Voters to decide fate of Florida’s constitution…

112 points

Florida voters subsequent yr will resolve whether or not to abolish a strong fee that drew heavy criticism because it positioned seven constitutional amendments on the 2018 poll.

With sponsor Mike Beltran, R-Lithia, urging lawmakers to hitch him in “protecting” the Florida Structure, the Home voted 86-28 on Tuesday, April 27, to present closing approval to a proposal to abolish the state Structure Revision Fee.

The Senate handed the measure (SJR 204) final month, that means it’s now headed to the 2022 poll. Voter approval is required as a result of the fee itself is included within the state Structure.

The 37-member fee, which meets each 20 years, efficiently proposed seven constitutional amendments in 2018, together with high-profile measures designed to ban offshore oil drilling, prohibit vaping in enclosed indoor workspaces and outlaw greyhound racing.

However the fee drew widespread criticism, at the very least partly as a result of it bundled unrelated points into single poll proposals. For instance, it tied collectively the bans on oil drilling and office vaping. Critics argued such bundling was unfair to voters, who may need supported one concern in a poll proposal and opposed one other.

Lawmakers additionally contended that the fee proposed placing points into the Structure that ought to have been determined by the Legislature. Throughout transient feedback on the Home ground Tuesday, Beltran stated the Structure is meant to be a blueprint for state authorities however that the fee contributed to a “proliferation” of points going into the Structure.

“Some of them were good policy, but they didn’t need to be in the Constitution,” Beltran stated.

Arrange by voters as a part of the 1968 Florida Structure, the fee has distinctive energy to put proposed constitutional amendments on the poll. The 2018 model of the fee was largely appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott, then-Senate President Joe Negron and then-Home Speaker Richard Corcoran.

Republican lawmakers and influential teams such because the Florida Chamber of Commerce have pushed repeatedly in recent times to make it more durable to amend the Structure.

Tuesday’s Home vote on the proposed elimination of the fee got here a day after lawmakers gave closing approval to a invoice (SB 1890) that might place a $3,000 cap on contributions to political committees making an attempt to place residents’ initiatives on the poll. That invoice, which can go to Gov. Ron DeSantis, might thwart expensive efforts to gather a whole bunch of hundreds of petition signatures required to place initiatives on the poll.

The Legislature additionally recurrently locations proposed constitutional amendments on the poll. For instance, the Senate on Monday gave closing approval to a proposed constitutional modification (HJR 1377) that would offer a tax break to property homeowners who elevate their properties to handle potential flooding. That proposal will go on the 2022 poll.

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