State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 06/19/2022

Happy Fathers Day!

On this day, we celebrate the important men in our lives who take on one of life’s most challenging and rewarding responsibilities: Fatherhood. 

The role of a father is vital to sons and daughters young and old alike. Dads inspire us to pursue our greatest potential by providing us with the discipline, guidance and love it takes to flourish throughout our lives.

I hope you are having a relaxing Father’s Day sharing memories and making new ones. Father’s Day is an opportunity to tell the father figures in our lives how much we truly love and appreciate them. When asking my own father what he would like for father’s day, his response is always, “spending time together is enough.” I hope you can connect with your father, or the father figure in your life, on this special day. 

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 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!

Legislative Update

Governor DeSantis Signed the Following Legislation This Week:
  • SB 0364- Specialty License Plates
  • SB 1062- Service of Process
  • SB 1078- Soil and Water Conservation Districts
  • CS/SB 1534 – Retail Theft
  • CS/SB 1808 – Immigration Enforcement

Statewide Update

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces 2022 Florida Python Challenge®

On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge® has opened and the annual 10-day event will be held August 5-14, 2022. Members of the public are now able to take the required online training and register to compete to win thousands of dollars in prizes while removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. The competition is open to both professional and novice participants.

Governor DeSantis went on to say “The Everglades is one of the world’s most prized natural resources, and we have invested record funding for Everglades restoration projects, including record funding for removal of invasive Burmese pythons which wreak havoc on the ecosystem. Because of this focus, we have removed record numbers of invasive pythons from the Everglades. I am proud of the progress we’ve made, and I look forward to seeing the results of this year’s Python Challenge.”

To register for the competition, take the online training, register for optional in-person trainings, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to South Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge®, click here.

FPL Parent Company Launches Plan to Eliminate Carbon Emissions

On Tuesday, FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, announced Real Zero, a plan for carbon-emissions-reduction. The plan commits to eliminating carbon emissions from its operations by no later than 2045, while leveraging low-cost renewables to drive energy affordability for customers. Reaching the goal requires significant investment by the company while enhancing reliability, resiliency, and affordability for their users.

A significant portion of NextEra Energy’s plan to eliminate carbon emissions is designed to take place at Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), which is the nation’s largest electric utility serving over 12 million Floridians. Over the last 20 years, FPL has improved its carbon-emissions rate by 40%, resulting in an emissions profile 28% below the national average.

As part of Real Zero, FPL’s goal is to significantly accelerate the transformation of its generation mix, reaching 36% decarbonized by 2025, 52% by 2030, 62% by 2035 and 83% by 2040, culminating in 100% decarbonized by no later than 2045. FPL plans to reach these interim targets through further modernization of its generation fleet in Florida, which will be comprised of a diverse mix of solar, battery storage, existing nuclear, green hydrogen and other renewable sources.

Components of FPL’s Real Zero goal include:

  • By 2045, FPL would significantly expand its solar capacity, increasing the amount of solar generation on FPL’s system to more than 90,000 MW from hundreds of millions of solar panels.
  • Continuation of clean, efficient nuclear power to provide affordable, carbon-emissions-free electricity.
  • Converting 16,000 MW of existing natural gas units to run on green hydrogen.

To learn more about this plan, click here.

Governor Ron DeSantis Unveils the Florida State Guard  

On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the reestablishment of the Florida State Guard and introduced the new director of this emergency-focused civilian volunteer force, retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Chris Graham. By bringing back the Florida State Guard, Florida joins 22 other states and territories with state-level defense forces, and many other states have laws on the books allowing for the activation of these organizations. Florida will add 400 members of the Florida State Guard to respond to a projected active hurricane season, and more than 1,200 individuals have already expressed interest in joining. To learn more about this opportunity to serve your fellow Floridians under the direction of Florida’s elected officials, click here.

Since 1958, the Florida National Guard has had 12,000 troops. At that time, Florida had fewer than 5 million people, and the civilian-to-guard ratio was 375 residents for every guardsman. Today, Florida’s population is nearly 22 million people and the resident to guardsman ratio has climbed to approximately 1,750 Floridians to every one guardsman. In a natural disaster-prone state such as Florida with a potentially active hurricane season on the horizon, there is a clear and present need for a larger civilian emergency response force.

For more information on how to sign up for the Florida State Guard, click here.

Constituent of the Week

Our constituent of the week is Joe Mayer, Director of Local & State Government Relations for Lockheed Martin Space. Mr. Mayer will be retiring in July after 44 years in the aerospace and government sectors.

