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Utility Amendment Stuck Down By Supreme Court

January 9th, 2020 by Jake Stofan

A proposed constitutional amendment that could have dramatically altered Florida’s utility landscape has been blocked from the 2020 ballot by the State Supreme Court.

The Energy Choice Amendment would have prevented investor owned utilities from generating electricity, limiting them only to maintenance of the power grid and distribution roles.

The Supreme Court took issue with the fact the amendment also claimed to grant Floridians the right to generate and sell their own electricity, but did not specifically do so in the amendment language.

Dominic Calabro with Florida TaxWatch said the move is a win for the state, arguing the amendment could have cost the state and local governments billions in lost revenues.
“Well first of all they were trying to sell it that everyone pays too much for electricity. That’s a false argument. Florida has one of the lowest utility rates in the country and that’s a real advantage for consumers and tax payers alike. The other thing is there’s a lot of instability if you were to take their model. It hasn’t worked as well as people believe it has. Before you make such a dramatic change, you’ve got to make sure it’s far better than the one you have,” said Calabro.

Aside from the court decision, the ballot initiative had so far not gathered enough signatures to secure a place on the 2020 ballot, falling about 100,000 signatures shy with the deadline less than a month away.

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