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Every 20 years there is a Constitutional Revision Commission in Florida

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

Every 20 years there is a Constitutional Revision Commission in Florida

By Roger Caldwell

The 2014 election race is very important and significant to the state of Florida, because the wining governor will appoint 33 members to the Constitutional Revision Commission. Every 20 years, 30 days before the year of the year of the election year, at the start of the legislature session, the members will be picked. The Commission will hold a hearing and examine ways to change the Florida Constitution.

The last time the Constitutional Revision Commission met was in 1997, and nine constitutional amendments were implemented. The residents of the state must approve the amendments by 60 percent, but the governor with the majority party is in control of the nominations.

The governor will pick 15 members, and the House Speaker and Senate President will pick 9 members. Three members will be chosen by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, and the Attorney General is an automatic member. The governor picks one of the 37 members as chairman of the commission.

This is a very powerful position, and the members of the commission will hold a public hearing and allow citizens to address issues which impact the state and their lives. There will be hearings on taxes, crime and justice, education, ACA, gun control, voting, and a multiplicity of other issues. This work is critical, because it affects every citizen in Florida, and the Constitution impacts every aspect of our lives.

In 1997 and 1998, the commission conducted 14 public hearings, and more than 600 witnesses spoke on issues that impacted their lives. Out of this work, there were 257 proposed changes, which were discussed and analyzed by the commission, and nine amendments were implemented.

At this point in the Florida governor’s race, there have been very few statements from the different candidates about the Constitutional Revision Commission. This is an extremely hot button for all the candidates, because the party in charge can dictate the composition of the 37 members who will serve on the commission.

The Democrats have a huge problem, because the Republicans control everything in the state. The conservatives, the Tea Party, and Republicans can incorporate their ideas and ideology in the Constitutional Revision Commission, and the Democrats would be forced to look at the proceedings from the sideline.

Many Blacks and Hispanics have been disenfranchised in the state with the Republicans in charge. Everyone in the state who is registered to vote must vote in the election of 2014, because the Constitutional Revision Commission will determine if the state goes forward or stays stuck in conservative ideology and mindset.

The 2014 election is a prelude to the members getting picked, and the governor decides if the process is fair and equitable. The Democratic candidates need to start talking about the Commission, and Blacks and minorities need to get engaged in the political process in the state. Floridians must vote the right people in office, because the Constitutional Revision Commission is another critical reason to get out and make your vote count in 2014.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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