Hispanic American Professional Business Women’s Association welcomes 2015-2017 Board of Directors

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A Women’s History Month event celebrating Latina entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals, the Hispanic American Professional Business Women’s Association & HAPBWA Foundation, together with their membership, business and community leaders celebrated the Installation of the 2015 – 2017 Board of Directors.

The induction ceremony was presided by the Honorable Judge Wilfredo Martínez who administered the oath of office to the following Board of Directors:

President: Samí Haiman-Marrero, URBANDER

Vice-President: Maritza Beltrán, Radio Personality

Secretary: Vilma Quintana, Florida Blue

Treasurer: Deisamar De Soto, MBA/MKT, Accounting & Compliance, Inc.

Professional Development: Zanibel Melo, Higher Dreams Productions

Membership & Recuitment: Nancy Sharifi, e.l.l.a.s. International

During this event we also recognized and honored amazing women that have served as positive role models and have supported our mission to increase the leadership and management capabilities of HAPBWA members and female students in our community through mentorship programs, higher education and professional development.

A business development and marketing expert specializing in the U.S. Hispanic market, the newly inducted President, Samí Haiman-Marrero, also served as today’s keynote speaker, who within her remarks she said, “Today our organization is experiencing a transformation from within.  We are gearing up to take ownership of our position as the matriarchs of the fastest growing segment in our region, and in the USA: The Hispanic market.”

She went on further to say, “Hispanic American professional and business women are fueling the economy, raising a huge portion of the next generation of this country’s workforce, and it’s about time we have a place of influence. I ask you to join us and help us build a promising future for ourselves, and our CHILDREN.”

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Rubio, Yoho Introduce Legislation To Combat Electronic I.D. Theft

Identity Theft isn't always fun and games!

Identity Theft isn’t always fun and games!

With Tax Day approaching, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) today introduced legislation requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to implement tougher security measures in the electronic tax return filing process in order to prevent tax refund fraud. This would include but not be limited to the use of security questions to establish the taxpayer’s identity.

As taxpayers have increasingly turned to electronic tax returns in order to pay their taxes, the problem of electronic identity theft has grown, especially in Florida, the state with the most cases of identity theft.

“One of the biggest problems that constituents turn to our office for help with is electronic identify theft that results from filing taxes online,” said Rubio. “The criminals behind this problem are stealing both people’s money and their time. Ted Yoho and I represent the state where the electronic identity theft problem is most severe, and we believe the Treasury Department and IRS need to step up their game in cracking down on this problem by prioritizing resources to combat the growing trend of electronic identity theft.”

“With tax season upon us, the problem of identity theft is serious and growing. The fact that this affects an increasing number of Floridians is unacceptable,” said Yoho. “I am happy to join Senator Rubio in pressing the Treasury Department and IRS to solve this problem. The bill we have introduced today, is a common sense solution that will protect hard working American taxpayers from faceless cyber criminals, as well as save them billions of dollars.”

Rubio: It’s Time To Stop Enabling Iran

Iran's got game!

Iran’s got game!

As negotiators from the United States, Iran, and other nations race to meet the deadline — originally set for today — for a comprehensive framework agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranian regime’s exploitation of the negotiations becomes clearer by the day.

Many in Congress, including me, are deeply concerned about the impact of a nuclear deal with a regime that has habitually violated its international commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. All signs indicate that if the two sides reach a deal, it will only solidify Iran’s future as a nuclear power — instigating a new wave of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, one that will have ripple effects in other regions for decades to come.

Beyond the nuclear deal, there is a broader concern about the legitimacy an agreement would grant the oppressive clerical regime in Tehran. A deal as currently constructed will increase Iranian influence in the region and will aid and abet Iran’s efforts to achieve the status of regional hegemon.

This has significant consequences for the safety and security of our ally Israel, but also for our Sunni Arab partners in the region. That is why, despite the Pollyannaish pronouncements of administration officials, one hears expressions of concern from Cairo to Riyadh about the current path of American diplomacy toward Iran.

It is no coincidence that Iran has achieved a series of stunning successes in recent years as the nuclear talks under the Joint Plan of Action have unfolded. For example, in many respects Iraq is now a client state of Iran. Shiite militias that are under Iran’s military, political, and religious influence have so far had the greatest successes in the battle against the Islamic State — instead of the Iraqi Army units that the United States is trying to train and advise.

