Florida Realtors® PAC announced additional candidate endorsements for the 2018 election cycle. [Read more…] about Florida Realtors® PAC announces additional candidate endorsements for Florida House of Representatives
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Today, the Tommy Gregory Campaign announced the endorsement of former U.S. Senator Connie Mack, who represented Florida for two terms. Gregory continues to consolidate the support of area Republican leaders in his run for the District 73 seat in the Florida House of Representatives, currently held by Joe Gruters, who is running for the Florida Senate.
By Brian Mast
The most important and unregrettable time of my life was the 12 years I spent in the Army. I became a bomb technician because I wanted to save lives. I nearly gave my own life for that — I lost both my legs and a finger when a roadside bomb detonated beneath me — and have known more heroes than I can count who died defending others.
When I was with others on the battlefield and we saw a chance to save a life, we didn’t have a meeting about it; we acted immediately. I never worried about becoming a casualty myself.
Now, as a Republican congressman from Florida, I don’t fear becoming a political casualty, either. If we act now by changing laws surrounding firearms and mental illness, we too can save lives.
Most nights in Afghanistan, I wielded an M4 carbine and a .40-caliber pistol. The total barrel length of my M4 was approximately 14 inches with Trijicon ACOG sights, as well as an infrared laser. I usually carried 10 magazines stacked with 20 rounds of 5.56-millimeter ammunition each.
My rifle was very similar to the AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon used to kill students, teachers and a coach I knew at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where I once lived.
I have fired tens of thousands of rounds through that rifle, many in combat. We used it because it was the most lethal — the best for killing our enemies. And I know that my community, our schools and public gathering places are not made safer by any person having access to the best killing tool the Army could put in my hands. I cannot support the primary weapon I used to defend our people being used to kill children I swore to defend.
The truth is, most gun owners are responsible sportsmen and collectors who enjoy shooting recreationally, like me, or want to protect their home in the way they see fit. I am a longtime member of the National Rifle Association. My grandfather bought me my first NRA membership when I was young, and I have the same pride he and many Americans feel at being responsible gun owners, becoming excellent marksmen and joining in the camaraderie of hunting.
We are Americans and we like to be the best; we should never lose this trait. The AR-15 is an excellent platform for recreational shooters to learn to be outstanding marksmen. Unfortunately, it is also an excellent platform for those who wish to kill the innocent.
I conceal and carry a 9-millimeter pistol most days because I know the threats, and I don’t want to die because I am unprepared to return fire.
I also know that I am made less safe by the threat of tactical rifles. I am confident I can eliminate an active shooter who is attacking with a pistol because the attacker would have to be close to me. But the defense my concealed 9-millimeter affords me is largely gone if the attacker is firing from beyond 40 yards, as he could easily do with the AR-15.
No firearm is evil. Guns are tools that fulfill the intent of their users, good or bad. But we’ve seen that the rifle of choice for many mass shooters is the AR-15.
The Second Amendment is unimpeachable. It guarantees the right of citizens to defend themselves. I accept, however, that it does not guarantee that every civilian can bear any and all arms.
For example, the purchase of fully automatic firearms is largely banned already, and I cannot purchase an AT-4 rocket, grenades, a Bradley fighting vehicle or an Abrams tank. I know that no single action can prevent a truly determined person from committing mass murder, and I am aware of other ways to commit mass murder, such as bombings and mass vehicular slaughter. Not being able to control everything, however, should not prevent us from doing something.
Therefore, I support the following:
Defining what constitutes an assault or tactical firearm and not allowing them for future purchase — just as we already prohibit the purchase of fully automatic firearms. The exact definition of assault weapon will need to be determined. But we should all be able to agree that the civilian version of the very deadly weapon that the Army issued to me should certainly qualify. I would not support any version of a ban that results in confiscating existing legally owned firearms.
Ensuring that every firearm purchaser has a background check. We also need to improve the background check system.
Banning the sale of accessories and add-ons that circumvent the ban on automatic firearms, and increasing the ages at which individuals can purchase various categories of firearms.
