Petrogram - Winter 2011 - (Page 21)
2012 – The Redistricting Session
Were the Mayans Right?
population since the last official census, which is extremely intensive in terms of time dedicated to the task as well as politically. The legislature has already invested months of work holding public hearings across the state. However, this is merely the beginning. During the session, legislators will need to approve new district boundaries that are compliant with Constitutional amendments 5 and 6 (approved during the last general election) and must ultimately pass judicial scrutiny. The pressure to get the redistricting process approved in a timely manner is paramount. That is why the session convenes in January this year instead of March—to provide the additional time necessary to have the district maps approved so that legislators will know which district they will be running for and be able meet the candidate filing deadline next July. This leaves very little time for error. Unlike the last redistricting session that occurred in 2002, legislators will need to spend a significant amount of time and effort addressing yet another budget deficit—unlike the federal government and many other states, Florida’s constitution prohibits deficit spending. Last session, legislators cut nearly $4 billion from the state budget to address revenue shortfalls associated with what economists had hoped was the tail end of the economic recession. However, over the summer, state economists projected that state revenues will be insufficient to carry the state through the current fiscal year, but that revenues will continue to come in far short of previous estimates, which will again force the legislature to make significant cuts to programs and services or possibly eliminate some altogether. The continuing fiscal malady will again put the state’s trust funds in the budgetcutting crosshairs. The Inland Protection Trust Fund (IPTF), which provides the revenues necessary to fund cleanups of petroleum discharges, remains one of the largest trust funds established by the state. While other trust funds have been continually swept in order to plug holes in the budget, the IPTF has historically been one of the most well-protected funds, often generating more than $200 million each year. However, as legislators become entrenched in the myriad issues of the 2012 Session and then turn their focus on the 2012 elections, it will be up to FPMA as the voice of the industry to support the continuing integrity of the program. ❍ Mike Huey is general counsel for FPMA. He has been engaged in the area of petroleum marketing law for over 30 years. Mike is a partner in the statewide law firm of GrayRobinson and practices in the Tallahassee office. His phone number is 850-577-9090 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Todd Steibly is a Government Consultant in the Tallahassee office of GrayRobinson. His phone number is 850-577-9090 and his email address is email@example.com.
J. Michael Huey, Esq.
Todd C. Steibly, Government Consultant
early 4,000 years ago, the ancient Mayan Civilization devised a calendar that continues to baffle modern-day historians and scientists with its complexity and accuracy. It has been described as the most accurate calendar that the world has ever known, foretelling significant turning points in human history. Troubling to some historians is that the Mayan calendar abruptly ends in the year 2012, and many espouse the idea that the calendar’s end predicts the “end of time.” With the fateful 2012 Redistricting Session rapidly approaching, should we also jump on the prophetic bandwagon to infer that the coming session will result in some cataclysmic event? Probably not. While the upcoming session will be filled with major issues, including the once-per-decade redistricting process and what could ultimately be a $2.5 billion budget deficit, Florida has successfully gone through the redistricting process several times throughout its history while simultaneously addressing tenuous issues of the day. However, that is not to say that a little hell, fire and brimstone won’t be peppered in throughout the session— just not of the apocalyptic variety. Each decade, following the decennial census, the Florida Legislature redraws congressional, state and local district boundaries to reapportion the
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Winter 2011
FPMA Salutes Its Patron Members
Insurance Issues: Fire Prevention
Advertisers’ Centerspead Marketplace
Regulatory and Legislative Update and Trends
Enviro Corner: Strategic Planning
Remember that Old Out-of-Date Word: Eligibility?
Out & About the Industry
Work Smart, Win Big on Property Taxes
Barrister’s Counsel 2012 – The Redistricting Session:
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Petrogram - Winter 2011