Judge Rejects Miami-Dade Expressway Authority Case - For Now

May 20, 2019

Saying the case was not “ripe,” a Leon County circuit judge has denied a request for an injunction to block a bill that would eliminate the Miami-Dade  County Expressway Authority and replace it with the newly created Greater Miami Expressway Agency. But Judge John Cooper left open the possibility of revisiting the issue if Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill (HB 385) into law.

The expressway authority filed the lawsuit early this month, arguing that changes in the bill are unconstitutional because they would violate home-rule powers in Miami-Dade County and would impair contracts.

The proposed elimination of the authority drew heavy debate during this spring’s legislative session from Miami-Dade lawmakers, with the bill also making changes such as seeking a 10-year freeze on toll rates and developing a rebate program for Miami-Dade motorists who use the SunPass tolling system.

In his ruling last week, Cooper said the case was not “ripe for adjudication” because DeSantis had not signed the bill.

In the event HB 385 becomes law, and in the event the plaintiff renews its motion for preliminary injunctive relief, the court will entertain the renewed motion at an appropriate time respecting the circumstances presented,” Cooper wrote.