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State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 03/19/2023

Good Morning!

We completed week two of the 2023 Legislative Session with a number of bills passing through Senate committees as part of the process in reaching the full Senate. The bills ranged in topics from school choice to protecting children through the prohibition of gender reassignment treatments, and the inclusion of other opioid synthetics similar to Fentanyl as Schedule One controlled substances. Additionally, bills addressing workforce development initiatives and protecting Florida from foreign threats also advanced.

As we continue to celebrate outstanding women leaders in Florida during National Women’s History month, this week we are highlighting Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez and Director Janet Petro of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center.

I consider it a great honor to represent District 19. Please share this link with your friends and family so that 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!

Honoring Florida’s Women in Leadership

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez

Jeanette M. Nuñez was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She was elected as Florida’s first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

When Governor DeSantis announced his selection of Jeanette Nuñez to serve along side him as Lieutenant Governor in his 2018 election, he said, “Jeanette Nuñez is a strong, principled leader who will be an outstanding Lieutenant Governor for the people of Florida. She has a proven record of leadership and legislative accomplishments, delivering for both her constituents in Miami-Dade and Florida as a whole. Jeanette will help us build on our economic success, protect our environment and empower parents to make the best educational decisions for their children…This is the type of person that I think is a role model for everybody, but particularly young women.”

In addition to her duties as Lieutenant Governor, she has been tasked with overseeing the Florida Department of Health, as well as serving as the Chair of Space Florida. Additionally, she serves as Chair of Florida’s Cybersecurity Task Force and is a member of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.

Lieutenant Governor Nuñez previously served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018 and was named Speaker Pro Tempore from 2016 to 2018. Lieutenant Governor Nuñez began her healthcare career working at Jackson Health System in 2004 as the State Director for Government Relations handling all aspects of the hospital’s state affairs.

In 2006, she was promoted to Vice President of Government Relations overseeing local, state, and federal affairs. She has served on numerous boards and healthcare organizations. In 2010, Lieutenant Governor Nuñez became Vice President of Community Affairs for Kendall Regional and Aventura Hospitals and Medical Centers.

Lieutenant Governor Nuñez is a proud graduate of Florida International University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in International Relations and Political Science and a Master’s of Arts degree in Public Administration.

She is married to Adrian Nuñez and together they are the proud parents of three children.

Statewide Update

Governor DeSantis Announces Nearly 11,000 Foreigners Repatriated After Attempting to Enter Florida Illegally

Recently Governor DeSantis announced that since August 21, 2022, nearly 11,000 migrants have been repatriated after attempting to enter the state illegally. Last weekend, 167 migrants were interdicted, with 51 migrants apprehended upon landing. Nearly 350 migrant vessels have been reported, with 259 removed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Earlier in the week, Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order 23-49, extending the state of emergency for the ongoing illegal migration.

“As Biden’s Border Crisis continues unabated, my administration is working hard to protect our communities and businesses from the many threats posed by illegal immigration,” said Governor DeSantis. “Because of our action, we have seen a drop in the number of vessels and people able to make landing in the Florida Keys, and our continued presence serves as a deterrent for illegal immigration. By extending the State of Emergency, we will continue to surge resources to assist interdiction and repatriation efforts.”

On January 6, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed EO 23-03 declaring a State of Emergency in response to the surge in migration along Florida’s coastline. On February 15, Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 6-B, creating the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program within FDEM.

Earlier this week, the Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the most recent strike force interdiction operations resulted in the interception of 15 undocumented aliens, the confiscation of over four pounds of Fentanyl, which is enough to kill one million people, and 39 pounds of methamphetamine.

Florida’s Unemployment Rate Remains Lower than the National Average for the 27th Consecutive Month

Last week Governor DeSantis announced Florida’s January 2023 unemployment rate was 2.6% and remained lower than the national average for the 27th consecutive month while job growth outperformed the nation for the 22nd consecutive month. Florida’s private sector employment grew by 5.3 percent (433,100 jobs) over the year in January 2023, 1.7 percent faster than the national rate of 3.6 percent over the same time period.

“Florida is number one in net migration, tourism, and new business formations because we have bucked the elites and forged our own path forward towards success,” said Governor DeSantis. “We will continue to prioritize policies that support Florida families as they continue to face persistent inflation and national economic headwinds.”

