Each week, the Daytona Regional Chamber meets with elected officials and attends numerous City, County and School Board meetings. Below is a recap of our recent activity along with information for upcoming events. If you have any questions, please contact
Jim Cameron at 386.566.2140.
Chamber's Legislative Committee meets  with Volusia Delegation Members
Rep Tom Leek, Bob Williams, Arlene Smith, Lori Campbell-Baker,
Josh Truitt, Hardy Smith, Cathy Vogel, Scott McCallum, Jim Tobin

On March 22, members of the Chamber's Legislative Action Committee (Bob Williams - Chairman) met with 
Rep Tom Leek  and his Legislative Asst Dylan Fisher.

Leek stated that going into the Session, legislators would have address escalating Medicaid costs along with Irma recovery costs, as well as as other issues.

Everything changed February 14... Rep Leek provided a review of the School Safety-Firearms-Mental Health (SB 7026). He noted "how well Democrat/Republican members worked to draft a plan". The final vote was 67-50 which showed significant "cross-over votes". Governor Scott signed the legislation soon afterwards.

As for Irma restoration, the legislature allocated approximately $200 million.

Click here for more information...
Chamber Hosts Volusia Days at the Capitol 
On January 10-11, the Chamber hosted Volusia Days at the Capitol. We began with a luncheon that included presentations from  Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Enterprise Floirda CEO Peter Antonacci. 
Approximately 40 people were in Tallahassee to the lobby on behalf of business issues and Volusia County projects.
Some of the major issues included funding for First Step shelter, East Volusia flood control study, Volusia County road projects, addressing Assignment of Benefits (insurance), Vacation Rental Units as well as other issues.
Kick-off Luncheon hosted by Rep Henry

Rep David Santiago addresses luncheon

The group met with State Education Board Chair Marva Johnson, State Emergency Management Director Wes Maul, Florida Housing Finance Corporation Exec Trey Price, Senators Lizbeth Benacquisto, Wilton Simpson, Bill Montford, Audrey Gibson, Aaron Bean, Oscar Braynon; Representatives Jason Brodeur, Jay Fant, Matt Caldwell, Tom Goodsen, Joe Gruters, Larry Metz, Carlos Guillermo-SmithEvan Jenne, Bobby Olszewski, Asst Director on Office of Homelessness Zachary Summerlin, Florida League of Cities President Mike Sittig and others.
Visit Florida President Ken Lawson, and Dept of Economic Opportunities Exec Cissy Proctor  updated attendees on their agencies.
The group also heard legislative updates from House members Tom Leek, Patrick Henry, David Santiago, Paul Renner, Senator's Dorothy Hukill, David Simmons, and Travis Hutson.
Senators Dorothy Hukill, David Simmons, Rep Tom Leek

Sen Travis Hutson, Rep Paul Renner address attendees

Constitutional Amendments (Legislative and Citizen Initiatives)

Currently, there are numerous initiatives to amend the Florida Constitution. Some are "passively active" while others are aggressively seeking voter signatures to go on the November 2018 ballot. 3 amendments have been approved by the Legislature to directly to the ballot...
Some of the proposed amendments and initiatives worth watching include (click link for details) - 

In addition, Florida's 37-member Constitutional Revision Commission has been meeting to recommend amendments for the November 6 ballot. 

Last week, the Commission selected 25 proposals to advance to draft committee. Some of these proposals include ending greyhound racing, ban drilling in state waters, grant additional rights to crime victims, term limits on school board members; creating a state counter-terrorism office; and closing the so-called "write-in loophole" for candidate elections.
These recommendations will now go to the CRC's Style and Drafting Committee. Once that committee finishes its work, the full Commission will gather again for its final floor session in April and vote on the final proposals. Any amendment on the November ballot will need at least 60 percent of the vote to become law.

The Chamber's Legislative Action Committee (Bob Williams - Chair) will now focus on the proposed amendments. 

Click here  for more information regarding the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission.

NOTE - the Chamber will host a Tallahassee Speaker Series in August to review several of these proposed amendments (both from the Legislature and the Commission including..
Supermajority Approval of Tax/Fee
Increases; additional $25,000 Homestead Exemption, Voter Control of Gambling and others. Look for more information to come!

Local Government Committee on top of City & County issues
The Chamber's Local Government Committee (Cheryl Coxwell - Chair) meets each month to review various city and county issues that could impact the business community.
The committee also forwarded its 2018 City/County recommendations to the Daytona Beach City Commission, Volusia County Council as well as other local officials.
Click here for a copy of the Chamber's recommendations.
On January 18, the committee met with Volusia Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett to discuss his initiative to link code enforcement liens to property tax bills as well as cracking down on "multi-homestead exemption" violations. I n addition, the committee has carefully reviewed the proposed infrastructure funding/half-cent sales tax issue and will soon be making a recommendation to the Chamber board.

Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett addresses 
committee members

Committee members discuss the infrastructure funding/half-cent sales tax proposal

This committee also addresses various economic development projects being proposed to go to the Daytona Beach City Commission or Volusia County Council. Look for more information to come. 
Chamber Hosts Congressional and State Officials' staff

Tom Self with S & B Metal Products Steve Campbell
& Keane Hutchinson

Tom Self with Florida Hospital CEO Ed Noseworthy 

On March 29, Tom Self (Sen Marco Rubio's office) met with VMA's Jayne Fifer (Jayne reported her manufacturers's survey results on the new Federal tax legislation and tariffs and other topics); Fran Gordon - Mid-Fla Housing Partnership stated, "this area needs more subsidies to house many of our "frontline service workers"; Florida Hospital CEO Ed Noseworthy discussed several healthcare related issues; Bethune-Cookman University's Interim President Hugh Grimes provided an update of the schools activities; Steve Campbell and Keane Hutchinson of S&B Metals as well as Colleen Liptak and Patrick Vainio of Microflex discussed the new Federal tax legislation and tariffs and other topics; and River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization Exec Lois Bollenback provided an update on East Intl Speedway Blvd and other transportation projects in the area.
Michelle Barth with Bethune-Cookman Interim President Hugh Grimes

Michelle Barth with Stetson University's Josh Truitt

On March 8, Michelle Barth (Sen Bill Nelson's office) attended the Chamber's Eggs & Issues breakfast followed by a meeting with Josh Truitt, Government Affairs Director for Stetson University to discuss higher education matters; visited Bethune-Cookman University to meet with Interim President Hugh Grimes to discuss higher education issues; toured the Volusia Agricultural Center to meet with County Extension Agent Dennis Mudge to discuss College Land Grants, NAFTA's impact on the local agricultural community and other topics.
Anna Taylor with City staff Jim Morris, Susan Cerbone, and Streamline Hotel's Eddie Hennessy

Anna Taylor with Team Volusia's Matt Chesnut, Chris Wimsatt, Keith Norden

On February 20, Anna Taylor, Government Relations Director for Fla Dept of Transportation, District 5 toured the new MicaPlex facility at ERAU; met with Daytona Beach Deputy City Mgr Jim Morris; and with Dr. Tom LoBasso and Chris Wainwright at Daytona State College; and with Lois Bollenback, Executive Director for River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization; the visit concluded by attending the Ormond Beach City Commission.
Teledyne's Scott McGuire, Zane Beard, 
Lynnette Phillips, Tom Self
Zane Beard, Ted Serbousek, Lynnette Phillips, Tom Self, Michelle Barth, Buck James
On February 9, Michelle Barth (Sen Bill Nelson's office), Tom Self (Sen Marco Rubio's office), Zane Beard (CFO Jimmy Patronis' office), Sue Bower (Cong Ron Desantis' office), Anna Taylor (5th District FDOT), Lynnette Phillips (Rep Tom Leek's office) attended the Volusia Economic Development Q4 report breakfast; and later met with County Council Vice-Chair Deb Denys, Aviation/Economic Resources Director Rick Karl, and Space Florida's Business Development Vice President Bernie McShea; toured the new Hope Place facility with HUM Exec Buck James and board-member Ted Serbousek; heard and update from Scott McGuire of Teledyne Oil & Gas; last stop was with Dee Schaeffer at Halifax Health.
Drew Meiner, Dustin Carmack, Dutch Neuweiler

Jim Carnall, David Slick, Robert Mons, 
Dustin Carmack, Drew Meiner
On January 26, Dustin Carmack, Robert Mons, and Drew Meiner (staff members for Congressman Ron Desantis) met with Dutch Neuweiler (Minto Sales office) to discuss plans for Latitude Margaritaville; next meeting with Jim Carnall and David Slick of Command Medical Products; Fran Gordon with Mid-Florida Housing Partnership and Jordon Jiloty of NASCAR.
Eggs & Issues Breakfast meeting aim to keep our members informed of current issues.....

    On January 12, Mid-Florida House Exec Fran Gordon outlined the need for additional workforce housing.

     This area's current housing and rental markets are cost prohibitive for many "front-line services workers" where many are paying 50-60% of their take-home pay for rent& utilities...in short, economic growth relates to workforce housing! T he Sadowski Fund which allocates monies to finance affordable housing, keeps getting "swept" by the legislature for  other purposes i.e. less money for subsidized housing. Currently, workers must earn at least $20 an hour for the current rental market.
Fran Gordon discusses the need for workforce housing

Jim Chisholm discusses economic development

On February 8, Daytona Beach City Manager Jim Chisholm discussed the benefits and challenges of the City's current economic growth.

     New hotels including the Hard Rock, Streamline, ProtoGroup, as well as the new Brown and Brown HQ, One Daytona and other projects are adding to not only to the tax base but also jobs for our locals. 
At the same, funding infrastructure is a challenge along the managing the area's homeless individuals. 

On March 8, New Journal Editor Pat Rice reviewed several recent Editorials and the reasoning behind each statement. Topics included tourism, beach driving, school safety, infrastructure funding/proposed half-cent sales tax,  blight and the need for beachside redevelopment.

