PCI’s Troy Barnes Goes to Tallahassee for the Buy Florida Act

Posted by Sarah Chew on October 24, 2011  |   No Comments »

As Vice President of Sales for Progressive Communications, Troy Barnes is committed to growing the company’s business. But in his position as First Vice Chair on the Printing Association of Florida’s (PAF) Board of Directors, Troy is working to ensure that all Florida printers are able to get their fair share of business in today’s challenging economy.

Troy recently met with Florida legislators in Tallahassee as a member of PAF’s committee to encourage lawmakers to introduce the Buy Florida Act (HB 153/SB 538) during this session. As the proposed bill relates to the printing and graphics industry, passage would require state government entities and agencies to give reasonable preference to Florida printers when bidding out jobs.

“The graphics arts industry is the number one manufacturing employer in Florida,” said Troy. “Yet many state agencies give a large percentage of their printing purchases to out-of-state printers.”

A PAF-compiled analysis of printing purchase information by state agencies for the years 2007 through early 2011 provides eye-opening numbers, with some agencies sending up to almost 90 percent of print business out of Florida. According to PAF’s research, each $125,000 spent out of state results in one employee to a Florida printer.

Several states give preference to in-state printers because they recognize the economic benefits. For example, Michigan gives virtually 100-percent preference to in-state printers for printing purchased by state government.

“This is about keeping jobs in Florida, which is essential to Florida’s economic recovery,” Troy said. “And the printing industry offers jobs that pay well – the kind of jobs that any state would want to attract. There’s also the multiplier effect. People who have jobs have more money to spend, and they spend it locally, which supports other local businesses.”

This is the fourth year the bill has been proposed. “I’ve been told that this is about the average length of time for proposed legislation to be introduced,” said Troy, “so it’s actually typical.”

Troy attended in mid-October with the other PAF Board members and 10 PAF members, spending two days meeting with Florida state representatives and senators. Based on his conversations with them, Troy is optimistic of the bill’s chances of introduction in November.

“All the lawmakers we met with said they could support the bill,” Troy said. “They are very aware of the state of the economy and the need to create jobs and keep money in Florida. The time is right for this bill to be introduced and passed.”


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