Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson's legislative consulting practice focuses exclusively on representing local governments before the Florida Legislature. Because NG&N does not represent private, for-profit entities in the legislative process, NG&N's local government clients can expect no conflicts in representation. NG&N's broad range of local government experience serves as a strong basis for reacting quickly and with well-reasoned solutions in the fast pace of the legislative process. NG&N's legislative consulting practice experience runs the gamut of legislative issues.
NG&N has drafted and stewarded to passage legislation of state-wide significance. For instance, NG&N served as the prime local government drafter of the Communications Service Tax, which consolidated seven state and local taxes and fees imposed on the various components of the electronic communications industry. NG&N also served as the county lead on development of the Sadowski Housing Act, which provides a state and local revenue source for affordable housing. These examples illustrate NG&N's ability to work with diverse groups, forge a compromise, draft complex legislation and secure the passage of major initiatives.
NG&N also has extensive experience in the legislative appropriation process. On behalf of a local government client, NG&N has helped secure a $25 million recurring stream of state revenue that funds the control of exotic aquatic weeds. The firm has also secured record-level appropriations for the airports of Florida, on behalf of the state-wide association of commercial service and general aviation airports. On an annual basis, state funding for local projects have also been obtained by NG&N.
Some, but not all, legislative issues require securing passage of legislation or appropriations. NG&N has also successfully deflected legislative efforts to reduce local government authority. From impact fee restrictions to charter county inroads, NG&N has been at the forefront of the battle to protect local government home rule power from legislative encroachment.
At times a problem facing a local government can only be solved by legislation, such as the authorization of a tax or the creation of a district, but there is political reluctance in the Legislature to pass a general law authorizing the tax or creating a district for every local government. NG&N has broad experience in drafting and securing passage of general laws of local application that apply to a single local government. These laws meet the constitutional requirements that (1) all taxes be authorized by general law, (2) that general laws restricting their application to a limited set of local governments not address subjects prohibited by the constitution and (3) that general laws on other subjects that do not affect all local governments must embrace a subject reasonably related to the local government qualifiers expressed in the legislation. NG&N also has extensive experience in drafting and securing passage of local bills.
NG&N is recognized in the Legislature as experts on local government power. NG&N frequently fields questions from legislative staff regarding the constitutionality and wisdom of contemplated legislative approaches to local government issues. A member of the firm regularly testifies in committee meetings in which a significant local government issue is being considered. Perhaps most significantly, NG&N was called upon to educate seasoned and new staff members of the House and Senate on local government issues in prior Legislative Sessions, recognition by the Legislature that NG&N are experts in the field of local government law.