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Department of Florida

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Post Elections

Click the link below for recommendations to the Posts of The American Legion, Department of Florida from the Department Judge Advocate.

If you should have any questions, please contact the Department Judge Advocate at JudgeAdvocate@legionmail.org.

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Federal and State Agency Updates and Resources on COVID-19

Federal and State Agency Updates and Resources on COVID-19

USDA Expands Provisions for Lenders to Offer Temporary Exceptions to Payment Deferrals for Agency Guaranteed Loan Programs

STAKEHOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT: USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19 *Updated April 8, 2020*

DHS/CISA Alert: COVID-19 Exploited by Malicious Cyber Actors

FDA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup April 7, 2020

FEMA_Advisory_FEMA-CBP_ExportCriticalPPE_FINAL_20200408.pdf

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Warns Company Marketing Dangerous Chlorine Dioxide Products that Claim to Treat or Prevent COVID-19

 

Commissioner Fried’s Emergency Orders & Rules

Emergency Order 2020-006 waiving certain packaging and labeling requirements for eggs sold at Florida retail food establishments. Provides that packages of shell eggs will not be required to have printed certain information such as date of pack, grade, and size, although retailers will provide in-store statements with the information typically required. This will allow eggs to be moved more quickly from producers to retailers.

Executed: April 7, 2020

Expires: 30 days, unless extended or rescinded by the Commissioner of Agriculture

 

Emergency Order 2020-002 provides relief to pest control, pesticide, fertilizer, and animal feed licensees by suspending the late fees assessed for failure to timely pay fees, or timely renew licenses and certifications. Additionally, it extends (by 30 days) the timeframes required for both quarterly and annual reporting, as well as for renewing licenses and certificates.

Executed: March 20, 2020

Expires: 30 days from enactment date unless extended or rescinded by the Commissioner of Agriculture

 

Emergency Order 2020-003 waives fees that would typically be imposed for late renewals of the following permits and registrations: solicitors of contributions (charities), brake fluid, commercially-used weights and measures (e.g., scales), motor vehicle repair shops, and dealers of agricultural products.

Executed: March 20, 2020

Expires: 30 days from enactment date unless extended or rescinded by the Commissioner of Agriculture

 

Emergency Order 2020-004 will help concealed weapon licensees and Chapter 493 licensees by suspending renewal application late fees, providing additional time (30 days) to renew licenses set to expire, providing armed security officers additional time to submit proof of annual requalification, and allowing unarmed security officer training to be conducted by live video conferencing.

Executed: March 20, 2020

Expires: 30 days from enactment date unless extended or rescinded by the Commissioner of Agriculture

 

Emergency Rule 5JER20-1 states that the COVID-19 global health crisis and the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s directive to limit travel, there is an extreme and unusual oversupply of fuel meeting winter season volatility requirements, known as “winter blend” fuel. This emergency rule will allow winter blend fuel to be sold longer, ensuring the adequate and rapid distribution of available fuel and helping to stabilize the fuel market, and providing consumers a stable supply of gasoline.

 

Emergency Rule 5PER20-2 extends the deadlines for Sponsors participating in the National School Lunch Program to appeal agency action that may be issued against them by the Department in the coming weeks. The deadlines are being extended to allow Sponsors the extra time needed to comply with recommendations for social distancing when responding to eh agency action and to allow the Department to safely hold hearings at a later date.

 

Governor Executive Orders Re: COVID- 19

FAQs for Executive Order 20-91 (Essential Services and Activities during COVID-19)

Essential Services List

#2020-95 Executive Order re: COVID-19 Emergency Order – Documentary Stamps for SBA Loans

Suspending taxation imposed under Chapter 201, Florida Statutes, for notes and other written obligations made pursuant to Title I of the CARES Act.

Executed: April 6, 2020

Expires: Upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions

#2020-94 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief

Suspends evictions for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 and mortgage foreclosures for 45 days in the state

Executed:  April 2, 2020

#2020-93 Executive Order re: COVID-19 Emergency Order – Reemployment Assistance Program
Executed: April 2, 2020

Expires: upon expiration of Executive Order 20-52 including any extensions

#2020-92 Executive Order amends Executive Order 20-91 re: Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency

Supersedes any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response COVID-19

Executed: April 1, 2020

#20202-91 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency

Executed: April 1, 2020 but effective 12:01 am on April 3, 2020

Expires: April 30, 2020 unless extended by subsequent order.

