FL Bill Lets Businesses Sue To Block Local Ordinances

Florida Politics reports:

This week, Panama City Republican Sen. Jay Trumbull refiled SB 170, a controversial measure that would hand businesses new tools to fight what they deem to be harmful overreach by local governments.

The bill would enable businesses to sue county and city governments that pass “arbitrary or unreasonable” ordinances for up to $50,000. While a court decides the legitimacy of that claim on a fast-tracked basis — a provision known as “rocket docket” — the local government would have to suspend enforcement of the ordinance in question.

If the ordinance is ultimately determined to be “valid and enforceable,” governments would still have to wait 45 days from that judgment to resume enforcement. And that process could again be interrupted if the plaintiff obtains a stay of the lower court’s order to restart the process.

Read the full article. The bill also stipulates that all local ordinances provide a “business impact” analysis before being presented for passage.

“Local ordinances” would include city and county level LGBTQ protections. Florida is among the 22 states without full statewide LGBTQ protections.

Critics say the bill could potentially result in the upending of a myriad of rules involving pollution, water purity, noise abatement, traffic, consumer rights, tenant rights – basically anything.

The bill has the support of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, a landlords association, and Koch Industries’ Americans For Prosperity.

As I reported in February 2022, the similar bill authored by a separate and self-described “ultra MAGA” state rep passed both chambers but was ultimately vetoed by DeSantis as overbroad.