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Miami-Dade commissioners want to put pit-bull ban to vote instead of having state repeal it

To stop a proposal winding its way through the Florida Legislature, a group of Miami-Dade commissioners agreed Tuesday to give voters a say on the county’s 23-year-old ban on pit bull ownership.

Commissioners on the public safety and health care administration committee feared the proposed legislation outlawing the county’s pit-bull ban would undermine Miami-Dade’s home-rule powers, which give it sole authority to deal with local matters.

Instead of waiting for the proposal to come to a final vote in Tallahassee, committee members favor putting a question on the August countywide election ballot asking voters if Miami-Dade should repeal the ban.

In exchange, commissioners said they would urge state Rep. Carlos Trujillo, a Miami Republican, to withdraw the legislation he has sponsored in the Florida House of Representatives.

“We cannot allow the armor to take kinks in it,” Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, the committee chairman, said, referring to protecting the county’s powers. “We should be dealing with this internally.”

Diaz and Commissioner Esteban Bovo, a former state lawmaker, sent text messages during the committee meeting to Trujillo, who indicated from Tallahassee that he would stop pushing his bill if commissioners follow through on putting the pit-bull ban to voters.

“I think it’s only fair that the people of Dade County decide,” Trujillo later told The Miami Herald. More here.