Tallahassee, Other Florida Cities Defy Portions of HB 1
Tallahassee, Florida – The city of Tallahassee joined seven other Florida cities Tuesday morning in a legal challenge against parts of HB 1 that allow the governor’s office to control local government budgets if it cuts funding for law enforcement.
HB 1, also known as the “Riot Control” Act, was signed into law in April 2021 and allows local police to challenge budgets, opens communities to accountability for poor riot control and imposes or reinforces sanctions against those they consider rioters.
In addition to Tallahassee, the city governments of Gainesville, Lake Worth Beach, Miramar, North Bay Village, North Miami, North Miami Beach and Wilton Manors were included in the legal challenge.
The nearly 60-page legal challenge outlines why local governments feel that it is their responsibility, not the governor’s office, to make budget decisions of any kind.
The challenge reads: “Local governments provide the everyday services that Florida residents depend on, from public transportation to parks to libraries to safety and emergency services.” “Municipalities have a responsibility to allocate these services in ways that best respond to the needs of the local community, and to do so, they need the authority to formulate budgets that reflect community values.”
The challenge goes on to say that HB 1, “goes beyond the local legislative process by enabling the management committee to reallocate local tax money with no benchmark standards, no constraints from the state legislature, and no accountability to affected communities.”
Cities argue that the consequences of Operation HB 1 are too severe and that they fear its release. They also added in the challenge that cities don’t really know what decisions they’re making that might prompt the governor’s office to step in and begin the reallocation process.
In addition to not knowing what might cause an executive overrun, the cities also add that they don’t know how far the management committee will go to reallocate domestic funding under HB 1.
Governor DeSantis’ office told ABC 27 that they are evaluating the lawsuit and looking to defend HB 1 in court.
You can read the full legal challenge below: