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Thursday, April 2, 2020
Home Government Home Rule: Is the Legislature overreaching with HB 3 and 5?

Home Rule: Is the Legislature overreaching with HB 3 and 5?



Focus on the Legislature

By Karson Turner/ Florida Association of Counties (FAC) President and a Hendry County Commissioner

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks—or, so they say.  Conversely, I was taught—and teach my children—you’re never too old to learn.  This rule applies to dogs, cats and people—even Florida lawmakers.

Karson Turner

Nevertheless, some Tallahassee politicians refuse to learn.  Florida’s legislature is about to begin a new session, but we’re already seeing the same old tricks.  It’s disappointing, unsurprising and just plain bad for Florida’s local communities.

Proposed House Bills (HB) 3 and 5 are a reckless assault on towns and taxpayers.  At best, they prevent Florida’s towns and taxpayers from making their own decisions about matters as basic as taxes or certifying contractors.  It even prevents local communities from creating laws that govern any kind of business—from gas stations and liquor stores to strip clubs and pot shops.   At worst, they leave our communities at the mercy of distant bureaucrats when it comes to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  That’s the job of local governments and state officials should let them do it.

But by far the greatest assault on local decision-making lies in HB 3, which states that certain regulations will “… expire & may only be readopted or continue to be imposed after meeting specified criteria.”  In other words, Tallahassee politicians don’t just want to take away a town’s right to set its own laws, they also want to reserve the right to erase laws a town has already written.

“Home Rule” operates on the principle that the government closest to the people governs best.  This is a foundational idea in America.  Still, it needs protection.  States began writing provisions for Home Rule in the early 1900s.  Florida adopted a Home Rule provision during the 1968 Constitution Revision Commission and strengthened it in 1973 with the Municipal Home Rule Powers Act.

Ever since, Florida has demonstrated the ability to nurture its own diversity and allow local communities the flexibility to deal with local issues in their own way.  One of Florida’s greatest assets is its variety.  There’s a world of difference between Miami and Pensacola and that’s a good thing.  This was the Founding Fathers’ vision—and, thanks to Home Rule, Florida’s been remarkably adept at living it out.

But while Tallahassee politicians complain about Washington’s overreach, they often find an excuse to bigfoot Florida’s local communities.  Two years ago, they proposed HB 17, which, like HB 3, was a top-down solution that would’ve banned local communities from passing their own laws.  More recently, Tallahassee politicians assaulted Home Rule on the 2018 Ballot via Amendment 1, which would’ve forced local communities to decide between cutting vital services or raising property taxes.

New legislative session, same old tricks.  Respecting Home Rule may be new to Tallahassee politicians, but Home Rule isn’t new to Florida or the United States.  It’s an old principle that the legislature should learn.   Localizing power is consistent with our founding principles, essential to peaceful democracy and consistently popular among voters. Let’s protect local decision-making by rejecting HB’s 3 and 5.


  1. That is a great question that I don’t know….lol. This is why I am not a legal authority…lol. However this question I relate to the same, as in powers of the federal and the state powers. A good example is governors of states calling back their National Guard troops back from the southern border where they were sent to “guard the border” or maintain peace and order that President Trump decided they were needed there. I don’t think even the best attorneys actually know the law regarding powers between certain government divisions, and this declaration of our US “national emergency” at our southern border that Trump declared, is a example of who will have the determining power to make the final say so about the declaration of a “national emergency”.

  2. I am watching the Michael Cohen testimony before Congress and this is a circus we have running our country. The GOP Congress members are soooooo worried about Cohen writing a book and making some money…lol. I know Michael Cohen is truly a rat, I heard an audio tape of him blessing out a young reporter from Buzz Feed, I think, awhile back, before he was arrested and convicted, and how Cohen went on and on and on, threatening the young reporter who had questioned some things about Trump, and Cohen chew his A out, and kept threatening him, to DESTROY HIS LIFE, if it was the last thing he would do….etc…..on and on, and I personally thought Cohen had lost it, but now the worm has turned and Cohen has turned into a Demorat….LOL…..!!!! This guy, Mr. Jordan, I am tired of his junk. He sure is trying to be a “star” “ON STAGE”…!!! What a jerk he is! All I can say is, “tell it all brother, tell it all” to Michael Cohen. This is fun, much better than watching Young and Restless…!!! Even mentioned the National Enquirer….lol. Another jerk is Mr. Clay Higgins, REP. from Louisianna. It all sounds like Michael Cohen is being put on trial again! He is already been convicted and sentenced, for gosh sakes!….now Higgins is saying Cohen just wanted on tv. Cohen said he had already been on tv a lot since 2011. Then Higgins said, “well, I didn’t know who you where, and had not heard of you before…..”…LOL. Higgins also keeps saying,” I have arrested a lot of men like you” to Cohen…..Now I know exactly what a so-called “witch hunt” is like with these Congressional circuses!! Oh, and I never heard of Mr. Higgins, or Mr. Jordan, myself before…lol.

  3. WHERE ARE THE QUESTIONS REGARDING TRUMP???? I thought this was the purpose of this Congressional circus! Wow, aren’t these Congress members HOLIER THAN THOU????!!!! I guess I can soon look for Trump’s tweets, in response to Cohen’s testimony. Oh, I forgot Trump “got out of dodge”….and went to visit his great buddy, Kim Jong Un….lol!

  4. I saw this headline somewhere…..President Trump and Kim Jong Un prepare for talks. Read it again, as when I read it, it sounded like they were unpreparing for talks…..lol. Now Mrs. Miller, is acting like a goody goody….ha ha. She says Democrats are grasping for straws….please lady, you make me sick………

  5. All she and the GOPs are agonizing over is Cohen writing books! What about treason of this country by Trump….duh? Colluding with foreign enemies???? What about hush money to women??? What about election fraud to get elected? And a dozen other allegations against Trump?????? All the GOP Congress members are blind, and refuse to hear anything against Trump! I don’t care if this circus does give Cohen fuel for his upcoming books. There, take that GOPS!!!!

  6. Regarding Cohen’s Congressional testimony…. all I have heard repeatedly by the GOP Congressional members is that Cohen is a liar and cannot be trusted…..well so is Trump, and he sure can’t be trusted either, but the GOP Congress members have amnesia when thinking about Trump….convenient amnesia. Must be a preexisting condition, I suppose…………

  7. I just learned my neighbor on our street, has passed away, when her son came down to our house today, and told us. I feel so very bad for him, and his brother. She was a very nice person, and a very good neighbor. It is so upsetting to me, because I just waved at her the other day, as we drove by. It didn’t seem possible that she gone, since I had just seen her. That is the way it is, we are only here on this earth for a short time. It is upsetting to me.


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