Brevard County’s January 2023 unemployment rate matched the state at 2.6% and Indian River County’s rate was just slightly higher at 3%.

To view the January 2023 employment data, click here.

Governor DeSantis Leads Alliance of 18 States to Fight Against Biden’s ESG Financial Fraud

Last week Governor DeSantis led 18 State Governors in forming an alliance to push back against President Biden’s environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) agenda that is destabilizing the American economy and the global financial system. Earlier this month, Congress took action to pass legislation which would keep politics out of Americans’ retirement funds; however, President Biden has promised to veto this measure to further his progressive agenda. 

In a joint statement proposed by Florida, these states committed to lead state-level efforts to protect individuals from the ESG movement that threatens the vitality of the American economy and Americans’ economic freedom, such as removing all state pension funds and state-controlled investments from firms that follow the ESG model of ‘politics before fiduciary duty.’

“At my direction, Florida has led the way in combatting the pernicious effects of the ESG regime by directing our state pension fund managers to reject ESG and instead focus on obtaining the highest return on investment for Florida’s taxpayers and retirees,” said Governor DeSantis.

Last month, Governor DeSantis announced legislation to protect Floridians from ESG. This legislation will safeguard Floridians’ economic liberty by: Prohibiting big banks, trusts, and other financial institutions from discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs — including their support for securing the border, owning a firearm, and increasing our energy independence.

More information about Governor DeSantis’ legislative proposal can be found here.

Week Two Update from the Florida Senate

Below are a few highlights from the second week of the 2023 Legislative Session in the Florida Senate:

SB 202: “Funding Students, Not Systems” Passed with Favorable Committee Support

Senator Corey Simon presented Senate Bill 202 in the Senate Appropriations Committee where it passed with strong committee support. SB 202 establishes universal school choice across Florida, ensuring that students receive an education that meets their unique needs.

This legislation expands Florida’s educational voucher program and allows every student to receive an education in a setting fit to their own individual needs.

SB 202 puts parents in the driver’s seat regarding their child’s education, provides parents and students with the full array of educational opportunities, and ensures that a child’s future is not determined by their zip-code. 

The next stop for SB 202 is the Senate Floor.

SB 254: “Protecting Florida’s Most Vulnerable” Passed with Favorable Committee Support

Senator Clay Yarborough presented Senate Bill 254 in the Senate Committee on Health Policy where it passed with significant committee support. Senate Bill 254 provides critical protections for Florida’s youth from harmful gender reassignment procedures and prescriptions.

The legislation prohibits gender reassignment prescriptions or procedures for any patient under the age of 18. Additionally, SB 254 requires informed consent for patients over the age of 18 to ensure the adult patient is fully informed by their physician of the increased risks and the permanency of gender reassignment procedures and prescriptions. Further, this legislation prohibits the use of certain state funds to fund gender reassignment prescriptions or procedures.

The next stop for SB 254 is the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee.

SB 240: “Reimagining Workforce Development” Passed Unanimously with Committee Support

Senator Travis Hutson presented Senate Bill 240 in the Senate Committee on Pre K–12 Education where it passed with unanimous committee support. SB 240 reimagines and revitalizes workforce development programs hosted within Florida’s schools.

Through a comprehensive approach, incorporating local businesses, community boards, and public schools, this legislation expands opportunities for middle and high school students to receive valuable career training while still enrolled in a Florida public school.

SB 240 revises current high school graduation requirements to place a specific emphasis on educational curriculum that is focused on technical education and career training. Additionally, this legislation establishes a program that allows local businesses to assess the job market for their specified region and collaborate with local schools to ensure that roles found to be of a greater need are greater emphasized in our educational system.

The next stop for SB 240 is the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee.

SB 264: “Defending Florida from Foreign Threats” Passed with Favorable Committee Support

Senator Jay Collins presented Senate Bill 264 in the Senate Judiciary Committee where it passed with strong committee support. SB 264 prohibits foreign adversaries and companies funded by adversaries from purchasing agricultural land in the State of Florida.

Due to the growing threat of the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to weaken America’s national security through strategic land purchases, it is critical that we protect the health of our agriculture industry. SB 264 ensures that America’s enemies will be strictly prohibited from purchasing agricultural land in the State of Florida. This is a crucial step to protect Florida’s food supply and broader security interests.

The next stop for SB 264 is the Senate Committee on Rules.

