The legislative program includes developing
legislation and support information, and finding
sponsors for legislation. The Office also serves as the
central point of contact for legislators and their
staffs for information about the Department's programs.
Legislative Affairs coordinates the Department's
legislative lobbying efforts by preparing legislative
proposals, as well as any planning, policy and budgetary
analyses or recommendations on legislative bills. Bill
analyses, proposals and recommendations are crucial to
the legislative efforts of the Department. They
inform the members of the
of Representatives , the
Florida Senate ,
Governor's Office and other interested parties
about the Department's position on legislative issues,
and help policy makers and the public in forming a basis
for understanding the legislation itself.
DEP maintains an interest in a wide range of issues.
Areas of environmental concern are a top priority as
changes in law may have an effect on the Department's
program areas and their procedures. We also track
issues relating to legal procedure, information systems,
administrative functions, human resources and the
(Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature)
Florida’s twenty five member delegation, other
congressional offices, the Governor’s Office, federal
agencies and national associations all seek the
Department’s advice on federal legislative proposals.
These proposals include substantive amendments or
reauthorizations of environmental laws, requests for
appropriations and, implementation suggestions or
constituent inquiries. Legislative Affairs serves as a
point of contact for incoming requests, and coordinates
distribution and receipt of comments within the agency.
Annually, a public works request is formulated to
request funds for US Army Corps of Engineers
construction funding for Florida projects. Other
requests for funds are discussed with congressional
staff and requesters. Federal agency budgets that affect
the operation of the Department, the water management
districts or local environmental projects are tracked
and supported where beneficial. Land purchase
appropriations for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s
wildlife refuges, the National Park Service and the
Forest Service are supported. Opportunities to increase
federal funding for ongoing or special activities in
Florida are pursued.
For environmental issues of interest to the
Department, letters of support are drafted in
conjunction with agency staff and prepared for signature
by the Secretary or the Governor. Briefings and
background material are provided to congressional and
federal agency staff. Occasionally, we will be asked to
provide witnesses for hearings on specific issues. Most
often, telephone inquires are made shortly before
decisions are to be made in committee or on the floor.