Rep. Steve Crisafulli Legislative Update: ‘Productive First Week for Florida’
By Rep. Steve Crisafulli // January 17, 2016
LEGISLATIVE SESSION UPDATE
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – The 2016 Legislative Session began Tuesday, and we had a productive first week for Florida.
We passed three major pieces of legislation this week with overwhelming bipartisan support that establish a comprehensive water policy for Florida, strengthen pathways to economic independence for individuals with disabilities, and increase options in education.
On Opening Day, I outlined several additional items I would like the House to consider this Session, including:
• Cutting taxes by $1 billion (should our current revenue estimates hold);
• Passing the Legacy Florida initiative to provide dedicated funding for Everglades restoration;
• Ensuring Florida remains a national leader in job creation;
• Providing students with a first-rate education from preschool through postgraduate school;
• Eliminating regulatory barriers that inhibit disruptive technologies such as Uber and Lyft;
• Reducing costs and increasing access to quality healthcare through free market reforms;
• Removing the five-year waiting period on KidCare for legal immigrant children;
• And, modernizing Florida’s pension system
I believe addressing these important issues will create a lasting legacy of opportunity for Florida families and leave our state on a stronger path.
These are only a fraction of the issues the House will consider this year. House Members have filed many good bills that will improve our state, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues this Session on legislation that will strengthen Florida’s future.
As I mentioned, three priority bills were passed with strong bipartisan support and sent to Governor Scott for his signature this week.
Water is one of our most precious resources. I believe ensuring a clean and abundant water supply is critical to Florida’s future.
Senate Bill 552 addresses Florida’s water quality and supply challenges in a comprehensive, statewide manner.
This bill modernizes our existing water policies to reflect the progress we have made in protecting our water resources and focuses our efforts on the water quality and supply challenges we continue to face through the use of scientifically sound, responsible solutions.
While our water challenges cannot be solved in a single year or single bill, I believe this legislation is a great step in ensuring that Floridians have access to clean and abundant water for generations to come.
Approximately 12.9 percent of Florida’s population has a disability and often struggle to enter the workforce.
House Bill 7003 strengthens pathways to economic independence for persons with disabilities.
The legislation creates the Financial Literacy Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities to provide information and outreach to individuals with disabilities to assist them in establishing economic independence.
In addition, the bill creates the Employment First Act and the Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program to help those with disabilities find stable employment. These programs are a great starting point to help individuals with disabilities achieve economic independence.
I believe our state is made stronger when everyone has the opportunity to achieve success, especially our most vulnerable citizens.
Senate Bill 672 continues our tradition of bold reforms to Florida’s education system. The bill increases postsecondary education and employment opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities.
It also provides an incentive for district school boards and charter schools to create a school uniform policy, which will help create a safe and supportive learning environment.
In addition, through the Personal Learning Scholarship Account program (now known as the Gardiner Scholarship Program), families of students with disabilities will be able to provide a more customized education for their children to better meet their unique abilities.
By continuing to increase educational options for students and schools, we will further strengthen Florida’s education system and prepare our students for success.
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