Tallahassee Democrat by Bill Cotterell
June 7, 2017
The Constitution Revision Commission is off to an inauspicious start.
That bodes ill for the outcome, almost 18 months from now, when the powerful commission’s handiwork will be put before Florida voters. Whatever Constitution revisions it proposes will be at the end of a long ballot, featuring hot races for governor and the U.S. Senate, along with numerous congressional, district and local offices.
Except for lawyers, lobbyists and a relatively few citizens who have specific interests in how – or if – state government is changed, most people will base their votes on things they hear or read about one or two of the revisions. Maybe I like the environmental stuff or the education piece more than the gun provision or some tax mandate, so I vote accordingly.
Good or bad, almost nobody is going to drill down and analyze everything all the proposed articles will mean in the courts and legislative sessions of the future. And surely none of the 37 CRC members will be happy with all of it.
Whatever they come up with – bold, far-reaching changes or timid nibbling around the edges of the Constitution we’ve got now – will need 60 percent public support at the polls. That’s something new for the CRC, which springs to life Brigadoon-like every 20 years and can put anything it wants on the ballot.
This makes the commission’s current dispute over its own operating rules hazardous to its eventual outcome. [READ MORE]