State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 07/17/2022

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying our sunny summer days! As we approach the peak of warm summer weather, take time to cool off and relax on National Ice Cream Day with a frozen treat!

National Ice Cream Day was established by President Reagan in 1984, as a way to celebrate a “nutritious and wholesome food” that is enjoyed by over ninety percent of the population. This day is celebrated every third Sunday in July and revitalizes the dairy industry each year. Be sure to enjoy one of America’s favorite summertime snacks today!

As the temperatures soar, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) has released several safety tips for the summer months:

  • Stay Protected from the Sun: UVA rays can be damaging to the skin and can result in sunburns and even sunstroke; make sure to use SPF 30 or stronger to keep your skin protected.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water; and remember, the more active you are, the more water you should be drinking!
  • Swim Safely: If you are taking a trip to the beach or local pool, please keep the following in mind.

             -Swim with a buddy!

             -Swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard.

For more information, click here.

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!

Statewide Update

Governor Ron DeSantis Takes Actions to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for Floridians

Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 22-164 implementing reforms that will hold Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBM’s) accountable when managing prescription drug benefits for insurance companies.

Governor DeSantis went on to say “Florida continues to lead the nation in ensuring accountability in the health care industry and in introducing reforms to combat rising prescriptions costs. This executive order requires accountability and transparency for pharmaceutical middlemen when doing business with the state, thereby reducing the upward pressure on prescription drug costs.”

Components of the executive order include:

  • Prohibiting spread pricing
  • Prohibiting reimbursement pullbacks for all PBM’s
  • Requiring PBM’s to include data transparency, rebates, payments and reporting requirements.

                                             

Florida Attorney General, Ashley Moody, Warns to Look Out Against Online Scams Promoting “Summer Deals”

As online retailers roll out the summer sales, online scammers are taking advantage of these events in order to attract consumers through false ads and fake online opportunities. Scammers use malware, phishing texts and other techniques to steal financial and personal information that is entered online when purchases to fake websites are made.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Summer sales are a popular way for online retailers to attract customers and promote seasonal items. Scammers know this and may exploit these shopping events by posing as representatives of major retailers to steal money or personal information from unsuspecting consumers.”

There are several tactics used by scammers to target online shoppers. In order to remain safe online, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Copycat websites that look similar or identical to a legitimate website’s store.
  • Fake Security emails that say your account is compromised. These websites often ask for personal information such as names, and addresses.
  • False order confirmations from online retailers that can make a scam look more legitimate.
  • Phone calls designed to look and sound like they are from a legitimate business. These may include offers of deals, statements that you have won a prize, or to claim a prize you must compete a survey with your personal information. Hang up on these calls immediately if they are asking for any form of personal information.
Governor DeSantis Emphasizes the Importance of Parental Rights During Annual Summit

This weekend, Moms For Liberty brought together over 500 people from across the country to their inaugural “summit” in Tampa. Moms For Liberty was founded by two former Florida school-board members, Tina Descovich of Brevard County and Tiffany Justice of Indian River County. The organization gained prominence by railing against school-board policies such as mask requirements during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the summit, Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of being involved in your children’s education. Governor DeSantis said “We have drawn a very clear line in the sand that says our school system is for educating kids, not indoctrinating them. We have drawn a clear line in the sand that says parents have a fundamental role in the education of their kids.”

The summit featured several speakers in addition to Governor DeSantis, such as U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson.

Attendees of the summit had the opportunity to sit in for various presentations on how to be involved in advocacy for their children’s education. Co-founder Tina Descovich went on to say “We are going to train, we are going to learn, and the one thing we are going to do is fulfill our mission at this summit — we are going to empower you to defend parental rights at all levels of government,”

For more information about Moms for Liberty, click here.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Creates the “Vessel Turn- In Program”

On Thursday, July 14th, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) established a program to provide private boat owners with the ability to turn over their “at risk” or derelict vessels to the state at no cost to themselves.

Derelict vessels are boats that are abandoned due to disuse and neglect. When these vessels are left unattended, they often sink, resulting in potential damage to our water environment.

 

Recent legislation enabled the creation of the “Vessel Turn In Program” as a part of the Derelict Vessel Prevention Program. The Vessel Turn In Program is intended to assist in the removal of vessels that have been determined to be at risk for becoming derelict. Boats that are considered “at risk” are considerably cheaper to remove than a derelict vessel, and removing them sooner will result in savings to taxpayers as well as fewer boats left in the waterways.

The Vessel Turn In Program will enable owners of private vessels the ability to turn over ownership of the boat to the state. The vessel must meet the following conditions:

  • The boat has been cited that it is considered “at risk.”
  • The owner has been issued three written warnings of their boat being “at risk.”
  • The vessel must be in state waters and must be afloat.
  • The owner must owe no payments on the boat.

 

Travis Franklin, a captain with the commission’s Division of Law Enforcement, stated that derelict vessels are a common problem in Florida’s waterways, which is dangerous to the fish and wildlife habitats.

Mr. Franklin went on to say, “Leaving a vessel on the water in derelict condition is a crime. Whether the vessel is sinking hard aground, stripped of vessel components, or missing vital operational systems such as steerage propulsion or hull integrity, the result is the same. Derelict vessels create a risk to the residents, visitors and natural resources of Florida.”

Constituent of the Week

Our constituent of the week is Cheryl Thibault, President/ CEO of the Sebastian River Area Chamber. Mrs. Thibault is originally from Massachusetts and worked in the hospitality industry there prior to moving to Sebastian in 2012.

