Legislative Affairs oversees and manages the legislative and intergovernmental initiatives and functions for the County at the state and federal levels.
The department's responsibilities include developing the County's state and federal legislative agendas; coordinating the County's position and response to pending state and federal legislation; preparing resolutions, talking points, issuing briefs and legislative updates; and identifying and responding to federal, state and local funding opportunities.
Each year, we create a State Legislative Agenda and a Federal Legislative Agenda. They are advocacy tools used to work with federal and state lawmakers and agencies. It includes the County’s legislative priorities and the County’s positions on anticipated issues relevant to the County that are expected to arise in the current U.S. Congress or the current state Legislature. The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners approves these Agendas.
The County’s legislative staff and federal and state lobbyists pursue the legislative issues listed in the approved agendas, placing special attention on the priority issues.
Monroe’s contracted federal lobbyist is Greg Burns, with the firm Van Scoyoc Associates.
We work with the County's state and federal lobbyists, County staff and attorneys, the County's municipal partners and other key stakeholders to support and advance the County's legislative priorities and appropriations.
The 2018 Florida State Legislature concluded this spring. Here are the final 2018 state appropriations for Monroe County:
- Florida Keys Stewardship – Water Quality: $5 Million
- Florida Keys Stewardship – Land Acquisition: $5 Million
- Emergency Operation Center: $5.9 Million
- Vessel Pump Out program: $277,650
- Affordable Housing: $15 Million in SAIL
For more information, go to Monroe County's 2018 State Legislative Session webpage.
We are now focused on the 2018 Federal Legislative Session. Go to this page for detailed information.
This year the County’s federal priorities include:
- Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program
- Proposed spending reductions in programs important to Monroe, such as those under EPA and NOAA
- Funding for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), which are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal lands within their boundaries
- Federal funding for the Florida Keys Water Quality Improvements Program
- Federal funding for Everglades Restoration and the health of the Florida Bay.
Florida Association of Counties' Federal Committee
Monroe County also works in partnership with federal groups to advance the County’s priorities. Monroe County is a member of Florida Association of Counties’ Federal Committee with Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers as its chair. This committee helps to shape FAC’s federal priorities, which includes reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.
National Association of Counties
Monroe County also is a member of the National Association of Counties (NACO). Monroe County Mayor George Neugent and Commissioner Carruthers both participate on NACO’s Gulf Coast Counties and Parishes Caucus, which focuses on issues related to the Gulf of Mexico. These issues include the National Flood Insurance Program and funding for the RESTORE Act. The RESTORE ACT stands for the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act that was created due to the BP oil spill in 2010. Monroe County Legislative Director Lisa Tennyson sits on NACO’s Public Lands steering committee that monitors and advocates for federal PILT funding.
Southeast Regional Climate Change Compact
As a member of the Southeast Regional Climate Change Compact, Monroe County also supports the Compact’s annual federal legislative agenda that advocates for federal action related to energy and climate issues.
The RESTORE Act is a 2012 federal law that established the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. It provides programs, projects and activities that restore and protect the environment and economy of the Gulf Coast Region that suffered from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.The Legislative Affairs department is responsible for implementation of the $20 million in RESTORE Act funds the County is slated to receive over the next 15 years.
Florida Keys Environmental Stewardship Act
The Florida Keys Environmental Stewardship Act was passed by the Florida State Legislature and signed into law in 2016. It was passed after only a single session of consideration and is a significant State policy shift towards protecting the Keys’ nearshore waters and lands that are critical to our delicate ecosystem. It also codifies the State’s recognition of the importance of land acquisition and water quality projects as critical needs.
Monroe County Pumpout Program
Monroe County Resolutions
Federal and State Legislative Information and Links
For information on how to reach federal and state elected officials and for more information about the legislative process, go to this webpage: