Florida State Wide

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During a government shutdown, many federal services will be affected by a lapse in appropriations. Important services through the Social Security Administration, Medicare, VA, and more, however, will not be impacted. The helpful graphic above provides more information about services and operations.

For more information, view the Congressional Research Service’s handy guide here.

Dear Neighbor,
Negotiations to keep the federal government running are ongoing this week. We spent many late nights on the House Floor to pass the necessary appropriations bills, and while we’re not done yet, we’re staying in D.C. as long as it takes to get the job done.
I’m working tirelessly to cut government spending, fund our military and national defense, and support our veterans. We’re making progress and will continue to provide updates. To see updates from this week after late-night votes on Wednesday and Thursday, read below. Continue reading

I’ve often heard people say that the FAIRtax is unfair to the poor and the wealthy won’t pay their fair share. That is NOT true. I’ve also heard that it is unfair that the wealthy get the same prebate as everyone else. Again, NOT true. Let’s also remember that the “net” tax rate differs greatly from your “effective” tax rate (the rate you actually pay).

Let’s look at a billionaire under the FAIRtax and assume he is married with no children. If he spends $10,000,000 he is paying $2,300,000 in taxes and gets a prebate of $4,697 then his effective tax rate as a percentage of spending is 22.95 percent.

Now let’s look at a middle-income married couple with no children under the FAIRtax. If they spend $50,000 they pay $6,803 net of their prebate for an effective rate of 13.6 percent. The effective rate increases as spending increases, but never exceeds 23 percent. Continue reading

Dear Friends,

We sincerely hope that all of you made it safely through Hurricane Idalia. As we near the end of hurricane season, we have officially made it to the beginning of committee meetings, which started on October 9th. As a reminder, The committees that I have been assigned to are Agriculture, Appropriations, Appropriations Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice, Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services, Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, Community Affairs, Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security, and Rules.

To better prepare for the upcoming legislative session, the Lake County Legislative Delegation held their annual legislative delegation meeting on August 22nd. This annual public meeting is an opportunity for citizens, elected officials, cities and local governments, and other civic organizations to address the delegation before the start of the next legislative session. This meeting was inspiring and fruitful. It is always encouraging to see the community come together to express their ideas and to take an active part in their government. Since Senate District 13 covers all of Lake County and West Orange County, we will also be attending the Orange County Legislative Delegation meeting on November 29th for further insight into the concerns and needs of our constituents. Continue reading

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Space Florida, announced the selection of Colonel Robert Long, United States Space Force, Ret. as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. With an extensive background in the military and space industry, Colonel Long will further drive Space Florida’s mission to advance the aerospace industry and solidify Florida as the global hub for aerospace. The vote to select Colonel Long took place during a Space Florida Board of Directors meeting on September 19, 2023.

“I am honored to welcome Colonel Long as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Space Florida,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Chair of the Space Florida Board of Directors. “Throughout the selection process, Colonel Long laid out a compelling long-term vision that will ensure Florida’s dominance in the space industry. Together with the Board of Directors, Space Florida will continue to expand Florida’s footprint and focus on business investment, research and development, national defense, manufacturing, workforce, and more. As Florida’s aerospace ecosystem continues to rapidly grow, I am confident that Colonel Long will serve the state with great distinction and use his proven track record and visionary leadership to propel Space Florida into a new era.” Continue reading

by Harry Markham -May 9, 2023

On April 25th, Washington State took decisive action in reducing the risk of gun violence and particularly mass shootings within their borders with the introduction of three new gun control bills. The bills bring into law a ban on some styles of semi-automatic rifles, introduce a ten-day waiting period between the purchase of a firearm and its reception by the buyer, and make lawsuits against gun makers or sellers possible in certain cases. While the signing Governor recognizes that the bills “don’t solve all the problems”, the state has taken an important step in reducing the risk of mass gun violence.

Between 2015 and 2021, Washington state suffered 31 mass shootings. While mass shootings are not the most common form of gun violence – greatly outnumbered by single victim homicides – they often act as a catalyst for gun reform due to the attention and shock they garner both locally and across the world. This is the case in Washington, where three new bills have been introduced in an attempt to ensure that the residents of the “Evergreen State” never have to suffer such a tragedy again. Continue reading

by Kontrast.at /Marco Pühringer

For years, the Amazon rainforest was cut down. The concern: the unique ecosystem could collapse. The deforestation in Brazil is a huge environmental problem. But the election of Lula da Silva as president gave hope. He announced that he would end the deforestation of the Amazon. In fact, the first steps followed a few days after taking office. The encouraging result: in comparison to the previous year, deforestation was reduced by more than a third.


The BBC reports first successes in the fight against rainforest deforestation. Compared to the first half of the previous year, deforestation was reduced by 33.6%. In June 2023, as much as 41% less forest was destroyed than the previous year. Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva attributes this to Lula’s successful environmental policy. Continue reading

CHIEFLAND, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced more than $1.6 million in awards through the Florida Disaster Fund to support Florida families recovering from Hurricane Idalia. The Florida Disaster Fund has raised over $3.7 million to date, for Hurricane Idalia relief. To donate, click here. Today’s awards will support teachers in Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Suwannee, and Taylor counties; volunteer organizations that are actively participating in response efforts and local community churches. The Governor made the announcement while attending one of the first Friday night football games in the area following Hurricane Idalia, between Chiefland Middle-High School and Suwannee High School.

“The Florida Disaster Fund allows us to cut through red-tape and get funds into the hands of these organizations quickly,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Our teachers, volunteer organizations, and churches have done a great job helping the community recover, and I am glad we can support them with these awards.” Continue reading

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis held a discussion with State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo and public health experts about the recently federally approved COVID-19 mRNA boosters. While there, the Surgeon General announced new COVID-19 booster guidance advising against the use of COVID boosters for individuals under the age of 65. This recommendation was based on the fact that the newly FDA approved COVID boosters lack a human clinical trial and evidence of benefit or efficacy. The federal government has spent more than $30 billion on COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, which have shown little to no benefit to prevent COVID-19 infection.

“I will not stand by and let the FDA and CDC use healthy Floridians as guinea pigs for new booster shots that have not been proven to be safe or effective,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Once again, Florida is the first state in the nation to stand up and provide guidance based on truth, not Washington edicts.” Continue reading

Through the Hope Florida program, Hope Navigators use the CarePortal to help Floridians access services available within their own communities

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — First Lady Casey DeSantis highlighted the expansion of Florida’s CarePortal platform to meet immediate needs of vulnerable adults including persons with disabilities, veterans, the elderly, and any other individual in Florida needing assistance. CarePortal was initially created to support children and their families in need and is a platform that connects individuals and families in need with faith institutions and local businesses willing to help. This expansion builds on the success of the portal to date, which has led to nearly 500 churches and over 5,000 community members helping nearly 13,400 children and their families since 2020.

“One of the best ways to uplift our community is to ensure that our vulnerable populations have access to the resources they need to live successful lives. Whether that is children, adults, or families, we must make sure that we have the correct tools in place to put our drive to serve into action,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “We have worked alongside the CarePortal team to expand quickly in Florida and connect people with available resources beyond government available in their own communities. I am thankful to those who have answered our call to action and made their services available on CarePortal so that together, we can build a stronger community.”  Continue reading

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