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Florida Advances Bills to Honor Jimmy

January 11th, 2024

The Florida legislature has advanced two bills to honor the late Jimmy Buffett:

Buffett, the iconic Florida singer who died last year, wrote songs that drove tourists to the Florida Keys looking for sun, sand and relaxation.

Now the Florida Legislature wants to return the favor. A state Senate committee on Wednesday unanimously approved two bills to honor Buffett after watching a short video tribute to him.

“Margaritaville is just what Florida is all about. Jimmy Buffett is the icon of Florida. No one represents the open sun, beaches, music more than Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville,” said Republican state Sen. Gayle Harrell, who sponsored one of the bills.

State Road A1A, the historic scenic highway that winds about 340 miles (545 kilometers) along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, would become Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway under one bill. The other bill would create a specialty license plate with the word “Margaritaville” — a Buffett song that has become a nickname for Key West.

“I happen to prefer the one with the beach chair, the tree on the water and a plane,” Harrell said while showing the Senate Transportation Committee samples of suggested license plates. “But it’s missing a red parrot. We need to add a red parrot to that one.”

While the bills were enthusiastically received, Democratic state Sen. Tracie Davis couldn’t help express a little disappointment.

“I feel somewhat slighted that we don’t have margaritas up here,” she said to laughs.

Tagged in Personal/Family, Politics

Florida Lawmakers File Bill to Rename Parts of A1A After Buffett

October 4th, 2023

Parts of the iconic A1A highway in Florida may be designated as the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway if a bill filed last week becomes law:

In the weeks since Jimmy Buffett passed away, there have been many tributes to the singer-songwriter. Now, one looks to trump them all, and it may become one of the most impressive honors to come to the musician following his death.

Fans of the legendary singer-songwriter may soon have the chance to cruise down one of Florida’s iconic coastal highways, which could be renamed for the late star. State Representative Chuck Clemons, a Florida Republican, has filed House Bill 91, seeking to grant an “honorary designation” to specific portions of State Road A1A in certain counties in the state.

If the bill is approved, the coastal highway, which stretches from Key West in the south to Fernandina Beach in the north, will be renamed the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway. The name will take affect in a number of counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Nassau, among many others.

Tagged in Albums, Personal/Family, Politics

Flags at Half-Staff in Florida to Honor Jimmy

September 8th, 2023

In a memorandum issued Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered flags in Key West and Tallahassee to be flown at half-staff to honor Jimmy Buffett:

On Friday, September 1, 2023, Florida resident and legendary musician Jimmy Buffett passed away after battling cancer. Born in Mississippi and raised in Alabama, Buffett moved to Key West in his early years to build a legacy. An inductee of the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, Buffett captured the Florida lifestyle and entertained generations of Floridians with his relaxed “Floridays” style that embodied the spirit of the Gulf Coast and Conch Republic. A global entertainer, Buffett’s song “Margaritaville” led to successes on the stage and off the charts — becoming a namesake for his business ventures, which include restaurants, resorts, and a lifestyle brand.

A lifelong conservationist, Buffett spearheaded efforts to protect the manatee, Florida’s State Marine Mammal, through the Save the Manatee License Plate. Buffett’s appreciation for Florida’s landmark Everglades was reinforced through philanthropic efforts and song.

Floridians “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season” are encouraged to commemorate the legacy of our adopted native son by raising their margarita glass and enjoying a cheeseburger here in paradise to wish the “Son of a Son of a Sailor” well.

To commemorate his life and legacy, I hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West, Florida, City of Key West City Hall, and at the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, from 5:00 PM today to 5:00 PM on Friday September 8, 2023, because it’s always five o’clock somewhere.

Tagged in Personal/Family, Politics

Buffett Supports Florida’s Marijuana Initiative

December 23rd, 2019

Jimmy Buffett has come out in support of the Make It Legal Florida campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in the Sunshine State:

“Pot, weed, marijuana, cannabis — whatever you call it, it’s good medicine,” Buffett says in a video released by the campaign today. “Make it legal.”

Make It Legal Florida has received verified 190,000 signatures in support of its adult-use marijuana initiative and says it is waiting for thousands more to be verified by supervisors of elections around the state. To make the upcoming election ballot, the initiative must collect 766,200 verified signatures by February 2020.

Make It Legal would allow individuals age 21 years and older to use and purchase marijuana. However, the initiative would prohibit cannabis grown at home, only allowing it to be purchased at dispensaries currently selling medical marijuana. Just this week, an initiative sponsored by Regulate Florida died after failing to receive enough signatures with the looming deadline.

Earlier this year, Buffett partnered with Parallel, formerly Surterra Wellness, to launch his own marijuana brand, also called Coral Reefer.

“Life is supposed to be about having fun and staying healthy enough to enjoy it,” Buffett said at the time. “I think Coral Reefer will help a lot of folks do that.”

Tagged in Politics

Buffett to Hold Get Out the Vote Rally for Florida Candidates

October 31st, 2018

Jimmy Buffett will once again use his musical talents and celebrity to get out the vote in Florida. He’ll perform at a rally in West Palm Beach on Saturday for Senator Bill Nelson and gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

From the Palm Beach Post:

The event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Meyer Amphitheatre in downtown West Palm Beach, according to a post by the Gillum campaign.

Palm Beach resident Buffett is no stranger to Democratic politics. A few days before the Aug. 28 Democratic primary, he performed a free concert in Hollywood for Gwen Graham, who finished second to Gillum in the five-candidate race.

Read the full article here.

Tagged in Politics, Special Appearances