Less than 48 hours after literally kicking his feet up in anticipated victory of securing millions in funding for his 8 budget requests; he walked away from the table with $0.
Fine (R-Palm Bay) was the sponsor of 21 bills this legislative session. Two of his bills were successful.
The first bill is the one that raises fines (taxes) by 50% for sewage spills on municipalities; increasing a $10,000 fine to $15,000, all of which goes to the State’s budget and none to the actual issue which caused the leak. We wrote about that bill here.
The second bill he was able to pass was HB 1213, which he originally filed to make the State’s anti-Semitism policy and Holocaust education mandatory teaching for grades K-12. The bill was later amended by another Representative to include the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots.
After that Randy suffered a series of failures, unable to get any of his other bills funded or to the finish line.
Fine highly publicized two bills specifically. HB 153, Indian River Lagoon State Matching Grant Program which was supposed to secure $50 million in state matching funds for Indian River Lagoon restoration projects. He was unable to secure the funding for this bill from the state, but as mentioned above still managed take money from the tax payers and give it to the state in the name of “fixing the lagoon.”
The second bill was HB 1371 which he labeled as “The Sophia Bill” in memory of the young girl who was killed on A1A after being struck by a vehicle in a flashing yellow crosswalk. The bill was supposed to change the flashing yellow lights to red or have the crosswalk completely removed. It made it through the house, but got no traction in the Senate and eventually failed.
HB 7 known as Legal Notices was filed and failed for the second year in a row. This bill was intended to remove the requirement of government agencies to advertise legal notifications in local newspapers. Last year announcing this bill, Fine along with Sheriff Wayne Ivey held a press conference promoting the bill. They highly criticized the local newspaper Florida Today which provides the service of legal notices to most of the government agencies in Brevard County.
HB 9143 was a funding request to secure about $180k for the demolition of a Palm Bay fire station. This bill raised eyebrows from others because Fine has been highly critical of the spending of Palm Bay’s leadership, yet filed a bill to give them more money to spend. The bill was not funded.
HB 9087 Circles of Care – Baker Act CSU Beds was a funding request to secure over $700k for the private organization Circles of Care, so that they could expand their bed capacity enabling them to take more Baker Acted patients. The organization has what may be considered a monopoly on such a service of which the Sheriff is on the Board of Directors as well as oversees the organization who has the authority to Baker Act citizens. Most of the funding request was for salaries. It also failed.
HB 9145 Palm Bay Septic to Sewer Facilitation Program was also another bill that was supposed to help the Indian River Lagoon to facilitate homeowners converting from polluting septic systems to sewer.
The remaining bills are listed below with the links to their descriptions. None of these were successful.
- HB 483 Sebastian Inlet Tax District, Indian River and Brevard Counties
- HB 489 Land Acquisition Trust Fund
- CS/HB 511 Insulation Products
- HB 961 Prescription Drug Benefits
- HB 2053 Brevard County Water Quality Improvements
- HB 2303 Junior Achievement Workforce Readiness Program Expansion
- HB 2359 Security Funding in Jewish Day Schools
- HB 2489 Brevard Zoo Aquarium
- HB 2635 Florida Holocaust Memorial at the Capitol
- HB 2893 Easterseals of Brevard and Collier Counties Life Skills & Employment Readiness Programs
- HB 4349 Focused Ultrasound Neuroscience Research Institute (FUNRI)
- CS/HB 7073 Public Postsecondary Commercial Sponsorships
- CS/HB 7087 Higher Education
Instead of listing the details as promised in his above Facebook post, he has switched to posting updates and information about the coronavirus, some of which seems to be inaccurate as noted in the comments of the posts.
This legislative session which was extended into the weekend to make these deals turned out to be by far the worst for representative Fine in his tenure, but more importantly the worst for his constituents.
In summary he increased taxes on his constituents through fines, without securing a single dollar in funding for any project, while also increasing education requirements.