Government & Politics

19 July Sailfish Plumbing Logo

Martin County Covid 19 Update

Martin County June 2020 Meetings

19 July MC Commissioners logo

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
June 2 & 16, 2020 at 9:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
These meetings will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETINGS REGARDING COVID-19 UPDATE
June 12 & 26, 2020 at 9:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
These meetings will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE of the Metropolitan Planning Organization
June 8, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENT
June 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF MARTIN COUNTY
June 10, 2020 at 8:30 am
Location: This will be a phone-in meeting - information to be determined and posted on the County's web site under Events. Martin County Events

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF MARTIN COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
June 24, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Location: This will be a phone-in meeting - information to be determined and posted on the County's web site under Events. Martin County Events

CITIZEN'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE of the Metropolitan Planning Organization
June 3, 2020 at 9:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

CODE ENFORCEMENT MAGISTRATE
June 17, 2020 at 9:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT CITIZEN ADVISORY TASK FORCE
June 4, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Location: Administration Building, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
June 22, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

COMPLETE COUNT COMMITTEE
June 24, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LICENSING BOARD
June 24, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

COUNTY HEALTH CARE REVIEW BOARD
June 17, 2020 at 11:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE AWARENESS COMMITTEE
June 10, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES ADVISORY COUNCIL
June 4, 2020 at 8:30 am
WebEx Meeting number: 716 541 291
Password: SCpPcx2XD37
https://martincounty.webex.com/martincounty/j.php?MTID=m987caefac467330f93264bc4f3ba0bb0
Join by phone +1-408-418-9388 United States Toll
Access code: 716 541 291

GOLDEN GATE NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
June 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD
June 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
June 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

LOCAL COORDINATING BOARD FOR THE TRANSPORTATION DISADVANTAGED
June 1, 2020 at 10:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

LOCAL PLANNING AGENCY
June 4 & 18, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
These meetings will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION POLICY BOARD
June 15, 2020 at 9:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

PARKS AND RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD
June 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

PORT SALERNO NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
June 11, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE of the Metropolitan Planning Organization
June 1, 2020 at 1:30 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
June 3, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

This notice dated: May 27, 2020.
For more information, please contact Donna Gordon, Executive Aide, Administration, 772.221.1352 or Email Donna.

RUBIO ON FOX & FRIENDS

20 May Fox and Friends

Washington - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Fox & Friends to discuss states reopening, continued support for small businesses, the threat posed by China, and oversight of the intelligence community.

On states’ different policies on reopening:

“I do think it’s good it’s happening at the state level … All of that ties into why it has been smart by this Administration to allow every state, and communities within those states, to make the decisions that are best for them … Ultimately, what we all should agree on is that we have now entered that period where we have to learn to sort of deal with what we have, try to mitigate and minimize the damage, protect the most vulnerable, and continue to work on developing a vaccine so we can solve this problem permanently.”

On bailing out states with pre-existing debt obligations:

“Well, I don't think the federal government is in a position to be bailing out jurisdictions, whether it's a county or a city or a state that made bad decisions in the past. I think the one thing I’m open about and I think the White House has expressed flexibility on as well is, there is a baseline of ongoing operations, you know you need police officers, you need sanitation workers, you need the basic services of government and that’s been hurt by the downturn. We don’t want any of these cities laying off police officers. That’s one thing. You separate that from, however, from a city or state for that matter that made bad decisions over the last 10 or 15 years. They have a huge debt coming into this crisis — a pre-existing problem. That is not something the federal government should be bailing out.”

On helping minority small businesses in the next rescue plan:

“Minority small businesses are disportionately within industries that were badly hurt by this closedown, whether it’s restaurants or the service sector ... and I think that is why you are seeing those numbers. I think that we are entering a period now, because every state is different in what they’re doing but many places are beginning to open up, you have people operating. They’re open, but they are at 25 percent capacity or 50 percent capacity, but the rent is still at 100 percent, for example. Their overhead costs are still at 100 hundred percent.

“So I think we are transitioning into a phase, where to the extent we do more — and I think there will be more done — it should be about helping small businesses restart their operations. Get going in the early days where maybe the cash flow won’t be there to restart and that is very different from where we were 8 or 9 weeks ago. That is why I think it has been smart to take a pause, see how this thing is evolving and developing, so that whatever we come up with works, when it finally becomes law.”

On China threatening a new Cold War on the United States and threatening Australia:

“I think they are, and it is not just Australia obviously they have been forward leading on this and we need to do everything we can to be supportive of them. India has now had a number of border skirmishes with China in the last couple of weeks. Other countries in the region in New Zealand and other places have faced — Japan, that is an ongoing issue as well — I do think it is important to invest in that four country alliance, with Japan, with India, and with Australia included in that mix. But look, this has been par for the course under President Xi, he’s been very, very aggressive. This Administration is finally standing up to him. But they have gotten away with this now for the better part of the decade leading up to this moment and of course culminating in what we are seeing here now in Hong Kong.”

