Through our constitutional right to citizen initiatives, the people of Florida have voted to establish a higher minimum wage, stronger water and land conservation, medical cannabis, fairer redistricting rules, and voting rights for 1.4 million Floridians. Our rights to participate in direct democracy are sacred and not negotiable. Elected officials should be working to make it easier to access democracy and government at all levels, not harder.
Ask Governor DeSantis to stand with citizens, not special interests, and VETO SB 1794 by calling his office at (850) 717-9337
Suggested Call Script:
Hi, my name is _________ and I'm calling to ask Governor DeSantis to Veto Senate Bill 1794. This bill will silence Floridians' voices and put democracy in our state up for sale to the highest bidder. Please ask Governor DeSantis to oppose Senate Bill 1794 and support Florida citizens by protecting the citizen initiative process. Thank you.
About Senate Bill 1794
Florida law already has some of the strictest limitations in the nation regarding citizens’ ability to propose amendments to the state’s constitution. The fact that recent popular citizen-led movements succeeded despite those strict limitations illustrates just how unresponsive Florida’s lawmakers are to their constituents. Issues like raising the minimum wage, restoring voting rights, drawing fair districts, setting class size, and funding land and water conservation, which have all passed by ballot initiative, would have failed if SB1794 were law. Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to more than a million Floridians is a perfect example of the people banding together in the face of legislative opposition to popular opinion.
Specifically, SB 1794 would enact numerous new restrictions that make it almost impossible for citizens to have their voices heard through a ballot initiative. Below are a few examples of how passage of this bill will make it virtually impossible for grassroots organizations to place amendments on the ballot:
- Drastically increases the requisite number of signatures necessary for review by the Florida Supreme Court (SB 1794 - from 10% of the number of statewide electors to 25% of the state’s electors in one-half of congressional districts).
- Increases costs of petition verification and inserts an arbitrary and inconsistent cost scheme. Presently, the cost of signature verification is at a stable and fixed rate of 10 cents per signature. Through Senate Bill 1794 that pricing will be replaced by a so-called "actual cost" system determined annually, which is more likely to make qualifying for the ballot cost-prohibitive for grassroots movements.
- The legislation makes petition signatures expire much faster. Currently a petition signature remains valid for two years from the date of signature. Under the proposed restrictions, a signature would be valid only until the next February 1 of an even-numbered year.