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Florida League of Cities recognizes 36 lawmakers as Home Rule champions

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida League of Cities is recognizing 36 Florida lawmakers for their dedication to ensuring home rule powers of local governments.

Home rule allows local cities and counties to function with limited interference at the state level. Pinellas County area state Sen. Jack Latvala is included in the group. The League of Cities had previously announced that and two other lawmakers, state Sen. Chris Smith and state Rep. George Moraitis, were awarded the League of Cities Defender of Home Rule Award.

The League announced Monday two representatives earned the “Freshman Honors.” Those are state Rep. Danny Burgess of Zephyrhills and Bobby DuBose of Fort Lauderdale.

The rest of the list includes recipients of the Legislative Appreciation Awards.

“On behalf of Florida’s 411 cities and the thousands of municipal officials, both elected and appointed, the Florida League of Cities and its lobbying team are proud to recognize these home rule advocates for their continued support,” said Florida League of Cities Legislative Director Scott Dudley. “We believe the government closest to the people should make the decisions that affect the quality of life of the citizens they have been elected to represent. We owe these hardworking legislators a great deal of thanks.”

The list includes Tampa Bay area state Reps. Dwight Dudley, Kathleen Peters and Greg Steube as well as state Sen. Arthenia Joyner. Representatives honored from throughout the state include Janet Adkins, Michael Bileca, Matt Caldwell, Daphne Campbell, Fred Costello, Travis Cummings, Jose Felix Diaz, Dane Eagle, Joe Gellar, Bill Hager, Gayle Harrell, Debbie Mayfield, Mark Pafford, Cary Pigman, Bobby Powell, Sharon Pritchett, Hazelle Rogers, Richard Stark and Charlie Stone.

The lawmakers were recognized because the League of Cities considered them those “who advocate on behalf of the League and its member cities time after time.” In a press release the League wrote those lawmakers either voted in support of League positions, worked to prevent preemptions or unfunded mandates or rallied support for League positions.

The League of Cities was founded in 1922 as a “united voice for Florida’s municipal governments.” The group promotes local self-government and seeks to serve the needs of Florida’s cities.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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