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Legislature opens session, home rule at risk

January 21, 2020

Anna Maria Island News,

Chris Ann Allen,

January 21, 2020-

There appears to be a theme. The 2020 Legislature is hearing bills that could chip away at local regulatory power. “The legislative session started today and the big issue seems to be preemption of local government,” Holmes Beach city attorney Patricia Petruff said at a Jan. 14 commission meeting. “That’s the password for this legislative session.”

Senate Bill 1128, filed by state Sen. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, would preempt the regulation of vacation rentals to the state, prohibiting a local law, ordinance or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of vacation rentals. The bill was introduced Jan. 14 and approved 8-2 by the innovation, industry and technology subcommittee. It was referred to the commerce and tourism subcommittee, which is chaired by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota.

The house is expected to generate a companion bill. The bill is concerning to island officials, who have crafted regulations for short-term rentals to help maintain quality of life for residents that live near large vacation homes that generate trash, noise and parking problems. If 1128 passes, those regulations would be preempted to the state.

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