Your Legislative Delegation Will Meet Soon - Please Plan to Attend and Speak
Nearly every Florida county will schedule a meeting of their Legislative Delegation between now and the end of the year, as a prelude to the January 9 starting date for the 2018 Legislative Session. We have attempted to list all the available dates and locations below, in chronological order, but if you are interested in speaking to your legislative delegation, you may wish to search for additional information on your own.
These meetings provide a rare opportunity for you to address your legislators directly, in person, as a constituent. Rules vary by county, but you may be required to submit a Speaker Request Form as much as a week in advance of the delegation meeting.
As a member of the Florida Native Plant Society’s Action Alert network, you have assisted FNPS in the past when we’ve asked you to contact your local Representative or Senator and let them know where you stand on issues of importance to native plants. We ask you now to consider attending your Delegation's meeting to express your support for FNPS priorities IN PERSON, to the LAWMAKERS WHO MUST EARN YOUR VOTE TO REMAIN IN OFFICE.
Please attend and speak at the meeting if you are able to do so, and emphasize the points below.
MAJOR POINTS TO EMPHASIZE
1. Restore Florida Forever funding. Let them know that when you voted in support of Amendment 1 several years ago, you intended for a large portion of the funds to be used to conserve land. It is unconscionable that $0 were provided during the 2017 session. Annual funding for the Florida Forever land acquisition program 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 $700 million.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Each speaker may only be allotted 3 minutes to speak given potential time constraints, so it is important to prepare for your remarks in advance. Always state your name and address. It is not necessary to claim affiliation with any particular group. If multiple FNPS members will be present it may be appropriate for one member to speak on behalf of their Chapter, provided their remarks have been vetted by the Chapter, while the others speak simply as concerned constituents. When multiple speakers claim affiliation with the same organization, it can dilute the influence of their comments. Another way to emphasize your concerns would be to submit a letter to the Delegation members in the week following the meeting that reiterates your comments.
Alachua County Legislative Delegation Meeting Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Santa Fe College NW Campus Fine Arts Hall 3000 NW 83rd St, Gainesville, FL This meeting is to take public testimony on issues facing the State of Florida and consideration of local bills. To be placed on the agenda, fill out an appearance form and email it to Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org in Senator Perry's office by Wednesday, September 13. All materials or handouts for this meeting must be sent to Joseph no later than September 15.
Seminole County Legislative Delegation Meeting Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Seminole County Commission Chambers 1101 E First St, Sanford, FL 32771 Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting may contact Murphy Kennedy at email@example.com for a speaker request form.
Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation Meeting Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm FAU Tech Runway 901 NW 35th St, Boca Raton, FL 33431 The Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation is meeting to elect its new Chair and Vice- Chair and conduct a public hearing. Anyone wishing to present at this meeting, the deadline to submit a presenter request form and any printed materials to the delegation office is Noon on Friday, September 8, 2017. If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact Christine Shaw, Executive Director at CShaw1@pbcgov.org
Brevard County Legislative Delegation Meeting Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm Brevard County Commission Chambers 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way (Building C), Viera, FL The purpose of the annual delegation meeting is for local government entities, businesses, organizations, and citizens to have the opportunity to share with the delegation issues that are of the most importance to them. Please note that this is the only scheduled meeting of the delegation prior to the 2018 Legislative Session, which begins on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. The first portion of the meeting will be limited to presentations by local government entities and those requesting local bill submissions. The second portion of the meeting is for organization and citizen presentations. To obtain an Appearance Request Form, please contact Kayla Bailey, whose contact information is below. Completed Appearance Request Forms are due no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, September 11, 2017, to ensure inclusion in and timely completion of meeting agendas for members and the public. Please send completed forms to Kayla Bailey in Senator Mayfield's Office at 900 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne, FL 32901 by mail; Bailey.Kayla@flsenate.gov by email; or 888-263-3815 by fax. Telephone inquiries may be directed to Senator Mayfield's office at (321) 409-2025
Polk County Legislative Delegation Meeting Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm, W.H. Stuart Conference Center 1710 U.S. Hwy 17, Bartow, Florida 33830
Osceola County Legislative Delegation Meeting Friday, September 22, 2017, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm Osceola County Administration Building 1 Courthouse Square, 4th Floor, Commission Chambers Kissimmee, FL 34741
Pinellas County Legislative Delegation Meeting Monday, September 25, 2017, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm St. Petersburg College, Clearwater Campus Arts Auditorium 2465 Drew St, Clearwater, FL 33765
Wakulla County Legislative Delegation Meeting Thursday, September 28, 2017, 5:30 pm to N/A Wakulla County Commission Chambers 29 Arran Road, Crawfordville, Florida.
Orange County Legislative Delegation Meeting Monday, October 16, 2017 9:30 am to 6:00 pm Orange County Administrative Center 201 S Rosalind Ave, 1st Floor Orlando, FL 32301
Hernando County Legislative Delegation Meeting Monday, October 16, 2017 2:30 pm – N/A Hernando County Government Building
Clay County Legislative Delegation Meeting Wednesday, October 18, 2017 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Board of County Commissioners Meeting Room Clay County Administration Building 733 Palmetto Ave Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Collier County Legislative Delegation Meeting Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:00 am – N/A North Collier Regional Park 15000 Livingston Road Naples, FL 34109
Martin County Legislative Delegation Meeting Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Indian River State College 2400 SE Salerno Road Stuart, FL
Marion County Legislative Delegation Meeting Thursday, October 19, 2017 1:00 pm to 6:00pm Klein Center – College of Central Florida 3001 SW College Road Ocala, FL 34474
St. Lucie County Legislative Delegation Meeting Thursday, October 19, 2017 2:00 pm – completion Indian River State College Kight Center for Emerging Technologies 3209 Virginia Ave Fort Pierce, FL 34981
Raise an Issue
Types of Issues Addressed by FNPS
- General areas considered to be of statewide FNPS significance
- Any Florida legislative action that affects our state environmental land acquisition program known as Florida Forever, which includes Florida Communities Trust and/or any other state agency funded through Florida Forever (DEP). This includes, but is not limited to, any legislation affecting funding of the program. It also includes the urgent need to fund the Florida Forever program.
- All state and local land acquisition efforts for preservation and conservation.
- Any statewide policy changes that enhance improve or further natural resource system protection within recognized preserves and/or reserve or state park refuge.
- Development issues that are regional or have statewide significance in that they affect a change in Florida policy towards land acquisition, natural resource systems or waters of the state, but only if the issue clearly relates to the FNPS mission to preserve, conserve and restore native plants and native plant communities.
- Any state legislative, state agency or state university action that would affect the viability (or lack thereof) of native plants and native plant communities. This includes, but is not limited to, state policy on exotic invasive species, water conservation, listed plant species, and cataloging of native plant communities.
General areas considered not to be of statewide significance include
- Issues that are primarily related to managing the way a local jurisdiction grows or the methods it uses to plan growth. Unless it can be shown to meet criteria number four in the previous section.
- Issues that are primarily transportation related unless the issue is of at least regional significance and would impact an established preserve/reserve/state park refuge/or a functional ecologically sensitive ecosystem.
- Issues that involve local jurisdictional ordinances or land development codes.