ON THE ISSUES

Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Republican colleagues in Tallahassee care more about their political futures than our democracy and your right to vote. There is no other explanation for their constant voter suppression efforts.

If Charlie Crist is elected as Florida’s next governor, here are five steps he would immediately take to make it easier to vote:

  1. He would reverse the DeSantis limits on mail ballots, which are opposed by the local supervisors of elections. If the Legislature refused to act, he would declare a state of emergency before the next general election and make the changes himself. The Republican attack on our democracy is an emergency.
  2. He wants Florida to join about 20 other states and automatically register to vote anyone who seeks a driver’s license or conducts business with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If the Legislature refused to act, the governor and Cabinet could require the department to do it.
  3. He would push the Legislature to move the Florida primary from August to the spring, when more voters are here and turnout would be higher.
  4. He would make Election Day a state holiday so every voter has a better opportunity to cast their ballots — particularly wage earners for whom taking time off to vote on a Tuesday takes money straight from their pockets.
  5. He would make it easier for the governor and Cabinet to restore felons rights — just as he did before. He also would demand that lawmakers allow felons who have completed their sentences to register to vote as Amendment 4 intended while continuing to pay their fines, court fees and restitution.

Clean water is essential for the health of every Floridian – and for the health of our precious environment. But it’s also essential for a healthy economy. We’ve seen the economic and environmental devastation when our elected leaders look the other way and let special interests pollute our water. And then Floridians pay the price. With Red Tide once again hitting the state’s Gulf Coast and with Blue-Green Algae choking Lake

Okeechobee and threatening coastal communities, our economy, our jobs, and our way of life are at stake. The Crist administration will make it a top priority to ensure our water is clean for all Floridians.

REDUCE THE RUN-OFF

  • Pollutants from farms and ranches such as fertilizers, manure and pesticides harm drinking water, kill fish and trigger algae blooms.
  • The Crist administration will strengthen regulations regarding run-off from agricultural lands.
  • The Crist administration will strengthen “best management practices’’ for agricultural lands to reduce runoff and water use.
  • As governor, Crist will oppose state preemption over local control of environmental issues and the retail sale of fertilizer.
  • As governor, Crist will push for incentives for homeowners to create Florida- friendly landscaping that uses less water and requires less fertilizer and herbicide, which feed algae blooms and kill our seagrasses.

IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM TASK FORCE

  • Red Tide causes $20 million in tourism-related losses each year in Florida.
  • Now Red Tide is wreaking havoc again. The city of St. Petersburg – Crist’s hometown – picked up 9 tons of dead fish in 24 hours.
  • Red Tide also forces us to stop the harvesting of oysters, clams and scallops.
  • Red Tide has been found this month from Pasco to Sarasota counties, irritating the eyes and respiratory systems of Floridians and tourists.
  • Florida’s Harmful Algal Bloom Task Forces have made recommendations, and the Crist administration will implement them.
  • From runoff to sewage and stormwater, Florida needs tough new rules to protect our fresh water and our coastal areas.

REPLACE ALL SEPTIC TANKS – AND STOP ADDING NEW ONES – IN URBAN AREAS

  • There are roughly 2.7 million septic tanks in Florida.
  • Many septic tanks are old, too close to important watersheds, and not designed to remove nitrogen.
  • Contaminants seep out through sand and limestone and into the aquifers, polluting our springs, lakes and rivers.
  • As governor, Crist will work to replace all urban septic tanks and connect them to central sewer systems.
  • All new urban developments should connect to centralized sewer systems – not septic tanks.
  • Florida can use American Rescue Plan dollars to pay for these improvements.

SUPPORT WATER STORAGE AND WETLAND RESTORATION

  • Dispersed water management cleans water, creates more habitat for plants and wildlife, and provides groundwater recharge for the water supply.
  • The Crist administration will make more public lands available to store and clean water and restore wetlands.
  • As governor, Crist will find more ways to encourage private landowners to store and clean water on their property.

PROTECT FLORIDA’S FRESHWATER SPRINGS

  • Florida’s freshwater springs are the largest of their kind in the world.
  • Excessive nitrogen has polluted 80 percent of our freshwater springs.
  • We should be protecting our springs from agricultural runoff and excess consumption.
  • Crist supports a Right to Clean Water constitutional amendment.
  • As governor, Crist will fight state preemption of local governments adding additional protections for clean water.

FULLY FUND AND STAFF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • As governor, Crist will appoint an environmentalist to lead DEP, not someone from an industry the state regulates.
  • Florida is only the third state to take over wetlands permitting from the federal government.
  • More responsibility means DEP needs more resources to do the job right and protect our wetlands and waterways.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers processed about 1,000 wetlands permits a year in Florida.
  • The Crist administration won’t streamline bureaucracy to please industry and developers. It will do the job right to protect our precious resources from development.

