The FCCMA Legislative Committee will meet in Tallahassee at the end of the month with selected staff directors of House and Senate committees. We will be building relationships and offering ourselves as resources for local government issues. This is the fourth year the committee has worked to make a presence within the state’s legislative committee process for the Association. As the beginning of session approaches on March 5th, many of you are holding final delegation meetings, so this is a great time to remind all FCCMA members of the impact that strong relationships with your Florida Legislators and their staff can provide.
Some key questions to consider:
- Have you and your elected officials met all of your delegation (knowing that many are new from the November elections)? Have you met their district and Tallahassee staff?
- Is your delegation familiar with the county’s or city’s legislative priorities?
- Have you offered your services as a resource for any legislation impacting local government(s)?
- Have you and your staff reviewed the priorities of your state association (Florida Association of Counties, or Florida League of Cities, for example) so that you are familiar with the issues?
- Have you reviewed the talking points and position papers on these issues?
It is never too late to work on legislative relationships; however, it is critical to begin meeting with your delegation prior to the start of session, especially if the legislator is new. If you have an established relationship with the legislator and his/her key staff, now is a good time for reintroductions and reminders. Communication throughout the session is important; if the delegation doesn’t know you, your messages (i.e., letters, emails, texts, tweets, Facebook posts and phone calls) aren’t likely to carry the desired weight.
As a committee, we will be posting some suggested tools and ideas on how you and your government can work to build relationships with your legislative delegation within the FCCMA “Resources Center” webpage at www.fccma.org/resources-center
As the Legislature’s committees continue their work, we hope you’ll actively review the weekly FLC and FAC summaries each week. As managers and management staff, our expertise can be helpful to our state decision-makers…especially your input at the local level!
We encourage you to proactively build strong relationships with your delegation members and staff!
On behalf of the Committee,
Rich Reade, Legislative Committee Chairman and FCCMA Board Member
Doug Thomas, Legislative Committee Co-Chair and past FCCMA Board Member