Mental Health? Florida 49th in U.S.

That Florida is nearly last out of 50 states in Mental Health services is a prime example of why we need to start a real dialogue on the importance of mental health in our state. Statistics from the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy* show Florida as 49th in the nation in funding for mental health programs. By failing to recognize the need to treat and fund mental health, all of us are at risk.

This current fiscal year, funding for mental health facilities in our state was drastically reduced. Without adaquate facilities, those suffering from mental illness go without treatment and often end up homeless or worse, on our streets.

Senator Sachs at a rally protesting budget cuts that impacted the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Senator Sachs at a rally protesting budget cuts that impacted the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Who do you call if someone you know is in need of mental health treatment? If the individual is posing an immediate threat to themselves or others, officials at the Florida Department of Health recommend contacting your local Sheriff’s Office. At that point, the individual may be committed to an institution under The Florida Mental Health Act, also called the Baker Act.
For others who need treatment, Florida’s public mental health system, administered by the Department of Children and Families, offers various services for individuals facing a mental health crisis. Though the State operates […]

TB Outbreak – Closing of A.G. Holley State Hospital

With the breaking news of the tuberculosis outbreak in Duval County our state is on high alert.  This airborne disease has been found within the homeless community, making it even more difficult to track. Complicating the issue is the fact that the State Legislature recently passed a bill that closed the only state hospital equipped to handle the drug-resistant form of TB. Located in Palm Beach County, A.G. Holley State Hospital was closed ahead of schedule last week prompting Department of Health officials to place many of the infected individuals in Duval County in motels back in their communities. According to public record, health officials in Duval County contacted the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia in February 2012 concerning what we now know is the largest tuberculosis outbreak in the U.S. in 20 years.  Legislators were not briefed on the outbreak before they voted to close the TB hospital in March 2012. In a letter sent directly to the Governor, I impressed upon him the need to reopen the facility and empanel a committee to discuss the lack of transparency in the process.  In the interest of transparency in government, it is absolutely essential that all information be available to legislators and considered before a vote. I voted against closing this important facility because of the potential health risk to our communities.  It is always crucial for lawmakers to have all the information necessary to make an informed decision before an important vote, especially when it affects public health.

Please take a moment to learn more about this epidemic in this video and article from WPTV.


Phi Theta Kappa Conference














It was my honor to act as opening keynote speaker for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Florida Region Conference on July 13th. I truly enjoyed addressing their theme for this years convention, “The Culture of Competition.” Competition can be difficult, and in some cases even inspire fear; but ultimately competition provides an opportunity for us to push ourselves to our limits and overcome great obstacles, qualities that are paramount for success.

Senator Sachs Talking Jobs with WorkForce President

Senator Sachs joined Mason Jackson, President and CEO of Broward County’s WorkForce One, for a tour of the agency’s job center in Pompano Beach.

Senator Sachs with WorkForce One President/CEO Mason Jackson and staff at the WorkForce Center in Pompano Beach.

This past Spring WorkForce One placed more unemployment recipients in jobs than any other workforce agency in Florida. Senator Sachs especially supports WorkForce One’s extensive program to help veterans. Her first bill approved as a state legislator gives preference to veterans applying for state jobs. For more information on House Bill 699, Preference in Public Employment for Veterans, click here.

New Law Cosponsored by Senator Sachs Protects Security of Israel

“By enacting this law, Florida is leading the way in combating terrorism,” said Senator Sachs. 

Senator Sachs joins members of the Jewish Federation at the bill signing ceremony.

Senator Maria Sachs joined members of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County to mark the signing of Senate Bill 792, “The Financial Institutions Act.”

“When it comes to protecting Israel there are no Democrats or Republicans, there is only a focus on protecting our most important ally.  This must be our number one priority”


The security of Israel is protected through measures included in this new law.