SB 736: “Tackling the Fentanyl Crisis” Passed with Unanimous Committee Support

Senator Jason Brodeur presented Senate Bill 736 in the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice where it passed with unanimous committee support. Senate Bill 736 adds Nitazenes, synthetic opioids similar to Fentanyl, to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances.

As the Fentanyl crisis continues to threaten millions of Floridians each day, it is critical that the legislature take a proactive approach to ensure that we limit the negative impact of synthetic drugs that are flooding into our state through the southern border.

The legislation ensures that our law enforcement agencies across the state have the necessary tools to cease the distribution of Nitazenes and hold those accountable who are distributing this poison in our communities.

The next stop for SB 736 is the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee.

Constituent of the Week

Janet E. Petro, Director

John F. Kennedy Space Center

Janet E. Petro was named the 11th director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on June 30, 2021.

Prior to being named director, Ms. Petro served as the deputy director (appointed in April 2007) where she shared responsibility with then Director Robert Cabana in managing the KSC team of civil service and contractor employees. Ms. Petro is known for consistently pioneering and implementing novel business approaches that reduce barriers to collaboration and innovation.

She provides executive leadership as well as short-term and long-term visions for the Center while overseeing the Nation’s premier commercial and Government launch complex. Since the successful retirement of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011, she increased her far-reaching and lasting impact on NASA’s legacy by again helping to establish KSC’s future in the American space program and transforming KSC from a Government-centered launch facility into the Nation’s premier multiuser spaceport.

Ms. Petro ensured Agency and Center Partnership Boards were established, personally leading the KSC Board to explore, develop, implement, and sustain processes and other initiatives to use existing NASA capabilities, workforce, and facilities with commercial partners. 

Prior to joining NASA, Ms. Petro served in various management positions for Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Corp. At SAIC, she held a number of management positions within the corporation’s operations, interfacing with NASA, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, and commercial entities on numerous aerospace and military programs. At McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Ms. Petro advanced from mechanical engineer and payload manager to multiple management positions including program manager for executing a classified, multimillion-dollar U.S. Department of Defense program, to senior manager for Communications and Data Systems Division.

She is also the recipient of a President’s Distinguished executive award, and has received the astronaut-selected Silver Snoopy award for outstanding performance for contributing to flight safety and mission success. In 2018, Director Petro was selected by Florida Governor Rick Scott for induction in the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.

Ms. Petro’s professional career began decades ago as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army after graduating in 1981 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in engineering. She also holds a Master’s of Science degree in business administration from Boston University’s Metropolitan College.

District 19 is proud to highlight Ms. Janet Petro, another local leader with outstanding service and achievement in her field, during National Women’s History month.

District Highlights

Governor Jeanette Nuñez Visits Vero Beach to Discuss Cybersecurity in Florida

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez visited Vero Beach last week to announce ongoing state measures to protect towns and counties from online cybersecurity threats. Lieutenant Governor Nuñez reminded local governments of a looming deadline to tap into a $30 million grant to help bolster local cyber security defenses.

Leadership of the Florida Cybersecurity Task Force, along with Sheriff Eric Flowers and Indian River State College President Timothy Moore spoke about local cyber vulnerabilities and digital workforce demands in Indian River County.

The Florida Cybersecurity Task Force was created and is a unit within the state Department of Management Services. President Timothy Moore said Indian River State College would soon provide for workforce demands to thwart the “pernicious threat” of online attacks and work in conjunction with the two-year tuition-free education for local graduates offered through the state’s Promise Program.

USA Today’s Readers Vote the Brevard Zoo as the Third Best Zoo in North America

The Brevard Zoo earned the number three spot for zoos in North America and the Zoo’s “Kayak Experience” earned the number seven spot for a Zoo exhibit as voted on by USA Today readers in their annual Readers’ Choice Awards. 

“Thank you to everyone who voted in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards. Your support helped our Zoo to be named number three in North America!” said a Brevard Zoo spokesperson.

“Our inclusion in the top three is a first since being nominated for these awards four years ago and is a testament to the incredible support our Zoo has been shown by our community since the start. We appreciate the vote of confidence in our work in animal wellness, conservation, and education.”

A panel of national experts worked with the USA Today’s “10 Best” editorial team to choose the nominees for each category and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

To learn more about this achievement and the Brevard Zoo, click here.

