State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 1/1/2023

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you, your families and friends had a safe and joyful weekend celebrating a new year filled with many blessings.

If you are still seeking the perfect resolution, please consider serving as a mentor or contributing to a mentorship scholarship program. National Mentoring Month is a campaign held each January to promote youth mentoring in the United States. We have several local programs that are in need of mentors such as Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County, Take Stock in Children of Brevard County, and Big Brothers Big Sisterswhich has locations statewide. Investing in children today creates better leaders for tomorrow, and has an immeasurable positive impact in the lives of children and teens.

As we kick off 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis will be sworn in for a second term on January 3rd at 12:00 p.m. on the front steps of Florida’s Old Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Established in 1885, Florida’s gubernatorial terms begin on the first Tuesday, after the first Monday in the month of January, following the most recent election. This tradition has remained the same for nearly 140 years.

To view the live inauguration coverage beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 3rd, click on this link to the Florida Channel.

Additionally, the Legislature will convene this week for the second of seven committeeweeks in preparation for the Legislative Session beginning March 7th thru May 5th. All committee meetings can be viewed on the Florida Channel here by clicking on the right side of the screen for the schedule and selecting “watch live.”

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

Florida is the Fastest-Growing State of 2022

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Florida was the fastest-growing state from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022, with a population increase of 1.9 percent. Florida had an estimated 22,244,823 residents as of July 1, 2022 up from 21,828,069 a year earlier.

“While Florida has often been among the largest-gaining states, this was the first time since 1957 that Florida has been the state with the largest percent increase in population,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the population division of the Census Bureau.

Florida continues to have the third-largest population in the country, behind California and Texas. Texas’ population grew by 1.6 percent to 30,029,572, during the one-year period, while California’s population declined by 0.3 percent to 39,029,342.

Visit here for more information.

Attorney General Moody Issues Tips in Recognition of National Identity Theft Prevention Month

January is National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month and Attorney General Moody has released a series of steps Floridians should take to protect their personal and financial information. More than 100,000 of the 1.4 million identity thefts reported last year to the Federal Trade Commission were from Floridians.

Attorney General Moody said, “We should always be vigilant against hackers and those looking to steal personal and financial information. In recognition of National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month, I’m encouraging Floridians to take steps to protect themselves from identity thieves.”

To keep personal and financial information safe from identity thieves, Floridians should:

  • Request and closely review a free credit report from each national credit reporting agency once a year;
  • Abstain from emailing personal or financial information;
  • Browse and purchase items online using only a secure connection. Never use autofill feature when filling out online forms, unless it is on a trusted site;
  • Use anti-virus software, anti-spyware and a firewall;
  • Enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible;
  • Create strong passwords using a mixture of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters. Never use the same password across multiple websites or apps;
  • Avoid oversharing on social networking sites; and,
  • Refrain from giving solicitors personal or financial information over the phone, by email or pop-up message.

To access Scams at a Glance: Identity Theft, click here.

Anyone who encounters identity theft should contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at or at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226).

Happening in the New Year

LOBBYING: HB 7001 and HB 7003 will carry out a constitutional amendment that voters overwhelmingly passed in 2018. The new law expands from two years to six years the time that certain officials will have to wait before they can begin lobbying the Legislature and Executive Office after leaving government positions.

TOLL CREDITS: Last month, the legislature approved a measure (SB 6-A) that will provide 50 percent credits to motorists who record 35 or more toll-road trips in a month. The program will last for one year.

DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Responding to the devastating 2021 Surfside collapse, the legislature approved property tax rebates that will be available to residents when residential properties are rendered uninhabitable for 30 days. Last month, the (SB 4-A) measure passed to offer similar rebates to property owners who sustained damage in Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.

PROPERTY INSURANCE: Last month, the legislature approved a measure (SB 2-A) that ended assignment of benefits for property insurance. The practice involves homeowners signing over claims to contractors who then pursue payments from the insurance company. This applies to policies issued on or after January 1, 2023.

SCHOOL BOOK SELECTIONS: Beginning January 1, 2023, school personnel involved in the selection of school district library materials must complete an online training program developed by the Florida Department of Education prior to reviewing and selecting age-appropriate materials and library resources.

Constituent of the Week

Sergeant Irwin E. Brown

Our Constituent of the Week is United States Army Veteran and Centenarian, Sergeant Irwin E. Brown.

Sergeant Brown was born in Fulton, New York on December 13, 1922 where he was raised and graduated from Fulton High School. He attended Oswego State University (formerly Oswego State Teachers College) in the early 1940’s.

In 1942, Sergeant Brown enlisted in the United States Army and trained as an engineer officer and rifle marksman. He fought in World War II in the European Theatre of Operations and served in the infantry as a communications officer and rifleman. Sergeant Brown was also in combat at the “Battle of the Bulge” in 1944 as Germany launched the infamous offensive in an attempt to push the Allied front line west from northern France to northwestern Belgium. He served in Germany until the end of WW II and later was assigned to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp where inmates were still present.

Sergeant Brown’s name is recorded in the National WW II Memorial Registry of Remembrance in Washington, DC along with his elder brother, E. Bruce Brown, who lost his life in 1945 as a B-24 bomber pilot serving in the Pacific Theatre of Operations.

Sergeant Brown married Marjorie Jean Ball of Oswego, New York in April 1944. They both became teachers in Camden, New York. He taught industrial arts at Camden High School and served as a high school guidance counselor until retirement. Mrs. Brown taught elementary school students in Camden until she retired.

In December 2011, the Browns moved to Greenwood Village in West Melbourne permanently after many years wintering in the area in their 30-foot Airstream trailer. Sadly, Mrs. Brown passed away in 2018 at the age of 95. Together they enjoyed performances at the King Center, visits to the Kennedy Space Center, and the Merritt Island Wildlife Sanctuary.

