CRC Considers Changing Residency Requirements

Oct 5, 2017

Jose Diaz presiding in the Florida House.
Credit Mark Foley via FL House website

The Constitution Revision Commission may consider changing residency requirements to run for state office.

The Florida constitution requires state lawmakers be a resident and elector of the districts they represent upon taking office.   But former GOP state Representative and Constitution Revision Commissioner Jose Diaz is mulling whether residency requirements should be pushed up to the qualifying period.

“So right now you need to qualify at the time of the election—you need to live in the district at the time of the election,” Diaz says.  “If the residency requirement were to be changed so that you would have to reside in the district at the time of qualifying—you know there’s a qualifying period.  Could that only be done via the constitution that’s in section 15(c).”

The change would amount to about four and a half months.  Residency questions have dogged lawmakers for years—most recently with Coral Gables Democratic Representative Daisy Baez.  Disgraced former GOP lawmaker Frank Artiles went nearly six months living in a different district without any penalty.