Florida League of Cities

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The Florida League of Cities is a government sector lobbying association in Florida. It is represented by the National League of Cities.[1] There are 411 member municipalities.[2]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Florida government sector lobbying

The Florida League of Cities has a registered lobbyist with the Executive Branch of Florida.[3]

Lobbying priorities

The Florida League of Cities' lobbying priorities are outlined in its 2009 Action Agenda. The agenda is prepared by the League's five legislative policy committees and adopted by the full membership at the Florida League of Cities' Annual Legislative Conference.[2]

Related to the individual

Affordable housing: The Florida League of Cities supports the removal of the legislative cap on fund distributions from the Sadowski Trust Funds and to expand trust fund usage to include mobile home park purchase, rehabilitation and relocation costs.[2]

Public participation at public meetings: The League opposes legislation that interferes with municipal autonomy in determining the conduct of public meetings.[2]

Release of Social Security numbers: The Florida League of Cities will support legislation repealing the provisions of current law that authorize the release of Social Security numbers to commercial entities.[2]

Education

Civics in K-12 curricula: The League wants legislation that would includes civics in the current K-12 social studies curriculum as a unit of class instruction.[2]

Transportation

Commuter rail: The League is lobbying for the creation of a commuter rail system in Central Florida. It wants a program that will relay no costs to municipal governments by the creation by the legislature of a dedicated funding source.[2]

Dedicated transportation funding source: The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that establishes dedicated funding sources for multi-modal municipal transportation and transit projects.[2]

Related to law enforcement

Municipal pension plans: The FLC supports legislation that would allow insurance premium revenues from pension plans of firefighters and police officers to pay for existing or new benefits. It opposes legislation that would diminish municipal control over municipal employee pension plan management and funding.[2]

Special assessments to fund law enforcement services: The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that allows municipalities to impose special assessments for the provision of law enforcement services in an initial revenue-neutral manner to payers of property taxes, and also allows municipalities to use this funding source to replace municipal service taxing units created within municipalities for law enforcement services.[2]

Water regulations

Reclaimed water regulation: The Florida League of Cities believes reclaimed water is a discharge strategy that should not be subject to additional regulatory actions by the water management districts. The League wants legislation that provides any quantities of currently permitted sources of water replaced by reclaimed water should be transferred to the reclaimed water provider.[2]

Total maximum daily loads: The Florida League of Cities supports legislation that strengthens existing law to require that water quality pollution reduction standards be based on the best available valid data. The League supports legislation requiring the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to formally integrate the considerations required by Section 403.067(6)(b), Florida Statutes, into its process when establishing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and incorporate this information into the written record.[2]

Water management district governance: The Florida League of Cities wants the restructuring of the governance of the water management districts. The water management districts should be required to:[2]

  • Quantify and regulate groundwater used by domestic self suppliers.
  • Provide notice to and allow participation as requested by local governments in all permitting processes.
  • Issue consumptive use permits only when they are compatible with the local government comprehensive plan.

Related to municipalities

Tax reform: The League supports simplifying and stabilizing Florida’s state and local tax revenue structure. The League opposes arbitrary caps on property assessments, municipal expenditures or municipal revenues. The state and all other taxing entities within the state must agree to comprehensive tax reform addressing all categories of taxation, including: taxes based on value, taxes based on consumption, and taxes based on wealth. A comprehensive tax reform package must address, at a minimum, the state’s property tax and sales tax systems.[2]

Property tax system reforms must address:[2]

  • Inequities created by Save Our Homes, which unfairly discriminates against certain taxpayers.
  • Inequitable property assessment criteria.
  • Opportunities for municipalities to replace property taxes with other forms of taxation in an initial revenue-neutral manner to the taxing entity.
  • Opportunities for municipalities to replace property taxes with other revenue sources, such as special or non-ad valorem assessments to fund law enforcement services, in an initial revenue-neutral manner to the taxing entity.
  • Simplifying the millage-setting process.
  • Permitting municipalities to lower millage rates in one year without restricting their ability to increase millage rates in

future years, such as requiring them to meet extraordinary statutory requirements for such an increase.

Sales tax system reforms must address:[2]

  • Items subject to sales tax, including a sales tax on services.
  • Exemptions from sales taxes, with any exemption to be based on provision of an essential item or service, such as food or medicine.
  • Opportunities for municipalities to adopt local sales taxes to replace other revenues in an initial revenue-neutral manner.

Unfunded mandates to local governments: The Florida League of Cities wants a strengthening on the prohibition on unfunded mandates and a requirement for full funding of new state mandates to municipalities.[2]

2009 League of Cities lobbying team

  • John Charles Thomas - Director

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Rebecca O’Hara - Legislative Director

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Sharon G. Berrian - Associate Director of Public Affairs

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Desinda Carper - Senior Legislative Advocate

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Kraig Conn - Deputy General Counsel and Legislative Counsel

Legal Department

  • Scott Dudley - Senior Legislative Advocate

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Allison Payne - Manager, Advocacy Programs

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Rikkia Rellford - Assistant to the Legislative Director

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Tim Stanfield - Assistant General Counsel

Legal Department

  • Jenny Anderson - Coordinator, Legislative Programs

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Meredith Brock - Administrative Assistant

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Estella Gray - Public Affairs Specialist

Policy and Political Affairs Department

  • Rose Hall - Administrative Assistant

Policy and Political Affairs Department

Member cities

See also: Florida League of Cities members list

Conferences

The Florida League of Cities holds an Annual Conference each August and more than 1,000 city officials from across Florida attend "to share ideas, attend educational workshops and sessions, discuss strategies for Florida’s future, determine League policies, and visit the Municipal Marketplace."[4] During each annual conference there is an exhibit of sponsoring companies that show the latest products and services for municipal governments.

The Florida League of Cities holds a Legislative Conference each November where the membership approves the FLC’s Legislative Policy Statement. This policy statement is the result of the FLC's five legislative policy committees and pinpoints lobbying efforts for the impending Florida legislative session. There are also keynote speakers to provide perspective on issues and the state’s political climate.[4]

The Florida League of Cities holds a Legislative Action Day annually during session to hear from legislators and FLC staff on how the legislative session should affect municipalities. Afterward, delegates go to the Capitol to meet with their legislators to share which issues the FLC finds important.[4]

External links

References