Congressional candidate Brian Mast has released a new digital ad pledging opposition to All Aboard Florida, the passenger rail project that would connect Miami to Orlando with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
“Brian is 100 percent against All Aboard Florida, and will do everything he can to stop it when elected to Congress,” a Mast campaign press release stated. “It will disrupt our way of life, lower property values and endanger our children.”
Supporters of the project argue the effects will be just the opposite, but Mast fires away at it in the ad.
“I’ll fight to make sure that All Aboard Florida doesn’t happen to the citizens of our counties,” he said.
Mast’s opponent, Randy Perkins, is also opposed to All Aboard Florida, citing many of the same reasons as Mast.
Congressional candidate Rick Kozell raised more than $150,000 during the second quarter of the year, the most he has raised in a single quarter, his campaign announced today.
Kozell, an attorney and former small business owner from Jupiter, is one of six Republicans running to fill the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional seat that Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, is leaving to run for Senate.
Four Democrats are also running.
Kozell’s haul from April through June was an increase over the first quarter, when he raised $141,000.
So far in the campaign, though, he has been outpaced in fundraising by GOP rivals Rebecca Negron and Brian Mast, who have not yet reported their second-quarter numbers.
Among Kozell’s contributors were Nathaniel Reed, a former assistant U.S. secretary of the Interior, and George W. Bush-era ambassador Mel Sembler, the campaign said.
The bill (CS/HB 427) — inspired by the tragic loss at sea of two Tequesta teenagers, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen — was sent to the governor for signing March 9.
It’s aimed at encouraging boaters to buy an emergency position indicator radio beacon (EPIRB) or personal locator beacon for their watercraft.
The teens’ hometown lawmakers, state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta, lauded Scott’s signing of the measure.
“I want to thank Gov. Scott for signing this legislation to protect Florida boaters from experiencing tragedies such as the heartbreaking loss in Jupiter last summer,” Negron said in a statement. “I hope the lower registration cost for boat operators encourages more Floridians to purchase these important safety features.”
Magar said her hope is “that every Florida boater is serious about being safe and taking safety precautions before sailing or boating in the Sunshine State.”
Here is the full list of bills signed into law Friday by Scott:
SB 190, Conservation Easements – This bill removes certain application requirement relating to conservation easements.
SB 286, Merger and Acquisition Brokers – This bill relates to the Office of Financial Regulation and certain transfers of ownership.
SB 422, Health Insurance Coverage for Opioids – This bill allows doctors to prescribe “abuse deterrent” opioids.
SB 586, Responsibilities of Health Care Providers – This bill requires a hospital to notify physicians within a specified time frame upon the closing of their obstetrical department.
SB 624, Public Records – This bill provides a public records exemption relating to information technology (IT) security incidents or breaches.
SB 1046, Farm Vehicles – This bill revises certain requirements related to the transportation of agricultural products.
HB 183, Administrative Procedures – This bill makes certain revisions to the Florida Administrative Procedures Act.
HB 189, Teacher Certification – This bill assists STEM teachers with advanced degrees to obtain professional teaching certificates.
HB 195, A Special Election – This bill provides for a special election on August 30, 2016 to approve a constitutional amendment proposed in HB 193.
HB 229, Bullying and Harassment Policies in Schools – This bill requires school districts to review their bullying and harassment policies at least every three years.
HB 249, Culinary Education Programs – This bill relates to licensed culinary education programs obtaining alcoholic beverage licenses.
HB 277, A County and Municipality Homestead Tax Exemption – This bill creates an additional homestead exemption for certain low-income residents over the age of 65.
HB 299, Expressway Authorities – This bill revises membership of the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority.
HB 307 & HB 1313, The Medical Use of Cannabis – This bill relates to the Office of Compassionate Use and allows for the use of cannabis for terminally ill patients in certain situations.
HB 347, Utility Projects – This bill provides an additional financing option for local government utility infrastructure projects.
HB 375, Physician Assistants – This bill clarifies the scope of practice for physician assistants.
HB 419, The Highlands Road and Bridge District, Pasco County – This bill closes the Highlands Road and Bridge District.
HB 427, Recreational Vessel Registration – This bill reduces registration fees for vessels which are equipped with certain safety features.
HB 439, Mental Health Services in the Criminal Justice System – This bill addresses mental health issues in the criminal justice system.
HB 481, The Columbia County Law Library – This bill closes the Columbia County Law Library.
HB 499, Ad Valorem Taxation – This bill makes various revisions to the Value Adjustment Board process.
HB 519, The Gilchrist County Development Authority – This bill closes the Gilchrist County Development Authority.
HB 535, Building Codes – This bill revises several provisions in the Florida Building Code.
HB 589, Environmental Control – This bill modifies several areas regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection.
HB 627, Community Contribution Tax Credits – This bill expands the contributions that qualify for a tax credit or tax refund.
