Yesterday, House Bill 269, sponsored by Representative MaryLynn Magar, was temporarily postponed in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. The bill would establish a statewide framework for dealing with safety and maintenance costs associated with high-speed rail.
State Representative Magar made the following statement regarding the bill:
“This bill would have clarified that the costs associated with crossing upgrades and maintenance is the responsibility of the rail company, not state or local governments.
“All Aboard Florida calls this a ‘privately funded project,’ yet the project is shifting the costs of required safety upgrades and maintenance of their rail system to the local governments. Indian River and Martin County’s fiscal impact study found the costs of safety upgrades in the millions of dollars, and all of these costs are to be borne by the taxpayers throughout the life of the All Aboard Florida system.
“Although this bill has been temporarily postponed, my co-sponsors and I will continue to work with stakeholders, constituents, and fellow legislators to move this issue forward.
“It is unfortunate that All-Aboard Florida says that this legislation will kill jobs. This bill simply asks that All-Aboard Florida pay for their rail system and not place the burden on the backs of local governments and the taxpayers of Florida.”
About MaryLynn Magar for State Representative
MaryLynn Magar was first elected in 2012 and represents District 82 in the Florida House of Representatives. She is Vice President and General Manager of HeartCare Imaging, Inc. She is the former Republican State Committeewoman in Martin County and has been a member of the Martin County Republican Executive Committee since 1993. She was active in the campaign efforts for Jeb Bush for Governor and George W. Bush for President. Within her community, Magar is a Eucharistic Minister for St. Jude Catholic Church and is Team Mom for Jupiter-Tequesta Athletic Association. Magar lives in Tequesta with her daughter, Samantha, and husband, Bob, who is President and CEO of HeartCare Imaging, Inc., and a board member of Florida Atlantic University.
ON THE WEB: www.marylynnmagar.com
Statement by Richard Turner, General Counsel and Vice President of Government Relations, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
Regarding the passage of Senate Bill 106
“The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association would like to thank members of the Florida Senate for passing Senate Bill 106 last week. Their vote to repeal the antiquated Alcohol Separation Law is a step in the right direction for both Florida retailers and consumers. There are far too many beverage laws that no longer align with the realities of today’s society, and it’s time to reduce governmental regulations and allow businesses to meet their customers’ evolving needs.
FRLA is proud to stand with the Floridians for Fair Business Practices coalition, and we are pleased to support the advancement of Florida businesses through this legislation. We encourage Representatives to finally get this Prohibition-era law off the books by passing House Bill 81.”
Floridians for Fair Business Practices is a coalition of retailers and business groups whose purpose is to identify rules and regulations, which prohibit the growth and expansion of Florida businesses. For additional information, please visit www.FairBizinFlorida.com.
State Representative Bob Cortes issued the following statement today regarding the 2018 elections:
“Several weeks ago, a news story broke that I was considering becoming a candidate for Congressional District 7. The truth is that I was and have been for a couple of months. Almost immediately after the general election in 2016, I had been approached by friends, donors, and Republican leadership to consider a candidacy against Stephanie Murphy.
“The reason why I took the urging so seriously is because I do believe that central Florida is being misrepresented by Mrs. Murphy and that she needs to come home. She has shown an immediate inclination to fall in lockstep with her caucus leadership in Washington instead of truly representing the people that elected her. We just finished an election that was akin to a revolution. Americans across the land just loudly stated that they were done with the insider-driven politics and politicians that spend their time concerned only about what the beltway thinks.
“I also took this opportunity seriously because I believe it is time for conservative Puerto Ricans to take a leadership role on the national political scene. For too long, the Puerto Rican community has been thought of as a sub-set of the Democrat party. More and more of my Puerto Rican colleagues have become disenchanted with big government solutions. Liberals always over-promise and never deliver. In fact, the island of Puerto Rico itself has become a microcosm of this phenomenon. Too much spending, too much government, and too much regulation have killed off private enterprise, encouraged corruption, and left the middle class and working families behind. That’s why Puerto Ricans are moving to Florida for the opportunity that Republican leadership provides. Again, Stephanie Murphy has shown herself to be an avid supporter of Obamacare, higher taxes, and government interventionist policy that will bankrupt our country and do nothing for the people that she is supposedly inclined to help.
“Virginia and I have been gratified by the outpouring of support over the past several weeks. We sought God’s direction in prayer, and we have been encouraged on so many fronts. I am not saying that I will never do it, but now is not the time.
“The voters elected me to do a job in Tallahassee. There is still much more work to be done, and I have decided to keep my efforts, for the moment, focused on serving my constituents in the legislature. We have the opportunity over the next few years to make Florida the top economy in the world. Let’s make the most of it.”
About Bob Cortes for State Representative
Bob was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2014. Previously, he served as mayor of Longwood and on the Longwood City Commission beginning in November 2009. In 2012, he was re-elected to a second term. He is a member of the Seminole County Community Traffic Safety Team and a graduate of the Florida League of Cities Institute for Elected Municipal Officials. He is a member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). With this organization, Bob has participated in several institutes, including the Newly Elected Leadership Institute, the Redistricting Institute, and the Fiscal Policy Institute hosted by NALEO and the Kellogg School of Business. Bob grew up in New York and Puerto Rico and moved to Central Florida in 1989. He founded Cortes Towing Service, a successful small business now in operation for over two decades. In 2011, he started another venture, Cortrans Shuttle Service, a transportation provider that serves Orlando Sanford International Airport, Orlando International Airport, the Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal, and area attractions. He was recently named one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. He and his wife, Virginia, are members of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs. They are blessed with three grandchildren.
ON THE WEB: www.bobcortes.com
Paid by Bob Cortes, Republican, for State Representative
Florida Health Care Association Executive Director Emmett Reed Issued The Following Statement In Response To AHCA’s Bill Analysis on SB 682
“While we respect the Agency, it has completely missed the point by failing to recognize that our proposal would apply only to those Floridians whose frail condition prevents them from using less costly home- and community-based care options. AHCA’s figures are based on an assumption of what it would cost the state IF individuals who received home- and community-based services during certain times had instead been cared for in a nursing center. But that’s not how the system works, and it’s not what Senator Stargel’s bill does.
Senate Bill 682 focuses solely on exempting long-stay nursing center residents. There are no savings to be realized in a home- and community-based setting for these individuals. Their health and medical needs can be addressed only in a nursing center, and they cannot be safely cared for in a home or a community setting. The state will save almost $68 million when these long-stay residents are exempted from the managed care system, because it will eliminate the redundancy of the managed care administrative and case management fees – which duplicate services and support that is already provided by the nursing center’s interdisciplinary team of social workers, nurses, and other clinical staff.”
In response to the decision by State Attorney Aramis Ayala not to seek the death penalty in the murder case against Markeith Loyd, Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) released the following statement:
“In any murder case, all legal sentencing options, including the death penalty, should be considered. I agree that the death penalty in Florida has had a troubled history. Even with the passage of the new law requiring jury unanimity in death sentences, 75% of those currently on death row were reportedly convicted with non-unanimous juries.
“But as a former police detective, I strongly believe that when any law enforcement officer loses their lives in the line of duty and in the service to others, all available legal consequences should be considered. While I respect State Attorney Ayala’s right to decide her office’s future course, I disagree with her decision to leave the death penalty off the table.”
For more information, please contact Senator Torres’s Legislative Aide Al Yorston at (850) 487-5015 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sen. Bill Nelson took to the Senate floor this evening to voice his opposition to the GOP’s health care plan.
“What does the House of Representatives’ ‘Trumpcare’ do?,” Nelson said. “It cuts Medicaid. It has higher costs and less coverage. It cuts taxes for the wealthy. And it increases costs to seniors. I think we want to do exactly the opposite of what it does.”
Statement from Governor Rick Scott regarding the passage of job killing legislation (HB 9 & HB 7005) today in the Florida House of Representatives:
“Today, politicians in the Florida House passed job killing legislation. We can all agree that VISIT FLORIDA and EFI need to be absolutely accountable and transparent, and both agencies have already taken major steps and implemented reforms to ensure their operations meet our high expectations. However, today’s actions by the House curb the mission of VISIT FLORIDA and bury it in more government bureaucracy – along with decimating Florida’s economic toolkit and the very programs which are directly tied to the creation of thousands of jobs for Florida families.
“Many politicians who voted for these bills say they are for jobs and tourism. But, I want to be very clear – a vote for these bills was a vote to kill tourism and jobs in Florida. I will continue to fight for Florida jobs and never stop standing up for the families and businesses whose livelihood depend on a strong and growing economy.” – Governor Rick Scott
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its monthly citrus crop forecast for the 2016-2017 season, which is down four-percent from the February forecast:
“Although not unexpected, today’s historically low forecast is the latest example of citrus greening’s continued devastation of Florida’s citrus industry. Until a long-term solution is discovered, which some of our state’s brightest minds are working on, we must support Florida’s multi-billion dollar citrus industry and the more than 60,000 jobs it supports.”
The USDA’s forecast today of 67 million boxes of oranges for the 2016-2017 season is down more than 17 percent from the 81.5 million boxes harvested last season. Today’s forecast represents a decline of more than 70 percent since the peak of citrus production at 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.
In support of Florida’s growers and industry groups seeking approval from the EPA for the use of certain antimicrobial treatments to combat greening, a bacterial disease spread by a tiny, invasive insect, Commissioner Putnam issued a crisis declaration in 2016 regarding their Section 18 application to the Environmental Protection Agency, which allowed the immediate use of these treatments.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.
Florida Health Care Association Executive Director Emmett Reed issued the following statement today after the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee voted in support of HB 7 related to Certificate of Need (CON):
“We remain strongly opposed to any legislation that eliminates the Certificate of Need process for Florida’s nursing centers. CON is an essential tool to ensure that our state’s oldest residents continue to receive the highest quality of care. Florida’s extraordinary commitment to home- and community-based care is important for elders who can retain a measure of independence, but many others require the specialized care provided at nursing centers. The CON process is important to managing nursing center growth based on a demonstrated need and making sure centers remain viable with the resources needed to provide the highest quality care.
“While we are disappointed today’s legislation still includes language abolishing CON for our profession, we will continue advocating to have nursing centers removed from the bill and working with the House sponsor and leadership to provide a full understanding of the importance of the process for our state’s seniors.”
Richard Chait, Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Florida Justice Association, issued the following statement in response to today’s filing of SB 1582:
“While our team is still carefully reviewing the legislation, early indications are that Senator Bradley’s bill which was filed earlier today is a step in the right direction for Florida’s workers and businesses. Our priorities continue to focus on ratemaking reform which provides for competition in the market and promotes transparency, some element of choice in medical treatment for injured workers, a meaningful post-MMI benefit for those who are unable to return to their former employment and the responsibility for insurance carriers to pay reasonable attorney’s fees when benefits are wrongfully denied.”
“As we anticipate that workers’ compensation will be a top priority this session, we look forward to working with the Legislature and the business community to enact meaningful reforms which will impact the well being of employers and those workers who have the misfortune of suffering work-related injuries.“