On the Flynn case:

“The way that whole thing has played out where a judge decides to review this matter and take it in an alternative route is very unusual to say the least. And I think there’s another point that needs to be made about this whole situation with Mr. Flynn, and that is that information that individuals in the previous Administration become privy to was leaked to the media. Someone took information that was classified and decided to leak it to a reporter to further a narrative. And that’s actually been a process here that has done tremendous damage to the FBI and to the intelligence community … And it’s unfortunate because the overwhelming majority of the people in the FBI don’t behave this way, but a handful of people in important positions obviously did things that have now caused great harm to the reputation of the FBI and the intelligence community, and it’s something that needs to be repaired. And I think repairing it begins by holding those responsible for that sort of action accountable.”

On DNI Ratcliffe being sworn in today:

“I think Ratcliffe is going to do a great job. This is a very smart person, this is a very serious person, this is a very decent person. And at the end of the day that position oversees the 17 individual agencies involved in intelligence collection in this country and that’s a very important role to make sure that everyone is focused on the job of the intelligence community, which is to be involved in operations, to gather information and to analyze information, and to provide that analysis and information to policymakers so policymakers can make decisions. That is the job of the intelligence community. That is what it does when it is doing its best.

RNC Intervenes in Democrat Lawsuit to Protect Election Integrity in Florida

19 Oct Republican Logo

WASHINGTON – Today, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican Party of Florida intervened in a radical lawsuit that Democrats brought in Florida as part of their nationwide assault on the integrity of our elections.

"Democrats never let a crisis go to waste, and they are using a pandemic to completely destroy the integrity of our elections. Their latest attempt to circumvent election law in Florida would allow paid operatives to go door-to-door to collect and deliver thousands of ballots, as well as allow votes to be counted after Election Day. This unnecessarily exposes Florida to potential fraud. Republicans will not sit on the sidelines while Democrats try to sue their way to victory in 2020 because they know they cannot beat President Trump in November." – RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

"Democrats continue to try and use every trick in the book to unfairly tilt the election in their favor. The NRCC is proud to partner with the RNC and the Florida GOP to stop Democrats’ unconstitutional efforts to rob Floridians of their voting rights." – NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer

"Once again national Democrats are coming into Florida trying to change our election laws by judicial fiat right before the 2020 election in an attempt to steal as many votes as possible in President Trump’s home state. We will do whatever we can to defeat this partisan lawsuit and ensure that every eligible voter in Florida has the opportunity to vote safely and securely." – RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

Democrats’ Election Power Grab in Florida:

This case is a prime example of Democrats and their liberal allies seeking to exploit coronavirus as an excuse to attack popular election integrity measures by asking judges to legislate from the bench. Democrats sued Florida and all 67 of its county supervisors of elections, demanding they willfully ignore and violate Florida election law by:

Prohibiting enforcement of the state’s ban on ballot harvesting. Despite their fear mongering over the dangers of voting in person in Wisconsin, Democrats are happy to facilitate the spread of coronavirus and jeopardize the integrity of the ballot through door-to-door ballot harvesting if it will help them politically.

Allow ballots to be counted after Election Day. By forcing the state to count ballots that arrive after Election Day, county election offices will be needed to verify ballots for weeks after the election, potentially delaying the outcome of the election and opening the door for fraud and unnecessary litigation. A recent Democrat-leaning survey showed that 83% of voters support a ballot receipt deadline of Election Day, and the RNC recently won a big victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied Democrats’ attempts at allowing ballots to be cast and counted after Election Day.

The RNC’s intervention in Neilsen v. DeSantis comes on the heels of another recent legal victory in Florida, in which the party defended Florida’s longstanding ballot order law against a challenge by Democrats. As a result, President Trump will appear at the top of Florida’s ballot.

The RNC continues to fight back against the Democrats’ assault on the integrity of our elections by intervening in left-wing backed lawsuits across the country. On Wednesday, Chairwoman McDaniel demanded Nevada’s Attorney General investigate election chaos brought on by a similar Democrat lawsuit. Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed us a big victory, throwing out a left-wing lawsuit to allow ballots to be counted after Election Day. Similar radical lawsuits are being fought in states like Michigan, New Mexico, and Arizona. The RNC recently doubled its legal budget to $20 million to fight these efforts, and you can learn more about them at www.ProtectTheVote.com.