STOP POLLUTING LAKE OKEECHOBEE

  • Florida’s “liquid heart’’ has been polluted for decades.
  • Tons of legacy pollution along with flood control efforts and the lake’s natural geography have vexed efforts to fully restore Lake Okeechobee. But we can at least stop making the problem worse.
  • As governor, Crist will crack down on agriculture runoff, improve management of the watershed north of the lake, and limit back-pumping.
  • Communities around the lake and coastal communities on the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers have been the ones paying the price for Lake Okeechobee polluters for too long.

RESTORE THE EVERGLADES FASTER

  • Restoring the Everglades is essential to our environment, drinking water, and tourism.
  • As governor, Crist successfully negotiated the historic sugar land deal, and as a member of Congress, Crist helped secure a record amount of federal funding for the Everglades.
  • We know what needs to be done, and Crist has a record of achieving results.
  • The Crist campaign will release a more specific plan for improving and accelerating the restoration of the Everglades soon.

As Governor, Crist Will Create State Office for New Floridians

More than 900 people move to Florida every day. That’s nearly 330,000 new Floridians every year, and we want to welcome them with open arms. Between 2010 and 2020, Florida’s population grew by 2.7 million residents or 14.6 percent, double the nation’s overall population growth. More than 20 percent of our residents were born in another country.

Sometimes our new neighbors need assistance navigating their new home—and the Office for New Floridians will cut red tape, reduce bureaucracy, and provide essential information and services to ensure every New Floridian can make a successful transition.

New Floridians are an essential part of the economy of our state. They buy houses, open new businesses, send their children to school and help improve our communities. As governor, Charlie Crist will make sure our new neighbors get essential assistance to make a successful transition — regardless of whether they’re moving to Florida from another state or another country.

The Crist administration will establish a new office to accomplish this: the Office for New Floridians.

It can be hard to move to a new state and sort out which government office can help you obtain a driver’s license and change your motor vehicle registration, seek a professional license to pursue a particular career, or obtain the proper local licenses and permits to open a new business. You might need help finding a job, finding the right school for your children, learning how to save money for college, or accessing social services available in your neighborhood that can help with the move and transition. This will provide one stop for new residents seeking help as they put down roots in the Sunshine State.

  • New Floridians Hotline: The Office for New Floridians will offer a hotline in several languages whereNewFloridians can get answers to common questions that cut through red tape and help them make a successful transition. The Hotline will offer answers to questions such as obtaining a drivers’ license, immigration status, job training programs, legal aid programs, and rental assistance. Calls will be confidential.
  • Opportunity Centers: The Office for New Floridians will sponsor existing community organizations to offer wrap-around transition services for new Floridians. Community organizations are the closest to the need, and ONF will provide grants and other resources to them.
  • Resources Hub: The Office for New Floridians will set up a directory for accessing and navigating a variety of free services throughout the state.
  • Hub for Skilled Professional Services: Too often, professional and trade certifications do not easily transfer across state or national borders. The Office for New Floridians will establish a smooth process by which skilled professionals and trade workers (such as cosmetology, barbering, engineering, real estate, contracting, or construction) can transfer existing certifications to Florida while learning any necessary new skills quickly.
  • Digital Hub: The Office for New Floridians will create a digital hub that will be open around the clock and available to everyone: WelcometoFIorida.gov. It will be available in multiple languages, with information specific to your community.

Florida currently does not make it easy enough to become a New Floridian. Paperwork, red tape, and bureaucracy create burdens that are too high and prevent New Floridians from making a smooth and quick transition. By focusing on solving this problem, we will grow our economy, create jobs, and put power in the people’s hands. Whether a New Floridian is coming from Boston or Bogata, the Office for New Floridians will ensure Florida is the most welcoming state in the union for new residents.

1. Restoring Voting Rights

Restoring voting rights. As governor, Charlie Crist will honor the intent of the voters who overwhelmingly approved Amendment 4. He will seek a new state law that would enable felons who have been released from prison to have their voting rights automatically restored while they continue to pay what they owe in court costs, fines and restitution. Crist also will immediately initiate a rigorous effort to reform and accelerate consideration of clemency requests, just as he did when he was governor when the state restored rights to more than 150,000 deserving Floridians.

2. Reducing Gun Violence

Reducing gun violence. In St. Petersburg and too many other cities across Florida and the nation, gun violence is on the rise. The homicide rate in Florida rose 10 percent in 2020 over the previous year. Gov. Crist will encourage and invest in local, grass-roots efforts in St. Pete and elsewhere aimed at uniting communities against gun violence. He will partner with local governments in gun safety campaigns to encourage legal gun owners to keep their guns locked up and properly stored. He will invest the state’s time and money in a comprehensive approach to reduce gun-related crime by improving neighborhoods through better social services, expanded affordable housing, better schools and more economic opportunities. As governor, Crist also will continue to seek stronger gun safety laws that include universal background checks for legal gun buyers as well as bans on large magazines and assault rifles.

