Sarasota County Legislative Delegation 1-28-2019
Articles,  Blog

Sarasota County Legislative Delegation 1-28-2019

we’re gonna start in two minutes I just
wanna give everybody a warning at nine o’clock today I’d like to call this meeting to
order we’re gonna have a roll call first
representative Buchanan representative Gunn representative Gregory
representative Newton representative Robinson here we have a quorum we could
proceed with the Pledge of Allegiance representative Gregory where you lead is
in the Pledge please stand I like to thank everybody for coming
today I like to give the an opportunity for all the members to briefly introduce
yourselves and to give us any comments you’d like we will start on the left
representative Gregory please good morning my name is Tommy Gregory
representing district 73 which for Sarasota County is Clark Road to
University Parkway on the east side of Sarasota Sarasota and east side of i-75
pleasure to be here looking forward to hearing all the presentations today represented Robinson this on great
really excited to be here today I represent district 71 as I’ve jokingly
told people I’m the new and improved Jim Boyd I’ve taken over for representative
Boyd so I’m very happy to be here we had our manatee County delegation about a
month ago so it’s going to be great to hear from all you all from Sarasota
County Thank You representative good good morning my name is Margaret good I
represent district 72 that is mostly all of northern Sarasota County except for
the part that representative Robinson represents and I am happy to be here I
look forward to hearing your concerns and your issues and the things that you
want us to do in the legislature to move Sarasota forward thank you represent a
Buchanan I think I speak on behalf of the entire
delegation to say it’s an honor and a pleasure to serve you
until I see we’re here today to listen to your input your ideas and that at the
end of the day that’s what it’s all about so we look forward to hearing from
you today Thank You representative Newton thank you mister my name is
represent the Windgate Newton Newton I represent the smallest district in the
delegation st. Pinellas manatee Sarasota and Hillsborough you just come out of
st. Pete you go up 75 for about 15 minutes and over to rise in his Ruskin
you come back down 75 to robonia in the Palmetto in the Bradenton that’s manatee
you go all the way down between 41 and 301 the Fruitvale road that’s Sarasota I
I’m happy to be headed back for my third term under senator and chairman you know
I look forward I’m hearing your concern so we look at you guys to be the subject
matter experts understand that we don’t know all and see also if you don’t tell
us we don’t know so I look forward to hearing your concerns and your
priorities thank you Thank You representative
Newton so we have 59 people that have signed to speak we have this room for
three hours so instead of giving everybody the typical three minutes
which would take us exactly three hours since we’re gonna have some questions
and answers I’m gonna give everybody two minutes and 15 seconds so if you’ve had
a speech prepared I would adjust as possible I like to thank all the elected
officials for coming out I see some of the room county commissioners Haim
Ziegler Karen rushing Ron Turner bill first
Jayne Goodwin and and if I don’t see if I’m not recognizing you I’m sorry but
thank you for coming to our elected officials thank you for the to the
community groups that are stepping up and presenting your issues today I want
to tell you I think that we are very young delegation up here but we have a
strong delegation we have four Republicans two Democrats
we’ve already are working together as a team because at the end of the day in
Tallahassee things are not conservative versus
or Republican versus Democrat we are one team fighting on your behalf
up there and we’re gonna go up there and and my goal is to do all I can to make
sure we bring as many resources back to our local community as possible so I
appreciate you guys taking the time to come here today and and we are ready to
go to bat and we’re gonna get this meeting kicked off we have a local bill
which will be presented by mr. Jonathan Johnson mr. Johnson please come to the
speaker’s podium and we’ll hear a brief bill presentation yes please thank you
very much Jonathan Johnson with the hopping green and Sam’s Law Firm on
General Counsel to the stewardship district you have before you a local
bill amending the boundaries of the Lakewood Ranch stewardship district for
a net addition of approximately 2300 acres the property that is being added
or the amendment is located entirely within Manatee County however because
the district is located in both manatee and Sarasota
the bill is before you for your consideration as well I’m happy to tell
you the manatee delegation has already met and approved the local bill Sarasota
County has already issued their letter of non objection and Manatee County has
it on the agenda to issue theirs tomorrow morning at their Commission
meeting I’m happy to answer any questions that you may have but we’re
hoping for your approval of this bill as well thank you there any questions
seeing none we could proceed with the delegation vote on this proposed bill on
all in favor all right any opposed the bill passes we have approval by the
majority of the delegation they’ll there for the bill can be introduced to
legislature as chairman of delegation I am assigning representative Tommy
Gregory to carry this wonderful bill Thank You Tommy now we will begin our
agenda and we’ll hear from our elected officials then from all interested
parties I must tell you the again that we have 59 presentations to hear
therefore therefore I respectfully request that you limit your
presentations to 2 minutes and 15 seconds to respect the folks that are
going to be at the end of this series and we will do questions if any of the
members have questions after any speaker please let me know yeah so everybody can mute their phones
it’s a great idea first up Sarasota County good morning
delegation as chairman of the Sarasota County Commission I Charles Hines have
the pleasure of addressing you and kind of pointing out the issues that we have
coming before the state this year and I’ll do my best to stay within the time
frame so I appreciate it again thanks for your dedication and service I know
we meet with you all individually both before and during sessions so you’re
gonna hear some things you’ve probably already heard but it’s good that we can
hear it all together so first of all as one of our main priorities and it’s
obviously the state’s also its water quality the picture that you see on the
paper or you know on the television right now is a Sarasota Bay we all
affect we’re devastated by what occurred this summer and Sarasota County has been
working hard for a number of years to deal with water quality issues such as a
Philippi Creek septic tank two sewer switch which you all may be heard over
time if you’ve been in your seats we’ve been asking for money for that and
assistance and that is making a difference
also the Dona Bay project if you haven’t heard of that it has gained at national
recognition as retrofitting very poorly designed storm water runoff and is
already making a huge difference down in Donna and Roberts Bay in South County
and is a model for others to follow so that’s still in in the works and
hopefully if you haven’t seen it I would be happy to individually take you around
and show that to you also with hurricane Irma we all learned our strengths and
weaknesses over the last you know a few years in regards to that and so you’ll
hear from us in regards to one more at least one more hurricane evacuation
shelter that we need we have what’s been kind of called as a donut hole in the
Venice Nokomis Osprey area that we need another evacuation center and we are
currently working with Sarasota Memorial Hospital as they’re going to build on
Laurel Road and i-75 – to partner with them and add an evacuation center there
now I mentioned it to you all because this is more than just a Sarasota County
project you may or may not know that but Charlotte County is woefully absent
or you know does not have evacuation shelters because of their low lying
areas so Sarasota County during our amma had the privilege of hosting most of
those people from charlotte county so we need we need your help on that one
red tide legacy ellen beach restoration i know they get to do that so I’m not
gonna offend myself so thank you and hopefully if you have any questions I’m
here to answer them thank you any questions Thanks thank you okay Todd
Lodwick he bore this ball good morning I’m George old mayor of Longboat Key
thank you for this opportunity to appear we have provided our list of 2019
legislative priorities but would like to highlight a few tourism is absolutely
essential to our well being and to that of the state of Florida the new
phenomenon a persistent red tide continuing well in the season and beyond
already has had a devastating impact on tourism in our southwestern Southwest
and elsewhere in coastal Florida with for boating result on real estate values
it is imperative that we create a statewide focus and a single point of
leadership azar if you would who wakes up every morning think of thinking only
of that job to implement a solution the clean up of our waters must be
accomplished sea level rise calls for a similar approach while less immediate
but no less important the need to plan ahead is critical albeit costly and
overwhelming and envisioning its consequences to our low-lying paradise
lastly our barrier island having no direct bridge to the mainland must have
reasonable continued historic right-of-way access through our
neighboring barrier islands we look forward to proper findings and
implementation resulting from the FDD d-o-t barrier islands traffic study
including timely and necessary FDOT and local NPO funding to make this
possible any questions thank you thank you very much
city in Northport good morning everybody I am vice mayor W McDowell from the
amazing city of North Port I’d like to thank you for your service in being here
today I’d also like to recognize our city manager and Commissioner Luke from
the city first off before I get into things that are of top priority I want
to say thank you for River Road and moving it up on the list to get it done
quicker thank you for that my first our first list is the certificate of need we
are the city of North Port the largest city in Sarasota County and the
surrounding area that does not have a hospital we desperately need a hospital
in the north port city limits we had a private provider that wanted to take the
risk and build a hospital in North Port but because of the certificate of need
they were declined and I guess they’re still finding that so we desperately
need to redress how the certificate of need is done we also need to talk about
storm water projects most of our city is on septic and that is a huge problem in
the city and it’s a very expensive project to undertake not just for the
city but for the citizens that have to hook up the third thing I’d like to talk
about a minute left third thing is war metal Springs and little salt springs
you’ll be hearing from another speaker later on today about how these are the
Forgotten Springs in Florida your Florida legislation has Springs that are
mostly to the north warm mineral springs and little salt springs needs to be
included in that because those are our springs that make North Port what it is
we have two of them in our city limits I have time for more we’d also like to see
increased funding for suicide prevention and mental health programs along with I
pass out that we already passed out to you for a
Department of Children and Family Services to get a reform done so thank
you very much for your time I want to leave ten seconds for questions if you
have any what was the other Warren mineral springs and little salt springs good morning I said I wanted it on the
Department of Children Family Singers he said some about reform we passed a
resolution in our city to have this state take a look at welfare child
protective services reform due to the the loss of the little toddler that got
killed by his mother what six months ago or so so but there’s a resolution on
your in your packet to there’s current legislation being introduced to address
that and we also I think out of the seven counties that do to see I see IP
for the three of them were I represent and it’s done by the shared Department
and we’re looking at ways to probably get additional funding and expand that
so we did talk about that just last week in connected awesome thank you very much
maybe we can meet with you and work together thank you very much you very
much city of Sarasota place mate good morning
my name is Jenny her Koch Anna and vice mayor of the city of Sarasota I want to
thank you all for being here and paying attention and listening to our
legislative priorities for 2019 I wanted to say right away that I was told I had
15 minutes so I prepared 15 minutes and I only have two minutes and 15 seconds
so I did pass out a speech with everything that I had prepared so I will
try to touch on some of the topics that some of the other cities did not touch
on solar energy the city of Sarasota has adopted they’re ready for 100 initiative
committing city operations to being 100% renewable by 2030 solar energy is a key
component and we should be a leader in this area and we currently are not ex
our solar potential is a multifaceted positive step towards clean energy and
also has tremendous potential for economic job development and growth we
ask that you support legislation allowing two things virtual net metering
and purchase power agreements for municipalities other states allow this
but in Florida only regulated utilities can utilize purchase power agreements
affordable housing is a national crisis and a local crisis our constituents have
made it clear that this must be a priority in order to maintain a healthy
growing and safe community the Sadowski Housing Trust Foundation was set up for
this specific purpose and was swept by the state legislature and without these
dedicated funds our efforts are undermined we ask that you support
legislation aimed at allocating the full amount of documentary tax revenue funds
in the Sadowski housing trust fund to local municipalities counties and
nonprofit organizations further we request that you support increased
funding for Community Development Block Grants home partnership programs and
SCHIP funding Commissioner Hines and others touched on the environment and
water quality and we also support any state funding into red tide research and
increasing local funding for local government for cleanup for red tide the
next is homelessness and mental health initiatives we are proud as a city of
our successes in partnering with Sarasota County that it
no and other nonprofit organizations and we ask that you increase funding for
homelessness programs home housing for homeless and operating capital for
agencies which oversee many programs our other issues are Public Safety Home Rule
and the environment thank you so much any questions yes thank you I see on
your legislative priorities that you oppose legislation that would repeal
your local authority to enable the use of red light cameras can you you know
offline provide me more information on the basis for that I can’t me to do that
now or later just later later okay thank you
you city of Venice mayor holic good morning honorable senator and honorable
representatives thank you for the privilege of addressing you today my
name is John holic I’m the mayor of the city of Venice city of Venice applauds
and supports governor DeSantis with his executive order to increase water
monitoring around the state and establish a task force to address
blue-green algae growing threat worsened by pollution and a warming planet that
now regularly follows rivers flowing from a massive lake half the size of
Rhode Island we also support the cleanup of septic tanks banning fracking and
focus on a more green infrastructure the city of Venice also supports senator
witters in his efforts to have septic tanks inspected in abandoned smoking of
the beaches Cedar Venice has 16 major storm water outfalls
several of which discharge stormwater directly across the beach to the Gulf of
Mexico stormwater discharges can be a contributor to poor water quality and
pollutant loading which can increase the intensity and duration of harmful algae
blooms the city is improving the performance of the outfalls of two
phases phase 1 is a project to implement stormwater outfalls monitoring to assess
the pollutant loading into our coastal waters from the individual out Falls and
after the outfall monitoring is complete a priority prioritization plan will be
developed to identify the highest pollutant contributors and a phase 2
project list will be created Phase two of this project is to implement
structural and non-structural best management practices at the highest
priority stormwater outfalls to provide a decrease in pollutant loading at those
of all locations city respectfully requests $600,000 in funding to
implement stage 1 we have filed for the grant funding for stage 2 would be
included in the future after the outfall monitoring and prioritization plan is
complete the city request support of legislation that provides for
Home Rule Authority and there are many other priorities that we did file with
you and ask that you take a look at them thank you for your service to the people
the state of Florida the city of Venice looks forward to working with you for
the betterment of our communities thank you any questions see none thank you
very much and just for the record I filed that
bill with representative Robinson down there that septic ball he deserves some