RUBIO STATEMENT ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD IMPROPERLY RECEIVING PPP LOANS

19 Aug Marco Rubio Logo

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released a statement regarding reports that thirty-seven Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for and improperly received a total of $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“There is no ambiguity in the legislation that passed or public record around its passage that organizations such as Planned Parenthood, whose parent organization has close to half a billion dollars in assets, is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program,” Chairman Rubio said. “Those funds must be returned immediately. Furthermore, the SBA should open an investigation into how these loans were made in clear violation of the applicable affiliation rules and if Planned Parenthood, the banks, or staff at the SBA knowingly violated the law, all appropriate legal options should be pursued.”

RUBIO, SHAHEEN URGE POMPEO TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON STATE’S COMMITMENT TO PROVIDE CARE & BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES WHO SERVED IN CHINESE & CUBAN EMBASSIES

19 Aug Marco Rubio Logo

Washington - U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the State Department to provide long-term emergency care for all U.S. Government employees who experienced mysterious brain injuries while serving at U.S. Embassies in China and Cuba. The State Department indicated earlier this year that only State Department officials would be covered, despite Congress' intent in 2020 Appropriations law that all U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission authority at the time of injury receive compensation.

Currently, a group of over 40 employees have been designated by the U.S. Government as suffering injuries as a result of a hostile action or health incident while serving in China and Cuba, however the State Department has decided to only provide benefits provided by the Shaheen law to State Department employees while excluding affected Department of Commerce and Department of Agriculture employees and their dependents.

The senators wrote, “those affected are relying on commitments made by our government to ensure their long-term care. The Department’s recent decision to limit the application of these benefits not only falls far short of the responsibility our government has to these employees and their families, but it contravenes Congress’ clear intent to protect and care for all employees affected by these injuries.”

The senators stressed the severity of the injuries that many of these federal employees and their families have experienced: “given the sensitivity of the brain and its neural pathways, as well as the demonstrated medical conditions of several affected employees, there is reason to believe that injured federal employees’ conditions will deteriorate, not improve, over time.”

“After all, each of these government employees were injured while serving our country overseas. Granting these benefits is the least that we can do to provide them and their families with peace of mind as they work to recover,” concluded the senators.

Rubio is the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.

19 Aug Marco Rubio Logo

BREAKING THE CHINA SUPPLY CHAIN

Mar Rubio

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)... is aggressively working to supplant democratic order and governance, as well as the alliances and systems that uphold it – including our Five Eyes partnership. Strategic competition with China is about the fight for democracy against authoritarianism. The CCP’s goal is not just to materially enrich its country, but to re-centre the global order around Beijing by making all countries reliant on China for a range of strategic goods – from raw minerals to telecommunication equipment to medical supplies – and by advancing its authoritarian model of government abroad.
The global emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, originating in Wuhan, China, has made clear the dangers of this dependence. Chinese capture of supply chains that produce equipment like face-masks and respirators has directly resulted in lives lost across all our countries. For example, after having dominated the production of masks, the CCP directed its manufacturing inward after the outbreak and purchased the remainder of the global supply, denying our countries access. In the US, this meant that some doctors, nurses, and paramedics were initially forced to ration supplies and even forego protective equipment.
Weeks later, once Beijing claimed to have finally slowed the spread of the coronavirus within its own borders, it decided to restart selling medical supplies to the rest of the world to improve its international image. But, as a majority of the Five Eyes countries can attest, many of the products the Chinese did sell were defective, placing even more lives at risk.
Reducing strategic dependence on China must naturally be tailored from country to country. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, I have introduced legislation to help return essential medical supply chains to America from China, offering tax breaks to firms that produce pharmaceuticals in the US. In the same vein, I have proposed a co-operative model to spur the creation of supply chains for rare-earth mining, which could be replicated for other industries.
Many approaches to combating dependence on China will also necessarily be multilateral. When it comes to telecommunications infrastructure, we are already seeing signs of progress. Countries as varied as Japan and Poland – as well as several members of our Five Eyes partnership – are spurring the development of an emerging fifth-generation communications market to compete with Huawei.
China is devoting a whole-of-state effort to reshape the global order with a communist regime at its centre; building a future more resilient to its strategic machinations will be an exacting challenge for all five of our countries. But achieving that level of independence will be critical to sustaining the integrity of the Five Eyes partnership and our ability to support each other on national security issues, as well as defend democratic order and the aspirations of free people.

