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News Summary

Legislature once again blocking local governments

Publication Date: 2/12/2016
  • Author:Holly Parker, My View
  • Publication:Tallahassee.com

Florida legislators quickly fault the federal government for overreaches, mandates and for just generally being "big government." Yet last week, without public input or scrutiny, the Florida House of Representatives moved to strip cities and counties of their ability to regulate polystyrene foam foodware...

The Legislature has also prohibited local governments from regulating smoking on their sidewalks, beaches and playgrounds.

The irony of all of this is that these are the top items found on beach cleanups: cigarette butts (preempted), food containers (soon to be preempted) and plastic bags (preempted). The food container figure doesn't even include foam cups and plates, which are given a category all their own. Florida's beach-based, tourism economy relies on clean, healthy beaches and waterways, and Floridians want to protect them from the impacts of rampant plastic litter.

The Legislature must remember that Florida remains a Home Rule state, and municipalities are entitled to regulate the issues that impact their local communities and constituents...