Florida State Wide
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $4.6 million in awards to communities in Northwest Florida that were impacted by Hurricane Michael through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF). In 2020, the Florida Legislature created a special appropriation for RIF projects in Calhoun, Gadsden, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, and Washington Counties. These funds were appropriated to bolster infrastructure and promote economic development in these rural communities.
“My administration remains committed to areas still recovering from past storms,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This $4.5 million will go a long way toward giving some of the rural areas affected by Hurricane Michael the extra boost they need to attract investment and improve their economies.”
The Rural Infrastructure Fund is administered by DEO and provides funding to facilitate the planning, preparing, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities. Improving current infrastructure encourages job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies through the promotion of tourism, trade, and economic development.
“I extend my appreciation to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for their continued commitment to assist Northwest Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Michael through the special appropriation of Rural Infrastructure Funds,” said Dane Eagle, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “We look forward to working with these rural communities to help foster economic development and infrastructure projects in this region.” Continue reading
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s efforts to protect Floridians and hold scammers accountable continue this week as Florida recognizes National Consumer Protection Week. Since 2019, Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division has secured more than $260 million in restitution and other relief for Floridians. Efforts to protect consumers quickly evolved early last year as COVID-19 began to spread and Florida fell under a state of emergency.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As COVID-19 spread, so did scams exploiting the pandemic. Inevitably, as millions of Floridians started working from home to slow the spread of the virus, new schemes emerged capitalizing on fear of the virus and using the government’s response as a basis for creating new scams. These schemes relied heavily on technology—using emails, texts and robocalls as tools to reach targets in order to steal consumers’ money and personal information.
“I am proud of the response by my Consumer Protection attorneys and investigators quickly adapting to this new environment to protect Floridians from fraud and deception. Because of their hard work, we have recovered millions of dollars for consumers and helped prevent countless Floridians from falling victim to emerging scams by issuing Consumer Alerts as we learn of new schemes. This Consumer Protection Week, we will focus on some of the great work these dedicated public servants are doing to help build a Stronger, Safer Florida.”
Florida remains under a state of emergency due to the pandemic and Attorney General Moody’s Price Gouging Hotline remains active. Through reports to the hotline and other contacts with the Attorney General’s Office, millions of dollars are being recovered and well over 10,000 consumer concerns have been addressed.
For more on Attorney General Moody’s efforts to prevent price gouging and provide consumer relief amid the COVID-19 State of Emergency, click here.
In addition to fighting to protect consumers amid the pandemic, since taking office in 2019 Attorney General Moody has worked to stop a myriad of scams and deceptive trade practices. A few of the notable cases include:
State of Florida v. Client Care Experts: Client Care Experts operated a tech support business that allegedly exploited consumers’ fears about computer viruses, hackers and other security threats to dupe consumers into purchasing costly and unnecessary technical support services and software. To date, the Attorney General’s Office has obtained three consent final judgments imposing permanent injunctions and more than $12.5 million in total relief, including $10 million in restitution to consumers. The case is still active against the remaining defendants in the scheme and collection efforts are ongoing.
State of Florida v. Ocwen Financial Corp: Attorney General Moody and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation brought a joint action against Ocwen to address deficiencies in Ocwen’s residential mortgage loan servicing, including alleged failure to accurately onboard loans to its system of record, mishandling borrowers’ escrow accounts, overcharging borrowers’ accounts and sending misleading communications about borrowers’ accounts. Through a consent judgment entered by the federal district court, the Attorney General’s Office secured more than $11 million in total relief, including $6.5 million in debt relief for eligible borrowers and more than $2 million in restitution.
State of Florida v. PEAKS Trust: PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by ITT and affiliated with Deutsche Bank entities, extended temporary credit to students that the business allegedly knew or should have known would not be able to repay. When the temporary credit became due, ITT pressured and coerced students into accepting loans from PEAKS that often carried high interest rates. Attorney General Moody and a coalition of other state attorneys general took action to secure approximately $330 million in debt relief, including more than $24 million for Floridians.