RUBIO RESPONDS TO OP-ED BY CHINA’S FOREIGN MINISTRY COMMISSIONER XIE

19 Aug Marco Rubio Logo

“China Wants to Help the World Fight Coronavirus” (op-ed, May 13) by China’s Foreign Ministry Commissioner Xie Feng is the latest attempt in the Communist Party’s blatant effort to sow chaos through conspiracy theories, spread propaganda and rewrite history amid a global crisis. Mr. Xie writes that Beijing made “tremendous sacrifice against all the odds, it created a strong first line of defense for China and the world.” These lies may work within China, where the Communist Party’s authoritarian grip on the media and censorship of social media gives the party full control of the narrative, but the world knows better.
The truth is that China covered up the outbreak of the virus, forcefully silenced medical professionals like the late Dr. Li Wenliang, lied about the number of infections and withheld information about the virus from the global community. Undoubtedly, the failure of the Chinese Communist Party to be transparent and disclose critical information from the beginning led to increased deaths around the world, a higher rate of infection, and caused the pandemic to spread faster and further than it otherwise would. A study published in March reported that the number of coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 95% and its spread halted had China acted responsibly.
Mr. Xie claims that the Communist Party wants to work with the international community and that “[i]dentifying the virus’s origin is a serious scientific issue.” I agree wholeheartedly, and if Mr. Xie’s written words are sincere, the Communist Party will cooperate with an international investigation to find out exactly how this global pandemic began in the first place. I won’t hold my breath waiting.

RUBIO APPLAUDS POTUS PUSH TO ENSURE CHINESE COMPANIES FOLLOW U.S. SECURITIES LAWS & REGULATIONS

Mar Rubio

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement after President Trump said his Administration would examine Chinese companies listed on American exchanges that are out of compliance with U.S. regulators and laws for financial transparency and accountability. Last year, Rubio introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to ban Chinese and foreign firms that flaunt U.S. laws from the U.S. exchanges. Rubio previewed the legislation in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. A one-pager of the legislation is available here.

“The President is absolutely right to direct the Administration to examine how Chinese companies exploit U.S. capital markets and run afoul of our laws and regulations that protect retail investors and pensioners,” Rubio said. “My bipartisan EQUITABLE Act would better protect American retail investors and pensioners from risky investments in fraudulent, opaque Chinese companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The U.S. government cannot allow the Chinese government and Communist Party to continue to exploit our capital markets and flaunt our laws. The recent Luckin Coffee scandal — just one of many examples of Chinese fraud — should be a major wake-up call for policymakers and regulators that the time for action is now. If Chinese companies want access to the U.S. capital markets, they must comply with American laws and regulations for financial transparency and accountability.”

Background:

· In February 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a statement regarding the difficulties U.S. regulators face when auditing U.S.-listed companies based in China, and how over the past decade, U.S. investors, and the U.S. capital markets more generally, have become more exposed to companies with significant operations in emerging markets, including China, the largest emerging market economy.

· In December 2018, the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued a joint warning to investors about the challenges American regulators face when attempting to conduct oversight of U.S.-listed companies whose operations are based in China and Hong Kong.

· While the PCAOB regularly inspects audits of U.S.-listed firms at home and abroad, Beijing consistently and systemically challenges those efforts. For example, Chinese law requires that records remain in China, and the Communist Party routinely restricts access to typical accounting information on the grounds of national security and state secrecy.

· The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission identified 156 Chinese companies, including 11 state-owned-enterprises, that are listed on America’s three largest exchanges with a combined market capitalization of $1.2 trillion.

· In March 2018, the influential global index provider MSCI announced that it would quadruple its weighting of Chinese company shares in one of its key index products.

Out2News Logo

RUBIO NAMES NO LIMITS CAFE OF NEW JERSEY AS THE SENATE SMALL BUSINESS OF THE WEEK

Mar Small Business

Washington - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, named No Limits Cafe of Middletown, NJ as the U.S. Senate Small Business of the Week.
Rubio released the following video message to congratulate No Limits Cafe as the Senate Small Business of the Week. A broadcast quality version can be found here.“I’m Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, and I’m also the Chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee.
“And every week we announce a Senate Small Business of the Week. “This week, our Small Business of the Week is No Limits Cafe of Middletown, New Jersey.
“They opened in February, and their employees are largely adults with intellectual disabilities.
“And when the crisis hit - like most businesses - they were forced to close and to lay off all of their employees.
“But then they were able to get a Paycheck Protection Program loan. And they rehired all of their employees.
“And they’re weathering the storm now through take-out, and by helping their customers.
“And for that, we’re grateful. You are an example to the country.
“Thank you for everything you’re doing. “No Limits Cafe, you are the Senate Small Business of the Week.”
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senator Rubio continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America’s small businesses.

Martin County Board of County Commissioners COVID 19 Update

TAX CERTIFICATE SALE EXTENDED TO JUNE 15th, 2020

Mar MC Tax Collector Logo

Have you paid your property taxes yet?

