For the first time in its history, the Florida Association of Counties is adopting a formal federal advocacy and information program. FAC’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors identified lobbying federal issues as a strategic priority for the organization. As a result, staff developed a federal program that will include a focused advocacy platform and will provide informational services on federal issues affecting counties, including legislative, judicial and executive actions. FAC will use existing resources and leverage strategic partnerships with Florida’s counties, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and The Ferguson Group to accomplish its membership’s goals.
At FAC’s September Policy Conference, the Federal Committee identified – and the Executive Committee approved - two pressing issues as advocacy priorities for FAC: passage of a 2013 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and action on the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12).
As well as identifying timely issues for FAC advocacy, committee meeting attendees also discussed issues about which counties would benefit from receiving ongoing information, including tax reform, block grants, immigration, veteran’s health and the Affordable Care Act. A big thanks to FAC’s Federal Committee Chairs, Commissioners Doug Smith, Lynda Bell and Grover Robinson, and to NACo’s Legislative Director, Deborah Cox, who flew in from Washington, D.C. to help with the discussion and share information on the looming budget crisis, tax reform and entitlement programs effecting counties.
Following up on the committee’s priorities, FAC staff spent October 2 and 3 in Washington, D.C., meeting with members of Congress on WRDA and BW-12. Thank you to Martin County’s Taryn Kryzda, Kate Parmalee and Deborah Drum for their hard work and partnership in organizing the 16-County Coalition Advocacy Days on WRDA and federal appropriations for South Florida ecosystem restoration. Thanks also to Miami-Dade’s William Couch, Palm Beach’s Todd BonLarron, Greg Burns (Van Scoyoc Associates), Alcalde & Fay, and Fowler West (Mercury).
More discussion on FAC’s federal agenda will take place at its Legislative Conference, November 13-15. For more on FAC’s proposed federal program, visit http://www.fl-counties.com/advocacy/federal.