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January 2021 ~ Martin County Meetings

19 July MC Commissioners logo

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENT
January 28, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF MARTIN COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
January 27, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Location: Port Salerno Civic Center, 4950 Anchor Avenue, Stuart

CODE ENFORCEMENT MAGISTRATE
January 20, 2021 at 9:00 am
Location: Commission Chambers
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
January 25, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LICENSING BOARD
January 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

COUNTY HEALTH CARE REVIEW BOARD
January 20, 2021 at 11:00 am
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
January 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

LOCAL MITIGATION STRATEGY
January 20, 2021 at 2:30 PM
Location: Fire Administration Building, 800 SE Monterey Road, 2nd floor, Stuart
Martin County's unified Local Mitigation Strategy provides the tools for the County, its municipalities, non-governmental agencies and residents to continue in ongoing efforts to reduce vulnerabilities to disasters. The LMS also provides for mitigation priorities and eligibility for mitigation funding when it becomes available.

LOCAL PLANNING AGENCY
January 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION POLICY BOARD
January 25, 2021 at 9:00 am
Location: Commission Chambers
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

PARKS AND RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD
January 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Location: Indian Riverside Park, second floor of the Frances Langford Dockside Pavilion, 1707 NE Indian River Drive, Jensen Beach

PUBLIC ART ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Community Development Agency sits as the Public Art Advisory Committee.
January 25, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

RIO NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
January 28, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Location: Vince Bocchino Community Center, 2369 NE Dixie Highway, Jensen Beach

All Board of County Commission Offices and Libraries will be closed on Friday, January 1 in observance of the New Year's Day holiday and again on Monday, January 18 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.

Rubio to President-Elect Biden: Let's Pass $2,000 Stimulus for Hard-Working Americans Without Delay

Mar Rubio

Miami — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to President-Elect Joseph Biden, Jr. urging him to support stand-alone legislation to increase the direct economic impact payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic from $600 to $2,000, without delay and without getting tied up with other legislative issues.

“It would send a powerful message to the American people if, on the first day of your presidency, you called on the House and Senate to send you legislation to increase the direct economic impact payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic from $600 to $2,000,” Rubio wrote. “Although I share many of my colleagues’ concerns about the long-term effects of this additional spending, we simply cannot ignore the fact that millions of working class families across the nation are still in desperate need of relief. At a time when they need it most, we must recognize the positive message it would send to the American people and the entire world if Republicans and Democrats came together on January 20, 2021 to put the American people first.”

Dear President-Elect Biden:

Last Wednesday was one of the darkest days in our history. All across our nation, people are looking for answers and demanding accountability, but they are also desperate for hope: hope that political leaders in Washington can begin taking steps to heal our deeply divided nation.

It would send a powerful message to the American people if, on the first day of your presidency, you called on the House and Senate to send you legislation to increase the direct economic impact payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic from $600 to $2,000.

Millions of working class families are in dire need of additional relief, which is why I supported this effort last month. Unfortunately, the Senate was not able to consider the House-passed bill.

Although I share many of my colleagues’ concerns about the long-term effects of this additional spending, we simply cannot ignore the fact that millions of working class families across the nation are still in desperate need of relief. At a time when they need it most, we must recognize the positive message it would send to the American people and the entire world if Republicans and Democrats came together on January 20, 2021 to put the American people first.

All too often, popular and necessary legislation is used as leverage to secure passage for policies that cannot pass on their own merit. We have already seen it in the midst of the pandemic when additional funding for small businesses was blocked repeatedly for months on end. Please do not allow direct payments to the American people to get caught up in the normal political games by adding a wish list of far left or other unrelated priorities to this legislation.

Although I will disagree with your administration frequently over the next four years, I am committed to working in good faith to advance critically important and effective policies on behalf of the people of this great nation. True recovery — economically, politically, culturally, and spiritually — will take time, and it will require creativity that spans beyond the typical partisan divides in Washington. We do not need partisan stunts, more show votes, or cynical ploys.

You have the ability to help break the paralysis in Washington by delivering desperately needed relief. I implore you to rise above the rhetoric and deliver an increase in assistance for American families.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

CHAIRMAN RUBIO STATEMENT ON THE REOPENING OF THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

Mar Rubio

Miami — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released the following statement after the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Chairman Rubio was the leading author of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act, which provided $284 billion for a second round of PPP, made programmatic improvements, and prioritized assistance to the hardest-hit small businesses and underserved communities. The portal for lenders to submit PPP loan applications will reopen for community financial institutions to make First Draw PPP loans on Monday, January 11th and Second Draw PPP loans on Wednesday, January 13th. The portal will be open for all participating lenders shortly thereafter.

