Florida State Wide
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced the first arrest in connection with the newly-formed Senior Protection Team. Acting on a complaint sent to the Team, investigators began looking into allegations that a Florida senior fell victim to contractor fraud following Hurricane Michael. The victim’s home suffered damage during the storm. The victim paid a contractor $5,000 for repairs that the contractor never completed.
Working with the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office, the Team helped build a case that led to the arrest of contractor Mark Kelsoe. The investigation revealed Kelsoe as an unlicensed contractor. Kelsoe is charged with one count of working as an unlicensed contractor during a state of emergency, a third-degree felony.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Anyone trying to take advantage of Florida seniors should think twice before committing fraud. Our Senior Protection Team is working diligently to investigate complaints of senior fraud and abuse. The Team has only been active for a matter of weeks and already their hard work is producing results. Continue reading
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today visited the Orlando Police Department and presented a Back the Blue Award to the department for providing relief to Puerto Rico law enforcement agencies post Hurricane Maria. Over the past two years, the department gathered gear to help law enforcement maintain order on the storm-ravaged island. The materials consist of radio equipment, ballistic shields, tactical vests, tasers, flashlights, helmets and more. The department delivered the materials, valued at more than $500,000, to Puerto Rico last week.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The Orlando Police Department and Chief Orlando Rolón went above and beyond to support law enforcement in Puerto Rico. Not only do they dedicate their lives to serving Floridians, they are committed to helping those in need outside of Florida as well. The brotherhood within law enforcement is strong, no matter where you are located, and the care and consideration of this mission is outstanding. Thank you, Orlando Police Department for your tenacity, for representing our State so well and helping our fellow Americans.” Continue reading
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging the Federal Communications Commission to take further action to stop the growing spread of illegal robocalls and spoofing. Spoofing is the practice of using technology to disguise a caller’s phone number. The number of spoofed calls and the consumer financial losses tied to these scams have increased by nearly 50 percent in recent years. Attorney General Moody is one of 42 attorneys general asking the FCC to enforce rules against caller ID spoofing on calls to the United States originating from overseas, while also addressing spoofing in text messages and alternative voice services.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Earlier this year I urged Congress to take action against illegal robocalls, and now I am advocating for the Federal Communications Commission to further enforce rules against the rapid proliferation of these calls. We must continue to work together to protect consumers from being harassed and scammed by robocalls.”
The coalition of Attorneys General delivered formal legal comments to the FCC. The comments urged the FCC to adopt provisions that are included in the FCC appropriations authorization bill also known as the Ray Baum’s Act of 2018.
Americans received almost 18 billion scam robocalls in 2018, and robocalls have increased in the U.S. by 57 percent from 2017 to 2018. The FTC reports that these imposter scams cost consumers $488 million just in 2018.
Attorney General Moody is joined in sending the formal comments to the FCC by the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
To view the formal comments, click here.
Florida continues to rank third in the nation in the number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. This horrific crime is plaguing our state and we must remain vigilant on combatting this modern-day slavery. Taking an active role in this fight is especially crucial with the Super Bowl coming to Miami next February. Major sporting events attract thousands of visitors from around the world and can also create a temporary and illegal market for human traffickers.
Today, our Statewide Council on Human Trafficking met in Jacksonville, and we discussed our partnership with Uber to help prevent human trafficking during the Super Bowl. Ahead of the last Super Bowl in Atlanta, Uber launched anti-sex trafficking training in an effort to protect visitors and stop trafficking. We need to do the same for next year’s Super Bowl in Florida and Uber will soon begin providing additional anti-human trafficking training sessions for its Florida drivers. I will also serve on the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee’s Executive Leadership Team in charge of anti-sex trafficking efforts and additional human trafficking interdiction efforts. Continue reading
Congressional and Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, May 7, 2019 – Santa Fe Importers, Inc., a Long Beach, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,589 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken meatball products due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain soy, a known allergen, which is not declared on the products label.
The frozen, RTE chicken Thai-style meatballs were produced and packaged on April 24, 2019. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]
- 226 cases containing “lemonade CHICKEN THAI STYLE MEATBALL” with packaging date “04/24/2019” and case code “114-102130” on the labels.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-4118” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to a distribution center in California and packed for Lemonade restaurants as indicated on the label.
