Currently, there are four ways Florida’s constitution can be changed. One method is through the Constitution Revision Commission or CRC. The group meets every twenty years to propose changes or additions to the constitution – giving voters the final say.
The last CRC met in 2018 and caused controversy by bundling several unrelated ideas. Now some lawmakers want the group dissolved for good.
During Tuesdays Senate Judiciary Committee Tallahassee lobbyist Jack Cory explained how the CRC came about - and why he thinks it’s no longer necessary.
“The only reason for the original CRC in 1968 was because there was no other way to amend the constitution at that time,” explains Cory. “As your staff summary points out there are several methods to do it at this time. You, the legislature can do it after due diligence of committee meetings. And your fellow citizens can do it on their own.”
And Tampa Republican Senator Jeff Brandes agrees. He says many of the issues proposed by the last CRC were policy and could have been handled by the legislature.
“This is a tool that can be used for ill and that’s the concern. With the bundling that occurred last time and the fact that you have these unelected individuals who can put things directly on the ballot causes us great concern,” says Brandes.
But Common Cause Florida agrees the Commission ought to be improved before its discontinued. The group says it’s important to keep any forum that allows citizens to comment on proposed constitutional changes.
Common Cause thinks putting a single-subject rule in place would address many of the concerns and save the CRC.