Dear Friends & Neighbors The 2013 legislative session recently concluded, and I am pleased to update you on what occurred. My approach to the session was to focus on priorities important to residents of this area and all Floridians, such as a good education system, quality health care, public safety, and job creation. The Legislature made progress on many important initiatives. We passed significant ethics reforms to raise the conduct standards for elected officials and increased penalties for breaches of public trust. The Legislature also put an end to committees of continuous existence that were too often used as political slush funds and increased campaign transparency and accountability. And while we could have done much more to revamp the state’s election code, I believe we made improvements to ensure that Floridians will not have to wait in long lines to cast their votes.
Also among the Legislature’s slate of accomplishments, the House and Senate passed a budget that includes a billion-dollar increase to K-12 education, gives $70 million for the Everglades, increases funding for public safety, and addresses many priorities of our community.
I am disappointed, though, that the Legislature failed to reach agreement on how to ease what I believe to be a crisis of a high number of uninsured Floridians. I believe that without adequate health coverage, many Floridians will needlessly suffer. Session ended without passage of a plan to use billions of dollars in available federal resources over the next decade to expand health coverage to more than 1 million Floridians.
This year, I sponsored several bills, including ones that would keep children safe while participating in organized sports and reduce the amount of fines paid by school districts unable to meet class size requirements to keep money in the classroom. I am also pleased to have served on several committees, including the Insurance and Banking and Health and Human Services committees.
I hope you find this legislative update to be a useful tool in evaluating the 2013 legislative session.
If you have questions or would like to discuss any issues, please call my office at 954-893-5010, or send me an e-mail at email@example.com. If there’s anything that I can do to assist you, feel welcome to contact me. www.communitynewspapers.com
Thank you for allowing me to serve in the Florida House of Representatives. I consider it a great honor to represent you.
Shevrin D. Jones