State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 03/27/2022

Good Morning!

On March 22, 2022 Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1054, titled the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act, which will require high school students to take a financial literacy course to receive a standard high school diploma. The legislation will officially become a graduation requirement for students who enter high school in the 2023-2024 school year and will not affect students currently enrolled in high school. Students will be required to earn one-half credit in personal financial literacy and money management, including instruction on types of bank accounts, credit scores, taxes, and managing debt. SB 1054 will help prepare students by providing them with the knowledge to achieve financial stability and independence.
On March 25, 2022 Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 1467, titled K-12 Education, which enhances transparency and accountability by revising requirements for how school districts adopt instructional materials. The bill strengthens the rights of parents to participate in the adoption of instructional materials by requiring school districts to provide a reasonable opportunity for public comment before materials are adopted. Additionally, instructional materials can no longer be adopted, approved or selected through a consent agenda. The bill requires the DOE to publish and update a list of materials that were removed or discontinued by district school boards as a result of an objection and disseminate the list to school districts for consideration in their instructional materials selection. Relating to elected School District Board Members, the bill places a 12 year term limit for members of a district school board, beginning November 2022.
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!

Budget Highlight

Education Budget Highlights 
The Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget implements historic funding levels for Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program, has the highest K-12 per-student funding in Florida history, continues tremendous investments in Florida’s nationally ranked higher education institutions, and ensures there will be no tuition increase for Florida’s Colleges and Universities.
The 2022-2023 budget devotes $39.2 billion in funding to education. This year the legislature provided an unprecedented $24.3 billion in funding to public schools, which is a $1.7 billion increase over last year. The budget increases per-student funding by $384.55 to $8,142.80, the highest per-student funding in state history.
School districts will receive a $1 billion increase in the Florida Educational Finance Program (FEFP) flexible funds that districts can use to meet their individual needs. In addition, the State Board of Education received $301 million to implement new programs and policies supporting the academic growth of each student, including the new progress monitoring and assessment system.
Recruiting and retaining high quality teachers remains a top priority for the state. This year, the Florida Legislature invested $800 million to increase the salaries of classroom teachers, a $250 million increase over the prior year. These funds must be used to ensure that every teacher earns a salary of at least $47,500 per year.
To increase access to Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) and further support kindergarten readiness, the budget provides $51 million to increase the base student allocation by $317 per student.
The state’s higher education system received substantial funding boosts. The legislature invests $5.6 billion toward the State University System, including $560 million allocated to support the performance-based funding program. This funding commitment to our universities will work to ensure that Florida remains a national leader in higher education.
To ensure Florida’s colleges have the resources and infrastructure necessary to support student success, the legislature provided a $60 million increase in the general operating and performance incentive funds for the Florida College System, a total budget allocation of $2.2 billion.
In a time of high inflation and cost increases affecting every family budget, the Florida Legislature acted to ensure students and families would not be hit with a higher education tuition increase.
To help equip Floridians with the skills they need to gain meaningful employment, the legislature invested $619.7 million in general operating funds to expand workforce training opportunities at school district career education centers. This is approximately an $18 million increase over last year.
If you have interest on any budget items you may contact Governor DeSantis’ Office to express your support or concerns, prior to the Governor’s approval.

Legislative Update

Bills Signed by the Governor
Upon the final passage of a bill by the Legislature, the bill is presented to the Governor to be approved and signed into law or vetoed. The following bills have been signed into law by Governor DeSantis:
The bill requires that, beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2022-2023 school year, students must earn one-half credit in personal financial literacy and money management in order to receive a standard high school diploma.
The bill provides specific requirements for school districts in selecting instructional materials and materials used in school libraries and media centers. Additionally, the bill establishes 12 year term limits for district school board members.
To provide care for Florida’s public school students affected by epilepsy or seizure disorders while at school, the bill establishes individualized seizure action plans (ISAP) which inform school personnel of the unique health care services required by a student and how to respond in emergency situations. The bill requires a school to implement an ISAP once a parent submits it to the school principal and school nurse.
For students with disabilities in public schools, the bill revises requirements relating to the use of mechanical and physical restraint. The bill prohibits the use of mechanical restraint by school personnel except for school resource officers, school safety officers, school guardians, or school security guards, who may use mechanical restraint in the exercise of their duties to restrain students in grades 6 through 12.

