Hot Topics- Who Makes the Decisions for Us?

HOT TOPIC from January 17, 2018

Speaker: Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner, Esq., District 3

PBC vs. State of Florida

Who Makes the Decisions for Us?

Video feed of event: 

Reviewed by Marsha Vinson

The impact of this Hot Topics presentation by Mr. Kerner, a highly accomplished public servant with active private sector experience, will continue to have tremendous legal significance to our League.  Mr. Kerner was introduced by Linda Geller-Schwartz, Voting Rights Co-Chair.


State Pre-emption of Local Regulations

To properly understand Florida State vs. Palm Beach County decision-making, an understanding of the legal doctrine of State Pre-emption is important for League members.  The doctrine refers to the state intent to preempt all local regulations that are in a particular area.  This is a complex subject that League members must have a basic understand of in order to properly support the League legislative positions and goals.

Recent Pre-emption Issues

Leaguers who were not able to attend the Hot Topics should make the effort to view Mr. Kerner’s presentation available on the League website.   Since 1968, Palm Beach County has been designated a charter county – with emphasis on local self-government and freedom from state control – as long as there is no conflict with state law.  Pre-emption issues have come into play most recently in the areas of conversion therapy, affordable housing, local fracking bans, medical marijuana, and charter schools.  Furthermore, local governments can opt out of county rules.


Mr. Kerner pointed out that Florida Uniform Traffic Law is a good example of appropriate pre-emption by the state.  Mr. Kerner simplified a complex subject and, at the same time, demonstrated how significant the role of the League continues to be in local, state, and federal governance.


Special Recognition: League members Pam Maldonado and Harriet Diamond for their voter registration efforts which were instrumental in our receiving the Martin Luther King Award for League Voter Registration successes;   Smith, Ivey, and Fronrath for Printing; Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart and Shipley Law Firm for underwriting  the  2018  PBC LWV Voter Guides;  Atlantis Country Club Staff