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Florida Cities Home Rule

Florida Local Government Home Rule Gutted–HB 17 Would Make Communities Virtually Powerless To Serve Residents’ Needs

Florida Local Government, Cities Home RuleImagine a Strip Club Opening in Your Neighborhood . . . Under HB 17, Florida’s Local Governments Would Be Powerless To Stop It!

The Florida League of Cities issued the following Legislative Action Alert for Floridians to oppose HB 17, which would dramatically affect their quality of life through the pre-emption of Municipal Home Rule Powers.  Any effort to repeal local control of businesses will leave local communities without effective tools to address the health, safety, welfare and property rights concerns of their residents and businesses, in a manner best suited to their needs.


Sponsored by State Representative Randy Fine, HB 17 expressly pre-empts the regulation of businesses, professions and occupations to the state.  The bill provides that after January 1, 2017, a local government may not adopt or impose a new requirement (including any regulation, license, permit or fee) on a “business, profession or occupation” unless the requirement is “expressly authorized by general law.”  An existing local regulation may not impose “additional” regulation on a business, and may not be modified, except to repeal or reduce the requirement.  Additionally, the bill specifies that any requirement on a business, profession or occupation adopted prior to January 2017 without “general law authority” will expire on January 1, 2020.

Talking Points:

Cities are voluntarily created and chartered by their citizens. They are the embodiment of local self-determination. HB 17 (Fine) will thwart the will of millions of voters, impede access to government, and create inequities and inefficiencies throughout the State of Florida.

HB 17 thwarts the will of voters:

  • It contradicts the will of the people of Florida, who expressed an unequivocal desire for broad Home Rule powers in their state constitution.
  • It undercuts the intent of municipal citizens, who voted to incorporate their communities and exercise the broad Home Rule powers granted by the Florida Constitution to govern themselves and, thereby, effectively address the unique concerns of their communities.
  • It could impair municipal charter provisions specifically adopted and approved by local voters to define their preferred form of self-government and safeguard issues of perennial importance to their communities.

HB 17 will reduce access to government and delay redress of local needs:

  • Many local issues of concern to citizens would be in the hands of a centralized state body, located hundreds of miles away from their homes and businesses.
  • The Florida Legislature convenes in Tallahassee for 60 consecutive days in regular session once a year. Local governments typically meet multiple times each month at meetings that are noticed well in advance. Citizens and businesses have opportunities to regularly interact with local decision makers, both formally and informally, without ever having to leave their hometowns.

HB 17 will create inefficiencies and inequities:

  • State legislators may find themselves spending increasing amounts of time arbitrating over local problems and legislating on local issues, and less time attending to pressing statewide needs.
  • State government – the Florida Legislature – will be in the position of picking winners and losers. Some local communities will be successful in obtaining permission from the state to undertake necessary action that will help their residents, their property owners and their local economies; others will not.


Click here for the Issue Brief with more information.


House Careers and Competition Subcommittee – OPPOSE HB 17

Representative District TLH Phone E-mail
Halsey Beshears, Chair R-7 (850) 717-5007
Jay Trumbull, V. Chr. R-6 (850) 717-5006
Larry Ahern R-66 (850) 717-5066
Ramon Alexander D-8 (850) 717-5008
Loranne Ausley D-9 (850) 717-5009
Randy Fine R-53 (850) 717-5053
Julio Gonzalez R-74 (850) 717-5074
Joe Gruters R-73 850) 717-5073
Roy Hardemon D-108 (850) 717-5108
Shawn Harrison R- 63 (850) 717-5063
Al Jacquet D-88 (850) 717-5088
Mike La Rosa R-42 (850) 717-5042
Alexandra Miller R-72 (850) 717-5072
Paul Renner R-24 (850) 717-5024
David Silvers D-87 (850) 717-5087


You can also use the League’s Contact Your Legislator advocacy tool to e-mail your legislators.


Colodny Fass proudly represents the Broward League of Cities’ Legislative Affairs in Tallahassee.