Constitution rewrite hearing comes to FAMU

Issues raised at earlier hearings included abortion rights and activist judges. Tallahassee hearing begins at 5pm.

Tallahassee Democrat by James Call

April 11, 2017

The commission charged with revising the Florida Constitution will take suggestions from the public Wednesday in Tallahassee. The 37-member panel will propose amendments to the state’s governing document for the 2018 election.

The Constitution Revision Commission meets every 20 years. This is the third ever commission and the first appointed solely by Republican office holders.  Abortion rights reportedly dominated last Friday’s public hearing in Boca Raton.

A coalition led by the League of Women Voters have renewed their concerns about how the Commission is conducting its business. In a letter sent to Chair Carlos Beruff, LWV President Pamela Goodman commented on the Commission’s “less than robust respect” for Florida’s tradition of openness and public engagement.

Among the coalition’s complaints is that the CRC has held three public hearings without any rules on how to proceed. The group held an organizational session March 20 in Tallahassee and indefinitely postponed the adoption of rules.

“None of us can have confidence in the work of the CRC without having rules and a schedule to guide the Commission’s work and assure the public that this will be an effort worthy of respect,” Goodman wrote Beruff.

A CRC spokeswoman said the Commission has implemented an “open and transparent” process. At the first three public hearings, Meredith Beatrice said more than 300 citizens gave testimony to commissioners.

“Speakers have been heard on a first-come, first serve basis, and we will continue to do so,” said Beatrice. “All Floridians wishing to speak before the CRC have been given an opportunity to be heard.”

Wednesday’s meeting in Tallahassee will be held at 5 p.m. in the Grand Ball Room of the Efferson Student Union at Florida A&M University. Free parking is available and the doors open at 4 p.m. [READ MORE]

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