News Herald explores the role of lobbyists and relationships in successful legislation

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The News Herald explored the layer of political behavior often left untold in civics books: where ideas for legislation come from, who writes the language, and how lawmakers become bill sponsors — and selected a piece of pet legislation (literally) that has reached the finish line in both the House and Senate this Session as an example of what makes for successful advocacy over time.

SB 674 by Sen. Bill Montford and HB 997, sponsored by Rep. Travis Cummings and co-sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Patronis, regard the collection and reporting of data from animal shelters — reviewed last week on this blog as well.

The News Herald dug deeper, looking at both the history of this measure over time and discussing the role of one determined lobbyist — Juan Mixon — in seeing through its successful passage, working pro bono in behalf of the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs as well as in the interest of his firm’s other client, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association.

This is the third year this bill has been filed, and the News Herald analysis considers how modifications to the language and fiscal impact have evolved, in addition to the mix of sponsors and co-sponsors it has drawn.  It provides a solid case study on the power of relationships, timing and doggedness (can’t help myself) in political advocacy.