Constitution Review Commission approves eight revisions for 2018 ballot

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By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness News
April 16, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Constitution Revision Commission voted on Monday to propose eight revisions be placed on the 2018 General Election ballot in November.

Proposed constitutional revisions on the ballot must secure at least 60 percent voter approval to become law.

The approved revisions are:

Rights of Crime Victims; Judges
Rights of Crime Victims; Judges; A proposal to amend Section 16 of Article I of the State Constitution to revise and establish additional rights of victims of crime; create Section 21 of Article V of the State Constitution to require a state court or an administrative law judge to interpret a state statute or rule de novo in litigation between an administrative agency and a private party and not merely defer to the administrative agency’s interpretation; and amend Section 8 of Article V and to create a new section in Article XII of the State Constitution to increase the age after which a justice or judge may no longer serve in a judicial office.

First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities; A proposal to amend Section 7 of Article IX of the State Constitution to establish minimum vote thresholds for university boards of trustees and the board of governors to impose or authorize a new fee or increase an existing fee, as authorized by law; create Section 8 of Article IX of the State Constitution to specify the purposes of the State College System and to provide for the governance structure of the system; and create a new section in Article X of the State Constitution to establish the right of survivors of specified first responders and military members to death benefits.

School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools
School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools; A proposal to amend Section 4 of Article IX and create a new section in Article XII of the State Constitution to establish a limitation on the period for which a person may be elected as a member of a district school board; to specify which schools are operated, controlled, and supervised by a school board; and to create a new section in Article IX of the State Constitution to require the Legislature to provide for the promotion of civic literacy in public education.

Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces
Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces; A proposal to amend Section 7 of Article II of the State Constitution to prohibit the drilling for exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas in specified coastal waters and amend Section 20 of Article X of the State Constitution to establish a general prohibition on the use of vapor-generating electronic devices in enclosed indoor workplaces.

State and Local Government Structure and Operation
State and Local Government Structure and Operation; A proposal to amend Section 3 of Article III of the State Constitution to provide that the Legislature convene for regular session on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each even-numbered year; amend Section 4 of Article IV of the State Constitution to establish the Office of Domestic Security and Counterterrorism within the Department of Law Enforcement; amend Section 11 of Article IV of the State Constitution to require, rather than authorize, the Legislature to provide for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and prescribe its duties by general law and to specify that the head of the department is the Governor and Cabinet; and amend Sections 1 and 6 of Article VIII of the State Constitution to remove authority for a county charter or a special law to provide for choosing specified county officers in a manner other than election and to prohibit a county charter from abolishing specified county officers, transferring duties of a county officer to another officer or office, changing the length of terms of county officers, or establishing any manner of selection of county officers other than by election.

Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes
Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes; A proposal to amend Section 2 of Article I of the State Constitution to remove a provision authorizing laws that regulate or prohibit the ownership, inheritance, disposition, and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship; amend Section 9 of Article X of the State Constitution to provide that the repeal of a criminal statute shall not affect the prosecution of any crime committed before such repeal; and amend Section 19 of Article X of the State Constitution to delete an obsolete provision regarding the development of a high speed ground transportation system.

Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers
Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers; A proposal to amend Section 8 of Article II and Section 13 of Article V and create a new section in Article XII of the State Constitution to establish certain restrictions for specified public officers and employees regarding the personal representation for compensation of another person or entity before certain government bodies.

Dog Racing
Dog Racing; A proposal to create new sections in Article X and Article XII of the State Constitution to prohibit the racing of and wagering on greyhounds and other dogs after a specified date.

"For more than a year, Commissioners have traveled across the state to speak directly with citizens about the changes they want to see in the Florida Constitution," said CRC chairman, Carlos Beruff. "After months of in-depth research and debate, the CRC has narrowed down thousands of comments and ideas into eight final revisions for voter consideration.

"From protecting our state and territorial waters from oil drilling to strengthening our ethics laws, I commend my fellow Commissioners for their hard work and leadership representing the people of Florida. We are grateful to the thousands of Floridians who participated in this historic process and look forward to letting voters have the final say in November," Beruff continued.

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