#2020-90 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Broward and Palm Beach County Closures

Immediately closes beaches in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Executed: March 31, 2020

Expires: Length of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions, unless otherwise modified and suspended pursuant to subsequent order

#2020-85 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Telehealth and Immunizations for State Group Insurance

The state employee health plan benefits plan will include telehealth services at no additional cost to employees, and fees for influenza vaccinations will be waived.

Executed: March 26, 2020

Expires: Upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions           

#2020-86 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Additional Requirements of Certain Individuals Traveling to Florida

Directing all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the State of Louisiana, inclusive of those entering the State of Florida by roadways, to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days

Executed: March 27, 2020

Expires: Upon expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions, or upon an Executive Order lifting the isolation or quarantine after advice from the State Health Officer and Surgeon General

#2020-87 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Vacation Rental Closures

Ordering all parties engaged in rental of vacation rental properties to suspend vacation rental operations. Vacation rentals are prohibited from making new reservations or bookings and shall not accept new guests for check-in for the duration of this order.

Executed: March 27, 2020

Expires: In 14 days unless extended by subsequent order

#2020-88 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Re-employment of Essential Personnel
Regarding re-employment of essential personnel.

Executed: March 30, 2020

Expires: Upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions           

#2020-89 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Monroe County Public Access Restrictions

Regarding public access restrictions in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and Monroe County

Executed: March 30, 2020

Expires: April 15, 2020, unless renewed or modified by subsequent order

#2020-85 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Telehealth and Immunizations for State Group Insurance

The state employee health plan benefits plan will include telehealth services at no additional cost to employees, and fees for influenza vaccinations will be waived.

Executed: March 26, 2020

Expires: Upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions

#2020-82 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Isolation of Individuals Traveling to Florida

Directing all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.
Executed: March 24, 2020

Expires: Upon expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions, or upon an Executive Order lifting the isolation or quarantine after advice from the State Health Officer and Surgeon General

#2020-83 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Protective Measures for Vulnerable Populations, Gatherings of Private Citizens and Density of the Workforce

Directing the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer to issue a public health advisory to all persons over 65 years of age urging them to stay home and to take such other measures as necessary to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Executed: March 24, 2020

Expires: Upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions             

#2020-80 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Airport Screening and Isolation

directing all persons whose point of departure originates from outside the State of Florida in an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), and entering the State of Florida through airports to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.

Enacted: March 23, 2020

Expires: Upon expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions, or upon an Executive Order lifting the isolation or quarantine after advice from the State Health Officer and Surgeon General

#2020-51 Executive Order re: Establishes Coronavirus Response Protocol and Directs Public Health Emergency

Executed: March 1, 2020

Expires: N/A

#2020-52 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Executed: March 9, 2020

Expires: 60 days from enactment date unless extended

#2020-68 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 regarding bars, beaches, and restaurants

Executed: March 17, 2020

Expires: 30 days from enactment date unless extended

#2020-69 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Local Government Public Meetings

Executed: March 20, 2020

Expires: Linked to the expiration of Executive Order 20-52

#2020-70 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Broward and Palm Beach County Closures

Executed: March 20, 2020

Expires: The closures in this order shall remain in effect in accordance with the President’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread”, initiated on March 16, 2020. These closures shall expire on March 31, 2020 but may be renewed upon the written request of the County Administrator. The Broward County Administrator and the Palm Beach County Administrator shall have the ability to enforce, relax, modify or remove these closures, as warranted, pursuant to the directives and parameters as set forth in Executive Order 20-68.

#2020-71 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Alcohol Sales, Restaurants, and Gyms

Executed: March 20, 2020

Expires: Linked to the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions

#2020-72 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Non-essential Elective Medical Procedures

Executed: March 20, 2020

Expires: Linked to the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions

 Executive State Agencies Executive Orders

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

DHSMV EO 20-01

Executed: March 14, 2020

Expires: April 13, 2020 at 11:59 or at the expiration or rescission of Executive Order 20-52, unless extended by the Executive Director of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

 

DHSMV EO 20-02

Executed: March 15, 2020

Expires: on the earlier or rescission of Executive Order 20-52, unless extended by the Executive Director of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Office of Financial Regulation

