Florida Senate it is sent to the Florida House of Representatives to be considered. A bill must be passed by both the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives before it is signed into law by the Governor.
 
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 do not hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are here to serve you!

Statewide Updates

 
Florida’s Military and Defense Industry Supports More Than 860,000 Jobs
 
For more than a decade, the Florida Defense Support Task Force (FDSTF) has monitored the economic impacts of defense spending flowing to Florida military installations, private-sector defense contractors. To accomplish this, the FDSTF conducts a bi-annual update to gauge the economic impacts of the Florida defense industry. Governor DeSantis announced Florida’s military and defense industry supported more than 860,000 jobs in 2020 and Florida experienced a 12 percent increase in direct defense spending from $44 billion in 2018 to $49.3 billion in 2020. According to the recently published 2022 Florida Defense Industry Economic Impact Analysis by the FDSTF, defense spending in 2020 generated more than $96.6 billion in value-added economic impacts, or 8.5 percent of the Florida economy.
 
To see the 2022 Florida Defense Industry Economic Impact Analysis, click here.
 
 
Florida State Parks Announces 2022 Photo Contest
 
Florida State Parks, in collaboration with retail and reservation management providers, is launching this year’s annual photo contest “Explore Florida State Parks”. Florida’s 175 state parks, trails and historic sites offer beautiful backdrops for recreational and nature-based photos.
 
Submissions will be accepted on the photo contest website. The contest is open to all Florida State Parks visitors, and the submission period will run from January 13th, 2022, through March 10th, 2022.
 
Individuals can submit up to five photos, one in each of the following categories:
  • Explore Nature
  • Explore New Points of View
  • Explore Parks in Motion
  • Explore Trails
  • Explore Wildlife
 
The three winners will be announced in early April 2022.
 
 
Governor DeSantis Awards $2.3 Million for CDL Training and Workforce Education
 
Governor DeSantis awarded $2.3 million in funding to support rapid credentialing workforce and education programs, including Commercial Driver’s License and Logistics Training. These programs will help Floridians earn high-wage jobs and support the supply chain that is currently in need of workers. Governor DeSantis made the announcement at the Hardee Campus of South Florida State College, an award recipient and strong performer in the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) rapid credentialing program.
 
The funding awarded will help students across the state access workforce education. Rapid credentialing programs are designed to accelerate pandemic recovery for Florida residents and the state economy by increasing all of Florida’s state colleges and technical colleges’ capacity to enroll and graduate students.
 
Institutions that will receive funding are:
 
  • $930,000 to State College of Florida for CDL training
  • $550,000 to Manatee Technical College for Logistics (forklift) and CDL training
  • $415,000 to South Florida State College for CDL training
  • $100,000 to North Florida Technical College for CDL training
  • $135,000 to Florida Gateway College for Licensed Practical Nursing training
  • $150,000 to College of Florida Keys for Licensed Practical Nursing and Surgical Technology training
 
 
Florida Digital Service Announces $15.9 Million Investment in Strengthening State Cybersecurity
 
Chief Information Officer (CIO) James “Jamie” Grant announced the Florida Digital Service has deployed $15.9 million in funding to support the State of Florida’s first ever enterprise cybersecurity initiative. With this funding, Florida Digital Service is launching a historic collaboration with more than 20 state agencies to provide enhanced, standardized threat protection and end-user defense.
 
State CIO Grant elaborated, “This is a historic level of interagency collaboration on cybersecurity. With this step, we are creating the foundation for increasing Florida’s cybersecurity capabilities while also leveraging economies of scale. By purchasing as an enterprise, Florida Digital Service will save Florida taxpayers nearly 25 percent.”
 
Florida Digital Service will continue implementing additional enterprise cybersecurity initiatives in the months ahead, which will focus on establishing a cybersecurity operations center and implementing other recommendations made by the Florida Cybersecurity Task Force.

