From your lobbyist
Mary Anne Sherman
The LWVF legislative presence in Tallahassee for the 1977 session began in November, 1976, with LWV observers at interim committee meetings. Mid-March, lobbysit Mary Anne Sherman, LWVF vice president, moved to Tallahassee full time. Rep. Helen Gordon Davis, former state board member, loaned the lWV the use of her apartment until the League office/apartment was available two weeks later. The LWV suite consisted of a modest one-bedroom apartment in the basement of a building within walking distance of the Capitol-- all uphill.
Each week a different state board member and oen or two local League lobbying in terms joined Mary Anne in the apartment to carry on LWV activities for the week. A "Legislative Update" was sent to each local League president and legislative action chairperson by the lobbying team on an approximately weekly basis.
League priorities were supported and other areas of LWV concern were acted on as time permitted. Two major innovations in the LWVF legislative program this year were the lobbying internships for local League members and the appropriations priority area.
--and the $5 per diem lobbyist enjoyed the work tremendously!
Thank you to all the local Leagues which responded with action on the fee schedule for Title XX child care centers. The governor decided on June 13 to approve the LWV- recommended schedule with a maximum charge of $12 a week for a child of a "working poor" family, down from the current fee maximum of $30! Unfortunately the legislature did not increase the amount of money that could be used to expand child care services; League members may wish to monitor the demand for Title XX child care in their counties to see if LWVF should lobby for additional funds for child care next year.
Many thanks to the people who came to Tallahassee as lobbyists during the 1977 session:
Betty Metcalf, Shirly Hayes, Ametta Brown, Florence Neidig, Marilyn Crotty, Lolly Kempton, Pat Richardson and Fran Boudolf-- all from the state board. Also Wilma Felder (Metro-Dad), Karen Minerva and Katie Nichols (Tallahassee), and Jeanne Crampton (Clearwater).
Our invaluable interns included Roxy Dear (Metro-Dade), Teddie Jo Ryan (Clay), Kay Larche and Carolyn Huckshorn (South Palm Bech), Cynthia Brubaker and Sara Howze (South Brevard) and Mary Ann Ely (Broward).
Thanks also for special help by Mary Byrkit and Marilyn Daly (Clearwater), and Paula Ellingrud (South Brevard) for their time during legislative seminars and for volunteer slave labor for E.R.A. by Elise Webb, Judy Blankenship and Sheila Andrews of Alachua Co./ Gainesville.
We also really appreciate the help from those members who helped furnish our apartment/office including Joanne Booth, Eleanore Moore and Ora Kromhout of Tallahassee and Ametta Bornw of St. Petersburg. The loan of those necessities and "extras" were really helpful.
The letters, telegrams, and telephone calls from local Leagues to their delegations on LWV priorities were also essential to the LWV legislative program. The fulltime lobbyist also wishes to express her deep gratitude to pat Richardson for the homemade cookies she sent to Tallahassee mid-session.
Published bi-monthly by the League of Women Voters of Florida and the League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund. Lois C. Harrison, President; Pat Richardson, Editor. Second Class Postage paid at office of publication, 1912 Bonita Way S., St. Petersburg, FL 33712. Subscription fee $1.50 per year; 25 cents per copy.
Address all inquiries to CIRCULATION OFFICE: LWVF, 1035-S South Florida Av., Lakeland, FL 33803
POSTMASTER: Please send FORM 3579 to LWVF, 1035-S South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33803
This chart is a summary of bills and items in the budget of the State of Florida that were priorities for the League of Women Voters of Florida during the 1977 legislative sessions. Bill numbers are indicated where relevant. In some cases there was more than one bill on the same topic and in other cases the bills were introduced in the regular and both special sessions: those bills are identified in the chart by subject matter rather than by number.
STAR = LWV win.
#1 Priority E.R.A.
Equal Rights Amendment
Defeated in Senate 19-21; will continue as LWV top priority
#2 Priority Appropriations Act
A. Child care licensing implementation (LWV STAR) (FINAL STATUS: 22 positions fundedl not previously funded)
B. Child care: Increase in Title XX for expansion into new counties (FINAL STATUS: No increase funded: current level)
C. Increase in AFDC payments for 79% of unmet need (current) to 85% (FINAL STATUS: Increase to 83% aprpoved. Need calculated on '60 figures. Needs more work.)
