Government Relations

Severe budget cuts, the end of earmarked funding and a significant decrease in government funding opportunities have made effective legislative, regulatory and policy advocacy critical for those competing for resources.
As public and private entities attempt to operate in this new environment, Best Best & Krieger LLP is helping them navigate the challenges, influence policy and get their voices heard and respected.

An Unrivaled Team
Recognizing that public policy matters involve a complex mix of legal, legislative and regulatory considerations, often at multiple levels of government, BB&K’s Government Relations team is structured as a multi-disciplinary, bi-partisan group. We bring together legislative advocates, policy advisors, subject matter-focused attorneys and litigators who skillfully manage the interplay of laws, policies, regulations, economic circumstances and competing interests to promote and protect our clients’ position. Our model enables clients to rely on one integrated team to devise creative solutions and move their issues through Congress, federal and state agencies and the legal system. Further, it assures that we have all the bases covered.
Team members have held high-ranking positions in the White House, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, at the Federal Communications Commission and at the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as in state government, industry trade and local government advocacy organizations, and in the private sector. We see both sides of issues, readily identify hurdles and overcome them. With decades of experience, longstanding relationships with government leaders and a deep knowledge across many disciplines, including politics, government, business, law and science, BB&K’s Government Relations professionals are respected and highly effective. This holds true even in heavily regulated areas such as telecommunications, water and environmental and natural resources matters generally — all areas where we have extensive experience.

Our Services
BB&K’s Government Relations team synthesizes, distills and presents our clients’ positions on complex public policy issues to decision makers. We devise innovative funding techniques and help clients develop actionable goals and implement strategic legislative action plans. Additionally, we assist clients by:

  • Enhancing client relationships with federal and state officials, staff and administrators
  • Advising on the development of legislative positions and priorities
  • Protecting clients’ interests potentially affected by changing laws, regulations and policies
  • Identifying projects and programs eligible for federal or state funding, assisting in securing funds and grants and facilitating the process
  • Communicating and advocating our clients’ interests to elected representatives, key committee members, agencies and other individuals, as needed, garnering their support and resolving conflicts, issues and concerns
  • Monitoring and analyzing existing and proposed legislative and regulatory actions, policies, programs and initiatives throughout their development and implementation
  • Advising on and representing clients at legislative, executive branch, regulatory meetings and hearings and preparing clients to testify
  • Handling strategic communications with those in government, the media and the public

As a nationally recognized leader on water issues and environmental and natural resources issues generally, BB&K has worked on all of the major national environmental legislation, successfully advocated for new laws and obtained unprecedented funding for client projects.

How Can Government Relations Help You?

Environmental, water, telecommunications and transportation projects by both public agencies and businesses can benefit from our advocacy services. Let us help you be heard!

Notable Accomplishments
BB&K’s Government Relations professionals’ achievements for clients include:

  • Helped secure $500,000 in federal funding for water reclamation and reuse projects and studies for the Las Virgenes-Triunfo Joint Powers Authority's Pure Water Project.
  • The only amendment ever to the Federal Clean Water Act for a public agency in Texas, resulting in significant reduction of toxic emissions at a lower cost  
  • $40 million for Title XVI water reclamation for a Northern California city
  • $100 million appropriations for rural water supply in South Dakota
  • $100 million grant for Los Angeles agencies to construct secondary treatment facilities and comply with court and regulatory orders
  • $7.6 million to fund airport project in South Texas
  • $61.6 million from the General Services Administration to be invested in two Texas ports of entry to ease traffic and congestion
  • Secured one of the nation’s largest BTOP telecom grants worth $7.5 million
  • Procured more than $7 million to fund various public safety projects
Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Areas of Focus: Government Policy & Public Integrity | Government Relations | Labor & Employment | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Relations | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Public-Private Partnerships | Water | Water Quality

Syrus Devers

Director of Governmental Affairs

(916) 329-3681

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Relations | Telecommunications