In retirement, Sergeant Brown has remained active. In 2019, he visited the beaches of Normandy, France where he landed in the Summer of 1944. He is still golfing a few holes when the weather permits, enjoying weekly dinners with friends and family, and is an avid reader.

On December 13, 2022, he celebrated his 100th birthday at the Yellow Dog Cafe with friends, family, and members of the community. For his service, bravery, and patriotism, District19 is proud Sergeant Brown and his family call Brevard County home.

District Highlights

Bank of America Selects Family Promise of Brevard as “2022 Neighborhood Champion”

As a 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion, Family Promise of Brevard will receive $50,000 in grant support and a new opportunity for virtual leadership training on topics such as storytelling, increasing financial sustainability, and human capital management.

President of Bank of America East Central Florida, Peter Mannino said, “Nonprofits like Family Promise of Brevard are the backbone to our local community, working closely with individuals, families, and community members to understand the obstacles housing instability presents and developing services that help alleviate these barriers.”

Family Promise of Brevard has helped over 10,000 local families since 2013. Through a holistic approach the organization provides prevention services before a family reaches a state of crisis to avoid homelessness and to assist with shelter and affordable housing. Family Promise of Brevard also provides case management services for those already experience homelessness, and a pathway to secure housing regardless of barriers a family may have to economic mobility, health care, and shelter.

Congratulation to the Family Promise of Brevard Community for a well-earned recognition. For more information on the services and programs offered, please click here.

New Brightline Traffic Alerts for Brevard and Indian River Counties

As Brightline continues progress in connecting its South Florida tracks to Orlando, a number of construction related closures and detours affecting Indian River and Brevard Counties have been announced. Below is a summary. For the full listing, click here.

Brevard County

Eastbound Beachline Expressway/SR 528 (milepost 40-42) will have single lane closures: Weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. thru January 31st and nighttime, single lane closures: Weekdays: 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. thru January 31st.

Melbourne – Railroad crossing at Prospect Avenue will be fully closed until completion of work (expected February 2023) at Crane Creek.

Detour Information:

Eastbound Prospect Avenue traffic will be directed to Stone Street.

Westbound Prospect Avenue traffic will be directed to US-1.

Melbourne – Bridges at Eau Gallie River and Crane Creek

Daytime bridge work operations, including pile driving, will take place Monday thru Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and continue through March 2023.

Palm Bay – Bridge at Turkey Creek

Daytime bridge work operations, including pile driving, will take place Monday thru Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and continue through March 2023.

Indian River County

Sebastian – Sebastian River Bridge

Daytime bridge work operations, including pile driving and demolition work, will take place Monday through Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and continue through March 2023.

Sebastian – Railroad crossing at Main Street will experience a full road closure Tuesday, January 3rd at 7:00 a.m. thru Friday, January 20th at 7:00 p.m.

Detour Information:

Eastbound Main Street traffic will be directed to travel south on Powerline Road.

Westbound Main Street traffic will be directed to travel south on US-1 to Sebastian Boulevard.

Vero Beach – Railroad crossing at US-1 and Aviation Blvd (32nd Street)

Southbound US-1 lane closure, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, January 7th, Sunday, January 8th, Saturday, January 14th, and Sunday, January 15th.

Vero Beach – Railroad crossing at 8th St. / Glendale Road will experience a full road closure from 7:00 a.m., Monday, January 9th to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 25th.

Detour Information:

Eastbound 8th Street traffic will be directed to travel south on Old Dixie Hwy.

Westbound 8th Street traffic will be directed to travel south on US-1.

SpaceX Launches Last Mission from Florida for the Year

SpaceX sent up more than 50 Starlink satellites early Wednesday morning in their last launch from Florida of the year. This was the 165th Falcon 9 launch from the Space Coast.

“The satellites will deliver internet access to most parts of the planet,” stated Starlink, which is operated by SpaceX.

“This launch marks the first of Starlink’s upgraded network. Under our new license, we are now able to deploy satellites to new orbits that will add even more capacity to the network,” SpaceX stated.

Wednesday’s launch marked the 34th Starlink mission of the year and the 60th launch for SpaceX. That nearly doubles the company’s 2021 record of 31 launches. SpaceX CEO and co-founder Elon Musk has stated a goal of 100 launches next year.

For more information about the SpaceX Falcon 9 program, click here.

For all Kennedy Space Center launch updates and schedules, click here.

Upcoming Events

Sebastian “Concerts in the Park” Resume

The Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Sebastian will resume their Friday “Concerts in the Park” series beginning Friday, January 6th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Riverside Park (US 1 and County Road 512 in Sebastian). The Bobby Owens Band is headlining the event which is open to the public and free of charge. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Next performers scheduled in the “Concerts in the Park” series are:

February 3rd — Tom MacLear and Friends Band

February 17th — Sebastian High School Band playing a full ensemble with steel drums

March 3rd — The Reckless Shots Band

For more information, please visit here.

Brevard Renaissance Fair Begins January 7th thru February 5th

The annual Brevard Renaissance Fair will begin Saturday, January 7th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Wickham Park (2500 Parkway Boulevard in Melbourne). The individually themed events will take place on January 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th, and February 4th and 5th.

“A full cast of colorful characters fills the lands with music, dancing, and more. With over 100 stage shows daily, varieties of foods and treats, and numerous artisan merchants with handcrafted wares, the Brevard Renaissance Fair invites guests to immerse themselves in a unique experience of History and Fantasy!”

To learn more about each themed weekend and a schedule of daily events, visit

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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


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