Florida State Wide

PARKLAND, Fla. – Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Douglas High School in Parkland yesterday, Governor Scott has continued to be briefed by law enforcement and emergency management officials and has remained in communication with state leaders to ensure all state resources are made available. The Governor has also spoken with President Trump, the Department of Homeland Security and local school officials. Governor Scott remains in Broward County and additional details regarding the Governor’s schedule will be made available throughout the day. Governor Scott also announced that he will be organizing meetings with state and local leaders in Tallahassee next week to discuss ways to keep Florida students safe, including school safety improvements and keeping guns away from individuals struggling with mental illness.

Information on the State of Florida’s response:

Florida Department of Education

  The Department of Education has offered to send crisis management teams to Broward County. These individuals have extensive experience in crisis situations and stand ready to coordinate with Broward County’s crisis management teams to provide any additional community support.

  Grief counseling is available today, Thursday, February 15, 2018, at a number of locations in Broward County for anyone needing support following the tragic events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: http://bit.ly/2o7sIkw Continue reading

LifeSouth is in critical need of type O blood donors. Trauma patients and patients in surgery have sharply increased the usage of type O blood, and supplies have hit a critically low level.

Type O blood can be received by all blood types, so having it available for emergencies is critical. If you are type O, LifeSouth asks you to donate today. If you do not know your blood type, now is a great time to donate and find out. Donating with LifeSouth directly impacts the community and those treated at area hospitals.

Anyone 17 or older, or 16 with parental permission, weighing a minimum of 110 pounds and in good health can donate blood. A photo ID is also required. Go to www.lifesouth.org to find a blood drive near you, or call toll-free 888-795-2707 for additional information.

 

Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the following statement regarding the tragic death of Brevard County Sheriff Deputy Kevin Stanton during a traffic accident Saturday Morning:

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Deputy Kevin Stanton and my heart breaks for his family, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and our entire law enforcement community. Law enforcement officers wake up every day not knowing what dangers lie ahead—yet they still choose to serve. Deputy Stanton died a hero, and our state is better because of brave men and women like him.”

Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the following statement on unanimous approval of HB 21 by the Health & Human Services Committee. This approval means HB 21 will now be heard on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives.

“The national opioid crisis is devastating our country and Florida is fighting this crisis head-on. This legislation represents our state’s continued efforts and commitment to tackling this epidemic and save lives. Thank you, Representative Boyd, for sponsoring this life-saving legislation and making this mission one of your top priorities.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.––Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law enforcement today announced the arrest of Ralph Alonso Everett Jr. and Isaiah Lewis, both from Miami, for allegedly organizing a scheme to steal teachers’ identities to collect unemployment checks. The defendants are responsible for losses to the State of Florida of more than $50,000.

With the assistance of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, law enforcement officers identified patterns of suspicious reemployment assistance claims being deposited into numerous bank accounts connected to the subjects. The investigation identified more than 100 employees associated with 65 different school districts as targets for reemployment Continue reading

I would like to thank Governor Rick Scott and President Donald Trump for working tirelessly to make schools safe for students. This week I joined Governor Scott and President Trump in two separate roundtable discussions about protecting students in Florida and nationwide—but we are not just talking. Action is imminent.

We must keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill. Threats against students have to be aggressively investigated. Schools need more resource officers now. I am working closely with leaders in the House and Senate on all these issues and more to ensure action this legislative session.

We need to amend Florida’s Baker Act to allow law enforcement officers to take guns away from mentally ill people the courts have deemed a threat. Florida needs a Gun Violence Restraining Order to keep weapons out of the hands of people who might enact the type of terror we saw in Parkland last week. My office is working with law enforcement on developing a secure-reporting app to allow students to anonymously report concerning behavior. Continue reading

PARKLAND, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott made the following statement regarding the FBI’s admission that they failed to take action after receiving information on January 5, 2018, regarding “[Nikolas] Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.”

Governor Scott said, “The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable. The FBI has admitted that they were contacted last month by a person who called to inform them of Cruz’s ‘desire to kill people,’ and ‘the potential of him conducting a school shooting.’  Continue reading

Feb 16,2018

This week, I met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and our great federal partners in Tampa to discuss strategies to combat the national opioid crisis claiming lives in Florida. We work constantly with the DOJ, FBI, DEA and our great state and local law enforcement agencies to capture and prosecute drug traffickers smuggling deadly heroin and fentanyl into our state.

My office is also aggressively investigating major manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids, and will soon be selecting an outside counsel to advance our efforts. This national epidemic has casted its shadow on too many cities across America and far too many families have felt the devastating effect of addiction. That is why we must fight this crisis on multiple fronts. Continue reading

Feb. 16, 2018

 Words cannot express the heartbreak and sorrow felt by students, teachers and parents in Parkland, Florida. This week a cowardly teenager, full of hate and bent on murder, entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire.

His actions killed 17 and wounded many more. Law enforcement and first responders arrived at the school quickly. Police escorted students to safety and arrested the shooter. I gathered my victim advocates and immediately headed to the scene.

As soon as we arrived, we began providing grief counseling to survivors. Through my Bureau of Victims Services we are also able to pay for certain funeral expenses, medical bills and provide further counseling. I will be in Broward again today with my victim advocates to provide further services. Continue reading

Feb 2, 2018

Tax season is here and so are IRS imposter scams. These crimes are devastating and result in victims facing years of financial hardships. In recognition of Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, I launched a Twitter campaign highlighting important tips Floridians should take to prevent becoming victims of tax identity theft. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on tax-related scams.

To help prevent tax identity theft follow these steps:

  • Shred all documents that contain private information before disposing of them;
  • Mail returns directly from the post office;
  • File tax returns as early as possible. Procrastinating may cause a greater risk of tax identity theft;
  • Notify the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 1(800) 908-4490 if you suspect tax identity theft. Also report any identity theft at IdentityTheft.gov;
  • Watch out for IRS imposters. The IRS will not initially contact you by email, text message or social media. If the IRS needs information they will ask by mail; and
  • Get an IRS Identity Protection Pin at IRS.gov/getanIPPIN.

Continue reading

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