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I recently accompanied Governor DeSantis on his Business Development Mission to Israel, along with the ceremonial signing of Representative Randy Fine’s HB 741 dealing with anti-Semitism and anti-discrimination. As a proud cosponsor of HB 741, I was honored to be a part of this historic trip and bill signing.  This bill amended the Florida Educational Equality Act to add religion as a protected class with regard to discrimination against students and employees in Florida’s K-20 public education system. It passed unanimously in the Florida House and Senate. The Governor delivered the keynote address at the Israel-American Business Summit, and emphasized that Florida “is the most pro-Israel state in our country.” This will encourage more trade and tourism between Israel and Florida. I am honored to have been part of this successful trade mission.

In Broward County, many constituents have concerns about the vacation rental industry. I filed House Bill 1129 to provide greater accountability and transparency for the short-term rentals industry by expanding the definition of “hosting platform.” This bill would combat the unlicensed commercial operators from developing in our residential communities. In order to protect our communities from commercial interests, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) would collect information relating to the booking of short-term rentals, as well as inform the local municipalities where the property is located. Unfortunately, local governments were unable to compromise in order to get this bill passed. Nevertheless, I look forward to my next opportunity to stand up to protect our local communities.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed the $90.9 billion budget, which is effective as of July 1st. The budget includes $400 million in order to fund the Everglades restoration project alongside $100 million for springs restoration, $50 million for water quality projects, and $25 million for red tide and green algae prevention. An additional $220 million of the budget is dedicated to help restore areas that were devastated by Hurricane Michael last October, and $140 million in funding is dedicated to communities still recovering from Hurricane Irma to help with affordable housing. Hurricane Irma generated $50 billion in damages for all of Florida, and at least 15,000 families have already signed up for the program.

Hurricane season began on June 1st, and is expected to end on November 30th.  This season’s peak will occur between August and October according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.)   In order to plan accordingly this hurricane season, make sure you know your evacuation route. If you stay through the storm, make sure you have flashlights and batteries, along with radios and other devices to stay up to date during the storm. Also, do not forget non-perishable food and enough water.

It is always a tremendous honor to serve you as your State Representative in Tallahassee.

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