PALM HARBOR — A group of about 30 residents came out to the Palm Harbor Library on Monday to hear from a local lawmaker. Touched on during the evening were hot-button issues such as flood insurance and Medicaid expansion.
State Rep. Carl Zimmermann, D-Palm Harbor, spoke to the small gathering while responding to questions and comments.
“This is a huge problem for Pinellas County especially,” he said of the flood-insurance legislation. “We’re the number one county affected in the state of Florida.”
Implementation of the federal Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is expected to result in hefty premium increases in coastal regions like Pinellas County.
Zimmermann commended U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, for breaking with his party and voting for changes to Biggert-Waters. The Republican party removed Bilirakis from a House leadership team in response to his vote.
“When you stand up sometimes you get punished for it,” Zimmermann said. “I commend him for doing that. We need more people in Congress doing that sort of thing.”
The first-term legislator also touched on a number of bills he is sponsoring or co-sponsoring. One would restate the legislative intent of a bill regarding condominium-apartment conversions Zimmermann said is being taken advantage of by development groups to the dismay of individual owners.
Zimmermann, elected to the District 65 seat in November 2012 over incumbent Republican Peter Nehr, held the event on the same day he celebrated his 63rd birthday. He teaches high school TV broadcast journalism at Countryside High School.
Zimmermann’s district office at 1106 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin, can be contacted by calling (727) 733-8267.