Proposal calls for elected secretary of state


A proposal to make the secretary of state an elected Cabinet position, eliminating the governor's power to appoint Florida's highest elections official, has returned in the Senate.

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, filed a proposed constitutional amendment (SJR 506) Wednesday that would undo a change approved by voters in 1998 that reduced the size of the Cabinet to three members.

As a result of the 1998 ballot measure, the positions of secretary of state and education commissioner became appointed in 2002, and the Cabinet posts of comptroller and treasurer were eliminated.

A new Cabinet position, chief financial officer, was created, while the attorney general and agriculture commissioner remained.

To get on the 2018 ballot, Bean's proposal would have to be approved by three-fifths of both legislative chambers and would ultimately need approval from 60 percent of voters.

Bean sponsored similar legislation in the 2017 session, with the Senate approving it in a 33-2 vote.

A similar resolution in the House failed to advance after winning support in a single committee.

Bean's new version is filed for the legislative session that starts in January.