Toluse Olorunnipa
April 27, 2013

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Legislature can’t seem to make up its mind about what kind of government is best — small and local, or big and centralized.

As state lawmakers rail against Washington’s top-down governance, they are pushing several bills that strip power away from city and county governments.

“I understand that there are times when local [governance] is important,” said Senate President Don Gaetz, a Niceville Republican and former school superintendent. “There are other times when the state has a legitimate right as the parent of local governments…to exercise our jurisdiction.”

The deciding factor, in many cases, is what the business lobby wants. Most of the preemption efforts can be traced back to business interests, who spend millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions and wield considerable power in Tallahassee.
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