Time in Tallahassee
As the saying goes, “No one is safe when the Legislature is in Session!” Having spent 12 years as a legislative aide and analyst in the Florida Legislature, I can say this is very true.
Since I only left Tallahassee a couple of years ago, it felt a little odd going back to advocate on behalf of the City last month, especially when talking about bills that would take away the rights of local elected officials to make local decisions impacting those who vote us into office. There were several bills that would have pre-empted issues like businesses, charter schools and vacation rentals to state regulation. This erosion of “home rule” was a primary issue during my trip.
Commissioner Gomez and I met with Senator Perry Thurston and Representative Jared Moskowitz, who represent Tamarac, as well as with legislators from across the state. While they represent other regions we reminded them their decisions impact Florida as a whole. Most were at least willing to listen to how the proposed bills would impact every city in our state.
We also discussed the need for infrastructure dollars and to fully fund our public schools. These issues are of great importance to our residents. With the session being extended to continue work on the state’s budget, it remains to be seen if these issues are also important to Tallahassee.