Bay County Chamber of Commerce

Bay County Chamber of Commerce

235 West 5th Street

Panama City, FL 32401


Phone: 850.785.5206

Fax: 850.763.6229





Governmental Affairs Update May 8, 2013
May 13, 2013

This periodic update is intended to keep you informed on issues impacting your business and our community.  We encourage you to stay in tune on these activities and to communicate with our elected officials.  In addition, you will receive "ACTION ALERTS" during session, or on a local level, as issues arise and we need mass communication with our elected leadership.  When the time comes, please respond quickly as our officials need prompt input from their constituents.

Thank you for making Bay County a better place to live, work and play!


Governmental Affairs Update May 8

We have had a full couple of weeks in Governmental Affairs! Here are some of the events that have been going on over the past month.

Wrap-Up of Legislative Session

The Florida Legislative Session ended last Friday, May 3, with several new pieces of legislation sitting on the governor's desk. Many of these bills have been part of the Chamber's Legislative Agenda over the past few years and we are excited that they are finally getting put into law! Here are some of the pieces of legislation waiting to be signed:

·          Elimination of the Manufacturer Sales Tax on Equipment (HB 7007/ SB518/ HB391)

·          Expediting Manufacturing Site Approval Process (HB 357/ SB 582)

·          Acceptance of Florida Department of Environmental Protection Numeric Nutrient Criteria (HB 7115/ SB 1808)

·          Reducing and Consolidating Environmental Regulation (HB 999/ SB 1684)

·          Prohibiting Local Governments from Holding Referendums on land use rules (SB 582/HB 537)

·          Increased use of Public/Private Partnerships for Public Buildings and Infrastructure Projects (HB 85/ SB 84)

Thank you everyone who wrote letters to our state representatives, and thank you to Representatives Marti Coley and Jimmy Patronis, Senator Don Gaetz, and Speaker Weatherford for a good legislative session. Also, a special thanks to Joe Tannehill, Jr. and Wayne Stubbs for testifying on behalf of the Chamber's position on eliminating the manufacturing sales tax in Tallahassee.

For more information on the 2013 Legislative Session, read the Florida Chamber summary here. Also, watch out for our article on the session in the July Bay Biz!

Southerland Commemorates Bay County's 100 Years

U.S. Representative Steve Southerland addressed the House of Representatives on April 24 to honor Bay County's Centennial and rich history. He spoke of the wonders and gifts of Bay County, praising the county's schools, military installations, and close-knit community.

"On this date, April 24, 2013, the day of Bay County's Centennial, I am proud to join with friends, neighbors, my family, and local and county officials from Panama City, Panama City Beach, Lynn Haven, Springfield, Parker, Callaway, Mexico Beach, and the unincorporated areas of our county to celebrate our proud past and bright future as we work hard to make Bay County a better place to live, work, and play," Southerland closed.

To watch the three minute speech, please click here

Florida House Passes Resolution Honoring Bay County Centennial

On April 24, the anniversary of the founding of Bay County, the Florida House of Representatives honored Bay County's Centennial by passing House Resolution 9079, honoring local residents, community leaders, and public officials for one hundred years of history! The resolution was sponsored by our very own Representative Jimmy Patronis and will presented to the Bay County Board of Commissioners and each county constitutional official. Representative Patronis released a press statement saying, "I am privileged to have had the opportunity to recognize and honor Bay County and its residents on this historic day. Bay County truly is the epitome of what makes our state so great."

To see Representative Patronis' press release and more information about the resolution, please click here .

Local Appointments

The Chamber congratulates Bo Rivard and Wayne Lindsey for their appointments earlier this month. Mr. Rivard was chosen to serve on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Mr. Lindsey is representing the Chamber on the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization. We know you will do a great job!

Florida House of Representatives - Click here to find and contact your Representative

Florida Senate - Click here to find and contact your Senator

United States House of Representatives - Click here to find and contact your Congressman

Senators of the United States Congress - Click here to find and contact your Senator


If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact one of our staff members.




The mission of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce is to create superior value for all chamber members large and small, cultivate economic and personal development, promote and protect a competitive system of business, be a community leader while embracing Bay County’s opportunities and challenges.


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