With no discussion and a unanimous vote, the Monroe County commissioners on March 17 approved a resolution by Commissioner Craig Cates to oppose a proposed state bill that would nullify Key West’s cruise ship limitations.

“The resolution expresses the BOCC’s support for home rule, a principle embodied in the Florida Constitution since 1968. Home rule authority allows for local governments to legislate within their jurisdictions to reflect and protect the interests of their respective communities based on the philosophy that the government closest to the people best represents the people,” the resolution states. 

“The resolution also expresses opposition to SB 426 and HB 267, which broadly preempt local government regulation of commerce in seaports, preempting the authority to regulate port activity to the state. Currently, all 14 ports in Florida, including the Port of Key West are controlled by local government entities, i.e., a city, county or local port authority.”

Senate Bill 426 is making its way through legislative committees and was most recently passed by the senate transportation committee. If it becomes law, SB 426 will nullify the November vote by about 62% of Key West voters to significantly reduce the number of cruise ships that can visit Key West.

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