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Ron DeSantis signs bill dismantling Miami-Dade Expressway Authority

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a bill shutting down the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and replacing it with the new Greater Miami Expressway Agency.

HB 385 transfers all of MDX’s liabilities and assets — including toll facilities — to the new entity. Toll rates will stay the same under the Greater Miami Expressway Agency.

“The people of Miami-Dade County have made it clear that the MDX transportation authority has needed reform for some time and I am pleased to sign HB 385 into law,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement.

“I appreciate the Miami-Dade legislative delegation’s commitment to providing toll relief to their constituents and ensuring that government agencies act in the best interest of the communities they serve.”

DeSantis also announced a trio of appointments to the new agency’s governing board: Marili Cancio, Rodolfo Pages and Fatima Perez.

In addition to three gubernatorial appointments, the board will get three members selected by the the county metropolitain planning organization and two more selected by the county commission.

The law also freezes toll rates until 2029, though the board can overrule that provision with a two-thirds vote.

The measure was sponsored by Miami Springs Republican Rep. Bryan Avila. Miami Republican Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. carried the companion bill in the Senate.

During the 2019 Legislative Session, Diaz said Miami-Dade residents were “tired of talk” and a change was needed.

“I am concerned with all of the constituents that have had enough with the conditions of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority,” he said in May. “I am concerned with a county government that has taken over an independent authority that was created by the state to serve the citizens of Miami-Dade.”

Prior to DeSantis’ signature, MDX filed suit to block the proposal from becoming law, arguing it violated home-rule powers.

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper denied that request in late May, though he left the door open for MDX to resume the challenge once the bill was signed into law.

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