Florida government sector lobbying

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Taxpayer-funded lobbying is government to government lobbying. Counties, cities, school districts, public facilities, and associations of public employees frequently use public funds to influence legislation and appropriations at the state and federal levels.

This practice is controversial because public funds are spent to lobby for an agenda not subject to direct approval by voters, and outcomes may be contrary to taxpayers' benefit.

For the first six months of 2009, Florida governments spent more than $5 million on government sector lobbying:

  • 44 Florida cities are actively lobbying. The expenditures of these cities for 2009 total $2,001,630 for the first two quarters of 2009.[1]
  • 24 out of 70 Florida counties are actively lobbying. The expenditures of these counties total $1,817,500 for the first two quarters of 2009.[1]

These are not exhaustive accounts of lobbying, as government sector lobbying is particularly difficult to track.

School lobbying

See also Florida school districts lobbying, 2009

The total amount spent on lobbying by school districts in 2009 is at least $1,257,585.12.

In July 2009, Sunshine Review submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the 27 Florida school districts with lobbyists registered for 2009 with the Florida legislature. [3] The results of the information requests are included in Florida school districts lobbying totals.

27 school districts had registered lobbyists, and every school district belongs to one or multiple organizations listed below as school government sector lobbying associations. Citrus County Schools, for example, belongs to at least five organizations.

Associations serve multiple purposes, one of which is representing the interests of school districts before legislative bodies. The associations also help in bringing different officials to talk about similar problems and help school districts meet state school policy. For Bay District Schools, the lobbyists serve both purposes.

The issues that schools advocate for include policies specific to schools, but can comprise other issues. For example, many schools support increased funding to school districts and increased funding for children's state-funded health care, such as Duval County Schools. Other school focus strictly on issues pertaining directly to school districts, such as the Indian River School District's focus on class size funds, base student allocation, and school boards' jurisdiction over sales taxes.

Schools also support and oppose legislation through their membership in school government sector lobbying associations. The Florida School Boards Association, for example, has its legislative priorities listed online. These organizations communicate the unified stance on legislation of governments (school districts and school district officials in this case) to legislators.

Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations

The following is a list of Florida government sector lobbying associations by type:

City and municipal

County

Health care

Housing

School

Other

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Open Secrets - Lobbying
  2. Florida Legislature
  3. Online Sunshine - Lobbying Information