Upcoming Events

Brightline to Begin High Speed Testing at 110 MPH through Brevard County

Brightline will begin testing trains at high speeds, up to 110 miles-per-hour, in Brevard County as soon as Tuesday, March 28th and continuing through April. This latest phase of Brightline testing will take place along a 13-mile section of track, involving multiple railroad crossings in Brevard County through Rockledge and Melbourne. Testing will take place between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily.

Flaggers will be present at railroad crossings when there is active testing taking place in the area. Brightline is working with law enforcement agencies that will be present throughout the corridor.

Residents should be alert and follow the law around active railroad tracks and railroad crossings. Testing is expected to bring additional wait times at railroad crossings.

Brevard County RR Crossing Locations – Testing up to 110 mph


Rinker Way – Cemex/General Portland (private crossing)

Gus Hipp Rd.

Barnes Blvd. (SR 502)

Carver St.

Ansin Rd.

Viera Blvd.


Suntree Blvd.

Post Rd.

Parkway Ave.

Lake Washington Rd.

Important Safety Reminders:

  • Residents should be alert and follow the law around active railroad tracks and railroad crossings.
  • Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists should be aware that rail traffic will run on BOTH tracks in both directions.
  • Stay off the tracks and never go around crossing gates.
  • Only cross the railroad at a designated crossing.
  • Never stop on the tracks.
  • Failure to follow the law could result in fines, points on your license or loss of life. 

For more information, visit here.

The Palm Bay Fair is Back!

The Palm Bay Fair, a family favorite event, opened Friday, March 17th for a 10-day run at the Space Coast Harley-Davidson fairgrounds in Palm Bay. The event features, carnival foods, free unlimited rides, and free shows with gate admission of $25.00 or $30.00.

The Space Coast Harley-Davidson fairgrounds are conveniently located at 1440 Sportsman Lane NE on 15 acres at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Palm Bay Road.

Visitors should note the Palm Bay Fair operating schedule is as follows:

■ Monday thru Thursday: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

■ Friday: 5:00 11:00 p.m.

■ Saturday: 1:00 11:30 p.m.

■ Sunday: 1:00 10:00 p.m.

For more information call 855-386-3836 or click here.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and visit my Senate website

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Contact Information

Melbourne Office 

900 East Strawbridge Avenue

Melbourne, FL 32901

(321) 409-2025


Tallahassee Office

400 Senate Office Building

404 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

(850) 487-5019


Kelli Lane

Yvette Campbell

Joshua McWilliams

Ian Nolan

US Senator Rick Scott’s Week in Review 03/17/2023


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Dear Fellow Floridian,

This week, I sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan requesting answers on his agency’s response to the significant bloom of naturally-occurring red tide that is impacting communities along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Last Congress, Senator Marco Rubio and I fought to pass our South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act, which was then signed into law. Making sure this bill became law was important because it requires an inter-agency task force to develop a plan to reduce, mitigate and control harmful algal blooms in Lake Okeechobee and along Florida’s coasts. Now it’s time for action.

In my letter to Administrator Regan, I requested a timeline on how quickly the inter-agency task force, authorized in law thanks to the South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act, will be on the ground in Florida.

When I was Governor, I led a massive state and local response to red tide blooms in 2018, and directed the investment of more than $20 million into the research, mitigation and prevention of this naturally-occurring phenomenon.

While red tide has been something Floridians have dealt with for centuries, we cannot allow it to harm our state’s people, environment or economy like it is right now. I’m going to keep fighting to make sure we have a robust response to these blooms and will do everything I can to get resources to our communities that need them. 

Read my full letter HERE. Read more HERE. 



Rick Scott

United States Senator


To be the first to find out about Senator Scott’s actions and statements, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

See more of what Senator Scott has been up to this week below.


Sens. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio Introduce Bill to Provide Tax Relief to Floridians and Puerto Ricans Impacted by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona

Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio were joined by Representatives Byron Donalds, Jenniffer González-Colón, Bill Posey and Scott Franklin to introduce their Hurricane Tax Relief Act which would provide disaster-loss tax relief to families in 51 Florida counties and Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona.

The Hurricane Tax Relief Act would make Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona qualified disasters for purposes of enhanced disaster casualty loss tax relief. This bill modifies the deduction for personal casualty losses in the hurricane disaster areas, waiving the requirements for impacted taxpayers to itemize deductions and to have losses that exceed 10% of adjusted gross income. Congress previously extended this tax relief for hurricanes Irma, Wilma, Dorian, and Michael, among others.

