💙ACTION ALERT: OPPOSE SB 280 Local Ordinances and SB 620 Local Government before Jan. 20, 2022


All,


We are in a battle to save Home Rule in our city and county governments. A pair of bills -- SB 280 (Hutson) Local Ordinances and SB 620 (Hutson) Local Government -- are scheduled to be heard Thursday morning (Jan. 20) in their final Senate committee hearings. These bills will significantly change the procedural requirements and legal standards related to ordinances (the local laws) adopted by counties and cities.

These bills are priorities of Republican Senate President Wilton Simpson. In fact, he fast-tracked them by removing a scheduled committee stop for each bill, so now they each only need to be heard in two committees rather than three. We urgently need you to OPPOSE these bills before Thursday by contacting the Senate Committee Members below. In addition, please contact your county commissioners and city council members and tell them to OPPOSE SB 280 and SB 620. After all, these bills will significantly erode their authority as duly elected local officials which is contrary to the intent of the Florida Constitution.



Background information on each Bill

SB 280 (Hutson) Local Ordinances--This bill has been called by some the “Mother of all Preemption Bills.” Others have called it “a trial lawyer’s dream.”


  • Requires local governments to prepare business impact estimates BEFORE specific local ordinances can be adopted. Exempted from the proposed law are specific ordinances related to emergency management, land development, growth management, building codes, fire prevention, financial obligations, budgets, and those necessary to comply with federal and state law regulations.

  • Amends existing law to provide that up to $50,000 in attorney fees, costs and damages can be awarded to businesses if they assert that an ordinance is unreasonable. The local government can avoid the monetary payment if it withdraws the proposed ordinance within 30 days or repeals an already adopted ordinance within 30 days.



SB 620 (Hutson) Local Government--This bill has not received as much media attention as SB 280, and there seems to be confusion among the legislators themselves regarding the differences from the other bill.


  • The bill proposes an amendment to Chapter 70, Florida Statutes, providing compensation for business damages by county or municipal ordinances or charter provisions.This is the same chapter where the Bert J. Harris, Jr. Private Property Rights Protection Act is located - an act which lowers the threshold for takings claims, potentially resulting in significant costs to local governments. It would not appear to be a coincidence that this proposal has been placed in a chapter entitled Relief from Burdens on Real Property Rights.

  • In the same vein as Florida’s eminent domain law that compensates a landowner for their property acquired for public purpose, SB 620 would create a cause of action for an established business to recover loss of business damages from a county or municipality for an ordinance or charter provision passed or amended after July 2022 if the business is successful in demonstrating that the action has caused a 15 percent or greater loss of income or profits to the business. The business may also be awarded costs and attorney fees payable by the county or municipality.



More Talking Points


  • Since 1968, Floridians have recognized the need for cities and counties to have Home Rule powers. It is included in our state's Constitution (Article VIII, Section 2(b)) and was implemented by the Legislature in 1973. Recent efforts by the Legislature to preempt (prohibit) local governments from acting on certain matters is contrary to the structure that has been in place and served Floridians well for decades.

  • Local government is the closest government to the people. Intrusion into the affairs of our counties and cities by politicians located elsewhere is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

  • Why are we making local governments the enemy? They are elected by the people just like all other elected officials. Businesses can mount campaigns to vote them out if they consider incumbents to be business-unfriendly.

  • Businesses already have the same recourse as any citizen to seek recourse in the courts for a local ordinance they don’t like.

  • The requirement for a “business impact statement” creates an unfunded mandate, particularly for the hundreds of smaller cities and towns.

  • By creating new causes of action, these bills will potentially result in huge additional costs to local governments.These costs will be borne by real people, the taxpayers. Counties and municipalities are not entities with separate pots of money to pay out the costs proposed - the money comes from the pockets of residents.


Please contact the following legislators before Thursday to VOTE NO on these bills (and also contact your own local city council members and county commissioners):


For SB 280 (Hutson) Local Ordinances, contact the following members of the Rules Committee:

Their emails are grouped for easy cut/paste below and offered in various formats -


2022 Rules Committee
.xlsx
Download XLSX • 6KB

2022 Rules Committee - Sheet1
.pdf
Download PDF • 37KB

Chair: Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R)

passidomo.kathleen.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5028

Vice Chair: Senator Ileana Garcia (R)

garcia.ileana.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5037

Senator Ben Albritton (R)

albritton.ben.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5026

Senator Dennis Baxley (R)

baxley.dennis.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5012

Senator Aaron Bean (R)

bean.aaron.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5004

Senator Lauren Book (D)

book.lauren.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5032

Senator Jim Boyd (R)

boyd.jim.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5021

Senator Randolph Bracy (D)

bracy.randolph.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5011

Senator Jeff Brandes (R)

brandes.jeff.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5024

Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R)

diaz.manny.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5036

Senator Gary M. Farmer, Jr. (D)

farmer.gary.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5034

Senator Audrey Gibson (D)

gibson.audrey.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5006

Senator Joe Gruters (R)

gruters.joe.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5023

Senator Travis Hutson (R)

hutson.travis.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5007

Senator Debbie Mayfield (R)

mayfield.debbie.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5017

Senator Bobby Powell (D)

powell.bobby.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5030

Senator Kelli Stargel (R)

stargel.kelli.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5022

Senator Perry E. Thurston, Jr. (D)

thurston.perry.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5033



For SB 620 (Hutson) Local Government, contact the following members of the Appropriations Committee:


2022 Appropriations Committee
.xlsx
Download XLSX • 6KB


2022 Appropriations Committee - Sheet1
.pdf
Download PDF • 38KB

Chair: Senator Kelli Stargel (R)

stargel.kelli.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5022

Vice Chair: Senator Aaron Bean (R)

bean.aaron.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5004

Senator Ben Albritton (R)

albritton.ben.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5026

Senator Dennis Baxley (R)

baxley.dennis.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5012

Senator Lauren Book (D)

book.lauren.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5032

Senator Randolph Bracy (D)

bracy.randolph.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5011

Senator Jeff Brandes (R)

brandes.jeff.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5024

Senator Doug Broxson (R)

broxson.doug.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5001

Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R)

diaz.manny.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5036

Senator George B. Gainer (R)

gainer.george.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5002

Senator Audrey Gibson (D)

gibson.audrey.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5006

Senator Ed Hooper (R)

hooper.ed.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5016

Senator Travis Hutson (R)

hutson.travis.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5007

Senator Debbie Mayfield (R)

mayfield.debbie.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5017

Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R)

passidomo.kathleen.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5028

Senator Keith Perry (R)

perry.keith.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5008

Senator Jason W. B. Pizzo (D)

pizzo.jason.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5038

Senator Bobby Powell (D)

powell.bobby.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5030

Senator Darryl Ervin Rouson (D)

rouson.darryl.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5019

Senator Linda Stewart (D)

stewart.linda.web@flsenate.gov

(850) 487-5013


Thank you, Jean Siebenaler DWCF Legislative Chair


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