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Locals oppose proposal to relocate Florida capital

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 13:33:27-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Could Florida's state capital be moved out of Tallahassee? One Florida lawmaker is pushing for the change.

A Republican representing Delray Beach is behind house bill 13-35.

Mike Goldstein is always ready for a ride. Capital City Pedicabs is one way people get around town, but the company's name might need to change if one politician has his way.

House representative Bill Hager is proposing a bill to relocate the capital.

"If they do want to move it somewhere, that's going to have a big impact on the local economy and the reputation of the city as a whole," said Goldstein.

A similar effort failed in the sixties, sparking the start of Springtime Tallahassee.

"Local and civic leaders came together and decided that they had to form a festival to showcase our city," said Stephanie Jansen, the general chairman of Springtime Tallahassee. "So, literally, we still do that 50 years later."

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce says the proposal isn't logical or cost-effective.

"Tallahassee has served as the capital for 200 years, and we are a strong community," said Sue Dick with the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. "The lawmakers have a lot of other things they need to be working on than a bill that really shouldn't get any traction, and we should really move on."

Goldstein says this time of year is critical for his business with more people downtown, including lawmakers.

"That's our second-busiest season of the year after football," said Goldstein. "So, we're out downtown in the evenings. After going though bills, they want to relax and unwind, so we help them get around after hours."

We've reached out to representative Hager's office for comment and are waiting to hear back. Meanwhile, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum released to statement to WTXL about what he thinks of the proposal:

"I'm vehemently opposed to this proposal as both the Mayor of Tallahassee and as the future Governor of Florida. It's an honor for our city to host legislators, the Cabinet, and our state employees, and the State Capital is going to remain right here."