Showing posts with label lawson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lawson. Show all posts

Sunday, October 08, 2017

No endorsement yet from Lawson in Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary

Homecoming week is here and the Florida A&M University campus will likely be visited by the two Tallahassee-based Democratic candidates in the governor’s race, Mayor Andrew Gillum and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham. Both candidates have announced numerous endorsements from public officials, but so far neither one has been endorsed by the most prominent elected FAMU alumnus in North Florida.

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat, has yet to state who he will support in his party’s contest for the gubernatorial nomination.

Gillum has received the endorsements of U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, a FAMU alumnus, and U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson. He has also outpaced Graham in gaining the endorsements of current and former members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus.

But Graham is still working gain the backing of politicians who represent districts with black majorities both inside and outside of Florida. She has the endorsement of state Sen. Darryl Rouson (District 19) of St. Petersburg. Graham was also endorsed by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights legend.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Lawson, Gillibrand introduce bill to reduce hunger and poverty

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently introduced the SNAP Standard Medical Expense Deduction Act of 2017, which will offer seniors a standard deduction for medical expenses when applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The bill would increase food assistance benefits for seniors by $7-$69 a month, and require federal agencies that administer anti-poverty programs for the elderly and disabled to report to Congress on their best practices.

“This bill will provide our elders and grandparents an added benefit that will allow them to keep up with rising healthcare costs without having to worry about buying food,” said Lawson. “Millions of our seniors face strained budgets and, at times, disability. This legislation eases the burden on seniors and ensures that they are not faced with the difficult decision of choosing between buying food and medicine.”

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lawson announces $1M grant to purchase 15 new electric buses for StarMetro

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL) announced a new $1 million federal grant award from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to the City of Tallahassee/StarMetro to purchase 15 new electric buses to replace aging diesel buses.

“This is great news for Tallahassee, the new electric buses will help to lower fuel costs and improve the air quality for our city’s residents. I am proud to have supported this funding and look forward to working with StarMetro on ways to further promote clean energy in our area,” said Lawson.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum commended StarMetro for being one of the other fifty-one projects selected to receive the FTA grant.

“This award offers tremendous support for our efforts to grow and refine our electric bus fleet, and further advances the commitment to clean and renewable energy that we have embraced as a community,” Gillum stated.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lawson, Fla. Democrats ask Scott to guarantee food assistance is part of Irma recovery efforts

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, and the ten other Democratic members of the Florida Congressional delegation sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott asking him to take steps to ensure that Floridians have adequate access to food after Hurricane Irma. The group asked the governor to seek additional assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to further meet the needs of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens during this time.

“One of the most effective ways we can immediately help those impacted by the hurricane is by making sure that people have access to food,” said Lawson. “By making these additional requests, similar to those made by Texas after Hurricane Harvey, we can ensure that food assistance is part of our comprehensive recovery efforts.”

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Lawson introduces bill to honor civil rights leader Rutledge Pearson

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) recently introduced a bill to designate the United States Post Office at 1100 Kings Road in Jacksonville, Florida as the Rutledge Pearson Post Office.

Rutledge Pearson, a Jacksonville native, was an American History teacher, civil rights leader, and distinguished baseball player,” said Lawson. “His legacy in Jacksonville, especially in the fight for civil rights, is long-lasting and this is a fitting way to honor his contributions to our community.”

As a young man, Rutledge Pearson had a successful baseball career with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro League. His talent granted him the opportunity to play major league baseball in his hometown. However, because of his race, the Jacksonville Beach Seabirds rejected the notion of having Pearson join their team. In fact, park officials decided they would rather close the baseball park than allow him to play.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Lawson co-sponsors U.S. House resolution to censure Trump over Charlottesville comments

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL) is co-sponsoring a censure resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives against U.S. President Donald Trump for his comments blaming “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and excusing the behavior of participants in the August 11-12 ‘Unite the Right’ rally.

“The president should not indulge any of the hate groups,” Lawson said in comments published by WFSU on August 16. “I don’t care if those are the ones that put him into office or not. He is the president of everybody in America, not one particular group.”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lawson, Rutherford help secure U.S. House support for new $18.6M VA clinic in Jacksonville

U.S. Reps. John Rutherford (FL-04) and Al Lawson (FL-05) recently issued a joint statement praising the passage of S. 114 in the U.S. House of Representatives. S. 114 is a bipartisan bill that extends funding for the Veterans Choice Program, improves VA employee hiring and retention, and authorizes long-needed leases for 28 VA medical facilities. 