3. Marijuana Reform

Legalizing marijuana. As governor, Charlie Crist will call for the full legalization of marijuana for adults, which already exists in nearly 20 states. Revenue from taxes on legal sales will be used to fund the police,
drug treatment programs and diversion programs. Funds will also be used to support our teachers. Adults will also be able to legally grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. Crist will also call for dismantling the unfair vertical integration model for medical marijuana, which requires license holders to cultivate, process and sell their product. That limits competition, creates a handful of powerful cartels and discriminates against Black farmers with limited resources. Crist will create a new structure that will significantly increase accessibility to medical marijuana, decentralize operations, and enable minority entrepreneurs and others to enter the market and focus on what they do best, whether it is farming, processing or selling the product.

Expunging marijuana charges. Crist will seek legislation to expunge all existing charges and sentences for misdemeanors and third degree felonies for marijuana possession, which covers up to 30 grams of marijuana or 1 ounce. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, for example, has essentially been diverting those cases. At least four states provided similar relief in 2021: New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Virginia. Nationally, Black residents are nearly four times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than white residents — and seven of 10 voters nationally believe marijuana should be legalized.

4. Reforming Florida’s Justice System

Sentencing reform. Charlie Crist will establish a blue ribbon commission to review Florida’s mandatory minimum criminal laws. He will support legislation (SB 1032) filed in 2021 that would authorize prisoners to earn rehabilitation credit for completion of a high school equivalency diploma, vocational certificate, drug treatment program, mental health treatment program, life skills program, behavioral modification program, reentry program, or equivalent rehabilitative program. The bill’s sponsors included Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando.

■ Expanding conviction review units. Gov. Crist will provide financial assistance and encourage state attorneys in every circuit to form conviction review units like those in Hillsborough County and several urban Florida circuits. These offices work to prevent, identify and remedy wrongful convictions. Smaller jurisdictions could form regional review units.

■ Improving data collection. To root out racial disparities in the criminal justice system, we need better data. In 2018, the Legislature overwhelmingly voted to approve the Criminal Justice Data Transparency Project. Three years later, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has failed to deliver, and this state still does not have a publicly accessible website containing comprehensive criminal justice data. As governor, Crist will make it a top priority to ensure FDLE delivers so Floridians have a clear picture of the system and policymakers can better target reforms to ensure equal justice for all.

Juvenile Justice Reform

■ Sentencing reform for juveniles. Charlie Crist will seek legislation vetoed by Gov. DeSantis this year that had broad bipartisan support (SB 274)
and would have made tens of thousands of juveniles eligible to have their criminal record expunged if they took part in behavioral programs rather than serve prison time. The bill would expand current law, which only allows the expungement of misdemeanors for juveniles. The bill’s sponsors included Democratic Sens. Gary Farmer of Lighthouse Point and Annette Taddeo of Miami.

■ Expanding civil citation programs for juveniles. Gov. Crist will expand civil citation programs for juveniles. While state law requires these programs in every circuit, their scope and success vary. Crist will seek legislation to make these programs consistent statewide and expand them to include all misdemeanors except for a handful, such as those involving firearms. Escambia County adopted this expansion this summer. This will result in better outcomes for youths statewide and save taxpayers money.

Reentry Reform

■ Create a reentry program task force that would assess reentry programs across the state and compile a standard of best practices. Gov. Crist’s administration will provide incentives and grant opportunities for programs that follow the standards set forth by the task force.

Charlie Crist believes seniors play an essential role in communities throughout Florida and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Charlie is committed to fighting for affordable health care; lowering the costs of prescription drugs; safe, comfortable, and accessible housing; preserving Social Security and Medicare; and expanding opportunities for seniors to remain active in their communities.

As governor, Charlie will continue to fight for seniors like he has his entire career. The Crist Administration will be ready on day one to:

  • Expand Medicaid
  • Lower prescription drugs costs
  • Support safe and comfortable living
  • Support Floridians with disabilities
  • Make sure Florida state employees get the retirement they earned
  • Roll back Tallahassee’s misguided voter suppression law and make it easier to vote

Charlie’s commitment to supporting Florida’s seniors runs deep. As governor, he created the ‘’Florida Discount Drug Card’’ that helped thousands of Floridians save upwards of $6 million at thousands of pharmacies across the state. In Congress, Charlie has continued to work for seniors. He’s fought to give Medicare the authority to negotiate cheaper prices with drug companies, and for lowering the price of insulin to $10 a month.

Charlie has blocked proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare and made sure seniors were included in stimulus payments. Charlie has fought to help seniors remain in their homes safely and is leading the charge to protect seniors and persons with disabilities from guardianship fraud and abuse. Charlie has called for inspections for aging condo buildings and continues to work to provide affordable options for costly condo special assessments for seniors on fixed incomes.

As our next governor, Charlie will honor the “Golden Rule,” and fight for what’s right for Florida’s seniors. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again.

POLICY PROPOSALS

Expand Medicaid

  • Charlie will fight for Medicaid expansion because Floridians shouldn’t have to worry about going bankrupt when they’re sick. He knows that expansion will save lives, keep tax dollars at home, create jobs, grow the economy, keep rural hospitals open, help more Floridians get the care they need, and enable the state to clear the waiting lists for home and community-based care.
  • As governor, Charlie will veto any budget that does not expand Medicaid.
  • The Crist Administration will use the additional Medicaid expansion dollars to fully fund senior services, including home care and Meals on Wheels.

