State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 09/03/2022

 

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

I hope you are taking time to relax and enjoy this long weekend with your family and friends.

 

While many associate this occasion with the end of summer and the beginning of football season, Labor Day is a time to pay tribute to the contribution and the achievements of the American worker. Our economy and the overall well-being of our country is dependent on our American workers.

 

The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. Two years later, 23 states adopted the holiday and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law establishing the first Monday in September as the national Labor Day holiday.

 

“We built this great Nation, built it to surpass the highest standards ever imagined, through the hard work of our people. I would match the American worker against any in the world. The people whose labor fuels our industry and economy are among the most productive anywhere.”  –President 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.

 

Statewide Update

Earlier this Week Governor DeSantis Recognized the Brave American Lives Lost in the Afghanistan Withdrawal

The United States Armed Forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 30, 2021, marking the end of the war lasting from 2001–2021.  One year ago, courageous American servicemembers were guarding the gates of the Hamid Karzai International Airport. They were providing life saving support and secure rescue missions for hundreds of Americans and allies being evacuated from Kabul as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Thirteen members of our military lost their lives as they valiantly manned their posts and held the line, despite the chaotic scene and threats of terrorist activity all around them. May we always remember their names, their service and sacrifice, and their families and fellow servicemembers. 

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover

Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario

Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee

Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez

Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page

Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui

Navy Petty Officer Third Class Maxton W. Soviak

Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss

 
First Lady Casey DeSantis Expands Hope Florida to Support Seniors through ‘A Pathway to Purpose’

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the expansion of her Hope Florida initiative to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA). This expansion, called Hope Florida – A Pathway to Purpose, will provide support for Florida’s elders by increasing assistance for seniors in need while helping to facilitate opportunities for seniors looking to serve.

 

This announcement comes on the heels of the First Lady’s Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity initiative, which she launched in 2021 to break down traditional community silos to unite the private sector, faith-based institutions, non-profits, and government entities to maximize resources and uncover opportunities for Floridians in need. Implemented by the Florida Department of Children and Families, Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity has served nearly 50,000 individuals, helping them find an individualized path to prosperity, economic self-sufficiency, and hope.

 

The DOEA and the state’s 11 Area Agencies on Aging have now established their own Hope Navigators, by uniting seniors and caregivers with community partners, giving seniors direct access to help locating immediate needs.  

“It’s incredible to see 45 seniors already lined up as Hope Heroes today; we are grateful for their willingness to serve and are committed to making it easier for them to do so,” said First Lady DeSantis.

 

Hope Navigators have a variety of ways to help seniors to find purpose and meet the needs of their communities through:

  • Volunteer and mentoring,
  • The Hope Heroes Program where retirees can learn how to support seniors in need, and
  • Faith-based and private sector entities which can receive real-time alerts of requests from seniors seeking assistance and volunteer services.

 

To learn more about the Hope Florida – Pathway to Purpose program visit here, or call 850-300-HOPE or 800-96-ELDER.

Florida Files Litigation to Force the FDA to Approve the State’s Canadian Drug Importation Program

Governor DeSantis announced a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to their unreasonable delay of more than 630 days in approving Florida’s proposal for its Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) submitted the first of its kind plan to safely import cheaper drugs from Canada to the FDA nearly 21 months ago, and the last hurdle they are facing is approval from the federal government.

 

“Florida has been ready to deliver cheaper prescription drugs to those that need them for nearly two years,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The lack of transparency by the Biden administration during the approval process, and failure to provide records on the importation proposal, is costing Floridians who are facing rising prices across the board due to inflation. Florida is confident in our importation model, and we continue to look for more ways to lower drug costs for Floridians while the FDA delays approval of this importation proposal.” 

 

“Governor DeSantis and I are fighting to lower prescription drug costs, but Washington bureaucrats are blocking our efforts,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “We filed litigation to force the FDA to accept our medication importation proposal. This action will save Florida $150 million a year.”

 

Governor DeSantis granted AHCA authority to negotiate prices for drugs ineligible for importation, such as insulin and epinephrine, due to the consistent inaction of the federal government.

