Meeting With U.S. Senator Nelson

Several area communities confront U.S. Senator Bill Nelson with important issues.

Lashonda Powell is working on getting her GED through the Even Start Program in Taylor County, but she's worried about federal funding cuts.

Lashonda says, "Being a single parent and not having a good education, it's hard to try and make it out there. To get a good job, you have to have education. I don't think there would be a very good chance not getting it."

Powell and Even Start representatives shared this concern with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson during a Town Hall meeting Monday.

Sharon Hatchcock, Even Start Program Coordinator for Taylor County, says, "We assist 30, 35 families a year. We assist them with getting their GED or completing high school. Where we may not be looking at a large scale population, it still will affect our county drastically."

Residents also stressed concern over the environment, bringing up the coal-fired power plant slated to be built here, and incentives to help citizens employ alternative energy techniques.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, (D) Florida, says, "Under the surface in Perry is the agitation for gasoline hitting three bucks a gallon. People are agitated about the Iraq war. They're concerned about terrorism. They're concerned about the coming hurricane season."

Besides Taylor, the senator also visited constituents in Lafayette County, Levy County, and the villages.

Sen. Nelson is running for re-election this year. So far the only opposition is coming from Congresswoman Katherine Harris.