The Martin County Tax Collector, Ruth “Ski” Pietruszewski, announces the extension of the online tax certificate sale to June 15, 2020. The last day to pay property taxes for the 2019 tax roll is June 12th by 4:30 pm.

Florida law requires that we advertise all delinquent taxes once a week for 3 consecutive weeks prior to the tax certificate sale. Those dates this year are May 27th, June 3rd and June 10th. The law requires that a tax certificate sale be held to auction off tax certificates on all unpaid property tax.

Per F.S. 197, 2019 delinquent property taxes will be sold electronically on June 15, 2020 starting at 9:00 am.at our online tax certificate sale auction. Online registration for tax sale starts May 27th at bidmartincounty.com

Ruth Pietruszewski asks taxpayers to please help keep their cost and the cost of their government down by paying their property taxes BEFORE June 12, 2020.

Visit our website: http://martintaxcollector.com to make payments by E-check (FREE) or credit card (processing company charges a fee which we get no part of). You may also mail in your payments, but they must be received by the June 12th deadline.

SFWMD Governing Board Declares May 17-23 Water Reuse Week

20 May SFWM Photo

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board at its regular business meeting today officially recognized May 17-23, 2020 as Water Reuse Week.

The annual recognition, signified by a purple jacket worn by one Governing Board member to represent the purple pipes that carry reclaimed water, is made by the Governing Board each year to highlight the ongoing efforts to encourage the use of reclaimed water. Today, Chairman Chauncey Goss passed the ceremonial purple jacket to Vice Chairman Scott Wagner.

"Water is our most precious natural resource on this planet and especially in South Florida," said SFWMD Governing Board Vice Chairman Scott Wagner. "Just like we encourage the conservation of water, recycling water is something we always encourage and support to ensure an adequate and sustainable supply for all of us. Today we are all proud to declare May 17-23 as Water Reuse Week."

With demand for water forecasted to grow over the next 20 years, the use of reclaimed water, primarily used for irrigation in South Florida, reduces the demand on our underground aquifers and preserves our precious water resources. It can also help fight saltwater intrusion into these aquifers that supply drinking water to millions of South Florida residents and visitors.

Due to efforts by local governments and utilities in partnership with SFWMD to expand infrastructure, the use of reclaimed water has grown from about 100 million gallons per day in 1994 to 302 million gallons per day in 2019. Over the past two decades, SFWMD has allocated $109 million in funding to support 269 different water reuse projects.

Just last December the SFWMD Governing Board approved agreements with local governments and utilities to co-fund $7 million of reclaimed water projects. This includes a $2 million grant from the SFWMD Governing Board to support the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Reclaimed Water Interconnect that will be completed by 2023 and allow communities to utilize up to 12 million gallons per day of reclaimed water. The Governing Board also approved a $3 million grant to support a reclaimed water pipeline between Broward and Palm Beach counties, which will reuse up to 16 million gallons per day of reclaimed water in the future.

Today’s Governing Board meeting was held online following the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health to avoid large in-person gatherings and promote social distancing. In keeping with SFWMD’s core mission to engage the public and stakeholders, the online meeting included opportunities for the public to participate and give input.

SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE APPROVES RATCLIFFE NOMINATION

19 Aug Marco Rubio Logo

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Acting Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement after the Committee favorably reported out the nomination of Representative John L. Ratcliffe (R-TX) to serve as Director of National Intelligence (DNI):

“The DNI plays a crucial role in ensuring our nation’s wide array of intelligence agencies are sharing information across lines, coordinating capabilities, and all working to further the same strategic objectives of providing advanced warning, protecting our nation, and informing policymakers. Rep. Ratcliffe understands the importance of that role, and I look forward to supporting his nomination on the Senate floor.”

Related:

May 5, 2020: Rubio Statement on Rep. Ratcliffe Nomination Hearing

RUBIO, SHAHEEN APPLAUD MOVE TO HALT TRANSFER OF FEDERAL RETIREMENT SAVINGS TO CHINA

19 Aug Marco Rubio Logo

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) welcomed reports that the President has taken steps to prevent the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) from moving forward with a short-sighted decision to invest billions of dollars from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) — the retirement assets of federal government employees, including members of the U.S. Armed Forces — in opaque Chinese firms engaged in human rights abuses and a wide range of military-related activities.

“I applaud the President for taking action and putting a stop to this misguided and deeply flawed decision by five unelected bureaucrats,” Rubio said. “There is strong bipartisan, bicameral opposition in Congress to this decision, which would effectively invest billions of dollars in retirement savings of America’s civil servants and military personnel in companies that assist in the Chinese government and Communist Party’s military activities, espionage, and human rights abuses, as well as many other Chinese companies that lack basic financial transparency and accountability.”

