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Newsletter - Issue No.14 - January 2019
Personal Message from Rep. Bob Rommel

Happy New Year!  The Year 2019 is off to a great and exciting start!  The elections are behind us and now your newly elected officials must get to work.  Florida's new Governor, Ron DeSantis and Lt. Governor, Jeanette Nunez along with the Cabinet comprised of Attorney General, Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, and Agricultural Commissioner, Nikki Fried, are already hard at work serving the citizens of Florida. 

On a personal note, I want to thank you for your continuing faith and confidence in me as your State Representative.  I promise not only to work hard for you, but also to listen to you and your concerns.  Let's work together and make 2019 the best year ever!

Bob Rommel, District106

PodCast - The Rommel Report

Be sure to check out Rep. Rommel 's Podcasts - The Rommel Report. The link below discusses "The Free Speech Battle" with Chris Hudson from Americans For Prosperity.

Florida's Inauguration 2019
On January 8th, following an early morning Prayer Breakfast, Ron DeSantis was sworn in as Florida's 46th Governor along with Jeanette Nunez as Lt. Governor, Ashley Moody as Attorney General, Jimmy Patronis as Chief Financial Officer and Nikki Fried as Agricultural Commissioner.

I attended the swearing-in ceremony which took place on the steps of the Capitol Building.  Following the ceremony, there was a 21-gun salute and a fly-over with 4 military jets. 

Ron DeSantis being sworn in as Florida's 46th Governor.
Governor Ron DeSantis, House Speaker Jose Oliva, and Senate President Bill Galvano
High school and college students from Collier and Lee Counties in the Florida YMCA "Youth in Government Program" attended the inauguration of Ron DeSantis at the Capitol. 
Governor Ron DeSantis' First 96 Hours in Office!
Although not even one week into his 4-year term, Governor DeSantis has already handed down several important orders. Two of which have been pending for some time.

In addition to Governor DeSantis' executive order announcing his major water policy reforms, DeSantis announced two other decisions.

Governor DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for his response, or lack thereof, to the shootings in February 14, 2018 at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, which resulted in the death of 14 students and 3 staff members.  Governor DeSantis appointed former Coral Springs police sergeant Gregory Tony, a Democrat and an African-American, to the top cop position in Broward County.  For additional information, go to

Another critical decision was made on Friday, January 11th, when Governor DeSantis and the state Cabinet unanimously voted to grant posthumous pardons to four African-American men accused of raping a white woman almost 70 years ago.  Known as the Groveland Four, today this case is viewed as racial injustice. For further information, please go to

Governor DeSantis also appointed two, conservative judges to fill two of the three vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court.  His first pick was Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban American, has been a judge on the 3rd District Court of Appeals for the past 12 years.  His second pick for Florida's Supreme Court is Robert J. Luck, who also sat on the 3rd District Court of Appeals. 

There's no question whatsoever that Governor Ron DeSantis has hit the ground running!  We're excited to see what happens next!!

Committee Assignments for the
2019 Legislative Session
Shortly before the holidays, the House Speaker, Jose Oliva, assigned House Members to Legislative Committees.  I was assigned to six (6) committees:  Health Market Reform Sub-Committee; Health Care Appropriations Sub-Committee; Judiciary Committee (Vice-Chair); Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Sub-Committee (Vice-Chair); Civil Justice Sub-Committee (Chair); and Joint Legislative Auditing Committee.
Health Market Reform Sub-Committee
The Health Market Reform Sub-Committee considers issues related to access and affordability of health care.  These issues include price transparency, regulation of health facilities, and the operation of the State's Medicaid program.  The sub-committee also addresses health insurance and the State Employee Group Health Plan.

Health Care Appropriations Sub-Committee
The Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee is responsible for all funding decisions related to the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Elder Affairs, the Department of Health, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Included within these departments are health programs that assist Florida’s most vulnerable populations including the elderly, individuals with developmental disabilities, foster children, children with complex medical conditions, and individuals suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. The Subcommittee oversees funding for the Medicaid Program, the KidCare Program, Child Welfare, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Long Term Care Ombudsman, Office of Medical Marijuana Use, Home and Community Based Services and Veterans’ Nursing Homes.

Judiciary Committee (Vice-Chair)
The Judiciary Committee considers civil and criminal law issues, including public safety and the administration of the court system.  The Committee oversees two subcommittees, each with its own jurisdiction.

Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (Vice-Chair)

The Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee considers matters related to Florida’s local governments, Florida’s veterans, the Florida National Guard, and the military. The subcommittee also addresses matters related to state/federal relations. The subcommittee has primary responsibility for the local bill process.

Civil Justice Sub-Committee (Chair) 

The Civil Justice Sub-Committee is one of the most important and busiest subcommittees in the House of Representatives. The subcommittee hears bills related to civil litigation (including torts, civil rights, contracts and collections), business law (litigation, creation of business entities), family law (including marriage, divorce, child custody and child support), constitutional amendments, real property law (transactions, mortgages, foreclosures, condominiums, homeowners associations), probate, guardianship, trust law, alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration), bills affecting the practice of law, bills affecting the clerks of court, and claim bills.  The subcommittee also has oversight responsibilities over the State Court System and court-related entities such as clerks of courts, the Justice Administrative Commission, the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and the judicial nominating commissions. 

