Representative Allan Bense says building a solid economic infrastructure in the Panhandle is important, and one way is to create a better business environment.
"Ultimately my goal is to four-lane Highway 77 and Highway 79 all the way to I-10, if we do that, northwest Florida will be a mecca for businesses."
As for infrastructures, with the bridge replacing the Hathaway Bridge almost finished, Bense has the power to submit a name, but he says he will do no such thing until the people of Bay County have decided on a name themselves. He's not sure how that can be done, but he's not going to be the only one choosing a name.
He does plan on seeing a proposal by the house to put the class size amendment back on a ballot.
"We're pouring all of our money in one problem and leaving the other five or six or seven problems unattended and we're not going to increase the quality of our education by doing that."
Bense is in line to take over as Speaker of the House during the 2005-2006 legislative session, but the perks of the position will flow throughout the Panhandle immediately.
"Traditionally, as the speaker goes into his second year, the next speaker's power begins to rise and I’ve noticed people have been really nice to me a lot lately, really nice,” adds Bense.
The state budget is $55.5 billion this year, an increase of 2.6-percent, but Bense says that increase will mostly be eaten up between Medicaid and the class size amendment.