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While Legislature is in, check it out, speak up

By Times editorial
Published March 6, 2007


ADVERTISEMENT

Today is the first day of the 2007 session of the Florida Legislature. With a new governor in the Capitol, lingering dissatisfaction with homeowners insurance premiums and proposals to alter the way Floridians pay taxes, this session promises to be one of change and consequence.

Hernando County residents have never been shy about telling elected officials what is on their minds. Holding lawmakers accountable for the votes they cast and the laws they introduce is a testament to residents' willingness to involve themselves in the government they pay for and rely on to protect, serve and promote prosperity.

But residents who don't follow the issues and monitor the decisions made by their legislators put themselves at a definite disadvantage. After all, it is difficult to convey your opinions if you have not taken the time to familiarize yourself with the proposals. And it is a given that lawmakers are compelled to deal more forthrightly with constituents who have done their homework, because it makes it more difficult for them to sidestep or double-talk their way around the issues.

Much of the information residents need to stay abreast of the people who write or otherwise influence the outcome of legislation can be gleaned from newspapers and other media outlets. But if you wish to track legislation or legislators on your own, and not rely on the interpretations or analyses of others, the following information will be useful. It will be reprinted occasionally on this page as the two-month legislative session progresses.

Remember: If you don't tell lawmakers what you think, they will try to think for you.

HERNANDO COUNTY LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION

Mike Fasano, state senator District 11 R: 8217 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey, FL 34653-3111; (727) 848-5885 or toll-free 1-800-948-5885; Senate Office Building, Room 302, 404 S Monroe St. Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100; (850) 487-5062 or e-mail fasano.mike.web@flsenate.gov.

Paula Dockery, state senator District 15 (R): 101 W Main St., Suite 110, Lakeland, FL 33815; mailing address is P.O. Box 2395, Lakeland, FL 33806-2395. (863) 413-2900, toll-free 1-866-248-6487; fax, (863) 413-2902; Senate Office Building, Room 314, 404 S Monroe St. Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100; (850) 487-5040 or e-mail to dockery.paula.web@flsenate.gov.

Robert Schenck, state representative 44th District (R): 12503 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, FL 34609; 688-5005; fax, 688-5006; 1102 The Capitol, 402 S Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300. (850) 488-6641 or e-mail: schenck.robert@myfloridahouse.com.

Charles S. "Charlie" Dean, state representative, 43rd District (R): 101 Zephyr St., Inverness, FL 34450; (352) 860-5160. 218 House Office Building, 402 S Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300. (850) 488-0805 or e-mail dean.charles@myfloridahouse.com.

ELECTED STATE OFFICIALS:

Write to the following people at: The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399

Charlie Crist, governor (R): (850) 488-7146; fax, (850) 487-0801; e-mail: Charlie.Crist@myflorida.com.

Jeff Kottkamp, lieutenant governor (R): (850) 488-7146; fax, (850) 487-0801; e-mail: Jeff.Kottkamp@myflorida.com

Kurt S. Browning, secretary of state (R): (850) 245-6500.

Bill McCollum, attorney general (R): (850) 414-3300 or e-mail ag@oag.state.fl.us.

Charles Bronson, commissioner of agriculture (R): (850) 488-3022 or e-mail to commissioner@doacs state.fl.us.

Alex Sink, chief financial officer (D): Florida Department of Financial Services, 200 E Gaines St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0300; (850) 413-3100.

Fast Facts:

Web sites

Florida Senate: www.flsenate.gov/

Florida House of Representatives: www.myfloridahouse.gov/

[Last modified March 5, 2007, 23:08:17]


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