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State Preemption Bills Draw Fire

Tom Flanigan

The power struggle between the Florida Legislature and the state’s local governments continues. That was obvious during Friday morning’s (2/9) meeting in the Leon County Commission Chambers.

That meeting included, not only county officials, but also representatives from the City of Tallahassee, Florida State University, Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and several others. All, including County Commission Chair Nick Maddox, criticized the Legislature for trying to strip local governments of their traditional power to make local decisions.

“We’d just like the state to consider that we’re doing a good job. Every place is not the same and the things we do in Leon County are much different than the things that they’re doing down in Miami/Dade. There’s no way we can do what they do and no way they can do what we do,” Maddox insisted after the meeting.

Still, state lawmakers are now considering a total of 17 local preemption bills. They would impose statewide uniformity on everything from regulating vacation rentals to tree trimming standards.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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