AUTHORIZED THE RESALE OF EVENT TICKETS
Since the early 1940s, Florida had a ban on the resale or “scalping” of tickets to any ticketed event. Capital City Consulting, LLC was hired by StubHub, a large online reseller of tickets, to amend existing law to legalize reselling and provide adequate consumer protections. Our firm drafted the legislation, secured capable bill sponsors, negotiated with opposing parties, testified before legislative committees, fielded press inquiries and successfully passed the legislation through the legislature. Our firm also successfully lobbied the Governor to sign the legislation. As a result, it is now legal to resell tickets in Florida. After the passage of this legislation, StubHub was bought for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Procurement Protection for State Vendor
Capital City Consulting, LLC was hired by an international retailer with a large state contract to address disparaging public allegations that was capturing the attention of key policymakers. These allegations jeopardized the client’s state contract. Capital City Consulting developed a crisis management plan, including appropriate message development; facilitation of meetings to deliver our client’s message to the Governor’s Office, Attorney General, and key legislators, as well as ongoing negotiations to address the issue. In the end, we brought successful resolution to the crisis and subsequently lobbied legislation to rebid the state contract. When the state contract was rebid, we worked with the client to successfully respond and win the new procurement. Capital City Consulting has also negotiated several amendments to the state contract on the client’s behalf to expand its business offerings.
Destination Resorts Campaign
An international gaming and resort development company hired Capital City Consulting, LLC to manage a lobbying campaign to authorize a limited number of Las Vegas style destination resorts in Florida. Given the history and controversy of the subject matter, this effort required a more comprehensive approach than traditional lobbying. Capital City Consulting developed a strategic plan to increase the likelihood of legislative approval. Our firm developed and managed a plan, including hiring and managing multiple lobbying and public relations teams; identifying coalition partners and third-party supporters; developing key messaging; and managing a comprehensive public relations campaign, which included websites, collateral materials, paid and earned media, press interviews, legislative committee presentations, statewide and regional polling, grassroots, and television and radio interviews. Capital City Consulting also led the effort to draft the legislation and secure adequate bill sponsors. In addition to the government relations role, Capital City Consulting’s team provided the client business consulting services by procuring demographic and real-estate market studies, gaming market studies and identification of appropriate project development sites. Capital City Consulting has the ability to manage major political efforts on your behalf to accomplish objectives.
Responsible Regulation of Discount Health Care Plans
A national health care trade association with a new unregulated health care product hired Capital City Consulting, LLC to develop and pass a statewide licensure and regulation act. Because of abuses in the marketplace from unregulated bad actors, the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) lobbied for burdensome legislation that would put our clients out of business. Our firm negotiated with the OIR for weeks before reaching a consensus on a regulatory act. We then drafted the legislation, secured bill sponsors and successfully lobbied for its passage. However, our work did not stop there. The OIR had to promulgate rules to implement the new regulatory structure. Capital City Consulting represented the client during the entire rulemaking process, negotiating with the OIR, testifying at rulemaking hearings, and submitting written comments to ensure the rules were fair and did not exceed statutory authority. After the rulemaking process, we successfully handled the applications to license five separate companies. Capital City Consulting continues to represent the client at the OIR to approve new products, forms and charges.
Authorized the Regulation of Smoking by School Districts
One of our clients, a large public school district, desired to prohibit smoking on its school grounds. The law surrounding the regulation of smoking is vague, so the school district asked the Attorney General to interpret the law to allow for the school district to prohibit smoking on school grounds. The Attorney General disagreed and issued an opinion that stated, absent a legislative change, school districts could only prohibit smoking by minors on school grounds. At the direction of the School Board, Capital City Consulting, LLC drafted legislation that addressed the Attorney General’s opinion and expressly authorized school districts to regulate smoking in any manner. Although the legislation enjoyed widespread support, it was not a priority of the leadership in either chamber so it moved through committees behind other legislation that was important to the Speaker and President or the Committee Chairs. The bill successfully cleared all Senate committees, but still had two committees of reference to pass in the House on the last week of committee hearings. Considering the House does not withdraw bills from committees, and it was impossible to pass the bill out of the remaining two committees that week due to calendar constraints, the legislation was procedurally dead. However, we used a little known procedural maneuver to resolve the bill’s remaining two committee references. We were able to get the bill heard in one of the two committees and amended the bill to change the effective date from “effective upon becoming law” to “effective on a date certain.” In reality, this amendment had no practical affect other than it automatically referred the bill to the Speaker’s Office for review of the committee references. Once the bill was in the Speaker’s Office, we were able to lobby the office of the merits of the legislation, remove the final committee references and ultimately pass the bill. The bill was approved by the Governor, and as of July 1, 2011, public school districts can prohibit anyone from smoking on school district owned property.
Authorized Red Light Cameras
The nation’s largest provider of Red Light Camera programs had been installing and enforcing red light violations through the use of cameras for local governments under legal authority that was questioned by opponents of photo enforcement. The company had unsuccessfully attempted for 5 years to expressly authorize the use of cameras to enforce red light violations through passage of a bill that enacted a statewide photo enforcement program. Capital City Consulting, LLC was brought onto the existing team the last year that the bill did not pass. The next session, Capital City Consulting was leading the advocacy team and coordinating all other interested groups. We adjusted the strategy to focus on the public safety aspect of photo enforcement, but also ensured that the fines from violations enforced by local governments included remittance to the state, as well as entities with a nexus to intersection accidents, such as trauma centers and brain and spinal cord research. We also maximized the use of other interested groups by coordinating calls from local government officials to state officials in support of the proposed legislation and directed other groups’ lobbying efforts to focus on certain state elected officials at key times during the session. With all groups working together and also receiving real-time intelligence from Capital City Consulting on concerns or issues raised by elected officials, we were able to finally pass the bill and also secured the Governor’s approval at an exclusive bill signing ceremony.
Successfully Lobbied for State Funding
Over a 4-year period and with Florida facing the worst budget cuts in modern history, Capital City Consulting, LLC secured funding increases for a public education institution while it and its counterparts faced across-the-board 10 percent cuts. Additionally, we continually secured Fixed Capital Outlay Funding for the institution over the same time period. Specifically, in the 2011 Session, we successfully lobbied the Governor to ensure that the institution’s Fixed Capital Outlay Project was one of six projects out of 25 to not be vetoed.
DEREGULATION OF COMMERCIAL INSURANCE RATES
From an insurance company prospective, Florida is among the most oppressive states regarding the regulation of insurance rates. As a result, insurance rates are often inadequately priced because Florida has developed a legal and regulatory scheme designed to artificially suppress rates for many insurance products for political purposes. During the 2010 and 2011 Legislative Sessions, Capital City Consulting, LLC worked with our commercial insurer clients to develop a 2-year strategic plan for the passage of legislation establishing a statutory structure to exempt certain commercial insurance policies from the state’s onerous rate filing and approval process. For the first year strategy, we drafted legislation, secured bill sponsors, testified before committees, fielded state and national press inquiries, and successfully lobbied the bill through the legislature, which established a statutory structure that deregulated specialized commercial policies from Florida’s rate approval requirements. During the second year, we drafted legislation to further deregulate commercial insurance products, secured bill sponsors, and successfully lobbied the passage of legislation that deregulated general liability, property, multiple-peril and commercial automobile insurance policies. Our lobbying efforts resulted in national insurance trade publications, such as A.M. Best, calling this legislation the beginning of a significant shift away from burdensome rate regulation in Florida.