Florida Republicans want to curb the enormous power of voters

By Barb Howe

What does a “hurricane preparedness” bill have to do with term limits for school board members (HB229,SJR 274)? They are part of a slew of legislation this year aimed at taking power away from cities and county governments. These bills prohibit local governments from raising the minimum wage (HB 847, S 432, banning plastic bags (S 502) and straws (HB 603, S 588) , and requiring developers to meet affordable housing requirements (HB 7103, S 1730). Bills like these are created in response to voters electing non-Republicans to local offices on the city and county level. These non-Republicans then go on to enact non-Republican endorsed legislation. This is an intolerable situation for Florida Republicans and they are working hard to put a stop to it.

The “hurricane preparedness” bill (HB 1159, S 1400) prohibits cities and county governments from requiring permits to trim trees in the months leading up to hurricane season. Hurricane season is an annual event so this means that every year presumably during the summer months you won’t need a permit to trim your trees. Is it worth requiring permits at other times of the year then? Call it the Blazing Saddles style of legislating: permits?? We don’t need no stinkin’ permits!

Why do Republicans care how long school board members serve? Is there a problem with dynastic school boarders? I doubt it. They just don’t like anyone other than Republicans making local laws. Republicans like to tout the sanctity of the rights of the individual rights over those of the community, but what if those individuals are Democrats or just people who don’t support Republican party values? Then apparently those people should have their rights curbed.

If you were ever one of those people who said voting doesn’t change anything, think about this: the power of your vote is so influential Republicans are doing all this to dilute it. Someone has recognized the power of the non-Republican voter. Too bad it wasn’t the non-Republicans.

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