Orlando Sentinel by Scott Maxwell Opinion
April 12, 2019
For the last two decades, the Florida Legislature has consistently refused to provide what citizens wanted.
Smaller class sizes.
A protected environment.
An end to gerrymandered districts.
Voting rights for former felons.
These were all basic concepts that citizens — and sometimes courts — told legislators this state needed; things that leaders in other states provided.
But Florida legislators refused. Every single time.
So, in all of these instances, citizens took democracy into their own hands. A majority of you voted to change the laws yourselves to support basic principles — be it cleaner water or better public education — for the people who live here.
It was citizen empowerment … and it infuriated Florida legislators.
See, politicians hate it when you empower yourselves. They like to be the gatekeepers.
So over and over, Republican legislators have tried to make it more difficult for citizens to petition the state to amend the Florida Constitution.
Keep in mind: These same legislators have tried to amend the constitution far more often than you — proposing nearly three times as many amendments as citizens. They’re tried it more than 100 times in the last 50 years. But whenever citizens try to do the same, legislators begin yapping about what a “sacred” document the constitution is and how it shouldn’t be “tinkered with” … the way they try far more often.