Amending the Constitution – for the Worse?

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — The League of Women Voters Florida (LWVFL) today joined with allied organizations in Tallahassee to alert Floridians to a host of bad ideas that could be on the ballot when they go to the polls this fall.

“There are a handful of good proposals still alive before the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), but they are overshadowed by numerous proposals seeking to strip away constitutional protections,” said Pamela Goodman, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “As commissioners travel the state for a second round of public hearings, Floridians need to make their voices heard in opposition to these harmful proposals.”

The CRC is convened once every 20 years to conduct a thorough review and propose amendments to the Florida Constitution. The amendments that the commission approves will go directly on the ballot next November for voters to decide.

“The League of Women Voters has not submitted or endorsed any proposals. We’ve joined with a broad coalition of organizations working to promote transparency and hold the commission accountable to the citizens of Florida,” Goodman explained. “The commission’s failure to adopt rules in a timely manner and a continuing tendency to ignore their own rules of procedure are a serious concern. But even more concerning at this point is a very clear agenda unfolding for the CRC that mirrors the legislature.”

Flanked by representatives of coalition partner organizations including American Civil Liberties Union Florida, Anti-Defamation League, Common Cause Florida, Florida Policy Institute, Florida Education Association, SEIU Florida, Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Progress Florida, Florida NOW, For Our Future, Florida PTA, Florida AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, Southern Poverty Law Center, Florida Public Defender Association, Equality Florida and Florida First Amendment Foundation during a press conference on the capitol steps, Goodman questioned whether the appointed commission was acting independently or under the control of their appointing authorities.

“With so many bills mirroring CRC proposals moving through the legislature, it begs the question of who is really in control,” Goodman said.

Coalition partners highlighted what they consider to be the “worst of the worst” proposals under consideration by the CRC. Most of the measures making the “Terrible Ten” list have the common goal of restricting or eliminating protections currently provided by the Florida Constitution.

“We are calling upon the members of the CRC to use the public tour that launched yesterday to really listen and act on what Floridians want in their constitution,” Goodman urged. “If they don’t, Florida voters will have no trouble saying NO in November.”

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