U.S. Congressmen Brian Mast (FL-18) released the following statement today:
“Jeff Sessions needs to immediately clarify his Senate testimony and recuse himself from any investigation into Russian ties. If he cannot commit to ensuring this process is completed with full transparency and integrity, he should resign. The American people are demanding integrity, they are demanding answers and they deserve an unbiased investigation into the facts.”
Following is a comment from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on reports today that Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose his meetings with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing:
“Sen. Sessions should recuse himself. And there should be an independent commission and special prosecutor appointed to get to the bottom of this.”
U.S. Congressmen Brian Mast (FL-18) released the following statement after the President’s address to a joint session of Congress:
“We live in an incredible country where we can all voice our concerns and play a role in the direction of the United States. Last week, I hosted a four-hour town hall meeting where I stayed to answer every question, and it’s clear that people are passionately engaged. Tonight, I was glad to hear a vision of bipartisanship to try to bridge differences that exist. While we may not agree on every issue, I do believe there is more that unites us than divides us, by far.
“I share a desire with all Americans to make our communities and our country safer. As a 12-year Army veteran injured fighting for a country I love, I know as well as any that our enemies in the Middle East literally want to destroy our way of life. Ensuring our military has the resources needed to protect our country and that our veterans have the resources they need when they return home are absolutely critical priorities in the President’s budget request.
“I also share a desire with all Americans to leave the next generation in a better place than we are now. For far too long, Washington has avoided the responsibility to set and live by a budget—a responsibility that families and small businesses are forced to take on every year. Tax-more, spend-more policies have seriously jeopardized our children’s future by driving our country deep into debt. We must work together, with Members on both sides of the aisle, to restore fiscal sanity in Washington—asking government to do more with less instead of asking the American people to do with less.
“Reducing our debt alone is not enough. Improving our country for our children’s generation also means working to improve our schools, protect our environment, strengthen Social Security and Medicare and more. I am deeply alarmed by reports of severe, across-the-board cuts to the EPA and other agencies that are critical to our quality of life in Florida. On behalf of our community, I will continue working to hold the Administration accountable for any actions that threaten our environment and our way of life.
“I’m committed to working with anyone who shares this positive vision for our country and who wants to make Washington work for the American people again. Together, we must put people before politics.”
“LeadingAge Florida applauds Chairman Jason Brodeur and the Florida House of Representatives for their decision not to pursue the Navigant plan for nursing home reimbursement,” said LeadingAge Florida President & CEO Steve Bahmer. “The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee listened to our members’ concerns and decided that a change this significant deserves additional thoughtful deliberation and further study to prevent unnecessary disruptions in nursing home care. High-quality care for Florida’s seniors was at stake, and the Committee recognized the complexities of the system and the careful balance needed to provide the highest quality of care across a state as diverse as Florida.
LeadingAge Florida looks forward to working with AHCA, the Florida Legislature, and other key stakeholders to develop a fair and equitable reimbursement system focused on quality care. I want to personally thank our members for their hard work in contacting legislators and explaining the potential impact of the Navigant plan on nursing homes, their residents, and their families.”
If you are writing on the House Appropriations Committee’s job killing vote to pass HB 7005, please use the following statement from Governor Rick Scott:
“Today’s vote by politicians in the Florida House is a job killer. I know some politicians who have voted for this job killing bill say they don’t necessarily want to abolish these programs but instead want to advance a ‘conversation.’ This is completely hypocritical and the kind of games I came to Tallahassee to change. Perhaps if these politicians would listen to their constituents, instead of playing politics, they would understand how hurtful this legislation will be to Florida families.” – Governor Rick Scott
Statement on the House Civil Justice Subcommittee’s Vote on HB 19 from Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates Executive Director, Laura Goodhue:
“This bill is yet another attack on access to safe, legal abortion care. This dangerous bill is a blatant attempt to intimidate and shutter safe and law-abiding abortion providers.
