FAC'S PUBLIC POLICY TEAM
R. Scott Shalley
Advancing FAC’s Legislative Agenda
The core mission of the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) is to help counties “effectively serve and represent Floridians by strengthening and preserving county home rule through advocacy, education and collaboration.” FAC provides county officials with an array of legislative activities to carry out this mission.
FAC’S LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
The Florida Association of Counties is called upon to represent counties year-round before the state Legislature, the Governor and Cabinet, and various state agencies and commissions. FAC’s guiding principles seek to promote county home rule authority, to provide a voice for the development and implementation of state-wide policies, and to protect local citizenry and businesses from the financial burden of unfunded mandates.
Determining the consensus position of Florida counties is paramount to FAC’s annual policy development effort. The process is designed to prioritize issues critical to counties in a diverse state through five standing legislative policy committees, and two caucuses representing urban and rural communities. County commissioners are appointed by the FAC President to guide each committee’s work. Service on a policy committee is voluntary and open to all county commissioners and county professional staff.
The standing committees are individually tasked to develop and recommend an annual statewide legislative platform for counties based on each of the policy areas under their jurisdiction. Committees operate on a consensus basis, working toward legislative positions that represent broad support among counties. Although county staff may serve as technical support, only commissioners may vote. Policy committees generally meet twice a year—a meeting in the fall and a wrap-up meeting at the Legislative Conference in November. During the Legislative Conference, the general membership approves the legislative program for the ensuing legislative session.
FAC Committees & Caucuses - Click here for a list of committee members
Health & Human Services: focuses on issues related to social services, health care, behavioral health, elder care, child welfare, Emergency Medical Services and workforce development.
Finance, Tax & Administration: explores a wide array of issues affecting county funding, including fiscal management, home rule, county structure and management, economic development, tax structure and appropriations.
Public Safety: concentrates on general public safety, the judicial system, juvenile detention, impacts to county jails and emergency management.
Growth Management, Agriculture & Environment: develops policy relating to land use planning, environmental resources, property rights, community development, transportation, affordable housing, agriculture, and energy.
Federal: develops a focused advocacy agenda and informational priorities for federal issues affecting counties, including legislative, judicial and executive actions.
Urban Caucus: provides a forum for counties with populations of 750,000 or more, as well as those with a budget of $1 billion or higher, to exchange ideas on issues of mutual interest to urban county officials.
Rural Caucus: provides a forum where smaller counties can identify priorities, strategize and share solutions on issues of rural significance.
In addition to standing committees, the FAC Board of Directors and/or its Executive Committee may approve additional workgroups or select committees to address key issues of pressing concern to counties.
Legislative Executive Committee (LEC)
- The primary role of Legislative Executive Committee (LEC) is to approve the policy statements recommended by the respective policy committees at the end of the Legislative Conference.
- The LEC is comprised of the following members: the FAC Executive Committee; the Chairs and Vice Chairs of each policy committee; and the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Rural and Urban Caucuses.
- The LEC typically meets Thursday afternoon after the policy committees have concluded their work.
- Each of the chairs and vice chairs is asked to attend the LEC meeting and provide a brief description of the primary issues discussed at its committee meeting and the top 3 priorities.
Legislative Conference Closing Session Breakfast
- During the closing session breakfast of the Legislative Conference, the membership approves all of the policy statements and priorities from each committee, as recommend by the LEC.
- Again, each policy committee chair is asked to provide a brief description of the issues discussed at its meeting, including the top 3 priorities.
- Once approved by the attending membership, the statements comprise FAC’s Legislative Priorities Program for the next year.
The Board and/or the Executive Committee may approve additional select committees to address key issues of pressing concern to counties. Past examples include: Fertilizer Workgroup, Select Committee on Criminal Justice, Select Committee on Water Policy, Select Committee on Children & Education, and Select Growth Management Steering Committee. Select committees are open to county commissioners and county professional staff.
Policy committees generally meet twice a year- a meeting in the early fall and a wrap-up meeting at the legislative conference in late November/early December.
During the Association's Annual Legislative Conference, the general membership approves the legislative program and priorities for the ensuing legislative session.