Florida State Wide
This week, Florida lost a law enforcement hero. Highlands County Sheriff’s Deputy William Gentry was shot while responding to a dispute between neighbors. He was rushed to the hospital where, the next day, he passed.
Deputy Gentry died a hero, and our entire law enforcement community is mourning his loss. Please pray for his family, friends and members of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office during this difficult time.
Sadly, Deputy Gentry is the fourth law enforcement officer Florida lost this year.
I am humbled by these courageous officers and their sacrifice. In the face of such bravery and heartache, we must not forget their families. They have suffered wounds that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives; but, along with their heartache, I pray they also carry our gratitude and admiration.
Drug abuse destroys lives, divides families and jeopardizes the safety of our communities. As Florida’s Attorney General and a former state prosecutor I have seen the destruction it causes firsthand. I have also seen families reunited and lives changed with the help of good people who stand up to fight against drug abuse and addiction.
This week, I was humbled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Drug Free America Foundation for the small role I’ve played in fighting drug abuse. We have a lot of great partners in this fight, and Florida exemplifies how local, state and federal law enforcement can work in harmony to stop drug traffickers. Continue reading
PLEASE BE AWARE OF THESE FOLLOWING SCAMS RELATED TO THE NEW MEDICARE CARDS THAT WILL BE SENT STARTING IN APRIL 2018 UNTIL APRIL 2019. PLEASE SEND THIS TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO ARE ON MEDICARE OR WILL BE SOON.
Five Tips To Avoid The New Medicare Card Scams
Perhaps you haven’t heard, but starting in April 2018, Medicare will issue new cards to all Medicare recipients. The new cards will no longer use Social Security numbers. Instead, members will be identified by a unique, eleven-character ID composed of numbers and letters.
The reasoning is sound. The old cards contained social security numbers and getting rid of those numbers should help reduce fraud. According to Medicare, the new cards will be sent automatically, so there’s no need to do a thing. Unfortunately, that’s the end of the good news. Continue reading
This week, I had the pleasure of kicking off the 2018 Law Enforcement Torch Run benefiting Special Olympics Florida. This year, Special Olympics is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and to mark this milestone, local, state and federal law enforcement officers, corrections officers and support staff will carry the Flame of Hope 1,500 miles throughout Florida to bring awareness to Special Olympics.
Eight thousand members of Florida’s law enforcement and corrections community will carry the torch in a relay to the opening ceremonies at the Annual Florida State Summer Games. This year’s games take place May 18-19 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. In Florida, more than 46,000 dedicated athletes participate in Special Olympics activities to showcase inspiring strength and skill for the world to see. Continue reading
By Florida Senator Baxley
The 2018 Legislative Session has come to an end! We have worked hard to secure good policy for our constituents and the people of Florida. During our time in Tallahassee this year, some big issues were addressed: protecting our schools and seniors, more clarity on our freedom of speech, permanent increase for bright futures funding, and increased focus on mental health and the opioid crisis.
As a result of the terrible tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, the legislature was forced to take a very serious look at how our schools and students are protected. After weeks of talking with those on the front lines in education, law enforcement, our court system, and mental health experts, the Florida Legislature passed and Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act, a comprehensive plan to address mental health issues and implement safety measures to protect our students. This bill, SB 726, creates the Office of School Safety within in the Department of Education, permits a sheriff to establish a Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, and creates the mental health assistance allocation to assist school districts in establishing or expanding school-based mental health care, among several other provisions. Continue reading
This week, I had the privilege of joining Governor Rick Scott and CFO Jimmy Patronis for the signing of SB 376 to help first responders receive Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment. PTSD occurs when someone experiences a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. PTSD activates a fight-or-flight response in the body meant to protect a person from harm creating a range of emotions, such as extreme stress, depression and fear.
Our state has recently faced devastating tragedies, such as the attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the more recent massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. No amount of training can prepare the mind for the horrific scenes witnessed by first responding firefighters, law-enforcement, and paramedics in the wake of these unthinkable attacks. Florida’s first responders selflessly run into harm’s way to protect our communities without thinking about the emotional impact of their service. Continue reading
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott signed the following bills into law:
|CS/CS/SB 1392||Criminal Justice – This bill increases transparency in the criminal justice system, authorizes the adult civil citation program, and revises the juvenile civil citation program.|
|SB 186||The Resign-to-Run Law – This bill makes changes to the law on running for public office for current office holders.|
|CS/CS/CS/HB 165||Written Threats to Conduct Mass Shootings or Acts of Terrorism – This bill prohibits a person from making, posting, or transmitting a threat to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism in a way that allows another person to view the threat.|
Yesterday, devastating news unfolded in Miami at Florida International University where a 950-ton pedestrian bridge collapsed on unsuspecting motorists. My heart absolutely breaks for everyone involved with this tragedy. My condolences go out to all the victims and their families during this difficult time. I am also praying for the heroic first responders that rushed to the scene and worked throughout the night to search and recover victims. May God bless and comfort the whole community of FIU and the City of Sweetwater.
Earlier this week, my Office of Statewide Prosecution stood with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to announce the conclusion of a massive investigation into more than five million dollars’ worth of SNAP/EBT benefits fraud. SNAP/EBT benefits, better known as food stamps, is funded by hardworking taxpayers. These benefits are designed to help some of our most vulnerable Floridians, such as seniors, children and underprivileged families. Anyone who is willing to defraud this system—which intends to aid those who need it most—is shameful. Continue reading
(NAPSI)—Each year, millions of people head to Cape Canaveral, Florida to visit an iconic American landmark where history has been made and innovation continues today. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun. It allows visitors to get as close as possible to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, with exclusive tours and an in-depth look at the space program’s past, present and future.
With so much to do, see and explore, visitors should plan ahead. Following are insider tips on five must-see and -do experiences while visiting: Continue reading
Working together, this week, our state took quick action to secure Florida schools and protect students. I am extremely proud of Governor Rick Scott and every member of our legislature who voted in favor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, to make sure what happened in Parkland, less than a month ago, never happens again.
This legislation provides $400 million to hire more school resource officers and increase mental health services, gives law enforcement more authority to keep weapons out of the hands of mentally ill people courts have deemed a threat, bans bump stocks, raises the age to purchase a firearm and more crucial steps to keep students safe. Continue reading