Piece by piece, Tallahassee takes control of local problems

Written by Michael Lewis on April 2, 2024


Piece by piece, Tallahassee takes control of local problems

Florida lawmakers this year stepped up their goal of reserving exclusively for themselves regulatory powers that in the past they shared with cities and counties or left entirely to local governments. This increasingly distances people from control over their own lives.

We all like to feel empowered. We want to be heard on legislation we strongly support or reject. We may be heard better as one of a few thousand city voters, not as well as a county voter, and when we get to the state or federal levels, our loudest cries are lost in the ether.

Likewise, the people who represent us at more local levels are much more likely to understand our concerns. As the salesmen sang in The Music Man: “You have to know the territory.” How many of Tallahassee’s legislators have ever seen their city or neighborhood?

This year, state lawmakers voted to end or alter local abilities to regulate vacation rental properties, wage requirements in local government contracts, requirements to protect workers exposed to intense outdoor heat, sleeping in public, the power of preservation boards to prevent demolitions, food deliveries by outside organizations, electric vehicle charging stations, investigations by local oversight commissions, use of community identification cards, and employment of minors.

In all cases, the rules will affect Miami-Dade County, its municipalities, or both, weakening them in their attempts to address the needs of local residents.

I say “attempts” because we don’t support everything local government has done in these areas, and in almost all cases the transfer of power to Tallahassee will actually mean less regulation here. We generally think that “the best government is the one that governs the least,” and Tallahassee will be much less strict than Miami-Dade has been or wants to be.

But less local knowledge or concern and loosening of regulations will also come at a price.

Miami Beach is worried about losing more historic structures that attract residents and visitors alike with less ability to control demolitions. The county will lose living wage requirements that have been in place since 1998. All coastal communities fear the loss of control over short-term rentals. Every inspector general trembles at new rules that will limit local corruption investigations. The list goes on.

As we have said before, not all regulations that reserve specific regulatory powers solely to the State are erroneous. We can understand the need to limit some taxing powers, such as collecting income taxes from the state, rather than having each county decide on its own whether to have an income tax and how high it would be.

But when it comes to, say, protecting historic buildings, in much of rural Florida that’s not an issue. In Miami Beach it is essential. Each community is different.

And that’s the point: every community is different, and in Florida there is definitely no one-size-fits-all solution. I would trust that the local city council would know our needs more than in Washington or Tallahassee.

Every legislative body everywhere has flaws and blind spots, but those closer to home are at least more likely to know what you and I need.

Still, the state legislature seems hell-bent on amassing as much control as possible over everything in Tallahassee, which means people back home have less and less control over their own lives.

Before you vote in the upcoming state legislative elections, ask candidates how they protect their local governments’ ability to serve you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

افلام نجمات السكس أفلام مايا خليفه hindi full hd xxx ravaligoswami sexfelim wwwxxzz large hd sai pallavi hot avgoole 朝日奈あかり 動画 中出しナックル 平真凛 xxx south indian videos indiansex girls طياز كبيرة زبك حلو desi aunties videos free mms sex sb19 birthday tagalog movies torrenting sites 2018 قصص محارم طويله افلام سكس اطالى سكس غ قذف الكس hot aunty kathalu xvideos xx movierulz plz wedding outdoor videos randid updates godrej loud