On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the City Commissioners approved the adoption of a new lobbying contract that will combine both federal and state lobbying services, as opposed to the current model that maintains separation between the two levels of government.
The annual fiscal impact of the contract will be $50,000. Five years ago the city was paying $220,000 per year for state and federal lobbyists.
Tallahassee’s current state lobbying contract ends on Oct. 29, while the federal contract ends on Oct. 31. City staff issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in August of this year encouraging the combining of state and federal lobbying services “to allow the City’s legislative priorities to be represented seamlessly at both levels of government,” according to the meeting agenda.
The Commission approved the award for Lobbying Services as outlined by the RFP. This will authorize either the city manager or other designated person to work out a contract with the GrayRobinson law firm, which was identified by the RFP as being the most qualified based on specific evaluation criteria, including experience, staff qualifications and diversity.
The City will negotiate for a three-year contract with the GrayRobinson firm. The fiscal impact of the proposal was quantified at $50,000 annually for three years, with the budget for the 2021 fiscal year providing “sufficient funding to support the proposed amount.” Additionally, the plan was reviewed by Resource Management and deemed to be within budget guidelines.
“The City of Tallahassee retains lobbying firms to effectively engage in the legislative process, protect and advocate for the City’s interests and stay informed on important policy initiatives,” the agenda states.
The combination of state and federal lobbying contracts will begin in November 2020.