FL Ag Urged To Attend FL Senate Committee Workshops

Gary Cooper Citrus, Florida, General, Specialty Crops, Sugar, Vegetables

FL Sen Don Gaetz In this report, comments from Florida Senator Don Gaetz about a series of three workshops scheduled in the immediate future by the Florida Senate Committee on the Economy, which he chairs.
Gaetz says agriculture is a key to Florida’s economy, and agricluture legislative representatives are urging farmers and ranchers to turn out at these meetings, even on short notice, to have their voices heard. Here is the official news release with the details of the meeting dates and times:
Tallahassee, Florida–The Senate Select Committee on Florida’s Economy will hold public workshops over the next three weeks in Jacksonville, Palm Beach, and Miami. The workshops are part of the committee’s initiative to invite the people of Florida to offer their suggestions for improving the state’s economy.
The committee is charged by Senate President Jeff Atwater (R-North Palm Beach) to “create incentives and eliminate impediments to economic recovery and growth and ensure that government functions more simply, more transparently, less expensively and more effectively.” The committee is authorized to develop legislation or constitutional amendments.
President Atwater has also asked the committee to develop recommendations for the use of any federal stimulus money coming to Florida.
Assuming the special session of the Legislature is concluded, the first workshop will be held Friday, January 16, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Florida Community College’s Advanced Technology Center in Jacksonville.
The focus of the Jacksonville event will be on actions state and local government should stop doing, start doing, or do differently to promote economic recovery.
“We are looking for very specific, practical actions the state can take to either remove obstacles to business activity or change the incentives and strategies the state uses to help Florida businesses grow,” according to Senator Don Gaetz (R-Niceville), chairman of the committee.
January 21 the committee will meet at the Children’s Services Center at 2300 High Ridge Road, Boynton Beach from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Palm Beach meeting will include testimony from venture capital firms and business leaders about how to attract out-of-state businesses to Florida and promote the expansion of existing in-state businesses.
“There are no quick fixes or easy solutions,” said Committee Vice Chairman Jeremy Ring (D-Margate). “For the future, though, the opportunity is transforming. The right decisions now can provide a foundation for both recovery of Florida’s existing industries and creation of an innovation economy in which entrepeneurship can thrive.”
The select committee will meet on the Miami River at Merrill-Stevens Shipyard, 881 NW 13th Avenue in Miami on January 22. A workshop from 9:00 am to 12 noon will emphasize opportunities for economic development of waterfronts and expansion of shipyards and ports. Other public testimony will also be taken.
In addition to Gaetz and Ring, the bi-partisan committee includes former Senate Presidents Jim King (R-Jacksonville) and Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie) as well as Senators J.D. Alexander (R-Lake Wales), Mike Haridopolos (R-Melbourne), Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton), Garrett Richter (R-Naples), Eleanor Sobel (D-Hallandale Beach), Tony Hill (D-Jacksonville) and Dan Gelber (D-Miami).
Additional workshops will be held in other locations in the state, according to Chairman Gaetz.
All meetings and workshops of the select committee are open to the public. To follow the work of the committee go to www.flsenate.gov or to provide direct comments, suggestions and guidance to committee members email floridaseconomy@flsenate.gov.
For more information about committee workshops or the work of the panel, contact the Senate Select Committee on Florida’s Economy at (850) 487-5494.
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