Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 122472
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File Number: 122472 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1075-12 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: PROPOSED 2013 FEDERAL & STATE LEGISLATIVE PACKAGES Introduced: 12/17/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/18/2012
Agenda Date: 12/18/2012 Agenda Item Number: 11A2SUBSTITUTE
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed

Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 2/5/2013 Application signed by required number of commissioners for renewal
REPORT: Application for renewal and necessary signatures were received to enable the Commissioners to take action at the February 5, 2013 meeting to urge the Florida Legislature to amend State Election Law to restore early voting to 14 days. On February 5, 2013, Commissioners adopted add-on Legistar File No. 130236, Resolution R-124-13, to accomplish such action, thereby modifying R-1075-12 (Legistar 122472) and R-1090-12 (Legistar 122469) to support 14 rather than 9 days of early voting. On February 5, 2013, Commissioners also adopted 11A24 (Legistar 130164) as amended, Resolution R-118-13, to support 14 days early voting .

Board of County Commissioners 12/18/2012 11A2 SUBSTITUTE Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Sosa noted the Commission would decrease its effectiveness if the Commission members continued sending such big legislative packages. She said that the Administration should not include in the legislative packages requests for huge amounts of money from County departments. She suggested that it would be preferable to have one page with five or six priorities, as a number of people in Washington and Tallahassee had told her that this would be the most effective way for the County to proceed. Commissioner Monestime said he wanted to address the portion of the legislative package relating to early voting. He noted he recalled that the Commission members adopted an item on September 18, 2012, before the last presidential election, urging the restoration of early voting to 14 days, including the Sunday before the election; yet, this package only requested 9 days. He proposed as an amendment to incorporate the provisions of Resolution R-741-12, Agenda Item 11A3 from the September 18, 2012 meeting, into the present item. It was moved by Commissioner Monestime that the foregoing proposed resolution be amended to incorporate the provisions of Resolution R-741-12, Agenda Item 11A3, adopted on September18, 2012. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Suarez, followed by discussion. Commissioner Sosa noted this item was discussed at the Mayor’s Task Force. She said that if the Commission members tried to implement very drastic changes, they could encounter problems with the legislators in Tallahassee. Therefore, the Task Force members agreed to include the Sunday before the election, but limited the request for early voting to 9 days. Mayor Gimenez said that the Task Force members almost unanimously decided to request 9 days and an additional Sunday instead of 14 days; the main issue was not that there were not enough days, but rather not enough sites. He noted in the future, the County would have to consider the election itself, and not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. He indicated that for a countywide election 20 sites for 8 days was adequate; but for state, and general/presidential elections 40, 50, or 60 early voting sites were needed. The Task Force members decided that it would be preferable to ask the legislature to include the second Sunday and the Sunday before the election, have the flexibility to open more sites, and not be limited to city halls and libraries. Commissioner Monestime noted he concurred with the Mayor’s point on having the flexibility to include more sites. However, he said that the amendment which he was proposing was part of County policy, because the Commission members voted for it in September. He also stated that bills had been filed by some senators and representatives that requested 14 days. Mayor Gimenez pointed out that each early voting site cost $20,000 per day. Commissioner Monestime suggested that the Commission members not sell themselves short by asking for 9 days instead of 14 days. Commissioner Sosa asked whether Commissioner Monestime’s proposed amendment would replace the Task Force’s recommendation. County Attorney Cuevas said that his had nothing to do with the Task Force; Commissioner Monestime’s amendment would simply amend the item presently under consideration. In response to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s question as to whether the Commission members voted for 14 days in September 2012, County Attorney Cuevas confirmed that they did. Commissioner Jordan said the question was which vote did the Commission members want to uphold. She said that she was inclined to uphold the vote for 14 days, because in prior elections with early voting for 14 days the turnout was significantly higher. Responding to Commissioner Jordan’s question, the Mayor confirmed that the last election with 8 days of early voting had 90,000 fewer voters than prior elections with 14 days of early voting. Commissioner Jordan noted extending the early voting period by one day would not make up the loss of 90,000 voters. She said that the Commission’s objective was to make it as easy and convenient as possible for residents to vote. She observed that the November election was an anomaly because it was for the re-election of the first Black president of the United States, and unless a woman or Hispanic candidate was running for president, it was unlikely that the voters would come out in such high numbers in future elections. She stated that when she was at the North Dade Regional library, it was so full, it would have been impossible to fit another voting booth, and they did not have the requisite back-up equipment when it failed. Commissioner Jordan pointed out that other factors enhanced the residents’ ability to vote. For example, in the past, absentee ballots were accepted up until the day before voting day; but these operations were shut down. She noted she did not believe that shortening the number of early voting days would result in the same volume as before. She pointed out that the Task Force should have considered that the Commission members had already voted on this issue. Commissioner Bell said that it might be erroneous to believe that a reduction in the early voting days would automatically lead to a decrease in the number of voters. She noted the Task Force debated this issue