2021 Legislative Session Update
by Chip LaMarca

I am happy to announce that the 2021 Legislative Session has come to a close! We passed a monumental $101.5 billion budget, which includes significant federal COVID-19 relief investments. The 2021 tax package that passed will bring much needed relief to all Floridians. Both the Back-to-School Sales Tax (August 6-12) and Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays (late May-early June) will be available again this year, along with a new sales tax holiday: Freedom Week Sales Tax Holiday. This tax holiday will take place from July 1-7, reducing the cost for boating and water sports, camping supplies, fishing, along with many other outdoor activity supplies.

One of my priorities this year was running the bill on the Department of Economic Opportunity, focused on fixing Florida’s broken unemployment system. At the start of the pandemic thousands of Floridians were unable to get access to the unemployment system. With the new system required under my bill, DEO will be required to implement an integrated modular system hosted in a cloud service, to make sure that the system can support any massive influx of claims that might arise from any circumstance. The bill also establishes the Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency within DEO, which must:

Oversee critical objectives and ensure that key objectives are clearly communicated to the public.
Organize resources, expertise, data, and research to solve complex economic challenges facing our state.
Provide leadership for priority issues that require integration of policy, managements, and critical objectives from multiple programs and organizations internal and external to DEO.
Promote and facilitate key initiatives to address priority economic issues and explore data and identify opportunities for innovative approaches to address such economic issues.
Promote strategic planning for the agency.
I am proud to have shepherded this legislation through the process. I continue to stay committed to assisting our constituents with any issues that might arise, until we have all recovered from the pandemic.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

I am happy to announce that all of the COVID-19 State-Run Department of Health vaccination sites in Broward County will no longer require an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine! The state locations offer the Pfizer vaccine, which is now eligible to those 12 years and older. Parents will need to consent to their child receiving the vaccine if under 18 years old.

If you have already scheduled an appointment through myvaccine.fl.gov, you can now visit any of the Department of Health sites during their operating hours. You do not have to keep your exact appointment time. Also, pharmacies like CVS and Publix are also now accepting walk-ins. All vaccination locations are listed on Broward.org/coronavirus.

DCF Update

I am happy to announce that all of the COVID-19 State-Run Department of Health vaccination sites in Broward County will no longer require an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine! The state locations offer the Pfizer vaccine, which is now eligible to those 12 years and older. Parents will need to consent to their child receiving the vaccine if under 18 years old.

If you have already scheduled an appointment through myvaccine.fl.gov, you can now visit any of the Department of Health sites during their operating hours. You do not have to keep your exact appointment time. Also, pharmacies like CVS and Publix are also now accepting walk-ins. All vaccination locations are listed on Broward.org/coronavirus.