Candidates from across the Tampa Bay area were asked to complete our 2014 Legislative Candidate Questionnaire. Below are the responses for the candidates from Florida House District 72.

For the full list of Tampa Bay legislative candidates and their contact information, visit the 2014 Legislative Candidate Questionnaire home page.

Greg Para (Democrat) – Responded, Thank you! | 941-962-2176

Ray Pilon (Republican) – Did not respond. | 941-926-8160

Economic Issues & Taxes

1. What do you propose or support to increase economic prosperity within the State of Florida?

Para:  I support a focus on small business development to include access to resources, business loans, and streamlined processes for permitting, licensing etc. as well as tax credits for growth, hiring of veterans, & investing in their business. Reducing taxes on manufacturing as well as reforming the tax code on mil rate regarding production equipment equal to the IRS rules. Currently, after a capital piece of equipment has been depreciated Florida then taxes at market value instead of following IRS rules.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

2. Excessive regulations can hamper small business growth. Which specific regulations, if any, would you repeal?

Para:  Still meeting with business owners regarding this issue however repealing the requirement that GMO labeling for our agriculture businesses by the state be required to start as the FDA already regulates GMO. Why comply with duplicate requirements requiring human capital to process.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

3. The Florida Legislature passed a $77 billion budget in 2014, the largest in history, and the trend line indicates we will see another record next year. (A) Do you consider this to be a problem, and if so, (B) what specific actions would you recommend taking in order to better steward taxpayer dollars?

Para:  Not a problem as long as revenue supports the budget and the specific funded programs that were raided are re-funded prior to passing the budget. Also, prior to budgeting an infrastructure investment plan (roads, bridges) should be developed to continue growth and insure future revenue streams through job creation.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

4. Would you support legislation that would refund the $1.5 billion taxpayers’ investment in the now-cancelled Levy County Nuclear Power Plant? Why or why not?

Para:  Absolutely, by requiring Duke Energy to refund it to the state.

Pilon:  Did not respond.


5. Do you support a repeal of Common Core State Standards (now rebranded to “Florida Standards”) in Florida? If not, what changes, if any, would you propose or support?

Para:  No repeal. Implement national standards, allow teachers and administrators to have input changes as Common Core is implemented and reform teacher pay away from student performance for a set period of time.

Pilon:  Did not respond.


6. Do you support offshore drilling in Florida waters?

Para:  No

Pilon:  Did not respond.

Civil Liberties

7. Would you support legislation in Florida that nullified the NSA’s ability to perform warrantless surveillance of Floridians?

Para:  Yes

Pilon:  Did not respond.

8. A bill was filed in the Senate in 2013 (SB 846: Search and Seizure of a Portable Electronic Device) that would have required that a search warrant be issued before a search of someone’s mobile device was permitted. Would you vote in support of this bill? Why or why not?

Para:  Yes, in today’s society there is too much personal information stored on mobile devices and most of it has nothing to do with one particular crime.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

9. Do you support a repeal of red light cameras in Florida? Why or why not?

Para:  No, it is a revenue generator and has a positive impact on traffic safety.

Pilon:  Did not respond.


10. Should all drug offenders, even non-violent and first-time offenders receive mandatory sentences? Would you suggest policies other than incarceration to deal with drug use?

Para:  I do not support mandatory sentencing for the majority of crimes especially drug offenders. I fully support diversion programs versus incarceration.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

11. Do you support the legalization of medical marijuana as proposed by the United for Care Amendment? Why or why not?

Para:  Yes. I have seen firsthand the positive effects of medical marijuana for various medical conditions.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

12. Do you support drug testing of welfare recipients? Why or why not?

Para:  I support drug testing for welfare recipients because it adds further accountability to those excepting public funds.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

The US Constitution

13. Do you support a state’s right to nullify federal law, as many have already done for example by legalizing medical marijuana, or blocking implementation of the Affordable Care Act?

Para:  Yes

Pilon:  Did not respond.

14. Would you have voted for Florida HB 209 – “Carrying Concealed Weapon or Concealed Firearm”, which would have granted an exception from criminal penalties for carrying a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm when evacuating? Why or why not?

Para:  NO, it does nothing to protect anyone who already legally is allowed to carry as it is redundant. For anyone else if they do not have the legal right to a firearm they should not have them especially in an emotional event like an evacuation.

Pilon:  Did not respond.


15. There is no argument that health care costs are completely disconnected from a person’s ability to pay. What do you propose or support to help reduce the cost of health care services in Florida?

Para:  1st I would vote to accept Medicaid for the 1.1 million Floridians who cannot afford healthcare but burden the emergency room services. This costs taxpayers.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

16. Would you vote in favor of Florida accepting the federal funds set aside for Medicaid Expansion? Why or why not?

Para:  Yes, it would help 1.1 million Floridians including over 40,000 military veterans. Even at the 10% state funding requirement in year 10 it saves Florida money.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

Government Fairness and Transparency

17. What are your thoughts on legislation that gives a competitive advantage to a specific company or industry?

Para:  The legislature has the ability to make Florida companies competitive both in the South and Internationally. I am not in favor of giving specific companies an advantage but I am in support of giving an industry an advantage competitively.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

18. In several recent studies, Florida has been found to be in either the top 10 or the top 5 most corrupt states in the nation. What do you propose or support to help reduce corruption in Florida?

Para:  I support tougher penalties for unethical actions. I support campaign finance reform.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

19. Currently, millions of dollars in campaign contributions filter through political committees that are controlled by legislative leaders. (A) Do you consider this a problem, and if so, (B) what, if anything, would you suggest be done about it?

Para:  It is a problem as it lends itself to corruption and more stringent ethical rules should be adopted for campaigns and I suggest campaign finance reform is needed

Pilon:  Did not respond.

20. In February 2013, Watchdog group Integrity Florida reported[1] that Enterprise Florida has failed to meet its job creation objective, lacks transparency, has the appearance of pay-to-play, is engaged in apparent conflicts of interest, and is picking winners and losers in the Florida economy by demonstrating state government favoritism to certain companies and industries. Would you support an Inspector General investigation into Enterprise Florida and legislation to take corrective actions?

Para:  Absolutely

Pilon:  Did not respond.

Any additional comments or thoughts:

Para:  I am an active Navy Reserve Officer recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan, married with 6 children and have a vested interest in being part of the legislature that makes Florida a better state for the future.

Pilon:  Did not respond.

[1] Ben Wilcox and Dan Krassner: “Enterprise Florida: Economic Development or Corporate Welfare?”

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