SEFA Commits up to $3,000 to Florida Drycleaning Coalition
Over the past three years, due to a shortfall in the general budget, the Florida State legislature has taken money from various trust funds to cover the shortfall. The drycleaners clean-up fund lost in excess of $11,000,000!
Recently, Lang and Kevin Houston of Cocoa met with the speaker of the house concerning the return of the funds that had been raided. He indicated that there was a possibility of success, but the industry would have to meet with the Appropriations Chairman and the members of the committee to make the case.
Recently, Fred McCormack, the Florida Drycleaners Coalition’s Lobbyist passed away. His loss is a major setback for the Coalition, but fortunately Greg Myers knows a well connected Lobbyist from the Lakeland area that has agreed to take up our cause and represent the industry in our fight to return the funds that were inappropriately confiscated from the clean-up fund. He has agreed to work on the same cost as the previous firm.
David Shepp, the FDC’s new Lobbyist had a meeting on March 23 with Greg Myers, Wash Respess, Lang Houston, Keith Houston, Rick Miller, Brett O’Brien, Connie O’Brien, Doug Levan, Jim Groshans, and Nick Albergo. He explained that this was going to be a tough effort, but we could be successful in time. He proposed the strategy of looking for the legislature to return the funds over a three-year span to ease the burden and increase the likelihood of success. He also cautioned that this may take longer than just this year, and we may be looking at a protracted battle. He also disclosed that he had already set-up individual meetings with 10 legislators over the course of the next day that we were invited to attend.
We spent the next full-day meeting with those legislators with some very good results. The last meeting of the day, with Ben Allbritton, the Appropriations Chair, proved to be the most discouraging. He indicated that it would be tough to find the money this year, but we feel there was a door left open for next year, but we are determined to try and get this done in this session. If you know a legislator that can help, or if you have some insight that you could share, please let us know by contacting Peter Blake at the SEFA Office: 877-707-7332. We need everyone’s help if we are to be successful.
We need everyone’s help & support
The drycleaners that have been spearheading this effort have all been playing their own way and have been funding the lobbyist on their own, but this is costly.
The Florida Drycleaners Coalition needs money to continue funding the lobbyist and to help solidify the return of $11,000,000 to all the cleaners in Florida. The money should never have been taken, and we need your help to ensure its return.
SEFA understand the need for this effort, and supports our members and the industry in its efforts. For the first $3,000 that comes in to the Drycleaners Coalition, SEFA will match them dollar for dollar up to the $3,000 threshold.
Please send what you can: $50, $100,00 or more to:
FDC, 901 South Florida Ave, Lakeland, FL 33803.
2015 Drycleaner's Compliance Calendar can be found here
2014 Drycleaner's Compliance Calendar can be found here.