Go big to restore the Everglades | Column

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

If we are going to get this done and done right, all voices must be heard. Imagine the emphasis Florida would place on Everglades restoration if our lawmakers and citizenry understood it as Marjory Stoneman Douglas did. The Florida Everglades has a special meaning for different people. For tourists, Everglades National Park is a thrilling airboat ride through unforgettable wilderness. For outdoor ... Read more »

Let’s protect Coast Guard vets’ pay | Column

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

The defense bill includes a provision that would fix a problem that has endangered Coasties' retirement benefits, writes Rep. Crist. For the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard, 2019 was an impactful year. From mobilizing for Hurricane Dorian, to conducting a record number of successful search and rescue missions, including keeping $6.2 billion in illegal drugs off our streets, it was a success ... Read more »

Florida cannot afford another Deepwater Horizon disaster | Column

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

When BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010, one of us was governor of Florida. The other was a sixth-generation Floridian about to dedicate his career to protecting this state’s environment. Both of us were horrified to learn that 11 Americans lost their lives because of an offshore drilling disaster, and for months after oil gushed unchecked into our precious Gulf of Mexico. Six weeks... Read more »

The power of guardians demands better oversight by state and federal governments | Commentary

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

Picture yourself in your golden years, sitting at home, enjoying retirement after a lifetime of hard work. There’s a knock at your door. Instead of a friend or neighbor, you’re greeted by “officers of the court” who, with no advance warning, no notification to your next of kin, and little explanation, demand you come with them. You’re placed in a senior living facility far from home. Your possessi... Read more »

Tampa Bay Times: Charlie Crist: $10 million more to fight Red Tide in Florida is just a start

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

Red Tide is a plague on our environment and economy. It causes eye and respiratory irritation in humans, and, for some vulnerable populations, even worse. It sickens and kills manatees, dolphins, sea turtles and birds. And it leaves our beautiful oceans and waterways discolored and clogged with rotting fish. Despite this being a naturally occurring phenomenon, outbreaks seem to be getting worse. A... Read more »

Our future depends on American infrastructure built for the people

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

At what feels like one of the most divisive times in modern politics, the key to building bridges and finding consensus may be actual bridges. Or repairing them, at least. As members of Congress, we each represent different parts of this great country, and while our districts are distinct in many ways, we can all agree on one thing - infrastructure. Our constituents believe it is the duty of our ... Read more »

Ex-felons in Florida need their voting rights back

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

I am a proud Floridian. For far too long, however, our state has had the dubious distinction of being one of only three states that permanently bans non-violent, ex-felons from voting. The disenfranchisement of 1.5 million of our fellow citizens is shameful, a holdover of Jim Crow-era policies that had no place in our democracy more than a century ago — let alone in 2018. And although a recent cou... Read more »

Protecting Floridians access to medical marijuana issue of compassion

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

When Floridians went to the polls in 2016, more than just names were on the ballot. Included was Amendment 2, amending our state constitution to legalize medical marijuana. Amendment 2 received the support of 71 percent of voters – surpassing the 60 percent needed for passage. Do you know how hard it is to get more than 70 percent of the people to agree on anything these days? But Floridians under... Read more »

We must protect Florida’s future from offshore drilling

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

I was governor of Florida when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010. Over the next three months, more than 200 million gallons of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. I remember the tar balls that washed up along Florida’s pristine beaches, the marine life covered in toxic sludge, the near-collapse of our fisheries and tourism industry, and the tragic loss of life aboard the Deepwater H... Read more »

Congress should make flood insurance accessible, affordable

| Posted in Opinion Pieces

Floods can happen anywhere and at any time. The National Flood Insurance Program has provided peace of mind and economic security to millions of American families and property owners for nearly five decades. For many, NFIP is the only choice they have for protection against floods. And our state is the biggest player. We are home to nearly 40 percent of all NFIP policies and paid nearly $1 billion... Read more »

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