Florida House Asks Judge To Reconsider Ruling About Disolution Of MDX

Sep 19, 2019

The Florida House of Representatives is asking a circuit judge to reconsider a decision rejecting a new state law that would abolish a toll-road authority in Miami-Dade County and replace it with another agency.

House attorneys have filed a motion asking for a rehearing after Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper found the law unconstitutional. Cooper ruled that the measure is what is known as a “local law” that violates Miami-Dade County’s constitutionally protected home-rule powers. But in the motion last week for a rehearing, House attorneys indicated they seek to prove that the Miami-Dade expressway system handles large numbers of motorists from across the state and has a broad economic impact.

“(Expert) testimony would show the substantial economic importance of the five expressways at issue for municipalities and counties outside Miami-Dade County and for the state of Florida as a whole,” the motion said. “With this additional evidence, the House would show that the expressways have a ‘material statewide impact,’ and, therefore the 2019 amendment (law) is not an invalid local law only applicable to Miami-Dade County.”

The law called for abolishing the longstanding Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority and replacing it with a new entity called the Greater Miami Expressway Agency.

In his order last month, Cooper wrote that “it is clear that the 2019 amendment is a local law that applies only to Miami-Dade County in violation of the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Amendment. The dissolution of MDX (the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority), the creation of GMX (the Greater Miami Expressway Agency), the transfer of assets and rights from MDX to GMX and the adoption of the Greater Miami Expressway Agency Act are directly targeted at Miami-Dade County and apply exclusively to Miami-Dade County.”