Chairman Rubio is the co-author of the historic Paycheck Protection Program and has led the authorization of nearly $1 trillion in small business relief, including over $800 billion for PPP during the coronavirus pandemic. The first round of assistance aided 5.2 million small businesses and saved up to 51 million jobs.

In the first round of PPP, Chairman Rubio worked with the administration to set aside $60 billion in funding and a period of time for community financial institutions to process loans. During negotiations, Chairman Rubio worked to ensure additional set-asides are in place for the smallest of borrowers and underserved businesses so they can have ample access to the program.

“Help is finally here for American small businesses,” Chairman Rubio said. “The hardest-hit businesses can now receive a second round of PPP, which will cover an expanded list of expenses and provide greater support to weather the second — and, hopefully, the last — wave of the pandemic.

“PPP has saved countless small businesses from closing their doors and saved tens of millions of jobs in the first round,” Chairman Rubio continued. “I am proud of the improvements we made to the program to ensure PPP can help businesses, including increased assistance to restaurants and the hospitality industry. I appreciate the around-the-clock work of the Treasury Department and the SBA to update the rules of the road and prioritize borrowers in underserved communities.”

The Second Draw PPP loans and PPP improvements include:

• Defines eligibility for the PPP second draw as small businesses that have no more than 300 employees and demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross revenues between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
• Allows restaurants, hotels, and other businesses in related services to calculate a higher PPP forgivable loan amount in order to aid industries that have been severely impacted by state and local restrictions.
• Expands PPP eligibility for certain 501(c)(6) nonprofits and Destination Marketing Organizations with 300 or fewer employees that do not receive more than 15 percent of their revenue from lobbying.
• Affirms the eligibility of churches and religious organizations and prohibits a future administration from making them ineligible.
• Expands PPP allowable and forgivable expenses to include supplier costs on existing contracts and purchase orders, including the cost for perishable goods at any time, costs relating to worker protective equipment and adaptive costs, and technology operations expenditures.

“We Can’t Destroy Ourselves”

Rubio Praises Trump Adminstration Crackdown on Chinese Apps

Washington — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement after the Trump Administration signed an Executive Order banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office.

“I welcome President Trump’s action to protect American users and U.S. national security by banning transactions with dangerous Chinese-owned software applications,” Rubio said. “Going forward, it is clear that we must establish a framework of standards that must be met before a high-risk, foreign-based app is allowed to operate on American telecommunications networks and devices. Congress should move swiftly and build upon the President’s action by passing my APP Act, which would adopt a more expansive approach to protecting Americans’ user data and our security.”

President Trump’s Executive Order continues a series of aggressive steps advocated by Rubio to protect Americans families and our national security from the Chinese Communist Party.

Rubio was among the first lawmakers to warn of the danger posed by Chinese applications like TikTok. In October 2019, he requested that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) launch a full review of the national security implications of TikTok’s acquisition of Musical.ly.

In September 2020, Rubio highlighted the threat posed by Tencent QQ and urged the Administration to take action.

A month later, Rubio introduced the Adversarial Platform Prevention (APP) Act, legislation that would establish a set of data protection and censorship related standards and restrictions that must be met by high-risk foreign software, like Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat, in order to legally operate in the United States.

The APP Act comes after Rubio announced in an op-ed that he would introduce legislation and called on policy makers to “adopt a more expansive approach to protecting data and our national security.” The bill would require a warning label, annual public disclosures, localization requirements for U.S. data, and would remove Section 230 protections for covered high-risk foreign software. A one-pager of the legislation is available here and the text is available here.

Rubio Delivers Floor Speech on Certification of the Electoral College Votes

Rubio Statement on NYSE, Delisting of Chinese Telecom Companies

Washington — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement after the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — in a complete reversal of an earlier announcement due to misguided, erroneous guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department — made clear that the exchange will move forward with its plan to delist China’s large telecom carriers: China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom Corp., and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. The delisting action comes after the President issued an Executive Order to prohibit U.S. investments in firms that are on the U.S. Department of Defense lists of Communist Chinese military companies.

