Florida Republicans love state preemption laws that usurp local government policy-making decisions and give them over to state control, especially when those decisions reflect environment-friendly practices. The Legislature this year is pushing a whole slew of anti-environment state preemption laws that will take away local government control of impact fees, growth management policies, existing local renewable energy initiatives, and others.
HB 267 (Roach) and its companion Senate bill SB 426 State Preemption of Seaport Regulations is a classic example of Republican Big Brother overreach in this area and we urgently need you to OPPOSE it. This bill would never have been conceptualized had it not been for the fact that Key West dared to put three pro-environment amendments on their ballot last November 2020 because of concern that cruise ships were causing significant damage to their coral reefs and ecosystem -- unquestionably the lifeblood of their tourist economy. They won with overwhelming support from their voters. In fact:
More than 60% of voters decided to ban cruise ships with a capacity of more than 1,300 people from docking and to limit the number of cruise visitors who can disembark each day to 1,500;
Over 80% of their voters agreed that cruise lines with the best environmental and health records should be prioritized to dock in their city.
This will of the voters infuriated the Republican Legislature. So they created HB 267/SB 426 which will void Key West's new ordinances and will prohibit all future similar local ordinances in Key West and other municipal ports that deal with restrictions on cruise ships. The bills have passed most committees and are nearing their final floor votes, but you can make your voice heard. Why? First of all, because Key West is a national treasure. It contains North America's only barrier reef and Republicans in typical fashion are prioritizing their love of corporations over the health and safety of our environment and health of Floridians. But you should also let the Legislature know that you are generally against these types of state preemption power grabs. SB 426 passed all of its committees and will be heard on the Senate floor this next Wednesday, April 21. Please contact Sen. Doug Broxson as soon as possible and ask him to vote NO on this bill. He can be reached at:
email@example.com(850) 487-5001 HB 267's last House committee will be Commerce. Please contact the Chair of that committee (Rep. Ingoglia) and ask him to refrain from hearing the bill. Also contact the other members and let them know you want them to vote NO if the bill comes up for a hearing. Their contact information is available here -
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