Home Rule

More than 20 bills introduced during the 2023 State Legislative Session can potentially impact the County’s ability to protect residents and the environment through preemptions to home rule.

Home rule power has been included in Florida’s Constitution for over 50 years, giving each local municipality the flexibility to create policy decisions for their community as long as the law doesn’t conflict with state or federal law.

The Martin County Board of County Commissioners is dedicated to the preservation of this Florida constitutional principle whereby a local government can exercise powers to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents.

As Martin County residents know, our county is unique, and it is important that we protect the rights of our community, character, environment and local values. If the recently introduced bills pass, they will threaten home rule and could threaten the ability to protect what we hold dear in Martin County.

This could impact our 4-story height limit, zoning and density regulations, our comprehensive plan, wetland and estuary protections and water quality to name a few.

The best way to protect Martin County is through local decision-making, starting with you – our local voters. Home rule allows residents to take an active role in developing community-based solutions to local issues through local government.

Erosion of home rule impacts

The Florida Association of Counties has created a Policy Action Center, dedicated to the 2023 Legislative Session at www.fl-counties.com/advocacy/policy-action-center.

Residents are encouraged to learn more about the proposed bills with preemptions of local authority and unfunded mandates that could negatively impact Martin County residents and our strong environmental protections.

Read and Track the Proposed Bills:

Proposed preemption legislation that could impact the County’s ability to maintain our wetland, water quality and 4-story height limit in Martin County:

  • SB 1240 & HB 1197: Land and Water Management
  • SB 102: Housing; “Live Local Act” (this bill has now passed the Senate but a similar House bill will follow)

The more local voices, the better. Help protect Martin County’s treasures by contacting the following legislators. Let them know that you are for local choices and that these preemptions and unfunded mandates will have disastrous effects on the cherished character and identity that Martin County has embraced for nearly 100 years.

Email the Florida Senate President and House Speaker:

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo

House Speaker Paul Renner

Email our Local Legislative Delegation:

Senator Gayle Harrell

Representative Toby Overdorf

Representative John Snyder

VIDEO: On Friday, March 10, 2023 the Martin County Board of County Commissioners held a live press conference on MCTV,  the County's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. Board Chairman Edward V. Ciampi spoke with the media about the 2023 State Legislative Session and potential impacts to Home Rule.