CRC Adopts Compromise Rules After Heated Debate

Jun 6, 2017

After a sometimes chaotic and heated debate, the Constitution Revision Commission on Tuesday adopted compromise ground rules that open government advocates say they can live with.

The 37-member CRC meets every 20 years and has the authority to put measures directly on the November ballot.
Credit Constitution Revision Commisison

The 37-member CRC has the power to put measures directly on the November ballot. It’s chaired by millionaire developer Carlos Beruff, an ally of Governor Rick Scott who is best known for blunt pronouncements and losing a Republican Primary to U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

The commission voted 19-12 to approve compromise ground rules. The vote came after critics like former Senate President Don Gaetz complained about a power grab. 

“We voted 6-2 to share the authority. And the minute we did that, well, not the minute, but shortly thereafter, we learned that the working group had been disbanded. And now we find ourselves here today.”

An initial rules proposal would have allowed secret meetings. But First Amendment Foundation president Barbara Petersen says the compromise at least holds CRC members to the same open government standards lawmakers must follow.