State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minutes 05/29/2022

Good Morning!

As we enjoy barbecues and activities with our friends and family on this long weekend, please take a moment to remember those brave men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. These heroes protected our nation with courage and honor for the country they loved.

As I reflect on the sacrifices of our brave men and women, it reminded me of President Ronald Reagan’s quote, “Freedom is not Free.” Shall we never take our freedom for granted. 

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

― Ronald Reagan

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 do not hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are here to serve you!

2022 Special Session D

During Special Session D, the Legislature Passed the Following Legislation:

Senate Bill 2D, signed by Governor DeSantis Thursday, enacts pro-consumer measures to help alleviate rising insurance costs, increases insurance claim transparency, and cracks down on frivolous lawsuits which drive up costs for all Floridians. Specific provisions to stabilize the market include:

▪ $2 billion in reinsurance relief through the Reinsurance to Assist Policy (RAP) program to benefit policyholders over the next two years.

▪ Requires insurance companies to file a supplemental rate filing once enrolled in the program to provide relief to policyholders.

▪ $150 million for the My Safe Florida Home Program to provide grants to Florida homeowners for hurricane retrofitting, making homes safer and more resistant to hurricane damage, which can result in premium discounts for those who participate in the program.

▪ Prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage solely based on the age of a roof if the roof is less than 15 years old or if the roof is determined to have at least five years of useful life remaining.

▪ Requiring insurance companies to provide policyholders with a reasonable explanation if they deny or partially deny a claim, and provides consumers with greater access to information during the claim adjustment process.

▪ Creating a new standard for application of attorney fee multipliers which have been liberally applied, resulting in increased costs to consumers.

▪ Limiting the assignment of attorney’s fees in property insurance cases, disincentivizing frivolous claims.

 

Senate Bill 4D, also signed Thursday, includes reforms to increase the safety of condominiums.

▪ Requiring inspections for all condominiums and cooperative buildings that are three stories or higher.

▪ For buildings within three miles of the coast, Phase 1 inspections must occur 25 years after initial occupancy and every 10 years after.

▪ For all other buildings, Phase 1 inspections must occur 30 years after initial occupancy and every 10 years after.

▪ If a Phase 1 inspection reveals substantial structural deterioration, a more intensive Phase 2 inspection is required.

▪ Requiring condominiums and cooperatives to conduct structural integrity reserve studies for buildings three stories or higher to ensure the funding necessary for future structural repairs is available and prohibits waiver of funding for certain structural reserves.

▪ Increasing transparency by requiring all structural inspections reports and reserve studies to be part of the associations’ official record and must be provided to potential purchasers of a unit.

Statewide Updates

Governor Ron DeSantis Encourages Floridians to Participate in Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday Ahead of 2022 Hurricane Season

On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) encouraged Floridians to purchase disaster preparedness items during Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday from Saturday, May 28 to Friday, June 10.

 

HB 7071, the largest tax relief package in Florida’s history, was signed into law by Governor DeSantis and extended the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday from 10 days to 14 days. This year, household pet supplies such as pet food, leashes, collars, beds, and portable kennels are also included in the list of items eligible to be purchased tax-free.

 

Floridians are expected to save $25.6 million on the purchase of tax-free items such as flashlights, radios, tarps, batteries, and fire extinguishers. This is more than double compared to the $10.5 million Floridians saved during the 2021 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

 

Governor DeSantis went on to say, “Preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters can be costly, especially with ongoing inflation continuing to impact our nation. This year, the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday has been extended to a full two weeks to ensure Floridians are receiving the maximum amount of savings and have enough time to prepare for hurricane season.”

For more information, click here.

FWC Launches Free Florida Friendly Angler Course

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant have teamed up to develop the Florida Friendly Angler course. This free online course is for both new and experienced anglers looking to educate themselves on fisheries management and up their fishing game by learning skills and practices that help ensure fishing opportunities for the future.

The course is comprised of three self-paced modules that cover environmental ethics, best fishing practices, and fisheries management. These narrated presentations can be accessed any time after registration. Upon finishing the course, you will receive an electronic certificate of completion and will be mailed a Florida Friendly Angler decal by providing your contact information. 

To register for the course, click here.

For additional information about the course, contact the course administrator, Savanna Barry, savanna.barry@ufl.edu or Mike Sipos, sipos624@ufl.edu.

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Launch of Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program

On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the launch of the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to help Floridians in over 50 critical professions purchase their first home. The Hometown Heroes Housing Program will be available to Floridians including law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans. Including this $100 million program, the Governor also announced his intent to support the total of nearly $363 million appropriated for affordable and workforce housing in the 2022-2023 budget, the highest total in 15 years.

The program is administered by the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) and has the highest and most inclusive eligibility of all Florida Housing down payment assistance programs. The program is geared to expanding on Florida’s existing housing programs to reach critical workers and those who have served our country.