Lower Prescription Drug Costs

  • Charlie will take on the big pharmaceutical companies gouging Floridians. In Congress, Charlie is fighting to allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper prescription drugs, and he’ll take that fight to the Governor’s office on behalf of Floridians.
  • Charlie will fight for an independent prescription drug affordability board that will work to improve public health, reduce the price of health expenditures while ensuring care is not compromised, better the patient experience, recruit and retain quality health-care professionals, and set target and maximum prices for prescription drugs. This board would be able to request information from drug manufacturers justifying their prices, review medication costs, and set ceilings for costs.
  • As governor, Charlie would provide Medicaid insulin pricing for every Floridian who needs insulin. Taxpayers won’t pay a dime. Drug companies will.
  • Charlie will ensure Floridians can finally import cheaper prescription medicines from Canada.
  • Charlie will work toward the creation of an online tool for consumers to compare prices of similar drugs.

Empower Seniors to Live Safely and Comfortably

  • Charlie supports expanding opportunities for seniors who wish to live in their own homes safely, independently, and comfortably. As governor, Charlie will allow Florida’s Medicaid program to pay for home renovations like wheelchair ramps or lifts, grab bars, wider doorways, and no-step bathing that will keep low-income seniors safe and out of the hospital or nursing home unnecessarily. This will make homes safer and save taxpayer dollars.
  • As governor, Charlie will restore his “Operation Spot Check” to ensure that all nursing home regulations are being enforced, including COVID-19 protocols and requirements for post-hurricane power supplies. He will hold nursing home owners accountable for having all staff up to date on COVID vaccines and push to get all residents boosted.
  • Charlie will roll back Tallahassee’s misguided voter suppression law and make it easier to vote by mail. He’ll make sure all legal votes are counted and will give voters the ability to fix ballots that have been rejected for issues such as signature match and change of address.
  • In Congress, Charlie wrote a new law, the Building Age-Friendly Communities Act, to shine a light on what seniors need to enjoy growing older in their own homes and the importance of social interactions and getting out in the community.
  • He also wrote the Senior Accessible Housing Act, which would cover the cost of senior home modifications up to $30,000 over a lifetime.
  • Charlie will fight to make critical safety assessments more affordable for seniors in aging condo buildings and will support construction of affordable senior housing units.

Support Seniors With Disabilities

  • As governor, Charlie will increase inclusion, accessibility and individual approaches. Charlie will include people with disabilities in development of disability policy and will enforce our civil rights laws. He’ll work to increase pay for care workers and require paid sick leave.
  • Charlie will deliver needed home-based services and long-term support. Charlie will expand access to assistive technologies and adapted housing and transportation. Charlie will crack down on abusive and unnecessary guardianships in favor of an informed decision-making model.

Support Care Workers

  • When care workers have to come in sick because they can’t afford to take time off, it endangers themselves, their colleagues and the seniors they are caring for every day. Charlie will propose paid sick days for care workers. If your job is caring for seniors, you shouldn’t come to work sick.
  • Charlie voted for billions of dollars in the Build Back Better Act to raise wages for workers who care for seniors under Medicaid.
  • In a Florida for All, Charlie believes that every elderly Floridian and their family should be able to get the home care they need at a price they can afford. Charlie will allow Medicaid to pay for home modifications that keep low-income seniors safe and out of the hospital or nursing home.

Ensuring State Employees Get The Retirement They Earned

  • Florida seniors represent 30% of the state’s population, and many of them have earned their monthly check from the Florida Retirement System. After years of hard work and service to our state, they deserve to be treated fairly.
  • At a time when prices are up, it’s not fair to let inflation continuously eat up the hard-earned retirement benefits for firefighters, teachers, or police officers who spent their career serving our state. As governor, Charlie will restore cost-of-living adjustments for retired state workers.
  • Charlie will improve the retiree health subsidy, so the benefits that retirees earned will keep up with rising costs. With Medicare premiums going up $22 per month in 2022 alone, the Health Insurance Subsidy should keep pace.

Across the Sunshine State, it has never cost more to be a Floridian. Housing prices continue to soar, making the dream of buying a home impossible for many families, while renters are getting slammed with record rents and sky-high increases. Premiums for property insurance and car insurance are reaching all-time highs alongside electric bills, with the Florida Public Service Commission in the pocket of big utilities and acting more like a lapdog than a watchdog. Meanwhile, both wages and the rate of wage growth in Florida are well below the national average.

Governor Ron DeSantis hasn’t just ignored these issues — he’s made them worse. Florida has become unaffordable under this governor. He signed into law legislation that permanently cut the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund in half, and he made it harder and more expensive for homeowners to get property insurance. All while this governor takes giant campaign contributions from electric utilities, then watches quietly as the PSC rubber stamps their outrageous rate hikes. At every turn, Governor DeSantis sides with corporations over consumers, puts profits over people, and donors over Floridians. The result: an unaffordable Florida.

