Lawyer Encourages CRC To Consider Statutory Initiative

Sep 28, 2017

Floridians can file petitions to amend the constitution, but not to rewrite state statutes. A legal expert wants politicos to consider changing that.

Credit redjar via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

The Constitution Revision Commission is reviewing Florida’s founding document. One issue up for discussion is whether citizens should be able to change state statutes, independent of lawmakers. Lawyer and past commission member Clay Henderson encouraged the board to consider adding a statutory initiative.

“Take a look at it. I think it’s a good conversation to have. Because you really go into the essence of this relationship between the voters and the government and whether all the balances are achieved,” Henderson said.

Henderson worries the Legislature isn’t responding to public opinion.

“We got a 75 % vote on the provision Amendment 1 in [20]14. We couldn’t even get a hearing on the issue in the Legislature the next year, okay? So you know… there’s a disconnect here. And…the initiative process is designed to try to deal with that,” he said.

Supporters argue proposing or changing statutes would address voters’ wishes, and keep issues like gill nets, medical marijuana and pregnant pigs out of the constitution.