State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 01/15/2023

Good Morning!

It was Monday, January 16, 1989 when President Ronald Reagan declared by Public Law 98 – 144, that the third Monday in January of each year would be designated as a public holiday in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We do so in memory of a man who asked to be recalled by his countrymen not for any earthly honors he had won, but as a drum major for justice. That title he deemed greater than any other because earning it would mean that he had not lived his life in vain.”

–President Ronald Reagan

I consider it a great honor to represent District 19. 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 DeSantis and Lieutenant Governor Nunez Highlight 2022 Accomplishments

Last week, Governor DeSantis and Lieutenant Governor Nunez highlighted the administration’s efforts on behalf of Floridians over the past year. 

Please find a listing of their accomplishments below and for Governor DeSantis’ message in full, click here. For Lieutenant Governor Nunez’s message in full, click here.

  • Fostering a Nation-Leading Economy
  • Hurricane Response and Recovery 
  • Florida Continues to Be the Education State and 2022 Was the Year of the Parent
  • Protecting Parents’ Fundamental Rights
  • Investing in Florida’s Students and Teachers
  • Maintaining the #1 Rank for Higher Education
  • Promoting Student Achievement
  • Developing Active and Informed Citizens
  • Protecting Kids and Ensuring Parental Rights from Agendas Pushed by WOKE Ideologists
  • Safeguarding the Right to Life in Florida and Supporting New and Existing Families
  • Ensuring Comprehensive Cancer Care
  • Data-Driven Response to COVID-19
  • Empowering Patients and Ensuring Individual Freedoms
  • Ensuring Cost-Effective Care through Transparency in Health Care and Prescription Drug Prices
  • Investments in our Heroes
  • Governor Has Secured Over $3.3 Billion in Funding for Everglades Restoration and Protection of Water Resources since Fiscal Year 2019-20
  • Historic Investments in Infrastructure
  • Protecting Floridians from Foreign Countries of Concern
  • Trade Mission to Israel
  • Space Florida Supported 39 Launches, Created and Retained 6,000 Jobs


Governor DeSantis Unveils Comprehensive Legislation to Hold Big Pharma Accountable and Lower Prescription Prices

Last week, Governor DeSantis announced a legislative proposal to reign in unchecked Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and drive transparency among prescription drug prices influenced by Big Pharma. This proposal furthers efforts to lower prescription drug prices and reaffirms the state’s commitment to assist Floridians in making more informed health care decisions.

“These reforms will enhance transparency and reduce the influence of pharmacy middlemen, which will help consumers as well as our small pharmacies,” said Governor DeSantis. “I look forward to these reforms becoming law.”

Highlights of the proposed legislation include:

  • Requires PBMs to disclose all organizations affiliated with the applicant, including any affiliated pharmacies or companies within their corporate umbrella.
  • Requires PBMs to disclose any complaints or settlement agreements they’ve been party to prior to operating in Florida.
  • Directs the Office of Insurance Regulation to take action against PBMs which violate state law and hold them accountable, as is consistent with all insurers.
  • Proposing a public disclosure requirement of all proposed drug price increases.
  • Requiring all manufacturers to submit an annual report outlining and justifying any increases over the past year.

Having personally worked on Big Pharma issues the past several years, I am grateful to Governor DeSantis for taking this bold action to protect families, small businesses, and consumer choice.

To read a summary of the proposal, click here and to learn more about Florida’s prescription drug price transparency portal, visit


Governor DeSantis Signs Historic Executive Order Continuing Commitment to Florida’s Natural Resources

In 2020, Governor DeSantis signed the Clean Waterways Act (Senate Bill 712) which I sponsored with Representative Bobby Payne. This past week, Governor DeSantis also signed Executive Order 23-06 in which he stated that SB 712 was the most consequential environmental legislation in decades and included a wide range of water quality protections aimed at minimizing the impact of known nutrient pollution sources, realigning the State’s resources to better protect Florida’s environment and strengthening our environmental regulatory requirements. This executive order will further advance the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality and is another historic step in addressing the most serious sources of waterway pollution.

The Executive Order directs strategic action with a focus on accountability, sound science, progress, and collaboration. It includes a proposed $3.5 billion investment over four years for Everglades restoration and protection of our water resources, surpassing the historic investments of the past four years, and making it the highest level of funding in Florida’s history.

Key provisions of Executive Order 23-06 include directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to:

  • Secure a historic $3.5 billion over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of our water resources, including water quality and water supply.
  • Prioritize the protection of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and secure at least $100 million annually for priority projects to improve water quality in the IRL.
  • Expand the existing Wastewater Grant Program by broadening project eligibility to address impacts to water quality from nonpoint sources such as storm water and agricultural runoff.
  • Ensure that all wastewater facilities discharging to waterbodies within a basin management action plan (BMAP) area or waterbody not attaining water quality standards upgrade to advanced wastewater treatment by 2033.
  • Coordinate with the Department of Economic Opportunity to improve local government long-term comprehensive planning to encourage successful and sustainable growth while protecting natural resources.
  • Strengthen BMAPs, which provide a roadmap to restoring water quality and reducing pollutants, to include the specific projects necessary to meet the requisite water quality standards to achieve restoration goals.
  • Ensure continued funding for statewide resilience projects through the Resilient Florida Program.

