Lately, the fight between Floridians promoting home rule and those advocating for statewide preemption has been as hot as the late-summer afternoons. Preemption is not a dirty word, and home rule should not be considered profane either. These concepts appear to be mutually exclusive and opposite, but there is space for both. Without diving headlong in Ecclesiastes or The Byrds’ most hummable tune, I posit to you that there is a time for both of these approaches. Businesses will flourish when there is a good balance between preemption and home rule.
The Case for Preemption
You will often find statewide business advocates appealing to our state legislators to enact a statewide preemption on a particular topic. Is it because we hate local government? No. It’s because we are an increasingly interconnected economy. Local businesses serve as the economic backbone of our communities. When it comes to doing business, the factors and variables impacting local businesses do not heed to the jurisdictional boundaries of 400+ cities and 67 counties. If the impact is felt across jurisdictional boundaries, then the policies we adopt need to cross those boundaries as well.
When the topic of preemption comes up, you will often hear concerns about the “patchwork of regulation.” This refers to several different localities adopting regulations to address the same issue but not in the same way. It’s not just a talking point. When companies operate across jurisdictional lines and those many jurisdictions regulate things like sustainability or human resources differently, I assure you the struggle is real. Consistent and predictable regulation makes a big difference as local businesses try to operate efficiently, effectively and responsibly. And yes, profitably.
Breaking the law and flouting regulations is no business owner’s roadmap to meaningful and sustained success. Our members want to comply and be good corporate citizens. The patchwork can get in the way and excessive regulatory burdens can hinder a business from flourishing, growing, hiring more people, and living its best life. And “best life” doesn’t just mean profit for the owner: It means greater economic prosperity for a community and its citizens. In some circumstances, preemption lays the groundwork for consistent regulation and prosperity for all.
Why Home Rule Matters
But there is absolutely a time for home rule. Nothing so clearly demands and requires local direction as the issue of zoning. Local government should not tell us how to do business, but it certainly has the authority and responsibility to tell us where to do business. Whether designating commercial zones versus residential zones or deciding where manufacturing or agricultural activity should take place, these decisions shape communities. While a local government should not abuse its zoning authority as a front for regulatory overreach, the decisions about where particular activities take place within a community create the structure for communities. Citizens rely on these designations as they make important decisions about their homes and livelihood.
So here’s to preemption and home rule. May we work together to find ways to responsibly and effectively apply both of these necessary concepts.
Samantha Padgett is General Counsel of FRLA.
Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) requires that food service employees be trained on safe food handling techniques and hygiene practices.
Aside from this being mandated by state law, restauranteurs and hoteliers with food service that actively manage food safety can reduce their risk exposure.
To stay in compliance, use DBPR’s contracted provider for foodhandler training – FRLA’s SafeStaff.
What is SafeStaff?
SafeStaff is FRLA’s proprietary Foodhandler Training program and has been DBPR’s only contracted provider for nearly 20 years. During that period, Florida foodborne illness outbreaks have dramatically decreased. The SafeStaff Foodhandler Guide contains everything needed to create a safe food service environment – from instructions, to food safety best practices, to quizzes and assessments.
Why SafeStaff Over Other Training Products?
FRLA’s SafeStaff program provides the industry a unique benefit no other provider can claim.
Unlike for-profit sources, the purchase of SafeStaff benefits the purchaser in the long run as the proceeds from SafeStaff sales help fund the FRLA mission and advocacy efforts to protect, educate, and promote the hospitality industry.
What does this mean for you?
SafeStaff is convenient and cost competitive. But most importantly, when you buy SafeStaff you are investing in protecting your business and the jobs you create from harmful taxes, laws, and regulation. The FRLA Government Relations team advocates for you at the local, state and national levels, tirelessly fighting for business-friendly public policies.
Learn more about our Government Relations team, view our current legislative priorities, and more by visiting our site here.
Interested in SafeStaff or other FRLA related training and certification programs available to you?
We’ve attended the FRLA Marketing + Operations Summit since its inception. In fact, we’ve found this event to be so valuable and important that we’ve been a sponsor for the past three years.
M+OS is more than an opportunity to hear about the latest and greatest trends in the hospitality industry with regard to marketing and operations issues. The Summit helps us stay current with the challenges our customers face and gives us specific topics to discuss with them throughout the year.
We’ve learned countless tips and tricks in our years of attending the Summit, but I will never forget participating in a Breakout Session focusing on how to market to various generations when we had a lightbulb moment. Each year, we gain real-life lessons, and this one convinced us to hire a social media staffer. Thanks to this realization, we’ve seen a significant uptick in our online interactions with existing and, most excitingly, new customers. Incorporating such a simple tactic into our marketing strategy allowed us to reach more people.
The Summit provides us with an opportunity to network with members who could one day be potential customers. Through our networking over the years, we’ve found it crucial to learn what customers are trying to accomplish so we can work with them to support their efforts. For example, we can assist in combining a restaurant’s marketing and operational goals by offering custom logos imprinted on their umbrella canopies. Operationally, their guests receive the comfort of shade and may stay at the table longer, ordering coffee and dessert, thereby increasing the bottom line.
It’s been our experience that the Summit is a great place to learn from industry veterans, find out what innovative, best practices are out there, and how different successful brands have overcome challenges. The quality of the speakers is fantastic – from famous chefs like Robert Irvine, to entrepreneurs and restaurant executives from Firehouse Subs and Tijuana Flats. Both the networking opportunities and the chance to meet with decision makers across the industry are terrific. We are looking forward to what this year has in store!
This week’s blog comes from Jordan Beckner, President of Sales at FiberBuilt Umbrellas & Cushions.
On March 13th, movers and shakers of the tourism industry are heading to Tallahassee from all over Florida for Tourism Day.
Why it’s important
This yearly event allows industry professionals to let lawmakers know the importance of tourism in our state and in their businesses. Tourism day is dedicated to bringing those in the tourism industry and government officials together. This event is organized by Visit Florida and FRLA, and allows attendees to meet face-to-face with their legislative representative and voice their opinions and concerns.
What to expect
At Tourism Day, attendees can expect to receive lots of information from policy makers and state leaders. This day allows for direct interaction with legislators in a fruitful environment. Outside of connecting with legislators, attendees can network with industry professionals from across the state to share ideas, industry issues, and more with one another. This is an exciting and fun day for those in the tourism and hospitality industry.
This event displays the enormous scope and breadth of the industry. It is alive and well in all corners of the state, from the smallest restauarant to the largest hotel. It can feel as though people often take this industry for granted and discount its importance. We employ millions of people, and we are responsible for billions in sales. This event brings all aspects of the industry together, and there is power in that.
Ready to have your say on Tourism Day? Register here.