Tallahassee, Fla.—Local governments across Florida will no longer be able to ban food trucks or require food truck operators to get an additional local license in order to vend under a bill passed by the Florida House and Senate today. The provision is part of a broader bill to reform occupational licensing in the state and is expected to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis soon.
The Institute for Justice (IJ), a public interest law firm with an office in Miami, represents food truck owners across the United States and in 2018 sued the city of Fort Pierce, Florida over its excessive food truck restrictions. Fort Pierce backed away from its restrictions after a Florida Circuit Court ordered the city to stop enforcement during the course of the lawsuit.
“It’s not the government’s job to pick winners and losers in the marketplace,” said IJ Florida Office Managing Attorney Justin Pearson. “That right belongs to consumers. We applaud the Legislature’s action to support entrepreneurship and consumer choice across the Sunshine State.”
Through its National Street Vending Initiative, IJ challenges anti-competitive laws that harm street vendors by unconstitutionally restricting their right to earn an honest living. The initiative helps vendors defeat such restrictions by bringing lawsuits in state and federal courts, equipping vendors to fight these restrictions through activism, and educating the public about the social and economic importance of street vending. IJ’s report on “Seven Myths and Realities About Food Trucks” tackles many of the common arguments against allowing food trucks. IJ also recommended policy proposals to encourage food trucks in the report “Food Truck Freedom.”