George A. Smith, Jr.

Attorney

Office phone: 850-222-8611

george@bmolaw.com

Office Location: Tallahassee

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PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

George A. Smith, Jr. has practiced public finance law at Bryant Miller Olive for over 21 years. He has represented various Florida clients as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, or bank/underwriter's counsel on over 575 transactions totaling more than $35 Billion.

Mr. Smith chairs BMO's School District practice and has participated in borrowings as bond, disclosure, or underwriter’s counsel. He has participated in more than 225 School Board transactions that total over $10 Billion borrowed by more than 35 schools boards in the State and is frequently called upon to draft legislation to facilitate the financing of Florida schools. As a direct result of the most recent legislation that he drafted in 2019 that was introduced by Senator Bill Montford (portions of Ch. 2019-23, Laws of Florida (2019)), Florida School Districts may now construct facilities with costs that exceed the artificially low statutory cost per student station limits if certain requirements are met. Prior to such legislation, due to statutory amendments in 2017, School Districts were prohibited from using any funds (local, state or federal) to construct schools that exceeded the statutory limits. This effectively halted construction of new schools in the State. The 2019 legislation also requires that the construction limits be adjusted to reflect actual construction costs instead of the unrealistic limits that currently exist. Finally, because of such 2019 law, Districts no longer need to receive survey recommendation approval from the Florida Department of Education for educational facilities constructed from 1.5 mill capital outlay millage. This legislation was instrumental in allowing new schools to be built that had been blocked from construction due to the 2017 statutory amendments.

Mr. Smith serves as disclosure counsel to two of Florida’s largest municipal issuers: Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and the State Board of Administration Finance Corporation. Mr. Smith has acted as Disclosure Counsel on over $20 Billion for these issuers together. He acted as disclosure counsel to Citizens for its $3.05 Billion High-Risk Account Senior Secured Bonds, Series 2006A (Auction Rate Securities). He was most recently called upon as disclosure counsel for the State Board of Administration Finance Corporation’s $3.5 Billion Revenue Bonds, Series 2020A that closed September 16, 2020; the largest fixed-rate municipal bond transaction ever in the Southeastern United States.

Finally, Mr. Smith also serves as bond counsel or disclosure counsel to a variety of cities, counties, bridge authorities and other issuers of Florida municipal debt. He is bond counsel to the Florida Division of Bond Finance on behalf of the Florida Lottery, the Department of Transportation and various Florida Universities. Since 2013, he has represented the Division on approximately 31 transactions that exceed $2.15 Billion.
 

EDUCATION

College: Florida State University – B.S. – Finance, 1995

Law School: Florida State University – J.D., , Cum Laude, 1998

BAR ADMISSIONS

The Florida Bar, 1998

COURT ADMISSIONS

All Florida Courts

CIVIC ACTIVITIES

Tallahassee Leon-County Chamber of Commerce, Board member, 2013 and 2014

Leadership Tallahassee, Chair 2015, Board member 2012 through present

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tallahassee, Volunteer

Better Business Bureau, Volunteer Arbitrator

Seminole Torchbearers Council of 100, Member

The International Economics Honor Society, Member

American Red Cross Disaster Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Volunteer