OFR Division of Securities Proclamation

OFR EO 2020-01

Executed: March 20, 2020

OFR EO 2020-02

            Executed: March 26, 2020

 Division of Emergency Management

DEM Order No. 20-001

DEM Order No. 20-002

DEM Order No. 20-003

DEM Order No. 20-004

DEM Order No. 20-005

DEM Order No. 20-006

 Department of Business and Professional Regulation

DBPR EO 2020-02

Executed: March 23, 2020

Expires: Upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions

EO 2020-01

Executed: March 16, 2020

 Department of Economic Opportunity

DEO EO 20-011

Executed: March 20, 2020

Expires: May 2, 2020, unless extended by subsequent order

Reemployment Assistance Service Center

Emergency Loan Bridge Program

Department of Health

DOH EO 20-01

Executed: March 10, 2020

DOH EO 20-02

Executed: March 16, 2020

Department of Management Services

DEMS EO 20-01

Executed: March 16, 2020

 Department of Transportation

DOT Order 20-52

Executed: March 13, 2020

Expires: At the expiration or rescission of Executive Order 20-52 or April 12, 2020 unless extended by the Secretary of FDOT

 Department of Children and Families

DCF EO 20-055

            Executed: March 22, 2020

Expires: Upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions   

Agency for Persons with Disabilities

APD EO 20-01

            Executed: March 22, 2020

Department of Education

DOE 2020-EO-01

            Executed: March 23, 2020

Department of Juvenile Justice

DJJ EO 2020-01

            Executed: March 19, 2020

 Department of Lottery

DOL EO 20-0001

            Executed: March 22, 2020

 

Department of Revenue

COVID-19 – Order of Emergency Waiver Property Tax Due Dates

Executed: March 26, 2020

Expires: Upon expiration or rescission of Executive Order 20-52 or 11:59 PM on May 1, 2020, unless extended by the Executive Director of Dept. of Revenue

COVID-19 – Order of Emergency Waiver Sales and Use Tax Due Dates 

Executed: March 26, 2020

Expires: upon expiration or rescission of Executive Order 20-52 or 11:59 PM on May 8, 2020, unless extended by the Executive Director of Dept. of Revenue

NASDA Overview of Federal Agency Actions

Federal agencies have created specific websites to provide updates on their efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus. Below is a quick summary of all the main information resources available.

 Critical Infrastructure

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)Guidance on critical infrastructure workforce can be found here.

  • DHS-Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) indicated that the guidance will have minor edits as they collect more information from stakeholders. If you believe DHS-CISA guidance needs to be amendment or updates please send to CISA.CAT@CISA.DHS.GOV.
  • DHS-CISA does not plan on issuing any guidance on documentation for critical infrastructure workers at this point. States are taking different measures to address this issue such as, state agencies issuing letters, private companies giving letters to employees, and state agencies working closing with law enforcement to address any challenge that might occur. Some state administrations have also explicitly stated that they will not require documentation.
  • Industry proposed definition for critical infrastructure for the seed sector:
      • Seed Labs and companies conducting seed research including plant breeding
      • Seed producers including producers of research and foundation seed
      • Seed processors
      • Seed suppliers and brokers
      • Seed testing laboratories – private, state and Federal
      • Public and private seed certifying agencies
      • Manufacturers and suppliers of seed treatments including but not limited to insecticides, fungicides, inoculants and biologicals
      • Agricultural retailers and distributers
      • Transporters of agricultural inputs

Workforce

State Department:

  • Secretary Pompeo, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has authorized consular officers to expand the categories of H-2 visa applicants whose applications can be adjudicated without an in-person interview.
  • Consular officers can, if they so choose, now waive the visa interview requirement for first-time and returning H-2 applicants who have no potential ineligibility.
  • This expansion also increases the period in which returning workers may qualify for an interview waiver. Applicants whose previous visas expired in the last 48 months (increased from 12 months), and who did not require a waiver of ineligibility the last time they applied, do not need to be interviewed in-person if they are applying for the same visa classification as their previous visa.
  • We anticipate the vast majority of otherwise qualified H-2 applicants will now be adjudicated without an interview.
  • Overall guidance on these actions can be found here.

Department of Labor (DOL): DOL is continuously updating their coronavirus information here.

  • The website highlights unemployment, workers comp and workplace safety. H-2A update should come before the end of the week. We are hearing about delays from some states.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)USDA is working with the State Department and White House on H2A issues.

  • USDA will continue to update its website on the U.S. embassies status. U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Mexico closed on March 18th.


Transportation

Department of Transportation (DOT): DOT is working closely with the White House and industry stakeholders to ensure continuation of critical infrastructure support. More information around DOT coronavirus efforts can be found here.

  • Hours-of-Service (HOS): FMCSA has released an Emergency Declaration and Expanded Emergency Declaration that provides hours-of-service relief to truck drivers transporting essential COVID-19 items until the termination of the emergency or April 12th, 2020. Whichever occurs first.
    • Specifically, FMCSA has identified the following food/ag items as exempt: packaging for food, livestock, wood pulp, feed, and fertilizers.
    • Currently, FMCSA has deemed pet food as ineligible for HOS relief.

