Gov. DeSantis' willingness to approach an issue as contentious as the environment proves that he is a different governor. His approach is refreshing to many, and to date, he's kept the promises he made during the 2018 campaign.
And while the Republican governor is be lauded for his stance on the environment, there are some Republicans who have made this the foundation. Representatives MaryLynn Magar and Holly Raschein are two of these legislators, and their bipartisan mission has been a staple of their platforms since they assumed office together in 2012.
Together, they are making a strong push to improve water quality and infrastructure in a state that needs it. With Gov. DeSantis leading the charge, their agendas are more prominent than ever.
Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Hobe Sound
Serving her fourth and final term, Representative MaryLynn Magar will look to finish what she started when she was first elected back in 2012. On her agenda. the vice president and general manager of HeartCare Imaging Inc., will look to upgrade facilities that are directly related to water quality in the district she represents.
The majority of her bills this session will largely look to allocate resources to improve facilities and infrastructure -- many of which, would vastly enhance the 82nd District. Magar, has been an outspoken supporter of projects related to improving local water quality, and in her final run, she will look to make her district her number one priority.
Below is a list of bills that would directly impact the 150,000+ constituents living in the district:
While several of Magar's bills deal with appropriations, the economic benefit they could have on her district is immeasurable. Though they aren't considered "sexy," bills introduced by Chair of the Health and Appropriations Subcommittee will make a difference in a district that is plagued with water issues and an outdated substructure.
Aside from this, Magar is pushing other bills that should receive support from both sides -- including a bill that would appropriate $500,000 to the Department of Education to fund the STEM Classroom for Marine Science.
With a pro-environment governor at the helm, Magar's bills will fit nicely with Gov. Ron DeSantis' "bold vision." Magar's well-received agenda is desperately needed as Florida attempts to crackdown on its water-related concerns moving forward.
The conservative from Martin County is doing it right in her final farewell -- putting her district and the people she represents above others. Her initiatives should pass with little opposition, and in time, flourish within her district. With the administration determined to make the environment a top-priority, Magar's steadfast approach to improving water quality should serve as the catalyst moving forward.
Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo
Keeping in line with the Rep. Magar, Representative Holly Raschein is taking a similiar, eco-conscious approach in her final term.
The Key Largo Republican is looking to make a difference when it comes to improving water quality as well, focusing on improving the environment in the Keys. Her bill, HB 1395, would require a host of improvements that directly impact water quality, including requiring each local government to develop a strict wastewater treatment plan that meets certain requirements.
Aside from this, Raschein is also looking for funding for the Keys. The Florida Keys Stewardship Act, a policy signed into law in 2016 that focuses on protecting the Keys’ nearshore waters and lands. Raschein would like to see additional funding in this area to improve the ecosystem in the Keys improve. She's also focused on funding a hurricane recovery project in the keys to help rebuild areas that were devastated.
Raschein said there are many areas that need to be addressed, and she is committed to tackling the tough environmental problems Florida is facing. Of these issues, she says she will continue to promote Everglades Restoration Projects, combat red tide and harmful algal blooms, and encourage alternative energy methods.
Known as an effective bipartisan leader, Raschein is also reaching across the aisle to an attempt to improve Florida in the long-run.
Her HB 3583 would provide funding for the Pulse National Memorial and Museum. This bill is co-sponsored by Democrat Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith. The bill would issue $2 million in state funds for the memorial and museum dedicated to the 49 victims of the 2016 mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse.
Raschein also has a host of others bipartisan bills that she looks to push through the legislature this session. Moving forward in 2019, she will look to continue improving the Keys while working across with different legislators to ensure that the Sunshine State continues to thrive in a multitude of areas.
In a political era where Democrats carry the environmental mantle, Reps. Magar and Raschein are proof that Republicans care about the environment and how it impacts Florida's future. Together, they are making the environment a top priority for conservatives, and that coincides with what the administration seeks to accomplish over the next four years.
While the spotlight rests on Gov. DeSantis, both Magar and Raschein have fought to advance an environmental agenda for many years now. With both parties getting behind DeSantis' mission, expect Magar and Raschein to find success during their House swan song.