This week, I’d like to take the time to thank those who have expressed their concerns over the possibility of a toll to finance the Pensacola Bay Bridge expansion. While I understand the importance the bridge plays in the Panhandle, I cannot and will not support placing a toll on our residents to pay for the project. Instead, I believe that exploring other opportunities, such as having the Florida Department of Transportation provide us with enough additional funding to cover the cost of the project that cannot be provided by local governments, would be a better way to go. This will be an ongoing discussion that I will continue to be a part of, as it will be at least 5 years until the actual project gets underway. By then, I am sure we will have come to a solution within our financial means that will not require us to impose or levy a tax or toll on our residents.
I want to encourage you to visit www.pensacolabaybridge.com to get any updates and more information on the 2017 Pensacola Bay Bridge project. Also, please take the time to participate in a poll on the proposed Bridge Replacement Toll on the homepage of the website and let us know what you think.
In bill news, I am supporting an amendment to House Bill 463 that would make the reckless discharge of a firearm in a residential neighborhood unlawful. My amendment language was crafted by the National Rifle Association and has the NRA's full support. The language seeks to strike a balance between protecting an individual's Second Amendment rights and providing for greater safety of our residential communities from the reckless discharge of a firearm in a neighborhood. It is unfortunate that the acts of a few people in our local area, Martin and Hernando Counties, have forced the Legislature to step in to enforce by statute what ought to be common sense and responsible gun ownership. I believe we are applying the appropriate measures to safeguard our residential neighborhoods and families and I am very grateful to the National Rifle Association for helping and supporting me in this effort.
If you would like to read a little bit more about this amendment, I invite you to view an article summarizing it here:
Evers proposes regulation to stop firing at Gulf Breeze gun range
Pensacola News Journal
Finally, I would like to extend my prayers and condolences to the families of Capt. Ryan Hall, Capt. Nicholas Whitlock, 1st Lt. Justin Wilkens and Senior Airman Julian Scholten. These four members of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field were killed last weekend after completing a mission in Africa. The U28 Hero’s Fund has been established at First National Bank & Trust to help defray funeral costs and travel expenses for the airmen’s families. It is brave men and women like them who fight every day for the freedoms we enjoy. These heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice and I am honored by their service.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please email me directly at email@example.com or call my legislative office at (850) 487-5000. My door is always open.
Have a wonderful weekend,