Cape Coral residents will have an opportunity this week to share their ideas and concerns with their state representative in the Florida House in advance of the upcoming 2014 legislative session.
State Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, is hosting an annual pre-session town hall meeting Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the auditorium at Gulf Coast Village. The intent is to provide constituents in District 77, which covers the Cape, a forum to share information about the regular session in March.
"Just providing an open forum - easy access to their representative," Eagle said Tuesday.
House Speaker Will Weatherford is expected to roll out his proposed agenda for the session today. Eagle plans to talk about the overall agenda at the meeting Thursday, as well as his own goals.
Eagle cited $500 million in tax cuts for Floridians as a big item on the agenda, noting that Thursday is an opportunity for him to discuss with residents different proposals on how to implement the cuts.
"How they would like to see that returned to them," he said.
If you go
What: Annual pre-session
town hall meeting
Who: Rep. Dane Eagle,
R-Cape Coral, who
represents District 77
in the Florida House
Where: Auditorium at Gulf
Coast Village, 1333
Santa Barbara Blvd.
Redoing the Jimmy Ryce Act and focusing on the Second Amend-ment Preservation Act are also priorities on Eagle's agenda, along with a building codes bill and restitution for juvenile offenders.
He cited drug testing of public officials as a possible focus, as well.
"We're working on a pretty broad agenda," Eagle said.
He hopes to listen and learn at Thursday's meeting and take the public input to Tallahassee.
"Bring anything that they're concerned about to my attention," he advised attendees.
After winning the District 77 seat, Eagle held an open house and similar town hall meeting before the 2013 legislative session. His staff estimated that between 50 and 75 people stopped by the event.
Eagle is expecting the same turnout Thursday, maybe a few more faces.
"The more, the merrier," he said.
Limited government, limited spending and limited taxes are likely to be the focus for residents.
"I think that the fiscal issues are usually the most important," Eagle said, referring to concerns voiced by the public. "They want to make sure that government is our of their lives."
Health care is also an issue, especially so now with Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid.
He urged Cape resident to come out Thursday and speak their mind.
"Government can't really govern effectively without input from citizens," Eagle said.
Gulf Coast Village is at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd.
For more information, contact Eagle's District Office at (239) 772-1291.
The District Office is at 1039 S.E. Ninth Place, Suite 310.