2022 Legislative Session Update

 
The following bills were passed on the Senate Floor this past week:
 
This week the Senate’s Congressional and State Senate map plans were presented to the full chamber. Senators had the opportunity to ask questions and debate the plans prior to the vote. The plans, which were previously publicly vetted and approved by the Reapportionment Committee, won strong bipartisan approval from the Florida Senate. The plans approved by the Florida Senate are published and available at www.FloridaRedistricting.gov where they may be viewed interactively or downloaded from the Submitted Plans page for independent analysis.
  • Passed Favorably on the Senate Floor
  • In Messages to be considered by Florida House of Representatives
 
Creates an emergency fund for the Governor to use during a state of emergency. 
  • Passed favorably on the Senate Floor
  • In Messages to be considered by Florida House of Representatives
 
 
The following bills were heard by committees in the Senate this past week:
 
Expands benefits for foster families and relatives willing to take on the responsibility of raising children in out-of-home care by enhancing benefits for relative caregivers, increasing the childcare subsidy and expanding eligibility for college tuition waivers.
  • Passed favorably by Senate Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs
  • Ready for the Senate Floor for consideration
 
Defines individual freedoms based on the truth that all individuals are equal before the law and have inalienable rights. Specifically, the legislation prohibits individuals from being subjected to any training, instruction, or any other required activity in public schools or the workplace that promotes divisiveness and discrimination. Additionally, the legislation requires instruction, instructional materials and professional development in public schools to be consistent with the principles of individual freedom.
  • Passed favorably by the Senate Committee on Education
  • One committee stop remains–Senate Rules
 
Requires online marketplaces to encourage customers to report suspicious activity and provide mechanisms for them to do so.
  • Passed favorably by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism
  • Two committee stops remain–Community Affairs and Rules
 
Creates the Main Street Historic Tourism and Revitalization Act (Act), which provides a tax credit to reduce your corporate income taxes and insurance premium taxes for qualified expenses incurred in the rehabilitation of a certified historic structure. Florida Main Street is administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State.
  • Passed favorably by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism
  • Two committee stops remain–Finance & Tax and Appropriations
 
Revises legislative intent regarding agritourism to remove the requirement that agritourism be a secondary stream of revenue for a bona fide agricultural operation.
  • Passed favorably by the Senate Committee on Agriculture
  • Two committee stops remain–Finance & Tax and Appropriations
 

Constituent of the Week

This week, our constituent of the week is Michael Ayers, President & CEO of the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce. Since January of 2018, Mr. Ayers has led the organization with the goal of creating a business-friendly environment throughout the Melbourne area. An Illinois native, he obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After college, Michael relocated to Washington D.C. He began his career as a staff assistant for the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform. In addition, he served as legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Robin Hayes, where he specialized in Economic Development, Labor and Trade issues.
 
Prior to serving as President and CEO of the Melbourne Chamber, Mr. Ayers served as the Director of Government Relations for Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute at Lake Nona. Additionally, Mr. Ayers served as the Chief of Staff at three Florida state agencies. These agencies include the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI). In these capacities, he directed the agency’s legislative and budgetary priorities during legislative sessions and coordinated communications between the agency, Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget, and various trade groups and associations throughout our state.
 
Under the leadership of Mr. Ayers, the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce has continued its rich, 100 year legacy of creating a fruitful environment for industry and innovation throughout the Melbourne area. Thank you, Michael Ayers, for your service to our state and dedication to Brevard’s business community. District 17 and this great state is privileged to have you as a strategic community leader.


District 17 Highlights

School District of Indian River County Improved Graduation Rate for the 2020-2021 School Year
 
High school graduation rates for 2020-2021 were released on January 4th, 2022. For the 2020-2021 school year, the School District of Indian River County (SDIRC) achieved a 95% graduation rate, improving from a rate of 93.4% during the 2019-2020 school year.
The SDIRC graduation ranking has significantly improved over time when compared to Florida’s 67 districts from 21st in 2018-2019 and 7th in 2019-2020 to 5th for the 2020-2021 school year. The District is in the top 5 Florida districts for high school graduation rates, and also has outperformed the state graduation rate for the 11th consecutive year.
 
 
Fitch and S&P Global Assign High Ratings to City of Melbourne General Obligation Bonds
 
Two internationally recognized ratings organizations have assigned high ratings to the City of Melbourne’s Series 2022 General Obligation Bonds for the funding of the new police station.
 
Fitch Ratings has assigned an AA+ rating to City of Melbourne with a stable outlook for the Series 2022 General Obligation bonds. In addition, Fitch has assigned an Issuer Default Rating of ‘AA+’ to the City of Melbourne. According to Fitch Ratings, these ratings “reflect the city’s strong economy, and its historically solid operating performance bolstered by solid revenue growth prospects and considerable control over expenditures.”
 