Those in the United States who advocate the notion that “the enemy of your enemy is your friend” are deeply mistaken when it comes to Iran and the Islamic State. While the Iranian leadership may share our near-term goal of rolling back the Islamic State, the way in which Iran is contributing to the fight will have repercussions that have the potential to change the sectarian balance and alliances of a significant portion of the Middle East.

Iran has also become the dominant power in Syria. As the Syrian civil war enters its fifth year, Bashar al-Assad’s government is more dependent than ever on political, moral, and military support from Iran. Worse yet, even as U.S. and coalition aircraft fly daily missions over Syrian territory, they do not interfere as the Assad regime drops barrel bombs and uses chlorine gas against innocent civilians. Why not? Because, despite their denials, it seems the Obama administration does not wish to upset the ayatollahs during the nuclear negotiations. One need to look no further than Secretary of State John Kerry’s March 15 statement that the United States “will have to negotiate” with Assad.

This change in U.S. rhetoric regarding Assad’s future was delivered immediately before the start of the most recent round of negotiations with Iran, clear evidence of the impact of the nuclear negotiations on U.S. policy toward Syria.

Iran’s growing influence extends far beyond Iraq and Syria, too. In Bahrain, Tehran has taken advantage of the government’s refusal to engage seriously in a reform process with the moderate opposition and has helped fan the flames of dissent into violence. In Yemen, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have deposed the government and are in control of large swaths of the parts of the country that are not under the sway of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, Iran’s continued backing of its terrorist proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, fuels mayhem and violence, and continues to spill blood throughout the region. Even outside of the Middle East, Iran has continued to develop networks of influence, often utilizing its terrorist subordinates.

The Obama administration has at times appeared to welcome Iran’s expansionism through its efforts to coordinate the with Tehran in the campaign against the Islamic State and the administration has been hesitant to take actions to counteract Iran’s growing regional role, lest the nuclear negotiations, which are always in a “sensitive phase,” be disrupted.

What seems to be lost to those negotiating is that the United States and Iran remain adversaries, with different interests in the Middle East and across the globe. Now more than ever, we should recall the memories of the hundreds of Americans murdered by Iranian agents and proxies over multiple decades in order see the true price of past efforts to appease the mullahs.

Keep reading here.

CAN says “Vote No HB on 611!”

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Late Friday afternoon,  HB 611 – Residential Properties sponsored by Representative John Wood (R-Winter Haven) was added to the House Business and Professions Subcommittee agenda. HB 611  (House of Representatives Bill 611), the companion to  SB 736  (State Senate Bill 736), and the subject of our Call to Action Alert on Friday 3/20/15.  (Please click here for the breakdown of the Bill from our CAN Alert, “Are You Ready for Higher Assessments?”).

 HB 611 shifts the financial burden from a buyer or seller of a property to your non-profit community association. Condominium and home owners that are not selling their property will absorb a portion of the cost of those that are selling their homes, condominiums and cooperatives. This shifting of costs from a property owner to the remaining owners in the community who are not selling their property is simply not fair.

Please email the Committee Members below and help them understand how damaging  HB 611  will be to you and your community. If you already sent an email, please send it again as we are flooding your elected officials with emails and telephone calls! We are making excellent progress!
Please send this CAN Alert to your friends, colleagues and neighbors by using the “Forward email” link below and get them involved!
Also click here to deliver your own personal message to Committee Members. This link may not work on your mobile device, so please try it from a desktop instead. Make sure to include your name and the name of your community in the email, if possible, but the identification is not mandatory. Feel free to add any additional comments to the email template provided.
 
Members of the House 
Business and Professions Subcommittee:
 