credit good morning senator representatives Ron Turner Supervisor of
Elections I presented to you a list of legislative priorities from the Florida
State Association of supervisors of elections which represents the county
supervisors of elections throughout Florida I will touch on one today which
is funding for Eric which is the Electronic Registration information
center the Legislature passed a bill last session which allows the state of
Florida to join a consortium of states they’re currently 26 states including
the District of Columbia Florida would be the 27 state where we’d be able to
share voter registration data between states to help us keep Florida’s voter
rolls even more clean than we’re able to do currently through list maintenance
what the legislation last year authorized was for the state of Florida
and the Secretary of State to join this consortium which has not happened yet
but hopefully this will be a priority as we move into this new year
but we want to make sure that funding is available for the Department of State
and the state of Florida to continue this effort once we join this group I’ve
given you a list of other priorities and if you have any questions I’d be happy
to answer them yes good morning thank you for your report during the last
election cycle and you would the Florida State Association of our supervisors of
election yeah yes representative okay is there it was reported that some zoe’s
had older antiquated equipment so they couldn’t and they couldn’t implement the
the will of the law as a pertaining to recounting why would not we have uniform
equipment throughout the state and do your organization ever talk about that
or Florida law the way that it works is that the Florida Secretary of State is
in charge of certifying voting equipment in the state of Florida the state of
Florida does not take part in federal voting equipment certification which is
available but we have our own certification in Florida there are
currently two voting system vendors in the state of Florida that have systems
available to us Sarasota County implemented a new voting tabulation
system during the 2016 election cycle so ours is relatively new and I think most
of the counties in Florida have gone to newer systems you know I can’t speak for
every supervisor in Florida or every Board of County Commissioners who
actually work with the supervisors to make those purchases at the county level
for voting equipment but I can say as I said that Sarasota County’s voting
equipment is relatively new we first implemented it during the presidential
preference primary 2016 do I think that it’s a good idea for supervisors and
counties to keep current with voting equipment yes thank you thank you mr
Turner seriously County Clerk of Court Karen rushing thank you very much I’m
here today as having served as the legislative chair for Florida clerks for
the past eight years to address an outdated funding model set by the
legislature the model was originally designed to have fines and fees support
the obligations of this of the clerk and although hundreds of millions of dollars
are collected by clerks statewide the distribution of the collections is set
by the legislature and they no longer support adequately this the changing
responsibilities of the clerk the devil is always in the details but the current
model is highly dependent on traffic citations which subsidizes other costs
in the office the dramatic decline in traffic citations have affected the
adequacy of the funding model today I’m not here advocating for more traffic
citations or to begin charging people whom use the court without cost but I am
here to sound the alarm bell the current model no longer adequately supports the
clerk of the court the charts I’ve presented you today includes information
relevant to the budget challenges at both the state and the local level
specifically at the state level you see that the budgets are down forty seven
point seven million dollars and in Sarasota our budget is less than in 2005
now factor in a CPI adjustment against the 2005 budget and that results in a
2.4 million dollar less buying power I rely on the public sector for services
such as banking armored cars computer maintenance license fees etc and all of
these costs have risen into that since 2005 in spite of our efforts to
competitively bid services so I’m going to use this metaphor anyone can assume
the risk and drive their car carelessly but inevitably there will be near misses
and likewise operating the clerk’s office without adequate funding has
resulted in near misses as time goes on both of these situations will lead to
someone getting hurt together let’s avoid the undesirable result adequately
fund the clerks of court to avoid consequences that will inevitably affect
public safety commerce and access to justice I urge you to take an interest
in implementing a funding model that provides adequate resources for our
community and the Senate senator Brandis has supported a bill that the clerk’s
have put forth and we hope to have a house sponsor soon thank you I didn’t
like that change of 20.5 15 seconds yes I have a question and thank you for
your presentation your the Sarasota County Clerk of the Court correct I am
what could you expound upon me as to the revenue sharing as it pertains a red
light camera revenue then do your office deal with that all or not
well Sarasota County doesn’t have cameras the city does so that is a
revenue to the city unless of course someone contests the case and then there
might be a court component to a hearing and then the distribution is slightly
different but the revenue of the fine goes back to the city it was it was
brought to my attention like clerks not just yourself that um when they
implemented that it was a undue burden and unfunded mandate but as appertaining
the staffing and trying to enforce that in process those that’s why I was asking
because you were talking about revenue sharing I know revenue comes in from
that so that’s why I touched on it but you don’t your office doesn’t deal with
it is that what you think when someone contests the red light citation from a
camera it does come through the court which is the clerk of the court also but
if you pay your citation without contesting the event then it goes
directly to the cities unless there’s some you know local agreement where
cities are having the clerk’s collect certain red light cameras thank you very
much thank you Miss rushing Minnesota Liga city’s mayor Shaw good morning
cemetary representatives which ourselves representing the Manasota League of
seeds and we are seeking your support on several of our initiatives and
priorities one being the Minnesota League of Cities will support
legislative efforts to strengthen and protect the rights of Florida citizens
to govern themselves under municipal holu powers conferred by the Florida
institution one of our issues is short-term rentals we would support
legislation that repeals the state’s preemption of the regulation of
short-term role our properties to allow local governments to regulate such
properties to protect the health and welfare of residents visitors and
businesses we would support changes to existing state law relating to
short-term rentals that permit grandfather local governments to modify
existing short-term rental regulations we also support all of our cities and
the state itself with water quality and preservation of Florida forever we would
seek your support as we go forward with the other initiatives the last of these
three major initiatives is the mental health and sober homes Florida now ranks
49th in the state in the country for mental health issues and the care of
mental health we have real issues when it comes to the unregulated sober homes
in the state and the way that they are growing in number throughout the state
we’re now seeing them on the west coast where we’ve seen them mainly on the East
Coast previously your support and helping us to regulate these sober homes
would be greatly appreciated and at this time I will take any questions anyone
may have seen on thank you so much thank you so very much and I do my time thank
you seriously manatee mpo Commissioner Hines
good morning again again for the record Charles signs the MPO has a meeting
today so they asked me to present their priorities to you all first of all that
I know they’ve already provided you their entire list in your packet so
hopefully you’ve had a chance to take a look at those but they wanted me to
highlight two specifically one you’ve already heard of and that’s that’s River
Road we’ve made incredible advances in regards River Road over the last few
years and now have the state involved in that
it’s not just Sarasota manatees number-one priority it’s also Charlotte
County mpos priority so we have a regional impact here so with the state
taking over that road Sarasota County through its mobility fees is also going
to pay one-third of the cost but I wanted to highlight to you all is it
wasn’t just money Sarasota County also through a road swap took over some roads
from the state so I think finally we’ve worked out a deal that gets this
regional hurricane evacuation route and a high growth area in South County with
the Atlanta Braves coming and the village is growing we finally have a
plan that’s going to work so please be aware of that fund it work with FDOT to
make sure that road gets built as soon as possible the old one you’ve also
heard about that was to be highlighted as a barrier island study the mobility
study it’s difficult these days to build bridges anymore over bays and so the
barrier islands are struggling with traffic issues getting on and off those
islands and it’s clearly a public health and safety issue with an ambulance that
needs to go back and forth so what we need and what this study is important is
to see what can we do on and off these barrier islands through roundabouts
additional lanes turn lanes that we can do now to help alleviate those problems
and a lot of them are on state roads so we’ll have the state will need help with
them so those are the main two River Road the barrier island study and then
please take a look at their list of other priorities and thank you very much
thank you so much so you know questions seriously County health care system
David Virender thank you for having us today before I start I just want to
offer my congratulations on behalf of the healthcare system for your elections
and now we’ve enjoyed historical relations great relationships with you
and look forward to upcoming you have a copy of our priorities for the coming
year and they focus on preserving our ability to provide highest quality of
health care to a large number of growing patients who depend on Sarasota Memorial
our Hospital emissions have grown 40 percent in the past five years and we
really don’t see any any indication that’s going to slow down to respond to
the surging demand we’ve been focusing on hiring more nurses and other health
care professionals and we’re now the county’s largest employer at over six
thousand staff members 1,300 medical staff members and over a thousand
volunteers the increased demand also is prompting a need for more physicians
Sarasota Memorial is working hard to bring top-notch doctors to our community
through physician residency programs creating partnership of Florida State
University the residents are doctors who have graduated from medical school and
are completing their training in their chosen specialty most residents end up
practicing near where they were trained so these programs will help ease our
physicians short routine shortages going forward we’ve launched the county’s
first and only internal medicine residency program in 2017 the residents
work at our hospital and our physician practice in new town making a big
difference in the lives of the community members we are also starting at an
emergency medicine and palliative care programs this year last year the
legislature approved the primary care severe shortage Graduate Medical
Education Funding initiative to help fund residency programs in our region we
would appreciate your continued support of the initiative this year just quickly
to mention a couple of the other projects we’re working on we’re bringing
a new Cancer Center to Sarasota Memorial and into some and we we had a
groundbreaking last week out on our University and honorarium property this
will be a new eight story tower on the main campus and in regional sites
throughout the area we’re also bringing a new count hospital as everyone knows
to Venice on a corner Laura Rodin I 75 look to open that in late 2021 I’m at a
time but I would just like to once again thank you and we look forward to talking
to you in Tallahassee you could have an extra 15 seconds for those kind remarks
at the beginning thank you very much one question though
go ahead yes Newport needs a hospital so Northport
doesn’t need a new hospital we don’t disagree with that we are we do own
property in North Port on 35 acres on the corner of Sumpter and I 75 and our
plan is to build a hospital there when we can thank you very much
there’s the County School Board Chair Ginga wood I too want to welcome the
four new members of this delegation you all look good sitting in these seats I
want to also thank all of you on the in the delegation for your service and I
want to talk just specifically about two things I want to thank you for the bills
that we’re a process of working on thank you Joe for your leadership thank you
representative good Thank You representative Buchanan for helping us
with some of the things that we’ve already talked about but I want to talk
specifically about two things required local effort and the hope that that will
not be rolled back I mean will not be rolled back last year we got 47 cents in
the face student allocation per student and that is what it takes to put its
student in a seat turn the lights on bring a teacher in we can’t handle that
this year and I hope that you will encourage those in leadership not to
roll it back the second thing is safety and security something that’s near and
dear to all of our hearts we are in compliance and working very hard on
hardening our buildings on doing more in mental health and also bringing on more
of the school resource officers that we know are required I just want to ask you
in that regard to please encourage flexibility what’s required in Sarasota
County a midium medium-sized county is not the same requirements as in Glade
County or in miami-dade there are a lot of diverse issues affecting every County
and we need flexibility so I would just encourage you to do that but also to put
more money into mental health counseling because we know that’s helping us but we
need more thank you so much thank you no questions peace River Minnesota water
supply Patrick layman yes good morning chairman remember the delegation I’m
Patrick Lehman executive director of the Peace River Minnesota Regional Water
Supply Authority comprised a manatee Sarasota Charlotte and DeSoto counties
certainly want to thank you for your service to the people of Florida and
tackling the big issues and as you’ve heard over and over water is one of
those big issues thanks to the local regional state vision of partnership
over the years we have a tremendous water supply system for our region and
as you have heard over and over that storage is key to our water issues now
and into the future we are leaders in the development of
reservoirs and aquifers stories recovery systems to supply our regional needs we
have a continuing project that the state has participated in the past and we’re
asking to continue to participate and furthering the technology of aqua
storage recovery that would be beneficial not only those region but
throughout the state by having partially treated water for that usage which would
provide water for future generations and a reliable environmentally safe and
economical manner so anyway I want to thank you for your past partnership and
look forward to our continuing partnership and certainly as you go
through the session feel free to call upon us for any questions you have as
far as water issues thank you and I’ll yield the rest of my time to someone
else thank you so much second judge District Court of Appeal
counsel Eden Moulton good morning mr. chairman and members my
name is attorney Moulton and I am the regional counsel for the second District
of Appeal thank you for allowing me to present today Regional Council defends
indigent clients when the public defender’s has a conflict Regional
Council was created to save money we’ve done that in the second District the
most money that we save excuse me are within death penalty litigation we save
anywhere from three to five times the amount of registry attorneys for this
reason most of our requests are in the death penalty realm for this legislative
session we are asking for additional death penalty attorneys mitigation
specialists as well as investigators we are also asking to convert some of our
o-p-s personnel to FTE employees the conversion process began last year but
was not completed so we are hoping that with your help we can complete that I
want to thank you for everything you do and I look forward to working with you
in Tallahassee thank you we got a question thank you you say that you guys
you step in when the public defender has a conflict I think your representative
for that question yes sir let’s say there is a murder case
and there are two co-defendants so the public defender’s office would only be
able to take one co-defendant the other co-defendant before we were were created
would go to registry but now we take those cases and we handle them at a
great cost saving measure to the state of Florida and I personally deal with
five public defender offices one of whom is in Sarasota thank you very much mr.
