Sarah M. Bleakley
Areas of Practice
Local Government Law
Ms. Bleakley served as a staff attorney for the Florida House of Representatives Committee on Finance and Taxation from 1987 to 1988. As counsel to the Committee, Ms. Bleakley advised the House on state and local tax issues, drafted and analyzed legislation, and served as a liaison for the members and their constituents. She was primarily responsible for local finance and tax matters, including local bills. She also advised the House on state taxation, such as the repeal of the services tax and the expansion of the gross receipts tax on utilities which provides funds for financing public school and university facilities.
Ms. Bleakley also served as a lobbyist for the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services where she lobbied the Florida Legislature on social service issues. She also served as a legislative aide to Representative William E. "Bill" Sadowski. Ms. Bleakley is an honors graduate of Florida State University College of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review.
- Serves as general counsel to the Gulf Consortium.
- Co-author with Bob Nabors of the Primer on Home Rule & Local Government Revenue Sources which serves as an introduction and resource on local government power and revenue sources. It is published by the Firm and updated annually.
- Represents governmental clients before the Florida Legislature on issues involving matters of finance and taxation, appropriations, government financing, local government authority, communications, and transportation.
- Assists local government clients with non-ad valorem assessment issues, annexation matters, and finance and tax questions.
- Represents clients before the executive branch on state rulemaking issues involving taxation, transportation and communications services.
Prior Professional Experience
- Counsel, House Committee on Finance & Taxation, Florida Legislature, 1987-1989.
- Lobbyist, Florida Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services, 1985-1987.
- Associate, Spriggs & Warren, P.A., 1984-1985.
- Director, Patient Legal Services, Florida State Hospital, 1982-1984.
- Legislative Assistant, Representative William E. ("Bill") Sadowski of the Florida House of Representatives, 1979-1982.
Professional, Civic & Community Involvement
- The Florida Bar, Member.
- The Florida Bar Association: Administrative Law Section, City, County and Local Government Law Section, and Tax Section.
- Tallahassee Women Lawyers (Founding Member).
- Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists.
- Florida Association of Intergovernmental Relations.
- Frequent speaker at seminars held by the Florida Association of County Attorneys and the Florida League of Cities on current legislative activities most recently on matters of finance and taxation, government financing, annexation, and communications services.
- J.D. (with honors), Florida State University, College of Law, 1979; Member of the Law Review.
- B.A. (with honors), Florida State University, 1976.