First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces 2022–2023 Student and Educator Contests

For the first year, student essay and art contests will now include Native American Heritage Month in addition to the recurring Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the theme for the upcoming 2022–2023 school year student art and essay contests and the Excellence in Education awards – “Celebrating the Achievements of Hispanic, Native American, and Black Floridians.”

“I’m excited to recognize Native American Heritage Month. Our state is rich in contributions from the Hispanic, Native American, and Black communities throughout Florida,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “We are honored to highlight their achievements and impact on Florida’s history. These contests will help students learn about Florida’s leaders and their contributions to our great state.”

 

“The Seminole Tribe plays an important part in Florida’s history and culture, and we sincerely appreciate being included in this meaningful educational outreach program that reaches students across our state,” said Marcellus Osceola Jr., Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. “We want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis, as well as Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. for their continuing commitment to the Seminole Tribe and the native people of Florida.”

 

The contests will coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, 2022, Native American Heritage Month in November 2022, and Black History Month in February 2023. The winners of the essay contest will receive a 2-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

 

Additional information regarding contest timelines, entries, nominating forms, and guidelines will be available online here.

 

Agency Update

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is an executive branch agency. The former offices of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the Department of Community Affairs, and the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development were consolidated when the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity was established on October 1, 2011.

 

The Department assists the Governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision and administering state and federal programs and initiatives to help visitors, citizens, businesses, and communities.

On September 2, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis appointed former State Representative and House Majority Leader, Dane Eagle, to serve as Secretary of the Department of Economic Opportunity. Within DEO, Secretary Eagle oversees the Division of Community Development, Division of Finance and Administration, Division of Workforce Services, Division of Strategic Business Development, Office for Civil Rights, Office of the General Counsel, Office of the Inspector General, and the Office of Economic Accountability.

Part of DEO’s mission is to build partnerships at the local, regional, and statewide level in the public and private sectors in order to energize Florida’s economy. DEO’s partners include: Career Source Florida, Enterprise Florida, Inc., Space Florida, and VISIT Florida.

Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, the Department has prioritized opportunities to bolster Florida’s economy by making strategic investments in Florida communities through some of the programs listed below:

 

DEO provided relief for homeowners who were impacted by the Pandemic through the Homeowner Assistance Fund. DEO also assists homeowners with utilities and other homeowner expenses through the Community Services Block Grant, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program. DEO helps Floridians who are needing assistance with employment through their Reemployment Assistance Service Center.

 

To learn more about the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity click here.  

Constituent of the Week

Rear Admiral James M. Hart (Retired)

Our constituent of the week is Rear Admiral James “Jim” Hart, a 33-year Veteran of the United States Navy. The distinction of Rear Admiral is the highest naval rank maintained during peacetime, requiring commitment, performance, and leadership, all of which exemplify James Hart. 

During his Navy career he deployed on eight aircraft carriers and was assigned to six squadrons. He commanded at the Squadron, Air Wing, and Joint Task Force levels. 

As a Naval Flight Officer, he participated in the Cold War, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq conflicts securing our nation’s interests and safeguarding Americans and allies. In Bosnia, he flew on the first night mission, and in Kosovo, he was the Senior Navy Planner for the Air War. While in Iraq, he conducted precision strikes again military targets protecting American servicemembers and innocent civilians. 

Mr. Hart recalled a particularly memorable mission he was directed to conduct after Desert Storm. “While we were operating in the Red Sea from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, I was tasked to fly to Jordan, meet the King of Jordan, and fly him to our ship for a visit.” 

Undoubtedly this was an unforgettable and flawlessly executed assignment by Rear Admiral Hart. 

When asked what advice he might offer to the next generation of military recruits, he said, “Serving your county is not only patriotic, it is a great way to have a career or build a skill you will use in your civilian life.” Mr. Hart also reflected on the value and honor of those who choose to serve and sacrifice for our nation. “We have 330 million in our population and just 7% serve.”  

Rear Admiral Hart stepped out of his retirement to volunteer further after a Navy breakfast where he met Bill Welser, then-President of the Space Coast Honor Flight. Mr. Hart first served Honor Flight as a guardian escorting local Veterans to Washington, D.C. for the unique opportunity of visiting memorials dedicated to their branches of service. In 2019, he was named the President of Space Coast Honor Flight.