FMCSA continues to monitor the list of eligible products, if there are items that should be included and are not, please reach out to FMCSA at FMCSADeclaration@dot.gov.

  • More information on specific exempt items, ELD use, etc. can be found here:
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Waivers: FMCSA has granted, until June 30, 2020, a waiver for expiring commercial driver’s licenses and commercial learner’s permits. More details around the waivers can be found here.
  • State to State Resources:
    • American Trucking Association is tracking closures of state driver license agencies, CDL expiration date extensions, new CLP and CDL issuance / testing restrictions, increased size and weight limits, parking and rest stop availability across all 50 states here.

 

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture developed a website addressing some of the main areas of concerns as relates to USDA’s activities. Additionally, USDA has added frequently asked questions related to Food Safety, Access to Food, Pet Safety and Trade, and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

 

Food Supply Chain Disruption: USDA is part of the food supply chain interagency working group. If you are currently hearing of any major disruptions on the food supply chain in your state or has any questions please contact USDA at foodsupplychain@usda.gov.

 

Access to food: USDA created flexibility for their Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) programs during the pandemic response. More information can be found here.

 

Find your local FNS office here.

 

  • Child Nutrition Waivers: USDA released three additional nation-wide waivers for Child Nutrition programs.
  1. Parent pick-up waiver: Allows for;
    1. State level waiving of the student pick-up requirements across all child nutrition programs in a targeted and justified approach.
    2. Parents or guardians to pick up meals for children without the children needing to be present at the site.
    3. NOTE: State agencies must have a plan in place for ensuring that Program operators are able to maintain accountability and program integrity at open sites.
  1. Meal pattern flexibility: Allows for;
  1. State level waiving of the meal pattern requirements across all child nutrition programs in a targeted and justified approach.
    1. State agencies to waive certain meal patterns in the Child Nutrition programs at various sites, provided that local Program operators requests are targeted and justified based upon disruptions to the availability of food products resulting from unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.
    2. NOTE: Local Program operators must contact their State agency for approval to utilize this waiver, and State agencies must report to their FNS Regional Office when and where this waiver is in effect and for what food components.
  1. Delay in CEP Requirements:
  1. This waiver extends the data collection, notification, and election deadlines for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year allowing additional flexibilities for this reporting during these unprecedented times.

 

USDA is also working with the private sector to deliver boxes of food to children affected by coronavirus related school closures. If you know of any stakeholder in your state that would like to be part of this effort please have them reach out to feedingkids@usda.gov.

 

Food Safety: USDA is ensuring food safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. The following agencies have provided operational updates and can be found here.

 

Food Safety and Inspection Service:

  • Meat, poultry, and processed egg inspection services continue as normal.
  • Planning for absenteeism is a part of normal FSIS operations and as such, FSIS is closely monitoring and tracking employee absenteeism to plan for and minimize impacts to operations.
  • FSIS is also working to prioritize inspection at establishments based on local conditions and resources available.

 

Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS):

  • APHIS and AMS continue to provide critical inspections and grading services.
  • APHIS and AMS are ensuring the health and safety of USDA employees while still providing the timely delivery of the services to maintain the movement of America’s food supply moving from farms to forks.
  • APHIS and AMS are prepared to remedy any possible disruptions in their services.
  • AMS will continue to report commodity prices through its market news service.
  • Commodity markets can be assured that the USDA will keep America’s food supply safe as well as abundant during this national emergency.
  • The National Veterinary Stockpile maintains supplies of PPE and disinfectant which is used to support animal health disease events, such as the ongoing virulent Newcastle disease incident in California. Any request to redirect for the public health emergency should come through federal partners (HHS/FEMA) to ensure supplies are distributed to the areas with most need. In determining what to release, a decision on minimum levels to maintain for animal health mission activities and the ability to restock to maintain response capabilities and lab operations would have to be made.
  • Find APHIS FAQs here.

 

Trade operations: In collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, USDA continues to inspect imported agriculture and food products. The Foreign Agricultural Service has postponed trade promotion activities, including trade missions and shows.

 

Rural Development: USDA Rural Development launched a website specific to the RD covid-19 responses here.

 

 

 

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

NASDA is in communication with FDA about continuity of operations. We should have more will be provide you updates from the agency pertinent to cooperative agreements and inspections as soon as we receive advice from the agency.

