I am pleased to announce that this week, the House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 227, sponsored by Representative Stargel, which will establish a Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns. Senate Bill 402, the companion bill, is sponsored by Senator Negron.

This bill will enable our state to take the first step in protecting infants from the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse by expectant mothers, as well as help us to better understand the scope of the problem, effective treatment for babies, and prevention strategies for expectant mothers.

Also this week, I joined legislators to support a bill that will crack down on dangerous new synthetic drugs. Just over a year ago, Bay County Sheriff McKeithen warned me about a synthetic drug called “bath salts,” which was basically synthetic heroin and cocaine. I immediately filed an emergency rule that banned MDPV, the chemical compound found in “bath salts,” and I worked with the Legislature last session to permanently ban this drug.

To circumvent the new laws, synthetic drug makers began altering the chemical components of these dangerous synthetic drugs to create new drugs. This new legislation will combat these additional dangerous drugs. Senate Bill 1502, sponsored by Senator Evers, and House Bill 1175, sponsored by Representative Ingram, will add new synthetic compounds to the list of Schedule I controlled substances that are illegal under Florida Statute 893.13.

We will not allow chemists who are altering the components of these dangerous synthetic drugs to circumvent state law. Prompt action by the Legislature will help protect our communities from the growing threat of synthetic drug abuse.

In closing, I wish each of you a safe and Happy Presidents' Day on Monday.

Pam Bondi
Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Bondi’s Office Obtains Restitution for Victims of Loan Modification Scam

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced on Tuesday that her office has secured restitution of $59,000 for approximately 430 consumers who were harmed by a foreclosure-related rescue service scam. The settlement resolves allegations that Home Owner Protection Economics, Inc., DC Financial Group, and Deleverage America, Inc., all based in Delray Beach, and owners Dennis Fischer and Christopher S. Godfrey illegally charged up-front fees for foreclosure-related rescue services, and failed to perform the services for which they were paid.

Attorney General Bondi’s Office Announces Registration Process and Important Deadlines in $538.5 Million Multi-State and Class Action Settlements with Manufacturers of TFT-LCD Panels

On Thursday, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office announced the launch of a website to inform consumers of important deadlines and a registration process relating to the $538.5 million Multi-State and Class Action Settlements with manufacturers of thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. The settlements will benefit Florida businesses and consumers that purchased televisions, monitors and laptop computers containing TFT-LCD panels. Consumers who wish to opt out of or object to the litigation must do so by April 13, 2012.
Upholding the Constitution
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Statement on Numeric Nutrient Criteria Standards Ratification Bill Signing

In response to Governor Scott’s signing of the Numeric Nutrient Standards Ratification bill, Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the following statement.

“My office has stood strongly against the federal government’s imposition of costly and unnecessary regulations, and I am pleased that Governor Scott has today signed into law an alternative to the Environmental Protection Agency’s numeric nutrient criteria. Florida has always had the best expertise and resources to determine how to protect our waters.”
Deland School of Government
On Wednesday, Attorney General Bondi spoke to students from the Deland School of Government, a program for high school students who have an interest in learning more about government and politics. Attorney General Bondi encouraged the students to continue pursuing their interests and reminded them that they are Florida’s future.

Volusia Days
Also on Wednesday, Attorney General Bondi spoke at Volusia Days. Attorney General Bondi discussed her legislative priorities and thanked them for their hard work and dedication to seeing their communities prosper.

Florida Association of Realtors
Attorney General Bondi spoke with the Florida Association of Realtors on Wednesday. Realtors play a major role in supporting Florida’s economy, and Attorney General Bondi applauded them for their commitment.

Lee County Business Leaders
Attorney General Bondi also spoke to Lee County Business leaders on Wednesday. Attorney General Bondi discussed her legislative proposals and thanked them for their leadership in their community.

Gator Day at the Capitol
On Thursday, Attorney General Bondi spoke to current University of Florida Students as well as University of Florida Alumni and applauded them for their outstanding service to the University of Florida.

Prayer Breakfast
Attorney General Bondi attended the Legislative Prayer Breakfast on Thursday where she prayed for our state and our country’s leaders.

Senate Pages and Gubernatorial Fellows
Also on Thursday, Attorney General Bondi spoke to both the Senate Pages and the Gubernatorial Fellows. Attorney General Bondi commended them on pursuing their interests in state government and encouraged them to continue to be involved in public service.