Rep. Randy Fine’s Entrepreneurial Background Has Proven Invaluable in the Business of Politics
By Maria Sonnenberg // May 30, 2021
POLITICS ON THE SPACE COAST
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – On one wall of Florida State Representative Randy Fine’s Tallahassee office hangs a collection of documents, each a copy of one of the bills Fine ushered into law.
Fine is understandably proud of the accomplishments that wall represents.
“Getting a bill passed is not easy,” said the Republican Party member who has served Brevard County in the Florida House of Representatives since 2016.
He believes his entrepreneurial business background has proved invaluable in the business of politics.
“Just like getting a bill passed, creating a business is not easy,” he said.
Armed with both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Harvard, Fine dove into the business world first as a technology consultant for several startups before launching The Fine Group, a Nevada-based software and consulting group serving the hospitality industry.
Why would a successful businessman opt for a state legislator’s job with a base salary hovering around $30,000? For Fine, the answer is the opportunity to effect change that will make a positive difference for his two sons and the rest of the next generation.
“My sons are the reason I am in politics,” said the proud dad of Jacob and David. “I enjoy making positive change.”
At least one of the younger Fine men is already following in his Dad’s political footsteps since during this past legislative session older son Jacob became a Page for the Florida House of Representatives and even debated a mock bill on the House floor.
The experience carried special significance for Fine, who presented two bills as his son watched.
Fine, fiercely devoted to his children and to his wife, Wendy, spends any free time in family-related activities that range from the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to teaching Junior Achievement at his sons’ schools. As a family, the Fine clan embraces a goal of witnessing all the splendor of natural America.
“We want to travel to all of the 417 National Parks,” said Fine.
With 215 National Parks already under their belt, the Fines are well on their way. Fine’s advocacy encompasses a wide range of issues, from educator conduct to the Indian River Lagoon’s future.
He considers himself a champion for parental rights and school choice and is incensed that Brevard school administrators have issued guidelines that assume that it is the role of government, not parents, to raise children and that they need to protect children from their families and not keep parents informed on their children’s psychological status.
“It is an extraordinary overreach by unelected bureaucrats,” he said.
Fine is championing a Parental Bill of Rights that will address such issues. He is equally incensed about what he terms “woke” policies that permit boys from using girls’ bathrooms and play in girls’ sports teams.
The legislator additionally sponsored a bill that institutes a mandatory moment of silence in every classroom in the state before the Pledge of Allegiance. With this legislation, teachers would be required to hold a one- to two-minute moment of silence each day during first-period classes in public schools.
Teachers would not be allowed to offer suggestions of the nature of any reflection during this moment, but instead would encourage parents to offer their children direction on how to best use that time.
Fine also introduced the Sophia Nelson Safety Act to end flashing yellow light crosswalks on the beach. The Act is named after the 12-year-old girl who died when a vehicle struck her at one of those crosswalks.
“The current setup at most mid-block pedestrian crosswalks is designed to give pedestrians a false sense of security,” said Fine.
“Sophia died because traffic designers ignored 100 years of basic driver education. If you want to tell drivers to stop for pedestrians, don’t use a yellow light. Make it red.”
Fine’s HB 1189 is intended to help the process for reporting sexual assaults by creating county sexual assault response teams that include members from the local state attorney’s and sheriff’s office, as well as from the county health department.
Fine introduced the legislation after learning about Brevard resident Daedra Logan.
“My life was forever changed by the story of Daedra Logan and her brutal rape and sodomy,” said Fine. “Her rapist should be in prison but isn’t. This bill will hopefully keep him and others from doing it again.”
Mention the Indian River Lagoon and Fine is quick to point out options to help the beleaguered body of water. He introduced a bill that would redirect millions of dollars currently subsidizing Florida newspapers to causes such as the Lagoon.
“That money could be spent for the Indian River, or for funding the police and soup kitchens,” he said.
He has long advocated for protecting the Lagoon from sewage spills. He introduced a bill that would provide up to $50 million per year in matching funds to upgrade sewage treatment facilities and increase the fines for illegal sewage discharges.
Fine’s HB 387 would help improve water quality by allowing property owners to take out loans through the Property Assessed Clean Energy program for environmental mitigation projects such as septic-to-sewer conversions or advanced on-site wastewater treatment systems.
“Everyone in Brevard County wants a clean Indian River Lagoon, but for years, my constituents have told me they don’t simply have thousands of dollars lying around to connect their home to a sewer line or upgrade their septic tank,” said Fine.
“HB 387 will allow those consumers to obtain special, secured loans, often at discounted interest rates, to help them finance these critical projects, which will benefit every one of us.
During my four years in the Legislature, I have brought home millions in state funding for Lagoon improvements, freed up tens of millions of dollars in available local financing and dramatically increased the penalties on local politicians who dump millions of gallons of raw sewage into our waterways.
This bill represents the next step in that journey to save our precious Lagoon by making it easier and cheaper for property owners who want to do the right thing.”
The Assemblyman plans to toss his hat in the political ring once again in 2022, as he has one more term to go before hitting the term limit ceiling. Beyond that, he may set his sights on Washington, DC.
“I found that I am good at politics and I can get the job done,” said Fine.