HB 649, The Eagle Bay Sub-Drainage District, Okeechobee County – This bill closes the Eagle Bay Sub-Drainage District.
HB 651, The Department of Financial Services – This bill makes various revisions relating to the Department of Financial Services.
HB 655, The City of Jacksonville, Duval County – This bill revises alcoholic beverage license requirements for certain Jacksonville restaurants.
HB 659, Automobile Insurance – This bill revises various provisions in the automobile insurance law.
HB 703, Vessels – This bill modifies regulations for operation of a vessel and creates a safety inspection decal program.
HB 709, The City of Tallahassee, Leon County – This bill authorizes the issuance of temporary permits to sell alcohol at outdoor events in Tallahassee.
HB 769, Mental Health Treatment – This bill allows for the continuation of certain medication for individuals undergoing mental health evaluation and treatment.
HB 785, St. Lucie County Fire District, St. Lucie County – This bill relates to the operations of the St. Lucie County Fire District.
HB 799, Out-Of-State Fee Waivers for Active Duty Service Members – This bill allows active duty military members serving abroad to pay in-state tuition and fees.
HB 837, Education Programs for Individuals with Disabilities – This bill allows foster children to be eligible for the McKay Scholarship Program.
HB 845, The Bay County Bridge Authority, Bay County – This bill dissolves the Bay County Bridge Authority.
HB 847, Pasco County – This bill repeals certain provisions regarding wastewater treatment in Pasco County.
HB 871, Broward County – This bill shifts requirements to post and maintain water markers in waterways from Broward County to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
HB 891, The Northwest Florida Community Hospital Board of Trustees, Washington County – This bill dissolves the Northwest Florida Community Hospital District.
HB 895, The West Manatee Fire and Rescue District, Manatee County – This bill revises membership provisions in the West Manatee Fire and Rescue District.
HB 911, The City of Delray Beach, Palm Beach County – This bill repeals City of Delray Beach’s civil service special act.
HB 1033, Information Technology Security – This bill relates to the Agency for State Technology and cybersecurity policies for state agencies.
HB 1039, The Babcock Ranch Community Independent Special District, Charlotte and Lee Counties – This bill expands the boundaries of the Babcock Ranch Community in Lee County.
HB 1061, The Nurse Licensure Compact – This bill authorizes Florida to enter into the Nurse Licensure Compact.
HB 1071, The South Broward Hospital District, Broward County – This bill makes revisions to the South Broward Hospital District charter.
HB 1081, The North Sumter County Hospital District, Sumter County – This bill dissolves the North Sumter County Hospital District.
HB 1083, The Agency for Persons with Disabilities – This bill relates to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities Home and the Community Based Medicaid Waiver Program.
HB 1147, Character-Development Instruction – This bill requires certain revisions to high school character development programs.
HB 1157, Postsecondary Education for Veterans – This bill provides additional options for veterans and service members to earn college credit.
HB 1205, Fumigation – This bill directs DACS to adopt guidelines for fumigation registration.
HB 1221, Barron Water Control District, Glades and Hendry Counties – This bill removes the repeal date from the Barron Water Control District charter.
HB 1233, Federal Home Loan Banks – This bill relates to the Office of Financial Regulation and Federal Home Loan Banks.
HB 1241, The Ordering of Medication – This bill allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to order controlled substances under specific circumstances.
HB 1265, The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District, Collier County – This bill expands district boundaries in the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District, if approved by the voters in a referendum.
HB 1267, The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District, Collier County – This bill expands district boundaries in the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District, if approved by the voters in a referendum.
HB 1297, Discretionary Sales Surtaxes – This bill allows a county with underfunded pension plans to levy a pension liability surtax upon termination of the local government infrastructure surtax, if approved by the voters in a referendum.
HB 1335, Long-Term Care Managed Care Prioritization – This bill relates to home and community based services administered by Department of Elder Affairs.
HB 1339, The City of Webster, Sumter County – This bill updates the charter for the City of Webster.
HB 1361, Growth Management – This bill makes various changes to the state’s growth management program.
HB 1365, The Competency-Based Education Pilot Program – This bill creates the Competency-Based Education Pilot Program.
HB 1411, Termination of Pregnancies – This bill revises regulations for licensed abortion clinics.
HB 1417, Hillsborough County – This bill revises alcoholic beverage license requirements for Hillsborough County establishments.
HB 1433, Martin County – This bill revises alcoholic beverage license requirements for Martin County establishments.
HB 3509, The Relief of Susana Castillo, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Andrea Castillo – This bill directs the City of Hialeah to pay the settled amount to Susana Castillo as compensation for the death of Andrea Castillo.
HB 3515, The Relief of Q.B. by the Palm Beach County School Board – This bill directs the Palm Beach County School Board to pay the settled amount to a special needs trust and purchase an annuity for the benefit of Q.B. as compensation for injuries and damages she sustained.
