The Melo Minute

News and updates you don’t want to miss.

District 82 Updates

HB 543

On Monday House Speaker Paul Renner unveiled HB 543.

If it becomes a law, it will eliminate mandatory requirement for a concealed weapons license (CWL) in Florida.

To read the Bill, click here!

Health Care Bills

Last week, I filed the following bill:

HB 435 Newborn Hearing Screenings
This bill will allow all newborns to be tested for congenital cytomegalovirus,
a disease that can be bad for babies. The bill requires a hospital or other
state-licensed birthing facility to test newborns for congenital cytomegalovirus and for hearing loss before the newborn is 21 days old or before discharge, whichever occurs earlier.

For more information on HB 435, click here!

$50 Million Milestone

On January 25, Governor DeSantis announced that the Hometown Heroes housing assistance program had awarded more than $50 million in down payment and closing cost assistance to Florida’s hometown heroes.

The program offers assistance to law enforcement officers, teachers, healthcare workers, active military personnel and veterans, to buy their first home in Florida.

Since its June 2022 inception, the Hometown Heroes housing assistance program has helped approximately 3,500 local heroes buy their first house in the neighborhood they serve.

To read the press release, here!

For more information on the
Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program, click here!

“Moving Florida Forward”

On Monday, Governor DeSantis announced the “Moving Forward Florida” Infrastructure initiative.

To read the press release, click here!

If passed by the legislature, the $4 billion proposal would allow the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to
expediate twenty priority infrastructure projects.

For more information on all the FDOT projects, click here!

In Collier County two projects could benefit from this proposal.

One would be I-75 from Corkscrew Road to Golden Gate Parkway.


A single lane going from Corkscrew Road all the way to Golden Gate Parkway would be over 20 miles.
Even though it’s just a single lane, FDOT hopes that lane would
ease congestion a little bit.
That project would get $578 million and be completed by 2027.

The second would be the I-75 and Pine Ridge Road interchange.

The I-75 and Pine Ridge Road interchange would be done by 2024.

2023 Toll Relief Program

In case you missed it, starting January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023,
E-PASS customers or Florida interoperable toll pass customers with 35 or more toll transactions per transponder in a single month will automatically receive a 50% credit to their account under the 2023 Toll Relief Program (Senate Bill 6A) enacted by Governor DeSantis on December 15, 2022.

For more information, click here!

Swamp Buggy Races


And then!


The 74th annual swamp buggy races winter classic took place last Sunday.

The first official swamp buggy race took place on November 12, 1949.

In the past, people typically utilized rafts and small boats to travel around the Naples area, especially in the Everglades with its murky bogs and dense trees.

The original swamp buggy was invented by Ed Frank from Naples;
it looked very different and was called “Tumble Bug”.
The state of Florida decided to use it in law enforcement in the 1930’s.

Many farmers and hunters decided to build their own and
started organizing races.

Now races are held 3 -4 times a year in Naples.

For more information, click here!

Rubber Duck, owned by Brian and Tami Langford won
the classic race on Sunday!

Traffic Change on February 6-7

Notice of Temporary Traffic Pattern Change on
US27/SR80 for Railroad Track Repairs.

South Central Florida Express contractor R.W. Summers Railroad Contractor, Inc. will be performing repairs to the railroad tracks on US27/SR80 just east of Lewis Blvd from Tuesday,
February 7, 2023 at 6am through Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 6pm.

US 27 south bound lanes will be closed, and traffic will be gradually diverted to a 2-lane road over the railroad tracks using the north bound lanes on US27.

Motorists traveling south on US27 will be able to make a right hand turn on to Lewis Blvd.

Motorists traveling north on Lewis Blvd will not be able to exit left on northbound US27. Motorists will only be permitted to make a right-hand turn heading east into Clewiston.

Motorists should expect delays and seek an alternate route if possible and use extra caution if traveling the work zone.

Residents or motorists with questions should contact R.W. Summers Railroad Contractor, Inc. at (863) 533-8107.

St Agnes Blue Mass

Last week I attended the annual Blue Mass at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, to honor and remember the service of current, past, and deceased law enforcement, fireman, and first responders who dedicate their life to the community’s safety and well-being. Governor Ron DeSantis and his wife were also in attendance.

Pace Center for Girls

The Pace Center for Girls, Collier at Immokalee is celebrating its 25th birthday!

In 1998, the Collier at Immokalee Pace Center for Girls opened its doors in Immokalee, Florida. Since then, Pace Collier in Immokalee has provided academic day programs and Pace Reach services to more than 2,000 girls in Collier County.

A modern kitchen and a gym are features of their unique facility.
Every day, two nutritious meals are served, and the girls can earn high school credits in a growing physical education program.

To learn more about the center, click here!

Clewiston – February 8-10

The Major League Fishing (MLF) will open the season at Lake Okeechobee,
next week, Feb. 8–10, in Clewiston, Florida.

For more information, Click here!

Save the Date
March 25


Wounded Warriors of Collier County

Wounded Warriors of Collier County has been working since 2018 to address the homeless issues faced by local Veterans.

For additional information, click here!

If you wish to make a donation, click here!

Connect With Me!

Social Media

Follow our social media pages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Have Any Suggestions?

We are always ready to help!
If you have a question you would like us to address within The Melo Minute, send us an email:

It is an honor to serve as your State Representative. My team and I will continue to listen, work, and legislate on your behalf as we look to the future. God bless you all, and God bless the great state of Florida!

Representative Lauren Melo
Florida House District 82

Contact Us

Facebook‌ Twitter‌ Instagram‌

If you’re new to The Melo Minute and would like to subscribe, click here!

Florida House District 82 | 3299 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, FL 34112

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *