Roach Filed HB 267 To Save Key West Economy

Roach Filed HB 267 To Save Key West Economy

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
March 11, 2021

Last year the city government of Key West inexplicably voted to ban large cruise ships from porting within their coastal area. This arose from wealthy residents not wanting to be burdened by 'cruise ship rift raft.'

This decision proved to be faulty as this brought tourist ship traffic down by 95%, plenty of money to be missed on the local and state economy.

The Key West Chamber of Commerce has since estimated a $90 million loss while simultaneously killing 800 jobs.

Since the seaports are controlled by the state and not a municipality, the Key West law clearly violates the federal commerce clause, found in Article 1 of the US Constitution.

However, due to the No Sail order established by the CDC, a lawsuit is not possible at this time.

Fortunately, State Representative Spencer Roach (R-79) does not intend to wait for the courts to be ready and has filed legislation to reverse Key Wests' vote.

With HB 267, Roach intends to set the Florida economy back on track, as Florida's seaports make up 13% of the Sunshine State's GDP.

The Floridian reached out to Roach for his thoughts where he informed us that, "We cannot allow wealthy enclaves to exclude certain economic classes from participating in Florida's tourist economy."

Roach then added that this is exactly what Key West is trying to do.

Roach predicted that if HB 267 does not pass, "This would devastate not only the Key West economy with an estimated economic loss of $90 million annually and the loss of 800 jobs related to the maritime industry.  And it's just wrong."

Seaports across the state of Florida carry the economy, generating $117.6 billion in economic value to the state.   This bill could potentially help stop 900,000 jobs from being lost across Florida if other cities were to follow suit.

The bill if passed would be effective upon becoming a law.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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