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Weekly Legislative Update from January 12, 2018

Constitution Revision Commission (CRC)

On Thursday, January 11th, Proposal 48 by Commissioner Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch was presented to the CRC Executive Committee (committee). The committee voted down on Proposal 48 by a vote of 1 yea to 5 nays. AIF spoke against this proposal during the committee meeting.

Currently, under Article IV, section 9 of the Florida Constitution, the FWC has the regulatory and executive powers of the state over wild animal life and fresh water aquatic life. Proposal 48 sought to amend Article IV, section 9 by expanding the FWC’s regulatory and executive powers to include habitats, including wildlife corridors. AIF noted during the committee that the FWC believes the existing constitutional provision provides adequate scope, authority, and means for the Commission to conserve the features essential to sustaining fish and wildlife, including impacts that could result in death or injury of imperiled species, or that could significantly impair essential behavioral patterns such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

AIF opposed Proposal 48 as we believe the current powers the FWC holds are adequate, and due to the negative impact the proposal would have on private property rights.

Proposal 23 Relating to Natural Resources and Scenic Beauty
On Friday, January 12th, Proposal 23 by Commissioner Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch was presented to the CRC Judicial Committee (committee). The committee unanimously voted down on Proposal 23. AIF spoke against this proposal.

Proposal 23 sought to create vague rights to a clean and healthful environment by giving anyone the authority to sue to enforce these rights without regard to existing rules and permits.  Under this proposal, a business lawfully operating with valid permits and no history of any compliance problems could be sued and forced to defend itself because “any person” thinks they should be more esthetically pleasing or meet their personal standard of clean or healthful, rather than a scientifically-derived standard from EPA or DEP.  AIF opposed Proposal 23 as it would have opened up not only Florida businesses, but private citizens as well, to endless litigation.

Please see the below statement from AIF Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, on Proposal 23:


Tallahassee, Fla.—Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs Brewster Bevis released the following statement regarding the Judicial Committee of the Constitution Revision Commission unanimously voting today to oppose CRC Proposal 23.

“AIF commends the CRC’s Judicial Committee for listening to the concerns of Florida’s business community and appropriately voting down CRC Proposal 23.

This unnecessary proposal would have opened up not only Florida businesses, but private citizens as well, to endless litigation and harmful uncertainty.

“With the Judicial Committee’s vote today, Florida’s comprehensive, thoughtfully crafted environmental policy will remain intact, continuing to protect the rights of Floridians and provide much-needed regulatory certainty and stability for businesses moving forward.

“We support the decision made by the CRC Judicial Committee today and agree that proposals such as this do not belong on the Florida Constitution.”

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Proposal 51 Relating to Deregulation

On Friday, January 12th, Proposal 51 by Commissioner Rich Newsome was presented to the CRC General Provisions Committee (committee). The committee voted down on this proposal. AIF stood in opposition to this proposal.

Proposal 51 sought to deregulate the state’s electric utility industry by creating a new section in Article X of the Florida Constitution; providing that electricity customers may choose from multiple electric providers in a competitive market, and are not restricted to purchase service from one provider. The proposal also provided that electricity customers may sell, trade, or dispose of their electricity as they please. The effect of this proposal is to deregulate electric service in Florida. AIF opposed Proposal 51 as deregulation is a complex undertaking that has led to price increases, fraudulent practices and consumer confusion.