Message From Representative Daniel Webster
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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Just received a message from Florida’s 11th District Representative, Daniel Webster, in italics, below:
The Webster Wire
Listening to Floridians
While May’s jobs report was encouraging news, Friday’s unemployment claims report reminds us that many are still waiting to be able to return to work. Today, the Florida Department of Health reported 1,758 new positive cases at 11:30 a.m. While our positivity rate on 6/11 hit 6.2%, on 6/13 it was back down to 4.46% with more than 50,000 test results reported. Today, 34,300 tests were reported and the positivity rate is 5.4%. Specifically, in my district the results by county as of 10 a.m. are:
The “safer at home” actions taken earlier this year were taken to flatten the curve to ensure our healthcare systems were not overwhelmed. Of the more than 77,300 positive cases in Florida as of 11:30 am this morning, only 12,015 are currently needing hospitalization.
(Testing, Total Cases, and Hospitalizations Across the United States via The COVID Tracking Project)
Hurricane Season and COVID-19Florida Division of Emergency Management (FLDEM) Director Jared Moskowitz spoke with several Members of Congress last week regarding steps FLDEM is taking to adapt hurricane preparedness for the existence of COVID-19. Under Governor DeSantis’ direction, FLDEM has secured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and additional generators for use in a disaster. As of June 8, they had
State Distributes CARES Funding to Counties
Congress provided more than $100 billion in the March CARES Act to assist state and local governments cover unexpected costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, Governor DeSantis announced the plan to begin to disburse $1.275 billion to counties with a population less than 500,000. Florida Division of Emergency Management (FLDEM) will oversee the disbursement of funding. County leadership must contact FLDEM to enter into a funding agreement which is required to be eligible to receive this funding. Counties with populations that exceed 500,000 have already received funding from the U.S. Treasury.
Unemployment Work Search Requirements Waived
As of June 14, FLDEO has paid 1,385,990 claimants a total of $6.2 billion ($6,207,349,698). Governor DeSantis has continued to waive the typical state work search and work registration requirements by claimants to receive state unemployment benefits. The current waiver goes through July 4th. Additionally, the state “waiting week” requirement will continue to be waived through August 1, 2020.
Guidance for Safely Re-Opening SchoolsThursday, Governor DeSantis and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced guidance for local school districts as they plan to safely re-open schools this fall. Included in their plan is the nearly $475 million in financial assistance for education that Congress provided states through the CARES Act. Education is the great equalizer. Ensuring every child has access to and receives a quality education is a critical way we empower every child to achieve success. I applaud Governor DeSantis and Commissioner Corcoran for their leadership throughout this pandemic and commitment to working with local leaders, teachers and parents to give them the confidence and support needed to reopen classrooms. Their recommendations include:
Step-by-Step Approach: K-12 Campus Reopening Steps 1-2-3
Defunding Police Is Not the Answer
Many among the far left, including Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and others, are calling on state and local government to “Defund the Police.” This is not a realistic or constructive response. We are a nation of laws and our police officers put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve their communities. As I have said before, we must ensure law enforcement officers receive proper training and law enforcement policies require the utmost performance, transparency, and accountability. The vast majority of the brave men and women in law enforcement that serve our communities are selfless servants that work tirelessly to protect us and our families from evil and ensure that our laws are upheld. I thank these law enforcement officers who wear the badge for the right reasons and work tirelessly to keep our communities and neihborhoods safe, protect the vulnerable, mentor youth, and render aid to those in need.
Make no mistake, there are officers who fail to uphold their oath yet are protected from accountability or dismissal. This recently happened in our own state, where the Broward Police Union successfully challenged the firing of the Broward Sergeant who failed to fulfill his duty to act to protect the students of Stoneman Douglas High School. As we review current policies to ensure law enforcement officers who violate their duties are held accountable, unions and local leaders must also review and reform collective bargaining agreements that protect “bad apples.”
President Trump Further Reduces Federal Footprint
Earlier this month, President Trump signed an executive order, Accelerating the Nation’s Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities. This order builds on previous ones that have sought to streamline outdated and cumbersome agency regulatory rules and practices. These rules and practices served mainly to obstruct hardworking Americans from achieving success than protect the environment or manage growth. Specifically, the order states that agencies must, “take all reasonable measures to speed infrastructure investments and to speed other actions in addition to such investments that will strengthen the economy and return Americans to work, while providing appropriate protection for public health and safety, natural resources, and the environment, as required by law.”
First Lady Melania Trump has announced Building the Movement: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage. This exhibit will honor the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Submission applications can be found here. Entries must be received by July 6, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. ET.
In closing, I am excited to announce that my office will once again participate in annual Congressional App Challenge for middle and high school students who reside or attend school in Congressional District 11.
A constituent contacted my office regarding an issue she was experiencing with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FLDEO). The constituent had applied for unemployment several weeks before contacting my office. Upon approval of the claim, she was told that her payment had been issued. However, she informed my office that no benefits had been awarded to her account. Our office submitted an inquiry to FLDEO on her behalf, and shortly after she notified us that her benefits had been issued.
Constituent services is a critical element of our congressional office. The federal government is a massive operation, and my office is available if you ever need assistance in navigating the bureaucracy or cutting through red tape. We are here to serve you.
Have you returned to work as Florida continues to safely re-open?
Results of last week’s survey which asked… “Do you agree with the call to “defund” police departments?” Yes – 6%, No – 91%, Unsure – 2%
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
~Let’s Help One Another~
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