The bill that sailed through the Senate and was advancing in the House hit problems that couldn't be resolved and sank Tuesday after a flurry of last-minute changes.
With just three days in the legislative session, there wasn't time to negotiate the changes and bring the bill to a vote in the full House, let alone reconcile changes with the Senate.
Florida Politics, which declared the bill dead, explained how it see-sawed from a narrow focus on preempting the Key West limits to impacting all Florida seaports with a recent amendment.
'Ultimately, the amendment seemed to signal legislation that only affected Key West could not stand up, but a bill that could impact all ports could not get the votes to pass,' Florida Politics concluded.
Pier operator's donation
In another late-breaking twist, it had come out that companies owned by Mark Walsh of the Pier B Development Corp., which operates Key West's Pier B cruise dock, recently donated nearly $1m to Ron DeSantis’ reelection, raising speculation about how the Florida governor might perceive the bill.
David v. Goliath
So the will of Key West voters stands for now.
In a tweet, Friends of the Everglades, which had joined the city's Safer Cleaner Ships and other home rule proponents, called the preemptive legislation a 'true David v. Goliath battle and, this time, David appears to have won.'