4.6 million children in the U.S. live in homes with unlocked guns. Guns are the 3d leading cause of death among children, and about 16 children are shot every day. There were 40,000 gun deaths in the U.S. last year; of the 40,000 gun deaths, ⅔ were suicides. Over 50% of teen suicides are committed with a gun from home. In Florida, on average, a gun is stolen every 26 minutes, and Florida is 3d in the nation for gun theft. Safe storage of guns saves lives. We need common-sense gun safety legislation to protect our children and reduce gun violence. This would include closing the gun-show loophole for universal background checks, limiting the ammunition sold, and prohibiting people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from having guns, and requiring abusers who are convicted or who are subject to final protection orders to relinquish guns when they become prohibited from having them.
District 93 thrives on the tourism that our beautiful beaches attract, but as sea-level rise erodes our beaches, red tides and pollution also threaten our hospitality and marine industries. We need a statewide plan to protect these industries as well as our clean water supply.
Whether or not we have children in our public schools, public education is at the heart of a healthy community and an important economic driver. Businesses want to locate and invest in areas where there is a well-trained workforce and quality schools are a factor in decisions about where to live and purchase a home. Each year more taxpayer dollars for public school education are being diverted into for-profit private Charter schools. Although funded with taxpayer dollars, these “public schools” are not subject to the same rules and oversight of non-profit public schools. We need to ensure that all schools are playing by the same rules so that the excess profits of a few do not drain the resources our public school teachers deserve, and the education our children need to compete in the global economy.
Florida has the third-largest uninsured population of any state, with over 2.7 million uninsured in 2018. The full implementation of Medicaid expansion is long overdue. Until our leaders in Tallahassee take action, Florida will continue to lose a huge pot of federal dollars that would pay for the healthcare for many of our friends and neighbors, not to mention the millions or more that Floridians would save each year with this preventive care. Over 400,000 Floridians would gain health coverage if our state adopted this common-sense option. That number is growing as people are joining the ranks of the unemployed and losing their employer-provided insurance. Many of these people will need medical care in the coming days and months, and Medicaid is uniquely suited to address a public health crisis like the current pandemic.