Florida Senate - 2021 CS for SB 426 By the Committee on Transportation; and Senator Boyd 596-02654-21 2021426c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to state preemption of seaport 3 regulations; creating s. 311.25, F.S.; prohibiting a 4 local ballot initiative or referendum from restricting 5 maritime commerce in the seaports of this state; 6 providing that certain local initiatives or 7 referendums relating to such restrictions are 8 prohibited and void; prohibiting certain 9 municipalities and municipal special districts from 10 adopting specified restrictions or regulations on 11 maritime commerce in the seaports of this state with 12 respect to any federally authorized passenger cruise 13 vessel; providing that certain local actions relating 14 to such restrictions or regulations are prohibited and 15 void; providing a directive to the Division of Law 16 Revision; providing an effective date. 17 18 WHEREAS, maritime commerce between and among seaports, both 19 foreign and domestic, is the subject of extensive federal and 20 state regulation designed to protect the marine environment and 21 the health, safety, and welfare of the general public and those 22 involved in conducting that commerce, and 23 WHEREAS, the economic impact of a seaport extends far 24 beyond the boundaries of the local jurisdiction in which the 25 port is located, materially contributing to the economies of 26 multiple cities and counties within the region and to the 27 economy of this state as a whole, and 28 WHEREAS, Florida seaports currently generate nearly 900,000 29 direct and indirect jobs and contribute $117.6 billion in 30 economic value to this state through cargo and cruise 31 activities, accounting for approximately 13 percent of this 32 state’s gross domestic product and $4.2 billion in state and 33 local taxes, and 34 WHEREAS, because this state is a peninsula, much of this 35 state is highly dependent upon the unimpeded flow of maritime 36 commerce through its seaports, which is made even more critical 37 when this state is threatened or impacted by natural disasters, 38 such as tropical storms and hurricanes, and 39 WHEREAS, because of its geographic location, this state is 40 a hub for global maritime commerce and is uniquely positioned to 41 capture an even larger share of this commerce as global trade 42 routes shift, and 43 WHEREAS, the international, national, statewide, and 44 regional importance of Florida seaports has long been recognized 45 in federal and state law with respect to the regulation, 46 planning, and public financing of seaport operations and 47 facilities, and 48 WHEREAS, this state is widely known as the cruise capital 49 of the world, and the cruise industry is vital to this state’s 50 economy, contributing more than $9 billion in direct spending on 51 an annual basis and supporting 159,000 jobs with more than $8 52 billion in total wages and salaries before the current pandemic, 53 and 54 WHEREAS, 8.3 million passengers boarded cruises from one of 55 this state’s five cruise ports in 2019, accounting for 60 56 percent of embarkations in the United States, generating 11 57 million passenger and crew onshore visits in both home port and 58 transit port calls in this state, and 59 WHEREAS, allowing a voter initiative or referendum in each 60 local seaport jurisdiction to impose its own requirements on the 61 maritime commerce conducted in that port could result in abrupt 62 changes in the supply lines bringing goods into and out of this 63 state and therefore could reasonably be expected to suppress 64 such commerce and potentially drive it out of the port and out 65 of this state in search of a more consistent and predictable 66 operating environment, thus disrupting this state’s economy and 67 threatening the public’s health, safety, and welfare, and 68 WHEREAS, allowing a voter initiative or referendum in each 69 local seaport jurisdiction to impose its own requirements on the 70 maritime commerce conducted in that port could result in abrupt 71 changes in vessel traffic, frustrating the multiyear planning 72 process for all Florida seaports and the assumptions and 73 forecasts underlying federal and state financing of port 74 improvement projects, and 75 WHEREAS, there are similar concerns regarding the capacity 76 of a municipality or municipal special district to impose such 77 requirements on the maritime commerce conducted in a port, as 78 the more limited geographic and political scope of a 79 municipality or municipal special district may make such entity 80 less sensitive to the negative impact of such requirements on 81 neighboring municipalities and on the county, region, and state, 82 and 83 WHEREAS, many local economies in this state depend heavily 84 on tourism, on which the surrounding politics can be 85 particularly complex at a municipal level, significantly 86 heightening the concern of municipalities and municipal special 87 districts that place local requirements on passenger cruise 88 vessels or cruise lines, and 89 WHEREAS, in light of these potential negative impacts, the 90 permissible scope of local voter initiatives or referendums and 91 of the powers of a municipality or municipal special district 92 must be appropriately limited, NOW, THEREFORE, 93 94 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 95 96 Section 1. Section 311.25, Florida Statutes, is created to 97 read: 98 311.25 Regulation of commerce in Florida seaports.— 99 (1)(a) A local ballot initiative or referendum may not 100 restrict maritime commerce in the seaports of this state, 101 including, but not limited to, restricting such commerce based 102 on any of the following: 103 1. Vessel type, size, number, or capacity. 104 2. Number, origin, nationality, embarkation, or 105 disembarkation of passengers or crew or their entry into this 106 state or any local jurisdiction. 107 3. Source, type, loading, or unloading of cargo. 108 4. Environmental or health records of a particular vessel 109 or vessel line. 110 (b) Any local ballot initiative or referendum, or any local 111 law, charter amendment, ordinance, resolution, regulation, or 112 policy adopted in a local ballot initiative or referendum, in 113 violation of this subsection which was adopted before, on, or 114 after the effective date of this act is prohibited and void. 115 (2)(a) Except for a municipality that is also a county as 116 defined in s. 125.011(1), a municipality or political 117 subdivision thereof or a special district within the boundaries 118 of a single municipality may not restrict maritime commerce in 119 the seaports of this state with respect to any federally 120 authorized passenger cruise vessel based on any of the 121 following: 122 1. Vessel type, size, number, or capacity, except when the 123 port is physically unable to accommodate a passenger cruise 124 vessel pursuant to applicable federal or state laws or 125 regulations. 126 2. Number, origin, nationality, embarkation, or 127 disembarkation of passengers or crew or their entry into this 128 state or any local jurisdiction. 129 3. Source, type, loading, or unloading of cargo related or 130 incidental to its use as a passenger cruise vessel. 131 4. Environmental or health records of a particular 132 passenger cruise vessel or cruise line. 133 (b) Any provision of a law, a charter, an ordinance, a 134 resolution, a regulation, a policy, an initiative, or a 135 referendum which is in conflict with this subsection and which 136 existed before, on, or after the effective date of this act is 137 prohibited and void. 138 Section 2. The Division of Law Revision is directed to 139 replace the phrase “the effective date of this act” wherever it 140 occurs in this act with the date this act becomes a law. 141 Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.