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South Florida to Become Nation’s 51st State?

(CN) In a move unusual even for the home state of Jimmy Buffett and Carl Hiaasen, officials in South Miami, Fla., passed a resolution calling for the designation of South Florida as the nation's 51st state.

The statehood proposal was made by the city's vice mayor, Walter Harris, who said the region's concerns are often ignored by lawmakers in Tallahassee, some 403 miles to Miami's north.

Harris said this is especially as regards the effects of climate change, to which the everglades-dominated South Florida is particularly vulnerable.

"We have to be able to deal directly with this environmental concern and we can't really get it done in Tallahassee," Harris explained.

The measure passed by 3-2 vote of the city commission.

Afterwards, Mayor Philip Stoddard told reporters he's long advocated secession from the rest of Florida, but never thought to put his philosophy to a vote.

Like Harris, he also had harsh words for the state lawmakers in Tallahassee, who he said "would just love to saw the state in half and just let us float off into the Caribbean."

The resolution says the new state would be comprised of 24 of Florida's 67 counties, with its northern border being formed by Brevard, Orange, Polk, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Now that the city has passed the resolution, officials plan to send the resolution to the proposed member counties of new state for their consideration.

However, even if they all signed on, the odds of new state coming into being a slim at best.

In order for a secession to be enacted, the measure would require voter approval from the entire state. Then it would have to be sent to the U.S. Congress for its approval.

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