March 27, 2017
The Constitution Revision Commission, which convenes every 20 years to suggest changes to the Florida Constitution, held its first meeting on Monday, March 20. Any proposed constitutional amendments recommended by the commission will go on the ballot for the November 2018 elections and would require approval from 60 percent of voters to pass. Of the 37 members on the commission, Governor Rick Scott appointed 15 members and named Carlos Beruff, a businessman and former candidate for U.S. Senate, the chairman. Both Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran had nine appointees each. Chief Justice Jorge Labarga named three members. Attorney General Pam Bondi is an automatic member of the panel.
The FCCB looks for the commission to address troublesome sections of Florida's Constitution, including: our state's privacy clause (Article 1, Section 23) that has been interpreted by the courts to give a greater right to abortion than the U.S. Constitution; and Article I, Section 3, know as the Blaine Amendment, which restricts any religious organization from receiving direct or indirect state financial aid.
The commission has scheduled four public hearings so far to seek citizens' input. The meetings will be held at different locations around the state between late March and mid-April. More information is available on the
commission's official website