ORLANDO, Fla. – When Florida voters go to the polls in November, they might be surprised to see only a handful of constitutional amendments on their ballot. There are only three this year, a big departure from previous elections.
All of the amendments were placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature, and two of them deal with taxes, while one of them deals with abolishing a commission that reviews the constitution. There are no citizen initiatives on the ballot this year.
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For an amendment to pass the ballot, it must get 60% approval from the voters.
Here is what Florida Amendment 2 is about.
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“Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to abolish the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets at 20-year intervals and is scheduled to next convene in 2037, as a method of submitting proposed amendments or revisions to the State Constitution to electors of the state for approval. This amendment does not affect the ability to revise or amend the State Constitution through citizen initiative, constitutional convention, the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, or legislative joint resolution.”
BREAKING IT DOWN
Every 20 years, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission meets to propose provisions to revise all or part of the constitution. It’s one of five ways the Florida Constitution can be changed:
- The state legislature
- Florida Constitution Revision Commission
- Citizen initiative
- A constitutional convention
- Taxation and budget reform commission
This amendment would get rid of the Florida CRC.
The commission is comprised of 37 members, chosen by Florida government leaders, who examine amendment proposals that can be submitted by voters or lawmakers and submit them for placement on the ballot.
In 2018, for instance, the commission put seven amendments on the ballot. The commission came under fire that year because, in some cases, the commission members bundled issues together, such as one amendment that proposed a ban on offshore oil drilling and indoor vaping.
The sponsor of the amendment said commission members did not have accountability.
The League of Women Voters of Florida opposes getting rid of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, in part because the Florida Legislature has, over the last couple of decades, attempted to restrict how citizens’ initiatives get on the ballot.
“The League believes the Legislature should amend the process so that future Constitution Revision Commissions should have bipartisan appointees and ballot amendments should each address only one issue. Eliminating the Constitution Revision Commission will remove a generational opportunity for citizens to update their constitution. The League opposes any limits on citizens’ abilities to be architects of their own Florida Constitution.”
A “YES” vote on this amendment eliminates the constitution revision commission, leaving four ways to amend the Florida Constitution.
A “NO” vote on this amendment leaves the FL CRC in place.