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Constitution revision concerns

March 29th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

 

 

Florida is the only state with a commission charged to review the constitution once every 20 years. The 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission holds its first meeting tonight in Orlando. But the League of Women Voters and others stood on the steps of the state Capitol today with concerns. The first Commission in 1978 was all Democrats. All five of its proposals failed. In 1998 the commission was evenly divided. It passed 8 of 9 ideas. League President Pamela Goodman says this year’s commission is again partisan.

“This year’s CRC is overwhelmingly Republican, and the Speaker and Senate President publicly announced the issues they expect their appointees to support. these issues include legalizing school vouchers, term limits for judges, and returning power to politicians to draw districts for themselves” says Goodman.

While voters have the final say, Progress Florida is worried a lack of openness at the Commission could make the decision difficult for voters.

“A lot of these are very complex issues and when you talk about things like judicial term limits or school vouchers. There a lot of different ways these things could be framed and formulated and lot of decisions about whether these will be on the ballot. Are these the things that Floridians are most concerned about or not” asks Filer.

The commission is yet to adopt its rules, and advocates want it to require all meetings to be open and that the elected officials on the panel be prohibited from taking contributions from people seeking favor from the commission.

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