Senator Rick Scott said, “The last thing families should have to worry about as they recover from devastating storms like Ian, Nicole and Fiona is a big tax bill. In years past, Congress has worked to make sure that families can get the disaster loss tax relief they deserve following hurricanes, and this good bill follows that precedent. Communities in Florida and Puerto Rico have shown incredible strength in the days, weeks and months following these storms, and it is critical that we continue to make sure the federal government is working with state and local officials to get resources to those in need. I’m thankful for my colleagues, Senator Rubio and Representatives Donalds, González-Colón, Posey and Franklin, for their support of this bill that will help so many still recovering from these storms.”

Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott to Florida Superintendents: Engage Parents to Save Lives, Educate Kids About the Dangers of Fentanyl

Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to all of Florida’s public school superintendents highlighting the need to better educate students on the deadly fentanyl crisis facing the state and nation. In February, Senator Scott hosted a roundtable discussion on the fentanyl crisis that included parents and leaders representing border patrol officers and law enforcement, as well as subject-matter experts. During the roundtable, the parents and other attendees stressed the current lack of public education on fentanyl in schools and the need for better engagement with victims’ families to share stories and the true pain and loss that this illegal drug creates.

In the letter, Senator Scott emphasizes the toll fentanyl is taking on America’s teenagers, writing, “In 2021, 1,145 children aged 14–18 died due to a fentanyl overdose. That is roughly the size of a school classroom every week. Think about that: fentanyl is killing an entire classroom of high-school-aged Americans every single week.”

Read the full letter HERE. Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott on Biden’s Raging CPI: When Will You Stop Hurting Florida Families?

Following the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Senator Rick Scott released the below statement highlighting the need to implement substantive fiscal reforms to end the ongoing inflation crisis fueled by the Biden administration’s reckless tax-and-spend agenda. February’s CPI data shows that there has been a significant rise in inflation during Biden’s presidency, with CPI increasing 6.0% in February 2023 and 15.0% since Biden was elected.

Senator Rick Scott said, “It sure seems like Joe Biden likes having the title of president more than doing his actual job. Families in Florida and all across America have suffered for two years under Biden’s raging inflation crisis and he has done NOTHING to fix it. Just last week, Biden put forward a $6.8 TRILLION budget that’s even more full of reckless taxes and spending than his last terrible proposal. Credit card debt is up and savings are down as families struggle to make ends meet. For our poorest families, like mine growing up, Biden’s high prices make even the most basic necessities unaffordable. The president needs to WAKE UP and realize that the pain he is causing for hardworking Americans won’t end until he ends his addiction to reckless government spending. We need to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington and I’m standing with my colleagues in the House who are showing that they give a damn about this country and will fight to fix it. I hope my fellow Republicans in the Senate will join us. The debt ceiling is our opportunity to get something done and we cannot squander it by caving to the reckless and dangerous wishes of Biden and the Democrats.”

Read more HERE. 

Sen. Rick Scott Reintroduces Bills to Free American Energy; Hold Biden Accountable for Rising Energy Costs

As February’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers showed another month of rising energy costs for American families, Senator Rick Scott reintroduced his Free American Energy Act to reduce burdensome regulations on American energy and speed up energy production approval for states with federal lands. Senator Scott also reintroduced his GAS PRICE Act to direct the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to report to Congress any policy or rule set by the Biden administration which raises energy costs for American families. The GAS PRICE Act is cosponsored by Senators Roger Marshall and Dan Sullivan.

Senator Rick Scott said, “The far left has fearmongered the American people into a false narrative that U.S. energy is evil. They want hardworking families to believe the apocalypse will come if they don’t support the Green New Deal and spend their last dime buying EVs. It’s all a lie told to justify the president’s all-out war on American energy. For families already struggling to make ends meet in Biden’s chaotic economy, rising energy and gas prices are more than just an inconvenience. For our poorest families, like mine growing up, rising prices from Biden’s anti-energy agenda are devastating. It’s time to expose the terrible consequences of Democrats’ failed policies and put forward the solutions Americans deserve. My bills, the Free American Energy Act and GAS PRICE Act do just that. These bills will reduce burdensome regulations and expedite the review process for energy companies to unleash safe, reliable and affordable energy to meet American demand, while holding the Biden administration accountable by shining a light on their bad policies that drive energy costs up. The days of relying on our adversaries for energy must end NOW. Putting America first means prioritizing American energy. I won’t stop fighting until we get that done.”

Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott: PPI Up 20.6% Since Biden Took Office

Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which showed inflation continued to rise in February increasing 4.6% over the year. Since Joe Biden became president, PPI has risen 20.6% over the past two years.

Senator Rick Scott said, “When I see the monthly inflation reports, I think about my mom. She worked tirelessly to make ends meet and teach us that if you keep working, anyone can live the American dream. Sadly, that’s not as true today as it was then. Thanks to Joe Biden’s radical agenda and addiction to reckless government spending, American families are struggling and watching opportunities disappear. We have $31 trillion in federal debt. We have high inflation, reckless spending, high interest rates, high credit card debt. Before we know it, the American dream will be dead. And somehow, Biden just doesn’t seem to care. We see that with the $6.8 TRILLION budget he proposed, just chock full of tax hikes, budget gimmicks and wasteful spending that will only make things worse. Biden has turned his back on American families and now Republicans must unite, stop caving and fight back. If we want to get Americans back to work, Congress needs to do its job first, force spending reform and return fiscal sanity back to Washington.”

Read more HERE.


Sen. Rick Scott and Colleagues Call on DOJ to Sue Chinese Communist Party for Role in COVID-19

Senator Rick Scott led Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Braun, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on what, if any, legal action the Department of Justice (DOJ) has pursued against the Chinese Communist Party for its role in the origin and attempt to cover up the COVID-19 pandemic, which took the lives of over a million Americans. In the letter, the senators call on the Attorney General to use his position to vindicate the interests of the millions of Americans who suffered at the hand of the Chinese Communist Party rather than spend valuable agency resources catering to the politics and partisan policies of the far-left.

Read more HERE. Read the full letter HERE.

Sens. Rick Scott, John Barrasso Lead Letter to Sec. Yellen on the Administration’s Latest Attack on American Energy

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in leading 20 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen condemning the Biden administration’s latest attempt to weaponize the tax code against U.S. energy producers. The letter is in response to President Biden’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2024. Specifically, the letter focuses on the $100 billion in targeted tax increases on energy, including the production of oil, gas, and coal.

Read the full letter HERE. Read more HERE. 

Sen. Rick Scott Outlines Priorities at First Hearing as SASC Subcommittee Ranking Member

Senator Rick Scott presided over the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel for his first hearing as Ranking Member. During his remarks and questions to witnesses, Senator Scott highlighted his focus on finding solutions to problems related to recruitment, military housing, access to childcare and health care so that America’s military members and their families are taken care of. He also warned against the DoD prioritizing far-left culture war issues, like diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives and instead focus on recruiting and maintaining a lethal fighting force which first and foremost asks this question: is every person who wants to join solely focused on the mission of intimidating our enemies and defeating them if necessary?

Read more HERE.

Sens. Rick Scott, Mark Warner & Marsha Blackburn Request Cybersecurity Analysis of Chinese-Made Drones

Senator Rick Scott joined Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in leading a bipartisan group of senators urging the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to reevaluate the risks associated with the use of drones manufactured by Shenzhen DJI Innovation Technology Co., Ltd. (DJI), a company with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Read more HERE

Sen. Rick Scott to EPA: Red Tide Along Florida Gulf Coast Demands Immediate Attention

Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan requesting answers on his agency’s response to the significant bloom of naturally-occurring red tide that is impacting communities throughout Florida. Last Congress, Senator Scott fought alongside Senator Marco Rubio to pass and get signed into law their South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act, which requires an inter-agency task force to develop a plan to reduce, mitigate and control harmful algal blooms in Lake Okeechobee and along Florida’s coasts. In his letter to Administrator Regan, Senator Scott also requests a timeline on quickly will the inter-agency task force, authorized in law thanks to the South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act, be on the ground in Florida. Before being elected to the U.S. Senate, as Governor of Florida, Senator Scott led a massive state and local response to red tide blooms in 2018 and directed the investment of more than $20 million into the research, mitigation and prevention of this naturally-occurring phenomenon.

Read the full letter HERE. Read more HERE. 

