‘Most popular bill of Session’: Legislature passes bill to rename A1A as ‘Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway’

2018 Jazz and Heritage Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 3, New Orleans, USA - 29 Apr 2018
The first highway marker is to be installed on Aug. 30, a date that itself is a nod to a Buffett classic.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo cheekily referred to it as “the most popular bill of Session.” Now the measure, which will honor beloved tropical troubadour Jimmy Buffett, is ready for the Governor’s signature.

Lawmakers approved legislation (HB 91) to rechristen all of State Road A1A as “Jimmy Buffett Highway” from its tip in Ferdinand Beach to Mile Marker 0 in Key West.

And it didn’t matter whether their fins leaned left or right; every vote in the Capitol was for the change.

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, the measure’s sponsor in the upper chamber, said it’s a fitting tribute to the self-proclaimed Parrothead who is now “off searching for his lost shaker of salt.”

The chamber voted 40-0 for the measure.

Ahead of the vote, Book recognized radio personality Savannah Jane Buffett, Buffett’s eldest daughter, who appeared in the Senate chamber gallery with her husband and Judith Smith, who runs the Singing for Change Foundation that Jimmy Buffett created in 1995.  

The road choice is especially suiting, Book added, considering Buffett’s fifth studio album was named “A1A.”

“Jimmy was an icon to so many,” said Book, whose father, lobbyist Ron Book, was a longtime friend of the singer-songwriter. “My dad wasn’t there when I was born because he was with Jimmy Buffett. It’s family lore at this point.”

Book noted that the bill directs the Florida Department of Transportation to place the first marker along the to-be-renamed highway by Aug. 30, the first Friday before Labor Day. That action is a nod to Buffett’s classic song, “Come Monday,” which references a Labor Day Weekend show.

“As Jimmy once said, ‘It’s a sweet life living by the salty sea,’ and we could not think of a better way to honor him than by memorializing him along Florida’s coastal highway,” she said.

As had happened last month, when the House voted unanimously for the legislation by Republican Reps. Chuck Clemons of Newberry and Jim Mooney of Islamorada, several Senate members Tuesday offered punny comments on the Buffett bill.

Zephyrhills Republican Sen. Danny Burgess called it “fin-tastic.”

Sen. Gayle Harrell, a Stuart Republican, invited celebrants to join her at a nearby Margaritaville restaurant for a “wonderful day in the sun with fun.”

“Jimmy Buffett Highway” will cross through 13 counties. A House staff analysis determined that installing roadway markers along it will “have an insignificant negative fiscal impact” on the state.

Buffett first became a star in the 1970s with songs that blended country, folk and rock. Though he was not born in Florida, he became ubiquitous with the Key West lifestyle.

Buffett also became deeply involved with environmental causes in his adopted home state and campaigned for Democratic candidates.

After his death at 76 in early September following a four-year battle with skin cancer, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered flags in Tallahassee and Key West to be flown at half-staff.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


4 comments

  • Jay Smif

    March 5, 2024 at 4:22 pm

    Buffett hated Fat HItler Trump and Pudgy Fascist DeSantis, cultists.

  • Christina Pooshaw 💩💩💩

    March 5, 2024 at 6:18 pm

    He HATED you MAGA scum. Remember that when you see his sign, Earl!

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    March 5, 2024 at 6:34 pm

    Good evening Florida,
    We all loved Jimmy, Democrats and Republicans, which is why I, Earl Pitts American, own the exclusive rights to replace all of the stolen Official A1A Highway Signs. As I know drunken Buffett fans will be taking them down in great numbers to decorate their Sage Man Caves. * sure you could purchase a “FAKE” A1A Buffett Sign for your Sage Man Cave” but it would always kind of suck ya know …. NOT THE REAL REAL ya know.
    Its not all about making money though ….. but Oh Wait ….. it is!!!!
    Earl Pitts “Sage Buffett Fan” American

  • WTF Man

    March 6, 2024 at 9:05 am

    I am so glad these jerks are yucking it up with the most popular bill.
    Ya know what would be even more popular?Fixing insurance that would allow me to stay in my home.Insurance has been cancelled twice in one year and tripled in price.
    But by all means congratulate yourself and have a good ol time.
    Jerks, all of ya.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

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 @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704