Advocates for health and safety protections for outdoor workers are applauding Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D- Winter Park) and Senator Victor Torres (D- Kissimmee) for the introduction of HB 513 which implements critical workplace protections related to heat stress. [Read more…] about Outdoor Workers Applaud Florida Heat Stress Protection Bills
Senator Victor Torres
Last night, Ricardo Rossello announced his intentions to resign as Governor of Puerto Rico after nearly two weeks of public protests. [Read more…] about Senator Torres Statement on Resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Rossello
Alarmed that Florida might not only suffer an under count of population, but ensuing financial losses as well, state Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) on Thursday called on Governor Ron DeSantis to issue an Executive Order to create a Census Statewide Complete Count Committee for the upcoming 2020 US Census. [Read more…] about Senator Torres Calls for Creation of Statewide Census Count Committee for Florida
New study shows raising the wage would boost income for more
than 3 million Floridians, reduce costs to public programs
State Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) on Monday joined Orlando Airport and concession workers earning $5.25 an hour, along with adjunct faculty earning poverty wages to support a push for the proposed $15 minimum wage ballot initiative. [Read more…] about Senator Victor Torres, Low Wage Airport Workers, Fast Food Workers, and Adjunct Faculty Say $15 Minimum Wage will Boost Florida’s Economy
As the rising number of Hurricane Maria refugees from Puerto Rico continues to pour into central Florida, state Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) echoed calls for FEMA to immediately dispatch emergency housing to temporarily shelter these families as they search for ways to rebuild their lives.
“The impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria are placing huge demands on our public services,” said Senator Torres, who gave impassioned testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday when he called on state Senate members to increase funds for state education, healthcare and housing needs. “We need to focus on building and expanding more housing options for Floridians and evacuees from the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico who are seeking refuge in our great state.”
Earlier this week, Central Florida Heart of Florida United Way Executive Director Jeff Hayward called on the Federal government, through FEMA, to engage in providing support for additional housing options in central Florida. Prior to Hurricane Irma and Maria, central Florida was already dealing with a shortage of available workforce housing. Based on the market value of rental properties in central Florida, workers would need to make $20.00 per hour in order to afford rent in the area.
Senator Torres’ district includes both Orange and Osceola counties which contain the highest concentration of Puerto Ricans living in Florida. FEMA has designated Florida as a Host-State for evacuees from the islands and approved costs could be eligible for 100 percent reimbursement by the federal government. Senator Torres is working with local and state officials for FEMA approval of both the deployment of mobile housing units and authorization of TSA (Temporary Sheltering Assistance) for evacuees to receive rental housing funds.
For more information please contact Al Yorston at (407) 846-5187
Venezuelans this week voted on a national plebiscite referendum to oppose changes by President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the nation’s Constitution. Nearly 7.5 million Venezuelan citizens worldwide participated in the vote, including 150,000 living in Florida, and by an overwhelming ninety-eight percent rejected the proposed Constitutional reforms.
“The voices of the Venezuelan people spoke with unanimity in their desire to preserve their national freedom and an open society,” stated Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando). “We should all stand with the citizens and demand the current leadership abide by the will of the people.”
Senator Torres supports efforts by the United States and other nations to impose economic sanctions on Venezuela to discourage the unpopular Constitutional changes and restore stability and economic prosperity for the South American country. Venezuela has been in a downward economic spiral under Maduro’s leadership, with rising food shortages, high unemployment, and sky-high inflation. Since April, almost 100 Venezuelans have died in anti-Maduro protests.
For additional information, please contact Senator Torres’ office at 407-846-5187.
Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) on Tuesday filed SB 1088 which amends Florida’s workers compensation law to allow first responders suffering from work related mental illnesses, like PTSD, to receive lost wages during their recovery and treatment.
“The least we can do for those who put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of this state is make sure they have the ability to get the treatment they need and provide for their families while they are recovering from any physical or mental illnesses,” said Senator Torres.
Under current law, in order for first responders to be eligible for lost wages while recovering from a mental disability, such as PTSD, it must also be accompanied by a physical injury. This bill simply clarifies language under the workers compensation statue and separates the mental injury from the requirement of being related to a physical injury.
Jessica Realin, whose husband Gerry is currently suffering from PTSD after responding to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL last summer, praised the legislation. “On behalf of the First Responders of Florida, the spouses and families of First Responders and my beloved husband, Officer Gerry Realin, I want to thank Senator Victor Torres for filing SB 1088. This measure truly has the first responders in mind, and recognizes that they, too, deserve our support.”
Organizations announcing their support of Senator Torres’ legislation include:
- Florida Police Chief Association (FPCA)
- Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
- Florida Sheriff Association (FSA)
- Police Benevolent Association (PBA)
- Florida Professional Firefighters (FPF)
- Florida State Firemen’s Association (FSFA)
- Florida Fire Chiefs Association (FFCA)
Notified of the death of two Orlando-area police officers killed in the line of duty this morning – one shot, the other killed in a motorcycle crash responding to the shooting – state Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) issued the following statement:
“This has been a day of tremendous sadness for all of the people served by the dedicated members of the Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. We have lost two brave and honorable police officers, who gave their lives in service to those they swore to protect.
“As a former New York City Transit Police Officer and lifelong public servant, I strongly condemn this violent act and I, too, pledge to work tirelessly to reform our laws, and end the ease with which hardened criminals can access high powered weapons. We owe at least this much to Sergeant Debra Clayton, and every other law enforcement officer who has made the ultimate sacrifice.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and colleagues of both officers killed in today’s tragic events. We must ensure that those who risk their lives every day in defense of our public safety will be protected under the full extent of our laws.”