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Dog racing ban proposed for constitution panel

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A ban on dog racing in Florida and a requirement for two-thirds votes by the Legislature to raise taxes were among new proposals posted Wednesday after being filed by members of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission.

There were 75 proposals filed as of early Wednesday evening, up from 64 proposals that had been posted Tuesday on the commission website.

Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, filed three proposed constitutional changes, including the dog-racing ban (Proposal 67).

“There is growing recognition that many of these animals live in inhumane conditions, a reality that is out of line with the moral standard of Floridians,” Lee said in a statement. “Now is our opportunity to finally end the mistreatment of greyhounds, reduce the amount of gambling in our state and restore community values.”

Lee also filed a measure (P66) to have the lieutenant governor oversee state elections, head the Department of State and have the power to break tie votes in the Senate.

Another Lee measure (P68) would give the state chief financial officer the power to review and approve state contracts over $10 million.

Lee is expected to run for the CFO post next year.

Fred Karlinsky, another commission member, filed a measure (P72) that would require two-thirds votes by the membership of the House and Senate before raising taxes or fees.

Commission members faced a Tuesday night deadline to file their proposed amendments.

Meredith Beatrice, a commission spokeswoman, said Wednesday the member amendments were still being processed and it may be a few days before that is finished.

The commission, which meets every 20 years and has the power to directly place amendments on the 2018 ballot, has a May 10 deadline for deciding what constitutional changes it will advance.

Amendments placed on the November 2018 ballot will need support from 60 percent of voters to be enacted.