Legislative Delegation Season 2023

 

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. Past meetings have been between December and February, but as the legislative session has been pushed earlier in recent years the Delegations have too. This year delegations start in September. 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.

Prior to the beginning of the Legislative session, legislators hold public meetings to hear from voters in their area. Generally, these meetings are held in the County Commission chambers or a similar public building.

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 meetings for 2023. 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. Chapters may wish to write a speech and select a member to officially represent them. We encourage this as long as the comments align with the FNPS mission and don't conflict with any FNPS policies or positions. Reach out to Policy and Legislation Chair Eugene Kelly at policy@fnps.org if you have any questions.

HOW

You are encouraged to not only attend but speak on matters of importance to you. Many times, the Delegation will discuss a local bill which could have an impact on some aspect of the lives of its citizens. An example would be legislation allowing the county to sell park property to a developer. It is important for delegation members to hear from you, their constituents, before they vote on proposals which will impact local citizens.

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.

This year, the full legislature will meet in Tallahassee, from January 9 to March 8. Thus, delegation meetings will begin in September in order to have concluded prior to January 9. As an FNPS member, we urge you to attend meetings in your area. We will post the dates and locations of all delegation meetings here.

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.

Upcoming Meetings


2023-10-24 - Volusia County - 15:00 - 18:00 EDT - DeLand City Hall Commission Chamber, 120 South Florida Avenue, DeLand - sign up by calling or emailing Senator Tom Wright at 386.304.7630 or wright.tom@flsenate.gov by 2023-10-01

2023-10-25 - Gilchrist County - 10:00 EDT - Gilchrist County Commission Meeting Facility, 210 S Main Street, Trenton, sign up by emailing HD022@myfloridahouse.gov, call 352.313.6542 for more information, no deadline set

2023-10-25 - Alachua County - 13:30 EDT - Joseph W. Fordyce Building (R-01), Santa Fe State College, 3000 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville, no submission deadline set

2023-10-25 - Nassau County - 15:00-17:00 EDT - Nassau County BCC Chamber, James Page Government Complex - submission deadline 2023-010-20 17:00 EDT to David Podiva, Senior Legislative Assistant to Clay Yarborough via mail 1615 Huffingham Rd, Suite 1, Jacksonville, FL 32215

2023-10-26 - Pinellas County - 13:00-16:00 EDT - St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus - submission deadline 2023-10-19 with signup form

2023-10-26 - Escambia County - 18:30-20:30 CDT - WRSE Building (#23), Pensacola State College, 1000 College Blvd, Pensacola - sign up with Turner Mitchell, District Aide to Representative Alex Andrade, 850.619.8522, no deadline set 

2023-10-29 - Orange County - 9:30-18:30 EDT - BCC Chambers, First Floor, 201 S Rosalind Ave, Orlando - no deadline set

2023-10-30 - Lee County - 9:00-12:00 EDT - Nursing Building, Room AA-177 of Florida Southwestern State College - submission deadline 2023-010-16 to Jenna Persons-Mulicka jenna.persons@myfloridahouse.gov 

2023-11-02 -  Monroe County - 10:00 EDT - virtual

2023-11-02 - Duval County - 13:00-17:00 EDT - Council Chamber, First Floor, City Hall St. James Building - submission deadline 2023-10-30 to Xzavier C. M. Chisolm, II - xzavierc@coj.gov

2023-12-13 - Nassau County - 14:00-15:00 EDT - James S. Page Governmental Complex, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL 32097 - no submission deadline set

2023-12-14 - Miami-Dade County - 9:30-14:00 EDT - Board of County Commission Chambers, Stephen P. Clark Government Center. 111 NW 1st St, Miami, FL 33128

2024-01-04 - Washington County - 9:00 CDT - 1331 South Boulevard, Chipley - submission deadline 2023-12-01 16:00 CDT to brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov or ann.mcgraw@myfloridahouse.gov or (850) 951-0547

2024-01-04 - Jackson County - 11:15 CDT - 2903 Jefferson Street, Marianna, FL - submission deadline 2023-12-01 16:00 CDT to brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov or ann.mcgraw@myfloridahouse.gov or (850) 951-0547

2024-01-04 - Bay County - 16:00 CDT - Bay County Government Building, 840 West 11th Street Panama City, FL - submission deadline 2023-12-01 16:00 CDT to brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov or ann.mcgraw@myfloridahouse.gov or (850) 951-0547

Past Meetings

2023-09-05 - Broward County Organizational Meeting - 16:00 EDT - Pompano Beach Cultural Center - no public testimony

2023-09-11 - Collier County - 9:00 EDT - Collier County BCC Chambers - 3299 Tamiami Trail, East Naples, FL 34112 Building F, 3rd Floor - submission deadline not set

2023-09-13 - Palm Beach County - 10:00-12:00 EDT - Gordon and Patricia Gray Auditorium, Loggerhead Marinelife Center - submission deadline not set - 561-355-2406 / 561-355-3452

2023-09-13 - Marion County - 13:00 EDT - Marion County BCC Chambers - 601 SE 25th Ave, Ocala, FL 34471 - submission deadline 2023-09-11 12:00 EDT to Tammy Still, District Aide to State Representative Bobby Payne 352.732.1244 - tammy.still@myfloridahouse.gov

2023-09-15 - Hendry County - 13:00-15:00 EDT - Commission Chambers, LaBelle City Hall - submission deadline 2023-09-05 12:00 EDT

2023-10-02 - Pasco County - 12:00 EDT - PHSC West Pasco Campus Performing Arts Center - no submission deadline set

2023-10-02 - Bay County - 18:00 EDT -Bay County Government Building, Panama City - no submission deadline set

2023-10-04 - Clay County - 13:00-15:00 EDT - Clay County BCC Chambers - no submission deadline set

2023-10-05 - Manatee County - 8:30-12:00 EDT - Bradenton City Council Chamber - submission deadline 2023-09-29 12:00 EDT to Amanda Romant romant.amanda@flsenate.gov

2023-10-05 - Martin County - 9:00-12:00 EDT - Indian River State College Chastain Campus, Wolf Technology Center, 2400 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997, Building C, Room 101 - submission deadline 2023-09-26 12:00 EDT to to Ann Bolduc, Legislative Aide to Senator Gayle Harrell - bolduc.ann@flsenate.gov

2023-10-06 -  St. Lucie County - 9:00 EDT - Indian River State College, Pruitt / St. Lucie West Campus - submission deadline not set

2023-10-06 - Putnam County - 13:00-17:00 EDT - Putnam County BCC Chambers, no submission deadline set

2023-10-13 - St. Johns County - 9:00-12:00 EDT - St. Johns County BCC Chambers, no submission deadline set

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