The Coalition for Independent Living Options hosted a rally on the proposed cuts in Boynton Beach. Senator Sachs met with hundreds of outraged parents, teachers, and the disabled, all of whom are put in jeopardy by the proposed cuts

Sen. Sachs Fights for Vulnerable Citizens in Budget Debate

The budget was the focus of debate this week in the Florida Senate. The republican controlled legislature proposed a litany of draconian budget cuts that, if passed, would adversely affect the elderly, the disabled, public employees and our children.   The many services that would be impacted include the Medicaid Aged and Disabled (MEDS-AD) program that would be completely eliminated, as well as a $5 million cut from Community Care for the Elderly.  The Agency for Persons with Disabilities would also be slashed, diminishing services for those in need by $90 million.  If these cuts are approved, only “physician services” will qualify for funding through Medicaid waivers and many people with disabilities will be forced from community care into institutions.

Florida’s state employees, who are already paid far less than the national average, including our firefighters and teachers, would be required to take a 5% pay cut in order to continue receiving their current benefits for retirement.

Florida’s children will be shortchanged with anticipated cuts to education and vital children’s services.   Cuts to Voluntary Pre-K, School Readiness, Early Learning, the Department of Children and Families, and Pre K-12 funding total over $1 billion.

“I refuse to stay silent as the conservative majority pushes through these drastic cuts to vital services for our vulnerable citizens.  How we care for our elderly, our children and our disabled is a true test of our society,” said Senator Sachs. “If these cuts pass, then we are failing that test.  We can do better.  We must do better. So many are depending on us.”

Senator Sachs’ Legislation Honors Purple Heart Recipients

Senator Sachs with representatives from the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Brad Delseni and Jim Brodie, and John Haynes, Major USMC Ret., Chairman of Florida Veterans’ Foundation, and member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, in front of the Purple Heart Senate Memorial in the Capitol courtyard

Senator Maria Sachs’ Purple Heart Day Bill (SB704) passed another committee this week with unanimous support.  The proposed legislation would make August 7 of each year “Purple Heart Day” in Florida.  Military veterans throughout Florida will be honored as the state commemorates their heroism on this special day.

“It is time for Florida to join other states around the nation in recognizing these selfless men and women,” said Senator Sachs. “The commemoration of this day will encourage each of us to honor those who have sacrificed so much for our nation’s ideals.”

Senator Sachs’ father, Lt Col Russell F. Lorts (dec), served in World War II and was awarded two Purple Hearts for injuries inflicted during combat in North Africa and Italy.  The Purple Heart is the oldest award that is still given to members of the U.S. military and was first awarded by General George Washington on August, 7, 1782.

Legislative Auditing Committee Reviews Report on State Agency Payroll Fraud

The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee heard testimony from the Auditor General this week on payroll fraud discovered in certain state agencies.  The audit was ordered by the committee to find and eliminate waste of taxpayer money.  Millions of dollars in fraudulent overtime pay was discovered in the Department of Corrections.  The committee is using the findings to investigate excesses and prevent future waste of tax payer money.  “We must seek out instances of greed and excess in these audits to streamline government.  This money should be going to help those who are most in need of it,” said Senator Sachs, “not toward lining the pockets of a few unscrupulous individuals.”