For the last few weeks, we have had to make major lifestyle changes that were completely unexpected, but we will get through these tough times. Simply taking the proper precautions that have been recommended by the Center for Disease Control can help protect not only you, but also those around you from contracting COVID-19. Social distancing, washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitizer and other disinfectants are a few important things that you can do to make a major difference.
I applaud Governor DeSantis for his response to the pandemic and have full confidence in his ability to see our great state through this crisis. His numerous Executive Orders have been extremely helpful in protecting our state from receiving more cases from out-of-state, and have also opened the doors to ensure that we are prepared in the event that the Covid-19 surges. The Legislature has also been closely monitoring the spread of this virus and stands ready to take action if needed.
With that being said, there are plenty of ways to enjoy life and practice social distancing at the same time. Getting outdoors is a great way to pass the time and get proper exercise. The Southwest Florida Water Management District has made the decision to keep their public recreational lands open in order to provide a place for jogging, hiking and fishing.
To feel productive at home, try landscaping, gardening or spring cleaning. Often times we work so much that we are too exhausted to do more work once we get home, so now is a great time to do these things. When possible, please support your local small businesses through ordering via phone or online. These shops and stores are owned by members of our community. During these times they will feel the economic impacts and will need our support.
I want to thank all of those on the front lines of this pandemic. Doctors and nurses have been working around the clock across the United States to fight the virus, and they deserve all of the support and respect we can provide them for their hard work. Also, all those in law enforcement, firefighting, mail delivery and garbage collection have been putting themselves at high risk by having to come into contact regularly with citizens who may have contracted the virus. So, if you see any of these workers, thank them for the job that they are doing.
The Legislature recently wrapped up the 2020 Legislative Session, and I am proud to say that we accomplished a lot this year. We passed the largest water policy in state history and secured $690 million for water protection and restoration of the Everglades. We provided $1.7 billion dollars for hurricane response, and $17 billion for PreK-12 education funding, including $500 million for teachers pay raises.
For East Pasco County, we were able to secure a total of $16.6 million in appropriations to be used in projects by Zephyrhills, Lacoochee, Pasco County and Saint Leo University. These projects include intersection improvements, establishing a new robotics program, and septic to sewage for a fast-growing part of our county.
I am proud to represent District 38 in the Florida House and look forward to serving our community further in Tallahassee. For now, be strong, be kind, use common sense — we will get through this time of uncertainty together.
By Randy Maggard
House District 38
Randy Maggard is our Florida State Representative for District 38, which includes Dade City, Zephyrhills, San Antonio, Wesley Chapel and Land O’ Lakes (east of Collier Boulevard). He is also an owner of Sonny’s Discount Appliances in Dade City, a business his father founded in 1959.
Published April 08, 2020