Senator Sachs Takes A Stand For Public Education

Senator Sachs, member of the Education Policy and Education Appropriation Committees, met with teachers Jeff Levinson and Donald Persson.  Mr. Levinson and Mr. Persson are from Palm Beach County and are members of the Classroom Teachers Association (CTA); they came to Tallahassee to discuss their opposition to the Parent Trigger Bill.


What is the Parent Trigger Bill?

SB 862, commonly referred to as the “Parent Trigger Bill”, is a process for parents of failing schools to take over the school and select a turnaround option. This “trigger” is available when a school receives an  “F” grade in two consecutive years.  Under this proposal, the school property can be turned over to a for-profit company.  The turnaround option that is selected is final.  Parents do not have the ability to change their mind or take the school back.


Senator Sachs’ Position

Senator Sachs wholeheartedly believes that parent involvement is crucial to the education of every child.  However, she does not believe the Parent Trigger bill is the solution to the problems of Florida’s “F” public schools, state figures indicate there are 25 traditional schools that received “F” grades in 2012.


Florida is not the first state to consider Parent Trigger legislation.  California was the first state to pass such legislation in 2010.  In the three years since the law took effect, only three schools have used the law to chose a turnaround option.  It has been estimated that about 1,300 schools are eligible for turnaround under the […]

Senator Sachs Meets With Representative From The Congress of Motion Picture Associations

Senator Sachs, who has always been an avid supporter of Film Florida, met with Chris Ranung from the Congress of Motion Picture Associations in order to discuss financial incentive programs and other legislative priorities of the film industry.

Chris Ranung

Financial incentive programs have encouraged filming in Florida, and have led to projects such as Marley & Me, Transporter 2, and Burn Notice to be filmed in South Florida.  Florida’s most recent Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive Program was created in 2010.  Since the inception of the program, 246 projects have been certified. Those projects have created 160,537 positions for Floridians totaling $788,811,436 in wages.

Marley and Me                  Burn Notice


Senator Sachs believes the program brings benefits to the state beyond the traditional revenues from production-related activities through the prominent placement of our state’s tourism assets in popular movies and television shows.

From the Senate Floor

Military & Veterans Affairs

Florida Salutes Veterans License Plate

Senate Bill 884 – The provisions of this bill were attached to SB 632, which also deals with license plates.  The bill increases the percent of revenue collected from the cost of Florida Salutes Veterans license plates given to Florida Veterans’ Foundation and eliminates the expiration date of the provision contained in current law.  The bill has already been voted on favorably by the Transportation Committee.

Finance & Tax Committees

Senator Sachs is working on a proposal in the Finance and Tax Committee which would end a longtime tax credit for the insurance industry and use the $220 million in savings to reduce motorist fees for license renewal and car registration.  The proposal would reduce the cost of renewing a license from $48 to $20, registering for a first-time license from $48 to $27, and registering a car from $225 to $100.

Women’s History Month

Maria Sachs with her daughter and mother

Three generations of Sachs Women: Senator Sachs
with her mother, Anna, and her daughter, Natasha

Senate Resolution 568 – Senator Sachs and the Florida Senate passed this resolution recognizing March as Women’s History Month and honoring the enormous contribution of women to our state’s history. The theme for Women’s History Month in March of this year is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics”.

Continuing to Fight for People with Disabilities

Last week, Sen. Sachs met with Becki Forsell, the Founder and Executive Director of YES! of America United Inc., an organization dedicated to helping those with disabilities.

 Last week, Senator Sachs met with Becki Forsell, the Founder and Executive Director of YES! of America United Inc., an organization dedicated to helping those with disabilities.
The Senator and Mrs. Forsell discussed proposals for overhauling the curriculum for disabled students in Florida schools.  This bill was also part of the discussion in the Education Policy Committee on that day.

Sen. Sachs Files Amendment to Internet Cafes Bill, Hopes to Keep Arcades Open for Kids

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Senator Sachs filed an amendment to Senate Bill 1030 last week.  SB 1030, as originally proposed, would impose a flat-out ban on all games of chance.  The measure would outlaw the much-maligned “internet cafes,” but would also affect adult arcades.  The bill would ban arcades from giving away gift cards and prohibit the accumulation of points.  Senator Sachs’ amendment created a distinction in the bill, which would effectively ban internet cafes and still allow the arcades to operate under the current laws.

