local control

Mayor Andrew Gillum
Nick Evans

Local control advocates said the Florida legislature has taken preempting home rule to a new level this session. The legislature wants to extend property tax breaks, regulate vacation rentals and community redevelopment agencies.

Panda via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/106831113@N02/

Florida lawmakers are pressing pause on a bill that would pave the way for an elected sheriff in Miami-Dade County. The plan is forcing legislators to choose between empowering voters or stepping on the toes of local governments. 

Rep. Randy Fine (R-Brevard Co.) reading his letter to Governor Rick Scott.
Nick Evans

Republican state lawmakers want a say over local business regulations across the state. Legislation

preempting local power is moving through the legislature.

Photo of the first DCA in Tallahassee--a white building with pillars against a blue sky
Regan McCarthy WFSU News

A panel of judges heard arguments Tuesday in a court case involving Mayor Andrew Gillum and other members of the city commission who voted against repealing a pair of local gun ordinances. The case may have larger implications surrounding what’s known as home rule.

Every year Florida lawmakers come to Tallahassee armed with bills they hope, will become laws. And every year, local governments gear up in the hopes of staving off what they see as efforts to usurp their authority.

The battles between state and local governments happen every year, and this session is no different. Proposals on everything from spiny lobsters to regulating paper or plastic in supermarkets have been filed, along with recurring fights over how local governments handle their pension obligations.

Brian Herzog via Flickr

The Florida Senate narrowly passed a bill Friday giving school districts sole control over selecting textbooks and curricula and taking that power away from the state education department. The local-selection option has been available to school districts since last year, but none of them has chosen it so far.

The Senate passed the bill 21- 19, with five Republicans siding with Democrats in voting no. Sen. Alan Hays (R- Umatilla) says his bill is for parents.

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at local governments that have been declared to be in a state of financial emergency. The bill would let the governor boot local government leaders who fail to fix the situation. The measure passed the Senate, but Regan McCarthy reports its moving difficulty through the House.