Florida House Bill 267 Targets Key West Cruise Ban

House Bill 267 (2021): State Preemption of Seaport Regulations, a companion bill to Florida Senate Bill 426, aims to preempts state regulation of commerce in state seaports. HB 267 (2021) was originally filed in the Florida House on January 14 is working its way to a vote by the state’s Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee.

Since the November election, individuals began work to overturn the cruise ship restrictions voted into the Key West charter by a heavy margin. HB 267 is another attempt at overturning the restrictions put in place in Key West. During the November election, Key West voted heavily in favor to place restrictions on cruise ships, effectively banning larger cruise ships such as the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.

Key West voters made a well-informed decision to adjust the business model of their port, passing sensible limits on large cruise ships.

FL HB 267 2021 Text

A bill to be entitled An act relating to state preemption of seaport regulations; creating s. 311.25, F.S.; preempting to the state the regulation of commerce in state seaports; providing exceptions; providing construction; providing an effective date.

Florida HB 267 (2021) Summary

A companion bill in the Florida Senate Bill 426: State Preemption of Seaport Regulations, filed on January 5, 2021 by Senator Jim Boyd, if approved would give the State of Florida oversight of Florida’s seaport regulations such as the regulation of commerce in state seaports, and to provide exceptions. The bill was discussed in a committee workshop on February 16th, but may have stalled in Florida’s Senate Transportation Committee giving way to HB 267 (2021).

Safer Cleaner Ships, the group who spearheaded the effort to place the measures on the ballot issued the following statement is asking Key West residents to reach out to their representative, Jim Mooney to oppose HB 267, which if approved would end home rule over Florida’s seaports. In a statement, Safer Cleaner Ships states, “Key West voters made a well-informed decision to adjust the business model of their port, passing sensible limits on large cruise ships.” The group feels the Key West economy is story and is set on protecting the Florida Keys as well as preserving home rule when it comes to the port of Key West.

Local voters made a well-informed decision to adjust the business model of our tourist economy. We’ve gone almost a full year now without cruise ships, and the Keys economy is one of the strongest in Florida. We have the state’s 3rd-lowest unemployment rate; and for the past four months, local sales tax and bed tax revenues are both higher than they were before the pandemic. In short, the Florida Keys are the economic envy of the state. ​Now is not the time for a big government takeover of our ports. We must preserve home rule and protect the Florida Keys.

Safer Cleaner Ships Statement on HB 267

We will continue to monitor House Bill 267 and the ongoing situation in Key West as details become available.

UPDATE: Florida House Bill 267 is on the Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee meeting agenda scheduled for Wednesday March 3, 2021 at 1PM. The meeting will be live-streamed on https://thefloridachannel.org/

9 Replies to “Florida House Bill 267 Targets Key West Cruise Ban”

  1. Joseph Davis

    Most terrifying words in English language “Im from the government and I’m here to help” R. Reagan

  2. hal bromm

    Would be good to share contact information for Representative Jim Mooney so that folks could contact his office urging him to oppose HB 267

  3. Xavier

    As much as I love Disney and I am a fan of DCL, democracy should should remain first.

    Here most of us enjoy the good side of cruising. We don’t live in a local port city/aera where you have to deal year round with the good AND the bad of cruise industry.
    Mega ships definitely tilt the balance toward the bad…

    I wish the inhabitants of Key West would green light 1 big ship a day like the Magic and block the larger Dream class.
    But it’s up to the locals to decide…

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      The Dream class ships are too big. The physical limitation of the channel prohibits them from calling on Key West. In addition, residents voted down a referendum years ago to dredge and enlarge the channel for larger ships.

  4. Paul Teal

    We live in Florida and have been to Key West many times. The part that I have a hard time understanding the opposition is when they talk about environmental and pollution issues. We have been in Key West during the “The Offshore Powerboat Races” These races are conducted right in front of Mallory Square. These are high sulfur burning engines and the noise is deafening. If protecting the environment is an argument, the argument does not pass the logic test for me


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