Tuesday, March 28th, 2019
The trip to Tallahassee went well. Rick Roman flew up with me and Fred Tucker from SPC drove up and met us there. The Tampa Chapter had the most representation. There was a rep there from Space Coast Satellite Chapter, Emerald Coast Chapter, DC National Chapter, two of the FPC folks (Pres and VP) and then a few strap hangers (Todd Sumner, Sumner Law, Tallahassee, Bruce Buckley, Drone Technologist (Todd’s Client), Tallahassee and Brian Pitre, AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter Member. SkyOp, Canandaigua, NY (Expanding his drone training business into Melbourne)).
- John Lambert, AUVSI Peninsula Chapter President, Nexutech, Cape Canaveral
- Rick Roman, AUVSI Member, Tampa
- Larry Leovan, VP Space Coast Satellite Chapter, Satellite Beach
- Kelly Neubecker, VP AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter, UAS Solutions, Rockledge
- Todd Sumner, Sumner Law, Tallahassee
- Bruce Buckley, Drone Technologist (Todd’s Client), Tallahassee
- Brian Pitre, AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter Member. SkyOp, Canandaigua, NY (Expanding his drone training business into Melbourne)
- Andy Wilson, President, AUVSI Tampa Satellite Chapter, Quiet Professionals, LLC, Tampa
- Fred Tucker, AUVSI Member, St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg
- John Mills, AUVSI Emerald Coast Chapter Board of Directors
- Rodney Sanchez, AUVSI Tampa Satellite Chapter, Quiet Professionals, LLC, Tampa
- Tom McMahon, AUVSI Staff
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
- AUVSI supports legislation that would allow law enforcement agencies to use UAS in specific circumstances, such as monitoring safety and security at a large-scale event or identifying possible criminal activity.
- AUVSI encourages Florida to expand UAS for public safety. UAS help provide situational awareness during hostage situations, find missing persons and travel where first responders cannot otherwise go in the aftermath of hurricanes and other disasters.
- We urge you to consider an amendment to allow educational institution throughout Florida to tap into the tremendous potential that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) offer.
- AUVSI supports legislation that would allow law enforcement and state and local government agencies to use UAS in specific circumstances, such as assisting with crowd control, or traffic management, collecting evidence at a crime scene or traffic crash scene, and assessing damage due to a flood, wildfire, or natural disaster or for land management.
- AUVSI supports the passage of Autonomous Vehicle legislation that will ensure that Americans can tap into the vast potential of autonomous vehicles to reduce negative environmental impacts, improve mobility and increase safety on our nation’s roads.
- The implementation of Autonomous Vehicles in Florida will improve access to larger job markets, increase mobility and travel options, and save thousands of lives ever year.
- AUVSI urges the Florida Senate to consider the importance of a regulatory environment that allows for the development and integrations of autonomous vehicles without stifling growth or compromising safety.
- AUVSI supports the measured reallocation of funding to develop testing centers and research programs for autonomous vehicles in order to safely and efficiently integrate them onto Florida’s roadways.
We met with Rep Susan Valdes D-House District 62 (Tampa). She used to be a teacher and is interested in corresponding with Darren. She seemed open to either joining herself or having a staff member join our chapter. At the very least we will be able to get her or a staffer come to at least one of our meetings or events. I got her card so we can have someone reach out to her. Of course, I don’t expect traction on that until after session has closed. She authored FL HB 1131, Drones.
- FL HB 1131, Drones (Valdes)
- Authorizes the use of a drone by a law enforcement agency to prepare for or monitor safety and security at a large-scale event
- Defines dangerous or deadly weapon
- Defines large-scale event
- Authorizes the use of a drone by a law enforcement agency to prepare for or monitor safety and security at a large-scale event (100 or more persons)
- Prohibits law enforcement from using a drone in an authorized manner from equipping it with specified attachments or using it to fire projectiles
Rep. Susan L. Valdes, D-House District 62 (Tampa)
City of Residence- Tampa Occupation- Practice Administrator Spouse- Gerardo “Gerry” Valdes , Jr. of New York City, New York Child(ren)- Mallory, Alexander, Jean-Luc Valdes Grandchild(ren)- Julisa, Alexander “AJ” Jr., Lucinda Born- November 3, 1964, New York City, NY Moved to Florida- 1972 Religious Affiliation- Catholic Recreational Interest- dance, music, reading, theater Legislative Service Elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2018 Affiliations Hillsborough County Public School Board, member.
