Florida Government Advocacy

  • For more than three decades, Holland & Knight has represented clients before Florida’s local and state governments, carefully guiding them through the complex issues of the executive and legislative branches of Florida government that affect all of their interests in the Sunshine State.
  • Our legislative work is not industry specific, so we can assist you in any area of the Florida legislative process, from working within the Florida Legislature to supporting you in executive branch lobbying to navigating state administrative law practice to strategizing for passing or defeating legislation.
  • We leverage the experience of a knowledgeable team that includes Florida's 40th governor, former members of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives, and senior staff for members of the Florida Legislature, the Florida Cabinet and other executive agencies.
  • Visit the Florida Government Advocacy Team on Twitter (@HK_FLgov).

Activities in Tallahassee and at local levels of government affect all companies doing business in the state of Florida. You need a team of experienced government advocates on your side that is committed to helping you navigate through often complex governmental regulations and procedures, use government to the advantage of your business, strategize on how best to improve your company's standing and prevent the adoption of laws or regulations that could be detrimental to your business.

A Long History Advocating for Clients 

Our team of public policy advisors and lawyers applies its depth of experience, relationships and substantive political and legal know-how to advocate on your behalf to resolve any issues of concern that relate to Florida government.

Members of the firm's Florida Government Advocacy Team (FGAT) are dedicated to assist you by:

  • monitoring legislative activity
  • drafting bills or amendments
  • seeking sponsors of bills or amendments
  • advocating for appropriations
  • testifying before legislative committees
  • supporting legislation that is favorable to your company
  • opposing legislation that could be harmful to your business

Florida Leadership

Our office includes lawyers and senior professionals who have served in elected and appointed positions in Florida state government.

  • Bob Martinez served as governor of the state of Florida, drug czar under President George H.W. Bush and mayor of Tampa.  
  • Jerome Hoffman is a former general counsel of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and former chief of the antitrust section of the Florida Attorney General's Office.
  • Nate Adams served as a deputy general counsel to Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Department of Education.
  • Mia McKown served as general counsel to the Florida Department of Citrus and was a hearing officer for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  • Kimberly Case served as director of legislative affairs for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, as well as director of legislative affairs for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

Recent Engagements

2017

  • successfully held off attempts by the world's largest brewer to require Florida-owned breweries to give away glassware to bars and restaurants
  • successfully helped insurance groups protect the sanctity of life insurance by supporting the charge to end the longtime battle over Stranger Originated Life Insurance (STOLI); this identifies and outlaws STOLI practices, in which fraudsters bet against someone's life for profit
  • successfully advocated for the passage of legislation that acknowledged the abuse children experienced at two reform schools operated by the state – the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and the Florida School for Boys at Okeechobee – and created memorials for the victims
  • successfully blocked legislation that would have eliminated a program designed to encourage public entities to construct green, efficient buildings
  • ensured that gaming legislation did not include language that would have been harmful to family amusement centers in the state
  • successfully secured funding for affordable housing programs
  •  successfully advocated for legislation that authorized the state to conduct a feasibility study to acquire a bridge as part of Florida's Turnpike system
  • successfully blocked legislation that would have eliminated public notice and transparency for significant business and legal transactions
  • successfully opposed legislation that would have taxed all businesses in tort litigation with prejudgment interest on economic and noneconomic damages, as well as on attorney fees and costs
  • successfully advocated for the permanent exemption of medical malpractice premiums from assessment by the state when the residential housing stock sustains losses due to a hurricane
  • successfully advocated for reduced regulation of insurance rates for medical malpractice insurers, whereby annual rate filings are not required
  • successfully secured funding for research and cures for pediatric cancers
  • successfully secured funding for economic development and advance manufacturing of nanotechnology initiatives in Central Florida
  • successfully secured additional funding to assist in the renovations and structural upgrades needed to continue operating a hospital for sick, injured and orphaned manatees
  • successfully secured funding for innovative stormwater technologies for a municipality
  • successfully worked to pass sensible environmental protection legislation for when regulated industries accidentally spill lawful substances that could harm the groundwater
  • successfully opposed legislation designed to dismantle Florida's trauma care system
  • successfully secured legislation to give health plans discretion in developing their networks of providers
  • successfully advocated for the defeat of legislation that would have authorized optometrists – who are not medical doctors – to perform ocular surgery and prescribe virtually all oral medications, including opioids

