In front of a packed chamber, Manatee County’s State Delegation met in the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Chambers. This is an annual meeting held by our local state delegation to create a formal setting so they can listen to local leaders and passionate citizens present topics important to them. The local delegation uses this opportunity to get the input they need from the community to bring to Tallahassee for consideration as they represent the community in their policy-making decisions and appropriations requests.
The local state delegation includes the local elected Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senators. Today’s meeting included Representative Tommy Gregory as Chair, Representative Will Robinson, Representative Michele Rayner, and Senator Jim Boyd. Senator Boyd was unable to attend.
The meeting is made up of 4 parts. Part 1 is for local bills to be presented. Part 2 is for local legislative priorities to be relayed by local officials and organizations. Part 3 is for public comment. Part 4 is for closing statements.
There were 4 bills presented to the delegation. These bills were unanimously approved and will be taken up to Tallahassee for completion.
The Local Legislative Priority part of today’s meeting was kicked off by Manatee County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman, Vanessa Baugh. She identified the top priorities identified by the BOCC – Funding for Piney Point, Moccasin Wallow Road improvement funding assistance, and support for Community-based Foster Care. She also shared additional items that Manatee County is looking for support and continued efforts including key bridges, broadband, and affordable housing.
The Local Legislative Priority section included the following speakers:
- Manatee County Clerk of Courts – Angelina Colonneso
- City of Bradenton – Mayor Gene Brown
- Manatee County Metropolitan Planning Organization – Chair Vanessa Baugh and David Hutchinson
- ManaSota League of Cities – Mayor John Chappie
- Town of Longboat Key – Mayor Ken Schneier and Town Manager Tom Harmer
- Peace River ManaSota Regional Water Supply Authority – Mike Coates
- Manatee School Board – Reverend James Golden
- Guardian Ad Litem for the Twelfth Circuit – Paula Adams
- University Park Rec District – Mark Barneby
- City of Palmetto – Mark Barneby
- City of Holmes Beach – Vice-Chair Terry Schaefer
- USF Sarasota Manatee – Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, President
- New College of Florida – Pat Okker, President
- Manatee Chamber of Commerce – Jackie Dezelski, President and CEO
- Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance – Susan Goldstein
- Mote Marine Laboratory – Dr. Michael Crosby, President and CEO
- Safe Children Coalition – Brena Slater, CEO
- Liberty Caucus – Kevin Wright
- Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast – Christine Johnson
- Bishop Museum of Science and Nature – Martha Wells
- Florida Life Care Residents Association (FLiCRA) – Pat Arends
- Manatee Habitat for Humanity – Diana Shoemaker
- Florida Retired Educators Association – Susan Daravec
- Women’s Voices of SW Florida – Kate Danehy-Samitz
- Manatee County Democratic Party – William Clapper
- NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties – Colleen Thayer, Executive Director
The Public Comment section included several speakers presenting their opinions and views on topics including abortion, affordable housing, medical malpractice litigation, 2nd amendment rights, and phosphate mining, and election fraud.
The full meeting can be viewed below.