Seminole Mayor Touts Successful Conservative Policies Ahead of Next Week's Election
While the upcoming 2020 elections in Florida garner much attention, one mayoral race in 2019 could have lasting implications for a city that has benefited from one of the most conservative mayors in the state.
Republican Leslie Waters, who has served as mayor of Seminole since 2013, is running for re-election this November and is looking to continue to implement fiscally conservative policies that have put the city of Seminole on the map.
While Waters' leadership has been an integral part of the city's recent prosperity, the former Florida legislator is facing an opponent who could halt the progress Seminole has made over the last five years.
Bob Rommel Files Supermajority Bill Making It Harder to Raise Taxes
State Rep. Bob Rommel has filed a House Joint Resolution 477, a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution that would prohibit local governments from raising taxes or fees without a vote approved by two-thirds of the membership of the jurisdiction or taxing district.
According to the legislation, "No new local tax or fee may be imposed or authorized and no local tax or fee may be raised by any municipality, county, school board, or special district except through a vote approved by two-thirds of the membership of the jurisdiction or special district."
If passed by the Florida Legislature, the resolution would be put before the voters of Florida for ballot approval. The change would apply to municipalities, counties, school boards, and special districts.
DeSantis Applauds NCAA's Decision to Allow College Athletes to Make Money Off Fame
NCAA higher-ups voted unanimously Tuesday to modify a rule that would allow college athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses "in a manner consistent with the collegiate model."
The National Collegiate Athletic Association's Board of Governors, meeting at Emory University in Atlanta, directed three organizations to immediately begin figuring out how to update their rules to integrate pay in the confines of college sports without compromising the integrity of amateur sports.
Changes won't go into effect immediately, but top-decision makers want each division to implement new rules by January 2021.
Republican Leadership to Host "Shuck for a Buck" Fundraiser for State House Conservatives
Top Republican officials will host a fundraiser next week in support of conservative representatives looking to serve a second term in the State House.
The event, which will be held in Tallahassee, will coincide with the fourth interim committee week ahead of the 2020 Legislative Session and feature Republican legislators who represent districts across Central Florida.
Among them: Rep. Anthony Sabatini (House District 32), Rep. Tyler Sirois (House District 51), Rep. Will Robinson (House District 71), and Rep. Tommy Gregory (House District 73).
All four legislators were elected in 2018 and are up for re-election in 2020.
Byron Donalds Presents Justice Award to Trump, Receives Praise from the President
State Rep. Byron Donalds on Friday presented the 2019 Bipartisan Justice Award to President Donald Trump, who was the keynote speaker at the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum in Columbia, South Carolina.
Donalds, who represents District 80 in the Florida House of Representatives, is the Director of Political Outreach and Strategy of the 2020 Bipartisan Justice Center, the forum’s host.
Brother of Slain Parkland Victim Slams Sen. Lauren Book Ahead of Critical Vote
Hunter Pollack, who lost his sister Meadow Pollack in the Parkland high school shooting, appeared on Fox News Wednesday, condemning the behavior of Florida Democrats in the state legislature for fighting to reinstate embattled Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel after he was suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Workforce Quality Continues to Be Top Concern Among Florida Small Businesses
While Florida is outpacing the national average in jobs created, workforce quality continues to be the top concern among Florida small businesses, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Fourth Quarter Small Business Index Survey.
This is the 10th quarter out of 11 that small businesses have ranked this issue among their top concern.
Despite this concern, job creators expect higher sales than last year.
Brother of Parkland Shooting Victim: '614 Days Later, I Can Finally Say Scott Israel Will Be Held Accountable'
Following 11-hours of testimony featuring Parkland family members and several lawmakers, The Florida Senate Rules Committee voted to uphold Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision to suspend Sheriff Scott Israel from office.
Lawyers for the suspended Broward County Sheriff and DeSantis squared off before a 16 Senators on Monday in preparation for a full vote later this week on whether the embattled law-enforcement official should get his job back.
The entire Senate will cast the final vote on Wednesday.
Mike Haridopolos and Peter Dunbar Discuss GOP's Rise to Power in Florida
Two former lawmakers who were involved in how the Republican Party of Florida became the influential force it is today made a stop in Wakulla on Thursday night to promote their new book about the GOP's rise to power in the Sunshine State.
The big red book titled “The Modern Republican Party in Florida,” by former Senate President Mike Haridopolos and former State Representative Peter Dunbar takes a look at the evolution of the Republican Party of Florida using tales of the people and events that shaped modern Florida politics.
Gov. Ron DeSantis Announces Legislation to Improve Florida's Water Quality
Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared in Jupiter on Wednesday morning to announce new plans to keep Florida's water clean.
Following a recommendation from the state's blue green algae task force, DeSantis announced proposed legislation for the 2020 Legislative Session that will expedite water quality improvements throughout Florida.
“The health of our state depends on the health and quality of our water,” said DeSantis “That is why I am proposing legislation to expedite the improvement of our water quality throughout Florida. These comprehensive proposals, recommended by the Blue-Green Algae Task Force, will greatly aid the Department of Environmental Protection in our mission to enhance the quality of our state’s most precious natural resource.”
