RPOF Newsletter From the desk of Chairman Joe Gruters

Chairman’s Message

Fighting for Florida’s resilient, environmental future

Governor DeSantis went to Pinellas and Miami-Dade counties to announce more than $404 million for 113 environmental projects across the state through the Resilient Florida Grant Program. This money will help prepare coastal and inland communities for the impacts of flooding and storm surge.

“Today’s record investment, as well as the projects included in the statewide plan for future funding, will strengthen our infrastructure to withstand the impacts of flooding and storm surge,” Governor DeSantis said. “For the first time ever, Florida has strategic coordination of statewide efforts to protect our coastal and inland infrastructure, and the dedicated funding to support these projects. This announcement is just the beginning. My administration will continue to support our communities’ resilience efforts across the state.”

The projects awarded this week span 25 counties to improve efforts to protect inland and coastal communities from storm damage. Including the local matches with these projects, the investment for resilience totals more than $730 million.

“Today’s record investment is a testament to our administration’s steadfast commitment to preserving and restoring Florida’s natural treasures,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, a South Floridian.

This is the result of Governor DeSantis’ vision and the support of the Republican Legislature. In his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22, Governor DeSantis recommended the creation of the Resilient Florida Grant Program to help prepare communities for the impacts of sea level rise and flooding. The Legislature answered the call, passing Senate Bill 1954. And the budget included funding to support the most significant investment in the state’s history — over $640 million — to support efforts to ensure state and local communities are prepared to deal with the impacts of sea-level rise, intensified storms and flooding.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/01/governor-ron-desantis-announces-award-of-more-than-404-million-for-113-projects-through-the-resilient-florida-grant-program/

The list of projects can be found here: https://protectingfloridatogether.gov/sites/default/files/documents/FY2021-22_Resilience_RFGP_Awards.pdf


Governor DeSantis and Senator Rubio call on Biden for Everglades funding

The critically important Everglades restoration is supposed to be a 50/50 partnership between Florida and the federal government, but the federal government has long lagged in coming through with its half of the deal.

So Governor DeSantis was joined by Senator Rubio, Congressman Brian Mast, Congressman Byron Donalds and other stakeholders to call on the Biden Administration to allocate the federal share of funding to move forward the federal portion of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir project. Additionally, Governor DeSantis requested the Biden Administration include at least $725 million for Everglades restoration in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023 budget request.

“The EAA Reservoir project is the crown jewel of Everglades restoration, providing relief from harmful discharges to the estuaries and sending more clean water south to the Everglades,” Governor DeSantis said. “Advancing the state’s portion of this project is our number one priority, but the federal government has stalled, most recently failing to dedicate a single cent from its infrastructure package to its portion of this project.”

Senator Rubio added: “The Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir is the crown jewel of Everglades restoration and is the single most important project for reducing harmful discharges and sending more water south. I am grateful that Governor DeSantis, Congressman Mast, and Congressman Donalds continue to prioritize this critically important project for our state. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration did not allocate a single dollar for the project.”

The EAA Reservoir Project is one of the most important Everglades restoration projects for reducing harmful discharges to the estuaries and sending more clean water south to the Everglades. Governor DeSantis expedited this critical Everglades project on his second day in office.

The importance of Everglades restoration is widely recognized, as is Governor DeSantis’ leadership.

“The Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, to be built south of Lake Okeechobee, is the most important project in the entire Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, and this is something Governor Ron DeSantis has led on,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/31/governor-ron-desantis-calls-on-biden-administration-to-prioritize-funding-for-the-eaa-reservoir-project/

And here: https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=F543BC41-0838-4A61-AD8E-A8CCE9C2CF6C

Read more of what other say here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/31/what-they-are-saying-governor-ron-desantis-calls-on-biden-administration-to-prioritize-funding-for-the-eaa-reservoir-project/


Governor DeSantis announces $89 million in funding for workforce education

Governor DeSantis announced $89 million in funding for workforce education, including a first-of-its-kind Career and Technical Education (CTE) initiative for charter schools.

Governor DeSantis made the announcement at Santa Fe College, which was awarded funding to create a charter school that will allow high school students to earn credentials and college credit while in high school. The funding also includes high school CTE dual enrollment programs, apprenticeships and cybersecurity and IT training.

In 2019, Governor DeSantis set the goal of making Florida the number one state in the nation for workforce education by 2030, and with this investment, Florida has dedicated more than $3.5 billion to expand workforce education and training programs in the state since 2019.

“I set a goal to make big improvements to workforce education opportunities in Florida, and we are making great strides,” Governor DeSantis said. “Today’s announcement will expand technical education opportunities across Florida, especially for high school students. These initiatives will also help businesses in Florida recruit highly-skilled workers to fill needed positions, thereby strengthening Florida’s economic base.”

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/02/governor-ron-desantis-announces-89-million-for-workforce-education-initiatives-bringing-total-investment-to-greater-than-3-5-billion-since-2019/


LG Nuñez holds panel on combating human trafficking

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez held a roundtable discussion aimed at combating human trafficking in the state of Florida as part of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Lieutenant Governor was joined by Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Shevaun Harris, Citrus Health Network President and CEO Mario Jardon, and Kristi House CEO Amanda Altman.

