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Builders and contractors name Alan Hays, Jack Latvala, and Keith Perry as Legislators of the Year

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Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida, the state’s largest construction industry trade association, honored three Republicans as its 2015 Legislators of the Year.

On Friday, ABC recognized state Sens. Alan Hays from Umatilla and Jack Latvala from Clearwater and state Rep. Keith Perry from Gainesville for their sponsorship and passage of Senate Bill 778 – known as the Local Government Construction Preferences Bill.

SB 778 preempts local construction preference ordinances if 50 percent or more of state funds are used to pay for a project. The Senate version added language clarifying that when local governments determining the percentage of state funds, calculations can only include funds appropriated when the bid is released.

“These legislators share ABC’s core values of free enterprise, reasonable regulations, and a competitive marketplace for business,” said Ingram Enterprises President Gary Stout, who serves as 2015 ABC of Florida Chair. “Senate Bill 778 ensures that when the state contributes the majority of funding for a public construction project through taxpayer dollars, that taxpayers from across the state have the opportunity to fairly compete for that work.”

ABC of Florida is the largest commercial construction association in Florida, with five chapters throughout the state and more than 2,500 member companies. It is part of a national organization of nearly 70 chapters and 21,000 members.

“Historically, ABC awards the Legislator of the Year designation to those individuals who acted as bill sponsors on successful legislation or to those individuals who, through their exceptional efforts, helped ABC’s priorities cross the finish line,” said ABC of Florida Chief Counsel Rick Watson.  “We are truly grateful to Senators Hays and Latvala and Representative Perry for their tireless efforts on behalf of ABC and Senate Bill 778 this session.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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