 Sen. Rick Scott Introduces Bill Package to Combat Communist Chinese Influence in Financial Sector

Senator Rick Scott reintroduced a package of five bills to hold Communist China accountable and better protect American families and investors. For years, Senator Scott has been urging both federal agencies and private businesses to decouple operations and investments from the genocidal Communist Chinese regime. The legislation being announced today will hold Communist China accountable by closing investment sanctions loopholes, protecting investors from dubious Chinese companies, imposing new sanctions, demanding additional transparency and accountability from publicly-traded companies, and identifying vulnerabilities and requiring disclosures so that transactions are transparent and safe for Americans.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Given the enormous challenges faced today in our banking system, it is even more imperative that we protect consumers from known bad actors, like the Communist Chinese Party, who pose a large threat to the U.S. economy and whose top targets are our investors, markets, supply chains and jobs. These five bills will take the necessary steps to secure our markets, protect consumers, demand transparency and accountability, and ensure investors are protected. I continue to strongly advocate for all American investors and business leaders to cut ties with Communist China, and force transparency to expose both financial and national security risks is absolutely necessary to achieve this. Chinese companies largely operate under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, and if they continue to act in bad faith, we cannot as a country continue to invest and provide capital to their regime. I am again fighting to pass this legislation because these bills are critical, not only for national security, but personal and financial security for families and consumers across the country, and I urge my colleagues to support their passage.”

Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott to HHS Secretary: COVID-19 Origin Records Were Mishandled, Hold People Accountable

Senator Rick Scott, sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra following a recent HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report criticizing EcoHealth Alliance’s failed oversight of their National Institute of Health (NIH) grant. EcoHealth Alliance received funding from the NIH, which then gave millions, and possibly to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Senator Scott is raising concerns that EcoHealth’s work may have involved the coronavirus and gain-of-function at the WIV, and their lack of oversight may have resulted in records lost—specifically the records regarding the origin of COVID-19.

Read more HERE, and read the full letter HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Issues Weekly Update on Biden’s Inflation Crisis

Senator Rick Scott released a weekly update on his actions to address America’s debt crisis and rising inflation following the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releasing Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) numbers for February, which showed inflation continued to rise. Since Joe Biden became president, CPI has risen 15.0% and PPI has risen 20.6% over the past two years.

Earlier this week, following the latest CPI announcement by the BLS, Senator Scott released the following statement.

Senator Rick Scott said, “It sure seems like Joe Biden likes having the title of president more than doing his actual job. Families in Florida and all across America have suffered for two years under Biden’s raging inflation crisis and he has done NOTHING to fix it. Just last week, Biden put forward a $6.8 TRILLION budget that’s even more full of reckless taxes and spending than his last terrible proposal. Credit card debt is up and savings are down as families struggle to make ends meet. For our poorest families, like mine growing up, Biden’s high prices make even the most basic necessities unaffordable. The president needs to WAKE UP and realize that the pain he is causing for hardworking Americans won’t end until he ends his addiction to reckless government spending. We need to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington and I’m standing with my colleagues in the House who are showing that they give a damn about this country and will fight to fix it. I hope my fellow Republicans in the Senate will join us. The debt ceiling is our opportunity to get something done and we cannot squander it by caving to the reckless and dangerous wishes of Biden and the Democrats.”

Read more HERE. Lea más en español AQUÍ.

Fox News: Rick Scott rebukes Biden in budget letter to White House, says he has made ‘the situation worse’

Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, ahead of her testimony in this week’s hearing in the Senate Committee on the Budget, to demand answers on Biden’s $6.8 TRILLION budget, which digs America deeper into debt and threatens higher inflation. In previous Budget Committee hearings, Director Young has been unable to answer Senator Scott’s simple questions regarding America’s budget and finances (see an example HERE). To ensure he receives answers to his questions this time, Senator Scott’s letter includes the exact questions he plans to ask during Wednesday’s hearing.

Read the full letter to Director Young HERE. Read the full story in Fox News HERE.

President Biden’s budget doesn’t solve the spending problem

The March 10 editorial “The U.S. has a $2 trillion problem. Mr. Biden’s budget won’t solve it.” told the truth about President Biden’s budget proposal.

Since Mr. Biden took office, the federal debt has ballooned to $31 trillion, growing by almost $4 trillion under his administration. As the editorial rightly pointed out, the United States’ enormous debt is a problem that both parties are complicit in, and Mr. Biden’s latest proposal does nothing to fix it.

