Bill targets Constitution Revision Commission

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NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

A proposal seeking voter approval to abolish the Florida Constitution Revision Commission is back in the House, where the effort died during the 2019 session. 

The measure (HJR 301) was filed by Rep. Brad Drake, R-Eucheeanna, for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, which starts Jan. 14.

The 37-member Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years, became highly controversial last year as it put seven issues on the November 2018 ballot. In part, that controversy stemmed from “bundling” unrelated issues in proposed constitutional amendments. 

For example, the commission proposed an amendment that called for a ban on offshore oil drilling and a ban on vaping in workplaces. All seven of the commission’s proposals passed. 

Some support 

A Senate version of the proposal to abolish the commission (SJR 142) has already drawn unanimous support from the Judiciary Committee in advance of the 2020 session.

It is slated to be heard by the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee. If both chambers pass such a proposal during the upcoming session, it would have to go on the November 2020 ballot because abolishing the commission would involve changing the Constitution. 

The Senate backed abolishing the commission during the 2019 session, but the House did not go along. After the 2019 session ended in May, Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed support for ending the commission.

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