Video: Lawmakers move to restrict citizens’ rights to amend state constitution
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Video: Lawmakers move to restrict citizens’ rights to amend state constitution

September 11, 2019


ALL OF THE ISSUES WERE PASSED BY FLORIDA VOTERS IN AMENDMENTS TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION. NOW THE LEGISLATURE IS LOOKING TO MAKE THAT PROCESS MORE DIFFICULT AND AS INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER SHOWS US, THE SUPPORTERS OF THIS CHANGE SAY THEY’RE NOT TRYING TO BLOCK THINGS. THEY JUST WANT BETTER TRANSPARENCY. Reporter: IN 2002 FLORIDA VOTERS REWROTE THE CONSTITUTION TO LIMIT CLASS SIZE. LAWMAKERS WEREN’T HAPPY. IN 2010 FLORIDA VOTERS TOOK A STEP TO END GERRYMANDERING. LAWMAKERS WEREN’T HAPPY. AND IN 2016 FLORIDA VOTERS APPROVED MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND, WELL, YOU GET THE IDEA. NOW THERE IS A PUSH IN TALLAHASSEE TO MAKE IT A LITTLE HARDER TO VOTERS TO PUT AMENDMENTS ON THE BALLOT GOING FORWARD. TO PUT BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION OF WHAT THE PURPOSE OF A CONSTITUTION IS, WHAT THE PURPOSE OF A LEGISLATURE IS. Reporter: TAMPA REPUBLICAN JAMES GRANT IS PUSHING THE BILL WHICH WOULD REQUIRE PETITION GATHERS TO BE FLORIDA RESIDENTS. GATHERS WOULD IN THE BE PAID BASED TON NUMBER OF PETITIONS AND APPROACHED AMENDMENTS WOULD NEED TO INCLUDE FINANCIAL INFORMATION. WE WANT TO ENSURE THAT WHEN SOMEBODY WALKS IN TO VOTE, THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY’RE VOTING ON. Reporter: BUT THE CRITICS SAY THESE CHANGES ARE ONLY MEANT TO DO ONE THING, KEEP FLORIDIANS FROM PASSING AMENDMENTS THAT THE LEGISLATURE DOESN’T LIKE. THIS PUTS AN UNDO BURDEN ON OUR CITIZENS TO PUT AN INITIATIVE TON BALLOT. REGISTERING COULD HAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR SPEECH BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO BE REGISTERED TO SPEAK AND GATHERING PETITIONS IS A FORM OF SPEECH. Reporter: THERE ARE ONLY TWO THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND. ONE, MOST AMENDMENTS PUT ON THE BALLOT COME FROM THE LEGISLATURE AND NOT VOTERS AND THE LEGISLATURE DOESN’T NEED TO GET SIGNATURES TO PUT AN AMENDMENT ON THE BALLOT. THE OTHER IS THIS, CITIZENS ONLY HAVE TWO YEARS TO GATHER SIGNATURES FOR A PROPOSED AMENDMENT WHICH IS WHY MANY PAID GATHERS HAVE BEEN USED IN THE PAST. THE CRITICS SAY THIS WOULD ALL

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