sir County Economic Development Commission Jim boss good morning good to be with each one of
you again I want to talk briefly about some of the high points in our list if I
can please the first one and I’m surprised our education friends didn’t
bring this up because I’ve talked to most of you about this and that’s
relating to the support of workforce education programs not only online a
chair of the task force for EDC but I am president of the sack or service of a
Technical College many of you do not know what funding is on a three year lag
basis so as the Technical College has continued to grow down through the years
we’re still dealing with dollars from three years ago so if you would take a
look at that the formula needs to be looked at also continuing down on the
list of fully funding of enterprise Florida support the sales tax changes
that have been shall we say going through the legislature and a regular
basis and finally dealing with workforce housing programs those are key areas for
EDC and we’d appreciate your attention in those areas and I’ll answer any
questions if there are any questions thank you very much Jim I will say on
behalf of the EDC you Jamie Miller mark Huey and the entire EDC team you guys
really did an amazing job with the coding program and the grant that we
brought to the schools I think that’s gonna pay off dividends a hundredfold
over the next decade or two and like I mentioned at the beginning you know this
is a team effort team sport none of these things none of these projects
happen without the work of almost everybody involved everybody at the EDC
everybody appear on the table on both sides that say it was a lot of work but
the EDC’s you guys champion that project and you guys deserve a lot of credit
because that’s a really a huge thing for our community so please tell mark and
Jamie Miller that they did a phenomenal job thank you again for listening and
thank you chairman okay Northport chamber commerce
bill gunnin I’m not Bill Gannon I’m Fred tower and the gun elevations Committee
and been the chair we’ve been I’ve been coming here six
years and we finally made progress on River Road and everybody’s talked about
it what we really need from you all is to change the construction date or work
on it with the transportation people up in Tallahassee is to move the date from
2021 we started at 2024 up to 2021 and that’s thanks to the Sarasota County
Commission and also North Port for putting some fun funding up certificate
of need you’ve heard about that I have one question to you and you can talk to
me later or think about it certificate of need every year that goes
up in north part I’m excuse me in Tallahassee the way that it goes up is
it passes in the house and it gets to the Senate and it’s completely lost
north port needs that word the largest city without a hospital in the state of
Florida the certificate of need is cumbersome it’s expensive please help us
and get it through the Senate those of you that are senators and I won’t point
anybody else for that the other the other item that we have is workforce
housing training and that is very important in the state of Florida right
now skilled help is very difficult to get and it’s very important that we get
it and finally because we’re moving very quickly here is finally our new governor
we asked you support state funding for issues related to red tide and algae
bloom we need to help our tourist industry thank you for the time I would
right to bring one thing up I’d like to thank the new representative in our
district and it’s the first person that ever put an office at the state official
in the city in Northport and we thank you very much Thank You State College of Florida
doctor pros film good morning thank you for this opportunity to present the
legislative priorities of the State College of Florida manatees Sarasota one
of the region’s greatest needs aligns perfectly with one of SCS greatest
strengths SCF is ideally positioned to provide the solution to our regional
nursing shortage the Florida Center for nursing projects the need for more than
5,200 new nurses in this Sun Coast region by 2025 SCF has the state of art
nursing education facilities the support of area hospitals and the proven talent
to manage an enrollment increase in our Associate of Science in Nursing program
what we lack is the recurring funding to hire the teaching and clinical faculty
necessary to expand our nursing student body we received a record number of
applications this fall in 2018 more than 700 many from highly qualified
individuals but regrettably we can only enroll 80 students each term into our
two-year program with our current level of funding STF has among the highest
average Nursing Board exam pass rates in the nation averaging 98 to a hundred
percent for the past decade our nursing program is consistently ranked among the
top 10 most affordable nursing programs in Florida with annual tuition for an
SCF nursing degree at three thousand dollars a fraction of the cost of a
state university or public college or private college SCF requests 2.15
million dollars in recurring funding to establish the nursing center of
excellence this funding will allow SCF to increase the annual size of our
two-year nursing program from 160 to 220 and create an innovative telehealth
training program our goal is to double the size of this life-saving program I
also ask your support to fund a science and technology laboratory building on
our Venice campus this facility will support LCF strategic university
partnerships including Gator engineering at SC F our new Venice campus Collegiate
School enhance our students retention and degree completion $1,000,000 of
local funding is already committed to this project
reducing our public funding request to 2.5 million dollars funding the nursing
Center of Excellence will allow the State College of Florida to do more of
what we do best and provide the solution to a looming shortage of highly trained
nurses thank you for your time your consideration and support for the State
College of Florida thank you very much and thank you also for that coating the
work that you guys said with the coding project I mean you with along with EDC
deserve the credit so congratulations and thank you for you do our pleasure
and thank you for your support yeah USF sursum aunty dr. Holbrook good morning
senator representatives thank you for your very important time very valuable
to us I am here to support to ask for a seek support for two primary initiatives
one is for recurring funding for our faculty which we have lost over the past
few years and for to begin the construction of Anna stick building
integrated Science and Technology complex as you may know the University
of South Florida Sarasota Manatee has on the agenda to build a 75 thousand
square-foot technology complex to fulfill our commitment to prepare
students who are entering the workforce in this area and I can tell you that 92
percent of our students that graduate from USF SM stay here in Florida
26% go on to graduate programs the other 65% go on to work in the public and
private sector but with consolidation of USF USF SM is scheduled to add 37 new
programs primarily in the areas of strategic emphasis being engineering
nursing and other programs in science and technology
allied health in particular these are to meet Sarasota’s and amenities and
Florida’s workforce needs and to contribute to economic development in
the region these new programs require both faculty and the research resource
plans have been made for a state-of-the-art building that will
house new programs provide space for student and faculty research right now
we have no laboratories in our existing building this building is going to be
purpose-driven dynamic evolutionary and assemble in reality a creative space
where learning and career preparation are aligned the building is also planned
as a community building so that we can halls projects and programs
here such as the one we just did last Friday on adaptation to climate change
and such as the one that was done with education leaders in December reading
reading the solution so that our students our young students get past
third grade reading and become get through their elementary and their high
school and can go on to be college students the istic building will be a
major attractant to both students and the faculty in this region it will
prepare a high tech workforce business-minded students support
entrepreneurial activities and raise the profile of us FSM in the community thank
you very much for your listening thank you I want to comment on the I I did
meet with with your board you know I was also impressed with the sustainability
or like I like to call it the succession planning you know what I’m finding out
I’d also look for the record I serve on higher ed approps
that’s one of my committees that I serve on and what I’m seeing more times than
not as leadership changes around the boards it combines if you will because
the new individual coming in have their own mindset of what they want to do and
how they want to do it and sometimes it differs for what the board does but the
board does not hold them in check therefore the university ends up on the
front page of a lot of this media and we have one right now in front of us doing
just that so I want to commend USF on that also let my colleagues know what
what has happened to the consolidation as I mentioned I serve Hillsborough
manatee Sarasota and Pinellas we have a the of the main campus in the USF in
Tampa we have USF st. Pete and also I have a USF Minnesota you just heard 37
new programs you also now through the consolidates have a preeminent
University preeminence we all until we had prior to that was Florida and
Florida State now we have one right here in our backyard hear me now a student
can get a four-year degree from a pre-med university without even leaving
home that’s very valuable and attractive in the workforce but there are needs we
that’s the only campus I think has no housing so kids can’t can’t stay there
they can’t stay at a preeminent University which kind of don’t make any
sense and also labs so I like the planning of the forward thinking and try
to make sure we have that on there and they got that on there on there in their
plan so no matter who comes or goes not that you’re going anywhere we already
pull you out of retirement they can follow along and keep that going and
keep the relationship going with the people who support that because it gets
a little confusing as we get new leadership and they want to go another
direction when they’re already going down one row but I want to thank you for
your leadership at the helm over there and everything you’re doing for the
students and the the workforce here in Sarasota and also Manatee County thank
you if I could add one quick note thank you very much for your comments we
greatly appreciate but I would also tell you that the task force on consolidation
has put two buildings into the consolidation report that will be
revealed tomorrow one is our residence hall and the second is our stem building
so thank you thank you new College of Florida dr. O’Shea Samuel Sandro and
Representatives I’m Donna shade president of New College of Florida
thanks very much for the opportunity to be here and for your support
in 2006 the board governors endorsed a multi-year plan to increase the size of
new college by 50% by 2023 and will have 1,200 students at least 80% of that
class that graduate will graduate the one that comes in that year
accomplishing that will move us into the top handful of residential arts and
science colleges in the country public or private period the legislature
founded the first two of three installments of recurring money that we
need thanks so much for that this year we request the final
installment 1.64 million to fund the final to close out the recurring money that we
need this is one of five institutions specific priorities approved by the
Board of Governors for inclusion and state university system budget request
there’s also a long recurring piece to our growth request that’s absolutely
crucial and that’s also supported by the Board of Governors we need the space to
house the growth the problem is compounded by the age of our buildings
they’re gorgeous but they’re old five hundred ninety years old
forty percent are more than forty five years old they’re not accessible for
anybody with any mobility issues we plan to add a hundred thousand square foot
multi-purpose facility that would under good student services our expanded
academic program and administrative support the initial cost estimate for
that was 47 million for the 2019 session the Board of Governors is supporting the
request for six million dollars from Peco funds to start planning followed by
fourteen million to be appropriated in 2020 and the final twenty seven million
dollar phase would be requested in the following years
so please fund at least that six million in the coming year and of course if we
find more dollars we’d love them the and and that’s thank
you for the consideration Thank You dr. O’Shea see no questions Cross College
Alliance Linda de Mello good morning I am Linda de Melo the
manager of the cost college alliance as you know the cross college alliance was
formed through the visionary leadership of the presidents of State College of
Florida new college of Florida USF Sarasota Manatee Ringling College of Art
and Design and the Ringling Museum FS FSU our presidents believe that they and
their institutions can be more and do more for our community by working
together and it is because of their commitment that I’m here to ask you to
invest in the development of a new CCA Center for creativity collaboration and
competitiveness we believe that the Center for creativity collaboration and
competitiveness will enable us to differentiate and advantage our region’s
students workforce economy and quality of life by strategically leveraging the
collective expertise and unique assets of the five Cross College Alliance
institutions and those of Manatee and Sarasota counties while also benefitting
from the expertise of new leadership and the development of new resources the
center’s mission is to collaboratively create and provide new learning
opportunities and leading-edge courses in creativity and collaboration as well
as critical new resources that will foster a vibrant regional ecosystem of
creativity innovation and collaboration that is essential to our region’s
competitiveness and success our request is simple but its impact far reaching
your decision in large measure will determine if the economic and
technological disruptions that we are experiencing marginalized or embolden us
the leadership and performance of our CCA presidents speaks for itself
it is WEP that it is with that promise and their commitment that I ask you to
support and invest in the CCA Center for creativity
collaboration and competitiveness thank you thank you see you no questions visit
Sarasota Virginia Halley okay senator Representatives Virginia Halley I am
president of visit Sarasota County and I have the honor of being the incoming
chair of the visit Florida Board of Directors starting in July I want to
thank Senator gruder’s for introducing the legislation to reauthorize visit
Florida we cannot afford to let visit Florida sunset in October and I
especially don’t want that on my watch as chair we also hope visit Florida’s
funding would be continued at present levels visit Florida is extremely
important for the medium-sized communities such as Sarasota and Manatee
County we rely on them to reach a greater audience than we could on our
own and they were amazing partners as we went through the travails of the red
tide crisis both in terms of the messaging monitoring what people were
saying about our area and in the grants that we received from visit Florida I
want to thank all of you for the initiatives that you already have
underway regarding water quality that’s obviously a very important issue as we
all learn this year and for the bills you’ve already filed and then thank you
very much for the legislation senator on the on the beach smoking bans thank you
can you tell us a little bit about because more than buddy else you guys
have been hit in terms of our local businesses because of red tide can you
tell us a little bit about what they’re going through and and what some of their
concerns and issues are it is it’s very challenging part of it is because of
it’s the first time we’ve had this intense of a red tide in the age of the
fast photograph video with your cell phone and so we’ve got those lingering
issues and questions about red so not only did we lose business August
through December but in looking out at the next three months the business is
still off so it’s having a real massive lingering effect we had our numbers in
October through December and they’re the biggest drops we’ve had since 9/11 and
do you know it has visit floor to partner with you guys to try to shed a
light that we’re open for business here on the Gulf Coast and can you explain
what you guys do with them to try to make that happen
yes on visit Florida has a mounted and aggressive social media campaign with
tactics such as Facebook lives from our beaches timestamp photography so those
people know these are the real current conditions advertising campaign and then
grant money so we have a Google map campaign that they will be adding 500
new images so when visitors are searching our area they’ll see how truly
beautiful it is and then direct grants so we can do our own campaigns right
here in Sarasota thank you for going to bat for our community on a consistent
basis you guys do an amazing job thank you very much thank you mote marine dr.
Crosby good morning thank you very much appreciate the opportunity to speak to
you all and I do want to thank you all for your dedicated service to the
citizens of this community and to the state of Florida we’ve got a very strong
delegation and we’re very proud of you so look forward to working with you on a
number of priorities you have our priorities before you our legislative
priorities revolve around three core things one is to grow the research
Enterprise of Mote Marine Laboratory to address many of the challenges that our
oceans and our community faces the second is to translate and transfer the
science and the technology for greater impact in conservation sustainable use
of our environment addressing many of these grand challenges and stimulating
Arica me and the third is to give back in
terms of service to our community and try to enhance the overall level of
ocean literacy amongst everyone in this community and you’ve heard today already
previous speakers mentioned two of our legislative priorities
the first is red tide it has been a disastrous last year with red tide its
impact to our ecology our economy our quality of life and it’s time for us to
use the science and technology that we have to do something different to change
the paradigm of how we are dealing with red tide and very pleased I’ve worked
with all of you and Senator gruder’s I know you’re going
to be putting forward a bill here to launch the new independent Florida red
tide mitigation and Technology Development initiative this is a
game-changer for how we are going to be able to use applied science develop
those technologies those tools that we can deploy to decrease the impacts of
red tide and we can do this the other is Workforce Development STEM
education that’s a core of our new science education aquarium and I think
representative Gregory and Senator gruder’s for helping us with that
funding request as well and I see I’ve got two three one no seconds thanks very
much for you thank you so much dr. Crosby and I’ll say that that red tide
initiative where we’re trying to get you’d ever those recurring funds
although that I’m running that bill that’s one of the cases where our entire
delegation has been active in the discussion and it’s only gonna something
like that it’s somewhat of a big lift and it’s only gonna pass with all of us
pushing at the same time and and I know we’re all committed to making that
happen so thank you for what you what you guys do at a moment in your
leadership so well we’re not going to be able to succeed in this without the
unified strong support of this entire delegation and I know we have it I’ve
talked to you all we’re in this together and we’re gonna make this happen so
thank you very much thank you scratch me Sarasota Arts Alliance Jim Shirley Thank You senator and thank all of you
for the work you do for us I’m here today representing all of the arts and
cultural organizations in Sarasota County as the umbrella organization for
them and I can say to you clearly Sarasota County is the cultural capital
of the state of Florida it’s one of our major strengths in this region and it’s
a way that we can all pull together to help use that strength to continue to
grow our area my ask of you this year is very simple we would love for you all to
help support the passage of the DCA Cultural grants programs which are under
the Secretary of State they have already been reviewed they have been ranked they
have been recommended and if we were to be able to fully fund the DCA Grant
program this year for the state of Florida it would bring over four million
dollars to Sarasota County and our arts and cultural organizations pure and
simple the red tide is affecting all of us it is affecting our arts and cultural
organizations on the positive side of that though is our arts and cultural
organizations are one of the major attractors for both tourists and then
