The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) presented twenty-four legislators and county commissioners with 2013 Legislative Awards during the 2013 FAC Annual Conference & Exposition in Hillsborough County.

“The preservation and protection of home rule is the Florida Association of Counties mission,” said Chris Holley, FAC Executive Director.  “We appreciate all of the legislators who stood with us during session and the commissioners who came to Tallahassee to advocate on behalf of home rule.”

 2013 Legislative Leadership Awards

Senator Wilton Simpson and Representative Eduardo ‘Eddy’ Gonzalez were awarded the 2013 FAC Legislative Leadership Award for their efforts to protect local tax dollars and home rule – the idea that government closet to the people usually governs best. 

Senator Wilton Simpson led the charge to close a loophole in the affordable housing property tax exemption, saving local governments more than $140 million annually within the next five years. 

Representative Eddy Gonzalez was recognized for his leadership as Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Local and Federal Affairs Committee in protecting county home rule authority.

 2013 County Champion Awards

FAC also honored ten legislators with the County Champion award, which is presented to lawmakers who demonstrated support and understanding of county issues during the legislative session:

Senator Denise Grimsley for her leadership in addressing the state-county Medicaid cost-share relationship.

Representative John Wood for working with House leadership to reduce the county Medicaid mandate. 

Representative Mike Fasano championed a bill to increase funding and physician requirements for prescription drug monitoring – all designed to enhance public safety efforts in our communities.

Senator Arthenia Joyner for her help with the county Medicaid contribution.

Senator Jack Latvala for his help with pain management clinics, the Gulf Coast Corridor Act, and environmental regulatory legislation.

Senators Bill Montford and Greg Evers for their help with the Gulf Coast Corridor Act.

Representative Matt Caldwell for his leadership on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the Select Committee on Claims Bills.

Representative Daniel Davis for sponsoring legislation that closed the affordable housing loophole, saving counties more than $140 million.

Representative Ritch Workman for working in partnership with local government on conceptual legislation to simplify and stabilize the communications services tax as an important revenue source for local government.  

FAC Presidential Advocacy Awards:

This year, FAC honored 12 county commissioners with the Presidential Advocacy Award for demonstrating extraordinary leadership and commitment to the mission of the Florida Association of Counties during the 2013 Session. As a voice for Florida’s communities, these commissioners engaged on issues of critical local importance, including Medicaid, affordable housing, pain management clinics, local business tax, environmental issues and others that affected home rule. The 2013 Presidential Advocates are:

  • Commissioner Sue Birge, Hardee County
  • Commissioner Kathy Bryant, Marion County
  • Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, Broward County
  • Commissioner John Hall, Polk County
  • Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Osceola County
  • Commissioner Chip La Marca, Broward County
  • Commissioner Les Miller, Hillsborough County
  • Commissioner Peter O'Bryan, Indian River County
  • Commissioner Nora Patterson, Sarasota County
  • Commissioner Grover Robinson, Escambia County
  • Commissioner Karson Turner, Hendry County
  • Commissioner Warren Yeager, Gulf County

For more than 80 years, the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) has represented the diverse interests of Florida’s counties, emphasizing the importance of protecting home rule – the concept that communities and their local leaders should make the decisions that impact their community. The Florida Association of Counties helps counties effectively serve and represent Floridians by strengthening and preserving county home rule through advocacy, education and collaboration.