at great length, and she wished their recommendations to be respected because the Task Force members were a good representation of this community. She observed that the Task Force reached its decision because the number of voters who took advantage of early voting depended on a number of factors, including the number of early voting days, the number and proximity of sites, and the length of the ballot. Mayor Gimenez noted although a record number of voters took part in the elections in 2012, the percentage was lower than in 2008, which itself was lower than in 2004. He said that the turnout would be approximately 70 percent in most presidential elections. He stated that if a resident wanted to vote early, he/she should not have to wait in line, and this could only be achieved by opening more sites. Mayor Gimenez indicated that the Task Force members agreed on 9 days because they believed that was attainable at the level of the legislature. Commissioner Heyman acknowledged that the Commission members voted in favor of 14 days of early voting in September 2012. She indicated that after lengthy dialogue, the Task Force members ultimately voted unanimously to request 9 days of early voting. She pointed out that as no exact cause for the long delays could be isolated, the Task Force members agreed on the number of early voting days that would most likely be approved by the Florida legislature. She noted the Assistant County Attorney advised them that the Task Force members’ recommendation with regard to the number of days for early voting would impact all 67 counties, 60 of which are small. Commissioner Heyman said that proposing 9 days with two full weekends would make the proposal more enticing to the legislature. Commissioner Moss noted he served on the Task Force, and unfortunately he was unable to attend its last meeting. He indicated that if he had attended the last meeting he would have argued in favor of the 14 days for early voting. However, he noted, he understood that the Task Force members believed that the legislature would have been more inclined to approve the two full weekends if the early voting was only extended to 9 days. Therefore, he would vote in favor of 9 days, even though he would prefer 14 days. Commissioner Moss stressed that in the end the Commission members had the final say on the issue. Vice Chairwoman Edmonson said she was originally going to support 14 days for early voting; however, she noted it was most important for the residents to have the ability to vote on weekend days. Therefore, she indicated, she would support increasing the number of early voting days to 9 days if this would increase the likelihood that the community would also have the two weekends to vote. Commissioner Monestime said he appreciated the historical perspective provided by Commissioner Heyman, and the summary of the Task Force's deliberations. However, he noted, his constituents were overwhelmingly in support of more early voting days, and his recommendation was in the interest of this County. He asked Vice Chairwoman Edmonson to call the vote on his motion to amend the foregoing proposed ordinance. It was moved by Commissioner Monestime that the foregoing proposed resolution be amended to incorporate the provisions of Resolution R-741-12, Agenda Item 11A3, adopted on September 18, 2012. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Suarez, and upon being put to a vote, failed by a vote of 4-9; (Vice Chairwoman Edmonson, and Commissioners Barreiro, Heyman, Moss, Zapata, Diaz, Bovo, Sosa, and Bell voted “No”). Commissioner Heyman stressed the need to include only critical appropriation priorities in the legislative package. She reviewed what she considered to be the most critical priorities, including juvenile justice, corrections, Jackson Memorial Hospital, support for funding of the deep dredge, and greater flexibility on pre-trial release. She stressed the need to keep state priorities and noted what was before the Commission was a regression and disappointing. Commissioner Moss said he did not believe that the County’s representatives understood the guiding principles, and they needed to be reminded of these principles. He noted he concurred with Commissioner Sosa’s suggestion that the Commission should only submit to the legislature the main priorities; and the other non critical but important issues should be handled in another fashion. He recommended that the legislative package be simplified, and that the priorities in the package be restructured to allow the delegation to focus on certain critical issues. Commissioner Barreiro acknowledged that the legislative package was voluminous, but pointed out that it was important to educate the legislators on its contents. He noted MDC’s package addressed multiple areas that were usually bifurcated by other counties that had various authorities. Commissioner Zapata noted he concurred with the need to simplify the County’s legislative package, which was voluminous and confusing. He stressed the need to focus on specific core issues, as this would produce better results. He said he believed that the delegation understood the guiding principles, but in order to maximize the delegation’s efforts, it was necessary for the County to focus on critical issues. Vice Chairwoman Edmonson noted she concurred with Commissioner Sosa’s suggestion wholeheartedly. She pointed out that the Commission members had discussed this many times, and she hoped that the new committees would be able to review and prioritize issues that should be included in the legislative package. She said that it was important to include only the most critical issues in the package and stay focused on specific needs. Commissioner Bell noted how helpful Commissioner Zapata was to Homestead when he was in Tallahassee. She explained how issues were broken down to be presented at the federal and state levels. She pointed out that too many urging resolutions ended up in the legislative package. Commissioner Heyman suggested that Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty and Mr. Joe Rasco (Office of Intergovernmental Affairs) tighten up the language to make it more concise and make the package briefer. Commissioner Sosa said that as the new Chair she would work with the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to improve the legislative package next year. She noted she concurred with Commissioner Heyman that for the time being not enough time was available to correct the package and that it should be adopted as presented. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Board members proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution, as presented.

