Elected secretary of state pitched in Senate
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A proposal to make Florida’s secretary of state an elected position has again emerged in the Senate.
Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, for the fourth consecutive year has introduced a proposal (SJR 118) that would make the secretary of state an elected Cabinet position, joining the attorney general, agriculture commissioner and state chief financial officer.
Florida had an elected secretary of state until 2003, when the position became appointed under a constitutional amendment that shrank the Cabinet from six to three members.
The secretary of state is appointed by the governor.
Proponents of an elected secretary of state have argued that the move would avoid “awkward” situations or even conflicts of interest in election disputes.
Former Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, was unable this year to get the Florida Constitution Revision Commission to put a similar proposal before voters.
Bean’s proposal cleared the Senate in 2017, when it was approved in a 33-2 vote. However, the proposal has drawn little support from the House.
The new proposal is filed for the 2019 legislative session, which starts in March.
News Service of Florida