people who ultimately end up being high in residents to come here and they come
here and if you know if we got red tie going they can go inside they can go to
the theater they can go to the Opera they can go to all of these great
organizations that help define our region but we need your help in
providing that funding for them to get there I want to remind you that those
are matching grants so if we got the 4 million dollars for Sarasota County our
organizations are matching that dollar for dollar you’ve got an eight nine
eight million dollar impact for the community just by taking advantage of
that granting program so I thank you all I know you all understand the importance
of the Arts here but we want you to know how much we appreciate your efforts
thank you Jim what percentage was this fund funded last year last year this
farm was funded about five percent so what in in years past it’s gone from a
hundred percent down to five percent you guys get your respective share
throughout the county and I can’t stress how important it is that we do fully
fund that and I know everybody up on here in this border
matter of fact when this is all over I’m gonna make it try to be a one of our
delegation priorities that we push that this fund gets fully funded and I tell
people and twice on the House floor I talked about I used your line the fact
we are the cultural capital of Florida and how important it is and I just went
all the community groups out there because I know after the last session I
know there were some articles where people were upset that it wasn’t fully
funded and I just want people to know that this delegation is so committed to
arts and the culture and making sure that we’re fully funded across the board
we will fight hard and we’ll do everything we can but what we need is we
need people shouting from the rooftops in other parts of the state because we
are only one community and a 67 and it’s as well this is one of those projects
that it’s a statewide thing and but I know it’s important to our community is
setting a 500 jobs and we’ll do all we can to be the champions of it well thank
you and we’ll be there to support you and provide all the backup we can for
you and we really appreciate your efforts thank you Jim
Selby Gardens Jennifer Romanek II just add it’s wonderful to hear your
endorsement of the arts and culture organization so thank you chairman and
members of the delegation for the opportunity to appear before you on
behalf of Murray Selvi Botanical Gardens and our deep gratitude to each of you
who helped us gain this year’s appropriation from the Florida
Department of Economic Opportunity I’m Jennifer Rami necky president and CEO of
selby Gardens and we ask for your support of our funding request I did
want to thank Senator gruder’s and representative Gregory for agreeing to
sponsor our request thank you so much and just by way of background Selby
Gardens has the best scientifically documented collection of orchids in the
world we attract more than 200,000 visitors annually and our economic
impact is more than 12 million annually we conduct projects that benefit our
community and states such as supporting IFAs by sharing material from our living
collection and carrying out rare plant restoration in the Everglades so Selby
Gardens really serves the entire state the nation and the world since 2015
gardens has experienced rapid growth admissions has increased 47% membership
increased 60% to more than 13,000 households that’s making us the largest
member attraction in our area and damaged by Hurricane emili´s your
underlying the need for Selby Gardens to act now to protect our scientific
collections our master plan will allow Selby Gardens to add 50 percent more
green space become an international model for the latest green building
technology and return clean water to the bay safe gardens showcase our
collections accommodate our rapidly growing visitor base and connect the
underserved family and children in our region to the wonders of Selva Gardens
in October we announced that we had commitments of more than 20 1.8 million
in place that is a direct response to matching state funding which and really
incentivizes the private sector our economic impact of phase one will be 49
million and eighteen hundred jobs and the impact of the entire project is
expected to be seventy eight point five million and three thousand jobs we hope
to break ground on phase one near the end of 2019 and I thank you for your
consideration and your support thank you very much thank you very much seriously
the bay project bill Waddell good morning bill Waddell a managing director
of the Sarasota Bay front planning organization and speaking on behalf of
our 53 acre waterfront park initiative known as the bay first I’d like to thank
you for your time and your service we’re grateful to have the opportunity to ask
the delegation for support for this very important phase one of our broad-based
community effort that answers all the aspirations of all ages all lifestyles
all neighborhoods and of all citizens this visionary effort to date has been a
hundred percent privately funded the largest piece of it by a consortium of
area foundations and in fact 75 percent of phase 1 will also be privately funded
and so we’re not relying on government to create the aspirational vision but we
are asking for our state to be our partner our submit all in your packet
provided an extensive description of our projects benefits including
how a project will be enhancing our environment our bay and our Gulf with
our improvements will be strengthening our neighborhoods by providing a place
for our community to come together we’ll be addressing pedestrian safety for
people who want to walk around our community and enjoys amenities without a
car some of you may have seen the recent article that showed in a nationwide
study our Sarasota Manatee MSA is the fourth most deadly region for walkers of
the hundred largest MSAs in our country and so we want to be visionaries and
innovators to address this alarming statistic we will be increasing property
values in central to Sarasota County’s tourism strategic plan sales tax
receipts will be strengthening our region as Florida’s cultural capital and
cultural Coast will be providing meaningful civic and park space which
strengthens of the fabric of communities and sets them apart we’ve designed this
master plan cooperatively with many community partners with over 170
community meetings workshops and presentations today and we will continue
the spirit of engagement and cooperation so on behalf of our organization we
commit to be the best stewards with whatever resources our delegation is
able to obtain and continue with our high standards of transparency inclusion
and excellence in every way again thank you for your time in your service thank
you that projects gonna be awesome once it’s done it is we’re excited thank you
for the natural heritage Jonah Miller senator and Representatives my name is
Jonah Miller I’m not representing any organization today I don’t need to tell
you that in 2014 the constituents of your districts overwhelmingly passed
amendment 1 the Florida land and water conservation amendment voters were not
voting on a measure to free up general funds for other undetermined projects it
wasn’t meant for sewage treatment plants executive leadership risk management
other chairs and a variety of other things these funds have been spent on
they were voting to protect Florida’s natural heritage and here in Sarasota as
you know citizens have voted twice to tax themselves for local land
acquisition we just passed the 65 million dollar
referendum for the legacy trail and senator you had mentioned your hope of
bringing as many resources back to the area as possible and I think you had
this in your packet since that referendum passed Sarasota County has
sent sixty four point eight million dollars to Tallahassee as one third of
our duck stamp taxes there’s so much we when we when soda sends a dollar to sell
it has said we don’t expect to get a dollar back but when he sends sixty five
million dollars it would be good to get more than we have gotten back it has
done a few projects out of my echo Park but it would be great if one of those
dollars could come back here to serve so there’s so much we could do as mentioned
earlier one mineral spring and little salt springs are really flowed has
forgotten Springs you can still go online and find maps of Florida Springs
that do not include these two they’re they’re really unique in terms of that
geology the fossils that ecology they’re just really unique and they’re
very small Springs with small flow they need help and so the legislature
dedicates 7.6% of amendment $1 for Springs that would have been five
million dollars for these right here in Sarasota that we haven’t gotten so when
your colleagues are adopting legislation for Springs please make sure some of
that is directed and nine seconds and please help fund new colleges building
they can’t really reach our goals without getting those dollars thank you
thank you very much Women’s Resource Center oh I’m sorry
National Alliance for mental health : fair good morning I’m Colleen their
president and executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness here
in Sarasota County I welcome all of you to the delegation congratulations Nami
is the largest grassroots Mental Health Organization in the country we represent
individuals living with mental illness their families and their caregivers and
our affiliate here in Sarasota is one of 26 in Florida one of more than 500
nationwide we are actually getting ready to bring Nami manatee into our fold here
in Sara’s so we’ll be working on expanding locally
more than 60,000 individuals live with mental health issues every year in our
community and Nami offers support group support groups education classes and
resources to connect those individuals and families with the resources in our
community we also support the local providers here many of whom you will
hear from and try to connect people with the resources that are available so that
people can live in recovery to that end the information that I provided in your
packet lists just a few items that we support for the upcoming session
including parity for individuals living with mental illness and strong mental
health services for students in schools including support services Jayne Goodwin
from the school board mentioned mental health counselors and we strongly
support that effort we also support the support services that go along with the
actual counseling services as additional legislations filed will be on mental
health issues we will be happy to share our information and be a resource for
you on that we’re also partners in the community alliance of Sarasota County
and support the behavioral health services that you have in your folders
that others are going to speak about I’ve met with several of you
individually and look forward to meeting with the rest of you in the coming weeks
Nami first and foremost is a resource for you so please feel free to reach out
if you have any questions on mental health I’m happy to answer them Thanks
thank you so much Women’s Resource Center Ashley Brown good morning and
thank you for being here today and congratulations on our new
representatives my name is Ashley Brown and I’m the president and CEO of the
Women’s Resource Center and I’m here today to speak on behalf of our clients
and I want to start with a story of one of our clients who is a single mother of
two in her entry level is a teller in a bank allows her to receive government
assistance in the form of section 8 housing subsidies childcare subsidies
snap and TANF she’s a hard worker so she got the
opportunity to get a raise but she had to look at what that raise would mean
which was losing all the benefits she was eligible for so she had to decide
not to take a raise in order to stay on government assistance this is known as
the benefits cliff at the Women’s Resource Center we see over 250 women a
month coming to us for counseling guidance and support as they go through
life’s transitions 80% of them live below sustainable wages in our community
there’s a report called the Alice reports asset limited income constrained
employed I like everybody’s nodding they’re like we’ve got it um but the
reality is 33% of Sarasota residents their families and 43% of Manatee
families live below this these women and their families are trying to work
towards self-sufficiency but our rules keep them in a cycle of poverty and I
know that this isn’t what’s intended and I think we have the opportunity to
change the future for these women and their families we’re really excited next
month probably in about two weeks we’re gonna get the new report so it’ll be
interesting to see where we are now because cost of living housing
transportation all of that is increasing in our region and our wages are staying
stagnant and not only is this an issue for the the women but the employers as
well and if in your packet you’ll see a report from the Florida Chamber of
Commerce who supports the solution of the benefits cliff
so we’re respectively asking that you initiate legislation and administrative
policies that help to pave such pathways for the benefit of families employers
and our economy and for seconds thank you so much any questions we get a
question thank you soon I noticed all too well
being one of a of a seeming divorced female raising eight kids all
governments it might not remember every time you try
to step up they pull you back and it’s tragic but it’s almost like a design to
keep you right where you’re at I had in my eight years on council when st. Pete
I had a lot of people approached me because they made a dollar too too much
to receive assistance this is what’s known as the working poor we keep
hearing about record level low unemployment but you also keep hearing
about tourism tours and tourism those are service level jobs that do not
carry benefits or enough wages to afford living that’s why we need more
availability of workforce housing not affordable housing people keep thinking
about work affordable housing thinking it’s a giveaway but what’s happening is
that they work in me just enough to be poor and they can’t afford these houses
you know so we got a look at definitely look at ways to try to help with that
you know it’s a lot of women not just with them being trapped in that they
also make less than them so when they do get opportunity to retire it’s the gift
that keeps on giving because they retire on less than but yeah we definitely need
to try to figure out ways to address that on a federal level you know I had
my father-in-law my wife’s mom passed away and he wanted to have been a
companion and remarry but they can’t because they lose all their federal
stuff too so it’s like you didn’t if you’re doing you’re damned if you don’t
so it’s kind of a catch-22 but we got to find a better way if we truly talking
about doing certificate classes getting people a retrain until they can earn
higher wages to get them off of those cycles then we also got to make a
pathway because the why they’re doing that if they lose their childcare they
may get a raise but a childcare that they were getting now goes away and they
they don’t make enough money for that or the houses where they live so we got to
figure out a balance to help them transition out of that the ones that
truly are wanting to do that because that’s what we want we don’t want
everybody on subsidies but the problem is if they I got saved a few said they
try to make a dollar more try to advance themselves or better themselves then
they write back what it started so no I appreciate your support thank
you very much community addiction recovery program Paul Sutton I am
honored to be joined by major white white and the area commander for the
Sarasota Salvation Army I’m here today to speak about a priority for the
Community Alliance it’s the homeless priority and it’s the issue that that
affects so many parts of our lives in its substance abuse I’m gonna give you
four reasons why we made it a priority at the Sarasota Community Alliance and
I’m gonna ask you to make it a delegation priority as well the four
reasons are number one overdose deaths there are so many people at such young
ages dying that for the first time in all of our lifetimes the average life
expectancy is actually dropping and it’s because the number one reason for
accidental deaths is substance abuse number two is children you can hear a
lot of people talking about children today you’re gonna hear that foster care
is overwhelmed that there aren’t enough foster care homes the reason there
aren’t enough foster care homes is that 60% of the children that are placed into
protective custody into foster care are placed there because of substance abuse
by their parents number three priority homelessness you’re gonna hear a lot
about homelessness today as a matter of fact we’re doing a point-in-time survey
where are they going to go out and in the next 24 hours try to contact all the
homeless individual and do a survey of those individuals they’re gonna ask them
what their disabling condition is the number one disabling condition among the
homeless is substance abuse and number for investing in substance abuse is a
great investment you get $11 back for every $1 invested and that’s according
to the US Surgeon General you’ll save four dollars in medical
costs and you’ll save seven dollars in criminal justice costs it costs less to
have someone in a recovery program that have them in Sarasota County Jail The
Salvation Army offers a program where for ten weeks and individuals housed
they get counseling they get treatment and at the end of that they get help
placed into homes they get case management and they get a bill the bill
is for $0.00 this is a program that can move people
from homeless to homes that can move people from children from not having
parents to reuniting families in fact it’s estimated that people who
complete a program like this are 50% more likely to have family reunification
so for the sake of children for the sake of the homeless for the sake of saving
lives for the sake of a good investment I hope you will make the delegation
priority the Sarasota Community Alliance recommendation which is the community
addiction recovery program thank you questions thank you Paul what is the
success rate of your program the Salvation Army one year after
commencement more than 70 percent of those individuals are still sober and
this is an abstinence based program and that’s a phenomenal success rate I
always when I was up until as you roam the halls I always say if there’s one
program that should get funded based on a success rate it’s a Salvation Army
substance abuse program because its absence pace and they have the highest
success rate and people just look over me and it’s a in in in in I hope that uh
we can go out there and get you more fun so we get more people on that program
but thank you for the success you guys have thank you and I wanted to thank you
for your support and also representative Gregory and and again I hope it can be a
delegation priority because I know it’s a big challenge to get new funding so
thank you thank you area aging Agency for the aging Christine O’Donnell and
we’re gonna take one more after that Academy for Glengarry we are literally
five minutes ahead so we’re gonna have a five-minute quick break and then we’ll
do the remaining 30 good morning I’m Kirsten O’Donnell with the Area Agency
on Aging for Southwest Florida the Area Agency on Aging or as we call ourselves
the Triple A serves seven counties including Sarasota area agencies are the
states designated Aging and Disability Resource Center’s
statewide the eleven area agencies manage about two hundred and fifty
million dollars in state and federally funded programs for older adults and
adults with disabilities in addition to managing this funding we also oversee
the programs that are designed to assist Florida’s most vulnerable seniors these
programs include in-home services like personal care meals hygiene Alzheimer’s
respite and caregiver support these in-home services are a win-win folks
obviously appreciate the opportunity to a gin place to live at home instead of a
nursing home and by stabilizing these frail seniors at home the state saves
taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars the home based services cost the
state about seven to eight thousand dollars a year per senior on average but
if that same senior ends up in a nursing home care for him or her would cost
about eighty seven thousand dollars in Medicaid nursing home expenses per year
so that’s a savings of eighty thousand dollars for every at-risk senior in the
program every year or then eleven to one return on the taxpayers investment now
of course the system isn’t perfect right seniors are the fastest-growing segment
of our population Nate nationwide statewide here in Sarasota County were
43 percent of our residents are over age 60 funding isn’t keeping up with the
increase in our older population and there are tens of thousands of needy
seniors on a waiting list for services statewide including
870 waiting in Sarasota County alone programs are also understaffed for the
need your packet includes our legislative hacen priorities for the
upcoming session including increased funding for home based services to
reduce that waiting list our agencies statewide priorities also include
additional staffing to conduct the states required screenings for these
services release relief from unreimbursed administrative cost for the
state’s Alzheimer support program and a budget set aside for elder victims of
