STUART NEWS, By Debbie Mayfield on 05-22-2019   

IRC delegation secures key funding for our community Your Turn Debbie Mayfield Guest columnist Recently, the Florida Senate and House reached agreement on the 201920 budget for our state and officially ended the 2019 legislative session. Together, Rep. Erin Grail, R-Vero Beach, and I worked to secure key resources to support the goals of our community. Protecting our environment/ 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 Legislature implemented comprehensive and transformative policy that preserves and protects our water and environment. The 2019-20 budget invests in protecting the environment by allocating $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 such as 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. In addition to allocating $50 million for beach restoration in the budget, the Legislature unanimously passed my coastal management bill to improve the beach-restoration process and ensure the projects of greatest need rise to the top annually. This year the following local projects will be funded: I Vero Beach restoration: $1.75 million I Sebastian Inlet management plan implementation: $2.9 million Protection of our water resources and restoration ofthe Indian River Lagoon is one of my top priorities. I am proud we were able to secure funding to support local projects that are working to restore the health ofthe lagoon: I Indian River County North Sebastian septic-to-sewer conversion for 150 residents: $500,000 I Indian River County North relief canal aquatic plant project: $650,000 Education Education is essential to our state’s success, which is why the 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 our area is 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: I Indian River State College expansion of nursing, health-care, manufacturing, automotive technology, HVAC and manufacturing programs: $4.2 million I Big Brothers Big Sisters — School to Work program: $250,000 Community In our efforts to provide support for some of the most vulnerable citizens in our community, we secured the following resources: I Vero Beach University of Florida Health Center for Psychiatry & Addiction: $300,000 I Treasure Coast Food Bank Food Production Plant: $700,000 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 201920 General Appropriations Act , has been signed by Senate President Bill Galvano and Speaker ofthe House Jose Oliva. It will now be presented to Gov. 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 (772-226-1970). 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 meet the goals of our community. Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Melbourne, serves in the Florida Senate and represents the 17th District, which includes Indian River County and southern Brevard County.

INDIAN RIVER PRESS JOURNAL, By Debbie Mayfield on 05-22-2019   

IRC delegation secures key funding for our community Your Turn Debbie Mayfield Guest columnist Recently, the Florida Senate and House reached agreement on the 201920 budget for our state and officially ended the 2019 legislative session. Together, Rep. Erin Grail, R-Vero Beach, and I worked to secure key resources to support the goals of our community. Protecting our environment/ 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 Legislature implemented comprehensive and transformative policy that preserves and protects our water and environment. The 2019-20 budget invests in protecting the environment by allocating $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 such as 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. In addition to allocating $50 million for beach restoration in the budget, the Legislature unanimously passed my coastal management bill to improve the beach-restoration process and ensure the projects of greatest need rise to the top annually. This year the following local projects will be funded: I Vero Beach restoration: $1.75 million I Sebastian Inlet management plan implementation: $2.9 million Protection of our water resources and restoration ofthe Indian River Lagoon is one of my top priorities. I am proud we were able to secure funding to support local projects that are working to restore the health ofthe lagoon: I Indian River County North Sebastian septic-to-sewer conversion for 150 residents: $500,000 I Indian River County North relief canal aquatic plant project: $650,000 Education Education is essential to our state’s success, which is why the 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 our area is 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: I Indian River State College expansion of nursing, health-care, manufacturing, automotive technology, HVAC and manufacturing programs: $4.2 million I Big Brothers Big Sisters — School to Work program: $250,000 Community In our efforts to provide support for some of the most vulnerable citizens in our community, we secured the following resources: I Vero Beach University of Florida Health Center for Psychiatry & Addiction: $300,000 I Treasure Coast Food Bank Food Production Plant: $700,000 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 201920 General Appropriations Act , has been signed by Senate President Bill Galvano and Speaker ofthe House Jose Oliva. It will now be presented to Gov. 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 (772-226-1970). 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 meet the goals of our community. Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Melbourne, serves in the Florida Senate and represents the 17th District, which includes Indian River County and southern Brevard County.