We met with a staffer for Joe Gruters, R- Florida Senate District 23 (Sarasota) who authored the Senate Bill (FL SB 766, Unmanned Aircraft) that is the companion bill for Rep Yarborough’s House Bill (FL HB 75, Expanded Uses of Unmanned Aircraft). Senator Grutes came out and talked with us for a short amount of time before we left his office.
Joe Gruters, R- Florida Senate District 23 (Sarasota)
Elected to the Senate in 2018 -House of Representatives, 2016-2018 Other Public Service -The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), President, appointed and awaiting Senate confirmation -Electoral College, Florida member, 2016 -Florida State University Board of Trustees, member -Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors, member -Sarasota County Planning Commission, Chairman Honors and Awards -Florida Chamber of Commerce, Distinguished Advocate, 2018 -Associated Industries of Florida, Champion of Business, 2018 Affiliations -University of South Florida, Community Leadership Council Biographical Information Occupation- Certified Public Accountant Spouse- Sydney Spence of Citrus Hills, FL Children- Spencer, Jack Ryan, Elle Education- Florida State University, B.S., 1999◦FSU Water Polo; FSU Director of Student Lobbying University of South Florida, M.B.A., 2003 Born- July 6 in Tampa, Florida Religious Affiliation- Roman Catholic Recreation- College football, mountaineering, heli-skiing, concerts.
We met with Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-Senate District 19, St. Petersburg who authored the draft FL SB 132, Drones that is the companion for Rep Valdes FL HB 1131, Drones. His staffer was present and very sharp. They took in feedback from Todd Summer to add an amendment to his bill in relation to includ firefighters along with the law enforcement guidelines for drone use. He mentioned that he was open to sponsoring new bills relating to autonomous vehicles in future sessions and hopes that AUVSI will continue to offer suggested wording for such bills. He said that Chief Anthony Holloway (St. Pete Chief of Police) helped author his current bill. I mentioned that Quiet Professionals was working with Pasco County Sheriff Chis Nocco to help design and build their regional drone training center. Sen. Rouson mentioned that Chris endorsed him and was a big reason that he was elected. He asked that I send my regards to Chis and ask to let him know he would support in any way he could.
Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-Senate District 19, St. Petersburg
Elected to the Senate in 2016 House of Representatives, 2008-2016 Other Public Service Former Prosecutor, Pinellas County The National Bar Association Commissioner, Tax and Budget Reform Commission, 2007-2008 President, St. Petersburg NAACP, 2000-2005 Chair, St. Petersburg Black Chamber Member, Legatus School Board, St. Petersburg Catholic High School Honors and Awards Florida Prosecutor Association Award Smart Justice Award Affiliations Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Member, Mt. Zion MB Church Biographical Information Occupation- Attorney Spouse- Angela Holmes Rouson of St. Petersburg, FL Children- Sakeisha Winston, Danielle Rouson, Giselle Rouson, Evan Holmes, Daniel Rouson, Emanuel Rouson, Jared Rouson, Aaron Rouson Education- University of Florida, J.D., 1980 President, Black Law Students Association Xavier of New Orleans, B.A., 1977 Drama, Political Science, Urban and Community Involvement Bishop Barry High School, 1973 Student Council, Track & Field, Key Club, Drama Club, National Forensic League Born- July 20, 1955 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Moved to Florida in 1959. Recreation- Reading, public speaking, power walking.
