Florida League of Cities

Local Ordinances (Watch) – FAILED 

CS/CS/SB 280 (Hutson) and CS/HB 403 (Giallombardo) impose new substantive requirements on municipalities for adopting and enforcing ordinances. First, the bills require a municipality to prepare a business impact estimate before adopting an ordinance and specifies the minimum content that must be included in the statement. The estimate must be posted on the municipality’s website no later than the date of publication of notice of the proposed ordinance. Second, the bills require a municipality to suspend enforcement of an ordinance that is the subject of a civil action challenging the ordinance’s validity on grounds that it is arbitrary or unreasonable or expressly preempted by state law. This requirement applies only if: the action was filed within 90 days of the ordinance’s effective date; suspension of the ordinance was requested in the complaint; and the municipality was served with a copy of the complaint. If the municipality prevails in the civil action and an appeal is taken, the bills authorize the court to consider continuing or lifting the stay of enforcement of the ordinance. Third, the bills authorize the award of attorney fees, costs and damages to a prevailing plaintiff in a civil action commenced after October 1, 2022, in which an ordinance is alleged to be arbitrary or unreasonable. The bills require courts to prioritize and expedite the disposition of cases in which enforcement of an ordinance is suspended. The bills exempt various ordinances from the stay of enforcement provision. CS/CS/SB 280 passed the Senate (28-8) and died in the House. (O’Hara)