For the editor:
Women For a Better Lee rarely does that: ask you to speak out on state law. But a truly pernicious bill is now making its way to the governor’s desk: SB620 (“Local Business Protection Act”. Yes, that’s his real name.) The bill would allow businesses that have been in existence for at least three years to sue counties and cities if a local ordinance causes — or has the potential to cause — at least 15% of loss of profits.
Imagine… the county wants to set closing times for neighborhood bars and this is impacting bar revenue; or the county wants to deny additional access to a strip mall, as is currently claimed regarding a mall in Estero. Or, traffic is restricted on a road for a major reconstruction, affecting stores along the way – as is happening today, following a years-long construction project on South Cleveland Avenue.
We don’t know if our county commissioners have spoken up about this legislation, but we haven’t heard anything. Our county fears litigation for good reason: it costs taxpayers money, and the commissioners continually oppose any action that might result in a lawsuit. Yet this legislation will lead our county into legal quicksand. Will they be able to regulate anything without facing a possible lawsuit?
For residents, this is just another example of the state pre-empting the powers and responsibilities of local government. We may not like the way our county is governed, but at least they are accountable to us. This continued pre-emption by the state over local authorities has a noticeable impact on what we citizens and ratepayers can ask of our county commissioners – and what they are responsible for.
Commissioner Kevin Ruane touts his conservative good faith, which means he backs the government closest to the people. But does he really? Is one of the commissioners? Are they real conservatives or politicians just interested in getting re-elected? I think we know the answer. Political insanity is defined as voting for the same people and expecting different results. Keep voting for these men and we’ll get the government we deserve.
If you want more information about this legislation: visit floridataxwatch.org and search for The-Impacts-of-Lawsuits Against Local Governments for Business Damages.
Call or write the governor urging him to veto this bad power grab and support local government – and its citizens.
Phone: (850) 717-9337
Email: [email protected]
Make your voice heard NOW before it’s too late. Tell the governor to stop this power grab and support the local government.
For more information about Women For a Better Lee, check out our website: womenforabetterlee.com.
Women for a Better Lee