City Officials Talk Tax Reform, Flood Insurance and Infrastructure Funding with Florida’s Congressional Delegation
Florida League of Cities Federal Action Strike
Team (FAST) Members Bring Local Issues to D.C.
Florida’s 412 municipalities have to deal with a wide range of issues in their communities, many of which are governed and financed by federal legislation and programs. With a new Congress in Washington that includes several freshman members from Florida, municipal officials have a unique opportunity to build relationships with members of the state’s Congressional Delegation and discuss issues of importance for cities and citizens.
With tax reform, infrastructure funding and flood insurance high on the list of pressing issues for Floridians, the Florida League of Cities Federal Action Strike Team (FAST) recently visited members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation in Washington, D.C., to remind them about what’s most important to their constituents back home.
Twenty-eight Florida municipal officials representing all regions of the state participated in the 2017 FAST Fly-in. On this bi-annual advocacy trip, the FAST team met with 20 members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation and staff, including Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. Before attending meetings with Florida’s senators and members of Congress, the group visited the National League of Cities (NLC) offices for a federal briefing from the NLC Federal Relations Team.
“Our Florida League of Cities Federal Action Strike Team had yet another successful trip to Washington,” said FAST Chair and Longwood Mayor Joe Durso. “League members should be proud of the leadership that FAST members showed as we continued to advocate for tax reform policies that are not harmful to cities, a fair playing field for our local businesses, commonsense flood insurance reform and reliable infrastructure funding.”
FAST team members were prepared to discuss statewide issues with real-world examples of how their hometowns are affected and may be affected in the future. This year’s federal agenda focused on preserving the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, improving the FEMA Public Assistance Program, and maintaining support for an equitable federal flood insurance program.
“One of the best things about the FAST team is the many different cities its members represent. From small to large, rural to urban and everything in between, these municipal officials demonstrate the wide range of challenges that a state as geographically and economically diverse as Florida faces,” said FLC Legislative Director Scott Dudley. “Each participant brought a unique perspective to our meetings, which helped our members of Congress get a better understanding of how the issues we discussed really impact Florida’s cities.”
The FAST committee was created in support of the League’s strategic plan objective to strengthen its federal relations. The primary purpose of the committee is to establish proactive and reactive communications with the Florida Congressional Delegation in support of federal municipal policy. The committee takes its policy positions and direction from the League’s resolutions and the National League of Cities policy priorities, as well as from the League’s officers and board.
FAST members meet throughout the year, at the two FLC conferences in Florida and two delegation visits to Washington, D.C., each year.
Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-government and serve the needs of Florida’s cities. Florida’s cities are formed by their citizens and governed by their citizens. The League is founded on the belief that local self-government is the keystone of American democracy. For more information, visit www.floridaleagueofcities.com.