Last week, Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez showcased the achievements of her boss Gov. Ron DeSantis in areas she oversees, including public health, space, cybersecurity and other matters.
“Governor DeSantis and I have spent the past year pushing the boundaries of the 21st century with a bold vision of continued job creation, maintaining taxes low, protecting our environment and reforming education, but our 2019 successes are just the beginning,” said Nuñez.
“We have had quite an exciting and successful first year. Governor DeSantis and I look forward to tackling a number of issues in the upcoming legislative session and are confident that 2020 will yield significant results for Floridians in every corner of this great state. On everything from education to the environment, healthcare and hurricane recovery, I am proud to stand alongside Governor DeSantis and help author the next extraordinary chapter for the Sunshine State,” she added.
The governor’s office outlined the achievements in areas Nuñez oversees including the following:
Department of Health
As a former healthcare executive, Lt. Governor Nuñez has served as a key advisor to Florida’s Department of Health. During her first year in office, Nuñez visited 31 county health departments gaining knowledge of the unique community health issues, innovative programs and effective public messaging throughout the state.
After a Hepatitis A public health emergency was issued in August 2019, Nuñez worked diligently with Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and several other agencies to ensure an effective and efficient response to ending the outbreak in Florida. Through coordinated efforts, the successful mobilization of resources, and an increase in vaccinations, the state has been able to significantly lower rates of infection in order to protect the health and well-being of our residents.
Governor DeSantis also proposed and signed into law a Prescription Drug Importation initiative that will curb the exorbitant costs patients are unnecessarily experiencing on prescription drugs. This bold step pushed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow states to submit plans for approval to import from international suppliers, and just recently the Trump administration unveiled two proposals to facilitate a secure and safe global market of prescription medications.
Moreover, Nuñez and the Florida Department of Health also partnered with the CDC to “End the Epidemic” by 2030 and are actively working to implement policies and apply for significant federal funding to address the continued spread of HIV/AIDS, in particular those newly diagnosed. Together, DOH and the CDC are poised to provide testing, treatment, and linkages to care for those patients dealing with HIV/AIDS in an innovative and results-oriented manner.
As Chair of Space Florida’s Board of Directors, Lt. Governor Nuñez has provided executive branch direction in making Florida a leader in the aerospace industry. In 2019, Space Florida successfully positioned Cape Canaveral Spaceport as a global frontrunner in the commercial space enterprise. With historic launches, private sector and capital investment, and a $90 million infrastructure improvement grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, our Space Coast is quickly becoming the envy of the nation and the location of choice for aerospace companies globally. Furthermore, the successful Florida Aerospace Capital Forum, which took place in November, uniquely set the stage for a dynamic field of innovation, space exploration, investment and commerce for Florida to attract more than $300 million in funding and investments for participating companies.
Recognizing that cybercrime is a serious threat to our state brought about the establishment of Florida’s Cybersecurity Task Force. As chair of the task force, Lt. Governor Nuñez and the appointees are reviewing and assessing the state’s digital infrastructure, governance and operations, as well as identifying potential enhancements to Florida’s government cybersecurity programs. Additionally, with the demand for well-trained cyber experts at an all-time high, the task force will look to Florida’s state universities to expand the cybersecurity professional workforce.
Colombia Trade Mission
In November, Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez led a trade mission to Colombia, which included representatives from over 29 small and medium-sized businesses across Florida. The export sales mission, organized by Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), featured Florida manufacturers and exporters that were matched with Colombian importers to promote future economic opportunities. With Florida accounting for 24 percent of all U.S. trade with Colombia, the mission was extremely important in continuing to build on this vibrant trade relationship and expanding prospects in the global marketplace. Total export sales of roughly $16 million resulted from this successful trade mission.
Another highlight of this Administration’s first year has been our steadfast leadership and support for freedom and democracy in the Western Hemisphere. As the state with the largest Venezuelan population in the U.S., Florida has served as a refuge and beacon of hope and opportunity for the Venezuelan people. Together with Governor DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis, Lt. Governor Nuñez met with Fabiana Rosales, wife of Venezuela’s interim president, Juan Guaidó, to pledge solidarity with the Venezuelan people fighting to rid their country from the grips of a political, economic and humanitarian crisis.
With more than 1.5 million servicemen and women in Florida, our administration is committed to making our state the most veteran-friendly in the nation. We pledged to give those who served our country the care, support, resources and mental health services they deserve, and we are making strides on this front alongside Florida’s Department of Veterans Affairs. Whether it is investing in cutting-edge health clinics or providing veterans with career assistance, our administration is advancing benefits and opportunities for those who protect our freedoms.
As an advocate for children and women, Lt. Governor Nuñez has dedicated considerable time to issues and areas that will positively change lives. She hosted a panel at Florida International University on domestic violence, its impact and prevention efforts. Striving to serve as a resource for local and state leaders, the discussion focused on how best to address this growing problem, as well as the critical partnerships and legislative efforts aimed at supporting victims of domestic abuse.
Lastly, as a longtime member of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking and Chair of the Legislative and Special Initiatives Committee, Nuñez continues working with Florida legislators, community leaders and the 2020 Super Bowl Committee to combat this form of modern-day slavery. The Statewide Council on Human Trafficking serves as a mechanism to address coordination with law enforcement, education and outreach, as well as assess the availability of services to support victims.