Irina Vilariño Amasses Over $340,000 After Third Quarter
Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 26th District, Irina Vilariño, continues to show strong numbers in her bid to turn South Florida red.
On Wednesday, Vilariño announced that her campaign added another six figures to her already strong fundraising total, amassing just over $340,000 following the latest quarter.
“I am grateful for the continued outpouring of support for our campaign,” said Vilarino, a first-time candidate for Congress. “What we are showing is that Miami-Dade and the Keys desire representation in Washington that will advocate for our small businesses, working families and senior taxpayers and will not put the extremist left special interests above our community’s.”
Florida Republicans Get Second Chance to Pass Fetal Heartbeat Bill
Florida Republicans looking to pass comprehensive legislation banning abortions didn't get their wish last legislative session, failing to move any pro-life bills across the finish line.
The failure to pass anti-abortion measures by GOP leadership didn't go over well with my Florida conservatives, with many Floridians calling out lawmakers in both Republican-led chambers for balking on the chance to join states like Georgia and Ohio in the fight against abortion.
While last session didn't pan out for passionate pro-life conservatives, the 2020 legislative session gives Republicans a second chance.
On Friday, at the Bay County Chamber First Friday breakfast, former Congressman and current Stand Up For North Florida Chairman Steve Southerland presented the first two 2019 North Florida Champion awards to Sen. George Gainer and Rep. Jay Trumbull. The North Florida Champion Award goes to the legislator or legislators who successfully, through advocacy and legislation, stand up for North Florida residents.
"North Florida experienced the devastation of Hurricane Michael in late 2018, and Senator Gainer and Representative Trumbull have worked tirelessly since then to keep the needs of hurricane victims at the top of their priority lists," said Southerland. "Both Senator Gainer and Representative Trumbull embody the characteristics with which the North Florida Champion Award is based on, and they deserve significant credit for standing up for all North Florida residents."
Northwest Florida Receives $28 Million on Anniversary of Hurricane Michael
Exactly one year after Hurricane Michael ripped apart much of Florida's Panhandle, relief continues to pour in for parts of Northwest Florida still recovering from the destruction.
On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a $28 million investment for Northwest Florida, one year after the powerful Category 5 hurricane made landfall. DeSantis is awarding nearly $3 million to Panama City through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund and requesting $25 million from the Florida Legislature to fund the Hurricane Michael State Recovery Grant Program for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
One year ago, Hurricane Michael laid waste to the Florida Panhandle, blowing away homes, destroying businesses, and tearing apart people's lives.
With wind speeds of more than 150 mph, the Category 5 storm claimed 16 lives and was responsible for $25 billion damage in the U.S.
A year after Hurricane Michael slammed Florida's panhandle, communities there are struggling, and rebuilding is slow, With many families and businesses still on the road to recovery, Florida leaders and officials reflect on the day their lives changed.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the relaunch and expansion of Find It Florida!, Enterprise Florida’s commercial property search tool.
Find It Florida! is a robust, public database for viewing and uploading available commercial building and site properties across the state.
“We are always working to make Florida the best place to start and grow a business,” said DeSantis. “This tool will continue to assist businesses and now investors find commercial properties and sites in Florida, as well as Opportunity Zones, to encourage long-term investment and job growth in communities across our state.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis Announces Historic Proposal to Increase Teacher Pay
Gov. Ron DeSantis made a huge announcement on Monday regarding the minimum starting salary for Florida teachers.
Appearing in Clay County, where the average starting salary for teachers is under $39,000, DeSantis announced that he will recommend a salary boost for teachers to start at $47,500.
If approved next legislative session all teachers will start a minimum salary of $47,500. According to the National Education Association, Florida ranks 26th in the nation for starting teacher pay at $37,636. With this investment of over $600 million, raising the minimum salary to $47,500 will rank Florida 2nd in the nation for starting teacher pay.
Sen. Joe Gruters Tweets Support for President Trump Amid Speculation of Infighting
Depending on who you ask in the state of Florida, Sen. Joe Gruters is either a strong conservative voice who will deliver the Sunshine State for Trump in 2020, or he's a wolf in sheep's clothing, hoping to sabotage the party, the platform, and the president — there's really no in-between.
Many in the state hold the Sarasota lawmaker in high regard, praising him for his unwavering support for President Donald Trump in 2016 when he served as co-chair to Trump's 2016 campaign. Others, however, will point to recent legislation pushed by the Gruters to end discrimination against LGBTQ people in Florida workplaces as an assault on conservative values and principles.
Regardless of what side of the political coin you fall on, Gruters says his focus is on delivering for Trump in 2020.
House candidate Tom Fabricio Calls for Rep. Cindy Polo to Resign
Following divisive remarks made by Democratic Rep. Cindy Polo attacking Cuban Republicans over the weekend, many leaders around the state came out against her hateful rhetoric, calling for her to step down.
The latest call for the Democrat's resignation comes from House candidate Tom Fabricio, who joined House Speaker Jose Oliva and other Republicans to condemn Polo for criticizing Cuban Americans for supporting President Donald Trump's immigration policy.
Fabricio is challenging Polo in House District 103.