Florida’s Constitutional Review Commision – UPDATE

A report by Mildred Headdy, Member (LWVSC CRC Committee)
The CRC has announced a meeting of the full commission to convene at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, June 6 at the University of Central Florida. At the meeting, the CRC will consider the rules of the Commission. The meeting is open to the public and it will be live-streamed by The Florida Channel.
There has been a power struggle between the chairman and the rest of the commission. The Chairman had proposed a set of rules that were modeled after the 1997-98 Commission but gave the Chair the authority to control which proposals make it to the ballot. The members refused to adopt the rules. Next the Chair appointed a six member working group made up of two members chosen by the appointing officers. They met for five hours last month and the group rejected most of the changes that the Chair wanted. The group did recommend that the panel be in compliance with state Constitution and require all meetings of two or more members to be in the sunshine. Watchdog groups, including the LWV of Florida, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposed rules.
The Chair wrote to the Commissioners on May 26, 2017. For planning purposes, he gave the following block calendar:
_ June 6, 2017 Full Commission Meeting for purpose of considering rules
_June22, 2017 Public Hearing in Central Florida, details to follow
_July and August 2017 Voluntary Training on various procedural and substantive issues
_August 23 or 24, 2017 Final Public Hearing of the first phase of public hearings in Broward County
_Late August to December 2017 Committee Meetings
_Late February and March 2018 Public Hearing Phase 2; we will take public input on the work of the commission up to that point, prior to any votes on final passage.
_March and April Full Commission Meetings for the purpose of hearing proposals
_May 10, 2018 Final report due to the Florida Department of State
The letter also discussed the lack of consensus by the Rules Working Groups and due to the need to expedite the consensus on rules, the Chair was convening a full meeting of the Commission on June 6, 2017 for the sole purpose of considering the Rules of the Commission. As I understand it, the Commission will be provided with the same proposed rules that were presented at the organization meeting on March 20, 2017. Amendment filing deadline is June 1. Floor amendments will not be permitted.
This process is disbanding the Rules Working Group and scheduling a full Commission meeting to consider and vote on a complex and lengthy set of rules. The advocacy groups, including the LWVF, will continue to monitor the CRC.