Representative Hasley Beshear (Chair of the Committee)
Phone: (850) 717-5007(850) 717-5007
Representative Larry Ahern (Vice Chair of the Committee
Phone: (850) 717-5066(850) 717-5066
Representative Kevin Rader (Democratic Ranking Member))
Phone: (850) 717-5081(850) 717-5081
Representative Brian Avila
Phone: (850) 717-5111(850) 717-5111
Representative Dwight Dudley
Phone: (850) 717-5068(850) 717-5068
Representative Heather Fitzenhagen
Phone: (850) 717-5078(850) 717-5078
Representative Joseph Geller
Phone: (850) 717-5100(850) 717-5100
Representative Julio Gonzalez
Phone: (850) 717-5074(850) 717-5074
Representative Chris Latvala
Phone: (850) 717-5067(850) 717-5067
Representative Scott Plankon
Phone: (850) 717-5029(850) 717-5029
Representative Rene Plasencia
Phone: (850) 717-5049(850) 717-5049
Darryl Rouson
Phone: (850) 717-5070(850) 717-5070
Carlos Trujillo
Phone: (850) 717-5105(850) 717-5105
We need everyone to continue to voice your objections and STOP these terrible Bills in Committee! Don’t let statewide and national special interests groups dictate an increase in your communities assessments. 
As usual, we will give you an update on Monday and provide a look ahead to what else will be heard in committees during Week Four (4) of Florida’s compact Legislative Session that may affect community living and home ownership. 

CAN says “Vote No SB 736!”

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It is time to reload and focus our efforts! SB 736 is up in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Tuesday, March 24th at 1:30 pm. SB 736 – Residential Properties is sponsored by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), the BAD Estoppel bill. (Please click here for the breakdown of the Bill from our CAN Alert, “Are You Ready for Higher Assessments?”).

Thank you very much for the steady stream of emails you are sending the members of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee. Your voice is being heard loud and clear.

Now is the time to again flood those Members with emails and telephone calls!

SB 736 shifts costs from a buyer or seller of a property to your non-profit community association. Please email committee members and help them understand how damaging SB 736 will be to your community. If you already sent an email, please send it again.
 
In either case, please do pass this Alert to friends by using the “Forward email” link below and get them involved!


Please click here to get your message to the Committee Members. This link may not work on your mobile device, so please try it from a desktop instead. Make sure to include your name and the name of your community in the email. Please feel free to add any additional comments to the email template provided.

Members of the Senate 
Regulated Industries Committee:
 
Senator Rob Bradley District 7 (Chair of the Committee)

Phone: (850) 487-5007(850) 487-5007
Email:  bradley.rob@flsenate.gov

Senator Gwen Margolis District 35 (Vice Chair of the Committee)

Phone: 850-487-5035850-487-5035

Email:  margolis.gwen@flsenate.gov

Senator Joseph Abruzzo District 25

Phone: (850) 487-5025(850) 487-5025

Email:  abruzzo.joseph@flsenate.gov

Senator Aaron Bean, District 4

Phone: 850-487-5004850-487-5004

Email: bean.aaron@flsenate.gov

Senator Oscar Braynon, District 36

Phone- 850-487-5036850-487-5036

Email: braynon.oscar@flsenate.gov

Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, District 40

Phone: 850-487-5040850-487-5040

Email: portilla.miguel@flsenate.gov

Senator Anitere Flores, District 37

Phone: (85) 487-5037

Email: flores.anitere@flsenate.gov

Senator Jack Latvala, District 20

Phone: 850-487-5020850-487-5020

Email: latvala.jack@flsenate.gov

Senator Joe Negron, District 32

Phone: (850) 487-5032(850) 487-5032

Email: negron.joe@flsenate.gov
Senator Garret Richter, District 23

Phone: 850-487-5023850-487-5023

Email: richter.garret@flsenate.gov

Senator Maria Lorts Sachs, District 34 (Her Husband is an HOA Attorney)

Phone: 850-487-5034850-487-5034

Email: sachs.maria@flsenate.gov

Senator Kelli Stargel, District 15( Bill Sponsor)

Phone: 850- 487-5015850- 487-5015

Email: stargel.kelli@flsenate.gov

Some organizations, like the Florida Realtors Political Action Committee are trying to pass SB 736 off as a cost saving measure at the time of closing on a property. These same organizations are NOT looking to cap or eliminate their own fees, just those that will shift costs to your Community Association.

Non-profit community associations collect monies to benefit your whole entire community and not one (1) individual buyer or seller. Of course, we all wish to facilitate real estate closing but this Terrible Bill will increase your assessments because your community will have to make up the difference between the absurd limits (both strict time penalties and money) the bad bill imposes.

Estoppels require the community to undertake significant work and risks major liability for $100. Even if the $100 ceiling was eliminated, SB 736 imposes a ten (10) day statute of limitations.

Not only will SB 736 increase your Budget requirements, but it is yet another new proposed law that reduces your community’s time to collect its money owed to your entire membership.

