Legislative Delegation Season 2021

WHAT

A Legislative Delegation is an office within (most) county governments and the group of state-level legislators that represent that county. This group holds public meetings once a year in the Board of County Commissioners chambers or some other public meeting place. This meeting is in the winter, between December and February. Members of the public who wish to speak must submit a completed Public Hearing Form well before the meeting, although in most cases citizens can show up and file a card on the spot to speak to the delegation.

Every county in Florida has a legislative delegation, which consists quite simply of the members of the Florida Legislature that represent that county and its residents. Each of us lives in a House District and a Senate District, with the boundaries of those districts drawn so as to ensure that each of the 120 Representatives in the Florida House, and each of the 40 Senators in the Florida Senate, represents an equal number of Floridians. If you live in a rural county with a relatively small population, your delegation may consist of only one Senator, and only one or two Representatives. Most counties organize one or more Legislative Delegation meetings annually to afford their residents an opportunity to meet and address their Representative(s) and Senator(s) directly. Local politicians often attend these events, so they will hear your concerns, too.

WHY

Protecting native plants and their habitats in Florida requires action by our state legislature because for some, but not all things plant conservation related, legislative action might be required. Attached is the schedule of the state’s remaining meetings for 2021. Fill out and submit a speaker’s card if the deadline hasn’t already passed. Speak as a citizen, not as a representative of the Florida Native Plant Society.

MAJOR POINTS TO EMPHASIZE

Restore Florida Forever funding.

Let them know that when you voted in support of Amendment 1, you intended for a large portion of the funds to be used to conserve land. Annual funding for Florida Forever should at least equal the $300 million that was allocated before funding was cut in response to the recession. This amount is not cost-prohibitive given that annual Amendment 1 funding exceeds $750 million.

Manage Florida’s conservation lands responsibly.

The land we have already conserved represents a valuable investment and proper management is necessary to protect our investment. Management shouldn’t be short-changed by inadequate staffing or funding. Funding should be sufficient to implement the management plans that have been adopted for each property.

Adopt a comprehensive approach to protection of our water resources. 

Such an approach must account for the water needs of our springs, rivers, estuaries, and other water-dependent natural systems.
Florida’s extreme vulnerability to sea level rise must be recognized as an immediate and long-term threat to our environment, economy and groundwater resources. It demands a comprehensive statewide response to conserve our beaches, coastal wetlands and seagrasses, and the fisheries that depend on them.

Please consider your own health and safety as well as that of others and wear a mask to these events.

Upcoming Meetings

9/27 - Alachua County - 10am-12pm EST - submission deadline 9/20 5pm - robin.steele@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map
9/28 - Hamilton County  -5pm EST - no submission deadline - staz.guntek@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map
9/29 - Sumter County - 9am EST - submission deadline 9/28 352-315-4445 - Google Map
9/29 - Brevard County - 3-7pm EST - submission deadline 9/20 5pm EST - form - Google Maps
10/1 - St. Johns County - 8:30am-12:00pm EST - no submission deadline - crubow.danielle@flsenate.gov - Google Map 
10/1 - Flagler County - 3pm EST - no submission deadline - Google Maps
10/5 - Bradford County - 4:30pm EST - no submission deadline - Google Maps
10/6 - Volusia County - 9am-1pm EST - submission deadline 9/15 5pm EST - form - Google Map
10/6 - Lake County - 9am-1pm EST - no submission deadline - hdist031@myfloridahouse.gov  -Google Map
10/6 - Broward County - 10am-2:30pm - Public Hearing #1 - submission deadline 10/4 10am - form - Google Map
10/26 - Broward County - 10am-12:30pm - Public Hearing #2 - submission deadline 10/24 10am - form - Google Map
10/26 - Polk County - 1:30pm-6:00pm - submission deadline 10/12 5pm - hedy.weddington@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map 
10/28 - Palm Beach County - 9am-1pm EST - submission deadline 9/28 12pm EST physical submission required to delegation office - Google Map
11/9 - Broward County - 4-6:30pm EST - submission deadline 11/7 4pm - form - Google Map
11/10 - Charlotte County - 9am-12pm EST - no submission deadline - cynthia.beckett@myflorida.gov - Google Maps

Past Meetings

8/18 - Lee County - 9am-5pm EST  -submission deadline 8/6 -  brandon.miller@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map
8/25 - Broward County - 6:30pm EST - no submission deadline- Google Map
8/30 - Orange County - 9:30am - virtual
8/31 - Putnam County - 2-4pm EST - submission deadline 8/30 2pm EST leota.wilkinson@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map
9/1 - Pasco County - 9am EST - no submission deadline - jeffrey.hawes@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map
9/7 - Suwannee County - 9:30-11:30AM EST - no submission deadline - peeler.hunter@flsenate.gov - Google Map
9/7 - Lafayette County - 4-5:30pm  EST - no submission deadline - heffley.katelyn@flsenate.gov - Google Map
9/8 - Indian River County - 9am EST - submission deadline 9/1 12pm EST - 772-778-5005 - Google Map
9/9 - Pinellas County - 9am-12pm EST - submission deadline 9/1 5pm - form - Google Map
9/9 - Hendry County - 10am EST - submission deadline 8/31 - ryan.walker@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map
9/9 - Hamilton County - 5pm - no submission deadline - staz.guntek@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map
9/10 - Hillsborough County - 10am - submission deadline 9/8 5pm - form - virtual via WebEx
9/14 - Lafayette County -10-11am EST - no submission deadline - shays.tonya@flsenate.gov - Google Map
9/15 - Clay County - 5-6pm EST - no submission deadline - lee.mary@flsenate.gov - Google Map
9/16 - Martin County - 9am-12pm EST - submission deadline 9/3 - sara.craven@myfloridahouse.gov - Google Map

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