Gov. Scott Signs 3 Local Bills

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BAY COUNTY - Gov. Rick Scott signed 55 bills Monday, many of them important to individual cities or counties.

Three of them involve issues important to Bay County.

The first of the three bills will allow people to buy alcohol from Downtown Panama City and St. Andrews businesses without having to stay inside the business.

It's designed for those special dowtown events, when vendors are already selling alcohol outdoors.

The new law would apply to as many as 30 events in the downtown areas each year.

Another bill changes the rules for membership on the Bay County Tourist Development Council.

The Bay County Commission will appoint all 9 TDC members, including one commissioner, two elected officials from the cities that generated the highest bed tax revenues the previous five years, and six people involved in the tourist industry, with three to four of them being owners or operators of lodgings.

Finally Bay County Commissioners will have more control over their representative on the bay medical center board of trustees.

The change allows commissioners to remove and replace their appointee at any time, without cause.

Among the major bills the governor signed was the ones that create three tax holidays for consumers, a series of controversial bills dealing with the state education system, and one that allows illegal immigrants to receive a license to practice law.