Charlie Crist has a proven record of putting people first. As Governor, Charlie tackled the 2008 recession head first, pulling our state out of the financial crisis while fighting the insurance and utility giants. He demanded lower rates, and he appointed consumer-oriented regulators. In Congress, he has fought for housing affordability, access to capital for small businesses, a $15 minimum wage, the child care tax credit and stimulus checks to help people weather the covid pandemic. He’s spent his lifetime in public service taking on powerful special interests for the people. And when he’s elected, he’ll do it again.

Charlie’s Affordable Florida Plan is a promise to all Floridians that as governor Charlie will:

  • Work to make housing more affordable for renters and homebuyers
  • Stop outrageous electric rate increases and reform utility regulation
  • Expand fast broadband internet so it is accessible to all
  • Lower homeowner insurance rates
  • Fight to secure better, lower cost car insurance

POLICY PROPOSALS

Part 1: UTILITIES

■ As governor, Charlie Crist will put the word “public’’ back into the Florida Public Service Commission and the Office of Public Counsel, which represents ratepayers, by appointing watchdogs instead of lapdogs.

  • He will steadfastly oppose unreasonable rate increases by the for-profit utility companies and call on the Public Service Commission to set ambitious energy conservation goals.
  • Charlie supports changing state law so that the governor appoints the public counsel instead of the Legislature, and he promises to appoint an independent, experienced public counsel and supports additional resources to the office.
  • Charlie will also seek the repeal of legislation signed into law by Gov. DeSantis that imposes term limits on the counsel, which undercuts the office’s authority, so it can fight harder for consumers.

■ Charlie will call for eliminating the nominating process that is controlled by the utilities so that the governor can appoint Public Service Commission member directly without being forced to choose from a one-sided list of finalists. Charlie will give voters a voice at the commission by giving voters the power to decide whether PSC members should be retained or removed every four years.

■ Charlie will seek the repeal of legislation signed into law by Gov. DeSantis that prevents local governments from banning natural gas as an energy source in new construction and restricts the use of natural gas obtained by fracking. Charlie also supports the repeal of legislation signed by the current governor that prevents local governments from imposing requirements on gas stations.

■ Charlie will add more electric vehicle charging stations throughout Florida to emphasize convenience for drivers, not profits for utilities.

■ Charlie will expand solar energy, preserve net metering, and oppose Tallahassee politicians’ efforts to make solar more expensive.

Part 2: Housing Affordability

■ As governor, Charlie Crist will fully fund the Sadowski Trust Fund for affordable housing and work to repeal the law that permanently cut it in half. Once restored, he will line-item veto any raids on the Trust Fund. Sadowski belongs to the people of Florida for affordable housing, not politicians in Tallahassee.

■ For the veteran, young family, or first-generation homebuyer looking to own their own home, Charlie will strengthen and expand down payment assistance programs to help more Floridians achieve the American Dream of home ownership.

■ Charlie will appoint a Housing Czar who will report directly to the governor and be empowered to support the work of local governments to innovate and meet broad housing affordability goals, while respecting the unique local differences in communities throughout our state.

■ As governor, Charlie will restore housing funding that politicians took from the people of Florida and spent elsewhere, investing in homeownership, affordable rental units, climate resiliency, and energy efficiency.

■ Charlie will work to reform Florida’s documentary stamp tax to work better for Floridians who live in, or rent their homes. Charlie will fight for a healthy, sustainable real estate market for Florida families — not overseas billionaires

Part 3: Internet & Car/Property Insurance

Property Insurance

■ As governor, Charlie lowered property insurance rates by 10%, and if elected, he’ll do it again. He will also push the state Cabinet to join him in appointing a consumer-oriented insurance commissioner who will hold insurers accountable for rate increases.

■ As governor, Charlie will work with the Legislature and the Insurance Commissioner to require large insurers that sell auto insurance to Floridians to also offer homeowners insurance, allowing Floridians to “bundle and save.” Increased competition is a win for consumers!

■ Just as he did when he was governor, Charlie will fight to make Citizens Property Insurance an affordable option for Florida homeowners, repealing the DeSantis law that raised rates and put coverage out of reach.

■ Charlie would lower the cap before insurers could tap the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, broadly reducing individual insurers’ upside risk and lowering rates across the board.

■ Charlie will also help Floridians better protect their homes from hurricanes and lower their insurance premiums by re-establishing his “My Safe Florida Homes” program. When he was governor, the state provided 400,000 free wind inspections and helped 35,000 homeowners pay for hardening homes, which reduced their premiums.

■ As governor, Charlie would pursue a multi-state catastrophe fund to lower rates and backstop natural disasters, so that one state alone would not have to shoulder the entire risk of an active disaster season.

■ Charlie will fight fraud by creating an insurance fraud task force to protect hard-working Floridians and stop the fraudsters who drive up rates for homeowners insurance and car insurance.

Auto Insurance

■ As governor, Charlie Crist will veto any legislation that would increase rates and is not accompanied by an actuarial study of the legislation’s impact on rates.

■ Charlie will root out auto insurance fraud and increase funding for fraud investigators and prosecutors.