Rear Admiral Hart resides in Vero Beach with his lovely wife Carolyn. District 17 is grateful for his years of service, commitment to his fellow Veterans, and the next generation of aspiring military members.

 

District Highlights

 NOAA Proposes Boats 35 Feet or Longer Along Space Coast to Slow Down for Right Whales

Public has until September 30th to Comment

 

Currently, only vessels 65 feet or longer are affected by the Right Whale speed zones under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rules. But if approved, vessels 35 feet or longer would be required to maintain 10 knots (11.5 mph) or slower within active proposed seasonal speed zones to reduce the risk of deadly collisions with Right Whales.

 

NOAA reports indicate that the North Atlantic Right Whale is one of the world’s most endangered marine mammals and the slowing of vessel speed is necessary to allow for adequate time for mariners and whales to steer clear of each other.  

Only 336 North Atlantic Right Whales remain in the marine population. The proposed seasonal speed zone from November 15th to April 15th would extend from Port Canaveral out to sea about five nautical miles.

The public has until September 30th to comment on the proposal and the new rule could be implemented as early as 2023.  To register your public comment, click here.

Brightline Announces New Railroad Crossing Construction Closures and Detours in Indian River and Brevard Counties

Some of the latest closures and detours in Indian River County include:

 

The crossing at 12th Street will be closed 7:00 a.m. from Sept. 7th thru 7:00 p.m. Sept. 24th.

Detour information:

  • Eastbound traffic will go north on Old Dixie Highway to 16th Street, east to 8th Avenue, then south to 12th Street
  • Westbound traffic will go north on 8th Avenue to 16th Street, west to Old Dixie Highway, then south to 16th Street

 

The crossing at Oslo Road will now be closed 7:00 a.m. from Sept. 13th thru 7:00 p.m. Oct. 1st.

Detour information: 

  • Eastbound Oslo Road traffic will go north on Old Dixie Highway to 4th Street, east to U.S. 1, then south to Oslo Road
  • Westbound Oslo Road traffic will go north on U.S. 1 to 4th Street, west to Old Dixie Highway, then south to Oslo Road

 

Some of the latest closures and detours in Brevard County include:

 

Eastbound Beachline Expressway/SR 528 (milepost 32-40)

Nighttime, single lane closure:

  • Weekdays: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. thru Friday, September 30th.
  • Weekends: 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. thru Friday, September 30th.

 

Eastbound Beachline Expressway/SR 528 (milepost 40-42)

Single lane closures:

  • Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. thru Friday, September 30th.

 Nighttime, single lane closure:

  • Weekdays: 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., thru Friday, September 30th.

 

Westbound Beachline Expressway/SR 528 (milepost 40 – 42)

Daytime, single lane closure:

  • Weekdays: 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., thru Friday, September 30th.

 

For real time updates on all Brightline traffic disruptions in Indian River and Brevard counties, click here

 

EFSC Provides New Option for Nurses to Earn their Bachelor’s Degree in a Flexible Format

 

The Florida Hospital Association predicted the state’s nursing shortage will escalate to nearly 60,000 nurses by 2035. Eastern Florida State College recently announced new opportunities for practicing nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing to meet the shortage demand. 

 

The goal of the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Nursing RN to BSN) program is to provide access to a baccalaureate degree that is both affordable and available within the local service area. The 100% online coursework makes the program available to any practicing nurse with the required Florida Registered Nursing license and accommodates the varying needs of both traditional full-time students and working adults.

 

The mission at EFSC’s nationally accredited RN to BSN program is to challenge the associate degree nurse to integrate evidence-based practice, cultural awareness, professional leadership in a global healthcare community, and to nurture a commitment to lifelong learning.

The curriculum and coursework build upon students’ fundamental nursing knowledge and skills and allow them the opportunity to expand beyond the clinical aspect of nursing. 

The RN to BSN degree is a fully online program designed for current Registered Nurses who meet the admissions criteria and would like to continue their education to the Bachelor’s level for the purpose of career advancement and academic growth.

This degree also prepares graduates for eventual application to a Master’s-level program should they choose to further their academic career.

