The Melo Minute


News and updates you don’t want to miss.

February 10, 2023
A Week in Review!
Issue No. 96

District 82 Updates

The following bills passed
this week’s special session.









Proposal to Provide a Historic $2 Billion in Tax Relief for Florida Families

With the goal of saving Florida families a record $2 billion during the 2023–2024 fiscal year, Governor Ron DeSantis today announced his intention to adopt the largest tax relief measure in Florida history.

He was accompanied by House Speaker Paul Renner and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.
The governor’s Framework for Freedom Budget proposal includes a number of tax relief measures, including an extension of the annual Back-to-School tax holiday and a one-year sales tax exemption on children’s products like books and toys. Other measures include a permanent sales tax exemption on baby and toddler necessities like clothing, cribs, and strollers. Under this approach, the typical Florida family might save up to $1,000 annually.

To read the press release, click here!

Florida Broadband Internet

Last week, the Broadband Opportunity Grant Program was launched by Governor Ron DeSantis to increase access to underserved communities in Florida, to broadband internet.
For the extension of broadband internet, more than $144 million have been awarded for 58 projects in 41 Florida counties. These projects will reach almost 160,000 previously unreached residential, educational, commercial, and community areas including:

· City of LaBelle; Montura ($2,496,672) — to add 58.8 miles of fiber optic cable to provide FTTH services to 1,424 unserved and underserved locations within Hendry County with minimum symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1 GBPS.

· Cities of Clewiston, Moore Haven, and Pioneer; Montura, Palmdale, Port LaBelle and Venus ($5,000,000) — to deploy FTTH services to more than 4,231 unserved locations in Glades, Hendry, and Highlands Counties with symmetrical download and upload speeds of between 1GB and 2GB.

· Orangetree and Golden Gate Estates ($777,407) — to deploy fiber optic cable internet service to 781 unserved households in Collier County with download and upload speeds of up to 1GBPS.

To read the press release, click here!

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!

Taiwan Welcomes House Representatives

I have the honor of being a member of the Taiwan delegation caucus in the Florida House. We will work to strenghten the ties between Florida and Taiwan.

Pajamas and Books

The purpose of the Pajama Project is to give new pajamas and books, as well as promote literacy development, to children who are abandoned, abused, removed from their homes and placed in foster care or living in homeless shelters in District 6960.

Together, The Twig and The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida and the Rotary Club will assist in distributing books and pajamas to underprivileged kids. Supporting this district service project will aid foster parents in District 6960 in their efforts to combat homelessness, drug misuse, mental illness, domestic violence, and poverty.

How can you help?

Start by collecting brand new Pajamas for boys & girls of all ages and bedtime books for boys & girls of all ages (new or gently used) and bring them to
The Quart House Restaurant located 100 S. Main Street in LaBelle.

Free Tax Preparation

The library is partnering with VITA United way to host free tax preparation on Thursdays during this tax filling season. IRS certified United Way volunteers prepare taxes for FREE for households earning 66,000 or less per year. Book your appointment today! Call the library at 863-983-1493.

To check if you qualify, click here!

Collier County gets Highest Rating

In a report dated Jan. 25, 2023, Moody’s assigned its highest rating to Collier County, Florida’s Special Obligation Revenue Bonds.

Bond ratings are important indicators of the creditworthiness of the Collier County Government and the debt it issues. The ‘AAA’ rating will enable Collier County to borrow at lower, more favorable interest rates, saving taxpayers millions of dollars over the life of the bonds.

I applaud the collaboration of the Clerk and Comptroller’s Office, the Board of County Commissioners, County Administration and the County’s Office of Management and Budget to secure the best possible ratings for our county.

Youth Fishing Day
Cypress Chapter of the Izaak Walton League


This week, the Izaak Walton League Cypress Chapter and the US Fish and Wildlife Service held a Youth Fishing Day at the Florida Panther National Refuge.
It was a big success and the kids had a blast.

Valentine’s Day is on
Tuesday February 14!


Home Base

Home Base is a national nonprofit organization that is committed to providing world-class, direct clinical care, wellness, education, and research to Veterans of all eras, Service Members, Military Families, and Families of the Fallen – all at no cost to them – regardless of their period of service, discharge status, or location.

The Boston Red Sox and Massachusetts General Hospital founded the initiative.
More than 30,000 Veterans, Service Members, and Family Members have received services from Home Base since 2009. Additionally, more than 80,000 clinicians, educators, first responders, and community members have received training in identifying and treating invisible wounds.ived training in identifying and treating invisible wounds.

For additional information, click here!

If you wish to make a donation, click here!

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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

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

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