“House Bill 19 attempts to intimidate physicians who perform legal abortions, a procedure with an incredibly high safety record, by increasing their exposure to frivolous lawsuits. It would significantly increase the risk physicians face in providing safe and legal abortion care.
“The real motivation behind this flawed bill is political, not because it is what’s best for women. The fact is, this bill would give extremist organizations — whose sole mission is to stop abortion providers — one more vehicle to go after doctors and tie up the court system, without the constraints of the established medical malpractice legal system in Florida.
“It’s a shame the opponents to workers’ compensation reform continue to rely on the same tired old arguments of ‘blame the lawyers,’ rather than working on meaningful solutions that will help Florida’s businesses and workers. The insurance industry has been using an improper, unjust process to line its pockets, and it’s time the workers’ comp system was fixed to benefit those who are truly supposed to benefit from it: Florida employers and the hard-working men and women who depend on them for their jobs. We look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature to enact meaningful, workable reforms.”
Richard Chait serves as Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of Florida Justice Association
Sunshine State Continuing to Show Gains in Solar Energy
Vote Solar, an advocacy organization working to make solar a mainstream energy resource across the U.S., issues the following statement today in response to legislative activity in Florida.
“We applaud Senator Jeff Brandes for his continued leadership on solar energy development in Florida. He is a true champion for solar and today helped assure unanimous passage of Senate Bill 90 in the first legislative committee meeting. Senate Bill 90 will help to unlock the sunshine state’s full solar potential,” said Scott Thomasson, Director of New Markets for Vote Solar.
“This bill comes at just the right time to grow the market in Florida, as The Solar Foundation announced today that Florida gained 1,700 solar jobs in 2016. Florida voters sent a clear mandate with 73 percent of voters agreeing to remove tax penalties on solar, and now it’s up to our state legislators to implement Amendment 4 into law by passing Senate Bill 90.”
Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to foster economic development and energy independence by bringing solar energy to the mainstream nationwide. Learn more at www.votesolar.org
STATEMENT by advocate Lauren Book on findings that 1 in 14
Australian Catholic priests committed child sexual abuse
“The findings of the Australian inquiry into child sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests in their country since 1980, revealing 1 in 14 committed child sexual abuse, are shocking and despicable…but all too familiar. We know proper reports were not being made and priests were being shuffled around, free to commit assault after assault in community after community, harming child after child, instead of being turned over to authorities and made to pay for their heinous crimes. I cannot say it enough: this happens in all communities, all continents, all countries, to children of all ages, races, religions and socioeconomic statuses. This is Australia’s story, but this is also OUR story. And until we commit to doing more as a society, and as individuals, to combat this preventable crime, we will continue to see headlines such as these. Please, let’s arm ourselves with information on grooming tactics of predators, signs of abuse in children, how to make a report, and teach our children prevention education and how to seek help if they are harmed. It’s ALWAYS ok to tell, and as we teach children in our curriculum, it’s important to keep telling until you get the ‘2 H’s’: Heard and Helped.”
About Lauren Book
Senator Lauren Book, M.S. Ed, is an author, educator, internationally respected and renowned child advocate and founder of the Lauren’s Kids Foundation. She is also one of 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse living in the United States today. Since 2002, she has advocated for the passage of laws to better support survivors of sexual abuse and to help protect children from predators, including the nation’s toughest mandatory reporting laws, the creation of child safety zones and the elimination of the statute of limitations for prosecution of sexual crimes committed against children. She worked with the Florida Legislature and the Florida Department of Education to create the first-of-its-kind personal safety and abuse prevention curriculum program, currently in more than 65,000 classrooms across the state of Florida and beyond. www.laurenskids.org
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) issued the following statement today regarding Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court:
“Of course, I’m going to talk to him and listen to the Judiciary Committee hearing. But I have real concerns about what I believe are two of the most fundamental rights in our democracy: the right to vote and the right to know who you are voting for. And I specifically want to know how the judge feels about the suppression of voting rights and about the amount of undisclosed, unlimited money in campaigns.”