“It’s reckless to prop up companies that threaten U.S. interests and values, and it’s particularly egregious to do so with the hard-earned savings of federal workers, including our military and civilian workforce,” Shaheen said. “I’m pleased that the President has heeded our bipartisan call to put a stop to this. The President’s actions help send a unified message that there are consequences for China’s malign behavior.”

Last year, Rubio and Shaheen urged the FRTIB to reverse the decision. Rubio and Shaheen also led a group of lawmakers in introducing the bipartisan, bicameral Taxpayers and Savers Protection (TSP) Act, which would prevent the FRTIB from steering federal retirement savings to China. Specifically, the FRTIB plans to shift the TSP’s International Fund Index to the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Investable Market Index that includes Chinese companies under U.S. sanctions and U.S. export bans.

The FRTIB currently plans to begin investing the retirement assets later this year. The move would also place federal savers and their beneficiaries at risk by directing their savings into Chinese firms that fail to live up to the accounting and financial disclosure levels that are standard in developed markets.

Related:

· April 30, 2020: Rubio Applauds Administration’s Forthcoming Action Blocking Federal Retirement Funds From Flowing to Chinese Companies

· November 22, 2019: Rubio, Colleagues Urges President Trump to Appoint New Board Members to Oversee TSP

· November 21, 2019: Rubio, Shaheen Urge Swift Committee Action on Their Bipartisan TSP Act

· November 6, 2019: Rubio, Shaheen Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill Banning TSP Board from Steering Federal Retirement Savings to China

· October 22, 2019: Rubio, Shaheen Lead Bipartisan Group Urging TSP Board to Reverse Decision to Steer Federal Retirement Savings to China

· September 30, 2019: ICYMI: Rubio & Shaheen: Federal Retirement Savings Should Not Fund China's Communist Party

CHAIRMAN RUBIO REQUESTS INFORMATION ON SBA DISASTER PREPAREDNESS IN ADVANCE OF 2020 HURRICANE SEASON

19 Aug Marco Rubio Logo

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, urged Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), to provide information on the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) preparedness to respond to potential natural disasters that could arise in the upcoming months in advance of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season beginning on June 1st.

“The federal government has a significant role in preparedness, response, and recovery from natural disasters for all Americans impacted, no matter the origins,” Chairman Rubio wrote. “We must ensure that all proper resources will be available and dispersed to the citizens of our nation in a timely manner.” June 1st marks the beginning of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Some recent projections forecast an active season, with the potential for at least six named hurricanes. The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) and its loan programs serve as an important lifeline for individuals and small businesses impacted both physically and economically as the result of natural disasters. While SBA ODA resources are currently being directed to assist small businesses that have suffered economic injury due to COVID-19, it is imperative that this work not detract from the Agency’s preparedness to respond to potential natural disasters that could arise in the upcoming months.

For this reason, I would request you provide me with answers to the following questions:

· What measures has the agency taken to ensure that ODA will be properly prepared to meet the demands of the COVID-19 related loans in tandem with those related to future disasters?

· What are the current staffing levels, including permanent, reservists, and outside agency staff, for ODA to process and disperse disaster loans?

· Are certain staff assigned to physical disaster assistance vs. economic injury assistance? If so, how many and to which loan programs?

· Has the agency implemented any recommendations from recent Office of Inspector General and/or Government Accountability Office reports related to natural disasters to improve the disaster loan program? If so, which ones?

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to help small business owners affected by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic through the expanded Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The federal government has a significant role in preparedness, response, and recovery from natural disasters for all Americans impacted, no matter the origins. We must ensure that all proper resources will be available and dispersed to the citizens of our nation in a timely manner.

19 Aug Marco Rubio Logo

Miami - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released an update on the Paycheck Protection Program, which went live Friday morning. According to Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), 17,503 loans valued at more than $5.4 billion were approved as of 7:30 PM EDT Friday.

“Just last week, Congress passed and President Trump signed the Paycheck Program into law,” Chairman Rubio said. “Yesterday, just days after becoming law, small businesses across the country received billions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program loans. Nearly all of the lending completed yesterday came from existing 7(a) small business lenders like community banks. As I argued when I first proposed to use the SBA’s guarantee programs to get assistance to small businesses quickly, these community banks were ready to go on day one. Their actions yesterday saved hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

“The speed with which the administration stood up this program is an incredible feat, but it's also important for a little patience and a little honesty,” Chairman Rubio continued. “When you launch something this unprecedented and far-reaching just seven days after it becomes law there will inevitably be problems. The good news is that every problem we saw yesterday can be fixed. I am on the phone constantly with Treasury, the SBA, and bankers across the country and all across Florida to make sure it gets better each day we move forward.”