But the editorial was wrong to dismiss the idea of balancing the budget. It is not unrealistic; it’s necessary. Those who say it can’t be done have conceded to the failed thinking in Washington that Congress is incapable of doing hard things. I reject that. If the Editorial Board or anyone reading this doubts my optimism, take a look at what Florida did when I was governor. We balanced the budget, paid down almost one-third of state debt and increased investments in transportation,the environment and education all while cutting taxes nearly 100 times.

How? We focused on growing Florida’s economy. We got people back to work. The same must be done in Washington, and it’s possible if everyone stops caving. Republicans need to stop caving to Democrats and Democrats need to stop caving to the reckless tax-and-spend wishes of their radical base.

I look forward to reading the series on spending reforms and implore future editorials to encourage the structural change needed to return fiscal sanity to Washington.

Read more HERE. 

Following Letter From Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Troy Nehls, America First Legal Petitions the DOJ to Require Adam Silver and the NBA to Register as Foreign Agents of the CCP

Following a letter from Senator Rick Scott and Representative Troy Nehls to National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver, where they outlined concerns regarding Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda being broadcasted and promoted at NBA games, America First Legal (AFL) petitioned the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to require that the NBA and its commissioner, Adam Silver, register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as agents of the CCP.

The evidence that Mr. Silver and the NBA knowingly and intentionally advance and advocate for the Chinese Communist Party’s political and propaganda interests in exchange for payment is longstanding and substantial. Most recently, on January 21, 2023, Mr. Silver and the NBA provided the People’s Republic of China Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, and the Communist Party’s “China Media Group” with public relations services and a propaganda opportunity at the Capitol One Area in Washington, D.C., where a video message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs was broadcasted to thousands of fans.

Read the full letter, also signed by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), and Congressmen Kevin Hern (R-OK-01), Byron Donalds (R-FL-19), Greg Steube (R-FL-17), Burgess Owens (R-UT-04), Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), Ryan Zinke (R-MT-01), and Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03), HERE. Read more from America First Legal HERE.

Fox News: Senate Republicans demand DOJ sue Chinese Communist Party over role in COVID-19 pandemic

Fox News: Rick Scott demands answers on NIH funding that went to Wuhan Institute of Virology

Washington Examiner: Sen. Rick Scott calls for EPA action on Florida red tide algae

Jewish Journal: Republican Senators Asks Education Dept. Secretary Why “Taxpayer-Funded Antisemitism” Is Happening on College Campuses  

Florida Voice: Scott leads GOP lawmakers demanding DOJ sue the CCP for COVID-19

Florida Daily: Rick Scott: Republicans Need to Reject Joe Biden’s Budget Proposal

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Warns Defense Department About Prioritizing Culture War Issues

Florida Daily: Rick Scott, Byron Donalds Introduce Bill to Help Floridians, Puerto Ricans Impacted by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole, Fiona

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Calls on Florida Superintendents to Engage Parents to Educate Kids About Dangers of Fentanyl

Senator Scott’s Team in Fort Myers

This week, Senator Scott’s team attended the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Fallen Deputy Memorial Dedication Ceremony.


Senator Scott’s team also attended the US District Court Naturalization Ceremony to welcome twenty-five new citizens to Fort Myers. 


Senator Scott’s Team in Orlando

Earlier this week, Senator Scott’s team also met with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to learn more about Second Harvest’s hunger relief programs and facilities. 


Senator Scott’s Team in Tallahassee

Additionally, Senator Scott’s team attended Puerto Rico Day in Tallahassee, sponsored by the Puerto Rican Bar Association. 


























RPOF Newsletter 03/17/2023

Governor Ron DeSantis Leads Nationwide Fight Against ESG


Governor DeSantis Highlights Three Years of Florida’s Success


Governor Ron DeSantis Holds Higher Education Roundtable

Governor DeSantis Announces Unemployment Rate

LG Jeanette Nuñez Announces Space Art Contest

Attorney General Ashley Moody Warns about Tax Season Identity Theft

Wilton Simpson Proposes Tax Relief for Florida Farmers


CFO Jimmy Patronis: Don’t Bet on Black…Rock

Senator Rick Scott Sounds Alarm About Doing Business with China

Senators Scott and Rubio Re-File Daylight Saving Time Exemption Bill

Republican Party of Florida News

2023 Legislative Session News


Other News

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