Leesburg, FL Dec. 10, 2015 Updated Dec. 13, 2015 with links and attachments.
by Vance Jochim, FiscalRangers.com
The short link to this page is: http://tinyurl.com/2015-Legdel
Yesterday, Dec. 9, 2015, they held the annual meeting for three hours with 53 speakers. They use the input to set their priorities for the upcoming Florida legislation session that starts in January, 2016.
However, the legislators have been in committees and planned much of their initiatives in the two months before this meeting.
The five Florida Legislators who have all or a portion of their District in Lake County are:
Sen Alan Hays - Lake County
Sen Dorothy Hukuil - North east Lake County
Rep. Larry Metz - South Lake County
Rep. Marlene O'Toole - Northwest Lake County / Villages
Rep. Jennifer Sullivan - Northeast Lake County (Eustis, Mt. Dora, Tavares, etc)
Each speaker is limited to 3 minutes.
Daily Commercial article on the meeting: Here is reporter Livi Stanford's overview of yesterday's Dec. 9, 2015 meeting in the Daily Commercial. I did not see anyone from the Orlando Sentinel and could not find any article on this meeting on their website.
Agenda of meeting and Speaker List: There were 53 agencies and individuals on the speaker list, but a few did not show up. Here is the agenda listing the speakers.
Video of Entire meeting: Our video of the entire 3-hour meeting is on our "FiscalRangersFlorida" YouTube channel HERE. or here: https://youtu.be/5EJen3yvtm4
Meeting binder located at Tavares, FL Library: We obtained a copy of the full 3-ring binder full of materials ( Lake County Legislative Delegation Meeting - Dec. 9, 2015) submitted by speakers for the Legislators, and I will donate it to the Tavares, FL Library by Dec. 20, 2015. We have arranged with the Tavares Librarian to have a section for public meeting documents like this. There is NO OTHER electronic or printed copy of these meeting binders. This is the second year we obtained an extra binder and gave it to the Tavares library for public use. Thanks go to Sen. Dorothy Hukill's staff for giving us the extra binder like Rep. Larry Metz's staff did last year. Note: There will be a 4-8 week DELAY before you will find the binder in the Library catalog because all new library books or publications go to a central Lake County Library System classification department and they take 4-8 weeks to enter it in the catalog and return it to the library that submitted the book. Once it is in the catalog, you can request it online and have it delivered to your local Lake County Library (except Eustis, which is not in the system).
How this meeting fits into the legislative process
In 2016, Florida's legislators will meet EARLY in 2016 due to the Presidential primary being early. You can see the 2016 Legislation Calendar HERE, which starts on January 12, 2016. The Florida House and Senate members have been meeting in committees for the last two to three months, and experienced agencies and citizens have already met personally with them at their local or Tallahassee offices, and lobbyists have met with them in Tallahassee during trips there.
So, this Delegation Hearing is after most groups wanting legislative support have developed or filed bills or sent supporting materials and representatives to meet with the legislators.
But, it helps give the Lake County Legislators a condensed overview of issues important to constituent groups, citizens and "special interests". For instance the County Government and the Lake County schools have prepared, approved and sent their list of legislative priorities already to the legislators, but they had representatives reinforcing those priorities at this meeting.
The meeting also provides on the record input on citizen input on issues. For instance, I gave public input on the need for stronger transparency and oversight of Constitutional Officers, while others gave input on pending bills establishing guidelines for school recess or fighting Common Core.
However, the delegation rarely discusses or answers issues, so it is pretty much a one way communication. They don't even schedule time to discuss some of the issues presented or give feedback.
Our Overview of the meeting and speakers
There were 53 scheduled speakers, but 4-6 did not show up. Some talked in generalities, others provided specific issue lists and bill numbers they wanted supported. The quality of the presentations is getting better by citizen activists, who are getting more experienced, know the specific bills they want supported, or issues. They also are reacting earlier, and signing up 1-2 months before the meeting to get on the agenda. Thus this year, there weren't ANY walk in speakers who filed a speaker card but were not on the agenda.
The Democrats came out in force, inlcuding a couple with hostile or angry comments. There were maybe 6-10 speakers being from different Democratic groups or speaking on their main issue this year of using Amendment 1 funds to BUY MORE land, while Sen. Alan Hays told them Florida already has an excess amount of owned conservation land, and that Amendment 1 lets them use the funds to maintain and restore existing public conservation lands. According to Hays, there are about 35-million acres in Florida and Florida already owns about 10-million conservation acres. Why buy more land when the existing lands need to be restored and Florida already owns. Hays asked one grumpy Democrat "just how many acres" should be locked up for Conservation (my wording) and the speaker had no coherant answer. Other Democrats opposed pending open carry and campus carry bills, or supported Medicaid expansion, approval of 3rd party solar power providers, etc.
In contrast, there were no official Republican speakers, but several members of the REC Board were there speaking in support of issues defined by the local Tea Parties.
Featured video segments
As speaker #33, I talked about Florida still being a "Huckster State" with more needed oversight and controls over Constitutional Officers and other issues.
Download 2015-12-09 Lake County legdel <<< Here is my outline I gave the legislators.
Following me (speaker 33) are three members of the Facebook page "Lake County Against Common Core" who start HERE with good speeches on child education and Common Core issues: Lory Baxley, Caroline Van Dyken, and Jane Irwin.
Local citizens involved in the Lake County Healthy Schools Facebook group who want reforms in school recess and bullying programs start HERE with Dr. Kristi Burns (speaker 19), followed by Deanna Price, and Robin Douglas. ( https://youtu.be/5EJen3yvtm4?t=1h2m8s )
If you are seeking specific speaker videos, download the agenda and see what number they are in the agenda. Then scroll forward in this video to an estimated place using 3-minutes per person until you find them.
YouTube video tip: When you are watching any YouTube video, scroll forward and go to the person or segment you want to watch, then click the LIKE icon, and it will show you a short URL for the video. Then if you click the "Start at" check box, it will modify the URL to include the start point at the place where you enabled the Start At box. Then you just copy that modified URL to send to friends, etc. Thus you find the speaker and save the custom URL to start the video at the segment you want. You can do this on any YouTube video, so you don't have to spend time making or clipping a custom video. Just send people the custom URL and their viewing will start there. Of course, it will continue with the remainder of the video, but you start where you want using the custom URL. That is how I created the video link address for the people above. You can do the same for speakers at Lake County School Board meetings which are on their YouTube channel.
If you are interested in local Lake County politics and issues, I suggest you watch the entire video. If you want to see the actual binder of supporting documents used by the Legislators, it will be in the Tavares Library sometime in the next 4-8 weeks (see above for details why). (I have to read it first, but will submit it to the Tavares Library by Dec. 20, 2015).
Like my FiscalRangers Facebook page if you like to get local Lake County political news.
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Peruse the other videos at my FiscalRangersFlorida YouTube channel for other conservative speakers, local government and election videos.