South Florida proposes creation of 51st state

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- South Miami is hot about North Florida. So much so, that they want the two Florida’s to break up.

“The real issue for separation is the absolute reality of climate change. Global warming, rising sea levels, this is no longer political,” said South Miami Vice Mayor Walter Harris.

Environmental concerns led to the City Commission to pass a resolution in favor of a split by a vote of 3 to 2.

“We can’t wait any longer, it won’t be easy but the alternative will be even more difficult,” said Harris.

Tthe proposal would basically split the state down the middle. South Florida, the proposed 51st state, would consist of about 24 counties.

The southern counties contain a majority of the population and a majority of revenue contributors. Susan Glickman with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy says this should send a message to lawmakers who have yet to act.

“This should be a wake up call to lawmakers to say that we need to take a look at this serious issue, we need to start now because energy decisions made now are going to impact us into the future,” said Glickman.

Climate solutions have been a surprising issue dogging Governor Rick Scott leading up to November’s election. More than 90,000 signatures were delivered to Governor Scott’s office earlier this week from parents and kids pressing for environmental answers.

“Just this year, we’ve experienced six of the seven hottest months in the history of temperature,” said Susan McLeod.

The split would need statewide approval and then ultimately the approval of Congress.

The proposed border of North and South Florida would be Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Orange, and Brevard counties.

City officials say the idea of a split has been tossed around for 60 years.

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