Connect with us

South Florida

Pam Bondi sued over Florida Expressway amendments

The Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority (MDX) says it’s being bullied by the Legislature. Now, MDX has filed suit to see if the courts agree.

MDX filed suit in Tallahassee against Attorney General Pam Bondi, seeking a finding that recent changes to the Florida Expressway Authority Act are unconstitutional and invalid. Bondi’s office says they have not been served with the lawsuit.

The amendments, among other things, mandated a reduction in toll rates, limited the amount of toll revenue that can be used for administrative expenses, and changed auditing procedures, according to the complaint.

MDX alleges these requirements should be rendered null, as they usurp authority granted to MDX via a transfer agreement signed in 1996. That agreement “granted to MDX full financial control” of the five expressways located in Miami-Dade County, the complaint asserts.

The MDX Board says at first, it believed it was exempted from the requirements and did not act upon them. The lawsuit then states that the board was threatened with dissolution if it did not comply.

Thus, MDX is asking for a declaratory judgment that the amendments are unconstitutional.

The complaint notes MDX decided to sue Bondi “because the Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer of the State having the duty to enforce” the applicable laws. (Technically, Bondi is the state’s “chief legal officer” under the state constitution; the governor “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”)

The suit also makes reference to the legal concept of “home rule,” an issue which has earned a lot of attention due to actions by the state legislature.

Essentially, Article VIII, Section 2(b) of the state constitution allows cities to enact local ordinances without prior state approval. MDX alleges that authority is being trampled on by the amendments at issue in the lawsuit.

MDX asserts that concept, along with the 1996 transfer agreement, grant it full authority to operate the county’s toll systems on the five expressways within the board’s jurisdiction.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James Shelfer.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.