     Rice also questioned the audience on numerous business-related topics and got some surprising results. 
Pat Rice with "Que Card"

Volusia IS making progress  in addressing our Homeless Population 
Below is a report that tracks how our local agencies are assisting homeless individuals via Repaid Rehousing, Permanent Support Housing, Travelers Aid (bus tickets). A new report should be forthcoming this Friday. But progress is being made!

"Major" 2018 Candidates (declared and rumored)

State of Florida
- Corcoran, Richard (REP) ???
DeSantis Ron  (REP)
GrahamGwen  (DEM)
PutnamAdam  (REP)
Agriculture Commissioner
Caldwell Matt (REP)
GrimsleyDenise  (REP)
McCalisterMike  (REP)
WalkerDavid (DEM)

Attorney General
Fant Jay  (REP)
MoodyAshley  (REP)
TorrensRyan C. (DEM)
WhiteFrank H. (REP)
-    Iotova Antoanet  (REP)
- Tom Lee (REP) ??? 
Patronis , Jimmy(REP)*   
RingJeremy Seth (DEM)

County of Volusia
County Council At Large
- Dr. L. Ronald Durham
- Ben Johnson
- Percy Williamson

County Council, District 1
- Jeffrey Brower
- Barbara Girtman

County Council, District 3

County Council, District 5

County Judge, Group 2
- Belle Schumann*

County Judge, Group 4
- Christopher Kelly*

County Judge, Group 8
- Bryan Feigenbaum*

School Board, District 1

School Board, District 3
School Board, District 5
Ruben Colon
Melody Johnson
US Congress 
- Nelson, Bill (DEM)*
- Scott, Rick (REP) April 9???
House - District 6
CoffmanRobert  (DEM)
CostelloFred (REP)  
- Johns, Jimmy (REP)
Kelly  Jeremy  (REP)
SevignyStephen (DEM)
Soderberg Nancy  (DEM)
Upchurch John  (DEM)
Waltz Michael   (REP)
Ward John   (REP)
Florida Senate 
Florida House
District 24 
Paul Renner (REP)*
District 26
Baker Kyle  (LPF)
CantuMichael  (REP)
HenryPatrick  (DEM) *

District 25 
HannoushJoseph (LPF)
- Tom Leek (REP )*

District 27
LawrenceCarol  (DEM)
McBrideWilliam (REP)
SantiagoDavid  (REP) *

City of Daytona Beach
Zone 1 (click here for Finance Reports)
- Danny Fuqua
- Anne Ruby
- Ruth Trager*
- Vernon Weatherholtz
- Frederick Charles Zieglar
Zone 3 (click here for Finance Reports)
- Belinda Maria Haynes
- Quanita May
- James Newman
- Amy Pyle

* Incumbent
Mark Your Calendar!
Mark your Calendar.....
  • May 10 - Eggs and Issues Breakfast - guest, Mike Shannon, new Secretary for Fla Dept of Transportation, District 5.
  • June 5 - Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Fla Dept of Economic Opportunity
  • October 9 - Chamber HobNob, 4-7 pm, Daytona Beach Ocean Center...come meet the candidates!
More information on these events will be forthcoming.
US  Chamber's Moore Hallmark visits Daytona Beach  
Moore Hallmark review issues with Jordon Jiloty (NASCAR) and Bart Leek (DBL Surety LLC)
On March 1,  Moore Hallmark, Vice President, US Chamber, Southeast Region (Atlanta)
met with several representatives in Daytona Beach/Volusia County. The Daytona Regional Chamber has enjoyed a longtime working relationship with the US Chamber on numerous issues before Congress. 

In addition, the Daytona Regional Chamber recently surveyed members on several issues before Congress. It is important that  Senators Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio and 
Congressman Ron Desantis
receive our members' viewpoint on critical issues. Last October, the Chamber conveyed its support for the tax reform measure. 
Eggs & Issues - 35th Annual Welcome Back Breakfast for the Volusia Delegation
The Chamber's 35th Annual "Welcome Back Breakfast" for the Volusia Legislative delegation (INVITED) is set for Thursday, April 12, 7:30 am at LPGAClubhouse

At this event, our own House and Senate members will express their viewpoints on the legislative session along with questions from the audience. School safety, budget, constitutional amendments, vacation rental units as well as other topics. 
$15 for Chamber members with advance notice or $20 at the door. 

RSVP to ken@daytonachamber.com or call 523-3675 or click here for RSVP Express (no waiting). 
Sen Dorothy Hukill
Sen Travis Hutson
Sen David Simmons
Rep Patrick Henry
Rep Tom Leek
Rep Paul Renner
Rep David Santiago

Government Relations E-News is made possible by....
Any questions regarding this e-newsletter should be directed to Jim Cameron
Sr Vice President, Government Relations, 386.523.3673.
Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce |126 E. Orange Ave., Daytona Beach | 386.255.0981 | Visit our Website