John D. Freshman

Senior Director of Governmental Affairs*

(202) 370-5301

Areas of Focus: Air Quality | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Relations | Hazardous Waste | Water
Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Relations | Municipal Law | Telecommunications
Areas of Focus: Government Relations | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Telecommunications
Areas of Focus: Business | Government Relations | Municipal Law | Real Estate | Telecommunications
Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Relations | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Areas of Focus: Government Relations | Municipal Law | Telecommunications
Legal Alerts Jun 10, 2021

EPA and Army Corps to Propose Repealing and Replacing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule

Legal Filing Asks Court to Remand 2020 Rule Narrowing Scope of Clean Water Act

Legal Alerts May 25, 2021

Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Guidance for NEUs

U.S. Treasury Provides Direction on Distribution to Non-Entitlement Units of Local Government

Legal Alerts May 10, 2021

U.S. Treasury Releases Guidance on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

Six Ways the Funds Can be Used

Press Releases May 03, 2021

Telecommunications Law Attorney Cheryl Leanza Joins BB&K

Based in Washington, D.C., She Brings Extensive Litigation and Advocacy Experience

Legal Alerts Apr 16, 2021

U.S. Treasury Releases New Guidance on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund

Agencies Should Be Aware of Pre-Award Requirements

Legal Alerts Apr 08, 2021

California Small Cell Bill to Severely Limit Local Government Control of Street Lights and Traffic Signal Poles

Oppose SB 556: Hearing Set for April 19

Legal Alerts Mar 11, 2021

COVID-19 Relief Package Provides Substantial Aid to States, Counties and Cities

$1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Federal Relief Package – American Rescue Plan Act

Press Releases Feb 03, 2021

BB&K Office Makes Sacramento Top 10 Law Firm

Sacramento Business Journal’s Annual Law Firm Rankings

Press Releases Sep 15, 2020

BB&K Receives High Ranks for Law Firm Diversity

Firm Leadership Renews Commitment to Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Legal Alerts Jun 05, 2020

EPA Issues Final Rule to Narrow Scope and Timelines for State Water Quality Certifications

Changes to Clean Water Act Section 401 Certifications

BB&K Webinar Jun 03, 2020

Leveraging CDBG-CV and Other Federal Funding Grant Opportunities for COVID-19 Response

BB&K Free Webinar

Press Releases May 04, 2020

Two BB&K Attorneys Among JD Supra Top Authors List

Housing Webinar by Partners Ruben Duran and Michael Maurer Among Most Popular Posts

Legal Alerts Apr 23, 2020

Fourth COVID-19 Federal Relief Package

Paycheck Protection Program, Small Business Administration Disaster Loans and Health Care Funding

BB&K Webinar Apr 22, 2020

Part Two: Leveraging FEMA and Other Federal Grant Funding Opportunities for COVID-19 Response

BB&K Free Webinar

Legal Alerts Apr 20, 2020

Final Rule Narrowing Clean Water Act Jurisdiction to be Published Tomorrow

EPA and Army Corps of Engineers New “Waters of the U.S.” Definition Takes Effect on June 22*

BB&K Webinar Apr 07, 2020

Leveraging FEMA and Other Federal Grant Funding Opportunities for COVID-19 Response

BB&K Free Webinar

Legal Alerts Mar 27, 2020

Third Federal Funding Bill Provides $2.2 Trillion for COVID-19 Impacts

The Legislation’s Key Provisions for Public Agencies and Local Governments

Legal Alerts Mar 17, 2020

Three Federal Actions to Address COVID-19

How These New Measures Impact Businesses, Public Agencies and Employees

Legal Alerts Mar 10, 2020

The EPA’s National Water Reuse Action Plan

Joint Plan Aims to Meet Rising Water Demands

Client Successes Feb 11, 2020

BB&K Team Helps Secure $325 Million in Border Water Projects

USMCA and Federal Funds to Address Pollution Problem

Press Releases Feb 06, 2020

BB&K Sacramento Office Earns High Ranking

Sacramento Business Journal’s Annual Law Firm Survey

Legal Alerts Feb 03, 2020

Senate Bill 50 Dies in the Senate: Now What?

