The Florida Senate passed two bills, SB 620 Local Business Protection Act and SB 280 Local Ordinances. Both of these bills would implement unfunded mandates on cities and counties. We had previously sent a letter to both Senator Mayfield and Representative Grall about the damages these bills could cause.
Requiring local governments to publish – at their own expense – a business impact statement for ANY ordinance to be passed is by its very definition an unfunded mandate. SB 280 would do just this. SB 620 would allow a business to sue the city or county it operates in if an ordinance harms their business. It sounds innocuous, but would allow for much abuse. (“League of Cities lobbyist Rebecca O’Hara raised the point that if the Legislature had passed the bill years ago, it would have interfered with local government’s attempts to restrict pain management clinics that were operating as pill mills, drawing opioid addicts from all across the country to Florida communities, forcing local governments to enact policies that attempted to regulate their doctors and shut them down.” Source.)
If the Legislature is so concerned about laws impacting a small business’ bottom line, why does this bill only focus on local ordinances and not statewide laws as well?
Politicians in Tallahassee often decry federal overreach encroaching on Florida. There is reason to be concerned when the governments above you try to tell you to do things their way. That’s not how this should work. We’re on the ground here, we know how things are in our communities much better than the Federal Government.
This is also true of the state government encroaching on the powers of local jurisdictions. We need to make a concerted effort to encourage our elected officials to stop taking away the powers or tie the hands of local governments. We elect local people to deal with local problems. One size does not fit all.
Please reach out to Governor Ron DeSantis, Sen. Debbie Mayfield, and Rep. Erin Grall to ask them to take your concerns about Home Rule seriously.
Some points you can raise when talking to elected officials:
- “I support Home Rule because it keeps control of my community in the hands of citizens like myself and the local leaders we elect.”
- “My local officials do not focus on ideological or partisan differences. Instead, they focus on creating better public policy for all our residents.”
- “Partisan politics has no place in municipal government. There’s no democratic or republican way to fix a pothole.”
- “As the government closest to the people, my city/county has a unique bond with its citizens.”
- “Local leaders want to partner with state leaders to protect our ability to control our own destiny. I urge you to work with them, not against them.”
- “Let my city/county work to develop innovative responses to problems affecting my community.” (An example here in our area is Vacation Rental regulations which are again under attack by the legislature this year.)
Gov. Ron DeSantis
- Represents: All Florida citizens
- Address: The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
- Phone: 850-717-9337
- Citizen services: 850-488-7146
- Email: email@example.com (flgov.com/email-the-governor)
- Website: flgov.com
- Twitter: @GovRonDeSantis
- Facebook: @GovRonDeSantis
Sen. Debbie Mayfield
- Represents: District 17 (all of Indian River; part of Brevard)
- Capital address: 322 Senate Office Building, 402 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
- Capital phone: 850-487-5017
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: flsenate.gov/senators/s17
- Twitter: @debbie_mayfield
- Facebook: @senatordebbiemayfield
House Rep. Erin Grall
- Represents: District 54 (all of Indian River; part of St. Lucie)
- Capital address: 209 House Office Building, 402 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
- District address: 1801 27th St., Suite B2-203, Vero Beach, FL 32960-3388
- Capital phone: 850-717-5054
- District phone: 772-778-5005
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: myfloridahouse.gov
- Twitter: @ErinGrall
- Facebook: @ErinGrall4FLStateHouse
The IRNA recently sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis, Rep. Erin. Grall, Sen. Debbie Mayfield, Commissioner Peter O’Bryan about the relentless assault on Home Rule that the State Legislature is undertaking. SB620 and SB280 were passed by the Florida Senate and looks poised to pass in the house as well.