A Record of Results

Common Sense and Unifying Leadership

 

Growing Florida’s Economy

 

Our deregulation package will free many workers and small business owners from red tape created by excessive occupational licensing.

 

An occupational or professional license is a form of regulation that requires skilled workers to obtain permission from the government to do their jobs.

 

In some cases, such as for architects and geologists, professional license holders must have an additional license to run their business; the policy package we passed removes that burden.

 

Among other changes, the bill also cuts down the excessive hours of training required to obtain a barber or specialty cosmetology license.

 

And for occupations where a government permission to work is simply unnecessary, such as hair braiders or boxing announcers, the package eliminates the license entirely.

Protecting our Children

 

Every day, hundreds of Floridians working for the Department of Children and Families, community-based care lead agencies, case management organizations, and other partners give their best to help the state’s abused and neglected kids.

 

To combat the high turnover rate, legislation passed this session will provide pay raises for child protective investigators and build long-term career support for all staff.

 

The “State of Hope” Act will also help prevent and mitigate traumatic stress and burnout for these critical workers.

 

Another bill, “Jordan’s Law,” will ensure that law enforcement officers have more information about families in the child welfare system so they can be additional eyes and ears to keep children safe.

 

Other legislation will help the Department and its contracted partners collaborate to provide more accountable, high-quality services to the vulnerable families they serve.

 

Investing in our Teachers and Classrooms

 

During this session, we renewed our commitment to school choice with a bill to expand popular school voucher programs like the Family Empowerment Scholarship. Now that program will be able to serve thousands more students.

 

We also increased the total funds per student in public schools by nearly $200 each — that means districts will receive almost $7,900 in funding per student this coming year.

 

Public school classroom teachers will benefit from our $500 million budget proposal for teacher salary increases.

 

We have directed school districts to use their cut of these funds to get every full-time teacher as close to a $47,500 minimum salary as possible (and scaling up the base for veterans, too).

 

Improving Healthcare Access and Affordability

 

During this session, we voted for policies that put patients in control of their health care while improving access and affordability.

 

Beginning July 1, a new law will allow qualified advanced practice registered nurses to work autonomously in primary care and midwifery.

 

Another new law allows pharmacists to work with physicians to manage chronic health conditions and provide some basic health care services like testing and treatment for flu and strep.

 

These changes should improve access to care amid a statewide shortage of doctors made more dire by the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Also, Floridians will soon have an insiders’ view of the patient safety culture of hospitals and other health care facilities. We passed a bill to make patient safety culture surveys public to everyone — so that it’s easier to make an informed decision about where to get a procedure done.

 

Holding Government Accountable

 

A Florida House committee led the investigation of the taxpayer-dollar-funded Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence after discovering compensation to its now-former CEO Tiffany Carr totaled more than $7.5 million over three years.

 

The House issued subpoenas to Carr and her board members, took statements, and will continue its work into the summer of attempting to recoup tax dollars that were wrongly spent.

 

In response, the Legislature also passed a bill to remove the organization from its relationship with he Department of Children and Families. The state agency is now in charge of distributing funds to Florida’s domestic violence shelters.

Paid for by Josie Tomkow, Republican for State House