“Freedom Works” – From the desk of Joe Gruters

Chairman’s Message

“Freedom Works”

“We have made Florida the freest state in these United States.”

Governor DeSantis delivered a rousing State of the State speech Tuesday to launch the 2022 Legislative session in Tallahassee, noting Florida’s stand-out successes this past year and reaffirming his priorities for year ahead.

Here’s a summary look at the Governor’s address.


Governor DeSantis fully embraces President Reagan’s adage that “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction,” and has made Florida a beacon of freedom in the nation. He said:

“While so many around the country have consigned the people’s rights to the graveyard, Florida has stood as freedom’s vanguard.

In Florida, we have protected the right of our citizens to earn a living, provided our businesses with the ability to prosper, fought back against unconstitutional federal mandates and ensured our kids have the opportunity to thrive.”

Fiscal Responsibility

At a time when the federal government has been spending money we don’t have at obscene levels, burdening our children with crushing debt for no discernable reason, Governor DeSantis is proposing a $99.7 billion budget that loads fully $15 billion into reserves while still increasing funding in key areas such as education, the environment and law enforcement.

“Florida’s revenues have exceeded estimates by billions of dollars over the past year. December’s revenues came in at more than $500 million over the latest monthly estimate.

And this is all being done with no income tax and the lowest per capita tax burden in America.”

A Powerful Economy

A strong economy impacts everyone’s quality of life and Florida is the envy of the nation in this regard. Much of this success is owed to Governor DeSantis’ strength and courage in maintaining Floridians’ freedoms in the face of authoritarian dictates. Everyone has benefitted.

“Job creation in Florida is far exceeding the national average. And our labor force has increased six times faster than the nation’s.

Florida also leads the nation in business formations, which have increased by 61% since I took office in 2019. In 2021, Florida saw 114,000 more new businesses than second place California — even though California has a population that is 40% larger.”

Putting Kids First

While other states shamelessly locked kids out of school and then masked them up if they ever let them return, all in a moral perversion to protect adults, Florida put children first and kept schools open and children breathing. Florida teachers met the challenge of the times and it shows in our students’ scores. And educators have been acknowledged with increased minimum salaries and bonuses, while the state also enacted the needed Parents Bill of Rights to ensure parents can make the best decisions for their children.

“Education represents a major pillar of Florida’s future. I’m happy to note that Florida is again ranked number three for K-12 achievement in the latest Education Week Quality Counts rankings. We have worked hard to keep schools open, increase teacher compensation, promote workforce education and protect the rights of parents.

In pockets across America, schools are closing once again. These closures are enormously destructive and will not be tolerated in the state of Florida. Florida has led the way in putting our kids first.”

Environmental Protection

Florida’s quality of life and economic security are inextricably linked to the good stewardship of our natural resources. Governor DeSantis has been a bold leader in this area, winning accolades from many environmental organizations.

“We Floridians are heirs to a unique environment that makes our state the envy of the nation for fishing, boating and other outdoor activities. Three years ago, we promised bold action to safeguard Florida’s natural resources, improve water quality and restore the Everglades. With the support of the Legislature, especially Speaker Chris Sprowls and President Wilton Simpson, we have secured historic funding to support these efforts.

Since January 2019, 42 Everglades restoration projects have broken ground, hit a major milestone or finished construction, record funding has gone to conduct research and secure technologies to mitigate blue-green algae and red tide, and the state now has dedicated streams of revenue to promote coastal resiliency and water quality improvements.”

Honor Law Enforcement and Protect Communities

While baffling and dangerous notions of defunding police, eliminating bail and freeing violent criminals early have taken tragic hold in some parts of the nation, Governor DeSantis has made it clear those won’t happen in Florida.

“These soft-on-crime policies have been tried in communities throughout the country to disastrous results: crime has skyrocketed, morale for police officers has plummeted and quality of life has been destroyed.

We have stood by the men and women of law enforcement. Not only do we reject defunding law enforcement — we enacted $1,000 bonuses for all police, fire and EMTs in Florida. I’m asking the Legislature to re-up these bonuses for another year. They deserve it.”

Election Integrity

Perhaps nothing is more essential to our republic than trustworthy, transparent elections. Florida already has some of the best election laws in the nation in protecting the sanctity of the vote, making it easy to vote and hard to cheat. But there is still more to be done to ensure that cheating is all but impossible.