HB 3517, The Relief of Rafael Zaldivar and Kyoko Zaldivar, parents of Alex Zaldivar, Deceased, Individually and as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Alex Zaldivar, and Brienna Campos and Remington Campos by Orange County – This bill directs Orange County to pay the settled amount to the estate of Alex Zaldivar, Brienna Campos, and Remington Campos as compensation for injuries and damages they sustained.
HB 3525, The Relief of Melvin and Alma Colindres by the City of Miami – This bill directs the City of Miami to pay the settled amount to Melvin and Alma Colindres as compensation for the death of Kevin Colindres.
HB 7071, Public Corruption – This bill strengthens Florida’s anti-public corruption laws.
UPDATE: In a news conference held outside Gov. Rick Scott’s office in Tallahassee, Corey Jones‘ family said they will deliver a letter to Scott asking him to support proposed legislation that would regulate body camera use by law enforcement agencies.
In addition, attorneys for the family said they have been told the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office has concluded its investigation into fatal shooting of Jones, but is awaiting results of the FBI’s investigation.
Benjamin Crump, attorney for Jones’ family, called Jones “a law-abiding citizen in every way,” and noted that today would have been Jones’ 32nd birthday.
“Instead of celebrating his birthday, they (Jones’ family) are fighting for his legacy,” Crump said.
Several of Jones’ family members spoke at the news conference, including his father, stepmother and sister.
Clinton Jones, father of Cory Jones in state Cap to "keep his legacy alive" on what would be his 32nd birthday pic.twitter.com/Qo2favYEBq
Marking the 32nd birthday of Corey Jones, a drummer and housing inspector shot and killed by a Palm Beach Gardens police officer in October, Jones’ family and attorneys are in Tallahassee to support a proposed bill that would set new requirements for law enforcement agencies to use body cameras.
The shooting of Jones by Officer Nouman Raja has triggered calls for requirements for law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. Raja has since been fired by the department.
• Require law enforcement agencies that permits their law enforcement officers to wear body cameras to establish policies and procedures addressing proper use, maintenance, and storage of cameras and data.
• Require such policies and procedures to include specified information.
• Require agencies to ensure that specified personnel are trained.
• Require that data be retained in accordance with specified requirements
• Require periodic review of agency body camera practices.
• Exempt recordings from specified provisions relating to interception of wire, electronic and oral communications.
Jones’ family also is expected to provide an update on the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s investigation into the shooting.
A moving van at VGTI Florida’s lab served as a stark reminder of the risky nature of Florida taxpayers’ $1.5 billion bet on biotech, a wager that was Jeb Bush’s signature economic policy.
Bush announced in October 2003 that he would pay Scripps $310 million to open a Florida lab. Palm Beach County sweetened the pot with $269 million.
Then a popular and powerful second-term governor whose brother was in the White House, Bush envisioned a biotech bonanza — 50,000 jobs in 15 years, demand for millions of square feet of biotech space in northern Palm Beach County, a flood of donations from Palm Beach’s wealthy philanthropists.
Austin’s father, Blu Stephanos, is backing a proposed law that could help prevent something like what happened to his son from happening to someone else.
Here’s what you need to know about the proposed law:
What would it do? The bills (SB 746, HB 427) would reduce boat registration fees by about 25 percent for boaters who purchase and register either an emergency position indicator radio beacon (EPIRB) or a personal locator beacon. For boats between 16 feet and 26 feet, the most common in Florida, the savings would cut the annual state fee from $33.50 to $28.75, the Palm Beach Post has reported.
Who is behind the bills? Two Palm Beach County legislators have proposed the bills: state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, whose district includes a piece of northern Palm Beach County; and state Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta.
Where do the bills stand now? Both bills are moving through the Legislature’s pre-session committee process. Florida’s legislative session begins in January, which is when the bills will be debated and possibly passed.
What happens next? If both Florida’s House and Senate approve the bills, and Gov. Rick Scott signs off, the law would go into effect July 1, 2016.
How would it be promoted? Negron and Magar have said the state’s Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles would run a promotional campaign. Blu Stephanos said the AustinBlu Foundation, started in memory of his son, would help promote the law as well.
These devices can be pricey. Why not offer a state rebate or other incentive to buy them? Negron and Magar say the registration-fee incentive could mean a reduction in up to $5 million coming to the state, where rebates could be far costlier. They expect people will be more interested in this incentive program. “People are very motivated when … they can get a discount on something,” Negron told the Palm Beach Post in November.
Isn’t there another boater safety bill proposed as well? Yes. That bill would raise the age limit for operating a personal watercraft, and possibly serve as a first step toward creating a minimum boating age. However, the families of both Austin and Perry said they do not agree with the bill. “I’ve spent enough nights beating myself up about what I could’ve done and what I should’ve done,” Blu Stephanos told The Palm Beach Post in November. “My son was 14 years old and he could drive a boat better than anyone … knowledge and just having the right stuff on the boat makes all the difference in the world.”