As Vice Chair of the Gaming Committee, Senator Sachs raised questions about the bill’s impact on our senior population. These senior arcades are authorized under a different statute than internet cafes.  There are estimated to be nearly 1000 senior arcades across the state. Despite the fact that Senator Sachs’ amendment was not included in the bill, her attempts have created a discussion and opened the eyes of many lawmakers to see the benefits of the senior arcades to the overall populations and to the family amusement centers such as Boomers, Dave & Busters, and Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Happy Passover!

Sen. Sachs would like to wish all of her Jewish constituents a Happy Passover!




During the past week she met with Rabbi Schneur Oirechman to celebrate the start of Passover (which begins Monday evening, March 25).

Senator Sachs’ friendship with Rabbi Oirechman began over a year ago when he accompanied the Senator on her trip to Israel. Passover commemorates the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and their departure from slavery to freedom.

Passover’s main ritual is the seder, which occurs on the first night (or the first two nights) of the holiday–a festive meal that involves the re-enactment of the Exodus through stories, songs, and ritual foods, such as matzah.

As part of his visit, Rabbi Oirechman brought handmade matzah to the Senator.

Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities

 Senator Sachs with Event Founder Jay Van Vechten and his wife Van Vechten, Congressman Ted Deutch, Palm Beach County Mayor Steven Abrams, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel, Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Susan Haynie, Boca Raton City Councilman Anthony Majhess, and event participants


 Senator Sachs with Event Founder Jay Van Vechten and his wife Van Vechten, Congressman Ted Deutch, Palm Beach County Mayor Steven Abrams, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel, Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Susan Haynie, Boca Raton City Councilman Anthony Majhess, and event participants

On Saturday, March 16, Senator Sachs attended the nation’s biggest, free, fun-event for kids, adults, and Purple Heart recipients with physical and/or intellectual disabilities, the 5th Annual Boca Raton Boating & Beach Bash.

More than 5,000 people attended the event at Spanish River Park, which included live music, boat rides, face painting and food intended to provide a care-free day for people with disabilities.

Senator Sachs spent the morning thanking volunteers who organized the event and meeting many of the attendees.  When the Senator was given the opportunity to address all those in attendance, she voiced her support for the wonderful event and made her opinion about opportunities for the disabled very clear.

“I believe that all the people of my district and all the people of Florida deserve equal opportunities and equal access to the amazing recreational activities that our beautiful State has to offers.”

Senator Sachs standing next to Event Founder Jay Van Vechten while addressing the audience

Catholic Days at the Capitol

On March 20, Senator Sachs met with a local Palm Beach delegation from the Florida Catholic Conference, celebrating Catholic Days at the Capitol.  She also met with Monsignor Thomas Skindeleski from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. The Senator’s discussions with the visitors included funding for those groups that need it the most and outreach to the homeless.

Florida Catholic Conference


Monsignor Thomas Skindeleski

Senator Sachs with Monsignor Thomas Skindeleski from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach

Meeting with Veterans

Sen. Sachs Meeting with Veterans


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Committee Report

Senate Bill 52, Bans Texting while Driving, is moving smoothly through the legislative process. The bill received unanimous support in the Transportation Committee and the Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee. SB 52 is now scheduled to be read in the Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 420, Possession of Prescription Drugs, is making progress in both chambers.  It received a favorable vote in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee this week.  The bill would allow a judge discretion to depart from minimum mandatory sentencing for a first-time offender charged with possession of prescription medications, under certain circumstances.

Senate Bill 370, Body Parts, made its way through another committee this week.  The bill was voted favorably by the Regulated Industries Committee, and received unanimous support in the Health Policy as well . SB 370 will be heard next by the Judiciary Committee. The bill assures that unclaimed bodies are not sold without proper family authorization and that deceased veterans are given a proper military burial.

Senate Bill 64, Commercial Parasailing, and Senate Bill 1618, Condominium Association Reform, both sponsored by Senator Sachs, are in the amendatory process.  Both bills are expected to be heard in committees.