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State Rep. Daisy Morales Meets with Lawmakers During Puerto Rico Visit

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Rep. Morales meets with Puerto Rico's Senator Carmelo Javier Ríos ahead of Florida's 2022 Legislative Session. Photo courtesy of State Representative Daisy Morales (Facebook).

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – State Representative Daisy Morales visited Puerto Rico this week in an effort to learn firsthand what the needs of the Puerto Rican people are.

Rep. Morales told Florida National News this two-week visit is intended to strengthen the alliance between the Puerto Rican government and Florida’s government, as well as communicate the people’s needs to their family members here on the mainland, inspiring them to use their right to vote.

Rep. Morales met with Puerto Rican lawmakers to learn what policies are important to them so that she can bring those ideas back to Florida and garner state and federal support for them. She spoke with Puerto Rican Senators Carmelo Javier Rios and Jose Luis Dalmau Santiago, along with their colleagues.

State Representative Daisy Morales meets with Senator Carmelo Javier Rios and his colleagues in Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy of Senator Carmelo Javier Rios (Facebook).

State Representative Daisy Morales meets with Senator Carmelo Javier Rios and his colleagues in Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy of Senator Carmelo Javier Rios (Facebook).

Rep. Morales meets with Puerto Rico's Senator Jose Luis Dalmau Santiago ahead of Florida's 2022 Legislative Session. Photo courtesy of State Representative Daisy Morales (Facebook).

Rep. Morales meets with Puerto Rico’s Senator Jose Luis Dalmau Santiago ahead of Florida’s 2022 Legislative Session. Photo courtesy of State Representative Daisy Morales (Facebook).

Photo courtesy of State Representative Daisy Morales (Facebook).

Photo courtesy of State Representative Daisy Morales (Facebook).

State Representative Daisy Morales poses for a photo in Puerto Rico's Capitol. Photo courtesy of State Representative Daisy Morales (Facebook).

State Representative Daisy Morales poses for a photo in Puerto Rico’s Capitol. Photo courtesy of State Representative Daisy Morales (Facebook).

 

After being elected November 2020 as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, Rep. Morales became the highest ranking Puerto Rican woman elected official in Florida, representing Florida House District 48 in Orange County.

Orange County ranks second nationally with an estimated 209,151 Puerto Ricans, behind The Bronx, which has 268,556 residents of Puerto Rican origin in 2018, according to the census. “Within Orange County, District 48 has a large Puerto Rican population, so it’s important to strengthen my office’s relationship with the governing bodies in Puerto Rico, its businesses, organizations and families,” Rep. Morales told Florida National News during a phone interview.

Rep. Morales took action when the influx first began in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She travelled to Tallahassee to push for disaster relief from then governor Rick Scott’s administration.

Since Hurricane Maria, more than 400,000 people have relocated to Florida, many who have family members back home in Puerto Rico who need assistance.

Rep Morales shared that Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) Regional Office is located in District 48. “I’ve worked closely with the Regional Director Anthony Carrillo to create a resource pipeline between Central Florida and Puerto Rico.”

 

Deeply Rooted in Puerto Rico

Rep. Morales has deep roots in Puerto Rico. Though she was born in the Bronx, Rep. Morales’s parents took her back to the island when she was a child and raised her there. She also attended college on the island, receiving an associates degree. Much of her family lives there.

One of Puerto Rico’s most recent shining moments came during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with Jasmin Camacho-Quinn making history as Puerto Rico’s first-ever gold medalist in athletics after winning the women’s 100-meter hurdles finals. Even a week after the Olympics are over, Puerto Ricans continue to celebrate, and eagerly await her arrival. “I felt such a sense of pride when she won,” said Rep. Morales. “She’s a great example of perseverance, especially after her heartbreak in Rio. She’s a true comeback kid.

“What makes it so surreal is that she chose to train for the Tokyo Olympics here in the Orlando area,” Rep. Morales added.

 

Puerto Rico: The Aftermath

Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the entire island of Puerto Rico over three years ago. Unfortunately, the hurricanes’ effects were worsened with the earthquakes that followed, which caused even greater damage to the island’s land and energy infrastructure. Now the island is also battling the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put a huge strain on its health care system. This week, Rep. Morales got to witness those struggles with her own eyes.