D. Air quality control program increase (FINAL STATUS: No increase funded)
E. Drinking water quality increase (FINAL STATUS: No increase funded)
F. Migrant labor programs coordination (LWV STAR) (FINAL STATUS: $206, 164 FUNDING *Last year $152,000)
G. Compensatory education (LWV STAR) (FINAL STATUS: $10 million funding)
#3 Priority Election Laws
SB 563, HB 2144: Omnibus bill containing 30-day closing provision (Pro LMV STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Passed, signed by governor)
HB 1516 Registration at the polls (Pro) (Final Status: Died in committee; waiting on congress)
HB 1955 Voter education pamphlet (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died in committee; possible 1978 action)
HB 1955 Voter Education pamphlet (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died incommitte; possible 1978 action)
SB 298 Nonpartisan election of supervisor of elections (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Passed senate committee; house companion died in house committee)
#4 Priority Tax Structure
HB 864 Tax Study Commission (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died in committee)
HB 208, SB 33 Circuit breaker (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died in committee)
Phosphate severance tax increase (pro STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Increase from 5% to 10% passed)
Elimination of sales tax rebate (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died in committee)
Liquor tax based on value rather than fixed quanitity (pro) (Died on senate floor)
#5 Priority Energy Conservation
HB 453, SB 321 Thermal efficiency standards (pro STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Passed)
HB 492, SB 341 Lighting efficiency standards (pro STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Passed)
HB 578, SB 428 State purchasing policy (pro STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Passed)
HB 868, SB 453 State energy policy (pro STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Passed)
HB 1102, SB 841 Mass transit (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died in committee in both houses)
OTHER: Juvenile Justice
HB 2158 Committee bill rewrite of Ch. 39 (pro/con) (FINAL STATUS: Died on house calendar. Contained automatic waiver opposed by LWV.)
SB 911 Committee bill rewrite of Ch. 39 (pro/con) (FINAL STATUS: Died in senate committee. As above.)
HB 88 Original bill removed confidentiality of records for juveniles (con STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Passed house as CS for HB 88; died on senate calendar. Confidentiality of records restored in committee version.
HB 849 Community Arbitration Program (pro STAR) Passed.
SB 1165, HB 2061 Human Rights Bill (pro STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Passed. Fla. fair empl. practices law.)
HJR 1998 Legis. veto over Constitution Revision Commission report (con STAR) (FINAL STATUS: Passed housel died in senate committee)
HB 2275 Strengthening of enforcement powers of Debt. Community Affairs (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died on house calendar)
HB 2277 Housing (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died on house calendar)
Envir. Qual./ Land Use
Cross Florida Barge Canal; abolish the Canal Authority and estab. pmt. to counties for loss (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died in all sessions)
Mandatory refunds on disposable bottles (pro) (FINAL STATUS: Died in committee)
State Archives of Florida: Series 79, Box 1, Folder 37
A July-August 1977 pamphlet explaining the purpose of the Equal Rights Amendment; a message from lobbyist Mary Anne Sherman; the state program 1977-1979; and highlights from the 1977 convention. Members listed include Fran Boudolf, Ruth Ann Bramson, Arnetta Brown, Roxanna Dear, Deannie Picciotti, Judy Blankenship, Polly Doughty, Jean Martin, Sherry Newman, and Elise Webb.
Passed by Congress in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) proposed that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex." Though 35 states had ratified the ERA by the extended 1982 deadline, it still needed the support of a three-fourths majority, or 38 states, to amend the U.S. Constitution. In Florida, the amendment was introduced or voted on in every legislative session from 1972 until 1982. Though it passed the Florida House of Representatives on several occasions, it never passed the Senate. With the deadline fast approaching, Florida was one of four states to hold a special legislative session to decide on the fate of the ERA in the summer of 1982. While it passed the House (60-58), it again failed in the Senate with a 22-16 vote against ratification. It did not pass any of the other three state legislatures in special session that summer, and the ERA was defeated as a constitutional amendment.