If SB 736 passes and the Estoppel cannot be prepared within 10 days (current law is just 15 days) your community will lose all of its monetary rights on the property sold.

Concord Coalition’s Analysis of House Budget Plan

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The Concord Coalition today welcomed the proposed House budget resolution for its goal of reining in future deficits but cautioned against assumptions of reduced spending that are vague and unrealistic, and against revenue projections that are at odds with recent tax-cut legislation in the House.

“Balancing the budget by a specific date provides a clear, understandable goal to guide legislation,” said Robert L. Bixby, Concord’s executive director. “As an economic matter, however, the more relevant concern is not whether balance is achieved in a targeted year but whether the policies enacted pursuant to this budget reduce the debt as a share of the economy and make sure that it remains on a responsible downward path.”  

The House budget plan achieves much of its proposed $5.6 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years from a number of policy assumptions that would be very difficult to achieve. It assumes $2 trillion in savings from repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), $913 billion from block granting Medicaid, $1 trillion in unspecified other cuts in mandatory spending, and $759 billion in domestic discretionary cuts below the caps set by the Budget Control Act. Only $148 billion would come from Medicare, while hardly anything would be done on Social Security and there would be no new revenues. Meanwhile, defense spending would increase by almost $400 billion above current-law spending caps.

The budget resolution also raises defense spending in Fiscal 2016 by increasing funding for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) well above the administration’s request. This raises the prospect that OCO funding might be improperly used to bolster parts of the defense budget not directly related to war efforts — as has occurred in the past.

Given the political realities in Washington, it is highly unlikely that substantial increases in defense spending can be financed by even deeper cuts in domestic discretionary spending. This domestic spending is already projected to drop below its historic low. The fact that the proposed House resolution would postpone these deeper cuts until next year is one indication that such cuts are polarizing and likely not feasible.

The revenue assumptions in the budget present still more questions. House Republicans have recently passed legislation to make a number of costly tax breaks permanent, without offsetting the lost revenue. Yet the revenue number assumed in the budget plan does not account for the revenue that would be lost by extending these and other tax breaks.

Similarly, repeal of the ACA would reduce revenues relative to current law, but the budget assumes that the same amount of revenues will be collected.

“To be credible, a budget resolution should take into account legislative proposals that are at or near the top of the priority list for its authors,” Bixby said. “They can’t have it both ways; they shouldn’t be counting on revenue from taxes they say the government shouldn’t be receiving.”

He also expressed skepticism about the resolution’s call for a bipartisan Social Security commission to study the system’s problems and report back with proposals.

“One more commission might not do any harm, but studies and proposals of this nature already fill many agency and think-tank shelves in Washington,” Bixby said. “The impending insolvency of Social Security’s Disability Insurance trust fund and the longer-term structural challenges really require legislation, not another commission.”

A copy of this press release can be found here on our website.

Local Law Firm to Host Two Free Informational Seminars in Vero Beach

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Leading Florida community association law firm Kaye Bender Rembaum will host two free town hall meetings in Vero Beach Tuesday, March 31 at the following locations and times:

 

o   10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Bethel Creek House

4405 Highway A1A, Vero Beach

 

o   2 to 4 p.m.

Indian River County Main Library

1600 21st Street, Vero Beach

 

The town halls are sponsored by FirstService Residential.

 

Attorney Jeff Rembaum of Kaye Bender Rembaum will discuss industry hot topics, including legislation, new cases, assistance animal issues and more, as well as answer community association-related questions from board members, residents and property managers of condominium, homeowner and cooperative associations.

 

“We have found that attendees like the town hall format. They can ask questions pertaining to their specific circumstances in an informal setting,” said Rembaum. “Association leaders need the type of information we cover in order to effectively and efficiently run their communities.”

 

Attendees should RSVP and send questions or topics for discussion to TownHall@KBRLegal.com or call 561-241-4462561-241-4462.

 

Kaye Bender Rembaum is a full-service commercial law firm concentrating on the representation of more than 800 community associations throughout Florida. With offices in Broward and Palm Beach counties, the Firm is ranked ninth in South Florida and 62nd in the South among “Top 300 Small Businesses” by Business Leader magazine, and was awarded the 2014 Readers’ Choice Award for Legal Services by the Florida Community Association Journal. For more information, visit www.KBRLegal.com.