First meeting of the Civil Justice Sub-Committee with Chair Bob Rommel

Joint Legislative Auditing Committee

In general, the responsibilities of this Committee are broad and affect all areas of government in Florida. The Committee's responsibilities are designed to provide continuous oversight of government operations, in part, through the auditing and review activities of the Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA).

Results of District 106 Survey
Recently, I sent out a flyer with a post card asking what your greatest concerns were in Florida.  My office received 100's of responses.  Thanks to all who took the time to respond.  Your answers help me focus on what is important to you.

1. WATER QUALITY.  Your voices are being heard at all levels of government - local, state and federal.  

On October 23, 2018, President Trump signed America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which will improve the nation's water infrastructure, including a Florida project intended to reduce toxic algae blooms.  This law, which Congressman Francis Rooney strongly promoted, helps create a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee designed to filter out toxins that have contributed to the algae.  The Act authorized more than $1.3 billion for the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir. In addition, the Act streamlines the approval process for local water infrastructure initiatives that require federal authorization.

Most recently, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) announced that it has substantially completed the first phase of the expansion of Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West (STA-1W) in western Palm Beach County last week.


The expansion adds an additional 4,600 acres of natural wetlands to treat water and remove excess nutrients such as phosphorus before it is moved south through Florida's water conservation areas and on to Florida Bay.

On January 10th, our newly elected Governor Ron DeSantis announced his new water policy for Florida signed an executive order including an additional $2.5 billion over the next 4 years to address Florida's water issues.  As part of this "fresh start,"  Governor DeSantis set a letter to the SFWMD Board of Directors asking that each of them resign immediately.  A copy of the Governor's letter is below.

Governor DeSantis and I will continue to push for additional studies on Red Tides and possible cures in the days and months ahead.

Governor DeSantis' letter to SFWMD Board requesting their immediate resignation.
Governor DeSantis along with Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez in Bonita Springs where the Governor announced his "fresh start" water policy.

2.  IMMIGRATION and SECURITY.  This office understands how important security is to Florida's residents and is working hard to insure that Florida does not become a sanctuary state.

3.   EDUCATION.  As your representative, I will continue to make sure that every child has the opportunity to a quality education regardless of the child's zip code..  I will continue to ensure that our children are prepared for today's jobs and those in the future.

4.   TAXES.  Florida has one of the country's best economics.  We have over 1,000 people a day moving from high tax states to Florida.  I will continue to work on reducing taxes and ensuring that there is never an income tax in Florida.
Out 'n About Naples
November and December are always busy months and 2018 was no exception.  Below are just a few highlights from some these activities.
Marco Christmas Island Style Ornament Contest

In November, I was privileged to be asked to be one of six judges in the Marco Christmas Island Style Ornament Contest for 2019, in which 134 Marco Island Charter Middle School students participated.  The theme for the 2019 ornament was an "Alligator."  The selection process was most difficult because of so many talented students. 

This year's winners are:
     1st Place          Dustin Provoyeur
     2nd Place         Katie Carley
     3rd Place          Ashley Francis

Honorable Mentions were given to:
     Laney Dunston    Shamus Coyle    Jenna Jackson
Winning students' submissions.  Judges examining the submissions.
CCPS Legislative Appreciation Breakfast

Collier County Public Schools invited all legislators to an Appreciation Breakfast at Oakridge Middle School.  We were greeted with seasonal songs by the Oakridge Middle Jazz Band and by members of the Oakridge Orchestra.  Both groups were outstanding!  Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton updated the guests on what is happening within the school district, while Principal Kim Lonergan updated the guests on what is happening within Oakridge Middle School. 

After breakfast, the Legislators and other guests were given a tour of the school including Robotics Class, Chorus, and Entrepreneurs Class.  The students were excited to share their projects and accomplishments with us.  Kudos to the teachers who are guiding these young minds.
Rep. Bob Rommel, Senator Kathleen Passidomo
and School Board Member Roy Terry
WRC -Naples Holiday Luncheon Gala
"Bells of Joy"
The Women's Republican Club of Naples Federated hosted its annual Holiday Luncheon Gala at Tiburon Golf Club, which honored women elected to office in 2018 in Collier and Lee Counties.  The guest speaker was U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Me), who spoke on the importance of electing qualified women  to office at the local, state and federal levels.  In addition to benefitting WRC-Naples' scholarship, the guests, including the elected officials, brought unwrapped gifts for children in Florida's Panhandle, which was devastated by Hurricane Michael in September.  Members of "Rolling Thunder" delivered these presents to the children. 
Rep Rommel escorting US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) into dining room.  Christmas tree with donated toys for children in Florida's Panhandle.
Kim Timm
New Legislative Aide - District 106
Kim Timm, a true native Floridian, officially joined the District 106 Team on January 1st as Rep. Rommel's Legislative Aide.  She will be in the Tallahassee office whenever the Legislature is in Session and during Interim Committee Weeks. At other times, Kim will be in the Naples District Office.  She can be reached at 850-717-5106, 239-417-6200, or at
Kim Timm - Legislative Aide to Representative Rommel, District 106
Copyright © 2019 State Representative Bob Rommel, All rights reserved.

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