State leaders spoke with Bay Co. residents during annual delegation meeting

Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Local legislators wrapped up a day full of delegation meetings across the Panhandle, with the final meeting in Panama City.

These sessions take place each year before the start of the legislative session in Tallahassee.

Most of the people who showed up were affiliated with either local governments or local community organizations. The topics ran the gamut from funding requests to better public education.

More than 20 people addressed the Bay County Legislative Delegation Tuesday night on a number of issues, like flooding, human trafficking, even double red flag education.

State Senator George Gainer and State Representatives Jay Trumbull and Brad Drake listened carefully to each speaker. They each represent part or all of Bay County.

“Everybody’s opinion is incredibly important as it relates to this meeting and if we are able to make a change, even if it’s small, from something that happens here,” Trumbull said. “I think that is really how this process is supposed to work. We are a citizen legislature.”

Trumbull said they follow up on the most interesting issues, contacting the speaker for more information.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to take these issues and fight for them in Tallahassee, look for funding, and hopefully be able to see our community prosper,” Trumbull said.

Many can be handled by other state agencies, but a few might wind up included in a bill for the legislature to debate.

“It’s a very unique feeling seeing a piece of legislation start, its genesis in the delegation meeting, and see something follow through,” Trumbull said.

Lawmakers took comments for two hours tonight, and many residents seemed grateful for the opportunity to speak.

Officials seemed most interested in a private investigator who spoke about a new technology that could co-exist with polygraph tests. Private Investigator Dan Estes said his goal is to amend Florida Statute 948.30 (2)(a) to include other technology. Trumbull said he is interested in this idea.

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