“We ask that you provide a report on the status of veteran food security and hunger screenings to relevant House and Senate oversight committees by November of 2018, along with recommendations about further actions that could be taken to assist veterans who are determined to be food insecure, including pilot programs to test the feasibility of SNAP enrollment and applications assistance by VA personnel,” the members wrote in their letter to Shulkin. “It is imperative that Members of Congress are briefed by the Administration the progress of this screening tool as well as VA programs and personnel efforts to connect those in need to SNAP and other social services.”
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Saturday, November 04, 2017
Damage to a Florida Keys neighborhood caused by Hurricane Irma
Without the governor’s consent before the beginning of November, SNAP recipients in Florida between the ages of 18 and 50 who are not disabled and do not have dependents will be limited to SNAP benefits for 3 months in any 3-year period when not employed or in a work or training program.
“In response to the devastation of Hurricane Irma, your Administration ceased enforcement of this time limit for the months of September and October in the 48 FEMA declared disaster counties throughout the State,” Lawson said. “This move allowed the most vulnerable of Floridians to rebuild their lives without the worry of losing their SNAP benefit, and this policy must be continued.”
Sunday, October 08, 2017
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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
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
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
|U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) speaks to veterans in Jacksonville|
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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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.