State legislators want to hear from locals

Posted on September 23, 2015 by Romi White

Some state laws and mandates start with citizens reaching out to state legislators for assistance.
Toward that end, members of Santa Rosa County’s state legislative delegation are hosting a public hearing from Tuesday, leading up to the 2016 Regular Session.
The delegation, which consists of Senator Greg Evers, Representative Doug Broxson and Representative Mike Hill, is encouraging the public to come take part in the legislative process.
Recently a resident told Broxson how a volunteer effort to build a home in Navarre for a wounded veteran was challenged to pay a “surprise” bill adding up to thousands of dollars in intangible taxes and documentary stamps at closing.
So Broxson decided to sponsor a bill to waive such costs under similar circumstances.
“Many bill ideas come from our interactions with constituents in the district,” Kevin Brown, legislative aide to Broxson, said, pointing out the crucial role citizens play in government.
At the hearing, the trio of state lawmakers will hear presentations from government entities, consider local bills and take public testimony on proposals for the upcoming session of the Florida Legislature.
“We have an early session this year,” said Florida House District 3 Representative Doug Broxson, who said the 60-day session will start in January instead of March.
Broxson is already gearing up. Other legislation he plans to co-sponsor includes HB 43, the Pastor Protection Act.
“People could be sued or lose their license over a conscientious religious objection,” Broxson said, explaining the bill would protect members of the clergy who refuse to perform acts which conflict with their beliefs.
Additionally, other legislation under consideration by Broxson is related to sanctuary cities, places with softer stance on illegal visitors. Some media reports that Florida has up to seven sanctuary cities clustered in central and south end of the state.
“We’re having staff look into (legislation) that would protect us from undocumented visitors,” Broxson said.
“It would give law enforcement tools they need to find out if people are here legally or not,” Legislative Aide Kevin Brown said, pointing out the effort is supported by many law enforcement officers.
“We will support any bill put forward that will help us as a law enforcement agency deal with someone in this country illegally or whose visa has expired,” said Santa Rosa County Sheriff Wendell Hall.
To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts, contact Broxson’s office at (850) 916-5436 or — no later than 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18.
The hearing will take place from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m., at the County Administrative Complex, located at 6495 Caroline Street in Milton.
The hearing will also be streamed live at