The SBA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released additional guidance last night that can be found on Treasury’s website here and SBA’s website here.

Day One Concerns with Remedies:

• Large Bank Existing Customer Policy: On Friday, there were reports of large banks declining applications unless the business owner had previously taken out a loan or a credit card from the lender. Business owners that have had 20-year relationships had their loan applications denied. Some larger banks are only accepting PPP applications from individuals with prior relationships at the bank.

Good News: Banks are already starting to change their policy on this and will start accepting new customers. More large banks will be up and running early next week. FinTechs, including PayPal and other online lenders, are ready to process PPP loans and can help with the demand for businesses that do not have existing bank relationships. The nonbank lender application will be out soon.

• Holding Loans: Bank and nonbank lenders are concerned about the interim final rule requiring lenders to hold loans for seven weeks before they can be purchased by the government. Community banks and FinTech lenders need a liquidity or purchase market to continue to make loans to small businesses, especially considering the demand that occurred today and is expected to continue.

Solution: Chairman Rubio called for the new Federal Reserve lending facility to ensure community banks and FinTechs have the liquidity they need to continue to make PPP Loans.

• Affiliation Rules for Businesses and Nonprofits: Lenders are requesting clear guidance on the application of SBA affiliation rules to businesses, including the now eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit entities, which have not previously been eligible for 7(a) loans.

Good News: SBA and Treasury released an interim final rule and guidance on several affiliation issues, and Chairman Rubio will continue to engage with the agencies on further guidance.

Additional Outstanding Issues:

• Independent Contractor Eligibility: The interim final rule has contradicting guidance determining whether business owners should include independent contractors’ 1099s in their payroll cost calculation. Chairman Rubio’s staff has communicated this contradictory information to the SBA.

• Technology Issues: Some lenders have reported the SBA’s internal system for loan application processing, called E-Tran, has been slow. This is to be expected with the volume of loan applications to be processed. The SBA has contracted with a third-party provider to ensure the E-Tran system issues are worked out and addressed as they come up. Additionally, some community banks have reported issues with accessing the online portal, by which SBA will provide access to non-SBA lenders. The SBA is working through the issues to get everyone online.

• Money: Based on demand, it is clear that Congress will need to appropriate additional money for this program. Based on initial calculations, and as more lenders begin to participate in PPP, funding for the program could run out before the end of the covered period, which is June 30, 2020. Chairman Rubio has committed to working with his colleagues to provide additional funding for PPP.

Martin County Meetings

19 July MC Commissioners logo

Notice is hereby given of the following meetings to be held at the Martin County Administrative Center, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, Florida and other locations as indicated for 2020. Matters affecting your personal and property rights may be heard and acted upon. All interested persons are invited to attend and be heard. Written comments may be sent to the Board of County Commissioners, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL 34996.

Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding are entitled, at no cost, to the provision of certain assistance. This does not include transportation to and from the meeting. Please contact the County ADA Coordinator at (772) 320-3131, the Office of the County Administrator at (772) 221-2360, or in writing to 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL, 34996, no later than three days before the hearing date. Persons using a TDD device, please call 711 Florida Relay Services.

An agenda of items to be considered will be available to the public in the Administrator's Office, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, Florida. Items not included on the agenda may also be heard in consideration of the best interests of the public's health, safety, welfare, and as necessary to protect every person's right of access.

If any person decides to appeal any decision made with respect to any matter considered at the meetings or hearings of any board, committee, agency, council, or advisory group, that person will need a record of the proceedings and, for such purpose, may need to insure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record should include the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

For more information, please contact Donna Gordon, Executive Aide, Administration, 772.221.1352 or dgordon@martin.fl.us.

RUBIO RELEASES CORONAVIRUS PLAN TO COMBAT SUPPLY CHAIN RISK, U.S. DEPENDENCE ON CHINA

Mar Rubio

My Coronavirus Plan: Combating America’s supply chain risk and dependence on China for pharmaceuticals
Across the world, news of the coronavirus outbreak is dominating headlines, and with good reason – the pandemic’s apparently high transmissibility rates and lethal danger it poses make it an exceptionally grave threat. The fact that China, ground zero for the virus and home to an overwhelming majority of ongoing cases, refuses to be transparent with its data adds to the seriousness of the situation.
As I wrote recently in an op-ed, the Chinese Communist Party is not a responsible global power, and the party’s blatant mishandling of the coronavirus has clearly revealed that.

Unfortunately, this was predictable.

Last year, I noted in Modern Healthcare that when it comes to the threat China poses to the U.S. healthcare industry, we cannot afford to be complacent.

