TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — As lawmakers descend on Tallahassee for the annual legislative session, one is suggesting they should be heading somewhere else.
Representative Bill Hager filed a bill on Monday, proposing a relocation of Florida’s Capitol.
Under House Bill 1335: Capitol Relocation Task Force, Hager is requesting a task force be formed to look into relocating the Florida Capitol from Tallahassee to another area of the state. The study would consider the ease of travel to and from the Capitol for members of the public, the cost of travel for lawmakers, and the economic impact on Tallahassee, Leon County and other surrounding areas.
Only specific buildings are named to be moved under this bill including the Capitol building, offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Cabinet Officers, and the legislative branch of government.
Although no specific new location is mentioned, some have pushed for Orlando to be the capital city.
“It’s a bad idea,” said Sue Dick, President of Tallahassee’s Chamber of Commerce. “Just the logistics and the overall cost of such a recommendation is not something that is realistic for our state to be considering at this time.”
Dick also said it would impact local businesses as well as the many state associations located here.
Many residents are also against the idea.
“We wouldn’t have anything here without the Capitol,” said Gilda Baker, a resident of Tallahassee for more than sixty years. “It’s just a draw to Tallahassee for visitors from a lot of different states.”
“I was born in Tallahassee, I was raised in Tallahassee, and I love Tallahassee. I just don’t think the Capitol could be in no better place than Tallahassee,” said resident John Dickey.
Tallahassee has been the capital of Florida for nearly 200 years. It was chosen because of its central location between Pensacola and St. Augustine. In 1972 the Legislature authorized money to build the new Capitol Complex, which was completed in 1977.
“They want to say that they’re going to move the Capitol, but I think they should worry about some more important things than moving the Capitol because it’s been a tradition here all these years and there’s no sense in even thinking about that,” said resident Juan Gibson.