Ensuring that those who have been detained for mental illness, or have been ordered by courts to receive treatment for mental illness, cannot purchase firearms.
Ensuring that someone who is being looked at as a possible terrorist, through a system of due process, cannot purchase a firearm and that any person threatening to shoot or blow up a school, in word or on social media, is placed on an F.B.I. watch list for a long time.
Providing behavior detection training to anyone seeking a Federal Firearms License.
Making substantial resources available to schools, at their discretion, for security measures, including the opportunity to purchase enhanced security screening, install classroom panic buttons wired directly to law enforcement and hire additional school resource officers.
Holding the F.B.I. and state agencies accountable for their failures to identify a threat like Nikolas Cruz, as well as ensuring that schools enforce basic security protocols to prevent access by unauthorized personnel.
And finally, conducting further research into the nexus of gun violence, violence in mass media and mental illness.
The president, House of Representatives, Senate, every state legislature, sheriffs, police officers, school boards, students and parents must unite with one mission: that no one will ever be murdered in school again.
Governor Rick Scott today issued the following statement after the Florida House of Representatives unanimously voted in support of HB 359. This bill advances Governor Scott’s proposal to strictly prohibit the State of Florida, including all state agencies, from investing in any company that is doing business with Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro’s oppressive government. See Governor Scott’s announcement of this proposal HERE.
“Florida is proud to be an incredible melting pot and home to a vibrant Venezuelan population. But sadly, in recent years, we’ve seen the conditions and situation in Venezuela deteriorate because of a brutal dictator. The Maduro regime is hurting and oppressing Venezuelan families more and more each day and I have been absolutely clear that the State of Florida will not stand for it. Last year, I proposed, and the entire Florida Cabinet supported, a ban on state investments benefitting the Maduro regime. Today, I am proud that the Florida House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of my proposal that prohibits all state agencies from investing in the oppressive Venezuelan government. I’d like to thank House Speaker Richard Corcoran, House Speaker pro tempore Jeanette Nuñez, Representative Manny Diaz and all the members who voted for this important legislation that recognizes the significant role Florida plays globally. I look forward to the Senate continuing to advance this bill and signing it into law soon.” – Governor Rick Scott
Jeff Ramsey announced that he has filed to become a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives in District 51. Ramsey, a conservative Republican, is a teacher and Air Force veteran. The seat is currently held by Representative Tom Goodson, who will not be seeking reelection in 2018 due to term limits.
“I have spent my career fighting to make sure our country stays free and safe for future generations, and I look forward to continuing the fight in Tallahassee,” said Ramsey. “We must continue to push for policies that cut taxes and promote job growth as well as protect our freedoms, especially our Second Amendment rights. And Florida must ban sanctuary cities.”
Ramsey would also make veterans a priority: “As a veteran, I know how much the men and women in uniform sacrifice to protect our great country. We owe it to our veterans to give them economic opportunities, to see to it that they are well cared for and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
After growing up in Camden, South Carolina, Ramsey enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he rose through the enlisted ranks and was later commissioned as an officer, retiring as a major. In 2001, his service brought him to Brevard County, where he was a launch director with the Delta program at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At that post, he also provided leadership on complex projects where he managed large budgets and hundreds of staff. He finished his military career with a teaching assignment at the collegiate level, mentoring the next generation of Air Force officers.
After retiring from the Air Force, Ramsey began a career as a high school teacher. Starting in the fall of 2017, he will serve as the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor for Eau Gallie High School, leading the Junior ROTC program.
“Teaching is both a great privilege and responsibility, and I am very encouraged by the hard work and ambition I see in so many of my students,” said Ramsey. “But I am troubled by the lack of emphasis on civics education throughout a child’s school experience. It is imperative that we bolster the teaching of our nation’s history and the system of government our founders created.”
Ramsey and his wife, Michelle, a Merritt Island native, are the proud parents of six children. She is a certified public account and works as a manager in Brevard County.