S&P Global Ratings assigned its ‘AA’ long-term rating to the City of Melbourne Series 2022 General Obligation bonds. “The ‘AA’ rating reflects our view of the city’s broad and diverse economic base, consistent surplus operations, good financial management policies and strong institutional framework, and manageable debt, pension, and other post-employment benefit burdens,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Katelyn Kerley.


Upcoming Events

Melbourne Orlando International Airport Job Fair 
 
The Melbourne Orlando International Airport is hosting a job fair on Tuesday, January 25th featuring several major employers. The job fair is open to the public and takes place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the MLB Terminal located at 1 Air Terminal Parkway, Melbourne, Florida. Parking will be free for all attendees. It is recommended that job seekers bring updated resumes and dress to impress with the possibility of on-site interviews.
 
To learn more, click here.
 
 
Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum 30th Anniversary
 
Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary each day this upcoming week through Sunday, January 30th, 2022 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free for Florida residents with an ID. The Museum is located at 1322 U.S. Highway 1, Sebastian, Florida. Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum houses exhibits on archaeology and the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet.
 
To learn more about the museum, click here.

Contact Information
Melbourne Office
900 East Strawbridge Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 409-2025
 
Tallahassee Office
330 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5017
 
Vero Beach Office
Administration Building B
1801 27th Street
Vero Beach, FL 32960
(772) 226-1970
 
Staff:
US Senator Rick Scott’s Week in Review 01/21/2022

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This week, as America marked one year under the failed leadership of President Joe Biden, Senator Rick Scott joined his colleagues to highlight Biden’s broken promises to the American people and what he is doing to fight for Florida families.

Senator Scott has explained that today’s Democrat Party has become the new Anti-Democracy Party. The terrifying examples of this are all around us: packing the Supreme Court, pushing a radical federal takeover of state elections, ignoring our laws on border enforcement and criminal prosecution; and forcing unconstitutional vaccine mandates on American workers. None of these things give more power to the people. 

That’s why Senator Scott is urging the president to redirect his administration, fix his raging inflation and supply chain crises which are raising prices on hardworking families, secure the open southern border that’s allowed two million people and record amounts of drugs to illegally enter the U.S. and stand up for our allies after the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and Biden’s invitation of a “minor incursion” of Russian forces into Ukraine.

See more HERE or in the video below.

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

Sen. Rick Scott: Democrats Have Become the Anti-Democracy Party

Senator Rick Scott spoke on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, led by Senate Democrats, to fundamentally change the legislative filibuster and destroy the rights of the minority party in the Senate. Last week, Senator Scott wrote an op-ed for Fox News in response to President Biden and Senate Democrats complete hypocrisy shown in their attempts to end the filibuster rule. See more in the video HERE or below.

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Sen. Rick Scott Slams Biden’s First Year Failures

As America marks one year under the failed leadership of President Joe Biden, Senator Rick Scott joined his colleagues to highlight Biden’s broken promises to the American people. Senator Scott is urging the president to redirect his administration, fix his raging inflation and supply chain crises which are raising prices on hardworking families, secure the open southern border that’s allowed two million people and record amounts of drugs to illegally enter the U.S. and stand up for our allies after the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and Biden’s invitation of a “minor incursion” of Russian forces into Ukraine. Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott: We Must Protect the Sanctity of Life

Senator Rick Scott released the below video ahead of the March for Life, a gathering of pro-life Americans in Washington, D.C. to celebrate each and every life from the moment of conception.

Senator Rick Scott said, “I am proud to be unapologetically pro-life. We should all be able to agree that life begins at conception, every child deserves to be welcomed with open and loving arms and that inflicting pain on and taking the life of an unborn child is abhorrent, and has no place in our society. Today, in the annual March for Life, we celebrate the sanctity of life and reaffirm our commitment to make sure every child’s life is valued.” See more in the video HERE or below.

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Sen. Rick Scott Calls Out Irresponsible Misuse of Billions in “COVID Relief”

Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following a report that state and local governments are wasting billions in taxpayer dollars intended for COVID relief on ridiculous and unrelated “political endeavors and pet projects,” including building prisons and golf courses. This report comes as the Biden administration considers another massive spending package under the guise of “COVID relief.”

