Darren Soto
Democrat for Congress
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About

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Accomplishments

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IN CONGRESS

As an experienced legislator, I hit the ground running in Congress.

Laws I've gotten passed during my first term include:

  • Hurricane Hunter aircraft purchase bill
  • Foreign oil spill prevention bill
  • Kissimmee River restoration bill (House only)
  • Borinqueneers Kissimmee Post Office
  • NASA Weather Research
  • Amendment - NASA Nuclear detection
  • Amendment - Prioritizing Medals for WWII and Korean War Veterans

And I’m advancing a bill to protect sharks, sailfish, and marlin next.

I have made sure the 9th District gets its fair share of federal funds by securing these resources for our community:

  • $4 million for the Polk Fire Department
  • $3 million for the University of Central Florida RESTORES clinical research center for PTSD
  • $600,000 for the Haines City Fire Department
  • $63,000 for the St. Cloud Fire Department
  • $4 million for the National Early Child Care Collaboratives Program (at Nemours Children’s Health System)
  • $2.2 million for the Kissimmee Airport
  • $1 million for specialty crop research to fight citrus greening
  • $557,000 for the Bartow Airport
  • $82,581 for the Winter Haven Airport
  • $82,581 for the Lake Wales Airport
  • $468,000 increase for the National Estuary Program
  • $500,000 increase in the National Wildlife Refuge System program to combat invasive species
  • Funding for Police Cars (Lake Hamilton)
  • Funding to Prevent Tax Fraud for Seniors
  • Funding for Seniors Affordable Housing
  • Funding for Tax help for the poor

I led or co-led Congressional letters driving progress on these issues: 

  • Central Florida Irma Disaster Relief
  • Extending CF Hotel Vouchers
  • Stopping FEMA from ending Food and Water Benefits for Puerto Rico
  • Pushing for Disaster Relief for Citrus Growers and Cattle Ranchers
  • Fighting for PTSD Benefits for First Responders

I accomplished the following major committee work:

  • Opposed offshore oil drilling
  • Supported Everglades restoration
  • Led Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) opposition to the discriminatory proposed citizenship question on the census, gerrymandering and voting rights
  • Supported agriculture sensors research
  • Opposed food stamp cuts
  • Protected endangered species
  • Opposed Trump’s Border Wall with the CHC
  • Advocated for DREAMers with the CHC
  • Opposed the Muslim Ban
 
 
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IN THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

In more than nine years in the Florida Legislature, I helped bring high-paying, high tech jobs to Central Florida in the biotech, simulation, space, software, and solar industries. And did much more...

In the Florida House, I got landmark legislation passed to:

  • Protect families of fallen firefighters
  • Protect victims of sexual violence
  • Prevent dangerous street racing
  • Provide IDs for deaf Floridians
  •  Seal records of minors with minor criminal infractions
  • Allowing Dreamers to be admitted to the Florida Bar
  • Increase the high stakes testing exemption for foreign language students from 1 to 2 years.
  • Eliminate debt and provide principal reductions to families in foreclosure
  • Provide notice to tenants in foreclosure

I successfully delivered critical funding that has made a difference in the lives of many people in our community:

  • $11.9 million to create a Poinciana Valencia Campus
  • $20 million continue the restoration of the Kissimmee River and Northern Everglades
  • $1 million to restore Lake Toho

In the Florida Senate, I fought to give our students the education they deserve, by pushing for smaller class sizes and a minimum teacher salary of $50,000 in order to recruit and retain the best educators.

I also fought to expand Medicaid to provide health coverage to over 800,000 more Floridians and to establish Florida’s health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

I have championed environmental protection and fought to preserve Florida’s greatest treasures – our springs, beaches, and precious wild places. I fought to ban fracking in Florida and protect our fragile supply of drinking water.