Guiribitey Cosmetic and Beauty Institute, Inc. d/b/a CG Cosmetic Surgery: Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division investigated CG Cosmetic Surgery based on allegations that the company engaged in deceptive or unfair acts toward consumers in Florida and elsewhere in connection with the advertising, promoting, marketing and offering of plastic surgery services. As a result of action taken by Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division, CG Cosmetic Surgery issued refunds to consumers totaling more than $274,000.
FTC and State of Florida v. American Veterans Foundation and Paul Monville: American Veterans Foundation claimed donations would help prevent veteran homelessness. AVF made multiple promises, including that the organization would send care packages to service members overseas and help veterans get counseling. However, the Attorney General’s Office’s investigation revealed that less than three percent of the funds went to helping homeless veterans and most contributions went toward fundraising, employee compensation and other overhead. As a result of joint action with the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General’s Office secured a permanent injunction and order requiring AVF and its principal Paul Monville to pay more than $119,000 to be redistributed for charitable purposes, a portion of which was used in building a specially adapted smart home in Jupiter for a veteran injured in the line of duty.
In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Moody will be highlighting additional efforts to protect Floridians. Attorney General Moody will also be reaching out directly to consumers through social media.
To follow the week-long Twitter campaign, visit Twitter.com/AGAshleyMoody.
To report consumer scams or deceptive business practices, visit MyFloridaLegal.com or call 1(866) 9NO-SCAM. To report suspected price gouging, consumers can also download the No Scam app. For more information on the app, click here.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is securing millions of dollars for Florida through efforts to hold accountable corporations responsible for helping fuel the deadly opioid epidemic. Attorney General Moody today announced the results of a multimillion-dollar action against a marketing company that helped turbocharge the opioid epidemic through a marketing collaboration with Purdue Pharma.
Florida joins a coalition of attorneys general from 47 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories in the $573 million action with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Company. The multistate action resolves investigations into the company’s role in working for opioid companies to help promote products that fueled the opioid epidemic. As a result, Florida will receive more than $40 million—a majority of which will be made available for allocation by Florida lawmakers during this critical time.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I’m pleased this money will be available to help Floridians very soon, and I will work alongside our great legislative leaders to ensure funds are allocated to areas hit hard by the opioid crisis. While securing these funds is a great win for Florida, our work is far from over, and I remain committed to fighting tooth and nail, both inside and outside the courtroom, to stop the death and destruction inflicted on Florida families by opioid abuse.” Continue reading
Attorney General Moody Issues Tips to Promote Safe and Responsible Internet Use on Safer Internet Day promoting safe and responsible internet use in recognition of 2021 Safer Internet Day. With COVID-19 forcing more Floridians to learn, socialize and work remotely, secure internet usage is more important than ever. The good news is there are simple steps users can follow to improve online security and protect sensitive information.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Most of us access the internet every day to learn, work or socialize. This increased online activity provides more opportunities for scammers, hackers and thieves looking to steal your personal and financial information. Safer Internet Day is a good reminder to take a fresh look at how to protect your finances, identity and safety online.”
Attorney General Moody is releasing the following tips to help Floridians stay safe online: Continue reading
West Palm Beach, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis proposed new measures to safeguard the sanctity of Florida elections. The Governor’s announcement reaffirms his commitment to the integrity of every vote and the importance of transparency in Florida elections.
“Last November, Florida held the smoothest, most successful election of any state in the country,” said Governor DeSantis. “While we should celebrate this feat, we should not rest on our laurels. Today, we are taking action to ensure that Florida remains a leader on key issues regarding our electoral process, such as ballot integrity, public access to election information, transparency of election reporting and more. By strengthening these election integrity protections, we will ensure that our elections remain secure and transparent, and that Florida’s electoral process remains a blueprint for other states to follow.”
The proposed legislation takes an important step in designing some of the nation’s strongest election integrity protections and providing unprecedented election transparency for Florida residents. The proposed legislation would include the following measures: Continue reading
The 2021 Legislative Session will be underway as of March 2 and already the picture is becoming a little clearer about what the priorities of the Florida Legislature will be. The eight weeks of committee hearings leading up to this have had numerous state agency and local government presentations, along with citizen input, about the challenges our state faces and the needs we will be asked to meet. I will share a few of those highlights with you today.