Santa Fe Importers, Inc. notified FSIS of the problem after the company learned that the bread crumbs used to make the meatballs contained soy lecithin.
There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.
FSIS is concerned that some products may be in restaurant freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms are notifying their customers of the recall and that actions are being taken to make certain that the products are no longer available to consumers.
Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Jorge Endara, General Manager of Santa Fe Importers, Inc., at (562) 437-7775 or at Jorge@SanteFeImporters.com.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.
Working with state lawmakers this week, we passed important legislation that will help our office better protect Floridians. Lawmakers passed bills to bolster our opioid litigation, provide stability to Florida’s criminal justice system, ensure children suffering from rare forms of epilepsy can access life-changing medication and more.
Representative Amber Mariano and Senator Tom Lee sponsored legislation allowing our office to access limited information from Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Database to be used under protective order in the state’s ongoing opioid litigation.
Senator Lee also sponsored our bill providing consistency and uniformity in state criminal cases to attorneys, defendants and judges in Florida’s 20 judicial circuits. Representative Juan Fernandez-Barquin sponsored the House companion. Continue reading
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed CS/CS/SB 96: Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue Dogs and Police Horses. The bill increases the penalty from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony for intentionally and knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to police canines or horses, fire canines, or search and rescue canines.
“Like the officers they serve with, these animals are frequently placed in harm’s way for the safety of our communities and I was proud to sign this bill today that increases the penalty for harming them,” said Governor DeSantis. “These canines and horses play critical roles in law enforcement activities, and for their service, they deserve greater protection under our laws. I thank Senator Bean and Representatives Tomkow and Byrd for their work on this good legislation.”
The Governor was joined at the bill signing ceremony by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Senator Wilton Simpson, bill sponsors Senator Aaron Bean, Representative Josie Tomkow, Representative Cord Byrd and other members of the Florida Legislature. Also in attendance were law enforcement personnel, including Officer Matt Herrera, whose canine partner Fang was murdered in the line of duty, as well as Debbie Johnson, the founder of K9s United. Continue reading
Just a few weeks ago, a pro-life, pro-veteran press conference with the Freedom Speaks Coalition and Phyllis Schlafly Constitution Center was held on the 4th floor of the Capitol in Tallahassee. At the center of the discussion were two bills filed by your Senator and Representative Mike Hill of Pensacola. The first bill is one that wrote about last week, the Heartbeat Bill, and the other was a veteran’s monuments and memorials protection bill. You may think that it was a strange choice to highlight these two bills together, considering that they address two very different issues. They do, however, address key foundations of American culture that are extremely important.
At this press conference, I shared my deep concern of the radical globalist push to dismantle anything representing American ideals and culture. For them, what better place to start than with our history and the history of our ancestors. While far from perfect, our ancestors do not deserve to be demonized or have their memorials desecrated because a university student might feel offended. I do not wish to hide their faults, but I do not want us to go down this road because none of us lived in the time of those who came before us. Continue reading
By Steve Hayes, Chairman and President – Americans for Fair Taxation
THE OPPORTUNITY ZONE–HOW THE SWAMP BRIBES THE WEALTHY
The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act created opportunity zone investments and tax benefits for those investing in them. While this sounds good—use the income tax code to help bring investments to needy areas– it is really designed to bribe higher income people.
This information is provided by the IRS:
An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service. Continue reading
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis joined American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) CEO Jo Ann Jenkins to announce that Florida has been designated an Age-Friendly State, making Florida the fourth state in the nation to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. They were joined by Secretary of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs Richard Prudom and AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson.
“In Florida, we are taking tangible steps to make our state more livable for residents of all ages – especially our senior population,” said Governor DeSantis. “As our state continues to grow, we must ensure that we do all that we can to meet the needs of our residents. I am proud that Florida is leading by becoming the largest state to commit to this important effort.
“Florida joining the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities is a very significant step in the growing movement to make communities more livable, for people of all ages,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “We want to thank Gov. DeSantis, Lt. Gov. Nunez and Elder Affairs Secretary Prudom for their leadership on this important issue.” Continue reading