Elder Abuse we’d be happy to discuss these in more detail and of course we’re
available as a resource for your questions as well thank you so much
thank you and the Academy Glengarry Joan Geyer good morning thank you for your time I’m
the board chair of the Academy and Glengarry but I’m going to yield my time
to our executive director William McKeever good morning senator gruder’s
and honorable representatives thank you for your service to our community I’d
like to give you an update on our progress at the Academy as well as make
a request the Academy Glengarry was formed started about four years ago a
grassroots effort to help provide one of the solutions that is needed in in the
area mental health and I’m talking about schizophrenia bipolar major depression
you know sometimes I ask folks what do you think someone with a serious mental
illness needs and the typical response I think is psychiatry medication clinical
supports and that is very true without a doubt it’s true
but there’s an aspect that we are providing as a piece to that solution
which is vocational training and employment a nationwide statewide
nationwide the the rate of unemployment for folks with a psychiatric illness is
85 to 90 percent which is one in ten are actually working so if you think those
of you that might be accountants if you think about the cost on our society
benefits emergency care hospitalization so our job is to create a training area
and provide supported employment for folks we are part of the Florida
clubhouse coalition and we’ve in a short amount of time be able been able to
provide a leadership role there we had a statewide conference in October on
supported employment so my request to you is the last two years Department of
Children and Families has funded supported employment across the state we
have not been included in that but we recently achieved our accreditation so
I’ve provided in your packet a budget request that’s part of the general
revenue for DCF it’s a 1.5 million which of that 136,000 would come to Sarasota
so I I ask your support bringing that funding to Sarasota and those
much-needed services for supported employment for folks with a mental
health diagnosis thank you thank you so much we will take a 5-minute break and
come back at ten thirty-six thank you outside
okay yeah I like to call this mini back to order we’ll wait for the Honorable good and Gregory Thank You representative
Robinson Buchanan Newton for being timely the conservation foundation of
the Gulf Coast Christine Johnson good morning and thank you for the
opportunity to speak to you about land conservation I’m Christine Purvis
Johnson I’m president of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast our
not-for-profits mission is to save land to protect those places that make a
difference in our lives giving us clean water to drink protecting habitat for
plants and animals beautiful natural places to enjoy great spots to hike and
fish and the reason to live work and play here on Florida’s Gulf Coast our
work saving land benefits residents and tourists alike in fact our environment
is our economy sure people come to Florida for the warmth and weather but
they choose to come to Sarasota and the Gulf Coast because it’s natural beauty
like Myakka River State Park and Robinson preserve each of which is an
attractor as well as an attraction protecting our iconic and unique natural
environment takes time and money as well as multiple partners from the public and
private sectors Conservation Foundation is known for facilitating these
complicated and complex projects but we need your help
please protect the Florida land acquisition trust fund also known as
Florida forever we need not only for it to be fully funded but used for saving
land as the Florida voters intended in November 2014 please do not allow allow
new legislation to use Florida forever to build reservoirs and gray
infrastructure while those projects are needed that is not what the voters
wanted the land acquisition trust fund to be used for conserving land is a tool
in the toolbox that must be used to ensure we have drinkable fishable
swimmable water land filters nutrients holding water so
that pollutants and nutrients do not flow into our waterways conserving the
right land is more fiscally conservative than building water treatment plants
save land helps water quantity issues land holds water preventing flooding
allows water to seep down recharging the aquifer as well as our surface water
sources land buffers against storm water and storm surges conserving the right
land is more fiscally conservative than building infrastructure to combat storm
water issues land conservation helps our economy grow and be diverse conserved
private land helps working land stay and working
hands and conserve public land drives tourism and gives residents a quality of
life that we all value fully fund land acquisition trust fund and ensure that
those funds are used as the voters intended to acquire land thanks of
Newton yes I just want to share with you we weren’t successful last session and
getting a million dollars put into the photo fiber fund I know with the passing
of amendment one that has not been fully implemented but it’s a it’s a start I
know a lot of people but I’m an optimist so I look at it as a table so he give us
a table we can start putting stuff on it but you’re right we got a you know
preserve the the progress that we made to that in and try to go forward but I
want to just comment which thank you we have projects here locally for those
funds thank you very much yes Margaret Christine thank you but we spend so much
time talking about water quality and water quality issues and I think it’s so
important to link that to land preservation and how important it is to
have open spaces and open land in order to have clean water so thank you for
your efforts thank you much thank you one of our
favorite projects they all serve Children Foundation Lucia Branton along
with Dennis and Rossi so good morning good morning I’d like to
start with saying Thank You senator gruder’s and representative Robinson for
supporting and sponsoring our request which is to ask the state of Florida to
help us complete the construction of our campus that is going to be used for
children when they were first removed from their home and provide a safe and
nurturing environment for them it’s no secret that in spite of all the good
efforts amazing skill and dedication of the people who’ve chosen to work in
child welfare that our system fails far too many children first of all our
campus and you can see the out there which is currently under construction
and we expect to finish by open up by the end of this year and it includes a
13,000 square foot treatment center six individual family-style homes and a
community center on this campus and this is the heart of what we’re talking about
we will be delivering an innovative and comprehensive trauma-informed treatment
and research program which we believe will become the gold standard for the
healing childhood trauma and be a model for the rest of the state this
comprehensive approach includes not only the latest evidence-based trauma therapy
protocols but also we’re going to have significant enrichment programs for our
children we are going to be having parenting training for trauma-informed
parenting training not just for biological parents but also for foster
parents and we also we’re going to have a very meaningful community-based
volunteer program so this were going to run out of time I think I’d like to
conclude by saying by addressing the root problem of the poor outcomes in the
foster care system we are going to bring an end to this multi-generational cycle
of child abuse and provide the children that are most vulnerable with the
opportunity for a health and productive lives thank you thank you
thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to us tell our story and
helping us make this a safer world for children
you guys are absolute superstars for our community thank you for what you do for
the children that are sometimes forgotten and abandoned so you guys are
absolutely amazing with what you guys have done and what this what the vision
is and what you guys are sitting up here representative Newton has a comment I
mean if you didn’t share how many kids our course or individual you house that
was one piece I left out so on on the campus we will serve between 60 and 80
children each year on the residential piece but we’re also conducting
outpatient services and we expect to provide over service to over 200
children a year I see you that process yep Foster on
there what about aging out the ER you do anything about that we are not we are
laser focused on first removals and to deal with early childhood trauma and
there’s only so much there are people who are dealing with aging out the
problems that we have to deal with are broad and deep and so we’re laser
focused and trying to get the children early to deal with early childhood
trauma because that’s the heart of our program early childhood trauma is like
post-traumatic stress on adults and what it is is these children that’s their
normal and so part of that and it really does affect the the physiology of the
brain so that’s what we’re going to be dealing with this really brain science
and how we can treat these children so that they can with the plasticity of the
brain how we can heal them from abuse the reason I ask cuz you got licensed
foster home one on your sign I think seven times or six
right what I’m saying is when they’re done with to when they age out that’s
what I’m concerned with the case only one side let me finish when they age out
they become candidates for the homeless population that’s why I’m asking you in
that are you just treating them and then when they age out they’re gone or
because so not saying are you doing thing about it
you have it on your sign so I’m wondering about when they get other age
and age out of assistance what is happening at that point so our program
is focused on that or on the campus or when children are first or moving the
home so the average age is going to be anywhere from infants up we’ll take up
to 18 but most of the average day is going to be 1012 something like that so
and this is a transitional facility so we’re going to do intense therapy with
the children as well as the other programs that I mentioned and then at
the end of on the average six months with us the children will either be
returned to their biological parents because we’re going to work with the
biological parents or they’re going to be then placed in a more permanent
foster home and we will then train those foster parents to accept these children
so that’s so it is we will not it’s unlikely that the children on our campus
will move into aging out while they’re in our care yeah weird weird weird the
intensive care instead of it like the children currently now are removed by
they’re in the back of a police car sometimes at two o’clock in the morning
3 o’clock in the morning with only the clothes on their back and they’re in the
police car at Department of Children and Families and where are we going to put
these children and so now we have this this facility when the children are
first removed from the home they come to our facility we they are triage we see
where they are emotionally and then we’ll work with them their biological
parents their teachers their social workers or caseworkers their guardian ad
litem everybody that comes in contact with that child because the child has
been abused has reactive problems different problems
than a child who’s been growing up in a loving nurturing care so that’s that’s
what we are we’re the intensive care we’re going to transform the whole child
welfare system by the way we are dealing with these children that come into our
facility thank you so much we really appreciate it you guys do a great job
thank you right next up is center stone of Florida dr. Chan good morning I’m dr.
Britt Chan I’m the chief resident at center stone psychiatry residency about
seven years ago our then medical director had a vision with some of his
colleagues to start a residency that would produce well trained and well
qualified psychiatrists in the local areas four years ago this came into
fruition and last year June 2018 we just graduated our inaugural class all three
stayed in Florida I graduate this June and I will also be seen in the local
area so last year we asked for and receive $500,000 and boy did we put it
to good use we have residents in Northport Health Department Sarasota and
Manatee County jails Sarasota and Manatee County drug courts and also
first step in Sarasota this year were asking for double 1
million dollars and here’s a reason why we have currently 16 residents and we
just finish our interview cycle except teen for more this June and so if you
think about it I have the 1 million 950,000 just go to resident salaries and
benefits alone we want to expand our services even more please help us do
that with the money our residents many of them and the applicants that we
interview grew up in Florida they went to medical school in Florida they want
to remain in Florida thank you for your consideration thank you very much
for Home Builders Association John mast good
three minutes ahead healthy start Sara Dawson that took up four representing
Newtons comments in the last one representatives thank you for your time
and service today my name is Sarah Dawson olesen I am with the Healthy
Start coalition of Sarasota County our executive director Shawn Yuen sends her
apologies she was going to be here so you didn’t have to hear me again however
she is home with a sick child today so she wasn’t able to make it our request
is pretty simple this year last year we had a pretty crazy session for those
that were here we want to thank those that were there in the House of
Representatives to support us as the Senate side did have a pretty hefty cut
in their budget but with the weight of the house and you guys standing strong
we were able to save our program and save the services for pregnant women and
their babies here in our community as well as across the state so thank you
for that so our request this year from the statewide association is that our
request remain flat funded this year so that’s our request as soon as I have
budget lines I will make sure your offices are aware and we look forward to
working with all of you this year thank you so much healthy starts oh I’m sorry
that was you Sarah so County Teachers Association Pat Gardiner hello and thank
you for allowing me to speak today excuse me I’m here to speak in favor of
House bill 137 by Margaret good and Senate bill 402 by Senator gruder’s
these bills would allow retired teachers to begin subbing in classrooms as soon
as they retire instead of waiting six months which is now what the law
requires on any given day in Florida only 80% of the classrooms where a
teacher is absent have a substitute that means that 20% of the classrooms do not
have a sub so what do they do in schools sometimes they split up class
is a class and put them in other teachers classrooms some teachers may
give up their planning and they rotate through the day every hour a different
teacher goes in the classroom you might have other staff like guidance
counselors or liaisons come in and substitute or in one County I heard last
week that they had so many kids without a teacher they had to put them all in
the auditorium for the day this is not the best thing for our students
Senate bill 402 and House bill 137 you’re not going to hear this very often
will not cost any money for this date I may be the only person here today saying
that it will not cost the school district any more money
it may help put more certified teachers in front of our students and it may help
when there are not enough substitutes thank you for working together on this
bill and thank you for letting me speak thank you yes since we have to go ahead
oh maybe this is for representative good is this a priority of the school
district as well yes on their list yes sir as well and for the represent of the
center has this bill been referenced yet two committees thank you I’m just trying
to be clear you guys made it out of the classroom intact and now you want to go
back no if I retire today I cannot sub in a classroom for six months in those
six months I may find another job I may decide I like sitting in front of the TV
I may move away but I think if we can catch them before they look for
something else we might be able to trap them back in those rooms where they see
there’s a better world out there and anything to get a certified teacher in a
classroom I’m four thank you thank you so much gnashers national association of
social workers routes Brandon good morning and welcome to the new members
my name is Ruth brand wine and I’m representing the national association of
social workers and you have a list of our full priorities in your packet we
have 18 units around the state and there were about 18 thousand social
workers in Florida our first priority is to increase funding and accessibility
for mental health with a focus on school safety and increased behavioral health
services to address the opioid crisis in Florida this past year once again
Florida has the dubious distinction of holding the 50th place in the nation in
per capita funding for mental health services it’s no secret that during the
recession both mental health and substance abuse services were cut people
suffering from these illnesses do not do well on waiting lists of several months
nationally 64% of jail inmates suffer from mental illness and approximately
75% of those have kirkuk co-occurring substance abuse disorders and there’s a
similar percentage in Sarasota County at least half of homeless individuals
suffer from mental health and/or substance abuse problems they’re known
as what are high flyers they’re multiple users of emergency rooms and jails at a
high cost to taxpayers child abuse and neglect is highly correlated with
parental abuse and mental illness the rapid increase in children removed for
their homes and needing foster care is primarily due to substance abuse by
parents as you’ve heard homelessness is correlated putting children at further
as filing some unghh young people is correlated the aim is to prevent the
cycle of people with these behavioral health conditions moving between
institutionalization homelessness and incarceration I don’t have much time so
just briefly our second priority is to promote and support legislative efforts
aligned with social and economic and environmental justice and I want to
thank Senator bruited gruder’s for filing a bill to protect LGBT rights the
other thing is to protect the Sarasota Housing Trust Fund for not being rated
but to use it for affordable housing we also have a one on protecting social
work mobility I want to talk about that you’re going to see about a thousand or
more social workers and Social Work students in Tallahassee they won’t all
come to your office don’t worry but we we have these legislative priorities and
we’ll be talking more about specific those as they get filed I want to thank
you for your consideration thank you very much
Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance Susan Goldstein and Heather Caston good
morning and thank you so much for your time today Senators and Representatives
we’re so appreciative for you to be here my name is Heather Caston I’m the
president CEO of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance we represent over 700
businesses in the region and consisting of about 3,000 business professionals
that make up those 700 companies you have our legislative agenda in your
packet that we put together for 2019 and many of those issues have already been
touched on today we won’t repeat those but I’ve got with me Susan Goldstein
chairman of our governmental affairs committee who are going to address just
a couple that are very specific to the Lakewood Ranch region I think thank you
and congratulations on your election and thank you for your service again you
have heard you have our agenda in front of you but I will highlight three things
that are haven’t been mentioned and are important to our mutual constituents in
terms of transportation we have two issues one is that we’d like you to
support the funding for the i-75 flyover bridge between benders and park and
Lakewood Ranch this will certainly eliminate some of the transportation or
traffic issues that we continue to have also to support funding for the study
planning and construction of the ultimate i-75 concept for Manatee and
Sarasota counties that’ll again will streamline our traffic issues in terms
of one of our economic priorities something you might not have heard as
much about is we’d like you to support the Academy for brain health and
performance in Lakewood Ranch this is in participation with the Harvard Medical
School this will ultimately put our region on the map this is a study that’s
comparable to what occurred with in framing ttan which was a heart study
that started over 70 years ago which in that instance they followed individuals
to help get a better understanding of coronary health this one is focused on
brain health and offers an amazing opportunity for our community and our
reach I thank you again for your service and I
look forward to seeing you very soon in Tallahassee thank you thank you
representing doing yeah I just want to share what you asked to the
transportation when we have a we’re setting up a transportation forum on the
25th of February and adamantine Civic Center when you guys are invited we will
