Legislature’s Attempt to Thwart Amendments Flounders in Court

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seal of florida In: Legislature’s Attempt to Thwart Amendments Flounders in Court | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

AllenWindsor2 In: Legislature’s Attempt to Thwart Amendments Flounders in Court | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Allen Windsor

The unfortunate trend in Tallahassee is to take power from the people and put it in the state government.  Happily, Judge Windsor, as seen below, ruled against DeSantis and those who would make it harder for the people to amend the state constitution.  Windsor is considered a conservative judge who was previously appointed to a judgeship by Scott and then Trump.

At any rate, this ruling must be considered a win for the environment.

If you haven’t already, please go to FL5.org, get the amendment petitions and send in.

Read the original article here in the Gainesville Sun.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
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Legislature’s Attempt to Thwart Amendments Flounders in Court

Mark Lane Columnist  August 14, 2021

The same week  a federal court blocked enforcement of a law intended to make amending the state constitution by citizen petition even more difficult, a new petition to amend the constitution landed in my mailbox.

‘Let’s bring sports betting to Florida’ was its headline. You reached the wrong household for that, guys, but I appreciate your effort.

Despite the daunting obstacles still in place for amending the state constitution by citizen petition, Floridians sure do like doing it. Which is why you see all those medical marijuana ads if you’re reading this in a hard-copy newspaper.

Medical marijuana was not something the Legislature wanted to do, but it got pushed on the ballot by petition. The Florida Legislature hates being told what to do and has been throwing up roadblocks into the petition-and-referendum process for decades.

Last session, it passed what commentators called the John Morgan Law. Morgan, the face that launched a thousand highway billboards, is the Orlando attorney who bankrolled the state’s medical marijuana amendment in 2016 and then the $15 minimum wage amendment in 2020.

The new law put a $3,000 limit on contributions to political committees that collect referendum petition signatures. No more one-big-sponsor petition drives. We mean you, John Morgan!

Not too surprisingly, the measure, supported enthusiastically by Gov. Ron DeSantis,  ended up in court . It was supposed to go into effect last month, but U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor enjoined the measure from being enforced.

The state evidently decided that further appeals would be futile and let the deadline pass. Yet another legal defeat for DeSantis and the last session of the Legislature….

There are  some 34 petitions now being circulated to change the state constitution. Only a few will make it to the ballot. It takes a lot of signatures to get a proposal over the top — 891,589 voters. But with this ruling, at least a few will have a fighting chance in 2020. I’ll keep monitoring my mailbox.

Mark Lane is a Daytona Beach News-Journal columnist.

 

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