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To CRC or Not to CRC?

March 21st, 2019 by Jake Stofan

Many Florida voters were upset when they saw bundled constitutional amendments on the ballot this past November.

Lawmakers are pushing two separate initiatives that would prevent bundling in the future.

Do you want to ban vaping in the work place?

How about banning oil drilling?

Last November if you wanted one, you had to accept the other as well.

Senator Rob Bradley says voters took offense.

“That’s the one complaint I heard more than any,” said Bradley.

There were five bundled amendments on the ballot in 2018, all put there by the Constitution Revision Commission.

It’s the only body not limited to a single subject rule, but Senator Bradley is sponsoring legislation poised for a floor vote in the Senate would change that.

“This bill ends bundling,” said Bradley.

Legislation in the House goes even further.

It would put the option of abolishing the CRC before voters.

Sponsor Rep. Brad Drake says the last CRC abused its power and acted as a quasi-Legislature.

“Their sole purpose was to be a proxy vote by those who appointed them. That’s where I say, okay we’ve gone too far,” said Drake.

Lawmakers in support of abolishing the CRC altogether say they’d be in support of both proposals being put on the ballot, and letting voters decide which path to take.

But Senator Bradley believes the CRC does still serve a purpose.

“People generally are comfortable with the idea that there is a citizen’s body that can meet every 20 years to take a look at our constitution,” said Bradley.

Rep. Drake says if someone figures out how to remove the politics from the CRC, he’d kill his own bill.

“I would abandon my idea and support that if I thought that there was a way to get there,” said Drake.

If either proposal gets legislative approval this year, voters will make the final call in 2020.

Sponsors say if nothing gets passed this year, they’ll have plenty of time to try again.

The CRC only meets once every 20 years.

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