47ºF

Senate again targets Florida Constitution Revision Commission

photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State senators next week will again consider an effort to do away with the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, a powerful panel that sparked controversy last year by linking unrelated issues in proposed constitutional amendments.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled Sept. 17 to take up a proposal (SJR 142), filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that would let voters decide whether to abolish the commission, which meets every 20 years to consider changes to the Florida Constitution.

During the 2019 legislative session, Brandes launched a similar effort that was approved by the Senate, but it died in the House.

Similarly, the Senate approved a measure that would have prevented the commission from "bundling" multiple topics in ballot proposals.

The House also did not pass that proposal.

Both proposals have been refiled in the Senate for the 2020 session, which begins in January.

Last year's Constitution Revision Commission was mostly appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott, then-Senate President Joe Negron and then-House Speaker Richard Corcoran. But it drew widespread criticism for bundling multiple topics into single ballot measures, such as a proposal that banned offshore oil drilling and banned vaping in workplaces.

The commission placed seven amendments on the November 2018 ballot, all of which were approved by voters.