More information on the impact of Executive Order 23-06 can be found here.

Agency Highlight


State of Florida Cabinet

Florida is historically unique among the 50 states in America regarding its structure of the Governor’s Cabinet. Until January 7, 2003, it was the only state to have a Governor plus a Cabinet consisting of six independently and constitutionally elected state executives. For nearly 10 years, Florida’s Cabinet has consisted of three constitutionally elected state executives: Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, and Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences.

The Governor is the popularly elected “Chief Executive” of Florida and the three members of the Cabinet are also elected by the people. They serve as the collective decision and rule making body for the state. Each Cabinet member serves a four-year term with a two-term limit and is wholly responsible for the administration of at least one state department. The Governor is responsible for the administration of most other state departments.

Reflecting the concern that a single person might exercise too much power, Floridians ratified the Florida Constitution of 1968, affirming the independence of Cabinet members by deleting the phrase, “the Governor shall be assisted by” the Cabinet. This gave each member equal footing with the Governor on matters that come before the Governor and Cabinet so that Cabinet members were no longer expected, constitutionally, to capitulate to the Governor’s wishes.

The Cabinet system also consists of the following boards and commissions:

Administration Commission

Board of Trustees Internal Improvement Trust Fund

Department of Law Enforcement

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Division of Bond Finance

Electrical Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Board

Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission

Financial Services Commission

State Board of Administration

State Board of Executive Clemency

The Cabinet officially meets six times per year. Meetings are broadcasted at The Cabinet meeting schedule can be found here.  

In Remembrance


Cynthia Morris Handley

Sadly after a brief battle with cancer, Cynthia Morris Handley, 81, of Cocoa Beach, recently passed away just shy of her 82nd birthday. 

Cynthia was born in 1941 in Shelby, Ohio. She was exposed to public service at an early age as her father was a judge and the Mayor of their small town. During Thanksgiving in 1987, she met Jim Handley while he was visiting his sister in Shelby and that is where their story began.

Cynthia flew to California to visit Jim in January 1988 and they married just one month later. Jim owned a condo in Cocoa Beach which he intended to sell but that changed when he brought Cynthia to the Space Coast for the first time. She fell in love with Cocoa Beach and they visited every year until they moved here permanently in 1992.  

Cynthia became heavily involved in Brevard politics and is a founder of the Republican Club of Brevard, North Brevard Republican Club, and the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

She was asked by Jeb Bush to serve as the Brevard County Chairman of his 1994 Gubernatorial Campaign and next, Cynthia and Jim became Brevard County Co-Chairs for Governor Bush’s successful campaigns in 1998 and 2002. Together, they expanded their outreach to support and co-chair a multi-county region in support of President George W. Bush’s re-election in 2000.

Cynthia always had a talent for balancing her political support with philanthropic community service.  She served on the Crosswinds Youth Services Board of Directors from 1993 to 2013, a charity very near and dear to her heart. Jim and Cynthia spearheaded construction of their namesake, The Handley Center, a $3 million facility in Cocoa which provides services for homeless and runaway children. 

Cynthia and Jim also co-chaired the Brevard Zoo’s “Safari Under the Stars” fundraiser. She was a member of the Maxwell C. King Center Board of Trustees, and the State Board of the Florida Network of Children and Family Services for years.

Cynthia has four children, three step-children, and four grandchildren. 

A celebration of life is scheduled from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. January 22nd at the Cocoa Beach Country Club dining room. The event is open to the public. In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations in her honor to Crosswinds Youth Services.

District 19 will miss the compassion, commitment, and grace that Cynthia Morris Handley provided to our community and across our State.

District Highlights


Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, Florida Tech Announce Plan to Open Medical School in Melbourne

Last week, the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) and Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) announced an affiliation agreement to bring the first four-year medical school to Brevard County. Officials of both colleges confirmed they expect to welcome 100 students in July 2024, and a first graduating class of medical students in 2028. 

“Over the past three years, we have operated a regional academic center in Brevard County for our medical students’ clinical clerkship rotations; 34 of our third- and fourth-year students are currently conducting these rotations,” said John L. Hummer, co-founder and president of BCOM.

The announcement comes as the Florida Hospital Association predicts a shortage of 18,000 physicians by 2035. Nearly half of all currently practicing primary care physicians are expected to retire in the next 15 to 20 years.

“We desperately need the next generation of highly trained physicians around Florida and across our nation,” said Florida Tech Interim President Robert King. “This affiliation with the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine allows Florida Tech and its students to be part of the solution to one of the biggest challenges facing our society today—ensuring adequate access to high-quality medical professionals. We are excited about the prospects.”

