“As a 30 year citizen in South Florida, I know the issues that affect all of us, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for our district in Tallahassee.”

Insurance

Maria strongly believes in our right to access fair and comprehensive insurance coverage. To help solve insurance problems, as a Senator Maria brought the Office of Insurance Regulation – along with their computers and forms- to community workshops so as to offer constituents counseling both on insurance options and ways to avoid becoming a victim of insurance fraud. Constituents were invited to bring their insurance policies to be analyzed by state regulators to learn about options to qualify for more affordable coverage. Any questions or problems were handled one-on-one with state regulators. Maria wanted the emphasis to be away from politics, just straight forward answers on all insurance questions.

In recognition of her efforts to improve citizens’ insurance coverage, Senator Sachs received the 2012 Legislative Award from the Florida Association for Insurance Reform.

Women’s Rights

Women’s rights are of paramount importance to Maria. As a State Senator, Maria was a cosponsor of the Equal Rights for Women Bill to ratify the proposed amendment to the US Constitution relating to equal rights for men and women. To date 35 of the necessary 38 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, which states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” thereby disallowing states to inhibit any persons rights based on sex or gender.

Florida’s Families

Maria recognizes the importance of family cohesiveness and how legislation can often rip families apart. As a representative she successfully passed legislation that provides for an interim dissolution of assets during divorce proceedings, which would decrease the need for costly temporary relief hearings. Additionally, Senator Sachs passed HB 863, a bill that authorizes electronic communication to supplement parental visitation rights following a dissolution of marriage.

Senior Rights

Florida ranks first in the nation with its proportion of the population aged 65 and over, and Maria is dedicated to preserving the rights of those senior citizens residing in our community. As a Senator, Maria successfully passed the Safeguard Our Seniors Act to protect seniors against insurance companies’ excesses.

Sponsored by the Senator, this law went into effect on July 7, 2010 and is enforced by the Office of Insurance Regulation. Maria was also a cosponsor of the Alzheimer’s Adult Day Care Dignity Act to ensure that adult day care centers that provide specialized Altzheimers services are licensed and that center operators have received sufficient education and experience before serving the community.

Energy

Senator Sachs believes that the Sunshine State has the potential to become a leader in alternative and renewable energy development. In 2010, she hosted the 21st Century Energy Summit with United States Rep. Ted Deutch. The summit featured an impressive panel with experts ranging from the United States Department of Energy, the National Green Energy Council and community leaders.

Sen. Sachs with an electric vehicle (EV) in Israel

“We’ve all already heard why renewable energy is a great idea. It’s now time to move past this conversation and talk about how we can make Florida stronger, how we can make Florida a leader in the technology of the future and how we can create jobs in a sustainable economy.”

Preserving Child Safety

Maria has worked on numerous bills in the House and the Senate to strengthen security measures to keep children safe. Following the tragic death of 2 year old Haile Brockington 2010, Maria made it her mission to prevent any more children dying from heat stroke when left unattended by negligent caregivers. Her legislation, the Haile Brockingston Act, would require all daycare vans to be equipped with alarms that remind the driver to make sure all kids have exited the vehicle. Even though it passed in the Senate, politics got in the way and prevented its passage in the Florida House. But it has only strengthened Maria’s resolve to get this issue addressed at the next session; what started as a cause has since become a top priority for Maria. In July 2011,  another two-year-old infant died after being left in the sweltering heat of a child care van. This prompted the Palm Beach County Commission to pass the first local initiative in the state, modeled after Senator Sachs’ bill, requiring additional safety measures for child care vans.

Senator Sachs has also cosponsored legislation to protect our communities’ children from another threat to their safety: bullying. The Anti-Bullying Bull prohibits bullying of a student or school employee by use of any computer, computer system, or computer network that is physically located on school property. The bill requires that each school district include in its district wide policy instruction to students, parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and school volunteers on how to recognize behaviors that lead to bullying and harassment and how to take appropriate preventative action. Too many tragedies have occurred as a result of bullying within our schools and Maria is dedicated to protecting our children from this eminent threat.

Redistricting

As a member of the Florida Senate’s Reapportionment Committee,Maria worked tirelessly to ensure that the state’s redistricting process conformsto the tenants of Amendments five and six- that the new districts were compact, contiguous, not politically biased and preserved existing communities.

Senator Sachs hosted a series of forums with residents to spread awareness about the important process and to give constituents a chance to express their opinions regarding the composition of the new districts. Residents were able build and submit their own districts by clicking here.Check out pictures from the recent redistricting events below: