RE: Key panel devolves into farce | Tampa Bay Times editorial
Commission listens to citizens – Carlos Beruff letter to the editor October 30, 2017, Tampa Bay Times
This Times editorial misrepresents how the Constitution Revision Commission is actively incorporating ideas and proposed constitutional amendments submitted by Floridians. Direct sponsorship of a public proposal is only one of several ways public input is incorporated in the CRC process. To assert that only six public proposal submissions were advanced by the CRC is an intellectually dishonest statement.
The 2017-18 CRC has received historic public input compared to previous commissions. Thousands of Floridians attended our statewide public hearings and thousands more have taken the time to share their thoughts and ideas with us by email and on social media. We also received more than 2,000 public proposal submissions. As we reviewed these public proposals, comments and ideas, it became clear that hundreds of citizens were proposing similar changes to the Florida Constitution.
For example, nearly 600 public proposals submitted to the CRC were related to the issue of E-Verify. In response, one CRC commissioner recently filed a proposal on the same topic so it can be more thoroughly vetted and considered in the committee process.
At CRC public hearings held across the state, many Floridians came before the CRC to present their ideas to commissioners. Two of the most popular topics were the restoration of felon rights and repeal of the alien land law. Both issues have been picked up by commissioners who have created proposals reflecting those ideas in the appropriate legal language.
This is a public-driven process and we encourage all interested Floridians to continue sharing their feedback as we incorporate their ideas into proposals that may eventually be placed on Florida’s 2018 general election ballot. Proposals being considered by the CRC are available for public review on our website at flcrc.gov/Proposals/Commissioner. [READ MORE]
Carlos Beruff, chairman, 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission, Tallahassee