Government Relations & Lobbying

Government & Lobbying Experience

Our team has represented clients on a wide-range of issues, from land use to appropriations, from economic development to utilities and everything in between. Listed below is a glimpse into the government and lobbying experience we’ve gained during the last several decades.

Appropriations
GrayRobinson has a considerable history of success in the budgetary process. Each Session, our goal is to ensure members fully understand the importance of our clients’ appropriations requests so they will ultimately be included in the State budget. We work to fund numerous types of projects for our clients, such as infrastructure projects, utilities, educational research, corrections reform, tourism, transportation and economic development to name a few.

Economic Development
Our lobbying practice represents private clients on economic development, incentive, deregulation and other “pro-business” ideas and issues. We have been intimately involved in the “jobs bills” passed by the Legislature during the last few years; we have fought alongside many others against the raiding of the State Transportation Trust Fund, and we have coordinated our efforts with the Florida Airports Council and the Florida Ports Council to fight for airport and seaport specific appropriation and policy matters.

Education Policy
Our lobbying team consists of some of the most experienced individuals in the field of education policy. With decades of experience representing and serving public sector clients, our team is able to remain at the forefront of emerging policy in education. Our education team is very familiar and experienced with the education governance structure in Florida. Our team has worked with the State Board of Education, the Board of Governors, University and State college trustees, the Commissioner of Education and the chancellors of our college and K-12 school systems. In addition, our team has worked with the Office of Early Learning in Florida.

Most notably, lobbying team member Kim McDougal, Ph.D., has served in multiple leadership roles for several Florida governors and as a Senior Policy Advisor for several commissioners of education. Kim has dedicated 28 years to public service and for the majority of her 10-year tenure at the Florida Legislature, focused her policy work on the PreK-20 agenda. She later went on to serve as the Education Policy Coordinator for both Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Rick Scott. Kim is a certified high school teacher and earned her Ph.D. at Florida State University. Most recently, Kim served as Governor Rick Scott’s Chief of Staff before joining GrayRobinson. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, she served more than two years as his Deputy Chief of Staff as well as his Legislative Affairs Director. 

In addition, members of our lobbying team have worked with school boards, student government associations, college foundations, community colleges and major universities throughout the State of Florida since the Firm’s inception in 1970. This allows our team to provide clients with insight and understanding into the unique nature of the legislative issues educational systems face. 

Growth Management Planning
For years, the Firm has been involved in legislative activities related to this important local government priority and was very involved in the legislation that all-but dismantled the former DCA, wrapping its oversight role into the Department of Economic Opportunity and significantly diminishing the State’s review of local plans. From the legal side, representing local government has been an integral part of our Firm since its founding nearly 50 years ago. As an example of this, GrayRobinson served, for the last 30 years, as general counsel to the Volusia Growth Management Commission reviewing every major growth management initiative for that County since the 1980s. As a result, from a county perspective, the intersection of legal and lobbying is particularly strong.

Health Care
Our lobbying team represents multiple health care districts, hospitals and laboratories, and the Firm has relationships with health care agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Department of Health, Department of Insurance and Board of Medicine.

In many instances, our health care attorneys and consultants have developed close working relationships with agency heads as well as their general counsels. These relationships are critical in representing clients regulated by these agencies. Our lobbying team has been involved in shaping major health care reform efforts locally and statewide.

Public Safety
GrayRobinson has successfully represented multiple clients in the area of public safety. We advocated on behalf of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to increase tougher penalties for crime and provide better protections for our first responders.

On behalf of the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, we successfully lobbied for the passage of the “Tourist Safety Act” which provides law enforcement throughout the state with badly-needed tools to protect Florida’s #1 economic engine, tourism.

On behalf of the City of Orlando and Lasercraft, Inc. (red light camera company), our team served on the lead lobbying group to enact legislation that would allow counties and municipalities to use red light camera technology in the enforcement of red light running violations. This was an eight-year battle that culminated in the passage of a fair system ensuring Florida’s roads are safer. While there were others working on this issue alongside us, GrayRobinson often led the high-level meetings that crafted the final form of this legislation.

Transportation
The Firm is a founding member of Floridians for Better Transportation. GrayRobinson professionals have represented both the Canaveral Port Authority and the Melbourne Airport Authority as its state-level lobbyists and in the case of the airport for many years, also as general counsel. In addition, our team was integral in the passage of the Charter County Transit Surtax amendment for The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX), to ensure that Orange County had the option to levy its own transportation tax (by voter referendum) to provide a permanent funding source for public transportation.

Water, Wastewater, Stormwater & Utilities
For more than thirty years, the Firm has represented over 50 cities and counties in a variety of environmental matters, from negotiating complex but cost-saving consent orders for municipal and industrial utility operations to defending or leading the permitting of public facility projects and operations throughout Florida. These public projects include water, wastewater and electric plants; pipelines; civic/convention centers; university campuses; governmental operation buildings; resource recovery plants; landfills; expressways; interchanges; and numerous other facilities.

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