Maria understands that Florida’s economy remains deeply depressed and is working hard to assist individuals struggling to find work, pay bills and take care of their families. Since taking office, Senator Sachs has founded a series of initiatives designed to tackle these challenges head on, including measures to combat the housing crisis and strengthen consumer rights protections.
Combating the Housing Crisis
In 2010, Senator Sachs set up the Home Ownership Promotes Economy (H.O.P.E.) task force. The project connected Palm Beach residents with bank representatives and attorneys in free counseling sessions addressing credit card payment, debt consolidation and foreclosure assistance. Her local workshops have been successful in bringing together struggling homeowners and large lenders like Bank of America, Chase Manhattan, and Wells Fargo. Additionally, the task force helped launch the “neighbors helping neighbors” initiative to help maintain community property values in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreclosures.
Through her efforts many residents have been able to stay in their homes.
Job Creation/Unemployment Assistance
Maria has worked hard to protect the state programs that create jobs and provide safety nets for struggling Floridians. When the Florida Senate passed a memorial that threatened to slash funding for education, ports, transportation projects and unemployment benefits Maria spoke out:
“Florida is working its way out of a steep recession. Yet, we are not alone in our struggle. Funding from the federal government has helped to feed the hungry, to aid the recently unemployed, to keep our teachers in the classroom, and to support our infrastructure projects”.
The senator’s appointment to the prestigious Joint Legislative Auditing Committee last April empowered her to oversee all government operations and ensure that her constituents’ tax dollars were wisely spent.
Protecting Consumer Rights
Maria recognizes the need for regulatory oversight to identify faulty products and protect the consumer against exorbitant, abusive surcharges. When state senators proposed a bill that would shift the responsibility for car product failure on the consumer rather than the manufacturer, Maria protested the legislation. She argued that if it were enacted, the law would force Florida taxpayers to foot the bill for the negligence of multi-billion dollar, out-of-state corporations.
“We need to get back to the days when ‘Made in America’ meant something. If a company puts a product on the U.S. market, they should be prepared to reap the benefits, but also stand behind their product when things don’t go as planned.”
Senator Sachs on Florida’s Innovation Economy
“Florida is in a unique position to capitalize on the momentum of the emerging innovation economy of the 21st century. Our top tier research institutions have a prodigious commitment to leading our nation in innovation in the life sciences and high tech sectors. Industry leaders, entrepreneurs,and scientists alike have laid the groundwork in the development of innovation clusters focusing on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and information technology.
Particularly in Southeast Florida, research universities heralded by Florida Atlantic University in the north, and Florida International University in the south, are joined by Florida Gulf Coast University, Nova Southeastern University, and University of Miami to create a “corridor” of high tech public-private partnerships in the Life Sciences industry.
Analogous to Silicon Valley’s stunning success, the link-up between Florida’s top research universities and private institutes such as Mac Planck Florida Institute and Scripps Florida are emerging as initial players in Florida’s economy. I believe in a knowledge-based economy that will bring economic growth through the Life Sciences.
Together, we will revolutionize Florida’s economy!”