Ta-ta Tallahassee? Kevin Rader renews call to study moving Florida’s capital

Tallahassee Florida Downtown Skyline Night Photo
Rader wants state capital in Central Florida.

Sen. Kevin Rader is once again looking to study the possibility of moving the state capital from Tallahassee to Central Florida.

Rader – who represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties – has pushed for the move before, arguing Tallahassee is too distant from many of the state’s biggest population centers.

His bill (SB 112), newly filed for the 2020 Legislative Session, would task the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) with studying the matter.

Among the things OPPAGA is directed to consider in the bill are ease of travel to the capital for residents, cost of travel for legislators, costs associated with relocating the capital and an estimate of the effect on Tallahassee and Leon County.

The organization would report its findings to the Legislature by Dec. 15, 2021.

One thing is sure: Efforts to relocate the capital go back all the way to 1853, and they haven’t been successful yet.

Rader’s argument for shifting the capital south is the same argument that gave us Tallahassee as the capital city in the first place.

“Tallahassee was chosen as the capital of American Florida in 1824, primarily because it was the midway point between the two principal cities,” reads the state’s history of the capital.

At the time, those two cities were St. Augustine and Pensacola. But eventually began spreading south, turning the swamp into habitable areas. Now, much of state’s population lives in areas such as Orlando, Tampa, and the tri-county area in South Florida.

By settling the capital in Central Florida, it would serve as a better midpoint for lawmakers and residents.

But Rader’s effort didn’t get very far last Session. That’s because although a Central Florida capital would be more geographically convenient, it would also cost loads of money.

The study would be tasked with figuring out just how much.

Ryan Nicol

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 [email protected]


5 comments

  • Jim Loftus

    August 7, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    The location of the Capitol is such a fraudulent argument. First of all, no matter where you live in Florida, you have a house member in your district. They have staff and an office in that district. You already have access to your local elected officials, same with the Florida Senate.

  • Dan Lanske

    August 7, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    location of the capital in 2019 is irrelevent. Its not like in the 1800’s when we were traveling by Horse and Buggy, and it took a week or more to travel to Tallahassee from Miami.

    Now its a half day’s drive, or an hour flight. Waste of time and money researching this

  • Mrs. Pattie Hunt

    August 8, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    This was tried again in the 1980’s and the Legislature immediately appropriated funds to begin building a brand new, huge Capitol Building right in front of the old one. This was so they could say that a move would be impractical since they had this beautiful, expensive new Capitol Building going up.
    Wonder what excuse they will come up with this time!

  • gary

    August 8, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    History means something to a lot of Americans. A state capital is part of history….leave it where it is!

  • David Kenney

    August 9, 2019 at 10:16 am

    For those living in south Florida, the location should be moved to central Florida. To say you can work with your Congress people in your district office is short sided. Much of the important work takes place in Tallahassee, so being involved in your government means being where they are. Move the Capitol.

Comments are closed.


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