The “4-Plex Bill” Meant to Address the Housing Crisis Couldn’t Muster Enough Support

Press Releases Jan 17, 2020

BB&K Partner Andre Monette Testifies Before U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on FISH Act

Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4723

Videos Oct 10, 2019

[WEBINAR] Navigating California’s New Regulations for Wetlands and State Waters

BB&K Webinar

Legal Alerts Sep 03, 2019

California Issues the Nation’s Strictest Notice Levels for PFAS in Drinking Water

New Response Thresholds and Regulations in the Works for Public Water Suppliers

Videos Jul 29, 2019

[WEBINAR] Innovative Partnerships to Overcome Housing Challenges in Communities

BB&K Webinar

Videos Jul 12, 2019

[WEBINAR] Focusing on the “US” in HoUSing: Merging Housing, Transportation, Incentives and Community

BB&K Webinar

Press Releases Jul 08, 2019

BB&K Ranked No. 202 on NLJ Largest Law Firms

Growth Attributed to a Niche Public Law Focus and Great Results

Press Releases May 13, 2019

BB&K One of 200 Largest Law Firms in the U.S.

Law360 Annual Ranking Reflects Firm’s Continued Recent Growth

Authored Articles & Publications Apr 30, 2019

"California Water," Third Edition

Eric Garner’s Updates to Text on Historical, Legal and Policy Issues Affecting California Water Use

BB&K In the News Feb 27, 2019

American Lawyer Discusses BB&K Growth Last Year

Firm Expands to Meet Client Demand

Press Releases Jan 30, 2019

BB&K a Top 10 Law Firm in Sacramento

Sacramento Business Journal’s 2019 List of Largest Area Law Firms

Press Releases Dec 19, 2018

Cities’ Struggles to Meet Obligations Are Real — BB&K Municipal Law Team Grows to Help

New and Expanded Services and More Attorneys and Staff Added in 2018

Press Releases Dec 17, 2018

BB&K Welcomes Water and Environmental Partner Lowry Crook

Served Senior Positions with the Army Corps of Engineers and the White House

Client Successes Dec 14, 2018

Government Relations Team Gets Passage of Federal Legislation for Local Agency

John Freshman and Ana D. Schwab Advocated on Behalf of RCRCD

Press Releases Oct 01, 2018

BB&K Attorney Todd Leishman Testifies Before Congress on Sober Living Home Regulations

Expresses Need for Local Regulation of Recovery Businesses

Legal Alerts Sep 12, 2018

Proposed FCC Actions Will Limit Local Control and Cut Revenues

Immediate Action Needed — Community Coalition Forming

Legal Alerts Jul 26, 2018

Federal Draft Infrastructure Bill Released

Aims to Provide Revenue to Repair Failing Infrastructure

May 15, 2018

[WEBINAR] Automated Vehicle Pilot Project Risks and Smart Infrastructure

BB&K Webinar

Press Releases May 01, 2018

BB&K Partner Joseph Van Eaton Recognized by Super Lawyers D.C.

Telecommunications Law Veteran Again Earns Spot on Prestigious List

Videos Apr 24, 2018

Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment – The Complex Puzzle of Funding Our Future

The Bill is Due: Now What? Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment

Videos Apr 24, 2018

Is the Road Forward Even a Road? Transportation, Infrastructure and Innovation

The Bill is Due: Now What? Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 16, 2018

Roads of the Future Today

BB&K Attorney Gregory Rodriguez Writes on the Latest Legal and Regulatory Considerations for Autonomous Vehicles in PublicCEO

Authored Articles & Publications Feb 22, 2018

Dockless Disruption: Maximizing Opportunities Through Smart Regulations

BB&K's Gregory Rodriguez and Steven DeBaun Discuss Bikeshare Issues in PublicCEO

Press Releases Feb 14, 2018

Sacramento Business Journal Top Law Firms 2018

BB&K Moves Up Higher on List of Area’s Largest Firms

Legal Alerts Feb 12, 2018

Federal Infrastructure Outline Released

Details Local Agencies Need are Included

Legal Alerts Jan 31, 2018

A Peek Inside the Trump Infrastructure Plan: What Local Government Agencies Should Know