be talking about the challenges as it pertains and transportation will have
some planning there and also receiving questions from individuals in the
audience um so if you want to participate in that you guys are welcome
to come visit and my last question is only one of your priorities affordable
housing and you’re you guys are of the they would ranch business Alliance are
you or do you partner with Habitat for Humanity as it pertains to some
leveraging may be to get some housing for maybe your employees the ones that
do not earn a living wage or have benefits any of your members that you
know what are you doing any partnering or housing and I’m not just I set up I’m
in for delegation so I ask every chamber in every business organization that
question because a lot of them are I’m just I know what you guys are doing
today the end yes both manatee Habitat for Humanity and Sarasota Habitat for
Humanity are members of our organization and we have we do support what their
efforts are as far as lakewood ranch when with the revision of the 2020 plan
it was you know Dooley you know was put into that whole agreement that there
would be affordable housing specific to the Sarasota County side I do not know
what the latest plans are with SMR but I know that piece does still need to come
and will happen in liquid ranch I just want to share with you in Pinellas
tradewinds for instance straight wins sponsor I think about eight homes and
it’s a win-win because if you don’t you have to pay corporate taxes either way
but what happens is they’re able to leverage that with habitat and and and
provide homeownership for their employees what which is the win-win but
I would just carries is anyone’s doing anything leverage a notice what equity
working with them today because it’s easy to say you know don’t
rate the Sadowski trust one but we need help on all fronts as it contains the
workforce housing okay rather than answering in essence where it says I see
there may be two other questions we’re gonna go to represent Buchanan and
then represent at Robinson yeah could you just give us a little bit more
detail on this flyover bridge that you’re proposing for the better sand
park all right my understanding is that that will be totally engineered planned
and ready to go based on what SMR is doing and then it
will need to be funded by Sarasota County in order for it actually to be
built and that is what is being waited on thank you represent of Robinson and
thank you for all the work you do and answer represent a Newton’s question
I’ve worked a lot with with Mandy County Habitat for Humanity and I know they
partner very well together and something frankly they’ve mentioned to me and
other groups have mentioned to me Sadowski not rating Sadowski is
exceptionally important but certainly local governments and otherwise putting
additional regulations and and issues on top of trying to get workforce
development through their process and the time it takes to get stuff through
their process has become very burdensome for organizations like Habitat and that
increases their cost of getting their homes through so so Sadowski is a piece
but it’s not the entire piece of affordable housing I know I’m preaching
to the choir here but I just wanted to make that point thank you all thank you
so much Moffitt Cancer Center Edward Briggs no yeah we do have
somebody no thank you Moffitt Jewish Family and Children Services heidi.brown hi first of all thank you so much for
your representation and for your service I am Heidi Brown and I am honored to be
the president and CEO of JFCS of the Suncoast JFCS has served our community
for over 30 years and we help people in crisis through mental health and social
services our client centric approach identifies underlying causes of
presenting problems and finding long-term solutions our JFCS mobile
response team is requesting increased funding to allow us to expand services
in South Sarasota County an area which we know was underserved
and where needs are increasing our mobile response team provides crisis
stabilization and outreach 24 hours a day seven days a week
to children and young adults up to age twenty five years old who are at risk of
self-harm have recently experienced a trauma or exhibiting maladaptive
behaviors this immediate service averts Baker acts by providing non
pharmacological interventions in the least restrictive environment and
thereby decreasing and preventing costly hospitalizations and there is a lot of
data and statistics which is in your proposal to demonstrate that when we can
support a cost effective service such as a mobile response team team we can keep
those who are in crisis away from a traumatic psychiatric hospitalization
and secondly I’m still heidi.brown with JFCS
and we are also proposing funding for an adolescent diversion and assistance
program we have this program and it is serving Sarasota County where we provide
prevention and intervention services to kids ages 11 to 17 they’ve been charged
with the crime or though not formally charged are at risk for involvement in
the juvenile justice system diversion programs are less costly than formal
court proceedings because they reduce the burden on the court system reduce
the caseload of juvenile probation officers and free up very limited
resources for high-risk juvenile offenders intervention at an early stage
of delinquency decreases subsequent offenses during and after participation
reduces recidivism and prevents future involvement in the juvenile justice
system so I didn’t know if I had to go on because I had two proposals that I
know the time has got caught up with me but I would suggest that we pay
attention to diversion programs because they demonstrate that those who are
likely of reoffending actually have an increase if they’re
further processed into the juvenile system so we want to divert as many as
possible thank you so much thank you circus arts conservatory Jennifer
Mitchell good morning and thank you very much for your service to our community I
am Jennifer Mitchell the executive vice president of the circus arts
conservatory a nonprofit organization that’s committed to enhancing and
advancing the important legacy the heritage of this community which is the
circus arts and we do so through four major activities which include putting
on your own performances we are Florida’s only resident nonprofit circus
will provide performances that attract international artists at the highest
level of their disciplines and that actually provides over 7 million dollars
of economic impact to our area we also steward America’s longest-running youth
circus the Sailor circus which is located on baya Vista Street an
important and vital educational program for students ages 5 to 18 well they’re
not just developing circus skills they’re developing life management
skills self-discipline confidence commitment all those things that they
need to go out into their careers we also partner with Sarasota and Manatee
County Schools delivering steam based science programs and physical education
programs using the circus arts as a medium we serve humid air api– we serve
care facilities through a program called humor therapy working truly with
children of all ages in 2017 I want to thank the leadership of Senator goiters
who helped us with an appropriation which contributed to the near completion
of the arena project on Bay Avista if you’ve driven by you can see that we’ve
got quite a bit of construction going on it’s an exciting project because it’s
not only preserving an iconic facility it’s also adding to this community an
important asset more space more opportunity in your materials will see
that we are also looking to expand that campus into Phase two which will help
serve a newly developed magnet program with Sarasota high school and I look
forward to meeting with each of you along with principal David James to
discuss more this unique educational program one of a kind in the country
where students will study the circus arts and earn credit hours to their
diploma on that note I welcome each of you also to join us out at Nathan
benders in part before circa Sarasota coming up in February it’s certainly a
tradition here in this community thank you thank you so much
Florida center for early childhood Catherine Shea and I know you’re also
going to be speaking in the series of County Community Alliance as well
correct good morning and thank you mr. chair and the delegation members for
this great opportunity to speak before you it is so important that we see and
hear from you and that you see and hear from your constituents I’m Katherine
Shea the president and CEO of a CEO with Florida center for early childhood and
I’m here to request your help to expand early childhood Court in Sarasota County
and to initiate it in DeSoto County Circuit 12 as you have already heard
numerous times today is really experiencing a crisis in foster care
we actually surpass any other circuit in the state with the number of children
coming into care and the primary reason is substance abuse and their parents
over 50% of these children are under the age of 3 with the greatest majority in
the 0 to 3 age range we know from research that the first 1000 days of
life is the most critical time for brain development and attachment and the most
vulnerable time for maltreatment most of these children even though they are only
birth to 3 have already suffered one form of adverse childhood experiences
and are at very high risk for developmental delay and mental health
issues many have already also been prenatally
exposed to the drugs that their parents were using during pregnancy which
increases their risk level for poor development our community has been
working on this crisis for the past two years through the initiative of the
manatee community foundation where a team of over 30 individuals met for well
over a year to really prioritize the top five priorities to address the issue in
foster care and early childhood Kourt was chosen as the number one priority
early childhood court is a problem-solving docket designed to
improve the outcomes for abused and neglected children ages 0 to 3 and we do
this in modeling a very intensive judicial model that is an evidence-based
model from the National Organization zero to three called the safe babies
court team the alket there are 22 sites now in the state of Florida that are
initiating are well underway with early childhood court we have remarkable data
and outcomes from what we are doing compared to those zero to three that
have not been a part of early childhood court you have that data in your packet
and what we have found from 2014 to 2018 is that overall children enrolled in ECC
attain permanency a hundred and forty-three days faster than those in
non-ecc and had a lower return to care it was also awarded the 2017 tax watch
productivity award for potential cost savings and I think you all know it’s
not easy to get an award from Florida tax watch any questions about early
childhood Court yes is this the same program and you may not notice but judge
judge DZ yes the counties we’re there yes I was with you yes you are
requesting funding to do we have two teams in Manatee we only have one team
in sarasota and we have a very high need in sarasota and we have none in DeSoto
so we want to get a second team in sarasota and a half team in DeSoto it’s
a wonderful program thank you thank you thank you thank you so much you’re so
welcome brilliant harvest bull Johnson can I do
my own take on okay this is the other Catherine Schade
and I’m here on behalf of the Community Alliance of Sarasota County and on
September 18th over a hundred community stakeholders came together for our
seventh annual legislative summit to work in partnership to design and
develop our legislative priorities of the Community Alliance we addressed
eight system’s aging behavioral health child welfare Children and Youth
criminal justice developmental disabilities health care and
homelessness after a number of issues were submitted by our committee a
community / people a top priority in each of those categories with selected
two top priorities we then held our legislative breakfast of champions to
invite our legislators our delegation members to hear what those priorities
were from our constituents and to receive your blue book which has all of
the issues in it in greater detail than I can say today but what we need is your
full support for in helping these community priority issues we are already
planning next year’s legislative breakfast where we are anticipating full
attendance by our legislative delegation and you will be receiving your save the
date this afternoon and then you will receive it every other week until the
breakfast so get it on your calendars I can tell you that of the evaluations
that we’ve done that over 90 percent have found both the summit and the
breakfast to exceed their expectations and the one biggest comment we have
gotten across all those years is we want to see more of our legislators present
so we’re gonna be knocking on your doors I will be seeing you in Tallahassee a
lot and if you have any questions about any of the issues in your blue book
please don’t hesitate to contact the contact expert that’s listed at the end
of the issue and I think representative Buchanan you’re the only one who has not
yet received your blue book but I have you on my schedule next week okay thank
you all so very much for what you do thank you so much brilliant harvest bull
Johnson good morning and thank you my name is
Bill Johnson I am president a brilliant harvest LLC a local state certified
solar contractor I’m speaking to you today on behalf of lesya the Florida
solar energy industry association which represents the solar industry here in
Florida Florida is the Sunshine State and should be a leader when it comes to
renewable energy from the Sun with the right state policy Florida can create a
new energy economy create new energy job growth and invite private investment in
solar power unfortunately government imposed
regulations on electrical energy production and distribution well
intentioned when they were adopted nearly 70 years ago have created
artificial barriers impeding access to the market and slowing innovation
removing these restrictions will unlock private investment in our energy future
Flossie ax has three legislative priorities in 2019 number one certain
utilities have unfairly and unilaterally reduced the value of solar energy sent
to the grid discouraging people from adopting solar power in those
territories we must initiate public policy at the state level to ensure that
solar energy sent to the grid is valued the same as energy purchased from the
utility number two we must remove the current state prohibition preventing
property owners from providing solar energy to other users on their own
property current state policy prohibits property owners from harvesting energy
on their own property a natural resource and using it to distribute to other
folks on their own property number three we must create a free and open
competitive market for Power Purchase Agreements limiting PPAs to Florida’s
forced monopoly utility system is the single biggest reason that private solar
developers have stayed away from our state opening this market will launch
Florida on the path to becoming the number one state in solar energy thank
you thank you so much Florida medical rate Association Glenn
Compton good morning good afternoon I’m Glenn
Compton I’m here representing the Florida medical Rights Association our
primary mission is to amend the Florida wrongful death act which is also known
as the Florida free kill law which very few people know about to summarize the
issue if you are age 25 or older single and without children fish it a physician
can kill you due to medical negligence in no one can bring suit against that
doctor we believe the Florida wrongful death act is unconstitutional as it
denies individuals equal protection under the law and deprives individuals
of their constitutional right to access the courts in the case of medical
negligence due to death there is no accountability for a death that is
caused by medical negligence simply because you have reached the age of age
25 this is an unjust law it is time to remedy this law because every life is
valuable in the state of Florida I hope you will take the time to educate
yourself and you will find the inequality of this law is overwhelming
the packet that you have I hope you have I know I turned it in late but I’d the
peck that you have outlines what the Florida free kill Act is in also three
Supreme Court cases that are related to this statute so I’m here today basically
to helpfully help educate you and to inform you of this law and hope that you
will agree with us and do whatever is in your power to make changes to the
statute thank you very much thank you Central Florida Behavioral Health lore
gross good morning you may be shocked to realize I’m not laura gross we look
completely different I’m Jason Stiles the Central Florida
Behavioral Health Network thank you for letting me come to speak to you today
I’m here representing Central Florida Behavioral Health Network CF bh n CF b
hn is Florida’s largest managing entity and was created specifically to develop
a manager system of care for publicly funded substance abuse and mental health
services we are an accredited not-for-profit organization operating in
14 counties people who face addictive brain disease
and serious mental illness have compelling stories to tell of their
struggles and their triumphs I wish they were here to tell you guys their stories
today but on their behalf we thank you and we are their voice today due to your
unselfish generosity many of these fellow Floridians have
received the care they need to achieve and maintain their recovery CFPA chen
would like to extend extended support to the community alliance of Sarasota
County CA PHN wholeheartedly supports their vision of a safe and caring
community to meet and exceed the basic health and human service needs while
creating opportunities for growth and success as an advocate of substance
mental health services CF BHM fully supports the community alliance
legislative Blue Book which I think everybody has a copy of except for
representative Buchanan but I hear that’s coming to you pretty quickly so I
think everybody’s heard from Academy Glengarry senator stone with Florida
Jewish Family and Children Services and Sarasota Community Alliance I won’t go
back into what they’ve already said but just know that we do fully support that
and again we think the legislative delegation of Sarasota County for their
hard work and forgiven CF pH and the time to advocate on the behalf of those
we serve as always we’re here for you and your staff if you have any questions
please let us know and contact us thank you so much next up is hippy Tracy Payne
hi how are you I’m here because you’re going to be hearing a lot more about the
home instruction for parents of preschool youngsters in the coming
future so I’m here to make sure that you know exactly who we are and what we do
we’re an international program we’re also a national program in 114 sites
across the United States of America and DC here in Florida there are 16 sites
serving more than 16 counties and in and within within these programs here we are
a home visiting program our home visitors visit with families for an hour
each week we are a parent involvement program and we provide a free
evidence-based curriculum to those families but we reach those families
whose families we reach the families whose children are most at risk
for school readiness delay and yet those children that participate in hippie are
two times more likely to be kindergarten ready and five times more likely to be
promoted to the first grade than comparison children in those same areas
and this is with a sample of over almost 800 children across the state of Florida
so we are doing our job we are doing an excellent job at a cost of somewhere
between two and three thousand dollars per child only that’s per child and
doesn’t constitute the effect that we’re having on that home visitor the family
were also a nationally recognized workforce development program because
over half of our home visitors were formerly parents in the program but we
uniquely reach communities that many other programs don’t have access to so
our goal is to not only have a hippy program in every county across Florida
but it’s also to partner with other agencies who are trying to reach the
populations that we already serve thank you thank you Buchanan hold on one
second I’m so sorry I just want to thank you for coming in today I sit on the
board of the Sarasota why and you know if I’ve actually had opportunities to
and I wanted to share this with the rest of our delegation for people to come in
and actually give us testimonials I’ve had parents come in and say you know
you’ve saved my life you’ve saved my kid’s life going into school thank you
so much for what you’re doing and we look forward to working with you thank
you very much I want to thank you all so much pain it’s important that we fund
and keep supporting things that were Hippias home instruction for parents of
preschool you know and the way it works is basically you’re the first parent no
time saying when Little Billy and little Susie’s at home bumping their head
falling down trying to learn their way there’s no one there but you and you
don’t pour into those children and read to them and teach them how to read then
we know what they ain’t gonna be more criminal justice more aid more kids that
we’ve lost and we’re trying to turn around it costs way more to try to fix
