Chamber’s Public Policy Committee connects members with governmental decision-makers

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Beth Sweeny, Flagler College, director of community and government relations, is the new chair of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee. She will continue the work done by Michael Scine, Scine CPA Advisors, who initiated the creation of the committee in 2016 and chaired the committee during 2019-2020.

The Public Policy Committee oversees the Chamber’s business advocacy efforts at the state, county and municipal levels of government. The PPC monitors, reviews and makes recommendations to the Chamber leadership on legislative and regulatory issues that could impact St. Johns County businesses.

 The PPC is comprised of former senior Chamber leaders, former EDC chairs and representatives from various geographical, industry and professions to insure the intellectual depth of knowledge in the areas of land use, taxation, public safety, tourism and environment. The Chamber chair, along with the Chamber CEO/president, make the final appointments for the upcoming fiscal year. Appointments to the Public Policy Committee will be confirmed in January 2021.

If you have an interest in serving on the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, or would like to suggest an issue, email Bob Porter, the Chamber’s VP of Public Policy, at bob.porter@sjcchamber.com. Additional information about policy and politics in St. Johns can be found on the Chamber’s website at www.sjcchamber.com.

“I want to thank Michael Scine for leading this group in a tumultuous year,” said Isabelle Renault, president and CEO, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce. “Between the epidemic and election, this was a busy year for the chair and members of the Public Policy Committee. They have laid significant groundwork for a successful next year.”

In recent years, the Chamber has taken public positions on issues as diverse as a panhandling ordinance in St. Augustine; beach replenishment from Vilano to Ponte Vedra Beach; restoration of the affordable Housing Trust Funds at the state level; and a single-use plastic bag ordinance in St. Augustine Beach. Recently, after polling the membership twice, the Chamber came out in public opposition to the proposed Florida Constitutional Amendment No. 2, which would raise the mandatory minimum wage to $15/hour. The Chamber will continue to canvas the Chamber members for input on significant issues.

The 2021 St. Johns County Legislative Delegation meeting will be held Dec. 18, at the St. Johns County Administration Building at 500 San Sebastian View. The state delegation will hear from agencies, the public and the Chamber of Commerce on statewide issues of concern. The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee will represent the members of the Chamber at this meeting.

The Chamber solicits opinions from Chamber members on legislative issues. The 2021 St. Johns County Legislative Delegation meeting will be held Dec. 18, at the St. Johns County Administration Building at 500 San Sebastian View. The state delegation will hear from agencies, the public and the Chamber of Commerce on statewide issues of concern. The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee will represent the members of the Chamber at this meeting. The regular 2021 Legislative Session will convene on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

To find out more about the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce or to become a member visit www.sjcchamber.com, call (904) 829.5681 or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sjcchamber.

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