Brown named ranking member of House Committee of Veterans Affairs

Today, Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) announced that she was named Democratic Ranking Member of the House Committee of Veterans Affairs.

In a statement Brown said…

“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for the 114th Congress, and I wholeheartedly appreciate the support of my Democratic colleagues. I am very much looking forward to serving our nation’s veterans in this new position and working to make sure these men and women get the care and benefits they earned through their service to our nation.

During the upcoming session, some of the key issues I plan to address in committee include fully implementing the Veterans’ Access, Care and Affordability Act, and ensuring that our nation’s brave, returning soldiers have all the resources they need to transition to civilian life. I will also continue my advocacy to get all of the VA Medical Centers opened as soon as possible.”

The last point is one that has the attention of all Veterans in Central Florida. The new VA Hospital at Lake Nona has experienced delays due to disputes between contractors and the VA. It was originally suppose to open in 2012.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has had a very difficult 2014. A waiting list scandal in Arizona that was potentially connected to a death in the area, and backlogs of claims stretching into the hundreds of thousands, caused the resignation of Eric Shinseki. Since then, the new Chairman Bob McDonald has been working with John Mica (R-Winter Park) to ensure the new facility at Lake Nona opens next year and that the clinics at Lake Baldwin and Orange City remain open and operating at an efficient level to meet the region’s needs.

Brown who’s district stretches from Jacksonville to Orlando has been mostly absent during the process.

Brown was named Democratic ranking member to House Veterans Committee

Brown was named Democratic ranking member to House Veterans Committee

Thursday Morning Political Headlines: Who is the wealthiest member of Congress from Central Florida?

One day closer to the weekend! Not that it matters much, we’ll all probably be working!

Who is the richest Washington lawmaker from Central Florida. A report from the Orlando Sentinel tells us that the controversial Democratic Congressman from Orlando Alan Grayson comes in at the top and ranks 17th in all of Congress with a net worth of 26.2 million

Others according to the report include….

“U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, ranked 80th with a net worth of $3.3 million. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson ranked 265th, with a net worth of about $500,000. U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, ranked 277th, with a net worth of $420,000. U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, ranked 291st, with a net worth of $320,000. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio ranked 456th, with a negative net worth of $140,000. U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown ranked 511th, with a negative networth of $460,000.”

This story leads your Thursday Morning Political Headlines:

Orlando Sentinel: Report: Grayson now 17th richest congressman

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News;

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Florida regulators approve new electric rates

CF News 13: PolitiFact: Rick Scott blames Charlie Crist for Florida job losses

WESH 2: Florida Hospital limits care through Humana health plans

WKMG Local 6: Resolution would split Florida into 2 states

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WOFL FOX 35: Florida Gov. Scott to pay for his own campaign

Mica #2 most effective Congressman in UVA/Vanderbilt Study

Congressman John Mica was named the 2nd most effective member of Congress in a recent study conducted by the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt.

Here is an explanation of the study from trove.com.

A team of political scientists from the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University have launched a new website called “The Lawmakers” that provides a database of information on the effectiveness of members of Congress who served from 1973 to 2012. The data will be periodically updated every two years to include future Congresses, too, making it one comprehensive resource for all who are skeptical of how impactful lawmakers really are on U.S. policy.

The group used five measurements to assess each Congressmen, focusing primarily on the bills introduced, bills that received action in committee, bills that received action beyond committee, bills that passed the House and bills that became laws. They also weighted each bill based on how significant it is to better determine who is making a positive difference on the Hill.

The result is a legislative effectiveness score. Mica scored 14.36 LES. Other local lawmakers included Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) with a .55 LES. Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) with a .25 LES, and Daniel Webster with (R-Winter Garden) .03.

Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas was number 1. The study was done for 2011 and 2012, so Alan Grayson is not present in the rankings.

Mica has the longest tenure of the Central Florida delegation. Expected to win his 12th term, he’s been the Chairman of the Transportation Committee, and has worked across the aisle on legislation with bi-partisan appeal. In an interview with OPO earlier this year he told us… I think what it boils down to is that people are concerned about what effects their lives and who makes a difference. And they hear a lot of politicians talk, and I think I get things done and improve lives.

Mica's initiatives in transportation and elimination of waste has made him one of the most effective legislators in Washington according to a recent study

Mica’s initiatives in transportation and elimination of waste has made him one of the most effective legislators in Washington according to a recent study

State legislature passes new congressional district maps

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting this evening, that the Florida Legislature has passed new congressional maps that will now go back to Judge Terry Lewis, who last month ruled that the previous maps did not adhere to the Fair District Amendments of 2010 (Sentinel story HERE).

The next step will be a hearing with oral arguments from both parties before Judge Lewis. Supervisors of Elections from all over the state have been instructed to develop a plan of action in case the dates of the Congressional primaries are changed and special elections are need. Over 1.2 million ballots have already been sent out.

According to the Sentinel report here is how the new maps would shape out..

The legislative re-write would slightly modify (Corrine) Brown’s seat by removing an “appendage” which reached into Sanford — and drops the black voting-age population from 50 percent to 47.1 percent. The seat would also shift from voting 70.9 percent for President Barack Obama‘s re-election in 2012 to 68.7 percent.

U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster‘s district would shift from voting 45.7 percent for Obama in 2012 to 47.1 percent. That would be accomplished by giving up College Park, Thornton Park, downtown Orlando and Belle Isle to the District 9 seat held by Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, while Webster would gain areas of Polk County including Davenport and Haines City.

I’ll feature more of this tomorrow in your morning headlines.

Florida Capitol

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Saturday Morning Political Headlines: New congressional maps on the move, more recess in schools

Saturday morning in Central Florida. Big plans?

The state legislature has big plans. A committee approved new congressional maps yesterday that will head towards a floor vote, and possibly end the special session that was court ordered, after a Judge ruled existing maps were not in accordance with the Fair District amendments that passed in 2010. The most noticeable change is the removal of Sanford from Corrine Brown‘s (D-Jacksonville) 5th district.

We’ve also got parents in Lake county pushing for recess in schools, and the reopening of Downtown Orlando’s busiest street.

These stories lead your Saturday Morning Political Headlines. Have an awesome day!

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Parents push Lake County school officials to make sure all schools have recess

CF News 13: Closed portion of Orange Avenue in Orlando reopens Monday

WKMG Local 6: Fla. legislative committees approve new districts

WESH 2: Fla. AG Pam Bondi seeks to put same-sex marriage appeals on hold

WOFL FOX 35: Romney insists he won’t be a candidate in 2016

FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando Sentinel: Martos takes on Horan in Seminole Commission race

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