Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Supreme Court has turned back a challenge to term limits for Broward County Commissioners saying term limits are constitutional.
The state Supreme Court said previous decisions overturning term limits for some offices for lack of inclusion in the state constitution, “overly restricts the authority of counties pursuant to their home rule powers under the Florida Constitution.”
Broward County has a 12-year term limit in its charter, but a circuit court said term limits could only be put in place through a change to the state constitution.
The Florida Supreme Court said previous decisions on term limits, primarily Cook vs. Jacksonville, were erroneous and said that opinion “undermines the ability of counties to govern themselves as that broad authority has been granted to them by home rule power through the Florida Constitution.
The Court said that it’s new decision will “promote stability in the law by allowing the counties to govern themselves, including term limits of their officials, in accordance with their home rule authority.”
There are at least 10 counties whose charters have term limits for county commissioners, including many of the most populous – in addition to Broward, Palm Beach, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Polk, Sarasota and Volusia all have term limits.
In January, voters in Miami-Dade, the state’s largest county rejected term limits linked to a pay raise for commissioners. A new proposal without a pay raise will be on the November ballot.