“Governor DeSantis and I understand the threat that this pervasive evil poses to Floridians and we will not stand idly by as human trafficking runs rampant in our state,” Lieutenant Governor Nuñez said. “From parents to teachers to business owners and community leaders, each one has a role to play. While today we were able to shed a light on this practice that is hidden in plain sight, our administration will continue to do what we can to hold traffickers accountable, give victims the chance to live their lives that were stolen from them, and eradicate this crime in Florida.”

About 40 percent of human trafficking victims in Miami-Dade County are minors, with ages ranging between 12-14 years old for girls, and 11-13 years old for boys. Some estimates project that a trafficker can make $150,000-$200,000 per child per year and average 4-6 children. In fiscal year 2020-2021, DCF received 2,289 allegations of human trafficking throughout the state of Florida, affecting 1,750 children.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/28/lieutenant-governor-jeanette-nunez-hosts-roundtable-to-highlight-human-trafficking-awareness-month/


AG Moody slams Democrat authoritarianism and Biden’s border chaos

Attorney General Ashley Moody was on Fox Business Wednesday to discuss the struggle between “nonsensical, misguided, misinformed” authoritarianism and the resulting pushback from parents and leaders. She said school COVID mandates are “all about control.”

She also discussed Florida’s latest legal action against the Biden Administration to stop them from acting like a travel agency for illegal immigrants — who, because of the President’s terrible policies, are now essentially able to bill the American taxpayers for their travel expenses.

Watch AG Moody’s interview here: https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6295015961001#sp=show-clips


Florida Sheriffs explain why they support Senator Rubio

In highlighting the endorsement of 55 Florida sheriffs, Senator Rubio’s campaign released a video with comments from several of those Florida sheriffs.

“Senator Rubio understands law enforcement. He has a proven track record of supporting law enforcement, supporting the sheriffs. He understands that safe neighborhoods are the key to any successful community,” Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook said.

“Senator Rubio is an amazing man. He has proven over the course of his term as a Senator to be a frontrunner and champion for law enforcement,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “There’s one clear choice for U.S. Senate and that’s Marco Rubio.”

Watch more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvzZI2vyeGg

Life Update

Senate Committee passes bill to prohibit abortions after 15 weeks

On Wednesday, the Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy passed Senate Bill 146 on Fetal and Infant Mortality Reduction. Based on modern medical knowledge confirming significant developmental milestones of an unborn child by 15 weeks, the legislation prohibits abortion after that point. The legislation also increases health care and education resources available to pregnant mothers and women who may become pregnant with a focus on the prevention of fetal and infant death in Florida.

“When Roe v. Wade was decided almost half a century ago, scientific knowledge of fetal development was very limited. We now know so much more about how a baby develops inside the mother’s womb. We also know that later-term abortions pose greater health risks to women,” said bill sponsor Senator Kelli Stargel. “Having once been a scared teenage mother myself, I understand the challenge and anguish of a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, but I support life, and believe we have a duty to protect it. This bill safeguards innocent, unborn children with beating hearts, who can move, taste, see, feel pain, and whose lives should be protected under the laws of this state.”

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson added: “Abortion kills children and forever changes the life of the mother, the father, and the entire extended family. As an adoptive child myself, it’s always been important to me that we do everything we can to promote adoption as an alternative to abortion.”


Attorney General Moody files lawsuit against Biden border violations

On Wednesday, Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Florida is taking legal action against the Biden administration for ignoring federal immigration law as the out-of-control situation at the Southwest border continues.

The Attorney General filed an amended complaint challenging President Joe Biden’s latest unlawful immigration policy. Instead of commencing immigration court proceedings against illegal immigrants caught at the border, the federal government is releasing them into the interior without even starting the legal process for their removal. The government is calling this unlawful policy “Parole + Alternatives to Detention.”

The amended complaint comes after shocking evidence showed dozens of adult male illegal immigrants brought to a U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office, and then bussed to a nearby airport to be sent to their chosen destination inside the United States, including Miami, according to news reports.

“It is appalling that the president is using taxpayer dollars to fund his open-borders agenda — even facilitating flights to transport illegal immigrants around our own country,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“The Biden administration has not only consciously refused to enforce immigration laws, but it has also developed an operation to secretly resettle illegal aliens into communities across Florida and the rest of the United States,” Governor DeSantis said. “They’re doing this in the dark of night without any coordination with states, without any background checks, and without any efforts to initiate the legal process for their removal. I am glad Attorney General Moody is continuing our fight to hold the Biden Administration accountable for its reckless disregard for immigration laws.”

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/02/in-case-you-missed-it-governor-desantis-and-attorney-general-moody-announce-florida-is-taking-legal-action-against-biden-administration-for-releasing-illegal-immigrants-into-florida/

Read the complaint here: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/GPEY-CB9JCG/$file/Parole+Amended+Complaint+as+filed.pdf

Social Media Highlights

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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