First term representative Bob Cortes, whose district includes parts of Orange and Seminole County, sees first bill (HB 225) pass first committee.
By Jacob Engels
A little over a month ago, I wrote about District 30 Republican Representative Bob Cortes’ first legislative bill in our sister publication Seminole County Post. The bill, would mandate that all local, municipal and statewide government agencies purchase US flags that are made in America and from American made materials. The idea for the bill was born in the classroom of Brevard County teacher Matt Susin, who asked his students to come up with an improvement their government could make. It was introduced last session, but died in committee.
Earlier today, Representative Cortes presented his bill before the Local Government Affairs Sub-Committee, and received a favorable reaction from fellow committee members. Pasco County Democratic Representative Amanda Murphy said that she was proud of for tackling this issue and expressed regret that this issue had not already been addressed.
Before the members voted on the bill, Brevard resident and Ret. Lt. Colonel Tim Thomas explained that this bill was very important to the 65,000 veterans he represents on the Space Coast.
“Our veterans should know that the flags being displayed in our governmental buildings are American made.”
Timothy Lancaster, a student from Viera High School said that most of his classmates are more concerned about their girlfriends or the latest music, but that this issue truly spoke to him. “By speaking on behalf of this bill, I did something today that no one else in my high school can claim they have done.”
Following remarks from guests, the committee members each shared their thoughts on the bill and GOP Representatives Lake Ray and Patricia Sullivan commended Cortes and those who spoke on behalf of the bill for working so hard on making sure the All American Flag Act made it to committee.
SIDE NOTE – Representative Sullivan looked stunning as she delivered her remarks, proving that us millenials have the ability to put together a stylish…yet fashionable ensemble.
“I am so proud of Representative Cortes and the fact that this is his first bill,” said committee Chairwoman Debbie Mayfield.
Matt Susin, who is responsible for provoking his students to come up with the idea of HB 225 told East Orlando Post that he was honored to have Representative Cortes select this idea as the focus for his first legislative bill. All present committee members then voted to move the bill to it’s next committee, sending it away with a “favorable” review.
“Five more steps and this bill will be law. It was really neat for this to be the first bill to pass committee for Representative Cortes.”
Mr. Cortes’s legislative aide Johnathan Little emailed us a reaction from the first-term Altamonte Springs lawmaker, who drove up to Tallahassee this afternoon from Central Florida to present his bill before fellow lawmakers.
“I am humbled by the bi-partisan support of HB 225 in its first committee stop. The simple idea that a flag used for public purposes should be made in America stems from a student’s idea from a high school class project. Today’s action serves as a reminder that no citizen is too young to have their voice heard. I look forward to continuing to advocate for HB 225 as it moves into its next committee,” said Cortes.
The bill still has several committees to pass through and a floor vote before being sent to Governor Rick Scott, who were told is supportive of the idea. To learn more about the bill, click here.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org