The start of the annual legislative session is little more than one month from now. Legislators in both chambers have been filing bills, working on budgets and generally preparing for the rush of the sixty-day session. This two-month period will determine the direction the state of Florida will take for not only the coming year, but potentially for many years to come. While the time for lawmakers to file bills to be considered this year is nearing its end, the time for your input as a Floridian never ends. In fact, it is needed now more than ever.
Between the House and the Senate a thousand or more bills are filed each year. Nearly every aspect of our lives can potentially be impacted by the work of lawmakers. What is important to you? What issues have you read about in the media that you would like to learn more about? Where do you stand on proposed legislation that will be considered by your elected representatives? These are all important questions that Floridians should consider.
“My constituents are my number one priority,” Representative Mike Fasano states. “All the work that is done in Tallahassee is done with the best interests of those I represent in mind. How will the people back home be impacted by my vote for or against a particular piece of legislation? That is a question that I ask myself each and every day.”
In last week’s post I encouraged readers to participate in the legislative committee process. I fully understand that not everyone has the means, time or reason to travel to Tallahassee to testify before a House or Senate committee. That does not mean your input is still not needed or desired. On the contrary, communication from you is a vital part of the legislative process. If an issue comes before the state that may impact you then you have the right to express your opinion. Where you stand on any particular issue has the potential to alter the direction of any given bill. One policymaker’s vote swayed from its originally intended course could change the final destination for any bill under consideration.
Phone calls, e-mails and letters are all effective ways of expressing how you feel about matters that come before the Florida Legislature. I invite you to communicate with our office in any form you like. I am also encouraging you to utilize this blog space by leaving a comment at the end of this post. I check the blog nearly every day. If you have a question about the legislative process please let me know. If you would like to express your thoughts on a bill or issue that is being debated in Tallahassee, please take this opportunity to share your position. If you would like to see a law created, this office is always seeking ideas for the future.
The time is now so please don’t delay. Your opinion may not ultimately change the world, but it is certain that if you don’t express it, the world will not have the opportunity to be changed by it.