In the News

November 19, 2019

Val Demings, Frederica Wilson, Al Lawson join call for reform of opportunity zones

by Scott Powers

With a growing list of media reports on a program designed to aid poor neighborhoods providing tax breaks for rich ones, Democratic U.S. Reps. Val Demings, Frederica Wilson, and Al Lawson on Tuesday joined a call for reform of the opportunity zones tax breaks program. The most recent of those reports came last week when a ProPublica investigation revealed that then-Gov. Rick Scott had selected a census tract of a super yacht marina and in West Palm Beach and a tract of a luxury apartment … Continue Reading

November 18, 2019

Al Lawson Gets Small Business Debt Collection Protection Bill Through Key Committee

by Kevin Derby

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., scored a win on Capitol Hill as his "Small Business Fair Debt Collection Protection Act" cleared a key committee. Earlier this month, Lawson brought out the bill which: protects small businesses from harassment by third-party debt collectors" and "extends protections under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to small businesses with loans or obligations that are less than $5 million so that debt collectors have guardrails on what they can do to collect … Continue Reading

November 08, 2019

New bill supports lowering of prescription medicine costs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Congressman Al Lawson is putting his efforts behind a bill that would lower the cost of prescription medicine. He spoke at the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans meeting on Friday about why he is supporting the bill. Lawson says there seems to be a push going on right now to completely undo things under the Affordable Care Act, but there are some positives to the Act, such as help for senior citizens. He says with this new bill, being on multiple medications won't … Continue Reading

October 29, 2019

Florida Delegation Raises Concerns About Public Housing in Jacksonville

by Kevin Derby

Another member of the Florida congressional delegation is raising concerns about a public housing project on the First Coast. Last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., wrote U.S. Housing and Urban Development Sec. Ben Carson regarding the Valencia Way (formerly Eureka Gardens) housing complex in Jacksonville. "For more than three weeks, the 790 residents have been forced to live without gas and hot water -- with no rapid solution in sight," Lawson's office noted. "Property owners Millennia … Continue Reading

October 11, 2019

Rep. Lawson Isn't Giving Up on Getting A Jacksonville VA Hospital

by CYD Hoskinson

North Florida Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL 5th District) wants veterans to know he's still pushing for a Veterans Administration hospital in Jacksonville, even though the project, he said, is currently on hold. Lawson talked about his proposal recently on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, explaining why he won't give up on the idea. "We have to continue to convince the VA that it's necessary for them to do it. Jacksonville has the largest number of veterans in the state, you know, and … Continue Reading

October 06, 2019

FL Representative visits FSU to address food insecurity

by Casey Chapter

Rep. Al Lawson (D-Leon) visited Florida State's food pantry to learn how it benefits FSU students. (Photo: Casey Chapter/FSView) On Wednesday, Oct. 2, Representative Al Lawson (D-Leon) visited Florida State's food pantry to learn about how it helps students and what more can be done to assist students in need. Isabella Hernandez came to Florida State University as a first-generation college student. She quickly found that her paychecks were spent on classes, books and medical needs, … Continue Reading

September 20, 2019

Lawson, Rutherford Introduce Bill for Cecil Field National POW/MIA Memorial, Museum

by Bill Bortzfield

An under-construction memorial and museum in Jacksonville to honor all former prisoners of war and those still missing in action is moving closer to receiving a national designation. Jacksonville area Congressmen Al Lawson (FL-05) and John Rutherford (FL-04) have introduced legislation to make it official. The House bill would give the POW/MIA Memorial & Museum at Cecil Field a national designation upon its completion, according to Lawson's and Rutherford's offices. In an email to WJCT … Continue Reading

July 31, 2019

North Florida Congressman Brings Out Economic Affordability Plan

by Kevin Derby

This week, a North Florida Democrat unveiled proposals to reform federal student loans, Social Security benefits and federal real estate programs for first-time homeowners. From his seat on the U.S. Financial Services Committee, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., brought out his "Economic Affordability Plan" which consists of three bills. "Too many Americans are hamstrung by student debt or denied the cornerstone of wealth-building through homeownership and lack retirement security," Lawson said … Continue Reading

July 31, 2019

Questions linger as Calloway Cove families line up for food

by Kelly Wiley

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A North Florida congressman has questions for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development following a massive fire at a government-subsidized apartment complex that sent seven people to the hospital and displaced 11 families. According to HUD, 28 more families were evacuated days after the fire at Calloway Cove in an abundance of caution. U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat representing Florida's 5th Congressional District, partnered with Northeast Florida … Continue Reading

July 29, 2019

Al Lawson, Val Demings Champion HUD Inspection Act

by Kevin Derby

Two Democrats in the Florida delegation are championing a proposal to have the U.S. Housing and Urban Department (HUD) crack down on federally assisted housing properties that do not comply with federal laws. At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-NC, brought out the "HUD Inspection Act." Lawson introduced the bill on Friday and weighed in on why he had introduced it. "It is my firm belief that everyone should … Continue Reading

