Q: As of the date of this interview (Feb. 11), session is about halfway through. What is happening?A: The Florida House will vote on the General Appropriations act soon, which is the beginning of the formal budget process. Budget highlights of the House plan include: investments in salaries for new and veteran teachers and other state employees including law enforcement and child protective workers; setting aside $1.7 billion for hurricane response and more than $650 million for Everglades restoration and water resources; and $3.7 billion in reserves. Some potential “wins” for St. Johns County in the House budget include $1 million for Ponte Vedra A1A intersection improvements, partial funding ($250,000) for EPIC to add inpatient substance abuse treatment beds for women, $500,000 to continue a specialized emergency shelter project for the ARC of St. Johns, $250,000 for painting and sealing the inside of the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and $100,000 funding for Flagler College storm hardening to protect historic resources.

Q: What is the focus this year for the House?
A: This speaker’s focus is access to affordable, quality care — to include more choices. Also important are enforcing the antitrust laws to foster competition, cut through red tape and improve the cost of medications, which cost between 30 percent and 190 percent more in the United States than other Western countries.  

Q: What bills are you sponsoring?
A: To follow up on last year’s ambulatory surgical center bill, which provided for a lower cost alternative to hospitals, this year I am sponsoring the recovery care portion. This gives people a place for extra recovery time in a lower cost setting than in a hospital.

Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs

Another bill would update statute to allow physical therapists to more fully practice.  

I’m also sponsoring the coordinated specialty care bill, aimed at youth aged 14 – 30 when they experience episodes of early psychosis. Research shows that early treatment leads to better outcomes. A person can get back to work or school sooner and they will understand how and where to get help if they need it again. This can change people’s lives since they hopefully will not end up in the emergency room, jail, or the victim of suicide. Studies show that a delay of anything more than six months in diagnosing and treating gives a lesser chance of a good outcome. In the United States, the average delay is one year.

Finally, I’m working on the state office of resiliency. This is not a big bureaucracy. This bill pulls together information we are already getting from all over the state so we have an understanding and can prioritize funding for projects. We are already spending money; this will be a roadmap to give a cohesive way to consider requests. 

Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?

A: Readers can email me at Cyndi.Stevenson@myfloridahouse.gov or call my local office at (904) 823-2300. Also use this contact information if you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, which I send out about 10 times per year.

  • Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • I.T. Promise Inc. Computer Services Professional Computer Services business and residential
  • Pavers concrete and more Free estimates
  • Snip's Tree and stump service over 25 years experience
  • The right cleaners, LLC House cleaning services
  • Premier Homes Realty Inc. Michael Taylor and Tari Taylor
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • Vote Rod Hardwick for st johns county sheriff Working together for the strength of our community during challenging times
  • Preddy law firm estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship
  • Starling Nocatee, 360 degree virtual tour
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Support Community Journalism The Creek Line
  • Tutoring club of st johns. Text tutoring to 484848 for a chance to win one month of free tutoring
  • Being Well Florida News line is excited to introduce Being Well magazine
  • Westminster Woods on Julington creek. Live well. Be Happy
  • Ackerman cancer center. We're here for your cancer treatment
  • Anytime Fitness! Summer is Here! We Are Open!
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Forever Vets Animal Hospital coupon for free exam and discount on preventative care for dogs and cats!
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience, complete lawn maintenance
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Support Community Journalism in Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Academy of Dance Open House & Registration August 19th and 20th 3pm to 6pm Classes start August 24th! Ballet, Pointem Jazz, Hip Hop Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Music Theatre, Vocal
  • Affordable Water
  • All About Ballroom
  • Do you only want cremation?
  • Craig Funeral services, Funeral, Crematory, Memorial Park
  • Cronin Ace Hardware
  • Vote for Christian Whitehurst! for St. Johns county commissioner, District 1
  • Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,
  • Finding the right doctor just got easier, Dr. Levine Baptist primary care
  • DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent
  • Nemetz Dental Associates! Your new smile awaits!
  • Deerwood Academy register now for 2020-2021 VPK
  • Eye center of st augustine, The eye surgery Center of St Augustine
  • Famous Automotive and tire center
  • Fruit Cove Baptist Church
  • The Goddard School summer camp
  • Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs
  • Ian MacDonald Mortgage loan originator with Regions Mortgage
  • Julington Creek Chiropractic & Wellness Center P.A. serving st. johns county for nearly 21 years
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue! Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. Have you watered your birds lately?
  • Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commerical!
  • Crosswinds Veterinary Hospital. Preventative Medicine and wellness, Surgery, Dentistry, Labs and Imaging, Farm Animal Medicine, In-Patient and Emergency Care
  • Florida Waterways Inc. Your trusted Waterway Advisers
  • JJs Bistro $10 off lunch or dinner
  • Julington Creek Family Dentistry. Implant Cosmetic and Restoration Dentistry. We are following Advanced Safety protocols set forth by CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines for dental practices
  • Alicia Washington for Circuit Judge
  • Re-elect Mike Orfinger for circuit judge
  • Concrete Works! Free Estimates, driveways, Patios, Walkways, Concrete removal, Driveway extension, Pavers
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • Starlight Gymnastics! Our #1 priority is your children!
  • Chris Strickland for ST Johns county sheriff!
  • Sugar Bear Antique Mall Summer spectacular sale July 10th-12th
  • Baptist Health, Great tools for motherhood
  • A Green Cleaner, Free pickup and delivery to your home!
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue!
  • Tailored living Premier Garage solutions
  • Westminster St. Augustine. were here when you need us
  • HarborChase independent & assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Your safety and peace of mind is always our Top Priority
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021