In 2013, Mrs. Thibault accepted a position with the Eau Gallie Yacht Club in Indian Harbour Beach as their Private Party Sales and Event Manager. In 2015, she accepted the position as Director of Special Events at Grand Harbor Golf and Beach Club in Vero Beach. Following her 21-year-long career working in the hospitality industry Mrs. Thibault decided to try a different career path. She accepted a position as the Operations Director at the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce in 2020. After proving her leadership abilities in this role, Mrs. Thibault was promoted to President/CEO of the Chamber in November of 2021. Apart from her role as President/CEO, Mrs. Thibault is a member of the Florida Association of Certified Professionals (FACP) and of the Rotary Club of Sebastian.

In her own words, “My goal is to support a healthy business environment, promote business development, encourage the growth of tourism, and use its collective strength to enhance the quality of life in the community.” 

District 17 and our state applauds Mrs. Thibault for her dedication to the business community of Sebastian. To learn more about the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce, click here.

District Highlights

Change of Command Ceremony for the Patrick Space Force Base Maintenance Squadron 

Patrick Space Force Base Maintenance Squadron held a Change of Command Ceremony on July 9th, 2022. The Military tradition of the change of command dates back as far as the eighteenth century, and signifies the handing over of responsibility from one commanding officer to another. By passing the company flag, known as a guidon, to another officer, it represents the passing on of power and responsibility to another soldier. The new branch of the armed forces, Space Force, is following this established military tradition.

The Space Force was established in 2019, and is the first new military branch established in the last 73 years. The Space Force was created due to the need for security in space and is designed to pursue superiority in the space domain. More than eight thousand Space Force “guardians” have joined since the establishment of the branch, and the Space Force is following in the traditions of prior military branches by raising new officers to command positions through this time-honored ceremony.

Major Jonathan Crocker, the former Maintenance Operations Officer for the 720th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, has taken over the command of the 920th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron from Major Steve Miller. The 920th is responsible for the maintenance of the 10 HH-60G Pave Hawk Helicopters.

We wish him the best of luck in his new command post and in his new position as commanding officer for the 920th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Wabasso Causeway Landscaping Project Nearly Finished

On Sunday, the Florida Department of Transportation announced its landscaping project along the Wabasso Causeway in Vero Beach will conclude this week. The FDOT removed the Australian pine trees, an invasive non-native species, from along both sides of the bridge. They were replaced with gumbo limbs, pigeon plums, and sabal palms which are tropical trees that are more adaptive to the coastal climate. Following completion of the landscaping, they will begin the removal of the remainder of the fence.

The original Wabasso Bridge was built in 1927 and crossed the Indian River Lagoon between Wabasso and Orchid Island. Originally built from timber planks, the four hundred foot span of the bridge burned down in 1964. The Wabasso Bridge was rebuilt in 1970 and is now a two-way bridge built from concrete, and still serves as the main roadway to Orchid Island.

Upcoming Events

SpaceX to Launch Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX will be launching its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral on July 17th at 10:30 am. This launch will house a batch of fifty-three satellites designed as a part of SpaceX’s project to build a space-based Communication system.

The Falcon 9 rockets are reusable cargo vessels that have played a key role in carrying equipment to the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 series has had more than one hundred and sixty launches in the past twelve years, with one hundred and sixty five successful missions.

The most recent launch took place on July 14th, when a Space X Falcon 9 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, sending a robotic Dragon resupply vessel to the International Space Station. This event marks the twenty fifth cargo mission for SpaceX.

For more information and to watch the July 17th Falcon 9 launch live online, click here. 

City of Palm Bay to Host Groundbreaking Ceremony

The City of Palm Bay Public Works Department will host a ground breaking ceremony on July 22nd at 9:00 am, for the the Nutrient Separating Baffle Boxes Project. Nutrient discharge into the lagoon remains a problem in Florida, and the baffle boxes will act as a solution to cleaning storm water run off. The Baffle Box system will replace the old system of cleaning the water that enters the lagoon through the drainage systems. The boxes trap trash, debris and harmful pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorous. This process prevents contaminated water from being dispensed back into the lagoon.

A portion of Turkey Creek is designated as a national wildlife sanctuary. By keeping the waterways clean, the Turkey Creek Goode Park will continue to enhance the ecosystem for years to come.

The ground breaking ceremony will also mark the beginning of the Channel Navigation Marker Replacement Project. Funded by the Waterway Assistant Grant Program, the City of Palm Bay will be replacing twenty two channel markers along Turkey Creek. Turkey Creek, and the connecting Indian River, serve as a waterway for boaters. The waterway requires safety measures such as channel markers to be posted along the coast. These markers indicate depth, wake and speed limits and it is important that they be kept in good condition for safety reasons.

The event will take place at Turkey Creek Goode Park, located at 1300 Bianca Drive NE, Palm Bay, FL.

Please contact the City of Palm Bay Public Works Department at (321) 952-3437 for more information about the projects. 

 

Palm Bay City Hall Holds “Food Truck Friday” Event

The City of Palm will host their bi-weekly “Food Truck Friday” event on July 22nd. The event will take place at the Palm Bay City Hall, located at 120 Malabar Road, Palm Bay, FL. Trucks will arrive at 11:30 am and all are welcome to attend and support local food trucks.

For more information on this event, click here.

Deadline to Register to Vote in the Primary Election Approaches

Primary elections in the state of Florida will take place on Tuesday, August 23rd. Those who want to cast a ballot must register by July 25th to make their vote count.

Residents who are eligible to vote may do so by registering online, or by filling out and printing a registration form and returning it to the county elections office.

For more information about registering to vote, or to register online, 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

Staff:

Karly Smith

Kelli Lane

Yvette Campbell

Ariana Aubuchon