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Treasure Coast Letter Writing to Save Citizen's Initiative Process

April 06, 2019
11:00AM - 1:00PM
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Tallahassee politicians are trying to take away our constitutional right to offer amendments to our state constitution. Bills are being rammed through the state legislature with little to no debate that would virtually eliminate our Citizen’s Initiative process for amending the state Constitution. Please see the info on these bills below.

Surveys have shown that the best way to get your legislator’s attention, other than in person, is with a hand written letter. Therefore, we have scheduled two Letter Writing Parties, one on the Treasure Coast and one in West Palm Beach. Please plan to stop by, have some food and drink, and write a hand written letter to your State Senator. We will provide everything you’ll need, pen, paper, sample letters, talking points, and have them delivered for you.

Constitutional Amendments SB 7096 by Judiciary / HB 7111 by Grant OPPOSE

These bills representing the resumption of a fifteen-year push by the big business lobby to shut down the Citizen’s Initiative process for amending the state Constitution. Between 2004 and 2008, over 100 bills were filed to place legal barriers in place to block initiatives from getting to the ballot. The time to collect signatures was reduced, the lifespan for the validity of signatures was cute in half, bans were put in place to keep people from collecting signatures in private/public spaces such as shopping centers and more. With proposed amendments in the pipeline to raise the minimum wage, break up the power utility monopolies, expand Medicaid etc. the state’s most powerful big businesses have stepped on the gas to put the final nails in the coffin of our last vestige of direct democracy. People won’t know about it because it was never submitted for a vote, rather it has been death from a thousand little paper cuts.

These bills:

  • Will block signature gathering firms to have benchmarks or standards for their employees
  • Ban workers who are from out of state from gathering signatures
  • Force all signature gathers, state residents or not, paid or volunteers, to register with the Secretary of State
  • If an initiative makes it to the ballot, this bill allows politicians and political appointees to unfairly tip the scales in whatever direction they like:
    • If the amendment will cost money, a statement IN BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS that the it "MAY REQUIRE INCREASED TAXES OR A REDUCTION IN GOVERNMENT SERVICES.” Those decisions are made by political appointees and their bureaucrats.
    • A ruling by the Supreme Court (which must also be printed on the ballot) determining whether the proposed amendment policy could be done by the Legislature instead of changing the constitution. Even though many initiatives are done because the Legislature refuses to act on what the people want.
    • It also allows "interested parties" to file 50-word "position statements" supporting or opposing a proposed amendment that the Department of State must post online.
    • Requires that counties include the financial impact statements when mailing sample ballots.

 This the single biggest threat to Florida’s democracy in over a decade. It was introduced in sneak attack, is being rammed through the process with little discussion or debate so that there is no time for the people to find out.