After Hurricane Maria, Congress had allocated approximately $42.5 billion in federal funds for the island´s recovery. Three years later, much of the funds have been delayed, including Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) that were made available.

Three Congressional members represent parts of Rep. Morales’ district: U.S. Representatives Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy, and Darren Soto.

“Our fellow American citizens need help, and I’m here to help amplify their voice in any way I can,” Rep. Morales told Florida National News. “I’ll continue fighting for all Puerto Ricans on the island and the constituents who now call Central Florida home.”

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

Politics

Governor DeSantis vetoed Housing for Legally Verified Agricultural Workers

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Today, Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed CS/SB 1082 Housing for Legally Verified Agricultural Workers.

Florida’s agriculture industry was hoping a newly passed bill that would limit local regulations on farmworker housing will bolster efforts to bring in more non-immigrant foreign workers.

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State Attorney Andrew Warren Announces New Wave of Endorsements from Esteemed Legislators and Elected Leaders

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Tampa, FL – State Attorney Andrew Warren’s re-election campaign is proud to announce another significant round of endorsements from distinguished current and former legislators and elected leaders. This new wave of support highlights the broad and diverse coalition rallying behind Andrew Warren’s leadership and vision to make Hillsborough County safer, fight for victims, and improve the criminal justice system.

Among those endorsing State Attorney Warren are:

  • Hon. Betty Castor, Former Florida Commissioner of Education and State Senator

  • Hon. Pat Frank, Former State Senator and Hillsborough Clerk of Courts

  • Hon. Les Miller, Former State Senator and Hillsborough County Commissioner

  • Hon. E.J. Salcines, Former State Attorney and Judge of the Second District Court of Appeal

  • Hon. Rod Smith, Former State Attorney and State Senator

  • Rep. Dianne Hart, Florida House of Representatives

  • Rep. Susan Valdes, Florida House of Representatives

  • Hon. Ben Diamond, Former State Representative

  • Hon. Adam Hattersley, Former State Representative

  • Hon. Ed Narain, Former State Representative

  • Hon. Sean Shaw, Former State Representative and Insurance Consumer Advocate

Reflecting on his achievements and the collaborative efforts that have driven his office’s success, Warren stated, “I’m incredibly honored to have the support of so many distinguished public servants. They know I’ll reverse the alarming increase in crime over the past two years and make Hillsborough safer—just as I did before.”

During Warren’s time in office, crime dropped 32%, making Hillsborough the safest large county in Florida. Under Warren’s leadership, the State Attorney’s Office launched several groundbreaking initiatives that made our neighborhoods safer and protected victims, including:

  • Disarming Domestic Abusers, in which the State Attorney’s Office aggressively prosecuted domestic abusers to take guns from them and protect survivors of domestic violence.

  • The Victims’ Rights Amendment, a constitutional amendment that Warren championed and ultimately was passed by voters across Florida to protect the rights of crime victims.

  • The Conviction Review Unit, which exonerated an innocent man wrongfully incarcerated for 37 years and charged the actual perpetrators who had committed a spree of murders in the 1980s.

This announcement follows a haul of more than $210,000 raised during his first 45 days on the campaign trail and the endorsements received from Tampa Bay regional political leaders.

First elected in 2016 by defeating a 16-year incumbent, State Attorney Warren is seeking re-election to a third term as State Attorney for Hillsborough County, Florida. Warren, a Democrat, points to his proven record of reduced crime, increased public safety, and improvements to the justice system. Warren is a former federal prosecutor and a champion of effective criminal justice policy, focused on balancing punishment, accountability, prevention, and rehabilitation to maximize public safety.

For more information about the campaign, please visit AndrewWarrenFL.com

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Endorses Gayle Harrell for Senate District 31

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STUART – Governor Ron DeSantis today endorsed Gayle Harrell for Senate District 31. Harrell currently represents the Treasure Coast district, which includes Martin County and parts of Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties.
“Governor Ron DeSantis has admirably led our great state through a global pandemic, devastating storms and Joe Biden’s disastrous economy. I am proud of the work we have done together to keep Florida free, and honored to have our great Governor’s endorsement,” said Harrell.”

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