Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Florida residents attended the 2020 State of the State address as guests of Governor Ron DeSantis. The State of the State is an annual address the Governor of Florida delivers to a joint session of Florida’s legislature that outlines the Governor’s vision and priorities for the State of Florida.

Sheriff Morris Young

Morris Young is the Sheriff of Gadsden County, Florida and has been a member of the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years. Prior to that, he spent 11 years with the Quincy Police Department, where he was Officer of the Year in 1995. In December, Governor DeSantis announced more than $20 million through the Hurricane Michael Recovery Grant Program for communities still recovering from the storm. Of this more than $20 million, $2.4 million went to cities in Gadsden County.

Talethia Edwards

Talethia Edwards is a mother of seven children, four of whom use the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and three use the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which was established in legislation Governor DeSantis signed into law last year. Talethia is a community organizer who helps improve equity and equal access for the disadvantaged in southside Tallahassee.

Judge Barbara Lagoa

Judge Barbara Lagoa is a Cuban American from Hialeah and was appointed by Governor DeSantis to the Florida Supreme Court shortly after he took office last year. Prior to her appointment by Governor DeSantis, Judge Barbara Lagoa served on the Third District Court of Appeals, of which she was appointed to by Governor Jeb Bush in 2006.

Judge Robert Luck

Judge Robert Luck was born and raised in Miami-Dade County, and was appointed by Governor DeSantis to the Florida Supreme Court shortly after Barbara Lagoa. Prior to his appointment by Governor DeSantis, Judge Robert Luck served on the Third District Court of Appeal, of which he was appointed to by Governor Rick Scott in 2017.

Brittney Wilson

Brittney Wilson and her husband Jeremy moved to Jacksonville after Jeremy retired from the U.S. Navy. They homeschool their three sons, two of whom have special needs and receive Gardiner Scholarships, which provide eligible students a scholarship that can be used to purchase approved services or products in order to design a customized education program for the student. Brittney Wilson joined Governor DeSantis last February when he announced his intention to fully fund the waitlist for the scholarship. Following the 2019 legislative session, Governor DeSantis highlighted the increased funding passed by the Florida Legislature which included enough money to clear the certified waiting list.

Melissa Pappas

Melissa Pappas is a teacher at Brookshire Elementary School, where she works with autistic students on grades K-5. She is a recipient of the Mary J. Brogan Award, which recognizes extraordinary educators who instill passion, joy and love of learning in their students. Governor DeSantis has proposed raising the minimum starting salary for teachers across Florida to $47,500, which will benefit Melissa and teachers alike.

Lindsay Beam

Lindsay Beam is a teacher at Blountstown Middle School, where she teaches both 6th and 8th grade. Lindsay is a recipient of the Dr. Brian Dassler Award, which was established in honor of the late educator and awarded to those who are passionate about teaching. Governor DeSantis has proposed raising the minimum starting salary for teachers across Florida to $47,500, which will benefit Lindsey and teachers alike.

Bryon Hughes

Bryon Hughes is a firefighter with the Mexico Beach Fire Department. Bryon and his wife, Cori, a detective with the Panama City Police Department, were married two weeks after Hurricane Michael, standing on top of a mountain of rubble that Michael left in its wake. In September, Governor DeSantis announced $1.1 million in grant funding to Mexico Beach to support fire department and law enforcement operations.

Chris Atamanchuk

Chris Atamanchuk is the owner of SandBar Tiki and Grille, a restaurant in Englewood, Florida that was negatively impacted by red tide in 2018. Since day one, Governor DeSantis has prioritized the protection and restoration of Florida’s environment, including the state’s water quality. His Bolder, Brighter, Better Future budget recommends $22 million to improve water quality and combat the effects and impacts of harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae and red tide.

Geoff and Robbie Roepstorff

Geoff and Robbie Roepstorff are both professional bankers, receiving the statewide recognition of “Bankers of the Year” from the Florida Bankers Association in 2010. In their spare time, they hunt pythons in the Everglades, catching their first snake on Valentine’s Day in 2016. In August, Governor DeSantis joined the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and announced increased efforts to tackle the problem of invasive Burmese pythons.



Comments are closed.