State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 07/03/2022

Happy Independence Day!

As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the Fourth of July, let us take a moment to reflect on the importance of our independence and the sacrifices that were made for our nation’s freedom.

We celebrate the Independence Day for two reasons. Independence Day represents an official severing of ties between the original 13 colonies and the rule of Great Britain. The 4th of July also represents the core of our beliefs and the very makeup of our identity as citizens of the U.S.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. . . .”

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

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!

Legislative Update

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Miya’s Law to Strengthen Renter Safety

On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB) 898, designated as “Miya’s Law”, to strengthen residential tenant safety measures including requiring background checks for prospective employees, maintaining a log for each dwelling unit’s keys, and increasing notification requirements for maintenance and repairs from 12 to 24 hours. The bill is named after Miya Marcano, a young woman and Orlando student who was tragically killed in her apartment in 2021 by a maintenance worker who entered her unit with an apartment key fob. 


Governor DeSantis went on to say “Every tenant deserves to be safe in their own home. By signing this legislation, we are making it safer to live in a rental unit and giving renters more peace of mind in their homes. Miya’s death was a tragedy, and our prayers continue to be with the Marcano family. I am proud to act on their behalf to help prevent a tragedy like that from happening to another Florida tenant.”


SB 898 directs landlords or licensees of transient and non-transient apartments to require all employees undergo a background screening as a condition of employment. A person may be disqualified from employment if the person has been found guilty of certain offenses involving violence and disregard for safety. 

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Expand Opportunities for Bright Futures Scholarship

On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 461 to expand eligibility requirements for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program to include paid work experience as a substitute for service hours. This expansion will allow students who work after school jobs to apply their paid work contributions to their communities to substitute service hour requirements. The legislation allows students the opportunity to receive Bright Futures Scholarships who might not otherwise have been able to meet the requirements for a scholarship. 


Governor DeSantis went on to say “Florida students should not lose the opportunity to receive a Bright Futures Scholarship because they have to work to help their families make ends meet. After school jobs teach our students valuable life lessons, much like community service hours do. I am glad to sign this bill and will continue to make sure higher education remains affordable in Florida.” 


The bill modifies the eligibility requirements for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program to include an option for students to use paid work hours to qualify for the scholarship. Paid work hours must meet the requirements for volunteer hours and there must be documentation of the hours. 


The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, primarily funded by the Florida Lottery, was established in 1997 to assist students with tuition costs when pursuing a postsecondary degree. During the 2021-2022 school year, over 120,000 Florida students received Bright Futures Scholarships.

For more information about the Bright Futures Scholarship, click here.

147 New Laws Went Into Affect on Friday, July 1st 


For the full list of laws taking effect, click here.

Statewide Update

Attorney General Moody Encourages Law Enforcement Officers Who May Be Struggling to Seek Help on National PTSD Awareness Day

In recognition of National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day, Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging law enforcement officers who may be struggling to seek help. Supporting law enforcement is one of Attorney General Moody’s top priorities—and that includes highlighting resources available to officers in need of support. In 2019, Attorney General Moody presented a cabinet resolution to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay for its regional law enforcement mental health support line, “First to Respond, Last to Ask For Help.” This help line is now available to officers statewide.

Attorney General Ashley Moody went on to say, “As we recognize National PTSD Awareness Day, I want to encourage anyone struggling, to seek help—especially our brave law enforcement officers. These officers are exposed to traumatic events while protecting and serving the public, and these experiences can affect their mental health and leave them suffering in silence. No one should have to bear these burdens alone. There are caring professionals who want to help and are available around the clock—so any law enforcement officer struggling with PTSD, please seek help—it may be the bravest act of your career.”

Help is available 24/7 at 1-866-4FL-HERO (1-866-435-4376)

Space Florida, Israel Innovation Authority Announce Ninth-Round Winners of Innovation Partner Funding

Space Florida, the aerospace and spaceport development authority for the State of Florida, and the Israel Innovation Authority, an independent, publicly-funded agency created to address the needs of the local and international innovation ecosystems, announced the ninth-round winners of industrial research and development funding tied to the Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program on Monday.

In October 2013, Florida and Israel established a $2 million recurring joint fund to support research, development, and commercialization of aerospace and technology projects that benefit both Israel and Florida.11 qualified joint proposals were submitted by teams of for-profit companies in Florida and Israel. Five teams have been selected for this ninth round of awards.

Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez went on to say “Congratulations to all winners selected in our latest Call for Projects for the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership. This partnership between Florida and Israel is key for our aerospace industries. This collaboration helps to ensure a bright future and I look forward to seeing the results from this year’s winning companies.”

For more information on Space Florida, click here.

Constituent of the Week

Our constituent of the week is Brevard native and valued community partner, Mike Jaffe. Mr. Jaffe has served as the Director of Business Development for Hedrick Brothers Construction since 2021. Mr. Jaffe was born and raised in Melbourne attended Melbourne Central Catholic High School, where he met his wife. After high school, Mr. Jaffe attended Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Meyers where he earned his bachelors degree. After graduation, Mr. Jaffe worked in the construction and development industry in Fort Meyers for ten years before returning back to his hometown on the Space Coast.

In his current role as Director of Business Development, he manages various commercial construction projects within our local community and throughout Florida. Aside from his busy work schedule, Mr. Jaffe dedicates his expertise and time to local community boards. Mr. Jaffe serves as a member on the Board Of Directors for the Home Builders & Contractors Association of Brevard, board member of the Melbourne Regional Chamber, member of the Brevard County Building and Advisory Committee, board member of Neighborup Brevard, and board member of the Space Coast EDC. During the 2022 Legislative Session, Mr. Jaffe traveled to Tallahassee alongside members of the Chamber of Commerce to advocate for the needs of Brevard’s business community. In addition to this, Mr. Jaffe volunteers in the local community as a little league coach and security at his church.

Thank you, Mike Jaffe, for all you do for Brevard County. District 17 and this great state is privileged to have you as a positive member of our business community.

District Highlights

Brevard County Delegation Briefs Business Community on Progress

On Wednesday, the Space Coast Economic Development Commission and Dean Mead Law hosted their Annual Legislative Update. Attendees heard from members of the Brevard Legislative Delegation on bills passed during the 2022 Legislative Session as well as upcoming issues they would like to see addressed. The panelists included Senator Tom Wright, Representative Tyler Sirois and Representative Thad Altman, along with myself.

I am proud to see the Brevard Delegation members continue to work together to advocate for the constituents in our community. I would like to thank attorney French Brown for making the event possible.

FWC Focuses on Derelict Boat Removal Brevard

On Tuesday, I joined officers and legislative staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission on a boat tour to view some of the derelict vessels on the Indian River Lagoon.

During the 2022 Legislative Session, we passed Senate Bill 494. Once a vessel is derelict, it becomes more difficult and costly for our state to remove. If not removed, the vessels have a negative impact on the waters surrounding it. This legislation allows boat owners to turn in their vessels free of charge prior to vessels becoming derelict. The bill also provides funding to FWC for derelict vessel removal programs.

This legislation will be key in the removal and prevention of derelict vessels in Florida’s waters. I was glad to see that many of the derelict vessels on the Indian River Lagoon will be removed through these efforts. 

Thank you to the FWC team for allowing me to see the derelict vessels first hand.

Upcoming Events

Fourth of July Events in District 17

There are a wide variety of Independence Day events for community members to enjoy today and tomorrow. Here is a list of events in District 17:


  • Stars and Stripes Concert @ Suntree United Methodist Church – Sunday, Food @ 4:00 PM, and Concert @ 6:30 PM 

Cocoa Beach:

  • Fireworks Display @ Fischer Park Beach – Sunday, 9:00 PM


  • Symphony Under the Stars @ Cocoa Riverfront Park – Monday, begins @ 8:00 PM, Fireworks @ 9:15 PM


  • Fourth of July Concert @ Eastminster Presbyterian Church – Monday, 7:30 PM 


  • 51st Annual Freedom Festival @ Riverview Park – Monday, 8:30 AM – 9:30 PM


  • MELBOOM Fireworks Show @ Front Street Park – Monday, 8:10 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Fireworks Viewing @ Green Gables – Monday, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM 

Merritt Island:

  • Independence Day Parade starts @ Merritt Island High School & ends @ Edgewood Junior/Senior High School – Monday, 10:00 AM


  • 35th Independence Day Picnic @ McLarty Park – Monday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM


  • Red, White and Boom @ Chain of Lakes Park – Monday, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM


  • Great American Celebration @ Space Coast Daily Park – Monday, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

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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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