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Lawyer Encourages CRC To Consider Statutory Initiative

redjar via flickr
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

Floridians can file petitions to amend the constitution, but not to rewrite state statutes. A legal expert wants politicos to consider changing that.

polling_place_redjar_flickr.jpg
Credit redjar via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

The Constitution Revision Commission is reviewing Florida’s founding document. One issue up for discussion is whether citizens should be able to change state statutes, independent of lawmakers. Lawyer and past commission member Clay Henderson encouraged the board to consider adding a  statutory initiative.

“Take a look at it. I think it’s a good conversation to have. Because you really go into the essence of this relationship between the voters and the government and whether all the balances are achieved,” Henderson said.

Henderson worries the Legislature isn’t responding to public opinion.

“We got a 75 % vote on the provision Amendment 1 in [20]14. We couldn’t even get a hearing on the issue in the Legislature the next year, okay? So you know… there’s a disconnect here. And…the initiative process is designed to try to deal with that,” he said.

Supporters argue proposing or changing statutes would address voters’ wishes, and keep issues like gill nets, medical marijuana and pregnant pigs out of the constitution.

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As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.
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