State News in Review – April 2019

The Florida Legislature is expected to wrap up its 2019 session this weekend, so I’ll save those highlights for next week. In this Month in Review, I’ll focus on where our elected Governor, Cabinet, and congressional representatives have been focusing their attention. It’s a good opportunity to see if their priorities and values align with our own.

Governor Ron DeSantis

  • DeSantis taps new Florida surgeon general, brings back drug office to fight opioid epidemic. Tampa Bay Times, 4/1/19
  • DeSantis announces task force on opioid crisis. Associated Press via Naples Daily News, 4/1/19
  • DeSantis names Florida’s first chief science officer. Treasure Coast Newspapers via Naples Daily News, 4/1/19
  • DeSantis: Collier County will receive $40.9 million for Irma recovery reimbursement. Naples Daily News, 4/9/19
  • DeSantis appoints “Alligator Ron” Bergeron to SFWMD board after ethics panel gives OK. Treasure Coast Newspapers, 4/12/19
  • DeSantis agrees to make Spanish-language ballots available statewide. Florida Phoenix, 4/12/19
  • DeSantis seeks free speech resolution allowing controversial speakers at Florida universities. Tampa Bay Times, 4/16/19
  • DeSantis to hold Cabinet meeting in Israel May 25-31. News Service of Florida, 4/10/19
  • DeSantis picks panel to tackle ‘massive’ blue-green algae problem. Miami-Herald, 4/29/19
  • Senate confirms DeSantis’ embattled pick to run Florida’s $29 billion Medicaid agency. Florida Phoenix, 5/1/19
  • “I want to stand for freedom, but some of that stuff can be touchy,” DeSantis says of U.S. and Venezuela. Florida Phoenix, 5/1/19

Attorney General Ashley Moody

  • Moody issues consumer alert for tax, identity scams. Press Release, 3/26/19
  • AG rejects county E-Verify proposal; says Legislature has ‘exclusive prerogative’. News Service of Florida via, 4/1/19

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis

  • Patronis: Weigh the risks before you merge health records with Alexa. Press Release, Florida Daily, 4/15/19
  • Patronis announces Scam Tracker partnership to help inform Floridians of growing trends and emerging scams in their area. Press Release, News4Jax, 4/22/19

Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried

  • Processing time for gun permits one-third faster under Fried. The Capitolist 3/30/19
  • Fried highlights Fresh From Florida partnership with Subway. Press Release, 4/4/19
  • Fried: Don’t mess with medical marijuana potency. Florida Phoenix, 4/8/19
  • Fried seeks money for more gun license processing. Orlando Sentinel, 4/17/19
  • Fried: ‘Sanctuary cities’ bill threatens Florida’s entire agriculture industry. Tallahassee Democrat, 4/17/19
  • Fried: Health insurers should cover medical marijuana. Tallahassee Democrat via Naples Daily News, 4/18/19

Senator Rick Scott

  • Scott backs effort to expand suicide-prevention, mental health services for law enforcement. Florida Daily, 4/5/19
  • Scott co-sponsors legislation to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. Press Release, 4/10/19
  • Scott wants U.S. military to deliver aid in Venezuela. Miami-Herald, 4/11/19
    • Related: What’s next for US-Venezuela policy? A conversation with Sen. Rick Scott. American Enterprise Institute, 4/11/19
    • Related: Scott says Venezuela could become ‘Syria’ if Maduro not ousted. Miami Herald, 4/25/19
    • Related: Pushing to deploy the U.S. military, Rick Scott helps to shape Trump’s Venezuela policy. Washington Post, 5/1/19
    • Related: Venezuela crisis resonates loudly in battleground Florida,, 2/3/19
  • Scott asks FBI for details on reported Russian meddling in Florida’s elections., 4/19/19; Press Release, 4/19/19
    • Related: FBI to discuss Florida election hacking with Scott, DeSantis. Politico Florida, 4/25/19

Senator Marco Rubio

  • Rubio reintroduces bipartisan bill to help law enforcement investigate fentanyl, protect officers. Press Release, 3/27/19
  • Rubio proposes ‘opportunity zones’ offering tax breaks for disaster area investment. Florida Politics, 4/3/19
  • Rubio wants answers from Energy Secretary Perry on DOE helping Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions. Florida Daily, 4/3/19
  • Rubio wants stiff sanctions to deter Russia election meddling., 4/3/19; Press Release, 4/3/19
  • Rubio urges full accountability for Khashoggi’s assassination, determination about responsibility of Saudi Crown Prince. Press Release, 4/9/19
  • Rubio votes to confirm new Interior Secretary; is confident ban on drilling off of Florida’s coasts will remain in place. Press Release, 4/10/19
  • Rubio concerned with Russians in Mueller report. Florida Politics, 4/19/19
  • Rubio conducts Senate Intelligence oversight trip in support of counterterrorism operations in East Africa. Press Release, 4/19/19
  • Rubio urges revolution as Guaidó declares start of ‘final phase’. Newsweek, 4/30/19

Congressman Francis Rooney

  • Rooney wants to cut off funds to sanctuary cities despite voting against Trump on immigration. Florida Daily, 3/31/19; Press Release, 3/26/19
  • Rooney leads bipartisan Florida delegation urging Appropriations Committee to fully fund Everglades Restoration. Press Release, 4/3/19
  • Rooney wants to end chain migration, fund border security “at the level requested by President Trump.” Florida Daily, 4/14/19; Press Release, 4/10/19
  • Rooney calls on Army Corps of Engineers to monitor toxic algae. Florida Daily, 4/15/19
  • Rooney calls on EPA not to change mercury and air toxics standards. Sunshine State News, 4/23/19
  • Rooney brings together federal, state and local officials for harmful algal bloom event; CDC, EPA, NOAA to attend. Press Release, 4/23/19
    • Related: Public, media excluded from upcoming Rooney roundtable. News-Press via Naples Daily News, 4/30/19
  • Rooney requests hearing to consider effects of damaging chemicals on coral reefs. Press Release, 4/29/19; HR 1834

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

  • Diaz-Balart joins Democrats in vote to expand domestic violence law, defying NRA., 4/4/19
  • Diaz-Balart backs instant background checks and “Safe to Tell” school security bills. Sunshine State News, 4/17/19; Press Release, 4/4/19
  • Diaz-Balart, Shalala introduce Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans. Press Release, 5/1/19
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