Every twenty years, a Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) is appointed to examine the Florida Constitution, hold public hearings, and recommend changes to the Florida Constitution that will appear on the ballot. The ACLU of Florida will be watching the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) closely to protect Constitutional rights in our state, and will be calling on you to help defend those rights.
Update May 2018 - What the CRC did and what we do now
The CRC concluded its process on April 16th with the passing of eight bundled amendments that will now appear on the November 2018 ballot. Despite strong opposition from several civil rights and civil liberties organization, the CRC controversially combined (“logrolled”) dozens of remaining unrelated proposals into eight revised bundled amendments. Click here for the eight revised amendments.
We are extremely grateful that several of the proposed amendments that posed the greatest threats to our civil liberties were defeated:
- Proposal 22: Anti-Abortion Proposal that would have eliminated all privacy rights except for those related to informational privacy - DEFEATED
- Proposal 4: Anti-Separation of Church and State Proposal that would have deleted the No Aid provision of Florida’s Constitution and allowed for public funding of religious institutions - DEFEATED
- Proposal 29: Anti-Immigrant Proposal that would have forced employers, under penalty, to verify the immigration status of all employees – DEFEATED
However, unfortunately, the CRC voted in favor of several other concerning proposals that will now be on the ballot. We are particularly concerned with the following two bundled proposals that passed:
- Proposal 6001 (which is slated to appear on the ballot as Amendment 6): Amendment 6 deletes from Florida’s constitution existing protections against any interference with the constitutional rights of the accused. The CRC was vested with protecting constitutional rights, not taking them away, and this Amendment literally deletes from our current constitution language that ensures that the rights of the accused will not be interfered with. For this reason, we oppose Amendment 6.
- Proposal 6003 (which is slated to appear on the ballot as Amendment 8): Amendment 8 would open the floodgates to unregulated charter schools and infringe on the current constitutional guarantee to a high quality education, and lead to discriminatory educational and enrollment practices.
We will be evaluating these and other proposals that passed and calling upon our supporters to take action at the ballot box to ensure that the CRC’s proposals do not infringe on our constitutional rights. In order to become law, 60% of voters must approve of the amendment.
The CRC was advised from the very beginning of this process to live by the guiding principle of “Do No Harm.” Unfortunately, they did not heed this advice, and we must take action on election day to protect our constitution.
For more information on the CRC’s deceptive use of logrolling and lack of transparency, see:
Update April 2018 – There are currently 25 CRC Proposals Remaining
The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) has completed its public hearing stage of the process. The CRC full Commission then met in Tallahassee and voted to advance 25 proposals to the next stage of the process, which is the Style and Drafting Committee stage. (See http://flcrc.gov/Media/PressReleases/Show/1096 for a list of the 25 remaining proposals).
The Style and Drafting Committee will meet this first week of April and discuss and group each of the 25 proposals and draft ballot summaries that will appear on the November ballot if the proposals advance to the ballot.
The full Commission will then reconvene for its final floor session beginning on April 16th to vote once again. In order to appear on the 2018 General Election Ballot, the proposal must secure at least 22 votes of the full Commission.
With respect to proposals posing the greatest threats to our civil liberties, we are thrilled to report that Proposal 22 (eliminating all privacy rights except for those related to information privacy) and Proposal 4 (deleting the No Aid provision) did not advance in the process. We thank you so much for all of your advocacy and support in defeating these horrible proposals that would have been devastating for Floridians for decades to come.
Currently, only two primary proposals out of the many that would have seriously threatened our civil liberties remain active: Proposal 29 (this proposal would be harmful to immigrants, authorized workers, and Florida businesses) and Proposal 96 (this proposal deletes from the current constitution language that provides that defendants’ constitutional rights shall not be interfered with). Neither of these provisions belong in Florida’s Constitution.
Please click here to contact the CRC members and urge them to VOTE NO on Proposal 29 and Proposal 96.
The CRC consists of 37 members who are appointed primarily by the Governor, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House to review and recommend changes to the Florida Constitution. Specifically, the CRC is composed of fifteen appointees from the Governor (Governor Scott), nine appointees from the Florida Senate President (President Negron), nine appointees from the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (Speaker Corcoran), three appointees from the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court (Justice Labarga), and the State Attorney General (Pam Bondi).
These 37 commissioners will ultimately decide on proposed changes to the Florida Constitution that will make it to the ballot for a voter decision November 2018. Click here to learn about the 37 Commissioners.
The 2017-2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission has convened and we believe that over the next few weeks and months it will propose several ballot initiatives for the November 2018 ballot that will strip away Constitutional protections and put Florida into the civil liberties fight of its life.
Critical civil liberties issues — including, but not limited to, reproductive rights, privacy, separation of church of state, LGBT rights, voting rights, and immigrants’ rights — could be at stake during this constitutional revision.
If the CRC recommends a proposal for the ballot, that proposal will go directly on the ballot. That means that if the CRC proposes to gut our constitutional privacy protections (Proposal 22), or require that every Florida employer utilize the flawed-e-verify database to check the immigration status of its employees (Proposal 29), or if it decides to do away with Florida’s Constitutional prohibition on using state funds for religious purposes (Proposals 4), those proposals will directly appear on our November 2018 ballot. We will then need mobilize 60 percent of Florida voters to vote against them, or they will become law.
Which Proposals pose the greatest threats to our civil liberties and civil rights?
Several proposals strip away Floridian’s civil liberties and threaten our current Constitutional protections, including, but not limited to the following:
- Proposal 4 – Deletes the No Aid provision of our Florida Constitution and opens the door for state funding of religious institutions.
- Proposal 22 – Abolishes Florida’s Constitutional privacy protections, except for those relating to informational privacy.
- Proposal 29 – Requires all employers to use the error-prone E-Verify system to check the immigration status of all new employees, and provides penalties and loss of license for noncompliance.
- Proposal 96 – Conflicts with and undermines defendants’ Constitutional Rights in criminal justice proceedings, while not meaningfully providing relief to victims.
All proposals can be viewed and tracked here: http://flcrc.gov/Proposals/Commissioner
What can I do to ensure that these proposals don’t make the ballot?
You can support the ACLU of Florida’s priorities and work to protect and preserve our Constitutional rights by speaking at commission hearings and contacting the Commissioners by phone or email.
- Sign up for our action alerts so we can contact you about pressing actions: aclufl.org/email
- Contact the Commissioners and let them know you oppose the above Proposals: http://flcrc.gov/Commissioners
- Attend a public hearing and speak out against these proposals. Public hearing dates are listed below.
- Like the Constitution Watch Facebook Page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/FloridaConstitutionWatch/
What should I say at the hearing or when I email or call the Commissioners?
Let them know that you oppose the above proposals. Additionally, call upon them to:
- Preserve the right to privacy in Florida, which encompasses the right to reproductive freedom.
- Preserve the requirement that the state not fund religious institutions (preserve the ‘no aid’ provision).
- Preserve the constitutional rights of defendants in our criminal justice system.
- Protect the independence of Florida’s judiciary and maintain the system of checks and balances that protects Florida’s citizens and ensures a strong democracy.
- Preserve a strong public school system for all Florida students.
Additional resources on the CRC:
Florida Constitution Watch
The Florida Constitution Watch is a coalition of watchdog organizations who are carefully monitoring the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Get the most up-to-date information on the commission and advocacy efforts by "Liking" our Facebook Page.
Florida Constitution Revision Commission website: http://www.flcrc.gov
- "What is the CRC?" Florida Bar infographic: https://www.floridabar.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ada-florida-constitution-revision-commission-brochure.pdf
ACLU and aligned organizations letters to the CRC (below)