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Governor Ron DeSantis Announces New Monoclonal Antibody Site in Osceola County

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FILE - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis answers questions during a press conference alongside Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody in downtown Orlando, Florida on August 26, 2021. File photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was in St. Cloud to announce that Florida will open a new monoclonal antibody treatment site in Osceola County at St. Cloud Community Center. Additionally, the Governor was joined by Floridians who have recovered thanks to monoclonal therapies.

Florida now has 23 state-run monoclonal antibody treatment sites.

The Osceola County site is located at:

St. Cloud Community Center
3101 17th Street
St. Cloud, Florida 34769
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Hear directly from monoclonal antibody recipients about their experience with the therapy…

Paola Roman, who has a home in St. Cloud with her husband David, said, “I believe my first symptoms were on a Thursday, and I remember getting in the car and saying a quick prayer. I had a week where it was extremely difficult to even just get up and shower, brush my teeth. Walking from the bedroom to get a water refill, my legs were like spaghetti. I want to say thank you because it was extremely helpful to be able to drive over to Orlando and to get the treatment.

 

David Roman, Paola’s husband who is an architect, designer and former pastor, said, “When my wife came home sick I knew that there were options and resources, so I started to read as much as I could on what could be done. I saw an advertisement from the state on this treatment, and I saw that there was one within driving distance from our home here in St. Cloud. After waves of nausea and temperatures spikes, I got the Regeneron treatment. 3 days later I was back up and I felt like myself again, and I just want to say thank you so much.”

 

Chrissy Malukiewicz, who found out about the treatment from her brother-in-law who works in law enforcement, said, “I tested positive for COVID in August, two weeks prior to that, my brother and his wife, who reside in citrus county, had tested positive for COVID. The moment that I told them that I tested positive, they encouraged me to go get the antibody treatment. I fell asleep still experiencing symptoms, but the next morning my fever had broken, no more chills, no more body aches, and I only had a dull headache. I thoroughly believe that these antibodies are here to help us, and I am so incredibly grateful and thankful that our state has these available to us.”

 

Dennis Sharp, an Osceola County resident with a suppressed immune system, said, “I have been being treated for cancer at MD Anderson in Houston. I tested positive for COVID in August, and they advised me that I needed to get the monoclonal treatment. A few days later I got the treatment. My symptoms leveled out, and I made it through within the 10-day quarantine.

“My mother in her seventies ended up with COVID as well. I made her and her husband aware of this treatment, and they were able to visit one of the state sites and get treated. Her husband has not tested positive and her symptoms went away. I got the treatment and was able to promote it to family members, and I’ll continue to promote it to family, friends, employees, because I really believe it helps to keep people from having long hospital stays.”

 

Bill Sturgeon, St. Cloud City Manager whose daughter contracted COVID, said, “My daughter was diagnosed with COVID, had difficulty breathing, and drove herself to the hospital. I knew she was in serious situation and ensured she received the monoclonal antibodies. It was an easy decision for me to help set up this site in Osceola County, and I attribute the treatment to saving her life.”

 

Previously opened State of Florida monoclonal antibody sites are located at:

Alachua County
Fellowship Church
16916 Northwest U.S. Highway 441
High Springs, Florida 32643
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Bay County
Bay County Fairgrounds
2230 East 15th Street
Panama City, Florida 32405
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Brevard County
Kiwanis Island Park
951 Kiwanis Island Park Road
Merritt Island, Florida 32952
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Broward County
C.B. Smith Park
900 North Flamingo Road
Pembroke Pines, Florida 33028
Hours: 7 days a week; 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Charlotte County
Tringali Community Center
3460 North Access Road
Englewood, Florida 34224
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Collier County
Old Dollar General
1500 Lake Trafford Road
Immokalee, Florida 34142
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Duval County
Jacksonville Public Library
304 North Main Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Escambia County
Bayview Community Center
2001 East Lloyd Street
Pensacola, Florida 32503
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hillsborough County
Kings Forest Park
8008 East Chelsea Street
Tampa, Florida 33610
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Lee County
Old Bonita Springs Library
26876 Pine Avenue
Bonita Springs, Florida 34135
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Leon County
Vacant Sears
1500 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Manatee County
Manatee Memorial Hospital Complex
206 2nd Street East
Bradenton, Florida 34208
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Miami-Dade County
Tropical Park
7900 Southwest 40 Street
Miami, Florida 33155
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Okaloosa County
Northwest Florida Fairgrounds
1958 Lewis Turner Boulevard
Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Orange County
Camping World Stadium
1 Citrus Bowl Place
Orlando, Florida 32805
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Palm Beach County
West Gate Park
3691 Oswego Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Pasco County
Fasano Center
11611 Denton Avenue
Hudson, Florida 34667
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m.

Pinellas County
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
409 South Old Coachman Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Polk County
Church at the Mall
1010 East Memorial Boulevard
Lakeland, Florida 33801
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

St. Lucie County
Havert L. Fenn Center
2000 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, Florida 34982
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sumter County
Barnstorm Theater
2720 Brownwood Boulevard
The Villages, Florida 32163
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Volusia County
Ormond Beach Senior Center
351 Andrews Street
Ormond Beach, Florida 32174
Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

To find locations to receive monoclonal antibody treatments around the entire state, please visit floridahealthcovid19.gov.

Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Proposed Legislation on Teacher’s Bill of Rights

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced an unprecedented legislative proposal to create a Teacher’s Bill of Rights that empowers educators to be leaders in their classrooms, enact paycheck protection, reduce terms for school board members from twelve to eight years, and invest another $1 billion in teacher pay. For more information, click here.
“This is a huge package to increase teacher pay, support teacher empowerment and protect teachers’ paychecks by ensuring they have control over their hard-earned salary,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We want more transparency into how school unions operate, and we are going to fight against school union haggling that holds teachers and their salary increases hostage. Partisan groups should not be given special privileges.”
“From day one, Governor Ron DeSantis has made it his mission to raise teacher pay and elevate educators in the classroom — and he has succeeded,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “Today’s announcement goes another step further to provide historic funding for teachers’ salaries and ensure they have control over their classrooms and paychecks.”
Paycheck Protection
The Governor’s proposal will create more accountability and transparency for public sector unions, including K-12 teacher unions and higher education unions. This proposal will require school unions to represent at least 60% of employees eligible for representation, an increase over the current 50% threshold, and allow state investigations into unions suspected of fraud, waste and abuse. Additionally, the proposal will require annual audits and financial disclosures for unions.
To further ensure that school boards are acting in the best interests of Florida’s teachers and students, this proposal reduces term limits for school board members from 12 years to 8 years and seeks to make school board elections a partisan election. A joint resolution for the 2023 Legislative Session has already been filed by Senator Gruters and Representative Roach to begin this process.
Other paycheck protections that would be enacted under this proposal include:
  • Prohibit any union representing public employees from having its dues and assessments deducted by the public employee’s employer.
  • Require employees to submit a form acknowledging that Florida is a right to work state and union participation is optional.
  • Require school unions to annually notify members of the cost of membership.
  • Prohibit the distribution of union materials at the workplace.
  • Union officials cannot be paid more than the highest paid union member.
  • Prohibit union work while on the clock for their taxpayer funded job.
  • Prohibit school board members and superintendents from accepting a personal or work-related benefit such as a secret “office account” from a school union.
Teacher Empowerment
Since the Governor took office, education has been at the forefront of policy making decisions. Florida law currently contains comprehensive legislation related to students’ rights and parents’ rights in education but does not have a clear compilation of teachers’ rights and authorities. This proposal will establish teacher empowerment provisions in law and will include these main provisions:
  • Establish a new process for individuals to notify the state of a violation of teachers’ rights and ensure that the Department of Education can investigate those claims.
  • Empower teachers to maintain safe classroom environments by creating a “stand your ground” classroom safety policy to protect teachers who are often judged unfairly for maintaining order and safety in their classrooms.
  • Clarify that teachers have the choice to join their local teachers union and will not face any repercussions if they opt not to join.
  • Providing civil remedies for teachers who are asked to violate Florida law and punished by their employers for standing up for what is right.
Raising Teacher Pay
Since 2020, the Governor has secured more than $2 billion in funding for teacher pay, the largest pay increase for teachers in Florida history. This funding has allowed Florida to achieve an average starting teacher salary of $48,000 for the 2022-2023 school year, meeting and exceeding Florida’s goal of an average starting teacher salary of $47,500. The Governor is proposing an additional $200 million to continue raising teacher pay, bringing the total to $1 billion for teacher pay in his recommended budget for the next year.
This $200 million increase over the current year’s budget will be provided to school districts with maximum flexibility to best fit the school district’s needs. School districts will be able to apply the funding to continue raising starting teacher salaries or to provide salary increases for veteran teachers and other eligible instructional personnel.
No eligible full-time classroom teacher will receive a base salary less than the minimum base salary established during the 2022-2023 school year.

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Florida

Former State Representative Daisy Morales statement about the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California

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State Rep. Daisy Morales. Photo: Florida House of Representatives.

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 22, 2023) – Former State Representative Daisy Morales, the 2022 sponsor of the Active Shooter Alert System legislation (HB 1271), issued the following statement about the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California that left 10 dead and 10 wounded.

Former Florida State Representative Daisy Morales’ statement:

“I am horrified and deeply saddened to learn about the attack in Monterey Park following the 2023 Lunar New Year festival. I condemn this terrible and senseless act of violence against the Asian American community.

“America is becoming a country where human life doesn’t matter to some lawmakers over senseless gun violence. Lawmakers have a constitutional duty to build a safer future for all Americans and my Active Shooter Alert System legislation will do that.

“I look forward to working with state law enforcement officials, the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association and state lawmakers to reintroduce this lifesaving piece of legislation during the 2023 Legislative Session.”

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Florida high court OKs grand jury probe of COVID-19 vaccines

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FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks on Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas. Gov. DeSantis said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022 that he plans to petition the state's Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

TALLAHASSEE (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court will convene a grand jury at Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to investigate any wrongdoing with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines, the court announced Thursday.

The Republican governor, who is often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2024, earlier this month called for the investigation. He suggested it would be in part aimed to jog loose more information from pharmaceutical companies about the vaccines and potential side effects.

Vaccine studies funded by pharmaceutical companies that developed COVID-19 vaccines have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, and government panels reviewed data on the safety and effectiveness of the shots before approving them for use.

DeSantis’ request argues that pharmaceutical companies had a financial interest in creating a climate in which people believed that getting a coronavirus vaccine would ensure they couldn’t spread the virus to others.

Statewide grand juries, usually comprised of 18 people, can investigate criminal activity and issue indictments but also examine systemic problems in Florida and make recommendations. Recent panels have tackled immigration issues and school safety.

The grand jury will meet for one year.

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