When bad things happen to good bills


Patrick Gavin of Congressman Bill Posey’s office updated Viera Means Business members at the June 11 meeting at Wuesthoff Town Square Assisted Living community in Viera.

photo by Linda Wiggins

Have you ever wondered why some legislative bills start off innocently enough and singular in purpose, but once approved have so many unrelated amendments added that they can be unrecognizable, sometimes opposite of initial intent?

Members of the Viera Means Business networking breakfast group found out why first hand Thursday, June 11 at Wuesthoff Town Square Assisted Living community on Murrell Road in Viera. 

“It is the scourge of most legislators,” said Patrick Gavin, community relations director for U.S. District 8 Congressman Bill Posey, who represents Brevard and Indian River counties. District 8 headquarters for Brevard are at the Government Center in Viera.

“The most popular bills for this are for defense spending,” Gavin told the group of about 60 business and nonprofit agency representatives. “Legislators are reluctant to vote against the bill because they know they will be slammed by the media and constituents for being ‘anti-defense,’ and it’s very difficult to get the message out that it truly is not the case.”

Don’t expect the practice to change anytime soon, Gavin said. He added that it is among many legislative processes that Posey is working to reform, similar to reform efforts during his time as a Florida legislator.

Gavin also updated members on upcoming legislation and trends that might enhance or otherwise affect commerce, and outlined the areas in which the congressman’s office may be of assistance to local businesses. 

These reasons alone were sufficient to invite Gavin as the meeting speaker, but there is an added reason, said Jill Blue-Gaines, CEO of Viera Voice publishing and expo firm Bluewater Creative Group, which also publishes Viera MD magazine, Senior Life newspaper, the annual Boomer Guide, and the Charlie Corbeil Birding Guide.  VMB member and emcee for the June 11 meeting Alan Frisher of Sage Financial in Suntree with  Patrick Gavin of Congressman Bill Posey’s office.

“It’s important to know where to go when you have a need from your congressman,” Blue-Gaines said. “But it’s really, really valuable to have met someone fact-to-face. You have his business card. You belong to a group whose presence matters. That’s the power of smart networking. You’re never alone.”

The June meeting was emceed by VMB member Alan Frisher of Sage Financial in Suntree. 

The free networking brunch is provided by Viera Voice newspaper to strengthen commerce and community development in the greater Viera/Suntree area.

The meetings are held at 7:55 a.m. the second Thursday of the month at various member locations that wish to showcase their businesses or sponsor breakfast. To receive an invitation to the July 9 or Aug. 11 VMB meetings, email RSVP@vieravoice.com or call 321-242-1235.