 

Audit Guidance: Temporary Policy Regarding Preventive Controls and FSVP Food Supplier Verification Onsite Audit Requirements

 

FDA issued guidance outlining that due to restrictions, FDA is aware that the ability to do onsite audits as part of the supplier verification activities under the PCHF, PCAF, and FSVP regulations is going to be impacted due to coronavirus. This guidance provides a temporary enforcement discretion policy.

 

Clarifying food worker status as part of critical infrastructure sector: FDA is working with state and federal officials to ensure that law enforcement agencies are made aware that human and animal food workers are part of the critical infrastructure and must be allowed to travel to and from their jobs.

 

Please spread this message and work with your sister agencies and food stakeholders to spread this word. There have been instances of workers being stopped.

 

If your stakeholders are experiencing issues regarding supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity, please contact the FEMA National Business Emergency Operations Center at NBEOC@fema.dhs.gov. This is a 24/7 operation and they can assist in directing your inquiry to the proper contact.

 

Environmental Protection Agency

Additional information on approved disinfectants, and expedited product approvals.

 

EPA’s announcement on enforcement and compliance.

 

U.S. Trade Representative

USTR staff continue to work on implementation and enforcement of trade agreements. No updates to share regarding current negotiations.

 

Department of Interior (DOI)

The Department does not anticipate any delays with processing or approving federal grazing permits. Turnout for the summer grazing season is proceeding as planned.

 

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator is a spreadsheet-based model that provides information for healthcare facilities to plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Similarly, non-healthcare facilities (e.g., correctional facilities) may find this tool useful for planning and optimizing PPE use as part of the response to COVID-19.

 

 

 

Federal Agency Coronavirus Announcements/Quick Links:

Administration Actions and Federal Agency Resources: USA.gov is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus. From actions on health and safety to travel, immigration, and transportation to education, find pertinent actions here. Each Federal Agency has also established a dedicated coronavirus website, where you can find important information and guidance. They include: Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Education (DoED), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Treasury (USDT), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Find out how you can protect yourself and helpful resources on DOJ’s Coronavirus Fraud Prevention website. The Federal Trade Commission has also established a website with helpful information to help consumers avoid coronavirus-related scams. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has setup a website with up-to-date guidance on CARES Act implementation.

 

NASDA Coronavirus Resource Page

 

House Ag Committee Coronavirus Resource Page

 

President Donald J. Trump Approves Florida Disaster Declaration

 

SBA Launches Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

For more information and application link here: www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection

USDA ag-specific FAQs can be found here under the “Paycheck Protection Program” header. More extensive FAQs can be found at the Treasury Department’s CARES Act website (PDF, 50 KB).

Click here for an overview of SBA Guidance & Loan Resources related to COVID-19

 

Sea Grant Florida and UF Provide Overview of Selected Disaster Assistance Programs Benefiting Florida Small Businesses including Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fisheries (COVID-19)

 

CISA releases Version 2.0 of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker Guidance originally published on March 19, 2020

 

Effective March 26, the State Department has expanded scope of H-2 Processing | H-2A Q&A PDF 

 

DOL Office of Foreign Labor Round 2 FAQs (focuses on potential issues regarding the H-2A temporary agricultural labor certification program)

 

USDA and DOL Announce Information Sharing to Assist H-2A Employers

 

USDA Adds Flexibilities for Crop Insurance to Support America’s Farmers and Ranchers

 

USDA Adds Additional Flexibilities for Crop Insurance to Support America’s Farmers and Ranchers

 

USDA Working with Dairy Industry to Ensure Americans Consistent Access to Milk

 

USDA AMS extends flexibility to states on Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

 

USDA Announces Extension of Grant Application Deadlines for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program and the Regional Food System Partnerships Program

 

FSA Makes Changes to Farm Loan, Disaster, Conservation and Safety Net Programs to Make it Easier for Customers to Conduct Business

 

The CARES Act of 2020 provided an extension of the normal Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) maturity. FSA issued a notice of that 12- month extension.

 

USDA Makes it Easier to Feed Kids and Those Who Need Food During the COVID-19 National Emergency

 

Implementation of the nutrition and anti-hunger provisions included in the phase 2 & 3 coronavirus response legislation is taking place. See this resource for an overview of those provisions and programs.

 

USDA Temporarily Extends Expiration Dates for Some Good Agricultural Practices, Domestic Origin Verification, Plant Systems Audit Program Certifications

 

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19

 

USDA Rural Development Launches COVID-19 Resource Webpage

 

Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) FAQs Related to the COVID-19 Impact on the Fruit and Vegetable Industry

 

FDA Issues Guidance on Conduct and Review of Studies to Support New Animal Drug Development

 

FDA Provides Temporary Flexibility Regarding the Egg Safety Rule During COVID-19 Pandemic While Still Ensuring the Safety of Eggs

 

FDA Provides Temporary Flexibility Regarding Packaging and Labeling of Shell Eggs Sold to Consumers by Retail Food Establishments During COVID-19 Pandemic

 

FDA To Temporarily Conduct Remote Importer Inspections Under FSVP Due to COVID-19

 

FDA Further Extends Comment Period for the Laboratory Accreditation Program Proposed Rule Due to COVID-19

 

FDA Provides Flexibility Regarding Menu Labeling Requirements for Chain Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

FDA Provides Temporary Flexibility Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

FDA Fact Sheet: Safely distributing unused human food for use as animal food

 

New FDA FAQ: Should employees in retail food and food production settings wear face coverings to prevent exposure to COVID-19?

 

Updated FDA FAQ: How do I maintain social distancing in my food production/processing facility and food retail establishment where employees typically work within close distances?

 

FCA encourages Farm Credit System institutions to work with borrowers affected by COVID-19

 

USDA FSIS Special Alert on Temporary Allowances for Labels Going to Retail

 

DEA’s response to COVID-19

 

US Department of Transportation Issues National Emergency Declaration for Commercial Vehicles Delivering Relief in Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak

 

DOT Statement on State and Local Shelter in Place and Other Restrictions on Movement Relating to COVID-19

 

SBA Implements Automatic Deferment on Existing SBA Disaster Loans Through End of 2020

 

FTC Data Shows Jump in Coronavirus-related Complaints from Consumers

 

USDA Announces Second Application Window for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program Funding

Electronic applications for window two may be submitted through grants.gov beginning April 14, 2020, and are due no later than July 13, 2020. Paper applications will not be accepted under the second window. Additional information on how to apply will be available on grants.gov on April 14.

 

USDA to Temporarily Suspend Activities at Veterinary Services Miami Port Office

Issued: 03/30/2020; Effective: 03/28/2020. Please note:  The MIA port remains open and operational for the import and export of APHIS regulated animals. This notice does not impact APHIS VS live animal inspections performed at privately owned import quarantines or livestock export inspection facilities.  APHIS operations will continue at the Miami International Airport. 

 

Ed Rodriguez | Veterans Affairs Director
Office of Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried
Florida Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services

Email: Ed.Rodriguez@FDACS.gov

Please note that Florida has a broad public records law (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes.) Most written communications to or from state employees are public records obtainable by the public upon request. Emails sent to me at this email address may be considered public and will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to the laws of the State of Florida

 

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Letter from National Commander

To my fellow Legionnaires in Florida,

This is an exciting time for our American Legion. This year, we passed a milestone that very few organizations ever get to accomplish: a centennial. Although we have a truly remarkable history that no organization can match, I like to remember the title of an old song, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!”

Our first century demonstrated the power that a large group of veterans can have in shaping national policy and communities from coast-to-coast and even regions overseas. In the early years, these endeavors succeeded without the use of widespread air travel, universal telephones or even national highways.

As we enter our second century, think of what we can accomplish through the use of social media, telecommunications and technologies in store for us that we cannot even begin to fathom. The theme for my year is a foundation for the future. And the main ingredient in the foundation is our membership.

We fought for passage of the LEGION Act not as a membership tool but because of the millions of veterans who served honorably during periods not recognized by Congress. Approximately 1,600 brave men and women were killed or wounded during hostile operations that occurred during those periods from the end of World War II to the beginning of the Gulf War. They too earned the right to be called “Legionnaires.” We would be foolish not to welcome the estimated 4.2 million living veterans from those periods into our ranks. When you consider all of their relatives, our American Legion Family can grow exponentially.

Even as we build a foundation for the future, our founding pillars and values remain the same. In my own shorthand, I like to refer to these pillars as V-DAY – that’s Veterans, Defense, Americanism and Youth.

V-DAY is what you all do every day when members of your department volunteer at the local VA, advocate for the needs of our military, retire an unserviceable American flag, or sponsor a teenager in one of our great youth programs.

I know that your department will continue to explore ways in which The American Legion will continue to serve America by combining our traditional values with a foundation for the future. Have a great conference.

For God & Country,

James W. “Bill” Oxford
National Commander

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We Need You!

Legion Family,

We are reaching out to you today to share a special invitation to you and your families to join The American Legion and the West Tampa Memorial Post 248 as we welcome the players, families and fans of the eight teams that have competed and earned their spot in the 2019 American Legion Baseball Southeast Region Tournament – the final stop prior to this year’s American Legion World Series.