the kid after the fact and the investment we make on the front end
you know and I think the graduation classes that they have select by two of
year in each different County errand and all the four counties I represent you
have kids anywhere from four to five years old that can read the book
cover-to-cover 90 I think it’s like coming in 96% our
readiness rate for Kenny going going in and I’m an optimist I believe we can get
kids through school in 12 years believe it or not not longer than that because
if you don’t get them by 3rd grade but we end up spending more money trying to
turn them around and funding all these other programs that we keep cutting and
don’t want to provide for so I believe gonna make an investment in the front
end I think mr. Buchanan if you guys hadn’t seen the program or participated
in the graduation please do it works there’s one of the things that actually
worked what a noble concept but thank you thank
you everybody wheelchair beach water access Angela
Burghley oh I made you a video but nobody responded whether I could send it
to you or not I blame representing Robinson for that ironically today is the 21st anniversary
of the day I inhaled the germ that causes bacterial meningitis and as a
result I woke up from a 10-day coma with no legs I spent the next 6 months in the
hospital getting skin grafted back together my name is Angela bergoglio and
it’s not her privilege to speak to you on behalf of the entire disabled
community back to school at 40 to become a paralegal I volunteered at motoring
for 7 years serving 4 years on the volunteer board and I’ve been a guardian
ad litem for foster children what a journey it has been to get here in front
of all of you what I learned quickly on my journey was that no matter how many
times I asked why me and screamed it’s not fair my legs didn’t grow back so I
didn’t spend much time there and decided to just play the cards I was dealt but
what I did not know when I got in this card game was that for the rest of my
life people who did not look at but some belly buttons all day were the ones who
are going to be making decisions for me as to where I could go what I could see
if I could park my car and even if there was a bathroom I could use such simple
things for everyone else I met our commissioners in August when I
decided it was time to say it’s not fair I can’t go to the number one beach in
America by myself and swim in the ocean since then Commissioner Hines has
treated this issue with genuine concern compassion and integrity given this time
and input to work with me in the County Parks and Rec Department to find a
solution to cleared a path to the beach for everyone every publicly elected
official should aspire to his standards as a public servant so he asked me today
to come to you and talk about what he accurately dubbed as people versus
turtles there’s an overwhelming amount of science to prove now the health
benefits of the ocean after a decade of research dr. Wallace Nichols published a
New York Times bestseller called blue mind in his book the biologist shares
his neuroscience research demonstrating the many ways in which water positively
impacts not just our lives but our minds another study said the natural
environments like beaches and waterfront parks offer more restorative benefits to
people than gyms entertainment venues and the built urban environment even
Hippocrates the father of Medicine used the word the last therapy to describe
the healing effects of seawater so in a state riddled with an opioid crisis why
aren’t we getting prescriptions to go to the beach instead of her pills well we
have to federally protected species that use the same path to get there but on
March 11th the revised title 2 of the ad a said that all services programs and
activities provided the public have to be accessible unfortunately that is not
the case here in Sarasota there was a commission study done in 2013 for an
area of Sarasota Beach to Maine to be a DEA compliant yet the information our
commissioners got was influenced by public development they never got the
information that there was no a DEA compliance the road was given away so
there is no compliant beach access here in Sarasota so I’m asking you to untie
our commissioners hands on block our path to the water balance the scales of
equality and the quality of our lives and then restore justice where it’s due
thank you thank you so much next up we’re gonna hear from the brady
campaign carol for signal good morning and thank
you for this forum I am Carol racino and I am president of the Sarasota Chapter
of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and I’m not here to ask for
money either I want to say that my organization along
with over 95% of Americans stressed that number 95 percent of Americans supports
background checks on all gun purchases we very much appreciate the fact that
representative Margaret Goods filed a bill to that end hr135 I believe it is
pretty much before she unpacked her suitcase this legislative session we
know that background checks will not stop all gun deaths we know that but
since the original Brady law was enacted more than 25 years ago it has blocked
three million prohibited gun purchases I would ask all the legislators here in
the house and the Senate to close the loopholes and expand this law to cover
every gun purchased for many of us that’s just logic our networking team
has met with some of you and has asked for meetings with all of you I’m also
here to talk about impediments to home rule and the effect that they have on
the gun culture in Florida I addressed our city commissioners for the past two
years to ask them to help us work to prevent mass shootings the first time
after the post murders they voted down a resolution by their own city manager
that simply called on them to back the state and federal governments in efforts
to limit the availability and use of military-style weapons I believe most of
them favored the commissioners favored the resolution but if voted no after
learning from the city attorney that they could be personally fine $5,000
lose their Commission seats and put the city at risk of being fined $100,000 by
the state on it’s preemption laws that block Home
Rule the second time I spoke after the murders in parkland last year I asked
that the city consider an advisory resolution related to military-style
weapons and large capacity magazines I asked them to consider the resolution
that would call for universal background checks Florida is a big state with many
different types of communities we believe our City and County
Commissioners know us the best and should be able to respect our
constitutional rights and keep us safe these kinds of shootings these kinds of
murders are my worst nightmare and I hope that they’re most people’s worst
nightmare thank you so much we’re the League of Women Voters Carol
Hearts good morning I’m Carol Hart’s president and gun-safety chair of the
League of Women Voters Sarasota County the league is a nonpartisan organization
that encourages informed and active participation in government among our
top priorities in 2019 our goal safety and preservation of Natural Resources
the League of Women Voters also supports strong home role for counties and
municipalities the league has twice asked the Sarasota City Commission to
issue an invading resolution supporting a ban on semi-automatic weapons in
Sarasota our City Commission has twice declined to issue a non-binding
resolution because of preemption statutes the league asks that our
municipal representatives are empowered to ensure our constitutional rights of
safety away from the fear of semi-automatic weapons the league
opposes statutory preemption or single-use plastic in 2008 the Florida
Legislature blocked local governments for a ban
plastic bags our bitches our landfills and our tourist economy
are affected by single-use plastics the league asked that our municipal
representatives be empowered to ensure the health of our local environment the
league asks that the Sarasota City and County Commission’s which represent our
citizens at the local level operate under strong Home Rule and be empowered
to keep us healthy and free from fear thank you very much thank you
South Florida Museum brennon Bozzio good morning thank you for this opportunity
and I’ve seen most of you at the Museum and I appreciate your having taken time
to to be there and see what we do we are the largest natural and cultural history
museum on the Gulf Coast with a state-of-the-art planetarium and a
manatee rehab aquarium and in that aquarium we do Rehab animals that have
also been affected by red tide so we are a critical part of that manatee
rehabilitation network with these unlimited assets we can tell stories of
the interconnectedness of life in the universe and share our vision with
others we connect people through education over par the tourism industry
and we also are part of the economic landscape we have visitors from all over
the United States the many territories and and many countries from around the
world but 70% of our visitors are from Florida and 25% of them are from
Sarasota County itself we conduct with higher learning we have we work with our
CF and Ringling new College of Florida internships we teach co-teach classes or
part of that network and then we’re vital to the k-12 learning for instance
every 4th grader in Manatee County comes for the Earth and space standards to the
museum and we serve 10 counties worth of schools because we’re the only Natural
History Museum on the Gulf Coast so we’re important they’re 25% of Sarasota
County students do come to the museum for educate
and we’re part of that bigger network of campaign for grade-level reading we want
to be part of that solution and we can we are they’re committed to it so early
learning were diving deep this year we’re opening our new Early Learning
Center the mosaic backyard universe along with six new classrooms and will
open in July of this year so it’s finally here and we’re excited to be
part of the solution of bringing stem learning in an inquiry based learning
environment to the to the region I know of no other place that’s quite like this
so you’ll be getting invitation to come come see this new facility installation
should be done by mid-june I’ll wear my other hat now and that says chair of the
Florida Association of museums supporting division of cultural affairs
funding I appreciate the fact you’re committed to it it really helps the
region thank you so much thank you so much next we will hear from the safe
children’s coalition Brenda Slater hi congratulation chairman gruder’s and all
the Sarasota delegations my name is marina Slater and I’m the senior vice
president the Sarasota Family YMCA also called the safe children coalition
because we are responsible for the 1600 children Sarasota Manatee and DeSoto as
you most of you know we have a no eject no reject policy so when a child is
removed by either the manatee Sheriff’s Office or by the Department of Children
and Families in Sarasota and DeSoto we have the responsibility to take them no
matter what their criminal background is no matter what their disabilities are no
matter their substance abuse or mental health situation throughout the last 22
years when Sarasota County was actually the very first community-based care
agency that was evolved so over the last 20 s 22 years now there’s the whole
entire state is its privatized into circuits and there’s 19 circuits with 18
different community-based care agencies the amount of money that’s been funded
has not been recalibrated in the last 22 years so there’s a couple of charts that
were attached so that you can actually see the difference between the number of
removals in 2015 when the opioid epidemic started happening and we went
from having 30 to 40 children removed a month to over a hundred children in
Manatee Sarasota in DeSoto counties the price per child has become an enormous
disparity you can see from 2015 and 16 $26,000 per child that our circuit
receives and 36 for other areas you can see this last year $27,000 for our
children in Sarasota Manatee in DeSoto however there’s children in other parts
of the state that receives sixty two thousand dollars per child when we have
1,600 children it’s our children in your backyard that is there’s a huge
disparity amongst the funding so we aren’t allowed to get that’s why we work
with so many great programs like first step in the early childhood chord and
all-star children’s we want to be able to have more of those programs however
with them little amount of funding we get we aren’t able to invest in those so
I think there’s a question for you is the solution to this child based care
imbalance for our area a policy fix and appropriations fix or both they are
working on both right now I know that there’s there’s probably a specific
appropriations fix for our specific circuit however the whole entire state
is working on a new what they’re calling an adequacy model recalibration that I
believe the new secretary for DCF is open to discussing however it’s a
significant amount of funding to make our area’s adequate thank you and if I
may mr. chairman continue the answer to that question
we’ve been meeting with Senate President galvano about that very question he’s
dedicated some staff resources to helping us work through the solutions
both the Appropriations side of this policy staff and we’ll bring those to
you as we have those fleshed out great in representing doing the also has a
question well just a comment the secretary on Wednesday because that’s
when the Department of Children family and seniors
he’s traveling in the state and he there where these antiquated formulas that’s
what it is it’s an old formula but it kept up with the growing need and the
problems that we face in the state throughout so he’s traveling throughout
and we did ask the board or the committee did ask them there was there
anything that we can do legislatively and he said he would definitely get back
to us that’s what they see the problems being what I was asked of you is to
allow your staff and the people your subordinates below you to be able to
share what the secretary candidly for without fear of retribution if you will
because what I always asked in the committee’s when people come up to us
sharing their problems it’s especially our department heads I
always say if you were legislative for a day what would you do and the reason I
ask that these are the individuals on the front line fighting the battles they
know how to fix it problem is because of the hierarchy
they can’t talk anybody or they get suppressed or whatever so I shared face
to face with the secretary on Wednesday the fact that you may need to you know
write with some ease into business on the front line give them immunity or
whatever but they didn’t know the cure they know how to fix it and then
hopefully we can get some some good legislation idea to fix some of these
antiquated formulas it’s not just in family and services and a lot of the
things that we do statewide it’s always been a formula some of these formulas
because they have changed the situation has changed over time a very detrimental
to some and beneficial for the others throughout thank you very much thank you
thank you thank you next is the safe children coalition no I’m sorry that
fort assistance Alliance Steve Arnon good morning senator leaders and
representatives my name is Steve Vernon and I’m on the board of directors of
Florida citizens Alliance and I’m representing them here today I believe
all of you are familiar with our organization but just in case and very
briefly we are an alliance of 90 grassroots groups and we just had a
milestone we now have over 50,000 supporters in the state of Florida and
we are a state education reform group the five things
I’d like to talk to you about today our education initiatives and one thing
before I get in it into the five individual items that we are not asking
for any taxpayer money we are simply asking for your support and on the five
initiatives we have two that are bills and I’ll briefly discuss those and time
permitting I’ll get back in more detail with those first is the fix-it bill from
989 989 was a an excellent bill that allowed citizens to look at the text
books and other instruction and materials and then object and have a
review with the school district of those text books or educational items they
objected to but it needs to be fixed like so many bills if you don’t have
teeth in the bills then people ignore them next is a meeting exceed standards
bill where we want to make sure that the next generation sunshine state standards
are a baseline not a ceiling too many of the school districts consider it a
ceiling we want them to do a lot better than that
so those are the two bills the number three initiative real quick that is a
best practices institution that speaker Oliva he introduced last year but it was
defeated by the Senate so the other two we want you to support the scholarships
in existence we want you to have a new math scholarships because we think that
scholarships are all important thank you so much thank
chapter six five one changes Fred Faulkner Fred Faulkner is unable to be
here this morning and thank you for letting me present this information to
you my name is Robert Henderson I’m from the Glen Ridge on Palmer ranch
a continuing care retirement community I am here to urge your support of
legislation to improve section chapter 651 titled continuing care contracts you
are probably familiar with the bankruptcy of the University Village in
Tampa and the inability of the office of insurance regulation to step in and
protect the residents the tools that oh I needed are not presently a part of 651
in response to this situation Florida Life Care residents Association
bleeding age and the office of Insurance Regulation have met to create language
to amend 651 providing oh I thority to step into a troubled financial or
management situation to protect the residents last year the same bill was
sponsored by Senator Tom Lee and representative James grant and received
unanimous approval in committee sessions however the legislative session ended
before the bill could be brought to a vote we will provide your offices with a
bill numbers as soon as they are available and request that you review
the bills and support the legislation the changes to 651 will close loopholes
and clarify Ohio’s responsibilities and ability to step in to a troubled
situation and review changes in management or ownership
it will also provide greater transparency regarding the type and
timing of information that management shares with residents a more detailed
explanation on the need to amend 651 is found in your booklets we urge your
support thank you thank you so much teen Court and Girls Inc
Laurie marina and Jamie Kettering Laurie Moran teen court of Sarasota I’m here
along with Jamie Catrin of girls Inc together we advocate for the youth and
children in Sarasota County for our set organization organizations but also
today as co-chairs of the positive youth development Council as under the youth
and mental behavior health team under former Sarasota County Commissioners
Shannon’s table so we we spent the summer meeting with our committee made
up of mental and behavioral health experts as well as the school district
we’re here today to report on one of our action items to encourage the Florida
Legislature to move the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Public
Safety Act into the recurring funding category specifically to ensure the
continued support of the vitally needed mental health support services in
schools and Lori will tell you a little bit more about why I’m February 14 2018
14 students and three teachers lost their lives to a tragic act of violence
as a result politicians reached out to their communities and across the aisle
to take immediate and bipartisan action to ensure the safety of our students
less than 30 days after the incident a bill was passed to prevent future acts
of violence and address underfunded mental health needs for youth by
ensuring there’s a recurring funding for mental health support in our schools we
can continue to build the and progress make progress this year by adding
additional treatment capacity and best practice approaches to further support
and promote emotional and behavioral health for our students it is our
research that speaks to the need for mental health funding and services
research shows $1 investment in early treatment and prevention programs for
addictions and mental illness leads $2 to $10 savings across
systems what’s more prevention services say 14
to 18 dollars for every $1 spent these two different studies share a
commonality investments in youth mental and behavioral health have long term
impacts that benefit our youth our community and our state as well as save
Floridians countless tax dollars in the long run you can find this information
in your blue book so to be clear we ask that this funding is specific to mental
and behavioral support as provided through the school district while
schools may benefit from added security measures that address situational crime
prevention this is a unique opportunity for our leadership to come together and
shift Marjorie Stoneman Douglas act to the recurring funding category to ensure
continuation of this much-needed support thank you for your time today in your
service every day thank you so much the family network on disability is Mary
Smith good morning I am Mary Smith the executive director for family network on
disabilities but I am here representing the developmental disabilities committee
