When the Florida Legislature convenes Tuesday to begin the second week of the nine-week Legislative Session, the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal that divides the Tampa and Polk County legislative delegations.
House Bill 815, sponsored by Tampa Republican Shawn Harrison, would move the 2nd District Court of Appeal from Lakeland to the Tampa area.
“It’s becoming a public safety issue,” Harrison said. About 50 employees and judges work in the courthouse. A recent air quality report shows the roof of the building sheds particles that cause air quality problems.
Polk County legislators aren’t pleased with the proposed move.
“We’re not happy with it,” Winter Haven Republican John Wood said last week. He said he would prefer a new court building rather than move the court to Tampa.
Harrison disagreed, saying that makes little sense because most of the court’s judges already work in Tampa at the Stetson University’s Tampa Law Center. Fifty-percent of all the filings for the 2nd DCA come from either Hillsborough or Pinellas counties, he adds.