■ Charlie will appoint a task force that will recommend comprehensive auto insurance reforms to the governor and the Legislature that will lower rates and protect consumers.

THE SUNSHINE STATE SHOULD BE A NATIONAL LEADER IN SOLAR POWER

Florida is blessed to be the Sunshine State. We should put our blessing, the abundance of sunshine, to good use to power Florida homes and businesses. Solar will lower electric bills, create jobs, protect small businesses, and fight climate change and sea level rise. Solar technology is constantly improving, with lower costs and improved efficiency. Across America, millions have made the switch to solar. Yet, the Sunshine State lags way behind our solar capacity, a problem driven by a lack of leadership and foresight on solar policy. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Florida should lead the way — both in solar policy and outcomes.

As governor, Charlie Crist will set a bold new goal for Florida, putting our state on a path to reach one million solar roofs.

To achieve one million solar roofs, Charlie will take an all-of-the-above approach, with solar solutions for All Floridians.

  • Protecting and Enhancing Solar Incentives
  • Fighting Legislative Attacks on Net Metering
  • Creating Solar Renewable Energy Credits
  • Supporting and Expanding Low-Cost Financing Options for Homeowners and Small Business Owners
  • Creating “Solar for All” Low-Income Grants
  • Allowing Third-Party Ownership
  • Streamlining Permitting and Interconnection Standards
  • Instituting a Renewable Portfolio Standard and Efficiency Standards
  • Installing Solar on State Buildings

This is a jobs plan that will create and support tens of thousands of solar-related jobs in Florida, including manufacturing and installation.

HOW WE’LL GET SOLAR ON A MILLION FLORIDA ROOFS

Protecting and Enhancing Solar Incentives

  • Incentives put solar within reach for more families and small businesses. For many, state policies like net metering were part of the financial calculation of going solar.
  • When he was governor, Charlie directed the Florida Public Service Commission to develop a rule for rooftop solar that increased choice and market freedom by letting residents and business owners who generate their own extra power sell it back to the utility companies at a fair price. The Public Service Commission set the net metering rules two years later, but the utilities have been trying to kill it ever since.
  • Once again, Tallahassee lawmakers, doing the bidding of big utilities, are trying to kill net metering and make solar power more expensive. As governor, Charlie would veto any attempts by the Legislature to turn back the clock on solar, including by repealing or weakening the current net metering rule.
  • Charlie will institute Solar Renewable Energy Credits to put more money in Floridians’ pockets. Under his plan, if utilities are having trouble meeting their solar energy goals, they will be able to purchase credits from homeowners and businesses that generate solar power. This will make choosing to install solar more financially viable for more middle class families, and let everyday homeowners and businesses be part of the solution. In the eight states and Washington, D.C. that have a similar program, this is a proven way to encourage more solar and lower prices.

Supporting and Expanding Low-Cost Financing Options

  • For homeowners and businesses that want to install solar panels, but lack the up-front cash to purchase the system outright, Charlie will build on proven, low-cost financing options like the non-profit Solar Energy Loan Fund.
  • Under Charlie’s 1 Million Solar Roofs plan, the State of Florida will have skin in the game to lower interest rates and increase available capital.
  • Between jobs, energy reliability, lowering power bills, improving air and water quality, and fighting climate change and sea level rise, the Sunshine State has a vested interest in more people going solar. And it’s time we start acting like it.

“Solar for All” Low-Income Grants

  • Under Charlie’s 1 Million Solar Roofs plan, All Floridians will have the option to take advantage of the reliability and cost savings of going solar, including low-income homeowners and renters.
  • Charlie’s “Solar for All” initiative will offer grants on a first-come, first-serve basis to low-income Floridians who can use state-certified installers to put solar on their roofs.
  • “Solar for All” will put solar savings and reliability in reach for more seniors on a fixed-income, rural families, and even renters if their landlord agrees.

Allowing Third-Party Ownership

  • As governor, Charlie will allow third-party ownership of rooftop solar, opening the door for families to realize solar savings and reliability without the cost of owning the system outright.
  • By banning homeowners and businesses from directly purchasing power from solar companies that install solar panels on their roofs, Florida is in the minority of states, limiting our distributed solar capacity.
  • Charlie will insist on strong consumer protections and oversee any third-party rooftop arrangements, including leases and power purchasing agreements.
  • Bottom line: utility monopolies should not have a veto over how Floridians put solar power on their roofs.

Streamlining Permitting And Interconnection Standards

  • Florida’s one million solar roofs need to be connected to the electric grid. Charlie will work to streamline the interconnection process to avoid delays and undue costs.
  • Charlie will support efficient permitting and will strengthen laws preventing HOAs or condo boards from infringing on Floridians’ rights to install solar technology.

