2019 GOLDEN ROTUNDA AWARDS
LOBBYIST OF THE
From increasing school safety to working to reduce prescription drug costs, Ron LaFace had a hand in some of the biggest issues of the 2019 Legislative Session. An owner of Capital City Consulting, LaFace is considered an expert in everything from insurance and education to transportation and taxes. And he’s the go-to guy when clients need something done. “It means a lot to (Capital City Consulting) that Ron is receiving some well-deserved recognition for all his years of hard work,” said Nick Iarossi, the other owner of Capital City Consulting. LaFace was involved in several hot-button issues, including legislation to implement recommendations made by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. Working on behalf of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents and a variety of school districts, LaFace assisted in implementing the most recent recommendations, which included additional mental health resources and an expanded school guardian program. Working in the education arena is a natural fit for LaFace, who worked for the Department of Education while attending law school at Florida State University. And in 2019, education measures were among the most challenging issues LaFace tackled. Take for example a push to require school districts to share referendum revenue with charter schools. The referendums are approved for a four-year period, and revenues are used to hire new teachers or begin new programs authorized by the voters. The revenue sharing proposal was a top priority in the House, and some legislative leaders wanted referendum revenue sharing to begin in July 2019. That move would have meant many school districts around the state would have had to 92 | INFLUENCE WINTER 2020
PHOTO: Mary Beth Tyson
begin revenue sharing in the middle of the four-year period. LaFace and his team, along with a variety of other interested groups, fought to make sure that wouldn’t happen. In the final days of the 2019 session, language was added that stipulated the revenue sharing would go into effect when a referendum went back to the voters. Education wasn’t the only big challenge LaFace took on in 2019. He worked on a variety of healthcare issues, including initiatives aimed at reducing prescription drug prices and improving health-related transportation. And with another healthcare-focused
Session on the horizon, look for LaFace to continue to be involved in efforts to curb prescription drug prices and increase the availability of ambulance services for those in need. “Grind is what separates Ron from every other lobbyist in the Capitol. No one will outwork him. He’s not flashy, you don’t see him coming,” said Iarossi. “What you see is the “result of his in-the-trenches’ style at the end of Session. He’s wildly successful because he knows the issues better than anyone else and then works into the wee hours every night.”
Featuring Florida’s Politicians of the Year for 2019.