We are incredibly excited that Tampa, specifically the University of Tampa Baseball Field, will play host to this year’s tournament from August 6-11, and can’t wait for these young men to compete for a spot in the World Series. A Southeast Champion will be crowned, fittingly in the home of the UT Spartans baseball team, which just two months prior captured the NCAA Division II National Championship – the program’s eighth title all-time.

Please join us in celebrating during this week of tremendous baseball, while honoring the service, dedication and commitment of our United States Military, its veterans and our national, state and local first responders. Our goal for this event is for our community to share in the tenets of what has always made The American Legion – America’s largest veteran’s service organization – so special, a commitment to mentoring youth and the sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

We hope that you are able to join us for the tournament, this celebration of our community and tribute to our veterans. Below, please find the schedule of our specially dedicated tribute days, and attached with this letter are more specific details including game schedules and other important information:

  • August 7 – Veterans and First Responders Day
  • August 8 – American Legion Auxiliary Day
  • August 9 – Sons of the American Legion Day
  • August 10 – Legion Riders Day
  • August 11 – American Legion Day (Championship Day)

We want to show our appreciation for all the members of the Tampa Bay community who have supported our efforts to make this a fun and enjoyable week for our young athletes. Please come and share in the event at any time throughout the week.

More Information

Volunteer

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Legion Birthday Speech

National has provided the templates below for your Centennial Event speeches.

Download Legion Birthday Speech PDF / DOCX

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Legislative Agenda

  • Support VA’s suicide prevention efforts

    As our nation deals with the effects of nearly two decades of war, the need for mental health services for our veterans will no doubt increase in the years to come. It is imperative to combat
    VA’s staffing shortage by increasing recruitment and retention budgets, while also expanding direct hiring authority to medical center directors to expedite the hiring process of mental health professionals. All health care possibilities should be explored and considered to find the appropriate treatments, therapies and cures for veterans suffering from visible and/or invisible wounds. The American Legion strongly advocates for complementary and alternative therapy and urges Congress to provide VA the necessary funding to increase its Integrative Health and Wellness Program.
    (Resolutions 28 and 165)

  • Fully fund a superior national defense as the global war on terror continues        

    It is critical to maintain a well-funded national security strategy to ensure a strong national defense. The United States must enhance foreign policy, improve military intelligence, and increase cyber operations and capabilities. The American Legion advocates for a good quality of life for our troops and an improved transition process from military service to civilian life. The Legion vows to fight against those who desire to reduce the benefits of veterans, servicemembers, and their families to obtain short-term budget gains.
    (Resolutions 17 and 86)

  • Create lifetime electronic health record – ACHIEVED

    The American Legion supports VA in finally implementing a quality lifetime electronic health record (EHR) system that works in concert with the Department of Defense system to ensure that veterans’ medical documents transfer seamlessly from active service to VA and community providers.
    (Resolution 83)

  • Institute gender-specific health care for women veterans

    Women veterans face remarkably different experiences than their male counterparts when transitioning in and out of combat roles, in between services or back to civilian life. VA must
    ensure an improved quality of life for women veterans with gender-specific health care to meet their needs.
    (Resolution 147)

  • Limit outsourcing, unify VA’s programs ACHIEVED

    Continued focus is needed to ensure VA can meet challenges in delivering high-quality, timely benefits and health care to veterans. In 2018, critical policy choices must be made, primarily
    the future of the Veterans Choice Program, which expires in August. A community care option is now a basic expectation for enrollees in VA’s  health-care system. Excessive outsourcing would render VHA too small to function economically or preserve quality of care and essentially dismantle it. Congress should pass legislation to unify VA’s multiple non-VA care programs with VA as the coordinator and guarantor of care.
    (Resolution 372)

  • Support those who care for wounded veterans – ACHIEVED

    There are 5.5 million caregivers who go unnoticed while they care for America’s wounded. Military caregivers suffer higher rates of depression and health problems than others. The American Legion is committed to supporting these hidden heroes.
    (Resolution 146)

  • Reclassify cannabis for medical research

    The American Legion supports increased research into cannabis as part of the larger effort to develop complementary and alternative treatments and therapies. Cannabis is classified
    as schedule I drug and drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and methadone are classified as schedule II drugs. The American Legion urges Congress to amend legislation to remove
    Cannabis from schedule I and reclassify it in  a category that, at a minimum, will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value, and further urge the Drug Enforcement
    Agency to license privately-funded medical cannabis production operations in the United States to enable safe and efficient cannabis drug development research.
    (Resolutions 11,160,165)

