Legislative Delegations Hold Public Hearings

By: Cristina Pfeffer Email
By: Cristina Pfeffer Email

Representative Marti Coley and Senator Don Gaetz spent Monday morning listening to Walton County officials and residents on a number of topics, including healthcare.

"What can we do here in Florida to make this work better for Floridians? People like me, people who are self-employed, maybe we can set up our own exchange, our own website,” stated one Walton County resident.

Senator Don Gaetz responded to her inquiry.

"On the Senate side we looked at whether or not to establish a state exchange, and both Republicans and Democrats said we should not establish a state exchange,” stated Senator Gaetz.

Anotherr hot topic is a proposal requiring charter schools to meet certain needs that the local school district does not.

"I keep being confused by that because all charter schools are public schools, and they should not be warring against one another, they should be working together, recognizing all students are unique,” said Representative Marti Coley.

Some residents pushed local public works projects they believe will be beneficial to the county.

But Gaetz says there's not enough money in the budget.

The session ended with the lawmakers praising locals for their work.

"There are places in Florida that don't want jobs, don't want growth, that don't want to be welcoming to new businesses,” said Senator Gaetz. However, Walton County is a place that has impressed these folks and I want to thank you."

Gaetz and Coley held their delegation meetings in Holmes and Washington counties Monday afternoon.

Bay County's delegation meeting is later this month.

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