Kathy Lehner and Joe Gruters

Venice Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kathy Lehner smiles with Florida state Sen. Joe Gruters recently.

I enjoyed my fruitful visit to Tallahassee checking in with our elected officials: Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Joe Gruters, and Rep. James Buchanan.

Accompanying County Commissioner Nancy Detert, I heard the governor and was privy to hear from different cabinet heads.

Here are a few of the meeting highlights:

Gov. Ron DeSantis is looking at business in a constructive manner. Talking of the pathway to success of a four-year degree, it is imperative ways are found to avoid our kids coming out with the debt of that degree. He said there are other opportunities and we should open their eyes to them.

Jerad Moskowitz, director of the Department of Emergency Management, spoke on the subject of hurricane shelters. Everyone is looking at community habits and needs. Secretary of Environmental Protection Noah Valenstein reported on progress of water quality issues and how the state is involved. Dr. Julia Nesheiwat, Florida’s chief resilience officer, is preparing the state for the environmental, physical, economic impacts of climate change.

The big picture of what can Florida do to make a change.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried made her big push for every child to be fed in school in the morning utilizing all the agriculture in the state to get Florida fresh food to our kids.

Kevin Thibault, head of Florida Department of Transportation, outlined his big three goals in 2020: Safety, mobility and innovation of how to make it happen.

On the controversial subject of gun control, what really highlighted it for me was when it was mentioned continuing training for anyone licensed to carry a gun. It could be a regulatory requirement every two years to take a continuing education class to maintain their knowledge.

Owners keeping their gun in a closet, rarely taking it out until it is the time to use it: Is it clean and do they remember how to use it?

My appointments were with state Sen. Joe Gruters for our district, showing him our “Tooth” representing Venice, Shark Tooth Capitol of the World.

Very supportive he responded, “I have got to get my kids down there and get a picture of that.”

Rep. James Buchanan confirmed he is looking out for things happening in Venice. Out of session he will be looking for an office in Venice.

We continue to encourage exploration of our beautiful city of Venice with the Inaugural Leadership APP, “Venice Quest” making four free quests available to both visitors and locals alike! Information on the downloadable app can be found at: VeniceChamber.com/Quest.

Lastly, the chamber is also proud to launch a new business publication this March with retired business writer, Roger Button, titled “The Business Promoter,” available through our chamber website: VeniceChamber.com/Business-Promoter

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