The State of the Union Address and a Leaked Memo Give the Insight We’ve Been Waiting For

Legal Alerts Jan 30, 2018

Red Flags on Wireless: A Recent Resignation Signals Industry-Weighted Regulations Ahead

Local Governments Should Speak Up Now for Local Control

Legal Alerts Nov 02, 2017

Tax Bill Impacts

Immediate, Critical Impacts on State and Local Governments

Nov 01, 2017

[WEBINAR] Tax Reform: What D.C.'s Actions Could Mean for Public Agencies

BB&K Webinar

Legal Alerts Oct 31, 2017

Drones: A Legal and Regulatory Update

Recent White House and Federal Court Action Impacting Future UAS Regulations

Legal Alerts Oct 16, 2017

SB 649 Small Cell Bill Vetoed by California Governor

Victory for Local Governments

Sep 20, 2017

[WEBINAR] Cell Tower and Small Cell Law: A Regulatory and Transactional Primer

BB&K Municipal Law Webinar Series

Authored Articles & Publications Sep 19, 2017

Automated Vehicle Regulatory Challenges: Avoiding Legal Potholes Through Collaboration

Gregory Rodriguez's Article to Supplement his LCC Conference Presentation

Legal Alerts Sep 19, 2017

SB 649 Barely Passes Out of California Legislature

Governor has Until Oct. 15 to Veto Controversial Small Cell Bill

Client Successes Aug 14, 2017

RCTC Secures TIFIA Funds for Important Highway Infrastructure Project

BB&K Advised on $152.2 Million TIFIA Loan

Press Releases Aug 11, 2017

Telecommunications Law Attorney John Gasparini Joins BB&K

Will Serve Clients from our Washington, D.C. Office

Videos Jul 24, 2017

Promoting Public and Private Sector Collaboration in a Driverless World [VIDEO]

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and the Law

Legal Alerts Jun 12, 2017

UPDATE: Real Fight Begins Over SB 649 in California Assembly

Small Cell Bill Curtails Local Discretionary Review and Rates

Press Releases May 25, 2017

Ana D. Schwab Joins BB&K as Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs

Firm’s Government Relations Team Continues to Grow

Legal Alerts May 25, 2017

NO DEAL! SB 649 Passed Out of Appropriations Committee Without Amendment

This Small Cell Bill Curtails Local Discretionary Review and Rates

Client Successes May 15, 2017

BB&K Government Relations Team Helps Client Secure Federal Grant for Water Project

Las Virgenes-Triunfo JPA Pure Water Project Receives Funds

Press Releases Apr 24, 2017

Telecommunications Law Attorney Joseph Van Eaton Selected to Super Lawyers D.C.

Washington, D.C.-Based Partner Recognized for Communications

Legal Alerts Apr 18, 2017

California Small Cell Bill Curtails Local Discretionary Review and Rates

Local Governments Need to Voice Their Concerns Before April 26 Hearing

Legal Alerts Apr 11, 2017

Final California Water Conservation Plan and Proposed Legislation Released

Urban Water Suppliers Face Far-Reaching Consequences

Press Releases Feb 01, 2017

BB&K Again a Top Sacramento Law Firm

Sacramento Business Journal’s 2017 Law Firm List

Legal Alerts Jan 25, 2017

WOTUS Rule on Hold in Sixth Circuit

Challenge to Waters of the U.S. Rule Delayed Pending Supreme Court Review

Legal Alerts Jan 18, 2017

The Trump Infrastructure Plan

How BB&K Can Help Your Agency Position and Respond

Legal Alerts Jan 18, 2017

Waters of the U.S. Rule to Go to Supreme Court

Nation’s High Court Agreed to Hear Challenges to Controversial Rule

Legal Alerts Dec 14, 2016

BB&K Advocacy Brief: Proposition 54 and Local Governments

Is Transparency Law a Game Changer?

