President Barack Obama recently signed U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw’s Achieving a Better Life Experience Act into law, creating tax-free savings accounts for millions living with disabilities.
Crenshaw authored the bill on the House side and first introduced it in 2006. It will help citizens with disabilities and their families “have the same financial planning tool available to others as they reach for every possible piece of the American dream,” according to the release.
The law amends the IRS Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for qualified expenses. Benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the beneficiary’s employments and other sources would be supplemented but not supplanted by the legislation.
Lenny Curry adds three to mayoral campaign staff
Mayoral candidate Lenny Curry has added three to his staff heading into spring elections.
Brian Swensen will serve as campaign manager, Ashley Noland has joined as deputy campaign manager and Jessica Laird will be political director.
Swenson recently led the political operations of Bill Cassidy’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in Louisiana and previously served as political director for the Republican Party of Florida. Curry is a former president of the state party.
Noland most recently was an aide to U.S. Rep. Chris Collins of New York on his Washington, D.C., staff. Before that, she worked with U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida.
Laird is a Florida State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism. She has interned at Bascom Communications & Consulting, the state Republican party and the Florida Department of Corrections.
Mayo Clinic researchers receives $1.2 million for Alzheimer's work
Three researchers at Mayo Clinic Florida have received $1.2 million from the newly funded Florida Health Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Research Program to study different parts of Alzheimer’s diseases.
The program was created this year to improve the health of Florida residents by researching prevention and diagnosis of the disease.
The three researchers and their studies are:
• Dr. Nilufer Ertekin-Taner, a neurologist and neuroscientists who will focus on how the disease affects African-Americans.
• Dr. Rosa Rademakers, a neuroscientist who will study early-onset Alzheimer’s.
• Dr. Guojun Bu, a neuroscientist who will target the effects of gender on the disease.
Florida has more Alzheimer’s patients than any state except California, according to a news release about the funding. In Florida, 480,000 have been diagnosed, with the number expected to grow to 720,000 by 2025.
ImpactJAX names leadership team
The young professionals group of the JAX Chamber, ImpactJAX, has named its 2015 leadership team headlined by Kemal Gasper of SunTrust Bank.
Gasper will serve as chair for the year, with Andrew Kisz of Deutsche Bank named vice chair.
Others named to roles: Thomas Lee of Lee & Cates Glass as membership chair; Ciara Walton of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund as community outreach chair; Katie Little of Allstate as social and cultural chair; Caitlynn Finnegan of Keller Williams Atlantic Partners as professional development chair; Chris Warren of Operation New Hope as public policy chair; Alexis Howard of River Region Human Services Inc. as service and giving chair; Stephanie Mack of MatrixOneSource as community pride chair; and Gracie Simendinger of the United Way of Northeast Florida as immediate past chair.
The leadership team comprises volunteers who work at JAX Chamber member companies. Their role is to promote the chamber’s vision to young professionals.
Many city offices, facilities closed for Christmas holiday
Most city government offices and facilities will be closed today and Thursday in observance of the holidays.
• City Hall, 117 W. Duval St.
• The Ed Ball Building, 214 N. Hogan St.
• The Jake M. Godbold City Hall Annex, 407 N. Laura St.
• The Yates Building, 231 E. Forsyth St. (including the Office of Tax Collector and Office of the Property Appraiser)
• The Supervisor of Elections main office, 105 E. Monroe St.
• All community and senior centers and gymnasiums managed by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
• All libraries.
Residential garbage, yard waste and recycling will be collected as usual today but not Thursday. Instead those that typically are collected Thursday will instead be collected Saturday. No appliances will be collected either day.
Urban Land Institute accepting applications from real estate community
The Urban Land Institute North Florida will kick off the inaugural class of the Women’s Leadership Development Institute on Feb. 12.
Participants will meet over five months to network with colleagues from different real estate disciplines.
Programming will include interactions with local business leaders, public officials and national experts, and discussions on such topics as leadership, management, teambuilding and more.
The cost for the program is $1,500 for ULI members and $1,700 for non-members.
Applications are due Jan. 9 and are available at northflorida.uli.org.
DIA retail enhancement group meeting Jan. 7
The Retail Enhancement Program Committee of the Downtown Investment Authority will meet at 9 a.m. Jan. 7 in Conference Room C on the third floor of City Hall.
The group has been handling applications from Downtown business owners interested in a portion of a $750,000 grant program for revitalizing storefronts.
For more information, call the authority at (904) 630-3492.
Mayor’s commission seeks Women’s History Month nominees
In honor of March as Women’s History Month, the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women is accepting nominations to recognize those who have made a significant local impact.
Ten local women will be selected as finalists, with four to be featured on the annual poster celebrating Women’s History month. They’ll be recognized at a March 17 breakfast at the University of North Florida. This year’s theme is “HerStory: Honoring All Women.”
Nomination forms are available at coj.net/mcsw or by email at [email protected]. For more information, contact Alaina Reaves at (904) 630-1618.
The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 2.