News Clips

Route Fifty

Cities Will Save Democracy, but Only If We Measure It

Is a decline in global democracy inevitable? Trust—the oil that fuels the gears of democratic government—has sunk steadily. According to Freedom House, 2018 marked the 13th consecutive year of democracy weakening worldwide. Similarly, a Gallup poll found that among the American public trust in the federal government has dropped to an all-time low of 38%. Is a decline in global democracy inevitable? Trust—the oil that fuels the gears of democratic government—has sunk steadily. According to Freedom House, 2018 marked the 13th consecutive year of democracy weakening worldwide. Similarly, a Gallup poll found that among the American public trust in the federal government has dropped to an all-time low of 38%.

Florida Politics

Senate committee advances legislation preempting local bans on sunscreen

Legislation preempting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens passed a state Senate committee Wednesday despite opposition from some Democrats. State Sen. Rob Bradley’s bill (SB 172) gives the state the ultimate authority to regulate over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics, including sunscreen. It was prompted by the City of Key West’s decision to ban sunscreen containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. Environmental groups believe they contribute to the bleaching of coral reefs. Bradley calls it “junk science.”

Orlando Weekly

Bill moves forward that would take away power from Florida cities and counties to regulate vacation rentals

In a long-running issue watched by communities and businesses across the state, a Senate committee Monday approved a proposal that would take away power from cities and counties to regulate vacation rental properties. The Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee backed a bill (SB 1128), sponsored by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, that would "preempt" regulation of vacation rentals to the state. Supporters of such preemption point, at least in part, to the property rights of people who decide to use platforms such as Airbnb to rent out homes or parts of homes.