Senator Rick Scott said, “American taxpayers should be enraged. Despite mountains of data showing state and local governments didn’t need a wasteful $350 billion bailout from the federal government last year, Democrats did what they always do: recklessly threw billions of taxpayer dollars into the air with no accountability. State and local governments are now swimming in extra cash, using funding intended for COVID relief as a slush fund for their completely unrelated pet projects. That is unacceptable. This reckless misuse of taxpayer dollars, which is further fueling inflation, is disgusting. Families and small businesses are struggling to keep up amid Biden’s raging inflation and supply chain crises and stretching budgets to keep their businesses open. These elected officials, and the Washington Democrats who fought so hard to greenlight this wasteful spending, should be ashamed of themselves.”Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott and Dr. Rand Paul Introduce Legislation to Repeal DC Vaccine Mandates for Consumers and Students

Senators Rick Scott and Rand Paul introduced legislation to overturn the COVID-19 vaccination requirements on consumers and students imposed by the District of Columbia. Their bill, the Restore Parental and Consumer Medical Rights in the Nation’s Capital Act will repeal the mandate requiring a vaccine to enter any indoor food and drink establishments, indoor cultural and entertainment establishments, indoor exercise and recreational facilities, indoor event and meeting establishments, and any other indoor establishment designated by the Director of the DC Department of Health in the District as well as the D.C. student vaccine mandate.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Forcing an unconstitutional vaccine mandate that strips parents of their rights to make medical decisions for their children and takes away freedoms of consumers has no place in our nation’s capital. I got COVID, I got the vaccine and I encourage everyone to talk to their doctors and make informed decisions, but I will never support a mandate that takes decisions out of the hands of hardworking American families. The government has no right to tell Americans what health care decisions they must make in order to live, work and raise a family in the District of Columbia and I urge my colleagues to support this important bill.” Read more from Senator Paul’s office HERE.

Sens. Rick Scott and Rubio Support Navy, FDOT Joint Corridor Project to Allow Public Access to NASP

Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio sent a letter to U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro to express support for a joint corridor project between the U.S. Navy and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) that would allow the public to access certain areas located on Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP) while maintaining the base’s operational security. Read more from Senator Rubio’s officer HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Elise Stefanik Lead Push for Answers on Border Crisis

Senator Rick Scott and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik led more than 100 of their colleagues in sending a letter to the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct a comprehensive review of the decisions by the Biden Administration that have led to the worst border crisis in United States history. Senator Scott and Congresswoman Stefanik have also recently introduced the Upholding the Law at Our Border Act in the Senate and House respectively, which requires the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the vetting and processing of illegal aliens apprehended along the southwest border and to ensure that all laws are being upheld.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Thanks to the Biden administration’s open border and amnesty policies, there have been over 2 million apprehensions at our southern border since he was elected, with virtually zero immigrant vetting process being enforced – Biden is laying out a welcome mat for human traffickers and savage cartels bringing drugs and crime to our communities, and blatantly ignoring U.S. laws and policies that are designed to keep America safe. Under the incompetent reign of Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, we have no idea how many illegal aliens have been released into our nation, we have no idea how many have been resettled and we have no idea where they are in our own country. The administration is either intentionally keeping local law enforcement and communities in the dark, or willfully breaking U.S. laws by letting unvetted aliens roam freely across America. We can’t allow them to continue recklessly ignoring U.S. law and putting families at risk. The Upholding the Law at Our Border Act, requires an immediate investigation to ensure the proper vetting and processing of anyone that comes into our country, and holds the administration accountable for its basic duty of upholding U.S. laws.” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Gus Bilirakis Question Big Tech CEOs on Actions to Stop the Opioid Crisis

Senator Rick Scott and Congressman Gus Bilirakis sent a letter to the executives of Meta Platforms, Inc., WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snap Inc. and TikTok requesting information about each platform’s actions to stop the raging opioid crisis, which took the lives of more than 75,000 Americans over the last year. Their letter comes after reporting showed that teenagers are gaining access to drug dealers through social media platforms. Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott to Powell & Brainard: Federal Reserve Must Show Independence in Fighting Inflation

Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Governor Lael Brainard expressing his grave concerns with the Federal Reserve’s approach to the greatest economic challenges facing America, which have had disastrous impacts on hardworking families. Since President Biden took office, the Federal Reserve has failed to show independent leadership to mitigate the harmful impacts of record-breaking inflation and continues to manipulate markets with huge Treasury bond purchases. In prior meetings and letters, Senator Scott has clearly communicated these concerns to Chair Powell and continues to oppose his re-nomination, as well as the nomination of Governor Brainard to serve as Vice Chair, until the Federal Reserve shows its fighting for American families. Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Issues Weekly Update on Biden’s Inflation Crisis

