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 August 21, 2013
August 21, 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!


Topics included:

·          Apalachicola Bay/River Water Issue

·          Bay County Chamber Legislative Survey

·          FDOT Public Information Meeting

·          State Representative Jimmy Patronis Named to the House Health Quality Subcommittee

·          Steve Southerland Congressional Report for Summer 2013

·          Department of Economic Opportunity Visit

·          Senator Marco Rubio Visit



Apalachicola Bay/River Water Issue

HOT!  Remember to submit comments by tomorrow, August 22. 


Lack of freshwater reaching the Apalachicola Bay has caused the Bay's oyster, shrimp, crab and fish populations to collapse, devastating the regional economy and causing untold harm to the many people who rely on a healthy River, Floodplain and Bay for their livelihoods and way of life. The lack of fresh water also negatively affects the gulf's recreational fishing industry as many species are birthed in estuaries like Apalachicola Bay.


Call on Congress to act now to pass legislation requiring the Army Corps of Engineers to operate the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system to ensure that the Apalachicola River, Floodplain, and Bay receive the freshwater flows they need to support, restore, and re-establish healthy populations of fish and wildlife and the vibrant resource conservation based economy that relies on a healthy natural system.  Submit your comments by e-mailing the following:



Bay County Chamber 2014 Legislative Survey

The Legislative Survey is how the Chamber identifies the membership's positions on current issues and  what is impacting business today.  The survey is used as a basis for the Legislative Agenda each year.  Through this grassroots advocacy and a politically involved membership, the Chamber becomes the voice for Bay County's business community. The results from the survey will be used to frame next year's Legislative Agenda and how we promote the Chamber's interests.  These are just some of the Bay County strides we have helped achieved based on your input just in 2013:

·          Securing DOT funding for the 23rd Street and Highway 98 Overpass

·          Promoting Florida's safe numeric nutrient water standards

·          Expediting environmental permitting

To take the 2014 legislative Survey click here:



Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Public Information Meeting

The FDOT meeting will take place on August 22, 2013, 5-6 pm at the Glenwood Community Center, 722 East 9th Court,

Panama City. 


The meeting will discuss proposed improvements to S.R. 30A (U.S. 98) from West of Jenks Avenue to S.R. 389 (East Avenue), to include resurfacing the exiting roadway, minor intersection improvements, draining improvements, sidewalk and pedestrian signals, and other minor safety upgrades.  The public will be able to preview the proposed design, ask questions, and/or submit comments concerning the upcoming projects.  Maps, drawings and other information will be on display, but there will not be a formal presentation.  Representatives from the FDOT will be available to answer questions and explain proposed improvements.


State Representative Jimmy Patronis Named to the House Health Quality Subcommittee

In his announcement of the 2014 committee memberships for the Florida House of Representatives, Speaker Will Weatherford named State Representative Jimmy Patronis to the Health Quality Subcommittee. The Subcommittee considers matters under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health, including licensure and regulation of healthcare professions and the state's public health system.


"I thank Speaker Weatherford for the opportunity to serve on the Health Quality Subcommittee. I look forward to working with Chair Roberson to find ways to provide Floridians with the best health care available," said Rep. Patronis.


"Throughout Rep. Patronis' tenure in the Florida House, he has demonstrated a deep understanding of a broad array of issues and how they affect the average Floridian. His experience and leadership will make him a great asset to this committee," said House Majority Leader Steve Crisafulli.

In the upcoming session, Rep. Patronis will continue to serve as Chair of the Economic Affairs Committee and as a member of the Appropriations and Health & Human Services Committees. 


Steve Southerland Congressional Report for Summer 2013

Summer 2013 update include:  Strengthening economic opportunity,  Ports and Coastal communities, Preserving Leon County's water supply, Reining in Job-crushing Government regulations, Fighting for Tyndall, Improving education and Expanding opportunities for our rural communities.   For the full report, please click on the link:


Department of Economic Opportunity Visit

Mr. Jessee Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, visited Bay County for a roundtable discussion with Chamber and community leadership on August 5, 2013.   He spoke very well for Governor Scott and the Restore Act.  Mr. Panuccio, along with Bay County Chamber representatives attended the launching of a new vessel constructed by Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) of Panama City.  The boat delivery event took place at the ESG Nelson Yard in Panama City on August 5, 2013. A second vessel was launched the same day.    

"Businesses like Eastern Shipbuilding that successfully compete to serve overseas customers are critical to economic growth for Bay County," said Carol Roberts, President and CEO of Bay County Chamber of Commerce.  "The relationship between ESG and Boldini creates jobs in the shipyard that in turn help generate activity in other parts of our local economy."

Senator Marco Rubio Visit

Senator Marco Rubio visited the chamber on August 13 for a roundtable with about 20 local businesses.  Senator Rubio is concerned about healthcare and how it is affecting small businesses.  The consensus around the room is that businesses do not know how it's going to affect them, because there is not enough information available.  Senator Rubio's stance on healthcare is that he will not support any bill that funds healthcare. 



Click here or visit for full details.

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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