Office of the Chairperson 12/17/2012 Additions

County Attorney 12/17/2012 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text



[[WHEREAS, the 113th United States Congress will begin on January 13, 2013; and]]
WHEREAS, the 2013 session of the Florida Legislature will begin on March 15, 2013, with the Organizational Session set to begin November 20, 2012; and
WHEREAS, on January 24, 2012, this Board approved Resolution No. R-59-12, which directed the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, when it presents the proposed federal or state legislative agenda respectively to the Board, to include all “urging” resolutions and other resolutions related to federal or state legislation passed by the Board of County Commissioners to date for the current Congress or session; and
WHEREAS, Resolution No. R-59-12 further directed the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to present the proposed federal and state legislative agendas in three sections:
(1) County priorities;
(2) Departmental items; and
(3) All “urging” resolutions and other resolutions related to federal or state legislation passed by the Board; and
WHEREAS, the proposed 2013 [[federal and]]1 state legislative [[packages are]]>>package is<< attached to this resolution and incorporated by reference; and
WHEREAS, to best position Miami-Dade County for success in Washington and Tallahassee, it is desirable to approve the proposed 2013 federal and state legislative packages as soon as possible,
Section 1. Approves the proposed 2013 [[federal and]] state legislative [[packages]]>>package<<.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of this resolution to the Members of the Florida Congressional Delegation and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County's [[federal and]] state lobbyists to advocate for the action set forth in proposed 2013 [[federal and]] state legislative [[packages, respectively]]>>package<<.

1 The differences between the substitute and the original item are indicated as follows: words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted, words underscored and/or »double arrowed« constitute the amendment proposed.

This substitute differs from the original item in that it removes the federal legislative package from the item, which will be brought back to the Board at a later date, revises the title of this item to show that the substitute only relates to the state legislative package, and makes the following changes to the state legislative package:
1. Adds as priorities the elections changes to state law recommended by the Mayor’s Elections Advisory Group;
2. Removes Resolution No R-725-12 related to bicycle lanes because it was deferred by the Board to no date certain;
3. Adds items related to funding for construction of the Liberty City Clinic and for the Miami-Health Department Main Complex project;
4. Adds support for legislation related to net metering and local government waste-to-energy facilities;
5. Adds as an attachment the Jackson Health System 2013 state legislative package.

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