“We must never forget the sacrifice and courage of our men and women in uniform. Our veterans deserve our gratitude and the utmost respect. As Your State Senator I have been honored to fight to make sure that our veterans are recognized and receive all of the benefits that they have earned in service of their country.”

Russell Lorts, Maria's Father, in WW2

Lieutenant colonel Russell Lorts, Maria’s father, in World War II

 

Maria has a profound attachment to America’s veterans. Her father, Russell F. Lorts, served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army Infantry in World War II and the Vietnam War, and was awarded two Purple Hearts for injuries suffered during combat in North Africa and Italy.

 

As the daughter of a veteran, Maria knows firsthand the sacrifices that service members make in order to protect our freedom.

She has filed a Veterans Bill every year of her career in elected public service.

Numerous pieces of legislation to protect and honor our veterans include

  • Preference in public employment for veterans
  • The Service Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises, which gives preference in state contracting for certified disabled veteran business Enterprises.
  • SB 370 – guarantees that any veteran whose body lies unclaimed may receive a proper military burial 

In addition, Senator Sachs has hosted a series of workshops on veterans benefits for veterans and their spouses in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, Workforce Alliances, and many other local veterans’ service organizations are on hand to answer questions about benefits and employment opportunities.

Enhancing Veterans’ Benefits

For their service, veterans deserve nothing less than our absolute commitment. This is especially important given the epidemic of homelessness and unemployment among veterans.

Maria’s first act as a legislator was to introduce HB 699, a bill which gives veterans the ability to claim preference in state employment more than once. In addition, Maria successfully passed HB 687, known as the Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Opportunity Act. Under this law, businesses owned and operated by a service-disabled veteran now receive special certification benefits and preference for state contracts.

This past session (2013) Maria fought hard and successfully passed Senate Bill 370, protecting the dignity of our most courageous citizens. This bill guarantees that any veteran whose body lies unclaimed may receive a proper military burial that is due to him. Furthermore, no unclaimed veteran’s body may be sold or used for medical research without proper consent. Every veteran is entitled to a dignified military burial.

Honoring Their Service

Maria has sponsored bills that directly commemorate these heroes, from creating Korean War Veterans license plates (HB 911) to designating August 7 as Purple Heart Day (SB 704).

Moreover, she has sought to uphold the dignity of military service by preventing a person from falsely representing himself or herself as a member of or representing the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard for the purpose of solicitation of charitable contributions or participation in a charitable or sponsor sales promotion (HB 1455). These efforts ensure that we always remember the sacrifices of those who serve.

Senator Sachs’ Veterans Council

In order to better serve the needs of Florida’s veterans, Senator Sachs has formed the Veterans Council. This council will address key policy issues such as jobs, homelessness, and benefits for veterans and their families. Any veteran who is interested in applying for a position on the council should contact her office or visit https://mariasachs.com/get-involved/.