SB 280 – Relating to Local Ordinances
On Wednesday, January 12, SB 280 by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) was heard by the Senate Community Affairs Committee and was reported favorable with 6 yeas and 2 nays. AIF’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Adam Basford, stood in support of this legislation.
The amended bill pertains to the passage and challenging of local ordinances by affected businesses and requires counties and cities to produce a “business impact estimate” prior to passing an ordinance. The estimate must be published on the local government’s website and include information such as the proposed ordinance’s purpose, estimated economic impact on businesses, and compliance costs. The bill imposes the below conditions on lawsuits brought to challenge local ordinances:
- Requires the local government to suspend enforcement of an ordinance of such legal challenge;
- Requires the court to give those cases in which enforcement of the ordinance is suspended priority over other pending cases and render a preliminary or final decision as expeditiously as possible;
- Outlines specific factors the court must consider in determining if an ordinance is arbitrary or unreasonable;
- Provides up to $50,000 in attorney fees to a complainant who successfully challenges an ordinance as arbitrary or unreasonable.
SB 280 will now go to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AIF supports legislation that grants businesses the right to challenge in court unjust and arbitrary local ordinances that create barriers to business which leads to jobs lost and a decelerated economy. Business is the lifeblood of Florida and owners deserve the right to protect their livelihood.