“It is outrageous that those in the U.S. Treasury Department attempted to undermine the President’s Executive Order in a blatant attempt to serve the interests of Wall Street and the Chinese Communist Party at the expense of the United States,” Rubio said. “After an intense pressure campaign from those of us who believe we should prioritize the interests of American workers and mom and pop investors above Beijing and Wall Street, I am pleased that the NYSE decided to reverse their earlier announcement and take the correct action: delisting China’s telecom companies. I hope that this embarrassing incident makes clear that there is a strong, bipartisan consensus that the United States will not allow China’s exploitation of U.S. capital markets, or Wall Street’s role as facilitator, to continue unimpeded.”

The President’s Executive Order closely resembles legislation that Rubio introduced last October. Specifically, Rubio’s American Financial Markets Integrity and Security Act would prohibit malign Chinese companies — including the parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or a controlling entity — that are listed on the U.S. Department of Commerce Entity List or the U.S. Department of Defense lists of Communist Chinese military companies from accessing U.S. capital markets. A one-pager of the legislation is available here.

Rubio, Gillibrand, Congressman Smith Bill to Strengthen State Dept’s Role in Combating Anti-semitism Heads to POTUS’ Desk for Signature

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed the House passage of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019 (S.238, H.R. 221), a bipartisan and bicameral bill that would enhance the State Department’s role in combating and monitoring anti-Semitism around the world. The bill now heads to the President's desk for signature into law.

Senators Rubio and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) were joined by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in introducing the bill. U.S. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced the companion bill in the House of Representatives.

“Following the Senate’s passage of this much-needed legislation, I applaud the House for passing this bipartisan and bicameral bill,” Rubio said. “Through this effort, Congress is ensuring that the U.S. Department of State has the ability to lead in combating anti-semitism in all of its dangerous forms. We must remain committed to fighting anti-Semitism both at home and abroad.”

Elevate the position of special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism to the rank of ambassador;

Direct the special envoy to report directly to the secretary of state;

Prohibit the special envoy from being double-hatted with another portfolio of issues;

Emphasize that the special envoy should be a person of recognized distinction in the field of combating anti-Semitism or religious freedom; and

Clarify that the special envoy shall be the primary advisor and coordinator for U.S. government efforts to monitor and combat anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in foreign countries.

The Truth About China's COVID-19 Coverup

At Mast’s Urging, Congress Delivers Historic Funding For Everglades Restoration

20 Nov Brian Mast Logo
21 Jan Brian Mast Photo Update

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the FY2021 budget, which includes $250 million in funding for Everglades restoration:

“This is a historic vote for Everglades restoration and stopping harmful discharges,” Rep. Mast said. “This record-setting funding is exactly what we need to accelerate restoration projects and send more water south where Mother Nature intended it to go!”

In 2019, Rep. Mast convinced the White House and Congress to pass an appropriations package with $200 million in funding for Everglades restoration. Earlier this year, Rep. Mast sent a letter to President Trump urging his Administration to request $250 million for Everglades funding in his budget. This year’s budget, which includes the additional $50 million, builds on Rep. Mast’s track record of success and brings the total to a record-setting $250 million. A full timeline of Rep. Mast’s efforts to secure Everglades funding during the 116th Congress is available here.

This appropriations bill has also passed the Senate and is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump in the coming days

Martin County Board Takes Stand Against Tobacco use by Youth

19 July MC Commissioners logo

Stuart- At this week's meeting, the Board unanimously approved an ordinance making it more difficult for youth in Martin County to purchase tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivery devices by bringing local law into compliance with the federal purchase age of 21. The ordinance also establishes a tobacco distribution license for retailers and associated fines and penalties for establishments that sell tobacco products to anyone under 21 years of age.

A portion of the fees will support future tobacco prevention programs in the county. "This is a win-win for youth in our community," said Board Chair Stacey Hetherington. "Making it more difficult to purchase tobacco products combined with education about the dangers of tobacco sets up our youth for success," she continued.

According to recent statistics provided by the Florida Department of Health in Martin County, the percentage of youth ages 11 -17 who currently use cigarettes has declined from 4.4% in 2014 to 1.4% in 2020. However, the number of youth who currently use electronic vaping has increased from 6.4% in 2014 to 16.3% in 2020. In addition, the percentage of youth exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke has increased from 34.9% in 2014 to 49.9% in 2020.

Board Chair Stacey Hetherington said, "We cannot stand aside and allow our youth to suffer the harmful effects and lasting impacts of tobacco use. I'm proud that our actions will create a way to financially assist with tobacco use prevention programs to reduce the number of youth who use tobacco products."

To read the ordinance in its entirety, visit www.martin.fl.us/resources/draft-revised-tobacco-21-ordinance. Residents are encouraged to visit www.martin.fl.us, Martin County's online resource for services, news and information, and connect with us on social media. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

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