“Ballot harvesting has no place in Florida and we need to increase the penalties for those who do it. We also need to ensure that supervisors clean the voter rolls, that only citizens are registered to vote and that mail ballots only go to those who actually request them before each individual election.

To ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with the rule of law, I have proposed an election integrity unit whose sole focus will be the enforcement of Florida’s election laws. This will facilitate the faithful enforcement of election laws and will provide Floridians with the confidence that their vote will count.”

Read the entire speech here: ​​https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/11/governor-ron-desantis-state-of-the-state-address-3/



Governor DeSantis announced nearly $17 million to the City of Bonita Springs in Lee County through the Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program.

The flood mitigation money will pay for critical improvements to 2.5 miles of stormwater infrastructure through the heart of the city, and will repair damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

“Today we are excited to be able to make an impact in Bonita Springs,” Governor DeSantis said. “This award will help the city make key stormwater system improvements and is one of the many projects we have awarded utilizing long-term recovery funds to make meaningful infrastructure improvements. We are going to continue to support infrastructure that builds our resiliency.”

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/12/governor-ron-desantis-announces-nearly-17-million-for-stormwater-infrastructure-improvements-in-bonita-springs/

Governor DeSantis has secured an additional 15,000 doses of Regeneron for the people of Florida, which will be immediately utilized to support new monoclonal antibody sites. Unfortunately, this action was necessary because the Biden Administration federalized distribution of the lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments based on political calculations.

Actually, Democrats have continuously politicized Covid. The Department of Emergency Management had covid testing kits that went unused when the covid pandemic subsided, and has received three extensions on their expiration date. In the deceitful world of Nikki Fried, these were being “hidden.” But Florida was just waiting for the Biden administration, and as the nation well knows, they are slow in responding to every need.

So last week, Governor DeSantis highlighted the importance of these lifesaving therapeutics and called on the Biden Administration to release its stranglehold on the supply of monoclonals and increase Florida’s supply by at least 30,000 doses per week. In response to this pressure, the federal government will be sending 30,000 more monoclonal antibody doses to Florida.

Additionally, the Florida Division of Emergency Management sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offering logistical support to receive the additional doses as quickly as possible, including picking them up and driving them to Florida.

“But for the federal government’s decision to restrict supply of monoclonal antibody treatments to Florida, my administration would have already opened additional monoclonal antibody treatment sites throughout the state,” Governor DeSantis said.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/07/governor-ron-desantis-secures-15000-doses-of-regeneron-for-floridians/


​Attorney General Ashley Moody

In 2020, Americans lost more than $520 million through robocall scams. Attorney General Ashley Moody is taking action by pressuring the Federal Communications Commission to put measures in place to stem the tide of foreign-based illegal robocalls attempting to scam Americans.

Attorney General Moody, as part of a bipartisan group of attorneys general, sent a letter to insist the FCC require companies that allow foreign calls into the United States to take steps to reduce or block robocalls entering the U.S. telephone network. These necessary steps include implementing STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls.

“Scammers often use robocalls in an effort to quickly engage millions of targets across the country,” Attorney General Moody said. “Robocalls using spoofed numbers are difficult to track and even harder to stop — especially when they originate from overseas. That is why I am calling on the FCC to work with telecommunications companies to put up barriers to reduce the number of foreign robocalls bombarding Americans’ telephones.”

Read more:http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/6C239762654091F6852587C600691DB5


Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is highlighting his Born Free legislative priorities for the 2022 legislations session. The CFO’s top priorities include $10 million in funding for Florida’s Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces, providing tax relief so Floridians can protect their homes and lower their insurance premiums, and continuing efforts to protect consumers.

“Florida’s strength is based on a love of freedom. We’ve got over 800 people a day flocking to our state because we have worked hard in Tallahassee to protect freedoms; not squash them,” CFO Patronis said. “We’ve got blue lock-down states working hard to crush their economies, undermine law enforcement and fire firefighters over not taking the jab, while allowing big corporate businesses – with zero loyalty to our country – to treat Americans with complete indifference. We’ve also got an Administration on the federal level unlawfully using rules to try and turn the Sunshine State into a California or New York. We’re not having ANY of it.”

Read more: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/sitePages/newsroom/pressRelease.aspx?id=6066

Read the priorities here: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/documents/Born-Free-Legislative-Priorities.pdf









REMEMBER: @FloridaGOP and retweet and share. The Republican message must be spread around the state, and you are integral to making that happen.

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