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DeSantis Praises New Law Making Citizen's Initiative Process Harder

Florida Gov. Ron Desantis gives his state of the state address on the first day of legislative session, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Steve Cannon
AP Photo

Governor Ron Desantis is commending the legislature for making changes to how constitutional amendments can be put in front of voters. He says the old process made it too easy to get policy decisions into the constitution.

"The problem with that is the more policy that you put into the constitution the harder it is to be able to actually do what the people want you to do. It makes it harder to fix problems because you have handcuffs on," said DeSantis.

The changes focused on citizens’ initiatives. One change prohibits petition gatherers from being paid per signature. But even after those changes, DeSantis says a current proposal to increase the minimum wage is problematic. 

"They didn’t change the exemption for the tipped employee," explained DeSantis. "That’s going to cause big big upheavals for the restaurant industry it just will."

DeSantis says this would be hard for lawmakers to change on their own. He calls the citizens’ initiative process a “game” for the wealthy. Orlando attorney John Morgan bankrolled the committee pushing to raise the minimum wage. Morgan also funded the medical marijuana amendment.

DeSantis spoke at the Associated Industries of Florida conference Monday in Tallahassee.