House District 51 covers parts of central and northern Brevard County, including the communities of Rockledge, Cocoa, Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral, and Cocoa Beach, as well as the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Paid by Jeff Ramsey, Republican, for State Representative
The former governor is confident Mallea’s conservative values
and leadership skills make him the right leader for District 116.
The Jose Mallea Campaign today announced the endorsement of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Mallea, a Republican, is seeking the District 116 seat in the Florida House, which is vacant following the resignation of Jose Felix Diaz, who is running for the Florida Senate. Bush served as Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007.
“There is no question Jose Mallea is the right leader for District 116,” said Governor Bush. “Jose has an inspiring personal story of working hard to achieve success in both business and public service, and now wants to ensure that same American dream is attainable for everyone, not just a select few. I know that Jose will effectively put his conservative principles and leadership skills to work in Tallahassee for the community he loves and for our great state.”
Mallea, a Cuban-American, grew up in Miami, where he attended public schools. He was a Senior Advisor in Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign, and he served in the White House as Special Assistant to Andrew Card, former President George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff. Later, he was a Senior Advisor in the U.S. Department of State Office of Commercial and Business Affairs. He is the Founder and President of Biscayne Bay Brewing Company.
The special primary election for the District 116 seat will be Tuesday, July 25, with the general election following on Tuesday, September 26.
Paid by Jose Mallea, Republican, for State Representative
New material has been posted to the Supreme Court website in:
- Aramis Ayala v. Rick Scott (amicus brief of Florida House of Representatives, filed late last night)
Follow the links at: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org.
Tallahassee, Fla. — Yesterday, State Representative Jay Trumbull’s office released the statement below following House passage of H.B. 7085:
Today, the Florida House of Representatives passed House Bill 7085, which will increase workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers while decreasing insurance premiums for employers. The legislation, sponsored by State Representative Jay Trumbull, will promote job creation and protect existing jobs by addressing the 14.5 percent workers’ compensation premium increase approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation.
“As a small business owner myself, I know that the cost of workers’ compensation insurance is at the top of the list of things we have to get right,” said Trumbull. “Skyrocketing workers comp rates won’t just keep small businesses from hiring more workers. It will also cause job terminations and layoffs.”
Trumbull continued: “We have worked hard on this bill that will protect Florida jobs for tens of thousands of people. Every time government puts a requirement in place—another piece of paperwork or another insurance mandate or another license or fee—it not only hurts the owner of the business, it hurts employees, their families, and the entire community. It certainly hurts the person who may not get hired in the first place. I’m glad to say that with this workers’ comp bill, we’ve taken an important step toward making sure Florida stays one of the best places in the country to do business.”
The Florida House of Representatives today unanimously voted to strengthen the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s efforts to fight fraud in the state’s Reemployment Assistance program. The House passed HB 671, sponsored by Representative Mike LaRosa, which provides DEO access to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ DAVID System, including the state photo identification database.
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “DEO is working every day to stop criminals from fraudulently stealing Reemployment Assistance benefits from Florida job seekers who need help getting back to work. This legislation will help our dedicated fraud-prevention team identify and halt fraud more quickly. I appreciate Rep. LaRosa’s leadership on this important issue and the Florida House for recognizing DEO’s successful efforts to protect Reemployment Assistance.”
The legislation includes the tools and legal authorizations that are critical to prevent and fight public benefits fraud by providing DEO access to the driver’s license database to confirm claimant-provided IDs are not fraudulent.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.floridajobs.org.
Chelsea Harrison, Senior Policy Communications Manager for Lyft, issued the following statement after approval of ridesharing legislation, HB 221, by the Florida House of Representatives:
“Today the Florida House overwhelmingly recognized that Florida needs a single, comprehensive set of rules for ridesharing. Lyft is grateful to Speaker Corcoran and his leadership team for their work on this issue. This framework will ensure that Floridians continue to enjoy the convenient, affordable rides Lyft provides across the state. We look forward to working with the Florida Senate to advance this legislation to the Governor’s desk for his signature.”