Repealing Amendments

Schools are crying for money as more students than expected showed up at their door, and a tight economy has forced more to seek help from Medicaid pushing expenses up by $100 million. Now, Gov. Jeb Bush says the higher costs are one more reason to repeal two constitutional amendments he doesn't like.

"We use every opportunity available to not only advocate repelling the class size amendment but also high speed rail," says Gov. Bush.

But convincing voters may be more difficult than the governor would like. A new poll conducted by Associated Industries of Florida shows support for keeping class size at 56 percent with only seven percent undecided.

"Obviously 56 will tell you that it would pass today if the issue were on the ballot today, but I think the more challenged statement there is that it's still significantly down from where it was when the debate began several years ago," says Doug Bailey, AIF lobbyist.

Public support for the class size amendment began at 74 percent, but after it was hammered by the governor for months, just over 52 percent of the people who voted approved it. Organizers say the latest poll is one more indication that voters knew what they were doing.

"Now there are starting to see it implemented slowly but surely, and it looks to me like the support is as strong as ever," says Damian Filer.

Varying lawmakers could put the repeal on next years ballot if they wanted, but opponents of class size have opted to try and gather the necessary signatures so lawmakers won't have to go on the record of being in favor of larger classes.

While the new poll showed the class size amendment has picked up support since it was approved, it also shows the bullet train could be derailed. Half of the respondents wanted to repeal the high-speed rail amendment. Only about a third of them supported it.