SENATOR DEBBIE MAYFIELD: Brevard Delegation Secures Funds for Resources to Support Critical Goals

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Public Safety, Education and Lagoon are top priorities

FLORIDA STATE SENATOR DEBBIE MAYFIELD: This past week the Florida Senate and House reached an agreement on the 2019-2020 budget for our state and officially ended the 2019 Legislative Session. Together the Brevard Delegation worked to secure key resources to support the goals of our community.

BREARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – This past week the Florida Senate and House reached an agreement on the 2019-2020 budget for our state and officially ended the 2019 Legislative Session. Together the Brevard Delegation worked to secure key resources to support the goals of our community.

Protecting our Environment and Natural Resources

I had the privilege to serve as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government and through the $4 billion environmental budget, the Florida Legislature implemented comprehensive and transformative policy that preserves and protects our water and environment.

The 2019-2020 budget appropriated $686.8 million for water quality restoration, including $367.2 million for Everglades Restoration which will reduce harmful discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries; $149 million for water quality improvements like septic to sewer and wastewater improvement programs; $25 million to research and combat harmful algal blooms and red tide; and $100 million for Springs Restoration.

Protection of our water resources and the restoration of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) is one of my top priorities.

I am proud that our delegation was able to secure funding to support local projects that are working to improve the health of the IRL:

• Brevard County Septic to Sewer Conversion for 1,019 homes- $500,000

• Palm Bay Turkey Creek Muck Removal Feasibility Study – $160,000

• Florida Institute of Technology’s Restore Inflow Research investigating the impacts of restoring historical ocean inflows to the IRL via a weir spillway – $800,000

FLORIDA STATE SENATOR DEBBIE MAYFIELD: I am proud that our delegation was able to secure funding to support local projects that are working to improve the health of the IRL.

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Education: Education is essential to our state’s success, which is why the Florida Legislature invested nearly $35 billion in our education system this year.

The budget increased funding for the Florida Education Finance Program by $783 million, including $364 million in flexible funding that school districts can use for teacher pay increases, and $285 million to recruit, retain and recognize our state’s best teachers.

Overall, our schools will receive an additional $242 per student to bring the total per pupil funding up to a record high $7, 672 per student.

The development of a strong workforce is also important as the Space Coast is currently experiencing a critical demand for high skilled labor.

This session our delegation secured additional funding to expand opportunities for our students to fill these high-wage career paths:

• Astronaut High School’s New Welding Technology Program – $500,000

• Cocoa High School’s New Construction Program – $100,000

• Space Coast Economic Development Council Talent Asset Pipeline – $350,000

• Brevard Achievement Center – $199,714

• Easterseals of Brevard County to provide education and training to those with special needs- $75,000

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Public Safety: In our efforts to improve public safety in Brevard County and provide support for some of our most vulnerable citizens, we secured the following resources:

• Eliminate Veteran Homelessness with National Veterans Homeless Support (NVHS) – $150,000

• Brevard County Re-entry Portal to facilitate the successful reintegration of ex-offenders – $500,000

• Circles of Care Harbour Pines and Cedar Village mental health treatment beds – $500,000

• Brevard Circles of Care mental health beds – $750,000

• Nurse Family Partnership health program for first-time, high-risk pregnant women- $750,000

• Brevard County’s New Emergency Operations Center – $513, 500

• Canaveral Port Authority Enhanced Fireboat – $1,500,000

Finally, the state’s reserves will be replenished to more than $3.4 billion, which can be used in future times of need and to ensure Florida’s AAA bond rating.

The budget, also known as the 2019-2020 General Appropriations Act , has been signed by Senate President Bill Galvano and Speaker of the House Jose Oliva. It will now be presented to Governor Ron DeSantis for his consideration.

The Governor has the authority to reject the budget, as well as line-item veto authority which can be used to delete any specific budget item within the Appropriations Act.

Once the Governor has completed his review, he then signs the General Appropriations Act into law, establishing the statewide budget for the next fiscal year.

If you have any specific questions about the budget, please reach out to my office 321-409-2025. I consider it a great honor to represent all of the residents of District 17 and look forward to continuing to work with citizens and businesses to meeting the goals of our community.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Mayfield is a Republican member of the Florida Senate who has represented the 17th district, which includes Indian River and southern Brevard Counties, since 2016. She previously served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives, representing parts of the Treasure Coast from 2008 to 2016.

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