Committee Week Seven Highlights
Committee week seven was very successful as my staff and I were pleased to welcome many District 19 visitors. Members of the American Cancer Society’s Action Network visited to discuss their legislative priorities which include access to innovative treatments, funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings, and early detection services.
Phil Scarpelli, President and CEO of the Brevard Family Partnership, and several of the amazing foster children they serve joined me at the State Capitol.
Ms. Karla Radka, President and CEO of Senior Resource Alliance, met with me to share the important resources her organization provides for Brevard County seniors.
I also had the opportunity to meet with Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez, Secretary of the Florida Lottery John Davis, former FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault, and representatives of the Department of Health, Department of Environmental Protection, and County Health Departments collectively, regarding septic system improvements.
Other highlights of the week in the Florida Senate include:
Advancing Public Safety and Protecting Constitutional Freedoms
Senator Jay Collins presented Senate Bill 150 to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice. SB 150 includes comprehensive protections of the Constitutional right of Floridians to carry a firearm. The legislation allows for any individual who is legally permitted to purchase a firearm in Florida to carry that firearm in a concealed manner without a concealed carry license.
The legislation requires that any individual carrying a concealed weapon possess valid photo identification and present that identification to a law enforcement officer upon request. SB 150 codifies critical public safety measures intended to keep Florida schools safer.
The next stop for SB 150 is the Fiscal Policy Committee.
Ensuring Every Florida Student Receives a Quality Education
Senator Corey Simon presented Senate Bill 202 to the Senate Committee on Pre-K – 12 Education. SB 202 establishes universal school choice for all Florida students and allows for educational funding to follow students whose parents or guardians choose to enroll them in public or charter schools, a private school, or a home-based educational environment. This is crucial to ensure that a student’s zip code or school zone does not adversely impact students.
The next stop for SB 202 is the Appropriations Committee on Education.
Comprehensive Affordable Housing Package Heads to Senate Floor
Senator Alexis Calatayud presented Senate Bill 102 in the Senate Committee on Appropriations where it passed with unanimous support. SB 102 addresses the affordable housing crisis by revising the State Housing Strategy, funding both home ownership and rental assistance programs, codifying and expanding the Hometown Hero Program, and creating a “Missing Middle” tax exemption for developments that create affordable housing options for low- and moderate-income families.
The next stop for SB 102 is the Senate Floor.
Expansion of Florida Wildlife Corridor Passes Final Committee Stop
Senator Jason Brodeur presented Senate Bill 106 in the Senate Committee on Appropriations where it passed with unanimous support. SB 106 expands access to Florida’s Wildlife Corridor and heritage small towns by connecting the corridor to Florida’s Greenways and Trails System, SUN Trail Network, and recreational pathways across the state.
The next stop for SB 106 is the Senate floor.
Additional Support for Medicaid Patient Care
Senator Gayle Harrell presented Senate Bill 112 in the Senate Committee on Health Policy where it passed with unanimous support. SB 112 provides the ability for physicians to prescribe the most effective drug to treat serious mental illness for low-income Floridians enrolled in the Medicaid program. The legislation ensures that Floridians have access to critical mental health medications and eliminates a burdensome process that slows treatment outcomes.
The next stop for SB 112 is the Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services.
Standing Up For the 2nd Amendment
Senator Danny Burgess presented Senate Bill 214 to the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance. SB 214 protects the privacy of law-abiding gun owners. This legislation restricts any third party organization from collecting financial data from the purchase of firearms or ammunition.
The next stop for SB 214 is the Commerce and Tourism Committee.
Supporting Our First Responders
Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez presented Senate Bill 314 in the Senate Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability where it passed with unanimous support. SB 314 offers vital mental health counseling to first responders across the state.
The next stop for SB 312 is the Community Affairs Committee.
Expanding Opportunities for Veterans
Senator Danny Burgess presented Senate Bill 274, co-sponsored by Senator Bryan Avila, in the Senate Committee on Health Policy where it passed with unanimous support. SB 274 allows for military training and education to be applied toward postsecondary credit or career education clock hours, expediting the process in which military combat medics can receive a degree or certification in nursing.
The next stop for SB 312 is the Senate Rules Committee.