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Legislature ends local freedom

Florida Republicans engaged in a 60-day assault on the rights and human dignity of every community in our state, impacting the lives of all Floridians.

Florida Republicans passed SB 620 that will allow businesses to sue local governments for damages if an enacted local ordinance or citizens initiative causes them to lose 15% or more of their profits, essentially preempting any new attempts at community improvement at the local level. Under this bill, large corporations will be able to use their high-powered lawyers to intimidate or bankrupt local governments.

This Ending Local Freedom Act is a direct attack on the ability of Floridians to decide what solutions best fit our local needs. Nothing could be more anti-freedom than turning over local government to the whims of large corporate interests whose sole focus is increasing profits, not what’s best for the people. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to choose between being able to fund vital services that ensure their communities are healthy, prosperous and safe or fighting litigation from deep-pocketed corporate special interests.

What the Ending Local Freedom Act makes clear is that Republicans in the Florida Legislature this session have been completely bought off by corporate special interests. This legislation does the bidding of the largest corporations in our state at the expense of the working families who actually power our economy and make our communities the vibrant places we call home. This big government power grab could be the nail in the coffin of local freedom in Florida

It is vital that we defend the rights of Floridians to implement local solutions in our communities. With our state facing a crisis in affordable housing, a low-wage economy, and a climate emergency, it is time for Tallahassee and corporate interest to get out of the way of Floridians championing local solutions.

Betty Honkonen, President

Democratic Women's Club of Citrus County

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