Statewide Updates

Florida Continues to Outpace the Nation as the State’s Employers Add Jobs for 22 Consecutive Months and Unemployment Continues to Fall
Governor DeSantis announced that Florida businesses continue to have robust employment opportunities. February marked the 22nd consecutive month of job growth. Florida’s economic indicators have continued a positive trajectory and are surpassing pre-pandemic rates. The state’s total private sector employment increased by 52,000 jobs in February 2022, which is an increase of 0.6 percent over the month. There were 8,132,300 private sector jobs statewide in February 2022, an increase of 525,200 jobs, or 6.9 percent, over the year. The national over-the-year rate of increase was 5.2 percent in February 2022. Florida’s over-the-year private sector job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s for 11 consecutive months since April 2021.
“Florida’s freedom first policies have made Florida a great state for businesses and families to grow,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “When you put freedom first, you put hardworking families first, and every Floridian reaps the benefits. February’s economic data is more concrete evidence that Florida is on the right path.”
Pay Raises for Florida Teachers
Governor DeSantis announced $800 million in this year’s budget to raise minimum teacher pay and increase veteran teacher salaries in Florida. The $800 million is a $250 million increase over last year’s funding, and brings Florida’s investments in teacher pay to greater than $2 billion since the 2020 Legislative Session. In 2020, the average starting salary for a teacher in Florida was $40,000 (26th in the nation), and with today’s funding, it will now be at least $47,000 (9th in the nation).
“Over the last three years, we have worked hard to increase teacher pay,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We have invested more than $2 billion in teacher pay, and with rising inflation, this could not come at a better time. This will help Florida to recruit and retain great teachers.”

Constituent of the Week

Our constituent of the week is the Director of John F. Kennedy Space Center, Janet Petro. Since May of 2021, she has served in the role of NASA’s associate administrator. Ms. Petro began her professional career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army after graduating in 1981 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. She was a member of the second class of women to graduate from West Point. She continued her education and earned her Master of Science degree in business administration from Boston University’s Metropolitan College.
Prior to her current role, Director Petro served as Kennedy’s deputy director for almost 14 years. As deputy director, she had the opportunity to manage the Kennedy team of civil service and contractor employees. Most notably, Ms. Petro helped Kennedy transition into a multi-user spaceport, leading cross-agency initiatives with the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Air Force to streamline government processes and support commercial space operations.
Before joining NASA, Ms. Petro served in various management positions for Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Corporation. At SAIC, she worked heavily with various government and military branches such as NASA, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, as well as commercial entities on numerous aerospace and military programs.
It’s no mistake that Ms. Petro has been the recipient of numerous service and performance awards. Some of her awards include the 2019 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Sammies Management Excellence Medal, the President’s Distinguished executive award, and the astronaut-selected Silver Snoopy award for outstanding performance for contributing to flight safety and mission success. In 2018, Ms. Petro was honored for her contributions to the State of Florida by being inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.
District 17 and our great state is immensely thankful for Janet’s service to our community.

District Highlights

CareerSource Brevard and City of Cocoa Partner to Host Summer Youth Internship Program
The City of Cocoa is partnering with CareerSource Brevard to host junior and senior high school students for the Cocoa Works Summer Internship Program. This program is designed to create opportunities for young Cocoa residents to learn more about their local government and allows students to receive hands-on career experience. There are eight open positions in this year’s program for eligible Cocoa and Rockledge High School students that live within the City limits of Cocoa. Opportunities include internships in the Information Technology, Public Works Human Resources, and Utilities Departments.
Each student will go through a week of career readiness training including how to write a resume and dress for an interview. Then they will have the opportunity to interview for the positions they are interested in with City of Cocoa hiring managers. Students will complete a total of 125 paid working hours in this five-week program which begins in June and runs through mid-July.
To apply, click here

Upcoming Events

Lunch N Learn Workshop
Indian River Neighborhood Association, in partnership with UF IFAS, is hosting an event for all condo and homeowner association members on Wednesday April 20th from 12pm to 2pm at County Administration Building B. The event will teach members how to apply Florida-Friendly Landscaping Principles for Community and Property Management in a way that is tailored specifically for use on shared landscapes.
For more information, 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