Instituting the Renewable Portfolio Standard and Efficiency Standards

  • When he was governor, Charlie made Florida a national leader on climate change, clean energy, and energy efficiency. If elected, he’ll get the job done on a renewable portfolio standard to require all utilities in the state to meet increasingly ambitious renewable energy and solar goals.
  • 31 states and the District of Columbia have renewable standards, and another seven have renewable goals. As Florida remains uniquely vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise, the Sunshine State cannot afford to keep its head in the sand on renewable energy.
  • In 2021, Gov. DeSantis chose polluters over people — and further eroded local control — when he signed a law banning local governments from restricting the use of fossil fuels to produce electricity used in their communities. In contrast, Charlie will let local communities fight climate change, protect their environment and quality of life, and push for clean air and water.
  • As governor, Charlie will restore energy efficiency goals for utilities.For energy efficiency performance and savings, Florida Power and Light, Duke Energy, and TECO rank near the bottom in the nation. Most states have long-term energy efficiency goals. Not Florida — because the utilities don’t want any goals at all. Charlie will demand that the Public Service Commission set robust energy conservation goals. When it comes to adding insulation, energy efficiency windows, and other improvements to save energy and lower power bills, Florida utilities should be part of the solution — not the problem.

Solar on State Buildings

  • With Charlie as governor, the State of Florida will walk the walk to reach one million solar roofs, starting by installing panels on the Governor’s Mansion.
  • He’ll issue an executive order to install solar panels on every possible state-owned building to meet energy needs.
  • Charlie will support municipal buildings, schools, and other public buildings that want to install solar technology to save money, enhance reliability, and fight climate change.

Safer Neighborhoods, Safer Schools, Safer Florida

After the tragedy in Parkland, students bravely pushed for legislative action to end gun violence. The actions and advocacy of those students led to major bipartisan improvements to gun safety in Florida. Raising the age to buy a gun, creating a waiting period for dealer purchases, and a red flag law that helps keep guns out of the hands of those who represent an extreme risk of violence, were all steps taken after Parkland.

These actions were significant, but a lot of important work remains. Gun violence continues to threaten our schools, churches, synagogues, and communities. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted. It’s clear we have a lot more to do to protect Floridians.

From the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Floridians have had enough. There have been more than 100 mass shootings in Florida in the past four years. Majority-Black areas of Charlie’s hometown of St. Petersburg are suffering from a rash of gun violence. His friend, Chief Anthony Holloway, said it best: “The more these guns are on the street, the more harm they can do.”

We owe it to our communities, the memories of those we’ve lost and those left behind, to learn from these tragedies and continue to improve our gun safety laws. Reasonable steps to prevent gun violence include extending background checks, preventing domestic abusers from access to firearms, limiting high capacity magazines and assault weapons, and funding locally driven violence prevention strategies.

Thoughts are kind, and prayers are touching sentiments, but it’s time to honor victims and survivors of gun violence with action — which is exactly what our campaign’s “Safer Florida for All” plan will do.

ASSAULT WEAPONS REDUCTION

Banning The Sale Of Assault Weapons — Assault weapons are a semi-automatic firearm, based on high-powered military designs, designed to kill people quickly and efficiently. We’ve seen shooters use these battlefield weapons to murder hundreds in schools, theaters, concerts, churchs, and city schools. We must do more to protect Floridians from these often lethal weapons and pass common sense reform.

ENFORCE GUN LAWS

Background Checks — From Pulse to Parkland to Pensacola, our state has endured too many mass shootings caused by people who should not have been able to buy a gun in the first place. Right now federal law lets dangerous people, who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns, have easy access to guns from private parties without a background check. As governor, Charlie will work to close these dangerous loopholes and require universal background checks for gun sales.

Crackdown on Ghost Guns — Florida has no laws concerning untraceable or undetectable firearms. Known as ghost guns they are used in crimes throughout the country. We should work to ban sales of partially finished receivers without a serial number, require serialization of those that are already in the community, and establish penalties for 3D-printed weapons.

Crackdown On Gun Trafficking — As governor, Charlie will work to end gun trafficking by cracking down on straw purchases, corrupt gun dealers, gun thefts, and bulk gun purchases. Handguns bought in bulk purchase are dramatically, 64%, more likely to be used in a crime than a handgun bought in an individual purchase. Limiting buyers to one handgun purchase per month is a reasonable, straightforward, proven way to reduce gun trafficking and violence.

Report Lost or Stolen Firearms — Florida law does not require gun owners to report theft or loss of their firearm. Stolen guns are often sold on the black market where they help fuel crime across the country. Reporting lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement would help reduce gun trafficking and crime. Reporting laws also help prevent prohibited persons — like career criminals, stalkers, and domestic abusers — from getting a gun. These laws also protect lawful and responsible gun owners from false allegations if a gun stolen from them is later found at the scene of a crime.

NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY

Locally Driven “Focused Deterrence” — If we want to end violence, we must instill hope and grow opportunity. Charlie will invest the state’s time and money in a comprehensive approach to reduce gun-related crime by improving neighborhoods through better social services, expanded affordable housing, better schools, more economic opportunities, and funding locally driven violence prevention strategies.

Violence begets violence, creating a killing chain that continues without community intervention. As governor, Charlie will work with community leaders like local law enforcement, civic leaders, clergy, and social workers to implement a program of “focused deterrence.” Incredibly successful in cities throughout the country this model could save tens of thousands of lives in Florida. Charlie would work with civic leaders to make sure they have state-backed support with local solutions.