And a report I released last February detailed critical vulnerabilities in America’s medical supply chain, warning, “the U.S. runs the risk of losing important components of its medical supply chain to China’s government-backed industry.”

At the time, those seemed like abstract concerns, but we now know they are real. Americans unable to buy medical masks and who see headlines about potential shortages of critical, irreplaceable drugs will be familiar.

The coronavirus outbreak makes clear how dependent our nation is on China for industrial capacity, especially in critical areas of our economy.

Health and Human Services Secretary Azar publicly acknowledged this on Tuesday when he confirmed to me that the coronavirus outbreak is “a wake-up call that perhaps we are overly dependent on a supply chain so heavily concentrated in one place in the world.”

That’s why I am planning to introduce legislation to curb America’s dependence on China that will:

REQUIRE drugmakers to provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the volume of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) derived from each manufacturing source,RESTORE Buy America Act preferences for pharmaceuticals, and COMBAT supply chain risk and U.S. dependence on China for APIs.

RUBIO, CARDIN URGE SBA TO PREPARE SMALL BUSINESSES FOR CORONAVIRUS

Mar Rubio

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, sent a letter to Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), requesting information on the agency’s plan to ensure small businesses are prepared to respond to potential disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“As the situation continues to evolve, it is becoming clear that the threat of widespread transmission of COVID-19 could have severe economic impacts on small businesses and the U.S. economy as a whole,” the senators wrote. “For this reason, we urge you to take immediate action to ensure that small businesses and their employees are equipped to prepare for, and respond to, the anticipated spread of COVID-19 in order to reduce both short-term and long-term disruptions.”

Go Behind the Scenes of Martin County Government

Martin CARES, or Citizens Academy and Resource Education Series, is an award-winning program that offers residents a behind-the-scenes look at Martin County government. Over a six-week period, residents will hear from departments under the Board of County Commissioners as well as Martin County's Constitutional Officers. Participants will also enjoy exciting field trips such as watching an ocean rescue at Jensen Beach, riding the runway at the Martin County Airport at Witham Field, touring the award-winning Tropical Farms Wastewater Treatment Plant, learning how to make road signs and seeing larvae eating fish first hand at Mosquito Control!

Still not convinced? Listen to what these participants from our last class have to say about their experience!

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RUBIO REQUESTS CFIUS REVIEW OF AT&T SALE TO CZECH COMPANY WITH TIES TO CHINA

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Attorney General William Barr requesting the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) exercise its authority and launch a full review of the national security implications of AT&T’s upcoming sale of the Central European Media Group Enterprises (CME) to the Czech-owned conglomerate PPF Group.

In the letter Rubio wrote, “I believe the Administration needs to conduct closer reviews of corporate deals like AT&T’s sale of CME, and understand how the Chinese government and Communist Party work through proxies like PPF. Failure to do so undercuts U.S. diplomatic efforts aimed at countering the Chinese Communist Party’s political interference in foreign governments and societies.”

Rubio is Cochair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), as well as a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

RUBIO URGES ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR TO VIGILANTLY ENFORCE FCPA IN LIGHT OF CHINA PHASE ONE DEAL

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged Attorney General William Barr to vigilantly identify and enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in light of the “Phase One” trade agreement that allows American financial companies to increase their involvement in China’s capital markets in new and hazardous ways. Specifically, the agreement allows American firms to purchase Chinese non-performing loans directly from Chinese banks. The “Phase One” trade agreement was recently signed by the United States and China.

In a January op-ed, Rubio wrote that “[i]nstead of holding China accountable for exploiting American capital markets, this so-called Phase 1 agreement will make sure American capital continues to directly fund China’s state-run economy” and that “[a]nother appalling example of how good this part of the agreement is for China is the provision authorizing American financial companies to purchase Chinese nonperforming loans.”

Mar Rubio

WE NEED TO RESTORE COMMON GOOD CAPITALISM

Rubio: “Common-good capitalism is about a vibrant and growing free market. But it is also about harnessing and channeling that growth to the benefit of our country, our people, and our society. Because after all, our nation does not exist to serve the interests of the market. The market exists to serve our nation and our people.”

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed students at Catholic University’s Busch School of Business. Rubio spoke on “Catholic Social Doctrine and the Dignity of Work” building off his op-ed in First Things, titled “What Economics is For,” that focuses on the economy and dignity of work.

Rubio's remarks as prepared can be found here. Rubio’s full speech can be viewed here.

In a recently released report, Rubio outlines how economic growth is now more driven by finance than innovation in the production of real assets, a fundamental shift in the U.S. economy that has occurred over the last four decades. The report details how this has led to underinvestment in America’s economy and is driven by the consensus that the goal of business is to maximize financial return, leading to suffering on the part of the American worker and American industry.