Out2 News Government & Politics

Martin County Meetings ~ March 2021

19 July MC Commissioners logo

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 9 & 23, 2021 at 9:00 am
Location: Commission Chambers
These meetings will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
March 3, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES ADVISORY COMMITTEE
March 11, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENT
March 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF MARTIN COUNTY
March 10, 2021 at 8:30 am
Location: Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF MARTIN COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
March 24, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Location: Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

CODE ENFORCEMENT MAGISTRATE
March 17, 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 DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT CITIZEN ADVISORY TASK FORCE
March 4, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Location: Community Services Conference Room, 435 SE Flagler Avenue, Stuart

COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
March 22, 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
March 24, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

COUNTY HEALTH CARE REVIEW BOARD
March 17, 2021 at 11:00 am
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE AWARENESS COMMITTEE
March 10, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Location: Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

DRUG FREE YOUTH COALITION
March 11, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Location: Location: Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES ADVISORY COUNCIL
March 4, 2021 at 8:30 am
Location: Fire Rescue Administration at the Public Safety Complex, Conference Room 286, 800 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD
March 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

HOBE SOUND NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
March 10, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Location: Hobe Sound Community Center, 8980 SE Olympus Street, Hobe Sound

JENSEN BEACH NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
March 3, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Location: Jensen Beach Community Center, 1912 NE Jensen Beach Boulevard, Jensen Beach

LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
March 17, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Location: Peter & Julie Cummings Library, 2551 SW Matheson Avenue, Palm City

LOCAL COORDINATING BOARD FOR THE TRANSPORTATION DISADVANTAGED
March 1, 2021 at 10:00 am
Location: Commission Chambers

LOCAL PLANNING AGENCY
March 4 & 18, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers
These meetings 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
March 18, 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.
March 22, 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.

PUBLIC SAFETY COORDINATING COUNCIL
March 30, 2021 at 10:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

RIO NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
March 4, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Location: Vincent Bocchino Community Center, 2369 NE Dixie Highway, Jensen Beach

TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
March 10, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

This notice dated: February 24, 2021.

WEEKLY UPDATE

20 Oct Toby Overdopf Logo

Out of all the exciting things that happened this week, waking up to a rattlesnake in my backyard was certainly the most surprising!

On Sunday I had the opportunity to appear on "To The Point" and discuss with Michael Williams what we are working on in Tallahassee as we head into the 2021 Session.

I am committed to continuing to work with all Florida House members to advance Florida's citizens and businesses. The 2021 session will be remembered as a time of recovery from the pandemic.

21 Feb Toby Over

This week, on February 25, I stood in solidarity against Human Trafficking by supporting the End It Movement and Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking. Anyone can be trafficked regardless of gender, age, race, location or socioeconomic factors. Human Trafficking is an issue that I have fought long and hard against and will continue fighting against in the legislature as well as supporting organizations that are working tirelessly to put an end to it.

This day is an important reminder that we must be vigilant in our efforts today and everyday to combat this horrible violation of human rights.

I’m in it to END IT.

21 Feb Toby Over 2

As we continue making strides against COVID-19, I was Proud to stand with Governor Ron DeSantis in St. Lucie County as we opened a pop up vaccine site serving the Spanish Lakes community and Ft. Pierce. Florida has proven its resilience and strength during these difficult times and I am thankful for Governor DeSantis' leadership.

21 Feb Toby Over 3
21 Feb Toby Over 4

RUBIO STATEMENT ON BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CHANGES TO PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

Mar Rubio

Miami — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement following reports the Biden Administration will make numerous changes to the Paycheck Protection Program.

“The Paycheck Protection Program provided a critical lifeline to small businesses and their employees over the last 11 months,” Rubio said. “No other federal relief program has done more to help our smallest businesses, especially those in underserved and under-banked communities. I urge the Biden Administration to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress as it considers changes to this incredibly successful and overwhelmingly bipartisan program.”

Last year, as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Rubio co-authored the historic Paycheck Protection Program and 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. Former CBO Director Doug Holtz-Eakin called PPP “the single most effective fiscal policy ever undertaken by the United States Government.”

In a 2,900-word Medium piece, Rubio explains how the “Paycheck Protection Program was one of the most significant financial supports for minority-owned businesses ever created.”

Recognizing the challenges that remain due to past discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities, the U.S. government has for years funded programs, often at insufficient levels, like the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Fund, SBA Microloan, and SBA 7(a) Community Advantage programs, that are designed to promote access to capital for under-served communities. PPP leveraged these existing tools to expand their reach to an historic level. The capital lent by CDFIs and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) through PPP was more than the total amount of capital guaranteed by the government during the last decade through these programs combined.

The heroic work by CDFIs and other community and mission-based lenders appears to have paid off. To help measure these equity considerations, the SBA collected voluntary demographic information about recipients of PPP from loan applications. Though the response rate was lower than we would like, this survey provides the most solid information provided to date about the distribution of PPP loans. The fact is that the best data available indicate that minority-owned businesses received PPP loans at a higher rate than their share of business ownership in the economy would have otherwise indicated.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel Announces New Election Integrity Committee

21 Jan Republican Logo

Washington – Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the formation of the new Committee on Election Integrity dedicated to restoring election transparency and ensuring voters have confidence in future election processes.

“Election integrity is one of the most critical issues we face as a Party and as a country. What we saw this past election – states undoing important safeguards, bypassing the proper legislative processes, and changing election laws in the eleventh hour – was deeply troubling and brought chaos and uncertainty to our sacred democratic processes. As RNC Chair, I will not sit idly by and the Party will respond. The RNC will play a crucial role in restoring confidence in our elections, promoting election integrity, and recommending best practices to ensure that future elections are free, fair, and transparent.” – RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

This past cycle, the RNC ran its most comprehensive legal strategy to date, spending more than $30 million on election protection efforts in battleground states across the country. The Committee on Election Integrity represents a renewed focus on continuing this important work and fighting Democrats’ unprecedented attempts to change election laws. This committee will work closely with state parties and other stakeholders in our elections across the country on voting policies and best practices, such as ensuring poll watchers are allowed to properly observe counting processes, meaningful voter ID laws are codified, and all Americans have faith in our elections process.

The RNC Committee on Election Integrity will be chaired by Florida Republican Party Chairman Joe Gruters, with Ashley MacLeay, National Committeewoman from the District of Columbia, serving as Co-Chair. The full temporary RNC committee will consist of 12 men and 12 women, representing the RNC from 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Mast Calls On Army Corps To Seize Once-In-A-Decade Opportunity To Stop Discharges To St. Lucie

20 Apr 4 Brian Mast Logo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) is urging Colonel Andrew Kelly of the Army Corps of Engineers to eliminate regulatory discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie estuary as part of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). The modeling presented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District over the last several months proves definitively that it is possible to eliminate discharges in the operational band while also benefiting performance for water supply and the other Congressionally-authorized project purposes. The Army Corps is expected to tentatively choose the discharge schedule that will be used for the next decade by July 2021.

“I think it would be unconscionable if the Army Corps selected a final plan that does not eliminate regulatory discharges to the St. Lucie given that the Army Corps’ own modeling proves it is not only possible but actually beneficial to other Congressionally-authorized project purposes,” Rep. Mast wrote in the letter. “We have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to solve a debilitating public health crisis. The Army Corps must not settle for incremental progress but rather should take the bold action needed to protect Floridians and stop government-sanctioned poisoning.”

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 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.

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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