The Path to Home Rule
In the state of Florida, the path to home rule authority is laid out by statutes. The process can take up to two years and involves a rigorous analysis with input and involvement of the community. In the end, registered voters within Merritt Island can vote in Nov 2024.
Step 1: Feasibility Study
The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners approved funding a Feasibility study at the request of the MIPC. The Feasibility study is currently under final review, and the final draft can be obtained from the county commission office.
This study must be submitted to the state by September 1 for consideration in the following legislative session.
BJM Consulting, Inc., was retained to complete this study. With more than 30 previous studies produced, including Fort Myers Beach and Indiantown, Florida. The analysis begins with a rough 5-year projected budget to help our community better understand the financial aspect of incorporation – what current revenue sources would return to the municipality, and any additional revenue sources needed to operate a government lite style municipality
Step 2: Local Delegation
Because the entire process goes through the Florida House and Senate meeting with the local delegation are informed of potential plans. The Merritt Island Preservation Committee (MIPC) has met with Senator Debbie Mayfield and State Representative Tyler Sirois.
Step 3: A Local Bill
All required components of the feasibility study must be submitted to the local delegation no later than September 1, 2023, for consideration in the 2024 legislative session. Upon submission, the study goes through multiple subcommittees to be scrutinized for completeness and viability. Once it emerges from this process, the local delegation would officially vote on it as a local bill. This local bill then travels through the House, the Senate, and onto the Governor’s desk.
Step 4: A Local Vote
If the bill passes in Tallahassee, registered voters within the proposed municipal boundaries can vote on becoming a municipality. Assuming the bill passes in the 2024 legislative session, local voters could expect to see it on the November 2024 ballot. If it passes the local vote, the city of Merritt Island would officially become municipality by January 2025.