Senator Paula Dockery – has proven o be a champion for the taxpayers of Florida, skillfully marshalling bi-partisan consensus for legislation of significant impact to Floridians. A University of Florida B.A. and M.A. alumna, Senator Dockery worked in the insurance industry before focusing her leadership skills on a career in public service. Elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1996, she served as State Representative for six years in the positions of House Majority Whip, Chair of the Environmental Protection Committee and Chair of General Government Appropriations. Elected to Senate District 15 in 2002 and subsequently re-elected, Senator Dockery has served twice as Senate Majority Whip and is currently in her second assignment as Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee.
Senator Dockery’s success in establishing significant environmental policy began in the House, where she was the primary sponsor of the Florida Forever Act, which succeeded Preservation 2000 to become the popular land acquisition program for the preservation of environmentally sensitive lands for this decade. Named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine for the creation of the Water Sustainability and Protection Act (SB 444), she showcased her ability to bring diverse groups together to reach a common goal. SB 444 provided model legislation for the country by reaching consensus on critical policy for Florida’s water supply while considering the needs of the environmental and agricultural communities, developers, water management districts, and local governments. Senator Dockery also contributed the solar energy systems incentive component to the Florida Energy Act of 2006
A stalwart defender of law enforcement and public safety, Senator Dockery shepherded to passage the Anti-Murder Act of 2007, which created a system for identifying potentially dangerous probation violators, requiring them to return to jail until the court determines whether they pose a danger to the community. Appointed to serve as the Vice Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures Transportation Committee for the 2008-2009 Conference year, she worked on research for potential legislation affecting multi-modal transportation, including railroads, air, water and motor vehicles. For the past two years, Senator Dockery has assembled and led a bipartisan coalition to defeat costly rail liability legislation intended to benefit a corporate special interest at great taxpayer expense.
Senator Dockery has received over 70 awards of appreciation during her tenure in both the House and Senate from Environmental groups such as Audubon, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, Florida Oceans Alliance and Trust for Public Lands; Agricultural groups such as Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Cattleman’s Association and Florida Forestry Association; Business groups such as Florida Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Florida, Associated Builders and Contractors and the Florida Ports Council and Governmental groups such as Florida Association of Counties, Florida League of Cities, School District of Osceola County and Florida Parks and Recreation Association.
She is a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and resides in Lakeland with her husband of 20 years, C.C. “Doc” Dockery.
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