State and Local Advocacy

BGR Group stands out among Washington, D.C.-based firms with its robust bipartisan state and local government relations offering. BGR’s State and Local Advocacy team is experienced in designing, implementing, and executing multi-state advocacy campaigns, including direct lobbying, recruiting local partners, and maximizing participation in state and local government associations to achieve a client’s goals.

As Democratic and Republican-led states take divergent approaches to policy priorities, BGR employs a bipartisan, team-oriented approach to advocate on complex issues at the state and local levels. These include decisions impacting economic development, transportation and infrastructure, health care and drug pricing, technology, education, workforce training, energy and environmental standards, cybersecurity, and public safety. Through tailored advocacy strategies, our team offers a wide variety of client services including:

  • Legislative and Executive Lobbying;
  • Passing and Defeating Legislation;
  • Building Client Reputational and Brand Awareness;
  • Negotiating State and Local Incentives;
  • Issue Monitoring and Policy Analysis;
  • Local Coalition Development and Lobbyist Management;
  • Political Intelligence and Fundraising;
  • Activating State and Local Support to Drive Federal Advocacy Efforts.

The BGR State and Local Advocacy Team

BGR’s bipartisan team supports and scales state and local government relations efforts across the broad spectrum of stakeholders, including:

BGR Austin Office     Governors   Attorneys General   Mayors   State Legislatures

BGR Austin Office

BGR opened an office in Austin, Texas, in 2018 to help advantage clients pursuing business opportunities in a state that produces 9 percent of U.S. GDP and is growing faster than the nation. Drawing upon deep ties and decades of experience within Texas, BGR has a proven track record of helping clients grow market share by leveraging relationships inside state executive agencies and providing expertise on legislative policy. The team is skilled at outreach to every corner of the state, including the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker, State agencies, members of the legislature, county leaders, as well as members of the Texas Congressional delegation on both sides of the aisle in Washington, DC.

The Austin office is led by Jerry Strickland, who served the State of Texas for 15 years, most recently as Governor Greg Abbott’s appointee to lead the Office of State-Federal Relations, where he ran Texas’s federal affairs office and was the lead advisor to the Governor on federal issues. In addition, Halie Daniels, a Senior Associate in BGR’s Austin office, served as a Texas Assistant Attorney General. In this role, Halie represented the State of Texas, including the Governor, Attorney General, and various State agencies.

The team’s work includes representing clients in a variety of industries, including oil & gas, semiconductors, commerce, cybersecurity, transportation, healthcare, mental health, trade, and waterways. Working with a leading international semiconductor company, BGR’s Texas office recently led the location selection, incentives negotiations and infrastructure improvement agreements with state, county, city, and school district officials. The project is approved for a $200+ million tax incentive and is the largest, one-time investment for semiconductor manufacturing in the United States and the largest foreign-direct investment in Texas history.

Governors

As CEOs of their states, governors set budget and policy priorities and appoint cabinet agency personnel that shape the state’s business climate and impact critical issues such as transportation, education and workforce, Medicaid, and public safety. Governors are eager to compete with each other especially when it comes to driving policy innovations and recruiting business to their states. From a political standpoint, Governors are widely recognized as the future national leaders whether as President, cabinet officials, or members of Congress. BGR’s longstanding reputation provides our clients with direct opportunities to engage Governors, senior staff, and executive agencies on legislation, regulations, executive actions, and other priority in-state business issues.  BGR’s bipartisan team also helps clients maximize the benefits of membership in organizations such as the National Governors Association (NGA), Republican Governors Association (RGA), and Democratic Governors Association (DGA).

Attorneys General

As chief legal advisors of their states, an Attorney General’s focus includes civil enforcement of state laws, most often in the form of complex anti-trust or consumer protection lawsuits. Each state Attorney General provides legal advice and counsel to state agencies and state legislatures.  Additionally, Attorney General offices often conduct criminal investigations involving white-collar crime, Medicaid fraud, or human-trafficking. Often overlooked or avoided by business leaders, Attorney General offices are important political stakeholders to engage with on the front-end to prevent or mitigate expensive litigation on the back end.  Engagement with these offices requires both a robust team, with an understanding of how each office operates, as well as a well-developed and targeted engagement plan. The bipartisan BGR State Attorneys General practice specializes in direct and association outreach to help clients build relationships and achieve desired results. The BGR team has direct relationships with the AGs themselves as well as the executive staff that supports the day-to-day workings of the offices. We are active in the key associations where AGs share policy ideas such as the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), National Association of Attorneys Genera (NAAG), and Attorney General Alliance (AGA).

Mayors

Mayors sit at the intersection of policy and politics, local governing, implementing federal programs and funding, and influencing the debate in Washington and state capitols across the country. Mayors have received an uptick in pass-through federal funding which circumvents the state and sends funding directly to cities to expedite the deployment of broadband, infrastructure projects, and vital local priorities that are clearly seen by the public. Through individual relationships and association engagement, including the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors and African American Mayors Association (AAMA), the BGR Team is well-positioned to support clients in building brand awareness, identifying market opportunities, and shaping policy.

State Legislatures

Nearly 30 percent of the state legislative seats are held by newcomers following the 2022 elections, including the highest percentage of female legislators in our nation’s history. While many high-profile national issues break down along partisan lines, across the country, there are many consistent topics across partisan lines, including economic development, workforce shortages, and health care costs. And with the economy relatively stable and some federal pandemic, infrastructure, and CHIPs funds still unspent, many legislatures are creating new programs, passing tax cuts, or investing in long under-resourced priorities. The legislative and appropriations process in multiple states can be difficult to navigate without the right expertise and coverage. Whether it’s direct lobbying, legislative monitoring and tracking, or preparing and testifying on legislation, the BGR team has the experience and understanding to provide effective counsel and strategy. BGR works with our clients to directly engage legislative leaders as well as engage with the leading organizations where legislators convene such as the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Republican State Legislative Committee (RSLC), New Deal Democrats, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and Women In Government (WIG) to ensure their voice is heard.

In addition, our bipartisan team directly engages lieutenant governors, secretaries of state, county, tribal and public safety officials throughout the country. Moreover, BGR works with our clients build and deepen relationships with future candidates on both sides of the aisle. BGR helps clients develop strategic relationships with state and local officials, key business and labor/workforce leaders, and trusted local partners where we can leverage each audience’s unique voice and political clout into a coordinated campaign to favorably advance your priorities.