POLICY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
The Florida Association of Counties has a deliberative, consensus building policy development process. The goal is to solicit and develop policy statements on legislative issues affecting county government. Through participation in four standing legislative policy committees, and two caucuses, county officials identify, discuss, and ultimately vote on issues to be in FAC’s Legislative Program. Each policy committee and caucus has one presidentially-appointed Chair and Vice Chair as well as a number of Policy Leaders.
For a description and full list of policy committee and caucus members click here.
FAC Legislative Policy Committees:
- Finance, Tax, & Administration (FTA)
- Growth Management, Agriculture, Transportation, & Environment (GATE)
- Health & Safety (HS)
FAC Legislative Caucuses:
Policy Committee Roles and Responsibilities
FAC policy committees are referred to as “committees of the whole,” meaning that committee participation, as well as voting, is open to any interested county commissioner who is in attendance at the policy committee meetings that take place during conference. County staff persons are encouraged to participate in discussion and provide input, but are not permitted to vote.
- Each policy committee includes one presidentially appointed Chair and Vice Chair, and several presidentially appointed Policy Leaders. These roles collectively serve as the Committee Leadership for the respective policy committees.
- Each policy committee has one FAC staff point person, who will coordinate Committee Leadership calls, policy committee meetings, and provide education on issues within the committee’s purview.
- The Committee Leadership of each committee will have at least two meetings via conference call prior to Policy Conference to discuss and develop policy proposals submitted by FAC membership and FAC staff. Committee Leadership will discuss and determine recommended action on policy proposals
- During the Policy Conference, committee Chairs and/or Vice Chairs, with support from FAC staff, will present policy proposals for consideration by the policy committee, including recommended actions on each item as determined by Committee Leadership.
Procedures for Legislative Policy Development
- Policy Statements: Single-purpose statements addressing a specific issue or piece of legislation. Policy statements must address an issue of statewide, regional, or significant and widespread impact. Policy statements cannot promote individual county or project appropriations. Policy statements may be submitted by individual counties or commissioners, or recommended by FAC staff.
- Submission of Proposed Policy Statements: Proposed policy statements can be submitted by completing the Policy Proposal Submission Form, which is due by August 25. Untimely proposals may only be introduced for consideration at the discretion of Committee Leadership.
- Vetting of Proposed Policy Statements: Upon submission, FAC staff will vet proposed policy statements to determine whether they fall within the Policy Statement definition criteria. Proposals that meet the definition criteria will be assigned to a policy committee. At least two weeks prior to Policy Conference, Committee Leadership of each respective committee will meet via conference call to discuss the assigned proposals. Committee Leadership will vote to recommend to adopt or not adopt each proposal; these recommended actions will be presented to the policy committees during the Policy Conference.
- Voting Procedures: Each policy committee or caucus chair will call the meeting to order and carry out the meeting agenda. In the event that the chair is unavailable, the vice chair will preside over the meeting. Each commissioner present at the meeting has one vote. All matters coming before the committee shall be decided by a majority vote of those present and voting, unless otherwise stated herein.
- Procedural Rules – The edition of Robert’s Rules of Order as presented to the chair by FAC staff shall be used to govern the conduct of committees and caucuses.
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.
- Policy Leaders are permitted to attend LEC meetings, but are not permitted to vote.
- The LEC typically meets Thursday afternoon after the policy committees have concluded their work at Legislative Conference. The LEC does not usually meet at Policy Conference.
- At least one Chair or Vice Chair of each policy committee and caucus must attend the LEC meeting and provide a brief description of the primary issues discussed at its committee meeting and the top 3 priorities.
- The LEC will then vote to recommend FAC’s complete legislative policy statements and top priorities for the next legislative session.
- During the course of the legislative session, the LEC meets weekly via conference call (usually on Friday mornings) and is responsible for any revision, modification, deletion or addition to the policy statements adopted by the membership, and may make interim policy decisions as needed.