by The News Service of Florida’s Brandon Larrabee
June 6, 2017
The first substantive meeting of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission showed clear rifts among members of the panel responsible for putting proposed constitutional changes on the 2018 ballot.
Meeting in Orlando, the commission Tuesday split on a vote about rules that will govern the panel’s work in the coming months.
Commissioners voted 20-11 to adopt the rules, moments after approving an amendment to the guidelines by a 19-12 margin. Chairman Carlos Beruff ruled that the initial vote essentially killed scores of other amendments that had been proposed by some of the panel’s 37 members.
Frustration with the process boiled over after that ruling when some members argued that additional amendments to the rules could still be taken up. That followed several back-and-forths about whether the commission was operating under any parliamentary procedures at all.
But some members of a working group that initially had the job of coming up with rules chafed at changes that weren’t included.
For example, some members wanted stronger public-meetings language that would essentially bar two or more members of the commission from discussing official business except at noticed meetings.
The version of the rules approved Tuesday says simply: “All proceedings and records of the Commission shall be open to the public.” [READ MORE]