Sarasota Herald Tribune,
September 5, 2019-
This year it was trees and plastic straws. In years past it was guns, vacation rentals and a host of other issues that local governments were prohibited from regulating by the Florida Legislature. The clash between state preemption and the home rule authority of local governments continues to generate high profile legislative battles year after year in Florida, and it was the subject of a Sarasota Tiger Bay Club panel discussion Thursday.
Sarasota and Manatee counties have been significantly affected by many of the preemption debates. Short-term vacation rentals have been a particularly hot-button issue here, especially on Anna Maria Island. Tree protection also has generated extensive debate in the city of Sarasota, and the city recently passed an ordinance aimed, in part, at curbing the use of plastic straws. This year the GOP-controlled Legislature passed a bill outlawing local plastic straw bans, but it was vetoed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.