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.
Florida Capital

Overview

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

2019

General

  • Successfully opposed legislation that would jeopardize Florida businesses' trade secret proprietary information in the hands of government
  • Successfully opposed legislation that would have jeopardized the water, wastewater and surface water in portions of Broward County
  • Successfully opposed legislation that would have prevented much needed transportation improvements in Osceola County
  • Successfully opposed legislation that would have prevented much needed public transit improvements in Hillsborough County
  • Assisted a nonprofit press association with successfully blocking legislation that would have eliminated public notice requirements in Florida newspapers

Appropriations

  • Successfully protected more than $300 million in funding for Florida's hospitals that provide critical care to vulnerable populations
  • Successfully secured and protected more than $62 million in funding for Florida's three academic cancer centers
  • Successfully secured $11.25 million in funding for a high-tech innovation research and manufacturing facility in Osceola County
  • Successfully secured $500,000 in funding to modernize the information technology system for a major regional transit authority
  • Successfully secured $150,000 for a city fire department to purchase a modern incident command vehicle
  • Successfully secured $3.5 million in recurring funds for a state-affiliated educational foundation to assist minorities in pursuing advanced degrees

Insurance

  • Successfully passed legislation that reforms Florida's property insurance laws relating to assignment of post-loss benefits and entitlement to attorney's fees by third-party assignees
  • Successfully passed legislation that reforms the assessment base for insolvencies attributed to long-term care policies
  • Successfully passed legislation related to the placement of property insurance risks in the non-admitted market without meaningless regulatory hurdles
  • Successfully opposed legislation prohibiting the use of genetic information in the medical records during the rating and underwriting of life insurance

Healthcare

  • Successfully opposed legislation that would have increased the exposure for lawsuits and money damages against healthcare providers
  • Successfully narrowed the use of patients' private medical information by the state in lawsuits against legitimate Florida businesses
  • Successfully prevented adverse legislation affecting the health insurance program insuring state employees
  • Successfully prevented onerous legislation governing the merger and acquisition of healthcare practices and facilities

2018

  • Successfully opposed efforts by personal injury lawyers to tax prejudgment interest onto economic and noneconomic damages in tort cases
  • Successfully passed legislation that reforms Florida's regulation of trauma services, caps the number of new trauma centers and establishes an advisory council on trauma care
  • Successfully passed legislation to limit the required annual privacy notices by insurers
  • Successfully passed legislation to allow for more efficient proof of mailing of insurance nonrenewals and cancellations
  • Successfully passed legislation extending the time for two academic cancer centers to comply with federal National Cancer Institute's requirements
  • Successfully defeated an effort by personal injury lawyers to join insurance companies by name as parties in interest in tort cases between tortfeasors and injured claimants
  • Successfully opposed legislation to prohibit the use of genetic information by life insurance companies in the issuance and rating of life insurance policies
  • Successfully secured $6.5 million for operations and tool purchase at a high-tech fabricator in Osceola County
  • Successfully opposed legislation to extinguish the voting rights of landowners in a Broward County water and sewer district
  • Successfully advocated for the final $500,000 in state funding to complete the life support system for a zoo's manatee hospital; in four years, the FGAT team secured $3 million in state funds to overhaul the recovery pools/life support system at the manatee hospital, which provides care and rehabilitation for sick and injured manatees rescued in Florida waters
  • Successfully received legislative support and the governor's approval for $400,000 in state funding to support the economic redevelopment of a historic African community and its connection to downtown West Palm Beach
  • Successfully advocated for $300,000 in public safety funding to assist West Palm Beach with the purchase of a safety patrol boat, a mass casualty incident vehicle and a new command control vehicle
  • Successfully advocated for a behavioral healthcare facility in Osceola County to receive $150,000 to hire a bilingual psychiatrist to assist with the increased demand and influx of displaced people from Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria, and for a full restoration of funding for the group's central receiving center that handles patients needing mental health and substance abuse services
  • Successfully represented a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in advocating for its priorities relating to a proposed overhaul of the state's laws governing CCRCs

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.

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