Governor DeSantis added, “In Florida, we value the contributions of our police, firefighters, teachers, and nurses. Our hometown heroes are the backbone of Florida communities and making sure that they can afford to be homeowners is a great way to give back to them and support the future of the American Dream.”

For more information about the program, click here.

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Constituent of the Week

Our constituent of the week is longtime Brevard resident and valued community member, Kim Tsamoutales. Kim moved to Brevard County in 1998 as Director of Marketing for the Florida Marlins Baseball Club. Kim and her husband, Frank Tsamoutales, met shortly thereafter. The Tsamoutales will be celebrating 22 years of marriage this weekend. 

Kim was diagnosed at the age of four with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), the #1 genetic killer of children and young adults. In 2004, Kim received a life-saving double lung transplant at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Kim recently established the Kimberly H. Tsamoutales Professorship Endowment at UNC Chapel Hill in recognition of their life saving medical research.

During and after surviving the horrors of Cystic Fibrosis and her double lung transplant, Kim and her family raised over $30,000,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Kim and her husband Frank, have been Honorary Co-Chairs for the Jeb Bush Classic to benefit the CF Foundation, which has raised over $20,000,000. Governor Bush recognized the hard work and talent of Kim, and after working alongside her, he appointed Kim to serve as a Trustee to the Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College)

Recently, Kim once again was facing another life and death health crisis when she wasdiagnosed with cancer. That did not stop Kim from helping her close friends and her community. During this time, Kim volunteered and successfully helped raised funds to build the Mikey Goodwin Playground at Nance Park in Indialantic, Florida. Kim would often make calls from her hospital bed to do her part to make the playground a reality. The park was built in memory of Mikey Goodwin, who passed away from DIPG, a rare and aggressive cancer affecting children and young adults. Mikey was the son of Mary and Mike Goodwin, longtime friends of the Tsamoutales’. This playground will be an extraordinary asset to the community for years to come and will forever remind us of this exceptionally and talented young man. Kim knew how important this was to their dear friends, the Goodwin’s. and was not going to let her cancer treatments keep her from doing her part.

She is the proud mother of two children, Nicholas and Cynthia, and most importantly aloving grandmother of five beautiful grandchildren. In her free time, Kim is an avid tennis player, loves walking the beach with her golden retriever, biking, and skiing the mountains that surround their home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Anyone that knows Kim or has had the pleasure to work with her knows she is a strong women of faith. Her faith is what has carried her through the years with the many health challenges she has endured since she was a young girl.

District 17 thanks both Kim and Frank Tsamoutales for their dedication to giving back locally and nation-wide.

District Highlights

Titusville Police Department Awarded Prestigious Tom Stone LEEDA Award of Excellence

On Tuesday, the Titusville Police Department was awarded the Tom Stone LEEDA Award of Excellence by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA).

The department’s Training Coordinator, Christina Schmidt, accepted this honor on behalf of the department. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in promoting the science and art of law enforcement management, promoting the exchange of information between police executives, and expansion of police leadership training.

Titusville began hosting FBI-LEEDA classes in 2011 and has hosted over 500 sworn and non-sworn law enforcement students.

Congratulations to the Titusville Police Department on their continued success in the Brevard Community!

Margaritaville Landing and Riverwalk Unanimously Approved by Melbourne City Council

Margaritaville Landing and Riverwalk plans were unanimously approved on Tuesday, May 24th by Melbourne City Council members. The approved plans will include a 146 room hotel, a rooftop bar and restaurant, and a pool area. The construction of the building will be considered low-impact to the environment; however, the developers will be required to follow strict storm water management guidelines. The sea walls and floating boat docks will be open for the public and are engineered to protect our marine wildlife.

On Tuesday, June 14th, the final plans for the project will be submitted to the council for their final approval.

Upcoming Events

 

Veterans Memorial Center to Host Memorial Day Ceremony

On Monday, May 30th at 9:30 a.m., the Veterans Memorial Center (VMC) in Merritt Island will host a Memorial Day Ceremony.

Special events will include stories of KIA, WIA and Special Veterans who have died in service to our country. Sheriff Ivey will also honor First Responders who have fallen in the line of duty. A unique Ruck March 5K will also take place at the event.

For more information about this event, click here.

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Veterans Council of Indian River County to Hold Memorial Day Observance

The Veterans Council of Indian River County will be hosting a memorial Day observance at the Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary Riverside Park, Vero Beach on Monday, May 30th at 9:00 a.m. The ceremony will include full military honors with the Parade of the Colors. Ample parking is available at Riverside Park. Please remember to bring your lawn chair to enjoy this ceremony. The keynote speaker will be Brig. General Randall C. “Arlo” Guthrie, USAF (Ret).

For more information about the event, click here.

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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
 
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