To secede or not to secede? South FL could become 51st state

The mayor and city commission of the City of South Miami have passed a resolution “advocating for the legal separation of Florida into two separate states, creating the 51st state in the Union and naming it ‘South Florida’,” according to the official resolution.

The new proposed state of South Florida would have 24 counties, comprising 39 percent of the total area and 67 percent of the total population of Florida.

The motive for the split comes from the fact that South Florida generates 69 percent of state revenue, yet the capitol of Tallahassee tends to ignore the interests of the bottom half of the state.

The most notable grievance listed in the resolution is Tallahassee’s disregard for the effects of global warming on the southern half of the state. This comes after news that Rick Scott has ordered officials not to use the terms “climate change, global warming, sustainability, or sea-level rise,” according to reports by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

South Florida has been called “ground zero” for effects of sea-level rise.

“North Florida is approximately 120 feet above sea level while the average elevation of South Florida is only 50 feet with a very large portion of South Florida averaging less than 15 feet above sea level,” the resolution reads.

Areas in this high-risk zone for sea level rise include Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Lake Okeechobee (the source of much of the fresh water in Florida), and the Turkey Point nuclear reactors (which are 42 years old and less than 5 feet above sea level). Additionally, some of Florida’s wealthiest counties – Monroe, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade – are only 5 feet or less above sea level.

“The creation of the 51st state, South Florida, is a necessity for the very survival of the entire southern region of the current state of Florida,” the resolution reads. “This is only the first step in a very complicated process and it will ultimately require the approval of the electorate of the entire state as well as Congressional approval.”

A copy of the resolution was sent to all municipalities in Miami-Dade County and the governing bodies of all 24 counties that are in the proposed South Florida region.

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