Senator Rick Scott released a weekly update on his actions to address America’s debt crisis and rising inflation. This release comes after the White House once again refused to take responsibility for the growing inflation crisis fueled by Biden’s dangerous policies. Rather than taking responsibility for their inflation and supply chain crises and implementing substantive policies that will help families struggling with higher prices and shrinking budgets, the Biden administration, in typical hypocritical fashion, is once again blaming others.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Just this week, Biden admitted to what I have been saying for over a year now: his OWN actions added to this inflation crisis. Well I have a bright idea for you, Joe—stop implementing policies that are stifling the supply chain and maybe America’s economy wouldn’t be in this mess. It is being reported that the average household will have to spend around $3,500 more a year just to keep up with skyrocketing prices. Families are having to make choices between gas and groceries, they cannot afford this. There is still no accountability from the Biden administration, and there has been no action taken to address this crisis of his OWN MAKING. Families deserve better than a do-nothing president.” Read more HERE.

WINK: Southwest Florida Business Owners Discuss Supply Chain Issues with Sen. Rick Scott

Senator Rick Scott met with business leaders at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday to discuss the devastating impacts of the Biden administration’s raging supply chain and inflation crises on Florida families and job creators.

Read more in the WINK article, Southwest Florida business owners discuss supply chain issues with Sen. Rick Scott, below:

“One Florida lawmaker says he understands you being upset and concerned with prices rising. Supply chain issues make it more challenging to get the things we need. So Southwest Florida business owners met with Senator Rick Scott and talked about their frustrations.

Sen. Scott promised business owners that he would do everything in his power to help them, including working with federal agencies to reduce regulations and work through issues with the department of transportation.

Ships aren’t getting to ports fast enough, and trucks aren’t getting their products out on time. Ryan Carter is well aware of this. Carter is the president of trucking company Scotlyn USA, based in Lee County.

‘In the past, it would take maybe a day or two days to get a truck fixed. It can take a week or up to 6 to 8 weeks to get our truck fixed,’ Carter said.

Jennifer Whyte owns Fort Myers Brewing Company, and she says she’s seen these effects as she tries to continue running her business. ‘From everything from the small things like plastic cups to things that we use all the time like aluminum cans,’ Whyte said. ‘An aluminum can has tripled essentially in cost.’

Sen. Rick Scott listened to their concerns. But he also had something to say. ‘I think the big thing it’s really frustrating the Biden administration just doesn’t react, I mean. One thing you have to do as a government is you have to say, ‘here’s our problem, let’s go solve the problem,’ Sen. Scott said.

Read the full article on WINK HERE.

Newsweek: Rick Scott Claims Democrats Will Use Voting Rights Bill to Cheat in Future Elections

Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show: Sen. Rick Scott: Democrats Are The Anti-Democracy Party

Speed on the Water: Nor-Tech Participates In Supply Chain And Labor Roundtable With Florida Senator Rick Scott

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Wants to Know How Team USA is Trying to Protect Olympians From Chinese Espionage

Actualidad 1040: Senador Scott: “Inflación, fronteras abiertas y alto costo de la vida; el legado del primer año de Biden” (+AUDIO)

W RADIO: “Biden no hace nada para aliviar la crisis de los contenedores en EE.UU.”: senador Rick Scott

Sen. Rick Scott Hosts Roundtable With Local Business Leaders on Biden’s Supply Chain Crisis

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Senator Rick Scott joined business leaders at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce to discuss the devastating impacts of the Biden administration’s raging supply chain and inflation crises on Florida families and job creators.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Since he took office, President Biden has pushed a socialist agenda that is killing opportunity for families and businesses across the nation. I’ve been hearing about the devastating impacts of Joe Biden’s inflation and supply chain crises for months, and I heard it again from business leaders in Naples today. America is seeing inflation at a 40 year high, but Biden has done NOTHING to stop these out-of-control prices, or fix the supply chain crisis that’s making this problem even worse. Biden’s failures are forcing hardworking Floridians, like the mom from Southwest Florida I spoke with recently, to rely on food banks just to feed their families. What’s worse is that every time I and my Republican colleagues in the Senate put forward a commonsense way to fix these issues, Democrats stand in the way and block them. Restoring our supply chains is critical to getting the American economy rolling again, and I won’t stop fighting for Florida families and to put an end to this crisis.” Read more HERE.

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