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Vern Buchanan to host town hall meeting on March 18

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Vern Buchanan has never been shy about holding town hall meetings since being elected to Congress a decade ago, but the fact that he hasn’t done so yet in 2017 had caused some consternation from some local groups.

Those concerns should be allayed now that Buchanan has announced that he will be holding a town hall meeting on Saturday, March 18 on the campus of New College of Florida in Sarasota “to discuss health care, tax cuts and any other issue his constituents want to raise.”

It will take place at 11 a.m. at the Sudakoff Center auditorium, located at 5845 General Dougher Place.

“With Congress moving quicker than expected on health care I wanted to make sure my constituents had a chance to be heard and voice their opinion,” Buchanan said. “I’ve held 74 town halls over the years and look forward to hearing what people have to say.”

While many of his colleagues were getting an earful from angry constituents during the congressional break last month, Buchanan was in the Middle East, meeting with officials in Israel, Afghanistan and other nations to discuss the fight against terrorism.

No doubt much of the town hall will be centered around the just House Republican health care plan, which is apparently on a fast track.

Two House committees are scheduled to mark up and vote on the bill on Wednesday, less than 48 hours after its introduction and before the Congressional Budget Office has a chance to fully review it and project its impact on the deficit and the number of Americans who will gain or lose health insurance.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he hopes to vote on the bill sometime next month, though with more Republicans voicing concerns about the legislation, that timetable may be in jeopardy.


Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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