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Bill to overturn Key West cruise limits called 'dead' in Florida House

Key West's vote to limit cruise ships stands for now after preemptive legislation died in the Florida House
Legislation to overturn Key West-voter approved limits on cruise ships has died in Florida's House of Representatives.

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.

Time's up

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.'