Importantly, this measure authorizes $18.6 million for a replacement outpatient clinic in Jacksonville.  This future clinic would consolidate services offered at the Southpoint and University locations and expand services for veterans.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lawson introduces bill to reduce student loan debt

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) has introduced the Student Opportunity Act to provide economic relief for those who have student loans.

His bill would make it possible for people with high federal student loan debt to refinance their loans at a lower rate, and it would ensure future students can afford loan financing. It also would eliminate the tax penalty for loan balance forgiveness.

“Education is a fundamental facet of the American dream. Across the country, students attend colleges and universities with the hopes of climbing the economic ladder, providing for their families, and working to meet new challenges with ingenuity and expertise,” said Lawson. “Unfortunately, the cost of college has increased significantly in the last decade and for many Americans, this avenue to a brighter future has become unaffordable. Reducing student debt will help increase economic activity and provide our nation’s students with the relief and opportunity they deserve.”

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lawson introduces jobs bill to benefit veterans

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) speaks to veterans in Jacksonville
Last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) introduced the Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act to give a boost to veterans who invest in their communities through entrepreneurship.

Veteran-owned small businesses create jobs and stimulate the economy. Veterans own 2.5 million businesses in the United States with over $1 trillion in revenue and 5 million employees, according to the Census Bureau.

Lawson’s bill would establish a small business start-up tax credit for veterans creating businesses in underserved communities.

“One of my priorities in Congress is working to ensure our veterans are getting the help they deserve - from job training, to access to health care and education benefits, to finding affordable housing," Lawson said. "Our brave men and women who have fought for our freedom deserve to be taken care of when they return home. This bill aims to help encourage veterans to pursue their dream of starting a small business in our communities around the country.”

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lawson calls Senate GOP health care bill “heartless and reckless”

Last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL), joined the House Democrats in criticizing the Republican “Better Care Reconciliation Act” introduced in the U.S. Senate.

“Just like the House bill, the Senate health care bill is heartless and reckless,” Lawson said.

Similar to its counterpart passed in the House last month, this legislation would reduce the tax credits available for purchasing health coverage, phase out the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, and allow states to remove basic protections on what insurance must cover.

“This bill will not be better for America. In fact, this cruel legislation confirms that Republicans have abandoned any guise of seeking quality and affordable health care for hardworking families,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY).

Lawson also voiced concerns about the effect the bill would have on the poor and the elderly.

“I will not stand idly by while Republicans try to wreak havoc with our country’s Medicaid and Medicare that so many rely on for health care, while also gutting key protections, and instituting a crushing age tax,” Lawson said.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lawson introduces bill to extend life of Social Security

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) has introduced legislation that would extend the life of Social Security by 15 years to 2049.

“Social Security plays a critical role in our economy as it provides for over two-thirds of our nation’s retirees, and provides financial security to millions of disabled workers and their children,” said Lawson.

“However, as the program is currently operating, the Social Security trust fund will be depleted by 2034. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Social Security for Future Generations Act of 2017, along with 17 co-sponsors and support from six organizations, including Social Security Works and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare.” 

Friday, June 16, 2017

House Committee passes Lawson bill to help spur innovation in small business

Yesterday in the House Small Business Committee, members passed several bills, including U.S. Rep. Al Lawson’s bill, H.R. 2702, the Small Business Innovation Research Program Commercialization Assistance Act.

His bill would create a pilot program under the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). This pilot program will provide additional funding for Phase II of the SBIR program which helps small business startups bring their products and services from commercialization into the marketplace.

The SBIR program encourages small businesses, including universities, to perform research for federal agencies in the fields of innovation and technology, with the potential to bring their research products into commercialization.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Democratic reps ask Scott how he will protect Florida from proposed Trump cuts to SNAP

Recently, nine Florida Democratic U.S. representatives sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott outlining their concern over President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

“Upon the release of President Trump’s budget, we are deeply concerned about the proposal to “re-balance the Federal/State partnership in SNAP benefits to low-income households,” the representatives wrote. “This proposal will shift 25 percent of SNAP costs to the State of Florida by 2023. More than two-thirds of SNAP households include children, seniors, individuals with disabilities and low-wage workers. SNAP is essential to keeping poor and vulnerable Floridians from going hungry. At a time when Florida’s budget is already strained, this has the potential to drastically affect how our constituents are served, and we are requesting information on how your administration intends to respond.”

