Governor Rick Scott today announced that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is partnering with world-renowned red tide experts to conduct field experiments to mitigate the effects of red tide. [Read more…] about Gov. Scott: FWC Launches Innovative Partnership with World-Renowned Scientists to Combat Red Tide
The MEGA MILLIONS® jackpot has been rolling since July 27, resulting in an estimated $275 million jackpot for the Friday, September 21, drawing. Florida players have the chance to become the state’s third MEGA MILLIONS jackpot winner by purchasing a $2 ticket at any of the more than 13,000 Lottery retailers across the state. [Read more…] about MEGA MILLIONS jackpot climbs to $275 million
Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg and Representative Chris Sprowls of Clearwater have been honored by Florida’s Court Clerks and Comptrollers (FCCC) for their partnership on good public policy to innovate, strengthen and improve Florida’s criminal justice system. The ceremony was held at the Pinellas County Justice Center on September 17. [Read more…] about Clerks Honor Legislators with 2018 Partnership Award
The U.S. Senate today, by a vote of 93-7, passed a bipartisan government funding package for the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, Education and Related Agencies for the next fiscal year. The package also contains Continuing Resolution language that will fund any government agencies at risk of a shutdown at the end of the fiscal year through December 7th.
Following is a list of the Health and Human Services, Labor, Education and Related Agencies provisions U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) sponsored that were included in the final package the Senate approved today:
- $1 million to enhance the public health response for communities affected by toxic algal blooms. This provision would provide $1 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help areas most affected by harmful algal blooms. Priority would be given to locations subject to a state of emergency designation within the previous 12 months, which includes 13 Florida counties.
- Student loan deferments for cancer patients. This provision would make borrowers diagnosed with cancer eligible for a deferment on the payment of their federal student loans and would suspend the accrual of interest until six months after the patient has finished receiving treatment.
- $10 million for mental health in schools. This amendment would provide up to $10 million to the Department of Education to administer a pilot grant program to train and hire more mental health professionals in schools across the country. The legislation provides federal education grants to colleges and universities that partner with low-income school districts to train school counselors, social workers, psychologists and other mental health professionals and place them in the underserved school districts that need them the most. Nelson initially introduced the measure in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this year.
- Streamline sharing of DoD and VA electronic health records. This provision would help ensure the Department of Defense is executing the plan to streamline the process by which it shares electronic medical records with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- $1 million to the Firefighter Cancer Registry to monitor and study the incidence of cancer among firefighters. The provision provides additional funding for the CDC to monitor and study the relationship between exposure to fumes and other toxins and the rate of cancer among firefighters.
- $3.78 billion for programs addressing the opioid epidemic and mental health. This provision includes nearly $2 million in state grants to address the opioid epidemic and mental health; $350 million for opioid overdose surveillance and preventions; $495 million to improve access to opioid and substance use disorder treatment in rural and underserved areas.
Sen. Nelson also advocated for and received the following funds in FY19 Defense Appropriations:
- $10 million for Eastern Gulf Test and Training Range. Located off of Florida’s Gulf Coast, this $10 million will improve one of the nation’s most vital training ranges, making it harder for oil companies to drill and preserving the area for national security needs.
- $950 million for two additional Navy Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The East Coast fleet of LCS’s are homeported at Naval Station Mayport, located in Jacksonville, FL.
- $1.5 million to begin planning and design for the execution of the Navy’s Strategic Laydown and Dispersal Plan. The plan is expected to announce additional ships to be homeported at Mayport.
The bill now heads to the House for a vote.
U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today introduced legislation to rename the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge in Martin County, Florida after one of the state’s most renowned environmental champions, Nathaniel “Nat” Reed. [Read more…] about Florida Senators file bill to rename Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge after Nathaniel Reed
Join the Florida Chamber Foundation September 26 and 27 in Orlando for the 2018 Future of Florida Forum, where Florida’s business community will gather elected officials, legislators, and industry leaders to discuss the issues that matter most to Florida’s long-term future. [Read more…] about Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2018 Future of Florida Forum to Feature Florida 2030 Research Release, Women’s Hall of Fame and More
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) took to the Senate floor today to urge Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to immediately schedule a vote on the Water Resources Development Act. The legislation includes a provision that would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. [Read more…] about Nelson urges GOP leaders to take up Senate water bill
Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis announced today the launch of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) training materials on mental health awareness, prevention, mitigation, and treatment for first responder employers such as local police or fire departments. [Read more…] about CFO Jimmy Patronis: PTSD Training Critical for Our First Responders
Governor Rick Scott today announced that Beast Code LLC, an employee owned and operated software engineering company, has chosen to expand in Fort Walton Beach and will add 40 new jobs. Since December 2010, nearly 1.6 million private-sector jobs have been created in Florida. [Read more…] about Gov. Scott: Software Engineering Company, Beast Code, to Create 40 New Jobs
The U.S. Senate today passed a sweeping bill aimed at combating the opioid epidemic.
Included in the measure were several provisions championed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). [Read more…] about Senate passes sweeping opioid bill