On a recent trade mission to Israel, Senator Sachs discusses our continual support of Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On a recent trade mission to Israel, Senator Sachs discusses our continual support of Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The bi-partisan measure imposes new rules on state-chartered financial institutions to certify that their corresponding banks are not engaged in federally-prohibited activities with Iranian-linked counterparts. The financial restrictions would also apply to any other terrorist organization designated by the United States.

The intent of the law is to keep Iranian-financed terrorists from laundering money through banks chartered […]

Against Human Trafficking Here in Florida

In her own words:

Human Trafficking           Every year as many as two million people are bought and sold worldwide as prostitutes, domestic workers, sex slaves, child laborers, and child soldiers.  Just this week, a child prostitution ring involving foster kids in state care was busted in Miami. As an appointed member of the Florida Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, I remain committed to eliminating these kinds of crimes.

I supported two bills signed into law this month which aim to combat human trafficking in Florida; among the top three states in the country for human trafficking.  House Bill 7049, which I co-sponsored, toughens penalties for human trafficking and provides the Office of Statewide Prosecution jurisdiction to pursue these cases.

The other measure, The Florida Safe Harbor Act, increases penalties for those who solicit prostitutes from $500 to $5000.  The law also allows law enforcement to process victims of human trafficking through safe houses instead of through the criminal justice system.

Protecting children from being exploited by this industry should be our main focus.  These new laws are a significant step towards helping the victims of human trafficking and cracking down on those who are responsible for committing these atrocious crimes.  Florida should never be a haven for those who want to hurt children!

Speaking on the impact of human trafficking in Berlin, Germany

Speaking on the impact of human trafficking in Berlin, Germany

Although human trafficking impacts many different people, 80 percent of victims are women and more than half are children.

As the […]

Father’s Day

When I left the Hallmark store the other day, I realized that there was one card I didn’t buy and how I wish I could.

My 3 children with Grandpa

My three children with their Grandpa: My dad was a WW2 and Vietnam Veteran but found his most difficult ‘challenge’  to be keeping three kids entertained all at once!

Our Dads leave an imprint on our lives that remains forever. To those of you who share a memory of your Dad, be sure to wish a happy Father’s Day to someone dear in your life. To those who still have their Dads, give them a big hug. Anyone can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

Sen.Sachs Meets with Marine Industry Leaders

This week Senator Sachs met with members of the Marine Industry Association of South Florida (MIASF).   The MIASF represents more than 800 local recreational marine businesses.  “The marine industry is the third largest industry in Florida,” said Senator Sachs.

Sen. Sachs with members of the MIASF.  L to R: John Terrill, Barb Tierney, Jason Dunbar, Jeff Erdmann, and Frank Herhold.

“It is the major economic engine in our region, creating thousands of jobs and bringing fresh money into our economy.  I look forward to continuing to work together to promote this important industry.”

Senator Sachs Visits Port Everglades

Port Everglades is undergoing a major expansion and Senator Sachs was invited to see the progress of these projects first-hand.

Deputy Port Director Glenn Wiltshire gives Sen. Sachs a tour of the loading docks at Port Everglades.

Deputy Port Director Glenn Wiltshire gives Senator Sachs a tour of the loading docks at Port Everglades.

After meeting with the port’s new director, Steve Cernak, Senator Sachs toured the facility, which is responsible for generating $14 billion in economic activity in our community.  As a member of the Subcommittee on Transporatation Appropriations, Senator Sachs has been an advocate of our local ports and will continue to ensure that state funding for port projects remains in place.

Human Trafficking a Priority for Junior League

Florida ranks as the state with the third highest occurrences of human trafficking. We need to be vigilant in stopping the scourge of human trafficking in this state.

The Senator has been working with NGO’s globally to target those countries that use Florida as a pathway to human slavery. She was appointed to the Task Force by Governor Charlie Crist and has helped the Junior League tackle this issue through her work on the Florida Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. The Junior League of Boca Raton honored the legislators with a reception this week and joined Sen. Sachs in focusing on solutions to end human trafficking in Florida.

To learn more about the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches, please visit