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Nearly $40 million was spent to lobby Florida lawmakers in the first three months

Firms faced a deadline this month to file reports about their compensation from January through March, a period that included most of the first half of the annual legislative session.
Lobbyists like smart phones. Here they are on the fourth floor rotunda of the Florida Capitol in the final stretch of the 2019 legislative session. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
Lobbyists like smart phones. Here they are on the fourth floor rotunda of the Florida Capitol in the final stretch of the 2019 legislative session. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
Published May 28, 2019

TALLAHASSEE -- Lobbying the Legislature is big business. During the first three months of the year, companies, local governments and other clients paid an estimated $37.4 million to lobbying firms for legislative work, according to state numbers.

Lobbying firms are required to file quarterly reports that offer a picture of how much they get paid. The numbers aren’t exact because firms largely report their income in ranges, though specific information is available about payments of $50,000 or more.

RELATED COVERAGE: Florida House: These were the 9 most-lobbied bills during the legislative session

Florida lawmakers received record contributions before session. So who gave the most?

Firms faced a deadline this month to file reports about their compensation from January through March, a period that included most of the first half of the annual legislative session. Here are the firms that pulled in the most money for legislative lobbying during the quarter and a list of large payments from clients:

FIRMS REPORTING COMPENSATION OF $1 MILLION OR MORE:

· Ballard Partners

· Capital City Consulting LLC

· GrayRobinson PA

· Greenberg Traurig PA

· Ronald L. Book PA

· Rubin, Turnbull & Associates

· Southern Strategy Group

FIRMS REPORTING COMPENSATION OF $500,000 TO $999,999:

· Becker & Poliakoff PA

· Corcoran & Johnston

· Floridian Partners LLC

· Johnson & Blanton

· Metz Husband & Daughton PA

· Smith Bryan & Myers Inc.

· The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners LLC

· The Mayernick Group LLC

FIRMS REPORTING COMPENSATION OF $250,000 TO $499,999:

· Anfield Consulting

· Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

· Colodny Fass

· Dean Mead

· Gunster Yoakley & Stewart PA

· Heffley & Associates

· Holland & Knight LLP

· Hopping Green & Sams PA

· Larry J. Overton & Associates Inc.

· McGuireWoods Consulting LLC

· Peebles, Smith & Matthews, Inc.

· Pittman Law Group PL

· PooleMcKinley

· Ramba Consulting Group LLC

· RutledgeEcenia PA

· The Fiorentino Group

· The Legis Group

PAYMENTS OF $50,000 OR MORE TO LOBBYING FIRMS:

· Amscot Financial, Inc.: $51,000 paid to Metz Husband & Daughton PA.

· AshBritt: $135,000 paid to Ronald L. Book PA.

· Auto Tag Management Group: $89,000 paid to Ronald L. Book PA.

· Automated Healthcare Solutions: $50,000 paid to Ballard Partners.

· Charter Schools USA: $65,000 paid to Tripp Scott PA.

· Citizens for Responsible Pet Ownership: $75,000 paid to Ronald L. Book PA.

· FCCI Insurance Group: $50,000 paid to Leath Consulting.

· Florida Municipal Broadband Alliance: $60,000 paid to Peebles, Smith & Matthews, Inc.

· Fontainebleau Florida Hotel, LLC: $63,000 paid to Corcoran & Johnston.

· HCA Healthcare: $56,000 paid to Rubin, Turnbull & Associates.

· K.A.S. & Associates, Inc.: $200,000 paid to Ronald L. Book PA.

· Miami Project/Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis: $55,000 paid to Ronald L. Book PA.

· MorseLife: $50,000 paid to Floridian Partners LLC.

· Performance Title Services: $130,000 paid to Ronald L. Book PA.

· Polaris: $60,000 paid to Southern Strategy Group.

· Seminole Tribe of Florida: $55,000 paid to Greenberg Traurig PA.

· Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics, Inc.: $84,000 paid to Ballard Partners.

· Small County Coalition: $165,000 paid to Robert P. Jones & Associates.

· State Farm Florida Insurance Co: $50,000 paid to Tripp Scott PA.

· Sunfest Herbs LLC: $50,000 paid to Ballard Partners.

· The SEED Foundation, Inc.: $61,000 paid to Ronald L. Book PA.

· The Vestcor Companies, Inc.: $69,000 paid to Southern Strategy Group.

· Title Clerk Consulting Company, LLC: $160,000 paid to Ronald L. Book PA.

· U.S. Stem Cell, Inc.: $90,000 paid to Rubin, Turnbull & Associates.

SOURCE: Florida lobbyist registration and compensation website.