of the Community Alliance and we would like to thank and acknowledge
representative Margaret good for submitting a request for review and
changes to Senate bill 850 in the upcoming legislative session Senate bill
850 was adopted in the spring of 2014 and went into effect for the school year
of 1415 the bill eliminated the two special diploma options that exist
existed for students with disabilities and created a new pathway for students
with significant disabilities to be able to obtain a standard diploma through
what is known as access points there are currently only two pathways in existence
for public school students in Florida to obtain a standard diploma the enactment
and implementation of this bill has caused significant issues for students
with significant disabilities and other disabilities in our schools in our
public school system this includes students with low cognitive abilities
and other disabilities it has also caused issues for school
districts administration and especially teachers to be able to meet the
requirements for teaching a very rigorous curriculum this in turn has
also affected the way that students individual education plans are
implemented and meeting the federal guidelines within the individuals with
Disabilities Education Act which is geared toward focusing not only on
academics but also on independent living skills and employment skills that
individuals with disabilities will need in their post graduation years when
they’re adults this change is how students with disabilities have I’m
sorry I apologize this is an intern created a great deal of stress on
families and the whole family unit community programs and employment
opportunities for students with disabilities parents and families of
students with significant disabilities understand and accept the limitations of
their child what they don’t understand is why their child is not receiving the
education instruction opportunities resources and services that they need to
be as independent as possible be successful and contribute to the
community they live in more appropriate curriculum or a pathway for students
with disabilities needs to be considered and implemented as standard diploma
options students are not learning academics that they will be able to use
throughout their life practicing the life skills that they need to be
independent or experiencing job exploration while Senate bill 850 set
out to create a path for all students to obtain a special standard diploma it
unintentionally has created consequences for students with disabilities that have
been detrimental to their learning and growth but more than 30-years parents
and disability advocates have worked tirelessly towards including
with disabilities in the public education is relevant we have succeeded
at that but now we need to address the curriculum that that they have to pass
thank you very much Florida State Guardian sociation Pamela
Keller good morning I’m honored to be here to represent the florida state
guardianship Association along with Ellie Hines we are both board members of
the organization Helle Himes is a professional Guardian and I’m an
attorney whose office is in Charlotte County but serving certainly this area
as well the Florida State Guard guardianship Association has provided
you with our net 2019 legislative priorities in your packet the florida
state guardianship associations 580 members are professional Guardians and
attorneys like the two of us there are also social workers caregivers and other
people who care for the most vulnerable of the Florida citizens these includes
minors developmentally disabled adults as well as the elderly and vulnerable
population above 65 years old our priorities are many without fiscal
impact we are really not here to ask for you to devote funds this year but for
the most part to address some of the statutes that are already in existence
guardianship is a very very big issue in this state it has been climbing in
prominence in the last few years in the legislature and we felt that it was very
important for us to initiate our legislative action in order to address
some of those things some things that we are wanting you to deal with are as
simple as tweaking the school safety law that was implemented last year in that
law we the term mentally defective was used the you know the the term that we
use in guardianship is incapacitated in accordance with Chapter 744 we would
like to see some clarification of that there were protections put in place for
public Guardians last year in terms of protecting their
personal information we would like to see that private professional guardians
are also included in the list of guardians that have that protection
available to us we would like to ensure that due process is provided to the
citizens who are subject to a petition for an emergency temporary guardianship
imagine getting a knock on your door being an elderly person and having
someone come to the door saying hey I’m your emergency temporary guardian
without ever having had notice of the proceedings or an opportunity to be
heard in those proceedings so there are a number of things on our list of
priorities that deal with addressing specific items and specific statutes we
also want you to understand that the florida state guardianship association
is a resource for you as legislators to come to us as we control the education
of both examining committee members and guardians in the state thank you so much
you’re welcome appreciate it next up is the balloon Dafa Association good morning and thank you for this
forum my name is Maria Bronstein and I’m here on the behalf of Falun Dafa
Association the language for the Florida State resolution to stop persecution of
Falun Dafa practitioners and forced organ harvesting in China now is in the
House bill drafting service we’re asking all of you to support it by
co-sponsoring the resolution Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese meditation
practice beautiful solemn and peaceful tens of millions practicing around the
globe practitioners are cultivating the qualities of truthfulness compassion and
tolerance yet it’s severely persecuted in China massive campaign of persecution
began on July 20th 1999 and it continues today almost 20 years later hundreds of
thousands Falun Dafa practitioners have been sent to forced labor camps many
have been tortured and thousand have died in police custody
Chinese Communist government created the profitable business killing prisoners of
conscience and selling their organs for profit this issue concerns all of us as
of November 2018 5811 Floridians are on the waiting list
for organ transplant but patients sometimes have to wait years for a
transplant in China it only takes base they even scheduled
heart transplant two weeks in advance when people are desperate they may go
far to get help but they have the right to know the real consequences of going
to China for transplant surgery it means that innocent healthy person primarily
Falun Dafa practitioner would be cut up for his or her organs thank you so much
fear for your testimony today I really appreciate it
next up is the inmate intrigue thank you so much next up is the inmate treatment
treatment programs Dave Beasley just good morning Dave easily with first step
representing first step of sarasota and agency providing subs abuse prevention
and treatment for over 50 years to our community thank you very much for your
service to the community and for the opportunity to speak to you today I’m
here not just representing our agency but representing our community and
representing the behavioral health organizations across the state of
Florida we’ll be coming to you this year to speak to you in this legislative
session about many funding considerations about many policy issues
about issues around healthcare access and issues around statewide coordination
and regulation including recommendations made by the sober home task force and
including a recommendation to reinstate the office of drug control or a similar
office to develop and implement a statewide strategy to coordinate between
local state and federal agencies as you heard today the issue of subs abuse
impacts almost all of the systems that have come spoke including child welfare
hospital systems other healthcare systems schools the homeless etc etc
specifically I want to speak to you about an issue that arose this year in
the Florida Department of Corrections we’re dealing right here locally in
Sarasota with looking at jail diversion reducing the cost not having to build a
new jail and one of the things that took place with a cut in the Florida
Department of Corrections lbr was actually a reduction of residential
treatment funding by 40 percent which means individuals that otherwise would
have had residential treatment services will now
remain or go back to jail or prison and not get the treatment and recovery
services they need for their disease of substance abuse so we’re asking that you
monitor this keep an eye on it and support full restoration in the
Department of Corrections lbr this issue is supported by the Florida Department
of Corrections itself our local offices the state attorney public defender
treatment courts Family Safety Alliance behavioral health stakeholders
consortium in the Sarasota County Commission thank you thank you so much
next though next up the West Coast black theatre group Julie leach I know you’re
excited to see us because I think we’re the last people I’m Julie leach I’m the
executive director the West Coast black theatre troupe and with me today is Nate
Jacobs founder and artistic director good morning good morning we have an
incredible opportunity this year at WB TT we are in the process of renovating
and expanding our campus we completed one building last year the Bin’s
building if you’re familiar with that historic building we turned it into an
education and administrative building for our theater and this year we’re
going to start renovating our theater it’s an eight million dollar project and
we’ve raised 6.8 million in private funding for it now we have a great
opportunity for the state to be involved because we have requested a five hundred
thousand dollar Department of Cultural Affairs facilities grant that’s these
grants we have a grants panel that recommends to the legislature about them
and we went to the grants panel and scored very highly a 93.9 on the grants
panel so likely if there is funding we should get some of it I hope so
last year as you mentioned before representative Beacon I think he
mentioned that last year there was no funding for there’s very limited funding
for the operating grants but for the cultural grants there was no funding
because of emergency needs so we’re hoping that this year the legislature
can find some funding for us in prior years other cultural
institutions in town have benefited from this program the Oslo FST the Opera
we have never requested any before this is our first opportunity and we are the
only arts and cultural institution in Sarasota Manatee and Pinellas County
looking for grant money this year so I hope you’ll think about us we’re the
only African American troop of theatres on the west coast of Florida and Nate
found that 19 years ago and we have a two million dollar budget we employ up
to 100 full-time employees and artisans each year so we make a big economic
impact I wanna thank Jim Shirley for mentioning what a great economic impact
the arts and culture make in our County so thank you for your time today thank
you so much next up Soil and Water Conservation District Matthew Woodall
and Adi Bock Thank You mr. chairman members of the delegation apparently our
agency is a little bit better at securing a location for 2000 pounds of
poultry from one of our poultry farmers when they lose power in their cooler
during Hurricane ARMA then we are making sure staff knows that we’re gonna be
here but we are here your soul and Water Conservation District is president
accounted for I would like to say that we are very proud to be the very best so
on water conservation issues in Florida for this one water conservation district
our agency for those of you that do not know an easy way to understand what we
do and what our mission is we are here to remind everyone that there is no such
thing as a post agricultural area working alongside with our co-operators
including the Farm Bureau the Cattlemen’s Association and so many
others I’m to one here by a new supervisor miss Audie Bock some water
conservation district is governed by a publicly elected five-member board of
supervisors missbach and myself serving alongside Brett Blackburn and senior
Supervisors chairman Todd Underhill and mr. Rory Martin we will be forwarding
our packet to you with our request for consideration for the delegation going
forward which will be a very slight increase I think maybe in
initiation of maybe what can be a training and education appropriation
that I think is severely needed for our new members and for a continuing
education for existing members so I believe miss Bach has a few things that
she would like to say again thank you very much for is the opportunity to
participate and we appreciate your service and welcome to new members
delegation he gave you a whole 30 seconds thank you good morning senator
gruder’s I’m not sure I should have taken your advice to run for this office
but great to see you and welcome other members and I apologize for not having
come to see you all sooner since your election I have previously served in
California as a member of the state legislature where I did a number of
issues on the environment including the banning of medical waste incinerators in
urban areas and I have a great deal of experience with the environment I also
served on a fire protection district where we were not paid but we did we did
have a budget it has come to my attention with the Soil and Water
Conservation District that several years ago 2016 to be exact the legislature
took away our taxing power and our legislative power so we are not an
enforcement or lawmaking body we are here to serve as guidance and technical
resources and coordination with other governmental and nonprofit agencies and
we have no fundraising capability other than asking you folks to help us out we
have had a lot of turnover in the last few years and now we have two new
elected members and one who is halfway through his first term so it would be
great if we could get some enhanced funding for education for ourselves so
that we can do better outreach to the public we don’t have an office we don’t
have a full-time staff we don’t have a website we don’t even have business
cards so we need to find out what we can do and make ourselves able to do it to
be able to develop a long-range plan annual plans and a vision and to get out
there and talk to everybody would be a great help thank you so much really
appreciate it and last but not least Erin McLeod senior friendship centers something to be said for being last the
last goes first right well I’m glad to be here today
friendship centers has been serving the region since 1973 and I’m coming to you
today because we’ve got two really internationally recognized beautiful
senior campuses that offer a myriad of services everything from adult day care
for folks with Alzheimer’s and dementia to our clinics that are staffed by
retired physicians and dentists the primary expense that’s keeping me awake
at night is caring for aging buildings and I’ve got just a couple of capital
and maintenance repairs that all going to be provided in a list to our
delegation for your support we are looking at things like replacement of
elevators just in the last month I’ve had three times in the last month where
the elevator has gotten stuck once was on a Friday night with a cleaning crew
thank God he knew my number because he was stuck in the elevator and there was
nobody left in the building things like replacement of big plate glass windows
bag storms that’s really dangerous they’re held in with a lot of old wood
framing and it’s probably not a safe issue leaking roof on our Adult Day
Program I don’t want to even use the M word but I’m very concerned about the
quality of the air unless we get that that roof replaced so those really
there’s a list of about eight projects and it’s everything from roofs to tile
floors but we have a 30-year building reserve study that we work from that
gives our board and myself and our staff leadership an idea of where to invest
the money and I’m going to be short and sweet and say thank you for your service
in your in your time thank you so much I’m going to be
audience know that we’re not going to do delegation priorities today we will
consider those at a later date and just reiterate that we are a team up here and
it doesn’t matter who sponsors the individual appropriations project we’re
all gonna be working together on everything and I encourage you to
communicate with every single member because when the time comes it’s those
last couple of weeks where you have to bird dog some of these things and it’s
important they have everybody pushing so my advice is to get everybody cell phone
number and and push them at the end but I appreciate everybody coming and I’m
gonna let everybody say a closing remark if you like we’ll start with
representative Robinson Thank You mr. chairman I don’t appreciate and say
thanks to your staff for getting our notebooks and everything together that’s
a lot of work so thank you to your team and to your staff and thank you to
Sarasota County for hosting us today it was a great day to hear all your
priorities as someone that represents Manatee County as well it’s interesting
that the priorities are the same I heard the same types of issues water quality
or course development housing I think it’s somewhat subliminal that we have
this beautiful picture of Sarasota County looking at us in the city and the
water so we I am very grateful to hear about all your priorities and others I
didn’t listen and look forward to the upcoming session Thank You mr. chairman
thank you represent of good Thank You senator girders for getting this
together and for your staff for making it happen I really appreciate the work
that y’all have done with our staff to to get us up and running – I echo
representative Robinson’s comments this is a great morning of learning about the
priorities and I know a lot of the people that have spoken today have come
and seen us in our offices individually and I really appreciate the time that
everyone spends to educate our delegation and to help move the
priorities forward you know I I think that the there were a lot of good
projects but the overwhelming number of people that talked about water quality
issues this is something that needs to be at the forefront of all of our minds
and the things that we’re thinking about when we’re moving
in this session I look forward to working with all of you on a lot of
these issues representing Buchanan Thank You mr. chairman I think we have a great
delegation here is one of two representatives that solely represents
Sarasota County and gruder’s I think you’re 100% serves it again Charlotte
and Charlotte I’m I’m thrilled to be here with you today we’re so
appreciative to hear your input and ideas we look forward to working with
you and we’ll look forward to seeing you here soon
thank you represent of Gregory Thank You chairman and thank you for for your time
and patience here today for bringing these issues to us and I’ll just echo
two things that Senator Gruder said one is don’t be shy about reaching out to us
via cell phone even if you’ve already got somebody to run that appropriations
request or a legislative issue bring it to all of us because we are working
together as a team which is a second comment to echo and that is that we
really are working together as a team in town we’re meeting and Intel has who
were meeting so keep contacting us thank you representing Thank You chairman and
I too share the sentiments of my my colleagues we do work together last
session we brought back about 1.5 billion for district 70 alone
collectively and I’m talking four delegation so you it’s no choice but to
work together because we have represent 67 counties for in 12 cities
20.8 million people so everybody’s snatching at this
I guess 90 billion dollar budget and we’re trying to make sure we bring back
the appropriate so we need to make sure we move our area forward I want to thank
my my staff is here I got Michelle grim Jesus my LA is here and also my district
secretary man for my man and soda office is mr. Cardinal Hardy if you don’t know
where my Sarasota office is we’re on 63rd just off of 301 you’re coming out
of the flowers Bread Company with your doughnuts we were right across the
street so the AG landmark but I want to thank you guys for coming we had over 60
plus speakers that came to share their importance
also their their legislative priorities and we heard them and we’re gonna do the
best we can to bring whatever home we can but also shares in our Chairman’s
sentiments about this don’t Hanna sheets and binders and all you got to work this
stuff to you have to be calling people emailing and making sure you’re
supporting us didn’t get things done but thank you putting the other these
meetings are never easy you have to coordinate everything and get all the
paperwork and so Gd Kerr and Vickie Braille you did it guys did a fantastic
job and we have the best one-two punch in Sarasota I love all the other staffs
but I think my staff is the best thank you for what you guys did and this
meetings adjourned

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