The Florida delegation members who signed the letter included U.S. Reps. Al Lawson (FL-5), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Darren Soto (FL-9), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Val Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Alcee Hastings (FL-23), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lawson says Trump’s budget plan would take away lifelines from nation’s poorest citizens

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) released the following statement in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018:

“Once again, President Trump’s budget calls for extreme cuts to vital funding for programs that help our nation’s poor, from health care and food stamps to student loans and disability payments. It is a short-sighted plan that seeks to give tax breaks to the wealthiest while taking away lifelines for those who need it most.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Lawson denounces GOP-led effort to repeal Affordable Care Act

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson released the following statement after Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives forced a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the American Health Care Act:

“Republicans have lost sight of why constituents sent us to Washington D.C. – and it wasn’t to score political points with President Donald Trump. This abomination of a health care disaster will raise health care premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for hard-working Americans while at the very same time, giving $600 billion in tax breaks to big corporations.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lawson tours Eureka Gardens with HUD secretary

Last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) joined Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on a visit to the Eureka Gardens apartment complex.

In March, Lawson sent a letter to Carson asking him to come to Jacksonville and hear directly from Eureka Gardens residents about the issues they’ve had with their units.

In February, Lawson heard from residents who told him they’ve had issues with mold in their apartments, no air conditioning, no hot water, and gas leaks.

“I’m so glad Secretary Carson heeded my call and came down to Jacksonville to talk with residents at Eureka Gardens and hear first-hand what they need from the federal government,” Lawson said. “We need to make sure we are doing all we can to hold people accountable for improving all the units here so that residents can have a clean, affordable and safe place to raise their families and call home.”

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lawson slams Trump’s proposed budget, calls it “short-sighted”

Last week, U.S. Rep. Alfred “Al” Lawson released the following statement in response to the U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

“President Trump’s budget calls for extreme cuts to vital funding for job training, clean energy, medical research, and public education. It is a short-sighted plan that seeks to give tax breaks to the wealthiest while taking away lifelines for those who need it most.

We cannot reform our nation’s health care system while simultaneously cutting $12.6 billion from the Health and Human Services budget. If we want to ensure clean drinking water for future generations, we need to be investing more in the Environmental Protection Agency, not cutting $2.6 billion from its budget. Our international standing relies on our global development and diplomacy work, which cannot afford an $11 billion cut.

While I think we need to find innovative ways to make our federal government run more efficiently and save tax payer dollars, extreme cuts that will harm America’s seniors, children, and families is not the way to do it. I believe that our national budget is a reflection of our values as a society and this does not align with the values of Florida’s fifth Congressional district, and therefore I intend to strongly oppose it.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lawson criticizes Republican plan to repeal Affordable Care Act

Last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) criticized the health care proposal introduced by the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is an exercise in smoke and mirrors,” Lawson said. “This proposal would give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while burdening hard working families with higher health care costs. The Republican plan allows for soaring new health care costs for our seniors and shortens the life of the Medicare Trust Fund, endangering seniors and disabled Americans who depend on Medicaid coverage. This is completely unacceptable for Floridians.”

A study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimated that the Republican plan (which is called the “American Health Care Act”), “would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the coming decade and increase the number of people who are uninsured by 24 million in 2026 relative to current law.”

“I will continue to fight to ensure that Floridians with pre-existing conditions don’t have to worry about losing their health care, and that young adults can stay on their parents insurance until they are 26, and that we are doing all we can to make health care affordable and accessible for all Americans, not just a select few,” Lawson said.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Lawson says country “deserves better than a bunch of broken promises from” Trump

Back in January, U.S. Rep. Alfred “Al” Lawson (FL-5) denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from the United States for 90 days.

On February 28, Lawson attended the president’s address before Congress and released the following statement in response:

“We heard a lot from President Trump tonight, but the numbers speak for themselves. Forty days after his inauguration, we still have yet to see President Trump and the Republican Congress lift a finger to create jobs or help hard-working Americans.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Robinson joins Lawson for U.S. president’s address to joint session of Congress

On Tuesday, February 28, Florida A&M University Interim President Larry Robinson joined U.S. Rep. Alfred “Al” Lawson for the U.S. president’s address before a joint session of Congress.

Lawson, a FAMU alumnus, said in a tweet that he was “proud” to have the interim president with him for the occasion.

Earlier in the day, Robinson was part of a group of historically black college and university (HBCU) presidents and chancellors who met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House. At the meeting, Trump signed an executive order entitled “White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”