2016

  • amended the automobile insurance rating statute to modernize the ratemaking process for Florida consumers in a way to produce more competitive pricing
  • defeated anti-business and anti-consumer legislation that would have taxed additional costs to every negligence case
  • amended the growth management laws on behalf of a large developer to reduce needless administrative regulatory hurdles
  • advocated for significant funding increases for affordable housing in the 2016 state budget
  • successfully advocated for an additional $1 million in the 2016 state budget to assist a nonprofit zoo in constructing a life support system for sick and injured manatees
  • advocated for funding in the 2016 state budget to assist a city with a significant economic revitalization project and a water project
  • blocked multiple attempts to change public notice policy in the 2016 session, which would have adversely impacted a statewide association
  • defeated numerous attempts to amend the condominium termination statute that would have adversely affected a large developer in Florida
  • amended language into a transportation bill to permit Florida breweries to commission directional road signs from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • advocated for an insurance rate filing exemption for a client, related to travel insurance products
  • defeated legislation that would have significantly harmed the ability of developers to purchase and renovate distressed residential properties
  • represented the state's largest teaching and nonprofit hospitals in defeating Certificate of Need (CON) deregulation legislation
  • represented the state's largest public and nonprofit hospitals in negotiating harmful legislative language from a bill proposed by the governor and that ultimately passed the legislature and was signed into law
  • represented Florida's largest business association in advocating and passing legislation to lower healthcare costs and allow medical practitioners to prescribe medications as allowed for through their advanced training protocols
  • represented the state's public hospitals in defeating legislation that would have prevented public hospitals from determining competitive compensation packages for all employees
  • represented the state's largest and most academically recognized cancer research centers, securing additional state funding for an upgrade to the Florida Cancer Data System, a statewide cancer registry, and successfully protecting each cancer center's state research dollars
  • represented Osceola County and secured a total of $15 million in state funding to complete the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, which will house the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR) in partnership with the University of Central Florida
  • represented Osceola County in securing a $750,000 Northern Everglades water restoration project
  • represented a major teaching hospital in restoring $1 million in vital state funding that had been vetoed by the governor
  • represented a large nonprofit behavioral healthcare provider in securing back-of-the-bill language that will allow unencumbered funds from this past fiscal year to revert and be reappropriated to the same program in which the client currently participates
  • represented a major medical device company in front of Florida's Medicaid Agency to secure a rule change that allows greater patient access to the client's products

Political and Public Participation

The Florida Government Advocacy Team has the extensive experience necessary to effectively assist and advise clients on a political issues affecting Florida. FGAT members are active in the political process. Our support for statewide candidates, as well as candidates for the Florida Legislature, enables FGAT to maximize opportunities for clients.

We also provide advice and counsel to clients on constitutional amendments, public policy issues and local ballot referendums. Our Holland & Knight election lawyers are well-placed to assist clients in forming political campaign committees and stand ready to answer and advise on Florida's campaign finance laws.

Members of FGAT have successfully campaigned for statewide and local office. Other members of our team have worked on numerous campaigns and the statewide political parties, providing political strategy and implementation for candidates.

Our Reach Goes Beyond the Legislature

The support you receive from Holland & Knight's Florida Government Advocacy Team is not limited to representation before the Florida Legislature — we also have a long-standing and extensive executive branch lobbying and state administrative law practice.

Our administrative law practice includes representing clients before the governor, the Florida Cabinet and all state agencies. We cover the spectrum of environmental regulatory issues involving air, water, wetlands, energy, solid waste, listed species and sustainable development. Our team takes an active role in policy development, agency rulemaking, permitting, compliance and enforcement proceedings, business and professional licensing, ratemaking and administrative litigation on behalf of our clients and partners.

Holland & Knight is strategically positioned to provide you and your company with a wide range of services to advance your goals and vision. We have established strong working relationships with Florida officials at the state and local level.