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Melbourne City Council Opposes State Legislation That Could Negatively Impact Its Citizens (HB 17, SB 1158, HB 487, SB 330)

Post Date:03/15/2017 11:24 AM
Last night the Melbourne City Council unanimously approved two resolutions opposing potentially harmful legislation that is currently moving through the Florida State Legislature. These bills have the potential to substantially impact the city’s ability to protect its citizens, respond to their needs, and fund essential services.

Resolution 3638 opposes House Bill (HB) 17, Senate Bill (SB) 1158, or similar legislation that would preempt local regulation of businesses, professions, occupations, commerce, trade, and labor.

HB 17 would preempt to the State of Florida local regulations of businesses, professions, and occupations. It expressly preempts all regulation of businesses to the state and supersedes any local government regulation of the same passed after July 1, 2017, unless the regulation is expressly authorized by general law. Similarly, SB 1158 would prohibit counties, municipalities, and special districts from engaging in specified actions that regulate commerce, trade, or labor, unless otherwise expressly authorized to do so by special or general law.

These bills have the potential to eliminate local governments’ ability to impose regulations that impact businesses, the character of their communities, and the quality of life of their citizens. Under HB 17, for example, local governments may no longer be able to regulate adult entertainment or sexually oriented businesses, noise, hours for door to door solicitations, siting and security for medical marijuana facilities, home-based businesses, or zoning.

Moreover, HB 17 and SB 1158 would take control from local residents and put local affairs in the hands of state government. Local governments are better situated than the Legislature to quickly respond to the needs of local communities — They meet year-round, whereas, the Legislature is in regular session for only 60 days each year.

City Council also passed Resolution 3637 opposing HB 487 and SB 330 which would restrict the ability of municipalities and counties to issue business tax receipts and thus severely impact their ability to provide services to their citizens.

HB 487 and SB 330 would reduce the amount of funds collected by the City of Melbourne by an estimated 83% for a loss of approximately $865,000 per year (based on FY2016 collections). If passed, the City would have to increase taxes and fees or significantly cut services to compensate for this financial loss. Services that could be impacted include road and sidewalk maintenance; police, fire and emergency services; code enforcement; and zoning and permitting. Economic development support that directly benefits existing businesses within the City of Melbourne, as well as broadens the economic base of the City, could also be affected.

Council directed the City Manager to send copies of Resolution 3638 expressing its opposition to HB 17 and SB 1158, to the Senate President Joe Negron, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, Senator Kathleen Passidomo (SB 1158’s sponsor), and Representative Randy Fine (HB 17’s sponsor). Copies of Resolution 3637, which opposes HB 487 and SB 330, will be sent to each member of the Brevard County Legislative Delegation, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Finance and Tax Subcommittee and House Speaker Richard Corcoran. Copies of both resolutions will also be shared with the Florida League of Cities and all Brevard County municipalities.