Brevard County’s Four Chambers of Commerce Conduct Sixth-Annual Tallahassee Fly-In
By Space Coast Daily // January 25, 2020
Orlando Melbourne International Airport makes Fly-In flight possible as it does each year
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Members of the Melbourne Regional Chamber, Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce and Greater Palm Bay Chamber conducted their sixth-annual Tallahassee Fly-In on January 21.
The title sponsor of the event, Orlando Melbourne International Airport, made the flight possible as it does each year.
Fifty members of the Brevard Joint Chamber Tallahassee Fly-In group chartered a plane, arrived in Tallahassee in time for morning meetings, conducted smaller group discussions with legislators and executive branch leaders concerning their Brevard Joint Chamber Legislative Agenda, and were back in Melbourne the same evening.
“This trip continues to be a tremendous value for our members, as our meetings this year included an address from Governor DeSantis at Brevard Day, briefings by Cabinet-level directors, and of course advocacy meetings with legislators and their respective staff members regarding the Joint Chamber Legislative Agenda,” said Todd J. Pokrywa, Melbourne Regional Chamber’s Chairman of the Board and President of The Viera Company.
Participants were addressed by Governor DeSantis, as he discussed issues facing Brevard County with great enthusiasm.
The Indian River Lagoon is a top priority of the Governor and it was evident, as he spoke to Joint Chamber members gathered in the Historic State Capitol’s Senate Chamber for Brevard County Day in Tallahassee, that he is well versed on the needs that accompany the growth of our manufacturing and commercial space sectors.
Brevard’s legislative delegation also addressed those at Brevard County Day at the Capitol, brought together by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-District 51) and Senator Tom Wright (R–District 14).
Participants from colleges, non-profits, tourism, space exploration and other local businesses and vendors were also in attendance, showcasing Brevard’s best and brightest.
Representative Randy Fine (R-District 53), who chairs the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, met with members that participated in the Tallahassee Fly-In, where he discussed their Joint Brevard Chamber Legislative Agenda.
Of particular importance to both Fine and all four Chambers are issues concerning the Indian River Lagoon, the Brevard Zoo Aquarium, and the Junior Achievement Workforce Readiness Program Expansion, among other legislative issues.
“Our Tallahassee Fly-In has become increasingly beneficial for our members, as each year we are able to engage our legislative leaders and to keep Brevard based business concerns on their radar,” said Michael Ayers, President & CEO of the Melbourne Regional Chamber.
“And the feedback we’ve had on this trip in terms of the value and the return on the investment of both time and dollars has been phenomenal.”
ISSUES SUPPORTED BY BREVARD CHAMBERS
(1). Indian River Lagoon Funding/Coastal Management – We support recurring state funding for the cleanup of the Indian River Lagoon, enabling the attainment of federal grants for local cost-share projects and the IRL National Estuary Program, as well as increases in state funding for beach renourishment to be “a dedicated amount sufficient to sustain Florida’s beaches” in the fight against beach erosion. These include:
HB 2053 Brevard County Water Quality Improvements – Reps. Fine, Altman, Plasencia
Provides an appropriation for the Brevard County Water Quality Improvements. Appropriation: $50,000,000.00
SB 712 Water Quality Improvement – Sen. Mayfield – Citing this act as the “Clean Waterways Act”; comprehensive legislation
SB 640/HB 153 Indian River Lagoon State Matching Grant Program – Sen. Harrell; Reps. Fine, Roth, Overdorf, Altman, Hogan, Johnson, Plasencia
Provides certain projects identified in the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan are eligible for state funding consideration; directs DEP to coordinate with water management districts to identify projects & grant recipients.
(2). Workforce Readiness/Education: We support an increase in programs that will provide high school students and young adults with career-ready educational opportunities in the skilled, manufacturing and technical trades. We support partnerships between colleges/universities and businesses, incorporating trade study with degree programs, and providing incentives for businesses to offer internships and on-the-job training.
HB 2303 Junior Achievement Workforce Readiness Programs Expansion – Appropriation Project Rep. Fine
Provides an appropriation for the Junior Achievement Workforce Readiness Programs Expansion. Appropriation: $750,000.00
SB130/HB 71 – Sen. Hutson, Diaz; Rep. Santiago
Authorizes Governor to approve workforce training grants to certain charter schools under the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund
HB 4371 Astronaut High School Welding Lab Equipment – Rep. Sirois
Appropriation of $150,000 for modern welding equipment which would complete a new welding training lab
(3). Workforce Housing: We support impeding the legislature’s ability to divert funds collected from real estate doc stamps (Sadowski Act) to use for purposes other than affordable housing. We support investments in affordable housing for our community’s critical workforce, including first responders, teachers, healthcare workers and others.
(4). Tourism: We support efforts to retain the Division of Tourism Marketing for a multi-year period and provide adequate funding. We also support policies that maintain the funding derived by local Tourist Taxes be used for tourism-related activities, which drive our economy.
SB 362/HB 213 Florida Tourism Marketing – Sens. Hooper, Stewart, Harrell, Baxley, Torres; Reps. Ponder, Ausley, Fernandez, Hogan, Johnson, Polo, Santiago, Stone – abrogates scheduled repeal of Division of Tourism Marketing of Enterprise Florida for eight years; Further, we support Gov. DeSantis’ request for a minimum of $50M in funding for Visit Florida.
HB 2489 – Rep. Fine – Brevard Zoo Aquarium – Appropriation request of $1.325M
(5). Transportation Infrastructure Improvements – We support improvements to Brevard’s roadways that have a direct effect on business, including its seaport and airport, including replacement of the SR 405/NASA Causeway Indian River Bridge; drawbridge on State Road 401 leading into the north Port area; improvements to the State Road A1A corridor, from the Pineda Causeway to Port Canaveral; HB 1329/SB 826 on marina evacuations for Port Canaveral; and improvements to State Road 528, including continuing design of road widening, and adding bicycle and recreation features.
(6). Space Commerce, Exploration and Tourism – Continue to prioritize & fund spaceport projects in the Strategic Intermodal System five year plan, strengthening the NASA Kennedy Space Center & Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as America and the world’s leading Multi-User Spaceport complex.
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