MaryLynn Magar: 'Softball Mom' Looking to Relieve Businesses, Expand Grandparent Visitation Rights

By: Eric Giunta | Posted: February 7, 2013 3:55 AM
Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta
MaryLynn Magar
Date of Birth: July 6, 1963
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pa.
Residence: Tequesta
Education: Radford University, Bachelor of Science
Occupation: Business owner
Family: Husband, daughter
Previous Public Office: None
Did you know? She's a proud "softball mom": “That’s just consumed my life, other than politics. ... Kids’ sports is even more ‘interesting’ than politics, sometimes.”
Martin and Palm Beach County’s new Republican representative says she’s bringing a new set of eyes to tackling the state’s problems, as a small-business owner and, more importantly, as a mother.

MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta, has lived in Florida for some 20 years, and in that time has made a name for herself as a community leader, campaign volunteer, and a Martin County GOP committeewoman. What motivated her to finally pursue elected office?

“Like a lot of us, I just became frustrated with government at all levels and decided it was time that I take the next step in leadership roles and try to make a small difference where I can,” she tells Sunshine State News. “One of the reasons people like term limits is because it will generate new ideas and fresh ideas over the years. I’m coming at this from a small-business perspective, a mom’s perspective, someone with a fresh new set of eyes to look at problems and try and bring some common sense to their solution.”

Asked what her priorities will be over the next two years, she repeats what others have said in this course of interviewing for this series: jobs and education.

“My goal is to help business get back on track and make sure that Florida is a successful state for starting and growing businesses,” she says. “At the same time, I don’t like to talk about business without talking about education, because I believe it’s one big circle: you can’t have good, strong businesses in the state without strong education.”

She says the state’s educational system needs “major reform,” not just piecemeal “tweaks” or “add-ons.”

“We’ve been educating children for the past hundred years the way we used to conduct our businesses: like an assembly line,” she explains. “You learn to read in grade 1, you learn to add in grade 2, you just pass it on down the line instead of really finding out what the child’s interests are and where their skills lie. I’d like to see teachers be more of a coach versus just standing up in the classroom and writing things on the board.”

Magar’s already filed three bills, and says more are coming down the pipeline, though she declined to speak of the latter until they are finalized. Two of the three relate to her small-business commitments.

The first, HB 391 (“Exemptions from Tax on Sales, Use, and Other Transactions”), exempts businesses from having to pay certain sales taxes. Under current Florida law, the businesses can only apply for a special rebate after they have documented a certain level of post-purchase productivity.

“This might not mean a lot to a large business, but I know from experience that when you have a small business, filing to get that rebate is a hassle,” Magar tells the News. “The company has already taken the risk to purchase the equipment, add employees, and now we're burdening them with more work. “Hopefully, this [exemption] will give people more incentives to take the risk and grow their business.”

A second proposal, HB 457 (“Worthless Checks, Drafts, or Orders of Payment”), affords businesses more options in recovering payment and fees from the receipt of bad checks or drafts. Under Florida law, a company may only collect after giving the issuer 30 days’ notice through snail-mail. Magar’s bill would allow businesses to forego this process so long as they post a special disclaimer to the recipient at the point of sale.

“Lots of times, after 30 days someone’s long-gone and closed their checking accounts,” Magar says. “I think having it posted and written [at point of sale] might give these people pause to write a bad check in the first place.”

Her third proposal, HB 455 (“Grandparent Visitation”), would expand grandparents’ visitation rights with respect to their grandchildren, by allowing judges to grant that right in a situation when the child of the grandparents is deceased and the grandparents have a pre-existing relationship with the grandchild.

Magar’s committee assignments are very health-care heavy. In addition to the Local and Federal Affairs Committee and Rulemaking Oversight and Repeal Subcommittee, she sits on the subcommittees on Health Care Appropriations and Health Innovation, and the important Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).

Magar would not commit to a position on Medicaid expansion or whether Florida should establish and operate its own health care exchanges, saying she is still researching the relevant facts. She did, however, give some hints as to where she may be leaning.

“The one thing that concerns me most with Medicaid and putting more people into it is that we’re putting more people into a broken system,” she tells the News. “The people who are disabled and elderly are the most fragile people in our society; we need to take care of them, and they are a different group from those who might just need a better job and higher mobility. We want that second group not to be in Medicaid forever.”

As for health care exchanges: “Generally, I think anything run by the state, which is closest to its people, is better, but at this point I’m just not seeing any advantage to the state [operating its own exchanges]. Maybe as we learn more, I will see one."

Reach Eric Giunta at egiunta@sunshinestatenews.com or at (954) 235-9116.

Comments (6)

Nancy Branch
10:31AM FEB 8TH 2013
Sorry to hear your advocating litigation for families involved in giving grandparents rights to visitation. Your only putting thousands of dollars into attorneys hands and leaving parents poor and beat up. Get back on track.
Nancy Branch
10:23AM FEB 8TH 2013
stop Obamacare, number one priority. Don't forget why we sent you there. Take points from Ben Carson.
Concerned Parent
10:18PM FEB 7TH 2013
Politicians figured out they couldn't legislate the weather so now they are going to try AGAIN to legislate GPV. Better check the early 90's with Skippy Campbell and his unsuccessful effort to get GPV.

A little reading:
Denyse Ann Griss a/k/a v. Jack Griss No. 87-1454
Clinebell v. Department of Children and Families, 711 So.2d 194
DEWEY KEITH BEAGLE, et al., v. ROY THOMAS BEAGLE, et al., No. 85,971
Williams v. Spears, 719 So.2d 1236
Goode Von Eiff v. Azicri, 720 So.2d 510
Brunetti v. Saul, 724 So.2d 142
S.G. v. C.S.G., 726 So.2d 806
F.M. v. Department of Children and Families, 727 So.2d 995
Mogul v. Mogul, 730 So.2d 1287
FM.S. v. D.C., No. 98-3296
Kazmierazak v. Query, 736 So.2d 106
L.B. and B.B. v. C.A. and Department of Children and Families, 738 So.2d 425
Lonon v. Ferrell, 739 So.2d 650
Saul v. Brunetti, No. SC94843
Richardson v. Richardson, No. SC94810
Belair v. Drew, No. SC96168
N.Z.B. v. M.C., No. 2D00-2445
Belair v. Drew 5D99-1265
Smith v. Koolidge
Susan Auld
8:24PM FEB 7TH 2013
Finally we have a representative who actually owns and manages a small business and who understands the product and financial ramifications. By having a representative who will act to encourage small business development and success, Florida will benefit and so will many who will want to work in this special environment.
Karen A. Wyle
10:48AM FEB 7TH 2013
I'm dismayed to see a representative whose general orientation favors individual freedom trying to restore, in Florida, the oppressive, intrusive and tragically counterproductive institution of grandparent visitation litigation. Parents have not only the constitutional right, but far better knowledge and opportunity to determine what nonparental contact and supervision is appropriate for their children. The crushing financial burden inflicted by this litigation, not to mention the emotional stresses involved, can be crippling for custodial families -- and it's the children who pay the heaviest price.
Nancy Branch
10:25AM FEB 8TH 2013
Well put Karen, I couldn't figure out exactly what she was doing. But a red flag went up. Thanks for your input!

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.