Bay County Chamber Visits Capitol For 'Bay Day.'

By: Tom Lewis, Brian Greig Email
By: Tom Lewis, Brian Greig Email

Lawmakers are in Tallahassee this week for a final round of meetings before the legislative session starts in a few weeks. It's also one of the last chances for organizations to plead their cases for more funding. There were a lot of Bay County faces in Tallahassee on Wednesday.

Bay County Chamber of Commerce leadership was in Tallahassee for 'Bay Day' Wednesday. It's a chance for Chamber members to pitch local projects important to our area.

This year's projects are widening Highway 390, a S.T.E.M. Facility for Gulf Coast State College, a crosswind runway at Northwest Florida Beaches International, a multi-use facility at Frank Brown Park to attract more athletic events and sports related tourism, and other projects.

They realize they won't get everything, in fact, they may not get anything.

Frank Martin, who is in charge of Governmental Affairs for the Chamber said, "The good thing about our leaders, Marti and especially Jimmy is they are pretty straight-forward...straight with us. And they tell us what they can and what they can't do which is helpful to us as we go back to our membership and express to them that these are the things that maybe we need to focus on."

Representative Jimmy Patronis said, "A large ticket project is a multi-year project. Highway 390 is not gonna happen overnight but it is happening and the right-of-way acquisition is taking place as we speak. Airport relocation project didn't happen overnight, it took 12 years. So the bigger the item, the longer it's gonna take."

Members of the newly renamed CareerSource centers from across the state were also in Tallahasse, Wednesday, talking jobs. And local CareerSource management says that they lawmakers are extremely attentive to the employment issues since job creation was and is Governor Rick Scott's biggest priority.

Kim Bodine is the Executive Director for CareerSource Gulf Coast and said "At one point we had a million Floridians out of work. So, they are very in tune with what we do and we just come back out to give them the message."


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