Our last meeting was with Clay Yarborough, R-House District 12 (Jacksonville) who drafted FL HB 75, Expanded Uses of Unmanned Aircraft and FL HB 3923, Autonomous Vehicle Research Program and Elite Transportation at Jacksonville University. Sen. Yarborough was supportive of my idea to assist with legislation to lift certain training restrictions for local, state and federal agencies (and educational institutions and training companies) needing to train with autonomous vehicles Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) and flights over people.
- FL HB 75, Expanded Uses of Unmanned Aircraft (Yarborough)
- Allows law enforcement agency to use UAS to in these instances:
- To assist in crowd control involving a group of 50 people or more.
- To assist a law enforcement agency with traffic management, except that a law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather evidence for traffic infraction enforcement.
- To facilitate a law enforcement agency’s collection of evidence at a crime scene or traffic crash scene.
- By a state agency or political subdivision for the assessment of damage due to a flood, wildfire, or natural disaster or for vegetation or wildlife management on publicly owned land.
- This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.
- Allows law enforcement agency to use UAS to in these instances:
- FL HB 3923, Autonomous Vehicle Research Program and Elite Transportation at Jacksonville University (Yarborough)
- For fiscal year 2019-2020, $2,362,000 from the General Revenue Fund is appropriated to the Department of Education to fund the Autonomous Vehicle Research Program and Elite Transportation at Jacksonville University as described in Appropriations Project Request
- This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.
Clay Yarborough, R-House District 12 (Jacksonville)
Biographical Information: Occupation- Human Resources Supervisor Spouse- Jordan of Merritt Island, Florida Child(ren)- Emerson, Grayson, Barrett Education- University of North Florida, BBA Born- February 6, 1981, Mobile, AL Religious Affiliation- Baptist Legislative Service Elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2016.
We had lunch and listened to a briefing from Ananth Prasad, President, Florida Transportation Builders Association and Chris Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Ananth Prasad, President, Florida Transportation Builders Association
Biographical Information: Previously, he spent 22 years with FDOT, culminating in his tenure as secretary from 2011 through December 2014. At various times during those years, Prasad was also an active member of the AASHTO-AGC-ARTBA Joint Committee, an executive-level transportation policy group, and the AASHTO Subcommittee on Construction, in which ARTBA also participates. In 2015, ARTBA recognized Prasad as a co-winner of its “P3 Entrepreneur of the Year” award.
Christopher S. Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce
Christopher Emmanuel serves as the primary advocate for transportation, utilities, energy, and property rights issues on behalf of the state’s largest business association. Emmanuel sits on the Florida Transportation Plan and business association. Emmanuel sits on the Florida Transportation Plan and Strategic Intermodal System Implementation Committee, serves a Railroad Advocate for GoRail, and is a member of the James Madison Institute’s Board of Advisors. Prior to the Florida Chamber, Emmanuel served as a Policy Advisor for Governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign and for Governor Rick Scott’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign. Emmanuel has served in the Florida House of Representatives as an analyst for the prominent Regulatory Affairs Committee. While completing his of Representatives as an analyst for the prominent Regulatory Affairs Committee. While completing his law degree, Emmanuel was selected as a Gubernatorial Fellow placed within the Department of Economic Opportunity and received the Jeb Bush Award for Policy. Emmanuel holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Florida and J.D. from the Florida State College of Law. He is a member of the Federalist Society, an alumnus of Florida Blue Key, and is admitted into the Florida Bar. Emmanuel and his wife live in Tallahassee.
After listening to the Ananth and Chris, I think it would be of great benefit for our Chapter to author a point paper to present to the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce compelling them to start an autonomous vehicles system council. As the co-chair of the Military Council there, I can socialize the idea before putting too much work into it. I know that the National Chamber has an Emerging Technology Council but I honestly think that is far too broad. I asked Tom McMahon from our National AUVSI Chapter to connect me with the National Chamber in order to get a base for what they are doing in this area. I’ll let you know if/when I receive feedback from him. I think this is a good point of discussion for our next BoD meeting.