Florida Senate - 2021 SB 426 By Senator Boyd 21-00757-21 2021426__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to state preemption of seaport 3 regulations; creating s. 311.25, F.S.; preempting to 4 the state the regulation of commerce in state 5 seaports; providing exceptions; providing 6 construction; providing an effective date. 7 8 WHEREAS, maritime commerce between and among seaports, both 9 foreign and domestic, is the subject of extensive federal and 10 state regulation designed to protect the marine environment and 11 the health, safety, and welfare of the general public and those 12 involved in conducting that commerce, and 13 WHEREAS, the economic impact of a seaport extends far 14 beyond the boundaries of the local jurisdiction in which the 15 port is located, materially contributing to the economies of 16 multiple cities and counties within the region and to the 17 economy of the state as a whole, and 18 WHEREAS, Florida seaports currently generate nearly 900,000 19 direct and indirect jobs and contribute $117.6 billion in 20 economic value to the state through cargo and cruise activities, 21 accounting for approximately 13 percent of Florida’s gross 22 domestic product and $4.2 billion in state and local taxes, and 23 WHEREAS, because Florida is a peninsula, much of the state 24 is highly dependent upon the unimpeded flow of maritime commerce 25 through its seaports, which is made even more critical when the 26 state is threatened or impacted by natural disasters, such as 27 tropical storms and hurricanes, and 28 WHEREAS, because of its geographic location, Florida is a 29 hub for global maritime commerce and is uniquely positioned to 30 capture an even larger share of this commerce as global trade 31 routes shift, and 32 WHEREAS, the international, national, statewide, and 33 regional importance of Florida seaports has long been recognized 34 in federal and state law with respect to the regulation, 35 planning, and public financing of seaport operations and 36 facilities, and 37 WHEREAS, allowing each local government in which a Florida 38 seaport is located to impose its own requirements on the 39 maritime commerce conducted in that port could result in abrupt 40 changes in the supply lines bringing goods into and out of this 41 state, thus disrupting Florida’s economy and threatening the 42 public’s health, safety, and welfare, and 43 WHEREAS, allowing each local government in which a Florida 44 seaport is located to impose its own requirements on the 45 maritime commerce conducted in that port could reasonably be 46 expected to suppress such commerce and potentially drive it out 47 of the port and out of the state in search of a more consistent 48 and predictable operating environment, thus disrupting Florida’s 49 economy and threatening the public’s health, safety, and 50 welfare, and 51 WHEREAS, allowing each local government in which a Florida 52 seaport is located to impose its own requirements on the 53 maritime commerce conducted in that port could result in abrupt 54 changes in vessel traffic, frustrating the multi-year planning 55 process for all Florida seaports and the assumptions and 56 forecasts underlying federal and state financing of port 57 improvement projects, and 58 WHEREAS, in light of these negative impacts, federal and 59 state governments must be relied upon to adopt uniform 60 regulations governing seaport operations, NOW, THEREFORE, 61 62 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 63 64 Section 1. Section 311.25, Florida Statutes, is created to 65 read: 66 311.25 Regulation of commerce in Florida seaports; 67 preemption.— 68 (1) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a local 69 government may not restrict or regulate commerce in the seaports 70 of this state, as listed in s. 311.09, including, but not 71 limited to, regulating or restricting a vessel’s type or size, 72 source or type of cargo, or number, origin, or nationality of 73 passengers. All such matters are expressly preempted to the 74 state. 75 (2) If not otherwise preempted by federal or state law, 76 this section does not limit the authority of a port authority or 77 port district, as defined in s. 315.02, or a port operation as 78 provided in s. 125.012, to: 79 (a) Regulate vessel movements within its jurisdiction 80 pursuant to s. 313.22(1). 81 (b) Establish fees and compensation for its services 82 pursuant to s. 313.22(2). 83 (c) Adopt guidelines for minimum bottom clearance, for the 84 movement of vessels, and for radio communications of vessel 85 traffic pursuant to s. 313.23. 86 87 However, an action provided in this subsection may not have the 88 effect of regulating or restricting a vessel’s type or size, 89 source or type of cargo, or number, origin, or nationality of 90 passengers, except as required to ensure safety due to the 91 physical limitations of channels, berths, anchorages, or other 92 port facilities. 93 Section 2. Any provision of a county or municipal charter, 94 ordinance, resolution, regulation, or policy that is preempted 95 by this act and that existed before, on, or after the effective 96 date of this act is void. 97 Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.