Florida Constitution Revision Commission

Sammy Mack / WLRN

Buried deep in the War-and-Peace-length tome that is this November's Florida ballot, voters will find a question asking if a ban on offshore drilling and a ban on vaping should be codified in the state constitution.

Yup, Amendment 9 is the bundled amendment bringing together e-cigarettes and oil rigs.

In its own words:

NO. 9

CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION

Article II, Section 7

Article X, Section 20

Florida is one of only a few states that doesn’t automatically restore voting rights to felons who’ve completed their sentences. The fight goes back years and it's been waged both in court and in the court of public opinion. Now, voters themselves have the chance to weigh in with Amendment 4. It  would automatically restore rights to most felons. But there are exceptions that’s created a divide inside the main group pushing hardest for the change.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

As voters across Florida gear up for early voting for the November elections, and as some ballots have already been shipped out to overseas voters, one question is being repeated over dinner tables and text message chains: “How should I vote on this amendment that is asking me three different questions at the same time?”

Columbia City Blog /Flickr

Though one justice wrote that voters should “beware,” the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a challenge to three proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot --- including a measure that seeks to ban offshore oil drilling and vaping in workplaces.

Justices overturned a ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers that would have blocked the constitutional amendments in a case focused on whether the proposals improperly “bundled” unrelated issues into single ballot measures.

Miami Herald

South Florida voters will need to do some homework before heading to the ballot box in the upcoming November general election. Some voters may have more than one page of items and races to vote on. That includes 12 amendment items to be considered for inclusion in the state constitution.

Some of those amendments are actually more than one item that had to be bundled together as to not have too many items on the ballot. A couple of those are being challenged in court.

MIKE MOZART / FLICKR

Arguing that the measures would violate First Amendment rights, an attorney for two plaintiffs urged the Florida Supreme Court  to uphold a lower-court ruling that would block three proposed constitutional amendments from going before voters in November. 

Attorney Joseph Little filed a 50-page brief last Friday after Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office last week requested that the Supreme Court allow the ballot measures to move forward.

ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU of Florida) has taken a public stance on a number of the constitutional amendments Floridians are supposed to vote on in November.

Creative Commons

Every 20 years the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) meets to propose changes of law to the Florida Constitution. In 2018 the commission met and came up with several ideas included in the 13 amendment proposals to send to Florida voters in the November 2018 elections.

Whether voters will actually ever see those amendments at the ballot box is another story.

JMV0586 / FLICKR

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday sent to a lower court a lawsuit that seeks to prevent six proposed constitutional amendments from going on the November ballot.

Justices tried to make clear they were not ruling on the underlying issues in the case, saying in an order that the transfer to Leon County circuit court “should not be construed as an adjudication or comment on the merits of the petition.” But the order, along with a decision against holding oral arguments, means that the Supreme Court will not immediately take up the dispute.

A coalition of former state legislators and other elected officials is urging Floridians to vote ‘no’ on proposed Amendments to the state constitution. They are calling for significant reforms to the Revision Commission’s process, and even entertaining the idea of its abolition.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is asking the Florida Supreme Court to reject a legal challenge that seeks to block six proposed constitutional amendments from going on the November ballot.

C.M. GUERRERO / Miami Herald

A Leon County circuit judge Monday knocked a proposed education constitutional amendment off the November ballot, saying the wording failed to inform voters of its impact on the creation of charter schools.

The proposed amendment, placed on the ballot by the Constitution Revision Commission, would impose eight-year term limits on school board members and would require the promotion of “civic literacy” in public schools.

The League of Women Voters of Florida is hoping to persuade a Leon County Circuit judge today to strip a constitutional amendment proposal off the November ballot. The amendment in question is number eight, which combines several issues into one proposal like term limits for local school board, mandating civics be taught. But  the part the league takes issue with the section that deals with approving new charter schools.

JMV0586 / FLICKR

Arguing that Floridians shouldn’t be asked to vote on ballot measures that patch together unrelated issues, a legal challenge filed Tuesday at the state Supreme Court seeks to scuttle six proposed constitutional amendments.

The plaintiffs, including former Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead, take aim at proposed amendments that the Florida Constitution Revision Commission placed on the November ballot. While individual amendments also face separate lawsuits, the petition filed at the Supreme Court targets six of the eight measures approved this spring by the commission.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wants the state Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that a dog-racing amendment on this year's ballot amounts to "outright trickeration."

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