BONIFAY — Fourth District Representative Matt Gaetz gave the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce a visit during the chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting on Aug. 22 and spoke on multiple topics.
“Senator Don Gaetz, my father, sends his regards,” said Gaetz, who is an attorney with the Fort Walton Beach law firm Keefe, Anchors, Gordon and Moyle. “I thought I’d talk about how far the state has come over the past few years and where we’re going.”
Gaetz said he was elected to the House in 2010 and said that quite a bit has changed since then. He is currently running for a seat in the state Senate.
“We have come a long way since 2010,” said Gaetz. “When I was elected, Florida, we were really on the rocks. Growth was stagnate, every year more businesses were leaving our state, no new people were coming to the state and we were really concerned because when we have a decline in revenue then we can’t do what we need to do to fund our educational system and take care of our state workers.”
In 2010 the unemployment rate in the state of Florida was 11.4 percent and today is 7.1 percent, he said.
“That’s the second sharpest decline in the unemployment rate in the entire country,” he said. “In 2010, 400,000 people were on unemployment in Florida, today it’s down to 250,000 people. Since 2010 the businesses in our state have created 330,000 new private sector jobs.”
He said if the job market is growing then all of the jobs are more secure.
“How did we get there, because you know it wasn’t an accident since 2010 that we’ve improved our economy since then and it won’t continue automatically,” said Gaetz. “I think one of the reasons why things got a lot better was because we started getting rid of some of those crazy regulation laws. Back when I was young and I wanted to do something innovative someone would say I couldn’t do it because of the APA.”
The APA, he explained, was the Administrative Procedures Act in the state of Florida.
“We had over 30,000 rules and regulations on the books and these were rules and regulations no politician had ever even voted for. These are things that bureaucrats had gone and complicated and I figured in the state of Florida that we didn’t need nine pages of regulations on how big a swimming pool has to be.”
Since 2010, he said they have repealed and revised over 4,100 of the 30,000 rules and regulations.
“I think that’s how progress is made,” said Gaetz. “When you kind of peal back the extent to which government is monitoring into people’s lives it creates an environment where people can make their own decisions.”
Another reason of the economic growth in Florida, he said, was that instead of raising taxes the state of Florida decided to do budget cuts.
“We had to make some tough cuts and some of them hurt but we didn’t do like New York state, California or Detroit,” said Gaetz. “Now we’re growing and those places are seeing folks leave faster than ever before. I think it’s really put us on the right path economically.”
Another area to look at, he said, is the educational system.
“I’m glad to say that we got extra money last year from our growing economy and we took a million dollars and added to our education budget,” said Gaetz. “Here in Holmes County you have seen the benefit of that. Each school in Holmes County seen an increase last year and we expect to see even more money this year, not because we have more taxes but because we have more tax payers.”
If you are interested in watching video of Gaetz a link will be provided at www.bonifaynow.com.
Julia Bullington, Chamber Coordinator at Holmes County Chamber of Commerce reminded everyone that there were only 40 days until this year’s Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo.
“We were asked to help get the rodeo back to its glory days,” said Bullington. “They’re calling it ‘Rodeo Reboot’ and they’re trying to go back to the roots, like back in the ‘50s when people got excited about the rodeo and we came together as a community to help celebrate by decorating store fronts, making floats and hanging flags. We’ve got between 30,000 and 50,000 people who come into Bonifay for camping, rodeo and parades and we want to welcome them and get them as excited as we are.”
She said that the newest member and owner of The Silver Door, Carla Templeton, had some ideas of having an art contest with the schools competing for the best painted store front window, with the winners being recognized.
“We’ll have more details on this project at a later time and we’re open for suggestions,” said Bullington. “Rodeo is coming fast but it’s coming along nicely for such a massive job. We’re going to track down the exact number of tax influx due to this event so everyone can see just how big of an impact it makes to this area.”
For video clips of this visit these links to our Youtube channel:
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks at Holmes County Chamber part 1:
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks at Holmes County Chamber part 2:
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks at Holmes County Chamber part 3:
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks at Holmes County Chamber part 4: