The 2013 Legislative Agenda has been approved by the Board of Directors today. A group from the Governmental Affairs Committee will be traveling to Tallahassee on January 23 to discuss the items on the agenda with some of Bay County's elected officials and agency representatives.
Representative Patronis Appointed to Florida Defense Task Force
House Speaker Will Weatherford has selected State Representative Jimmy Patronis to serve as Chairman of the Florida Defense Support Task Force House, effective immediately. The Florida Defense Support Task Force works to preserve, protect, and enhance Florida's military installations, as well as strengthening state support for military families and veterans. Representative Patronis released a statement stating that he is "honored to have been named Chair of this council and thanks the Speaker for giving him the opportunity." To learn more about this task force, click
Florida Chamber Unveils It's 2013 Legislative Agenda
Yesterday the Florida Chamber unveiled its 2013 agenda for jobs - a legislative agenda focused on making Florida's business climate more competitive and lowering the cost of living for the state's families and small businesses.
According to the Florida Chamber there are far too many job killers artificially holding the state back from strong private-sector job and economic growth. "The best way to secure Florida's future is to grow forward, one company at a time," said Mark Wilson, President/CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Florida Chamber's 2013 Competitive Agenda for Jobs is a blueprint of legislative priorities that move the state toward an innovation-based economy and puts long-term economic policy decisions ahead of short-term political fixes.
A complete listing of agenda is outlined in Where We Stand, at http://www.floridachamber.com/.
Regional Management of Red Snapper (Please Attend the Meeting TODAY)
Please plan to attend, participate and spread the word about a scoping meeting seeking public comments for the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The meeting is regarding the 2013 Red Snapper season and bag limit and proposed Regional Management is scheduled for today, Thursday, January 17, 2013, from 6-9 p.m. in Destin at the Destin Community Center on Stahlman Avenue.
In the recent special Reef Fish Committee meeting in Tampa, they selected a '1-fish bag limit' for the Red Snapper 2013 season, which provides 44 days or so instead of 27 days with a '2-fish bag limit'. Marine biologists on the committee believe we should be given at least twice the currently proposed allocation and have a 2-fish bag limit. The current Benchmark Stock Assessment that is to be completed in the late spring of 2013 will update the information on the status of the stock. Dr. Roy Crabtree, the Regional Administrator, pushed hard for the 1-fish bag limit but stated he feels certain the Council will act on that assessment at the June Council meeting. He also stated that if the 1-fish is the choice of the Full Council in February's meeting, that rule cannot be reversed in June when the results of the Benchmark Assessment is in showing the higher stock available for harvest.
In addition, this scoping meeting is being held to consider Regional Management of Red Snapper which would encompass options from each state having their own management, or the Gulf split 2 or 3 ways, or the current system. (There continues to be discussion on data collection, fish tags, catch shares, and other mechanisms to manage the data in real time-mostly eliminating opportunities to fish.) We are hoping the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission will have the opportunity for Regional Management with their record of fairness in balancing the protection of our resources without negatively impacting tourism and local anglers. For more information on these issues, click