Florida Democrats Today

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Voting Rights Settlement Proves Republicans Can’t Block Student Access to The Ballot Box

Tallahassee, Fla. — The voting rights settlement announced today will ensure early voting on college campuses in Florida and is a win for young people and all Floridians. The Miami Herald reported that in 2018, of the almost 60,000 people who voted at one of 12 on-campus polling places in Florida, over half were under the age of 30.

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, released the following statement:

Today’s settlement is a victory for college students and young Floridians. This knocks down a Republican roadblock to young people voting. Young voters came out in droves in 2018 and we expect to see even higher turnout this November — to kick Donald Trump, and his friends in the Florida legislature, out of office!


Florida Democratic Party Chair Rizzo Statement on Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day: ‘We Must Fight Any Attempts to Chip Away at Medicaid’

February 11 is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day in Florida, where advocates and families educate lawmakers about the needs of the developmentally disabled and the importance of services for the community. Coming on the heels of the Trump 2021 budget released yesterday which cuts Medicaid funding, the day has even more importance.

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, praised the work of the Florida Democratic Party’s Disabilities Caucus and urged advocates to rally for the rights of the developmentally disabled and for a fully-funded Medicaid iBudget waiver program that is so important to ensuring that the disabled can live independently:

For so many developmentally disabled in the Sunshine State, the Medicaid iBudget waiver program ensures they can live their lives in their own homes, go to work, and be with their families. We must fight any attempts to chip away at Medicaid, and stand against cruel attempts to create cuts or caps in services for the developmentally disabled.


E-Verify Would Be a Financial Disaster for Florida’s Businesses

Business leaders concerned about negative impact on Florida’s economy

Tallahassee, FL. — As the Republican-controlled Legislature considers implementing a mandatory E-Verify system for private businesses, a broad coalition of business leaders, advocates, and elected officials announced their opposition to the anti-business bill that would hurt thousands of Florida’s small businesses. E-Verify would force employers to use an inaccurate employment eligibility system already proven ineffective on the federal level. This would impose a financial burden, particularly on small businesses at a cost that would later be passed on to consumers. 

recent study from FWD.us reported that, if passed, E-Verify could cost Florida 253,500 jobs, a loss of $10.7 billion in earnings and $1.25 billion in state and local revenue.  

Terrie Rizzo, Florida Democratic Party Chair:

E-Verify attacks our economy and imposes an unnecessary burden on thousands of Florida businesses. Once again, Republicans are demonstrating that their allegiance to Trump and DeSantis is more important than doing the right thing for Florida’s business owners and workers. E-Verify is a way for the GOP to score political points with the President at the expense of the small businesses that drive our economy.

Mario Cartaya, business owner: 

As a business owner, I am very worried about the devastation this legislation can do to businesses like mine. Florida’s economy is driven by thousands of local businesses and passing this bill would adversely affect Florida’s economy. Instead of harming business owners, legislators should take actions to ensure that business owners and workers can flourish and make our economy stronger.

Cramer Verde, Interim President of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida:

It is a shame that Republican legislators are trying to force small businesses to acquire a system that has proven it won’t fix the problems our state is facing. In a state like Florida, Hispanics and immigrants are the employees and business owners who drive our economy. Under E-Verify’s faulty technology, Florida’s Latino business community is 13 times more likely to receive a false disqualification under E-Verify. This alone will be disastrous to our economy, but it’s doubly bad in that the businesses and employees are saddled with weeks of red tape to correct the error generated by the faulty system.

In the news:

Paul Di Mare: E-Verify would make business indebted to government: “The federal E-Verify system has proven to be cumbersome, inefficient, ineffective and, worst of all, inaccurate. Potential employees who are wrongly denied federal approval to work must spend weeks unwinding layers of bureaucratic red tape to prove they are work-authorized.” [Orlando Sentinel, 1/31/20]

Mike Fernandez: E-Verify wouldn’t work and would burden Florida’s employers: “If employers are forced to rely on this error-ridden federal system, 1,173,360 legal Florida workers could face job delays or lose their jobs. Moreover, foreign-born legal workers — including naturalized U.S. citizens — are over 13 times likelier to receive a false disqualification under E-Verify, and E-Verify is notoriously ineffective at stopping unauthorized employment.” [Tampa Bay Times, 2/10/20]

An Open Letter from Florida Business Leaders: “Florida businesses and our economy rely on the hard work, entrepreneurship, and optimism of our immigrant communities. Immigrants are vital to Florida, representing over 25 percent of our workforce. Immigrant business owners employ over 500,000 fellow Floridians, and immigrants in Florida spend over $83 billion annually. The innovative spirit of immigrants keeps our Florida moving forward.” 

APPENDIX: E-Verify’s Impact by the Numbers

If E-Verify is implemented:

  • Florida would lose $1.25 billion in state and local tax revenue. 
  • 140,000 workers lost, and a net loss of 253,500 jobs in Florida. 
  • $10.66 billion would be lost in earnings. 
  • Hospitality and construction businesses will be heavily impacted.
  • Accommodation and food service would see 79,000 positions lost.
  • Construction could see 54,500 jobs lost.

Source: Mandatory E-Verify in Florida Would Harm Businesses and Cost the State Billions.[FWD.us, 2/11/20]


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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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