Here is Team Retail’s view of the 2005 Florida Legislative Session. I hope you will spend a few minutes reading through the issues that we expect to work on your behalf. Of course, many more will surface during the Session that will require our attention to ensure that no bad bills become statutes. You can always stay up-to-date during the Session by visiting our website, www.frf.org, reading the weekly McAllister Report or adding your name to one of our specialized Council mailing lists.
I hope that you are currently one of our retail champions who stay abreast of important issues and lend a hand when we need hometown help. On the off chance that you are one of those who have not yet exercised your role in the legislative process, let me share with you how simple it can be and how powerful your voice can become.
Every year, thousands of individuals register as professional lobbyists in our state. These are honest, hard working people whose mission is to help our elected officials evaluate ideas by supplying them with expertise and knowledge on literally thousands of very complicated subjects. It is an important role that lobbyists fill — so much so that we have four registered lobbyists on our staff and we contract with a dozen others who have expertise in specific areas of concern.
Despite the valuable service that we professionals provide the members of the Legislature and the Executive branch, not one of us has as much influence with your House and Senate member as you do. You see, there are always two sides to every issue. At the end of the day what really matters to elected officials is this: how will my vote affect the people who entrusted me to make these decisions? Each elected member knows they have a sacred trust with the folks back home and each wants to do the right thing.
The only way they know how an issue affects you…is if you tell them. You can be sure that when we talk to members of the Legislature we tell them we represent you, but nothing beats your phone call. And nothing makes a bigger impression than an invitation from you to your House and Senate member to visit your business to gain an understanding of who you and your employees really are and what is important to you.
One way to start your legislative engine is to understand the hot topics of this Session and use your very powerful voice to weigh in on them. We want to help you do that and will jump at the chance if you simply call us. We can help with visits, phone calls, letters, faxes, or emails.
So…read on, and then call us toll-free at 1.888.FL.RETAIL (357.3824) to join the team. Working together, the Voice of Florida Retailing will be heard!
Richard A. McAllister
FRF President and CEO