July 29, 2019

North Florida Rep. Al Lawson Introduces Bill to Tackle College Food Insecurity

by Abukar Adan

Democratic Representative Al Lawson introduced the College Student Hunger Act, which allows more low income college students to access the Supplemental Food Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits. He said students are overwhelmed by the rising cost of tuition and books. "So therefore, you know, they have a problem struggling just to get a meal," he said. "And I think it causes problems not only in their test scores, but also in their graduation rates, having to work extra jobs, you … Continue Reading

July 20, 2019

Jacksonville post office renamed after civil rights activist

by Roxy Tyler

Congressman Lawson with the Pearson family. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - U.S. Rep. Al Lawson and U.S. Postal Service officials on Friday hosted a dedication ceremony to mark the renaming of the Kings Road post office in honor of civil rights activist Rutledge Pearson. Lawson filed the bill to rename the post office on Aug. 1, 2017. The bill passed Congress earlier this year and became law on March 28, 2018. "Mr. Pearson was an instrumental leader in the fight for civil rights and his efforts, … Continue Reading

July 18, 2019

Al Lawson introduces bill to fight college hunger

by James Call

A food pantry at Florida A&M University hands out nearly 5,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables, milk and bread to low income students every week. Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College also operate food pantries for students. Congressman Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, supports those efforts, but thinks there is a better way to address the campus hunger problem. Lawson wants to open the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP to feed college students from low-income … Continue Reading

July 15, 2019

Al Lawson’s, AOC’s, Tlaib’s Bill Reforming How Companies Use Credit Reports in Hiring Gains Steam

by Kevin Derby

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson's, D-Fla., proposal cracking down on how companies use credit reports when they hire new employees is gaining traction on Capitol Hill. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., are cosponsoring the bill. At the start of the month, Lawson introduced the "Restricting Credit Checks for Employment Decisions Act" which cleared the U.S. House Financial Services Committee last week. "The bill prevents employers from seeking credit scores or … Continue Reading

June 28, 2019

Congressman Al Lawson gives the Tiger Bay Club a view into the 2019 session

by T'nerra Butler

There's never a dull moment at the U.S. Capitol - so said U.S. Rep. Al Lawson at Friday's Capital Tiger Bay Club luncheon. Tallahassee's Democrat congressman shared his key takeaways from the 2019 session, which included criminal justice reform, affordable health care and disaster relief. After a lighthearted introduction by City Commissioner Gil Ziffer - and the typical Tiger Bay stabs at humor - Lawson dived into a discussion of legislation that stymied Congress, and noted times he saw … Continue Reading

June 28, 2019

Florida Congressmen's Bill to Help Vets Enter Civilian Workforce Heads to the Senate

by Kevin Derby

A bill from two North Florida congressmen -- Republican Rep. John Rutherford and Democratic Rep. Al Lawson -- to help veterans transition out of the service and into civilian careers has cleared the U.S. House and now heads to the U.S. Senate. Back in October 2017, Rutherford and Lawson unveiled a bill creating a grant matching program for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support organizations that help veterans enter the private sector through job training programs and other … Continue Reading

May 29, 2019

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson commemorates fallen soldiers post Memorial Day

Roughly 130 soldiers buried in Greenwood Cemetery off Old Bainbridge Road were not honored on Memorial Day Monday. U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, and other community leaders are working to change that. On Wednesday afternoon, the congressman, along with the Buffalo Soldiers of Tallahassee and Tallahassee Urban League, planted American flags at 90 grave sites to commemorate the fallen soldiers who were missed Monday. The group underestimated the number of unrecognized soldiers and plan to … Continue Reading

April 08, 2019

Congressman Lawson hosts panel discussing mistreatment of college athletes

Congressman Al Lawson's latest challenge stretches beyond regional boundary lines. The District 5 representative is working on a campaign focusing on the civil rights of collegiate student-athletes nationwide. As a former basketball and track star at Florida A&M University, Lawson knows all too well the difficult balancing act of playing sports as a full-time student. Since his heyday as a Rattler, he's witnessed the massive economic expansion of the NCAA. Conversely, Lawson … Continue Reading

April 06, 2019

Chamber honors Lawson

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, with its annual Spirit of Enterprise Award in recognition of his pro-growth and pro-job policies, the congressman's office said. Lawson, in a release, said he is working for more job creation and economic growth. "While the government at times can focus on assisting large businesses, which is important, guaranteeing that foundations are laid so smaller business can succeed are also equally as important," he … Continue Reading

April 02, 2019

Al Lawson takes aim at NCAA treatment of student athletes

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson Jr. parlayed a standout period as a college basketball player into an NBA stint, a coaching gig, and now a political career of long standing. Lawson's case represents the best-case scenario for student athletes, however, and a new bill from the second-term Democrat would bring change to an oft-criticized model. The NCAA Act of 2019 would eliminate the "one-and-done" rule, provide medical coverage for sports-related injuries, and create an easier process for student … Continue Reading

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