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From the pages of Orlando Weekly: Florida’s city and county governments are being overruled by our state Legislature

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State Capitol Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

We all know things get outsourced these days. It can feel odd talking to someone in Salt Lake City about a cell phone charge or Mumbai about a wonky wireless router. But it’s how things work now.

One thing that shouldn’t be outsourced, though, is the ability of communities to pass ordinances on the issues that matter to them.

But Florida’s city and county governments are being overruled by our state Legislature, which has passed dozens of laws that nullify or even pre-empt resolutions made on the local level.

When Key West voted to ban sunscreens that destroy the coral reefs vital to their tourism trade, the state passed a law against that ban. When a citizen-led initiative put paid sick leave on the Orange County ballot and passed overwhelmingly with the voters, the Legislature made a law that nullified the election results and prohibited other counties from doing the same.

When communities tried to enact gun control measures after Pulse and Parkland, the Legislature not only pre-empted them, but set criminal and financial penalties for any local lawmakers who did the same.

It’s certainly convenient for the lobbyists. But it doesn’t make sense for the rest of us to have our quality of life outsourced to Tallahassee.

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