January and February have been busy months for legislators as they prepared for the current legislative session in Tallahassee. They have been great in listening to their constituents, and SAMA has been speaking on behalf of our local manufacturers.
On January 6th, Executive Director Rob Harris and Board Member Kevin Connelly spoke to Representatives Tommy Gregory and Will Robinson, and Senator Jim Boyd during the 2021 Manatee County Legislative Delegation Meeting. The day after, Rob Harris participated in the Bradenton Area EDC’s legislative roundtable, which included the above legislators and Representative Fiona McFarland. And on February 2nd, Rob Harris participated in Tallahassee Day, led by First Coast Manufacturing Association, in which Representative James Buchanan was represented by his Legislative Aid, Christopher Hodge.
For all events, the message was the same: Our legislators need to understand the importance of manufacturing within our economy, and more must be done to help manufacturers thrive, expand in Florida, and provide the necessary workforce required for growth. Whether that is via more funding for technical colleges, eliminating sales tax on commercially leased buildings, or SAMA’s proposed Buy Florida Act which encourages government entities to buy product made in Florida, manufacturing needs to be a bigger part of Florida’s GDP, currently at 5.4%.
SAMA will continue to strive for stronger relationships with our district’s Representatives and Senators. Be on the lookout for SAMA-hosted manufacturing roundtables during 2021.