The state budget is always the top concern, as the only constitutionally mandated duty of the Florida Senate is to pass a balanced budget. We do not have to do anything else or pass a single bill, except that one. Which we have done, faithfully, each year. This year, with the COVID crises, the forecasting is predicting a budget shortfall, which means that cuts will be made and many good projects will go unfunded. This will be an exercise in frugality and efficiency and will not be all together bad for our state. A budget event like this can be a good reset for Florida as it brings in to focus those things, which are actually a priority. We are in a good place with Senator Kelli Stargel leading our efforts in this area and she has my full confidence. Continue reading
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the publication of the 2021 Florida Military Friendly Guide. The Guide updates the programs, policies and benefits Florida provides for our servicemembers, their families and military veterans.
“The Florida Military Friendly Guide reflects Florida’s consistent commitment to our military installations, servicemembers, their families and veterans,” said Governor DeSantis. “As the most military-friendly state in the nation, Florida has the back of the thousands of military and civilian families who live and work in our defense communities. We hope this guide connects our service members with the resources and support they need.”
Produced by Enterprise Florida and Florida Defense Support Task Force, the Florida Military Friendly Guide is distributed in print to Florida’s 23 major military installations, representing each of the six services, more than 65,000 active duty Servicemembers and families, over 35,000 DOD civilian employees and families, and 1.45 million veterans. An online version is also available.
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Enterprise Florida, the Florida Defense Alliance and the Florida Defense Support Task Force remain committed to working with Florida’s state agencies to support our military men and women and their families and keep pace with their needs,” said Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, president & CEO of Enterprise Florida. “This edition of the guide boasts more resources than ever and reflects the hard work of the Governor and Florida Legislature.” Continue reading
I have heard some rumors about taking the words “Under God” out of the Pledge Allegiance. I fact Check that and I can’t find where the rumor started and can’t find if someone is really trying to take then the words “under God” out. Several political’s repeated the rumor. NOT TRUE!
BUT the way things are going and the strange people that are getting elected it will come up. It will be political suicide! Do you ever wonder how these people are getting elected? Hell we are making girls compete against boys who wish to be girls. The problem is they have the male structure and strength. Girls are better at things that boys are not. NOT FAIR! It’s robbing some girls of their scholarships. I’m getting at what? It show that there is a force trying to disrupt everything in our country that means anything about our great Country’s history and current structure.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the Social Minister Francis Bellamy. It was originally published in the Youth’s Champion on September8, 1892. Bellamy had hope it would be used by all countries.
The original form read: Continue reading
On January 15, 2021, in News Releases, by Staff
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis commended the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for approving the continuation of the Low-Income Pool (LIP) program in Florida. The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) reached an agreement with the CMS to extend the 1115 Managed Medical Assistance waiver that allows for the continuation of the LIP program through June 30, 2030. The LIP program was established to ensure continued government support for the provision of health care services to underinsured and uninsured populations by providing critical funding to important safety net providers, including Florida’s hospitals.
“LIP funding provides critical support to Florida health care providers that serve our most vulnerable,” said Governor DeSantis. “Continuing this essential program means Floridians will have access to quality health care when they need it.”
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida continues to make great strides in providing meaningful health outcomes and support our frontline providers,” said Acting Secretary Shevaun Harris. “We appreciate the federal government recognizing the significance of our LIP program and providing us with the necessary funding to ensure the stability of the program for individuals and families.” Continue reading
On January 14, 2021, in News Releases, by Staff
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida received $85.8 million in CARES Act funding to address housing instability and homelessness across the state. The funds, which are being released in two separate disbursements ($20 million and $65 million), will be used to provide rental assistance, support emergency shelters, and conduct street outreach programs to connect unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness with local housing and other essential services.
“As Governor, I am committed to ensuring Floridians, no matter their circumstances, have the resources they need to succeed,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This federal funding will ensure those experiencing homelessness have the necessary level of support and can access the wraparound services they need to get back on their feet and begin or continue on their journey to economic stability and independence.”
In March 2020, $2.96 billion was allocated to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through Emergency Solutions Grants to support individuals experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness due to financial setbacks resulting from COVID-19. Florida’s Emergency Solutions Grant, which totals $85,896,094, will be administered by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the single point of contact within state government for the 27 Continuums of Care (CoCs) and other agencies, organizations, and stakeholders serving the homeless population. Continue reading