This simple three-step model of focused deterrence has created major drops in gun-related crime and death in cities throughout the country. Tracking crime, involving the community, and following up with outreach programs is one of the best locally focused solutions to reduce gun violence.

  • Gather and Evaluate: The first step of focused deterrence is gathering respected civic leaders like clergy, social workers, and law enforcement officers into a working partnership. This local partnership then begins the process of examining violent incidents and trends to figure out who is most likely to shoot or be shot.
  • Communicate the Message: These folks are invited to a community meeting with the working members of the partnership and others like faith leaders, victims of gun violence, former perpetrators who have moved on from their old life, and parents of gun violence victims to communicate a clear and strong message — the shooting must stop. Law enforcement officers then convey a clear and strong message that if the community’s plea is ignored they will act on the community’s wishes and swift action will be taken against any future perpetrators of violence. Meeting attendees receive the message that the community cares about them and wants to see them healthy and understand that, at the request of the community, any future violence will bring strong and swift action by law enforcement. At the end of the community meeting people are connected with social workers that can help steer folks in the direction of resources like tutoring, mental health treatment, transportation assistance, and housing support. This creates a forceful “focused deterrence” effect that has been proven to rapidly reduce local gun violence.
  • Follow Through and Repeat: The next time a violent incident occurs law enforcement follow through on their commitment to take swift action. Other community meetings are held until the message is adequately distributed. Progress is tracked and measured.

Strengthen Red Flag Laws — After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida passed a red flag law. This law creates a process for civil courts, after petitioning from law enforcement, to issue an Extreme Risk Protection Order that temporarily suspends firearm access if the civil court determines there is ample evidence that a person is at extreme risk of significant violence in the immediate future. Law enforcement officers and agencies can file a petition for an Extreme Risk Protection Order when a person “poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having a firearm or any ammunition in his or her custody or control or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or any ammunition.”

In countless instances friends or family noticed warning signs that those closest to them were at extreme risk of harming themselves or others. Right now in Florida only law enforcement can petition for an extreme risk protection order. As governor, we would work toward allowing family and household members, as those that know them best and see the earliest signs, to also petition the courts. This simple step would save lives. We would also work for funding statewide officer training in use of these red flag laws instead of placing that burden on local departments as it is now.

Strengthen firearm safe storage law — Kids throughout the country are killed by mishandled firearms every year. Children shot accidentally — almost always by other children — is all the more crushing because they’re often preventable. Currently, Florida law calls for the proper and safe storage of a loaded gun if the owner could reasonably assume a child could have access. While this law is a step in the right direction, as governor, Charlie will work to pass additional child access prevention laws — like storing ammunition and firearms separately and requiring safe storage of an unloaded weapon — to stop these devastating and accidental deaths. Keeping firearms away from children is a reasonable step that would dramatically reduce death and injury that every responsible gun owner is already doing.

Deny Guns To Domestic Abusers — Every fourteen hours a woman is shot and killed by her partner. An abusive partner’s access to a gun can mean the difference between life and death. A woman is five times more likely to be murdered if an abusive partner has access to a gun, nearly five million women report a partner has threatened them with a firearm, and another million report having been shot. We must put a stop to this.

As governor, Charlie will work to limit stalkers and abusers access to firearms. Federal law prevents convicted domestic abusers from firearm access but only applies to current or former spouses, if the couple is living or lived together, or if they share a child together. As governor, Charlie will work to broaden firearm prohibition to those convicted of misdemeanor stalking crimes or convicted of domestic violence of someone they aren’t married to. We can save lives and stop guns from being used to intimidate, coerce, and abuse.

Let Cities Make Decisions About What’s Best For Them — We should repeal Tallahassee’s Community Safety Pre-Emption that takes control away from communities that know their own neighborhoods best. What works best in Liberty County may not work best in Broward. We should let people have local control, not put all the power in Tallahassee, and let them make the decisions that are best for them, their families and neighborhoods.

Lengthen Waiting Period — Lengthening the waiting period from three to five days would help decrease impulsive violence and suicide. It would also allow law enforcement a longer time to complete background checks.

SUPPORT SURVIVORS AND FAMILIES

Establish The Mass Shooting Emergency Response Fund — Floridians join together to lift up survivors and family members of victims, Our state should too. Establishing a mass shooting emergency response fund could assist with hospital bills and funerals, and ongoing mental health treatment. Survivors need to focus on healing — not worry about GoFundMe.

Bring Caseworkers To Help Survivors Access Services — Survivors should have easy access to services, like victim’s compensation, healthcare, and disability. Too often, law enforcement has to shoulder the burden of helping survivors and families navigate services they may be eligible for. In order to better care for survivors, the State of Florida should surge knowledgeable caseworkers to the community following a mass shooting.

Establish An Office of Gun Violence Prevention — As governor, Charlie will work to create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention and appoint a Director to be a tireless advocate for making Florida a safer place, while protecting Floridians’ 2nd Amendment rights.