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Letter to Constitution Revision Committee

Yesterday morning, Pamela Goodman, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida, in partnership with 10 other organizations, sent the letter below to all members of the Constitution Revision Commission.

This letter is provided for your information.
If you have any questions, please contact Penny Walker Bos, Executive Director @
LWVFExecutiveDirector@gmail.com or by calling 850-224-2545l

September 25, 2017

DELIVERED VIA EMAIL

Dear Chairman Beruff and Members of the CRC:

As organizations that work for the well-being of our state, we congratulate the Constitution

Revision Commission as it kicks off its substantive review of the Florida Constitution. We look

forward to working with the Commission and helping it in any way we can to accomplish its

goal of recommending changes that will improve the Constitution and lives of Florida citizens.

We urge Commissioners to call on our organizations and our members to provide assistance

in researching or assessing issues that come before them. We will individually and collectively

do whatever we can to help.

There are a couple of issues that have come to our attention that we ask the Commission to

consider. The first is one of scheduling and the other relates to interpretation of one of the

rules adopted by the full CRC on June 6, 2017.

First, as you contemplate the schedule under which you will conduct your business, we hope

that you will see the importance of holding your second round of public hearings after the full

Commission has determined, by majority vote, which proposals will be further considered. As

was evident during the first round of public hearings, Florida’s citizens are concerned about a

wide range of issues in our state. A second round of hearings after many issues are eliminated

will allow citizens the opportunity to make focused and in depth public comment about issues

that have been determined to have a real chance of making it to the ballot. And

Commissioners will have the benefit of that comment before they take their final vote.

The second issue we would like to bring to your attention arises out of Rule 1.23, Open meetings

and records. That rule provides: “All proceedings . . . of the Commission shall be open to the

public.” We ask that the Commission and its General Counsel clarify the definition of

“proceedings.” Will this rule be interpreted to mean that two Commissioners can meet

privately to discuss Commission business? Or does the more stringent Sunshine law apply?

We urge you to clarify this rule so as to avoid confusion and suspicion among members of the

public, members of the press and members of the Commission.

We collectively wish you well in your study and consideration of the important constitutional

issues in our great State of Florida.

Sincerely,

Howard Simon, Executive Director

Kirk Bailey, Political Director

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida

Andy Madtes, Executive Director

AFSCME Florida

Liza McClenaghan, State Chair

Common Cause Florida

Rich Templin, Ph.D, Legislative & Political

Director

Florida AFL-CIO

Laura Goodhue, Executive Director

Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates

Joanne McCall, President

Florida Education Association

Barbara A. Petersen, President

Florida First Amendment Foundation

Joseph Pennisi, Executive Director

Florida Policy Institute

Ashley Walker, Director

For Our Future

Pamela Goodman, President

League of Women Voters Florida

Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director

Progress Florida

Contact: Lisa Hall, lisa@hallmediastrategies.com 850-508-7782

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