“We have 22 million people almost. We are a very diverse state. For us to be micromanaging vacation rentals, I am not sure that is the right thing to do.”
- Gov. Ron DeSantis, speaking to reporters at Florida A&M University
Both the Florida House and Senate have proposed bills about short-term rentals. And both have failed to move to a vote after mass criticism from local leaders and no support from Gov. DeSantis.
It makes sense that local municipalities should be allowed to govern according to the needs and desires of their local constituencies, and are more likely to understand unique local needs than a group of legislators in Tallahassee.
Unfortunately, state legislatures (and the federal government, for that matter) tends to collect more power as time goes on. In Florida, state legislators are increasingly seeking to preempt the authority of local municipalities to set policy and govern their communities.
"Preemption interferes with voters’ ability to determine the direction of their own communities and receive adequate responses to local conditions. Government action is moved from the entity closest to the people – local governments – and empowers the Legislature in Tallahassee. Preemption can block local ordinances that reflect a community’s will to help women, people of color, LGBTQ people and those in poverty. "
So says "Integrity Florida", a government watchdog group that released a report last month finding lawmakers are increasingly using preemption to reduce the authority of local governments.
"Home Rule" is the flexibility to address unique local needs with local solution, says the Florida League of Cities. The State Legislature’s power to consider, adopt, revise, and remove local laws undermines the whole local governmental structure. The citizens of Florida spoke very loudly and clearly in 1968 for municipal Home Rule as part of the revision of the State Constitution undertaken that year. Each city should continue to have the authority to resolve their local issues in their own way with the help and input from their home/business owners.
TGTIA plans to work hand in hand with the City of Treasure Island to get the word out to our residents and to our elected County and State officials. This is a critical issue for our residents and meets our mission as a volunteer organization of residents to capitalize on opportunities and manage challenges, with the goal of leaving a more beautiful and more sustainable Treasure Island to future generations.