Sunday, January 27, 2013

This will be a legislative year where solid preparation is a must! TALLAHASSEE: State budget surplus will spur intense debate on what to fund - Florida -

TALLAHASSEE: State budget surplus will spur intense debate on what to fund - Florida -

The Miami Herald ran in interesting article on Sunday (Jan. 27) regarding the expected budget surplus: “Budget surplus to spur debate.” 

Note that any one-year surplus does not mean that earmarks and appropriations will reappear to the extent seen in the period predating 2010. It does mean that some important decisions will be made in Tallahassee as to what to do with this money.  So who or what cities will be best positioned to prevail in the ongoing state budget and policy debates this legislative session?  Will there actually be a surplus, and if so, will all or part be used to replenish previously drained trust funds, or into other savings? Will it be used as a rational to cut intangible or corporate taxes? Will the teachers get their raises and, if so, how much?  Will there be funding to address school security? The article addresses the issues in detail and is recommended reading.

 I have covered two posts dealing with preparation for the Palmetto Bay legislative agenda, the first on infrastructure and capital possibilities and the second (just below) on policy considerations (primarily insurance).

Obviously, the original council tackled much more than just municipal issues, taking on items such as senate bills 360 and senate bill 6.

What was neglected during the lean years that now urgently requires attention?

The original village council worked to oppose enactment of SB6 and any similar legislation that would negatively impact local public school teachers and children. I sponsored a resolution after speaking with concerned parties as to the particulars.  A veto was urged in a late session resolution passed on April 12, 2010 (CLICK HERE to view) . I actually met with the Governor on this and other legislative priorities.

The Palmetto Bay legislative agendas were never completed in a vacuum, thrown together at a single meeting by the founding village council. Discussions were held with community activists, parents, teachers, staff and our lobbyists.  

Legislative priorities should be year ‘round considerations.  This includes timely filing applications for grant monies to assist with eligible, worthwhile projects. The locals need to work hard to identify which capital projects to move ahead with due to their being assisting funding sources available.  I have discussed the need for proper preparation, not just the attempt to appear to have prepared (CLICK HERE) so I will not repeat those thoughts here.

Success in Tallahassee takes preparation.  Those locals who don't properly prepare are merely hoping to ride the coattails and claim part of the success caused by the Florida League of Cities or sister cities who have done the prep work and the heavy lifting before and throughout the legislative session.

Tallahassee will be a very interesting place. I am pushing hard to see some detailed preparation by all the South Dade members so we all cannot just survive, but thrive, this year’s legislative session.

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