Becker & Poliakoff

2012 State Legislative Accomplishments

2012 State Legislative Accomplishments

Algenol Biofuels
The State Lobbying Team opposed and successfully worked to stop House Bill 4013. The bill would have repealed the requirement that ten percent of motor fuels contain ethanol. Being that Florida is a leader for the bio fuel industry, any attempts to repeal this requirement would have sent a negative message to many of Algenol’s investors. The State Lobbying Team worked with various members of the House State Affairs Committee and raised enough concerns with the Chairman; the bill was left off of the committee agenda and never addressed.

American Traffic Solutions
The State Lobbying Team successfully opposed and worked to stop House Bill 4177. HB 4177 was considered by most as a red light camera repealer. The team has worked with ATS for the past several years against similar legislation. The bill attempted to remove provisions relating to the installation and use of such traffic infraction detectors to enforce specified provisions when a driver fails to stop at a traffic signal. The bill would have made traffic light enforcement very costly for companies wishing to provide the service to municipalities in Florida.

Florida Association of Jewish Federations
The State Lobbying Team worked hard to get full funding for all Jewish Federation programs that were in the recurring base budget. Included in the budget are a wide range of kosher meal programs, senior centers, Alzheimer projects, elderly transportation, Holocaust Survivor programs, Wellness programs, etc. We also fully funded our programs in Workforce Development, the Florida Holocaust Task Force, several other Holocaust education-museum programs, Holocaust Victims Assistance (Dept. of Insurance Trust Fund), and Holocaust Survivor elderly programs.

Additionally, the Team helped pass the Iran Financial Institutions Act. This Bill gives Florida CFO Jeff Atwater and the State the ability to prevent State financial institutions from conducting business with any countries or institutions that facilitate the development of weapons of mass destruction or support terrorism. The Team also worked to add more funding to the tax credit scholarship program which gives parents private school options. The program has $229 million for next year. Many of the Jewish Day Schools access this funding.

The City of Hollywood
The State Lobbying Team successfully fully funded the Fred Lippman Senior Center. The final Budget appropriated $228,000 for the Lippman Center in the recurring budget category. This Session we also worked on a $50,000 grant for the Hollywood Women’s Club. The $50,000 is in a part of the Historic Preservation Small Matching Grants Program. Since this was already on an approved priority list it was not vetoed by the Governor.

The Team, once again, worked with the City Utilities staff on the Ocean Outfall issue. The mandate to eliminate the Ocean Outfall is very complicated and requires local governments like Hollywood to expend hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure. This Session, the Team worked closely with h the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and other stakeholders on a compromise Bill that everyone could agree upon. The Bill made its way through many House and Senate Hearings and Committees and even passed the full House but was not heard by the full Senate.

Independent Colleges and Universities
The Legislature cut Florida’s state universities by roughly $300 million. However, the Team was able to successfully increase funding for the Florida’s 3 Independent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by 6.7 percent. The Team also worked hard to defeat an effort to tie the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) to student’s grade point averages.

Kristi House
The Team successfully passed and supported House Bill 99. The Florida Safe Harbor Act takes a significant step in ending the epidemic of sexual child abuse. The Florida Safe Harbor Act allows first responders the option of treating commercially sexually exploited children as child-victims by placing them at private treatment centers, or Safe Harbors, when available.

The McLane Company
The Team supported and helped pass House Bill 887. This bill allows distribution companies like The McLane Company to continue optimizing the purchase and sale of products to thousands of suppliers in Florida; specifically tobacco products.

Miami Dade County Public Schools
The Team helped prevent the Legislature’s attempt to end co-enrollment by successfully lobbying for a one year extension. Elimination of the program would have dramatically reduced graduation rates for Miami-Dade County Public School. The Team also stopped the Legislature’s attempt to cut all funding for programs for adults with disabilities by minimizing the impact by 85 percent.

Miami-Dade Expressway Authority
Governor Scott’s “Florida Government Efficiency Task Force Work Group” created a special subcommittee to review the impact and potential savings of consolidating all expressway and bridge authorities around the state. Again, we were able to legislatively exclude MDX.

Cities of Miami Garden, Lauderdale Lakes and West Park
The Team helped defeat a measure to end the local business tax and successfully lobbied for the inclusion of 3 transportation projects totaling of 500k to be place in the state’s budget for these three cities.

The Recording Industry Association of America
The Team supported and helped pass House Bill 189. HB 189 allows for a trade association like the Recording Industry Association of America to collect restitution on behalf of their members. These members include Sony Music, Universal Music, BMI etc. The bill also defined the term “trade association”. HB 189 was the RIAA’s priority legislation.

We were able thwart all efforts reducing staffing ratio requirements.