  • Defend veterans education benefits – ACHIEVED

    As the primary author of the original GI Bill,  The American Legion continues to focus on the sustainability of this important earned benefit, while ensuring that veterans receive the most benefit possible from it.
    (Resolution 349)

  • Repeal unfair offsets that penalize disabled veterans and widows

    Many military retirees must forfeit some of their retirement pay to receive their VA service connected disability compensation. It is equally outrageous VA survivor benefits (DIC) are offset
    from military Survivor Benefit Plan annuities. The American Legion supports legislation to repeal both of these unjust offsets.
    (Resolutions 85 and 224)

  • Provide mandatory end-of service exams for reservists

    Active-duty servicemembers have the right to physical examinations when separating. After all, servicemembers retiring from active duty are required to have such examinations. This
    same right to an end-of-service exam is only partially authorized for reserve component servicemembers. This unfair treatment must be changed.
    (Resolution 85)

  • Create an American Legion Commemorative Coin – ACHIEVED

    The American Legion will celebrate its centennial in 2018-2019. An American Legion Centennial Coin is under consideration by the U.S. Mint. Timely congressional authorization is needed and your support is requested.
    (H.R. 2519 & S. 1182)

  • Ensure those returning from active duty retain re-employment rights

    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act protects the rights of servicemembers to be re-employed after returning from active duty, including reserve or
    National Guard members. The American Legion wants to prohibit employers from pressuring a veteran into waiving his or her veteran’s employment rights and protections.
    (Resolution 315)

  • Continue funding programs to end veterans homelessness

    To fully implement VA’s pledge to eradicate veterans homelessness, Congress must continue making responsible investments in affordable housing and programs such as Supportive
    Services for Veteran Families that move veterans and their families off the street and into stable housing.
    (Resolution 340)

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Disclaimer: The American Legion’s work is never done! These legislative priorities have been marked “achieved” because we were able to get the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that the President of the United States signed into law. It is important to note that after passage, your American Legion professional staff often participates in the federal rulemaking that translates law into VA or government policy. We are always vigilant in ensuring our veterans receive the healthcare and benefits they have earned through their service to our great nation, and we will fight every effort to reduce or curtail them. Ensuring the protections, benefits, and rights of our servicemembers, veterans, and their families, has and will always be a primary focus of the National Legislative Commission and Division.”

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2018 Freedom Raffle Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the WINNERS of the 2018 Freedom Raffle as follows:

 

  • Grand Prize winner of $10,000 – Frank Klimekoski
  • 2nd Place winner of $2,500 – Jose Cintron
  • 3rd Place winner of $1,000 – James Allbrook
  • 4th – 5th Place winners of $500 – William Coopy, Barry Murante
  • 6th – 10th Place winners of $100 – David LeRoy, James Handly, John McCoy, William Walz, Steven Pommer

 

All recipients will be notified within the coming week by The American Legion, Department of Florida.
To watch the live footage of the drawing, click here. The Raffle is featured at the 6:00:36 time mark.
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Weekly Reports – May 31, 2018

LEGION REPORTS

Department Membership Summary
Post Membership Summary


SAL REPORTS

Detachment Membership Summary
Squadron Membership Summary

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Weekly Reports – April 26, 2018

LEGION REPORTS

Department Membership Summary
Post Membership Summary


SAL REPORTS

Detachment Membership Summary
Squadron Membership Summary

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National Veterans Wheelchair Games Coming to Orlando

The Orlando VA Medical Center and the Central Florida Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America are hosting the 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Orlando, FL July 30-August 4, 2018.

Each year more than 500 athletes attend the National Veterans Wheelchair Games which is a multi-event sports and rehabilitation program for military service Veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, amputations or other neurological disorders. Over the years, the Games have produced several national and world-class champions.

However, the event provides the opportunity for newly disabled Veterans to get involved and push further than they thought possible. Typically, one quarter of the competitors are new to the Games.

The Games rely on the support of more than 3,000 volunteers with opportunities ranging from helping set-up events, greeting Veterans at the airport to providing informational service at various locations. We hope you will think about volunteering for this remarkable event that

celebrates the athleticism of our Veterans!

Athlete registration is also open. Participation in the NVWG is open to Veterans having spinal cord injuries, amputations, multiple sclerosis or other central neurological conditions who require a wheelchair for athletic competition. The individual’s physical injury must be permanent and measurable. Exclusionary primary diagnosis includes but are not limited to conditions related to pain, arthritis, emotional and psychological conditions. All participants must be eligible for VA healthcare.

To register as an athlete or a volunteer visit: wheelchairgames.org. Once on the site click under the Orlando 2018 tab at the top to sign up as an athlete or a volunteer.

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