Mr. Mayer’s career started in the US Senate in Washington, D.C. handling national security issues for Senator Jake Garn (UT) and the Senate Intelligence Committee. He later joined Rockwell International to represent its NASA space business interests, especially the Space Shuttle program. Mr. Mayer then moved to Houston, Texas by NASA’s Johnson Space Center with The Boeing Company supporting the International Space Station program. His time with Lockheed Martin – in both Texas and Florida – has been focused on advocating for the Orion spacecraft and NASA’s Artemis program of human missions to the Moon and, ultimately, Mars. His professional contributions have been recognized by the National Space Club, receiving a spot in the Space Worker Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a NASA Space Flight Awareness awardee and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics.

Since coming to Florida’s Space Coast in 2013, Mr. Mayer has been actively involved in our community taking on multiple leadership roles. Some of these roles include being Board Chair of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Cocoa Beach Chamber Board Chair, Brevard Cultural Alliance Board Member, Astronauts Memorial Foundation Board Member, Astronauts Scholarship Foundation Board Member, VISIT Florida Board Member, Space Coast Citizens for Space Exploration Chair, Florida Defense Contractors Association Board Members, and FloridaMakes Board Member for the Manufacturing Association of the Space Coast. In addition, Mr. Mayer is a member of the Space Coast Civilian-Military Association and serves on Rep. Posey’s Space Advisory Committee. For several years, Mr. Mayer was a volunteer leader for the American Cancer Society in Brevard, contributing to and raising a total of $15,000 in donations.

Thank you, Mr. Mayer, for your many contributions to our community and leadership in space exploration. We wish you and your family well in your retirement and are pleased to know that you are staying on the Space Coast and will continue to find ways to support the well-being of our community.

District Highlights

Kennedy Space Center to Incorporate Sierra Astronaut Training Center

As Sierra Space plans upcoming crewed missions, the company has committed to opening an astronaut training center at Kennedy Space Center. The new Sierra Space Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy was announced on Tuesday, June 14th and is set to begin training Sierra Astronauts as early as 2024.

Sierra Space has plans to train three types of astronauts who will work on the Orbital Reef, which is a space station being built in partnership with Blue Origin. The chosen astronauts will spend months operating and maintaining the Orbital Reef while on their mission. Specialist astronauts will be trained to conduct research and manufacturing on board. In addition, the company will also send experiential astronauts into space, who will be like tourists in the sense that they will be seeing what it is like to live and work in space.

For more information about this mission, click here.

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Nearly $1.5 Million in Awards to Assist with Community Planning Projects

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced nearly $1.5 million in awards to assist Florida communities with community planning projects through the Community Planning Technical Assistance (CPTA) and the Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF) grant programs. Funding for these programs is allocated by the Florida Legislature and administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). CPTA grants allow counties, cities, and regional planning councils to plan and develop strategies for economic development, protecting environmentally sensitive areas, and assist with disaster recovery and resiliency planning. RIF grants facilitate the planning, preparing, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities that will encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies.

Governor DeSantis went on to say “These awards will help communities across the state create plans for infrastructure improvements, create jobs, and strengthen their economic resiliency. Ensuring the success of our state’s small and rural communities is at the heart of the work my administration carries out every day.”

Among the long list of areas to receive funding, the City of Sebastian will receive $70,000 to complete a Sustainable Economic Redevelopment Plan for the city’s Riverfront Community Redevelopment Area.

For the full list of communities to receive funding, click here.

Upcoming Events

Serene Harbor’s 30th Anniversary Luncheon and Award Ceremony

On June 23rd, Serene Harbor will be celebrating its 30th anniversary with a luncheon and award ceremony at the Eau Gallie Yacht Club from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Serene Harbor has served Brevard County for 30 years, providing emergency shelter, a 24/7 confidential hotline, counseling services, transportation, relocation assistance, support groups, legal advocacy, outreach programs, referrals, and assistance programs to survivors of domestic violence. 

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey will be the guest speaker as well as others. Tickets are $45 and proceeds will go toward Serene Harbor.

For more information and to sign up, click here.

In Memory of Jack Capra

I offer my dearest condolences to the family and loved ones of Navy veteran, purple heart recipient, service dog advocate, husband, and father, Jack Capra. In addition to serving our country as a Naval JAG Officer, Jack served our state as Deputy General Counsel at the Florida Department of Elder Affairs as well as a City Councilman in Vero Beach.

Jack’s uplifting personality and humble spirit will always be remembered. 

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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