Brandon Chamber Annual Legislative Wrap-Up

 

By Tamas Mondovics

Featuring its 2014 annual Legislative Wrap-Up, Synergy, The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s monthly membership luncheon, was pleased to host State Senator Tom Lee, State Representatives Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City, and Ross Spano, R-Dover, last month.

Taking advantage of the venue held on the first Tuesday of each month at The Regent, located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview, the trio took part in a question and answer format while sharing their thoughts about state legislative decisions during the 2014 session.

Following the usual recognition of the previous month’s new members, celebrating renewing members, award prizes for bringing guests, and providing a Chamber monthly update, the featured speakers got their turn to address all present.

While Representative Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, was unable to attend the program, Lee made sure that the large crowd attending had something to digest besides their lunch.

Addressing the concern raised by the audience that this year’s legislature passed the fewest amount of bills in Florida’s history, Lee talked about the necessity for reform in the bill-making process.

“We ought to go back to a day where every idea has an individual bill number,” Lee said.

Spano was praised during the session as he shared his efforts fighting against human sex trafficking, including a new law that eliminates the statute of limitations and increased penalties for offenses.

“We are talking about a 25-year mandatory prison term,” he said. “To tattoo or brand a victim will be a new felony offense. We are trying to get strip clubs to verify age and true ID to be sure dancers are legally adults and not 13-year-olds.”

Raulerson, a CPA by trade, focused on government operations and helping youth access proper health care.

In recent months the Chamber was able to invite a number of community members for its monthly luncheon including MacDill Air Force Base Colonel Andre J. Briere, vice commander, 6th Air Mobility Wing, and Colonel Douglas J. Schwartz, Commander of the 927th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill Air Force Base. In April the event welcomed Brandon High School Wrestling coach Russ Cozart.

For more information about The Brandon Chamber of Commerce and its Synergy Luncheon, contact Christie Lemar, at clemar@brandonchamber.com or call 689-1221 ext. 8812.