Local legislators convene for hearing Tuesday

Published: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 6:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 6:58 p.m.

Area residents will get a chance to tell state legislators where their priorities lie at an annual hearing Tuesday.

Alachua County’s legislative delegation hearing will be held at 1 p.m. in the Santa Fe College Kirkpatrick Center, 3737 NE 39th Ave. It will be the first such meeting for two new legislators representing North Central Florida — Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Clovis Watson.

The event provides a forum for the public and elected officials to offer their views on issues they feel will be important in the coming year.

This year’s local delegation includes Sen. Bradley and state Reps. Watson, Keith Perry and Elizabeth Porter.

The Alachua County Commission will convene Tuesday morning, but at least one commissioner will attend the hearing even if others still are meeting. Commissioner Mike Byerly will give a short presentation at the hearing. The morning agenda looks light, so he said he expects the entire commission will have an opportunity to attend.

Byerly said a key concern is home rule for local governments, which has been a top issue for the past four or five years.

“Generally, each year has seen some new taking away of local authority, and we hope that doesn’t happen,” Byerly said.

An issue that’s probably even more important is the state’s budget, as related decisions can greatly affect counties. Byerly said he hopes the Florida Legislature won’t balance its budget on the backs of local governments in the coming session.

Those seeking additional information or who wish to be added to the hearing agenda can contact Perry’s office at 313-6544.

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