Videos Nov 22, 2016

Joseph Byrne Video Bio


Legal Alerts Nov 15, 2016

The Future of U.S. Infrastructure and Local Control Amid Post-Election Uncertainty

Post-Election Opportunities for Local Government Agencies

BB&K In the News Sep 23, 2016

County Counsel Teamwork: The Exide Story

BB&K Part of Team Supporting Clean Up of Former Battery Recycling Site

Legal Alerts Sep 21, 2016

Federal Autonomous Vehicles Policy Released by NHTSA

60-Day Comment Period Provides Important Chance to Have Local Voices Heard

Videos Sep 15, 2016

How are Cities Looking at Water

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Videos Sep 15, 2016

Modern Urban Living in the Dry Age

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Videos Sep 15, 2016

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert: Welcome and Opening Remarks

BB&K's Eric Garner Kicks Off Event

Videos Sep 15, 2016

The Forever Drought

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Videos Sep 15, 2016

Using Nature's Technology in Response to Drought

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Videos Sep 15, 2016

Water and Technology

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Videos Sep 15, 2016

Where Will Water Come From?

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Legal Alerts Jul 20, 2016

California State Water Board Releases Revised Drinking Water Fee Regulations

Public Comments Due July 29th

Legal Alerts Jun 30, 2016

E-Rate Program Proposed Expansion

FCC Looking to Increase Eligibility for Reimbursement

Legal Alerts Jun 27, 2016

HUD Proposes Two New Rules on Broadband Infrastructure and Consolidated Planning

Failure to Comply Could Impact HUD Funding

Legal Alerts Jun 22, 2016

FCC’s Lifeline Order

Opportunities for Public Housing Residents and Local Government Agencies

Press Releases Apr 11, 2016

BB&K Partner Successfully Testifies About Homeless Bill

Marco Martinez Appeared Before California Senate Committee on SB 876

Legal Alerts Mar 17, 2016

The State of Our Autonomy is... Moving Fast, Optimistic and Filled with Regulatory Questions

Cities Need to Climb on Board or Be Left Behind

Legal Alerts Mar 11, 2016

March 15 Deadline Approaches For California Water Suppliers to Apply for Adjustments to Water Conservation Requirements

Climate, Growth and Water Supply Adjustments Ease Conservation Burden in Some Communities

Client Successes Feb 26, 2016

BB&K Team Helps L.A. County Get State Funding for Exide Contamination

Board of Supervisors gives commendation to attorneys John Holloway and Gene Tanaka

Legal Alerts Feb 22, 2016

Sixth Circuit Exercises Jurisdiction over Federal Clean Water Rule Challenges

Nationwide Stay of WOTUS Rule Remains in Effect

Legal Alerts Feb 19, 2016

DWR Releases Draft Emergency Regulations for Groundwater Sustainability Plans in California

Proposed Regulations Include Required Plan Elements and Criteria for State Review

Legal Alerts Feb 10, 2016

California State Water Board Issues Directive on Submitting Information to Adjust Conservation Standards

Climate, Population Growth Among New Factors For Mandatory Drought Restrictions

Legal Alerts Feb 01, 2016

City Ordinance Banning New Outdoor Billboards, but Authorizing Relocated Ones, Upheld by California Court

Authorizing Relocated Ones Upheld by Court; Constitutional Challenges Rejected; Injunction Order to Remove Billboard Affirmed

Press Releases Jan 26, 2016

BB&K Ranked No. 8 on Top Sacramento Law Firms List

Firm Moves Up Notch on Sacramento Business Journal’s Annual List

Legal Alerts Jan 22, 2016

PEG Fees Set by Ordinance Under California Video Franchise Law Are Not Taxes Subject to Prop. 26

State AG Opinion Could Positively Impact Many Local Governments

Legal Alerts Jan 21, 2016

Shasta Lake Water Levels Subject of New Litigation

Water Contractors Challenge SWRCB Order Potentially Restricting Water

Legal Alerts Jan 20, 2016

California State Water Board Releases Proposed Text of Emergency Water Conservation Regulation

Public Comments Due Jan. 28

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