What to Know
- Since shortly after the state was founded in 1845, politicians have made efforts to move the capital to a more central location.
A member of the Florida Senate whose district includes part of Broward County is re-igniting a longtime debate: should the capital of the Sunshine State be moved from Tallahassee to another city?
Sen. Kevin Rader wants to Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to look into the costs and possibly benefits to move the capital from Florida’s panhandle to Orlando.
“Tallahassee is not friendly to participatory democracy — it’s an eight-hour drive from Miami, seven hours from Broward, eight from the Southwest coast — it takes so long to get here. It’s prohibitive,” Rader told the Tallahassee Democrat.
Tallahassee was selected as the original capital of Florida as it was the central point between Pensacola and St. Augustine – the original capitals of the West and East Florida territories respectively.
Rader, a Democrat who told the paper that he knows a move is a possibly longshot, said the reasoning for the capital being in the center of what was once the major population areas is the same reason a move should be looked into – as the population of the state, now around 21 million, has moved to the central and southern parts of the state.
The proposal, which currently has no companion bill in the Florida House of Representatives, would seek to have the study results completed by the end of 2020.
Since shortly after the state was founded in 1845, politicians have made efforts to move the capital to a more central location. The most recent one in the late 1960s from the late Sen. Lee Weissenborn, whose district represented Miami-Dade County at the time, led to the eventual construction of the new capitol building. A memorial plaque was placed inside to acknowledge his role.