2016 Champions of Florida's Middle Class Announced

18 lawmakers recognized for 100% voting record on issues impacting everyday Floridians

TALLAHASSEE – Today, Progress Florida recognized 18 members of the Florida Legislature as “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class” for their unwavering support of everyday Floridians. For the sixth year in a row, these award winners are featured at www.MiddleClassChamps.com along with the votes that earned them this distinction. 

During the 2016 legislative session, these lawmakers voted to protect and expand the middle class in Florida 100% of the time. They championed a wide range of issues including expanding access to health care, protecting civil liberties, public safety, and retirement security, stopping fracking, opposing political interference in women’s access to reproductive health care and a $192 million dollar corporate tax giveaway, standing up for our public schools, and more.

“We salute these eighteen lawmakers who stood up 100% of the time, on every vote, for Florida families against constant attacks from an out of touch legislative leadership that's captive to special interests,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo.

The 2016 “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class” are listed below in alphabetical order first by senators and then by representatives. These Middle Class Champion award winners, in addition to a list of scored bills, are featured at www.MiddleClassChamps.com.

  • Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens)
  • Sen. Dwight Bullard (D-Cutler Bay)
  • Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth)
  • Sen. Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa)
  • Rep. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach)
  • Rep. Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando)
  • Rep. John Cortes (D-Kissimmee)
  • Rep. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa)
  • Rep. Dwight Dudley (D-St. Petersburg)
  • Rep. Joseph Geller (D-Dania Beach)
  • Rep. Evan Jenne (D-Hollywood)
  • Rep. Mark Pafford (D-West Palm Beach)
  • Rep. Sharon Pritchett (D-Miramar)
  • Rep. José Javier Rodríguez (D-Miami)
  • Rep. Cynthia Stafford (D-Opa Locka)
  • Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston)
  • Rep. Victor Manuel "Vic" Torres, Jr. (D-Orlando)
  • Rep. Barbara Watson (D-Miami Gardens)

“We need a growing economy that works for all Floridians, not just the wealthy and well-connected. Too often our state lawmakers put corporate special interests and ideological extremism above the needs of everyday Floridians,” continued Ferrulo. “Today we applaud these eighteen lawmakers who championed efforts to protect and expand the middle class.” 

Representatives Berman, Pafford, and Stafford have been named Champions of Florida’s Middle Class every year since the award was first given in 2011. 

Some high-profile votes that were considered in naming the 2016 Champions of Florida’s Middle Class included the ban on fracking bans (HB 191/SB 318), attack on public schools (HB 7029), attack on access to reproductive health care (HB 1411/SB 1722), guns on campus (HB 4001/SB 68), and the corporate tax giveaway (HB 7099). The complete list of bills scored can be found at www.MiddleClassChamps.com.

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For more information, go to www.MiddleClassChamps.com. 

Progress Florida is a statewide organization fighting to protect and expand Florida's middle class. Learn more at www.ProgressFlorida.org