Florida constitutional amendments

Constitution Revision Committee Experts Offer Suggestions

Jan 31, 2017
Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

A panel of Constitution Revision Commission experts are offering suggestions for the incoming group charged with amending the constitution later this year. The proposals range from opening the state’s primaries to criminal justice reform.

A new proposal would allow the state to keep laws the state Supreme Court rules are unconstitutional.

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

According to a new University of South Florida poll, just 22% of Floridians feel they’re well informed about the constitutional amendments on the ballot this November.

Dominic Calabaro speaking at the press conference.
Nick Evans

The nonprofit government watchdog group Florida TaxWatch released its voter’s guide Wednesday detailing proposed state constitutional amendments. 

Unlike some other issuers of voting guides, fiscally conservative TaxWatch doesn’t take a yes-or-no stance on the initiatives.  Instead, it offers a take on the pros and cons of enacting the amendments.    

Dominic Calabro, head of the organization, says it’s important to exercise caution when changing the state constitution.

R.Benk / WFSU-News

In order to prevent overharvesting, Florida voters in 1994 ratified a constitutional ban on what’s called a gill net, which catches fish by entangling their gills in the net’s mesh. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which was put in charge of creating the rules to implement the amendment, also stipulated that mullet fishermen could only use nets whose holes were no larger than 2-inches in size, prompting two decades of court battles. After a year of deliberating, Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford ruled in favor of commercial fishermen last week.

Florida voters will have to decide the fate of nearly a dozen state constitutional amendments in the upcoming election. One organization has set up an on-line resource to give voters all sides on each of those amendments.