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Guest Commentary: Important issues come before Legislature

January 23, 2012
By State Sen. LIZBETH BENACQUISTO , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Tuesday, January 10 marked the start of the 2012 Legislative Session. This is the 114th regular Session since Florida's Statehood in 1845. The Florida Senate and House of Representatives convene for 60 days to determine and debate issues important to the people in our state.

This year, the Legislature has two constitutionally mandated duties; pass new district maps through the redistricting process, and pass a balanced budget. This year we face a shortfall of almost $2 billion, and plan to pass a budget that doesn't raise taxes or fees on the constituents of District 27.

Your participation in the legislative process is essential to the preservation of democracy. You can make a difference. I hope each of you to stay in touch with my office during this important time, either by email at benacquisto.lizbeth.web@flsenate.gov or by phone at 850-487-5356.

Eric Brody Claims Bill Passes Senate Overwhelmingly

One of my priorities for the 2012 Legislative Session was to pass SB 04, which is a claims bill that I have sponsored two years in a row.

This case involves a tragic automobile crash that occurred in 1998, due to the questionable negligence of a Broward County Sheriff's Deputy. The deputy was running late for work, and crashed into Eric Brody causing catastrophic brain injuries and was in a coma for six months. He has been totally disabled since, and has been dependent on state services.

In SB 04 we were able to help Eric Brody and the insurance company who ensured the Sheriff's office come to a settlement.

I am extremely proud to have been a part of helping bring justice to a family that has needed help for 14 years. I would like to thank Senate President Mike Haridopolos for his tireless leadership on this issue.

Spaceport Facilities Bill passes unanimously on Senate Floor

Florida's aerospace industry helps to build a knowledge-based economy that supports and creates high-value businesses and jobs right here in Florida. Keeping this priority in mind, I sponsored, and was successful in passing, SB634 through the Florida Senate.

With this bill, spaceport facilities are enabled to properly utilize infrastructure funds so that Space Florida may advance various critical projects.

The space industry is an important part of the future business climate in Florida and I am proud to have passed this bill on the very first day of the 2012 legislative session.

Throughout session I will continue to work to balance our budget without raising taxes, while also reducing regulatory burdens on small businesses and encouraging economic development.

Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto represents District 27 which includes Lehigh Acres.

 
 

 

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