This week, the Florida Association of Counties’ Executive Committee met with Governor Rick Scott to discuss the state’s recovering economy and FAC’s 2014 policy priorities. Leon County Commissioner and FAC President Bryan Desloge, Escambia County Commissioner and FAC President-Elect Grover Robinson, Broward County Mayor and FAC Second Vice President Barbara Sharief and Martin County Commissioner and FAC Immediate Past President Doug Smith met with the Governor, accompanied by FAC staff Deena Reppen, Eric Poole and Lisa Hurley along with the Governor’s Deputy Legislative Director Danielle Scoggins.
Topics of discussion included Florida’s economy, the decline in the unemployment rate and the Governor’s job growth initiatives along with his proposal to cut $500M in taxes this year through reductions in motor vehicle license fees, the commercial lease sales tax and sales tax holidays. FAC expressed its concern over proposals that effect local revenues and emphasized the need for stable revenue streams in order to provide local services. FAC also requested the Governor’s support for fairly resolving the state-county cost-share arrangement for juvenile detention. FAC is seeking a fair division of costs, as upheld by Florida’s courts, and a working business model that allows counties to pay for actual costs on a reimbursement basis instead of continuing with the flawed annual reconciliation process. FAC is working with the Florida Legislature to identify a business model that reduces counties’ costs, ends future disputes, eliminates bureaucracy and better serves our communities and taxpayers.
As Chairman of the Florida Gulf Consortium, Commissioner Robinson discussed the efforts of 23 counties to develop the State Expenditure Plan to address the environmental and economic recovery of the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Commissioner Robinson thanked the Governor for the partnership of the state, stressed the importance of working together on local, state and federal Gulf restoration plans and pressed the Governor for appointments to the Consortium as the board begins to develop the State Expenditure Plan.