The medical school will be located at Florida Tech’s L3Harris Commons through a sublease agreement. Burrell students will have access to Florida Tech’s libraries, fitness facilities, student health services, and housing. The agreement also allows for collaborative research and teaching opportunities between both institutions.

A vital component of the affiliation agreement is the Medical School Pathway program which Florida Tech pre-med students are guaranteed admission into Burrell if they meet the established academic criteria. 

For more information on the FIT and BCOM partnership, click here.


Promise in Brevard Enters Agreement for Residents to Achieve Gainful Employment

The City of West Melbourne and Promise in Brevard recently entered into an employment agreement for Promise residents to assist in the processing and mailing of utility payments.

This agreement provides part-time paid employment for more than 10 special needs Promise in Brevard residents. With this initiative, the City is providing an employment opportunity and coaching for residents on the Promise main campus. Through the generosity of The Thakkar Foundation and TD Bank, Promise was able to fund state-of-the art mailing equipment and job coaching hours for this new Promise social enterprise.

Any organizations that send out bulk mailings and have an interest in providing employment opportunities for individuals with special needs should contact Promise President and CEO, Jeff Kiel at [email protected] or (321) 722-7400.


St. Johns River Water Management District Approves Crane Creek Project

Last week another important project to reduce the flow of nutrients into the Indian River came to fruition. The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board voted to approve the execution of a $19.5 million contract to begin construction of the Crane Creek M-1 Canal Flow Restoration Project.

The M-1 Canal currently serves as a flood control canal, but over 100 years ago it was originally developed to redirect storm water from 5,300 acres near the St. Johns River to the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). Along with the millions of gallons of water came thousands of pounds of nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus – two nutrients known to contribute to algal blooms. Once complete, the project will restore the natural flow of the storm water from the IRL back west, where the water will be treated in a storm water treatment area prior to reaching the St. Johns River.

While the primary goal of the project is to reduce nutrient loading to the IRL, it has the secondary benefit of restoring seven million gallons of freshwater flow per day to the St. Johns River, which can in turn be used for alternative water supply downstream.

For more information regarding the Crane Creek M-1 project, click here.


2023 Brevard County Delegation Meeting

The Brevard County Delegation meeting was held with over 75 presenters in a packed, standing room only auditorium at the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Chambers. Issues of concern ranged from water quality, education, short-term rentals, health care, property insurance, homelessness, Veterans affairs, the space industry, funding initiatives, and much more.

It was very encouraging to see so many citizens and organizations taking their time to engage in County and State government for the betterment of our communities.

If you were unable to attend, please click here to watch the meeting.

Upcoming Events


Lagoon “Straight Talk” Event

The Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition (BIRLC) is hosting the Lagoon Straight Talk event on Thursday, January 19th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Titusville High School Performing Arts Center (150 Terrier Trail South in Titusville).

The event provides an opportunity to obtain information about the IRL restoration and septic and sewer pollution. The event speakers are from recognized research institutions, industry professionals, and the Brevard County Save Our Indian River Lagoon staff.

The event is open to the public and free of charge. For more information, visit the Help the Lagoon website here.


Indian Association of Space Coast to Hold Indian Kite Festival

In partnership with the City of Palm Bay, the Indian Association of Space Coast will hold the 2023 Indian Kite Festival on Sunday, January 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Fred Poppe Regional Park (1951 Malabar Road, Palm Bay). The event is open to public and entry is free. Indian kites and strings will be available for purchase. Please note that no outside strings or kites are allowed.

Other activities include food vendors, inflatable bouncers, henna tattoos, and musical entertainment.

For more information, click here or inquire by email to [email protected].


25th Annual Central Brevard Veteran Stand Down to Stand Up

The Central Brevard Veteran Stand Down to Stand Up event will be held at the Cocoa Armory (308 North Fiske Boulevard, Cocoa) on Saturday, January 21st from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

The Veteran Stand Down to Stand Up program has been assisting homeless and at-risk veterans and their families for 25 years.  Approximately 250 affected veterans are expected to attend this year’s event. Over 250 volunteers have mobilized to provide a wide range of services from the private sector, the VA, the medical community, and many charitable organizations.  Additionally, the event assists veterans with job opportunities on the Space Coast.

Volunteers and donations are welcomed:

  • To volunteer or donate please contact Jill Rippon at [email protected]
  • Donations needed include: men and women undergarments, toiletries, clothing, towels, and non-perishable food items. 
  • Financial donations are also greatly appreciated and can be facilitated by contacting Donn Weaver at [email protected].


Sebastian Riverfront Fine Art & Music Festival

The Sebastian Riverfront Fine Art & Music Festival will be held on Saturday, January 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Riverview Park (located at US1 and County Road 12) in Sebastian. 

The annual event was created to highlight aspiring artists by providing an opportunity to showcase their art and music in an entertaining environment. Musicians scheduled to perform include:

  • Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Purrbox Trio will take the stage followed by Low Ground from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Abby Owens will perform followed by Ben Prestage from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information, 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


Kelli Lane

Yvette Campbell

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