representing Yarborough Clay enters his last session as a representative. But if he returns next year as a senator, the Jacksonville Republican plans to bring a cooperative mentality he learned after five years in the Legislative Assembly.
Yarborough is currently the only candidate in the race to serve in Senate District 4. Yet the legislator thinks the redistricting, the governor. Ron DeSantis re-election and issues like the COVID-19 pandemic draw particular attention to this election cycle.
With five or even six years of legislative experience, Yarborough has succeeded in keeping abreast of the issues that other legislators are working on. If he gets to serve in the Senate, which he describes as a humbling opportunity, he plans to track issues affecting Northeast Florida and even those in the House and other committees, as these create collaboration opportunities.
An example of this collaboration is the Yarborough Social Media Education Bill (HB 361), which comes a year after DeSantis and Republicans targeted big tech and social media companies for their control over everyday life and politics. The Republican Senator from Zephyrhills Danny Burgess came to Yarborough with the proposal, which would integrate social media literacy lessons into the public school curriculum.
The measure, which already has bipartisan support, would help teach students to be responsible when using social media and to watch out for warning signs. Lessons would teach students how to spot possible routes of human trafficking, for example.
“It’s not, here’s how you use social media because they all know how to do it,” Yarborough said. “It’s, make sure you understand that you can put something there, and even if you take it out in two seconds, it could be there and be permanent.”
Information taught in the social media literacy curriculum would be made public on school district websites.
Yarbrough hopes the bill will receive its first committee hearing within the first two weeks of the session. Meanwhile, Burgess’ version (SB 480) is already a third of the way through the committee.
The rep is also working with Burgess on changes to construction defect laws (HB 583). But in this area, the House and Senate are working with lawyers, homebuilders and other interested parties on whether to reduce the length of time homebuilders can be sued for defects. This remains a point of contention, with the Senate bill (SB 736) reducing that 10-year period to four years, while the House does not include the reduced time.
And despite being 1,000 miles from the southern border, Jacksonville has become an immigration hub. According to law enforcement, an immigrant who was illegally in the country unlawfully stabbed a man who was hosting him. The suspect arrived in Florida on a midnight flight organized by the president that of Joe Biden administration, according to DeSantis.
Something like this can’t happen again, Yarborough said. He is on board with The DeSantis Solution, to penalize companies involved in transporting people who are illegally in the country.
Yarborough, who stressed he was in favor of legal immigration, compared the Biden administration’s immigration policies to sleeping at home with the front door unlocked.
“If it’s going to be in the middle of the night, when planes are being brought in and individuals are being brought in and we don’t really know what’s going on, that suggests there’s something wrong with that,” Yarborough said. . “And then when you have a crime that is committed, the worst thing of a murder, which is what happened, then we can’t just turn a blind eye.”
Yarborough is also working on more personal projects, including an expense claim (HB 2707) to provide $1 million for the Big Brothers Big Sisters “Bigs in Blue” mentorship program. The program works to build trust between law enforcement and young members of the community, especially those who are black and Hispanic.
“I think it builds mutual trust and both sides learn from each other,” Yarborough said.