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November 20, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida has submitted written testimony to the Florida Constitution Revision Commission urging the commission to reject proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution which are being considered by the commission.

One proposed amendment being considered by the commission, Proposal 22, would limit the Florida constitution’s explicit right to privacy in a way that would, among other thing, undermine Floridians’ right to make decisions about reproductive health free from government intrusion.

Another set of proposals, Proposals 4 and 59, would amend or remove the Florida Constitution’s historic “no-aid” provision, which has long served as a bulwark against government entanglement with individual religious belief and expression.

From the testimony submitted by the ACLU of Florida on the privacy provision:

“This proposal is not about safeguarding informational privacy, which is already protected under the Florida Constitution. It is about stripping away all existing privacy protections other than informational privacy. The way this proposal is written is misleading to the public. We urge the Commission to be honest with the public about the practical effect and implications of this proposal—which is to limit, not enhance, the Florida Constitution’s existing protections against government overreach.”

The written testimony is available online here: http://bit.ly/2j9o8js

From the testimony submitted by the ACLU of Florida opposing the repeal of the no-aid provision:

“Florida courts have interpreted and applied the Florida Constitution’s No Aid provision as prohibiting the state from using its funds to advance religion, but there is no prohibition on the use of state funds for the delivery of non-religious social services by religiously-affiliated entities.

“In sum … there is no reason to repeal the provision nor any mandate to amend it. The provision has been maintained in the Florida Constitution in nearly identical form since the 1885 Florida Constitution, and it does not preclude contracting with religiously-affiliated entities for secular social service purposes.“

This testimony is available online here: http://bit.ly/2jaaVGW

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