Miami-Dade County jumps into legal fight over terminated toll-road agency

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Miami-Dade County jumps into legal fight over terminated toll-road agency

By Shelly Sigo
July 25, 2019

Cumberland-Advisors-Patricia-Healy-In-The-News

A court hearing Thursday and Friday could determine the fate of the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority, and a new party in the case may sway the outcome.

Miami-Dade County Commissioners decided Tuesday to become an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, in the lawsuit challenging House Bill 385. The bill abolishing the expressway authority become law July 3 when it was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Kimberly Olsan, a senior vice president at FTN Financial, said in a July 15 municipal commentary that the Legislature’s replacement of MDX with a new agency that has limited ability to raise tolls is a development that bears watching.

The bill Florida passed usurping the power of the MDX to raise rates and build projects is an example of an action that can affect credit quality, Patricia Healy, Cumberland Advisors’ senior vice president of research and portfolio manager, said in a July 17 column.

“The legislation is being challenged and even if the challenge is successful, it is clear the entity has had its independent rate-setting authority compromised,” Healy wrote.

If the MDX’s lawsuit is unsuccessful at keeping the authority intact, it’s unclear when its successor will meet for the first time.

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