For more information on EFSC’s RN to BSN program, click here.  

 

Upcoming Events

Brevard County and Indian River County to Hold
9/11 Remembrance Events

City of Rockledge

Saturday, September 10th at 10:00 a.m. at the Rockledge Civic Hub, 530 Barton Blvd. Rockledge.

Event Details: Keynote speakers, musical selections, a wreath-laying ceremony, and the unveiling of the relocated World Trade Center beam, which was previously housed at Fire Station 37 on Murrell Road.

  • Open to the public, free of charge. 

Melbourne Fire Department 9/11 5K Tribute

Sunday, September 11th at 7:00 a.m. at Wickham Park Regional Pavillion, 2500 Parkway Drive, Melbourne.

Event Details: Proceeds to benefit the Melbourne Professional Firefighters Benevolent organization and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

  • Runners and walkers should register in advance here.
  • Snacks and drinks will be provided free of charge.

Back Brevard Heroes and IGY6

Sunday, September 11th at 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Space Coast Harley Davidson, 1440 Sportsman Lane NE, Palm Bay.

Event Details: Special guest appearance by Sherriff Wayne Ivey, Palm Bay Fire Rescue trucks and demonstrations, placement of flags for fallen heroes, live music by Murphy’s Law, food trucks, and local vendors.

Vero Beach: Space Coast Symphony Orchestra “Remembering September 11th”

Sunday, September 11th at 3:00 p.m. at the Community Church of Vero Beach, 1901 23rd St, Vero Beach. 

Event Details: In honor of the anniversary of September 11th, the Space Coast Symphony will pay tribute through music to the victims and survivors, their families, and emergency responders whose lives were forever impacted on that tragic day.

  • Tickets at the door are $35. Concertgoers aged 18 and under or with a college ID are admitted free.

Merritt Island: Remembering 9/11 – 21 Years Later

Sunday, September 11th at 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Center, 400 South Sykes Creek Parkway in Merritt Island. 

Event Details: Celebration to honor the fallen from September 11, 2001, those who fell later as a result of the attacks, and the courageous heroes who went to fight in the Afghanistan War for over 20 years thereafter. 

  •  Contact VMC or Donn Weaver (321-613-2403) for more information.
68th Space Coast Honor Flight Celebrating Veterans to Take Off on September 10th

The next 2022 Space Coast Honor Flight is scheduled for Saturday, September 10th at Wickham Park Senior Center, located at 2785 Leisure Way in Melbourne. The 68th Honor Flight send off occurs at 2:30 a.m. and includes 30 local American heroes.  Upon their return, 1,741 Veterans from the Treasure Coast and the Space Coast will have participated in Honor Flight trips to Washington, D.C.

Recognizing Veterans from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, Honor Flight is a national network providing an opportunity for military heroes to visit historic landmarks and memorials dedicated to their branches of service in our nation’s Capitol. Their mission is to celebrate America’s Veterans by inviting them to share in an all expenses paid day in their honor in Washington, D.C, a trip many Veterans may not otherwise be able to take. 

Participation in Honor Flight provides Veterans a unique chance to share this momentous trip with their peers, to remember friends and comrades lost, and to share like stories and experiences.

For more information about how you can donate, participate, or recognize Veterans participating in the Space Coast Honor Flight, click here.

The Marine Resources Council International Coastal Clean-Up Challenge is Set for September 17th

The Marine Resource Council (MRC) has expanded its annual participation in the International Coastal Cleanup event on September 17th to six sites in Brevard County. MRC is challenging participant volunteers to surpass last year’s total of more than 5,000 pounds of trash and debris removed resulting in the prevention of devastating pollution into the Indian River Lagoon. 

Individuals and teams can register here to participate at any of the following locations on September 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00p.m. 

  • Melbourne Causeway and surrounding areas
  • Eau Gallie Causeway and surrounding areas
  • Pineda Causeway and surrounding areas
  • 520 / West Cocoa Beach Causeway and surrounding areas
  • Manatee Sanctuary Park, Cape Canaveral
  • Banana River Park, Cape Canaveral 

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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:

Kelli Lane

Yvette Campbell

Joshua McWilliams