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Daily Legislative Brief from April 18, 2019

Legal & Judicial

HB 7111 – Relating to Constitutional Amendments

On Thursday, April 18, HB 7111, sponsored by the House Judiciary Committee, was heard in the House State Affairs Committee and was reported favorably with 15 yeas and 8 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.

This bill changes the process for amending the constitution by citizen initiative by:

  • Requiring that a petition-gatherer:
    • Register with the Secretary of State prior to obtaining signatures.
    • Not be paid based on the number of petitions gathered. 
  • Requiring the Secretary of State to publish on its website position statements on proposed amendments received from interested persons.
  • Directing the Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC) to:
    • Estimate the amendment's impact on the state and local economy.
  • Requiring the ballot summary to include:
    • The name of the initiative's sponsor and the percentage of contributions received by the sponsor from in-state donors;
    • If the amendment will cost money or have an indeterminate impact; and
    • A Supreme Court determination as to whether the proposed policy can be implemented by the Legislature without the need for a constitutional amendment. 
  • Directing the Attorney General, when seeking Supreme Court review of an amendment, to ask the Court to:
    • Address whether the proposed policy can be implemented by the Legislature; and
    • Identify any undefined terms in the amendment that will have a substantive impact; and
    • Address whether the amendment creates any constitutional issues.

HB 7111 will now move to the House floor. 

AIF supports legislation that adds transparency and accountability to amending the Florida constitution by citizen imitative.