Three state lawmakers have been recognized by the Florida League of Cities for their dedication to ensuring localities are able to function without too much state interference.
Among the recipients is Pinellas County state Sen. Jack Latvala. He is one of three recipients of the League of Cities Defender of Home Rule Award.
Fort Lauderdale state Sen. Chris Smith and state Rep. George Moraitis were also awarded.
“Florida’s cities are grateful for the consistent support provided by Senator Latvala, Senator Smith and Representative Moraitis. These lawmakers respect the important role local government plays in the lives of Floridians and we are truly honored they stand tall in Tallahassee for local taxpayers,” said Florida League of Cities Legislative Director Scott Dudley.
According to a press release from the League of Cities, Latvala was recognized as one of this year’s recipients because he “believes the level of government closest to the people is best equipped to address the problems and concerns of citizens in the local community.”
The Florida League of Cities previously recognized Latvala in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Moraitis was awarded for his commitment to a couple of issues this year. One of those involved regulated “sober homes” where people coming out of rehab were sent to continue recovery. The unregulated homes were becoming a nuisance in South Florida and Moraitis acted in favor of a bill to regulate the homes to help cities battle the problem.
The League of Cities said Smith was recognized for his work on reaching a compromise on legislation helping local governments use local preference ordinances for public construction projects.
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.