Constitutional Changes

The Florida legislature is one step closer to revamping the way voters approve changes to the state constitution. Polls suggest most voters won't readily give up their right to vote on constitutional.

The ban on large fishing nets, the ban on smoking in restaurants and workplaces and the lottery are all examples of voter initiatives that passed when lawmakers would not act. With more than 50 different petitions being circulated, the complaint is that special interests are buying their way around the legislature.

Noted lawyer Barry Richard favors doing away with the amendment process all together, but the man who has successfully passed the smoking and net bans and worked to kill gambling proposals says the system isn't broken.

Consensus communications but lawmakers who are looking for ways to make it tougher for voters to change the constitution say they won't be guided by polls.

Select committee on constitutional reform and with thinking like that from key lawmakers, voters can expect to be asked to make it harder to change the constitution sooner than later.

Polls suggest voters won't readily vote to take away their right to vote for change. One idea would force both sides of an issue to seek resolution in the legislature before an initiative went to the ballot.