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'Bundled Ballot Measures Eyed By Senate

Dec 24, 2018

The Florida Senate could be ready to move quickly on proposals that seek a single-subject requirement for constitutional amendments placed on the ballot in the future by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 7 is scheduled to take up two similar proposals (SJR 74 and SJR 86) that target what are known as “bundled” ballot measures. The issue drew attention this year after the Constitution Revision Commission bundled seemingly unrelated issues into single amendments.

As an example, one amendment that was approved by voters Nov. 6 combined a ban on offshore oil drilling with a ban on vaping or use of electronic cigarettes in workplaces. The Constitution Revision Commission, a 37-member panel that meets every 20 years, has unique powers to place measures on the ballot.

The commission will not meet again until 2037 in advance of placing measures on the 2038 ballot. But the Senate proposals, filed by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, and Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, could go before voters in 2020 and, if approved, would apply to the 2037-2038 Constitution Revision Commission.

Both proposals would require Constitution Revision Commission measures to “embrace but one subject.” The Judiciary Committee will consider the proposals as lawmakers prepare for the 2019 legislative session, which starts in March.