Every 20 years, Florida's Constitution Revision Commission submits proposals to amend the state's constitution for voters to decide on.
The CRC meets for approximately one year, traveling across the State of Florida, identifying issues, performing research and possibly recommending changes to the Florida Constitution. As part of this process, the CRC holds public hearings to learn about issues that matter most to Floridians and considers proposed constitutional amendments submitted by the public.
Some of the commissioners' proposals submitted this year include eliminating the death penalty, restoring voting rights to certain felons, prohibiting the use of vapor-generating electronic devices in enclosed indoor workplaces, and eventually eliminating greyhound racing in Florida altogether.
Another proposal submitted by Commissioner John Stemberger, an anti-abortion advocate and president of the Florida Family Policy Council, would limit the right of privacy in the Constitution. The proposal is asking to make an amendment to Section 23 of Article I of the State Constitution, a section that has historically been used to protect abortion rights in judicial rulings.
The amendments will be voted on by the CRC and have to be approved by 22 of the commission’s 37 members before making it onto the 2018 Florida’s General Election ballot. From there, the proposed change must secure at least 60 percent voter approval to become law.
The CRC is made up of fifteen Commissioners appointed by the Governor of Florida, nine by the President of the Florida Senate, nine by the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and three by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. The Attorney General of Florida automatically serves on the CRC. The Governor designates the Chair of the CRC.
Mary Stringini is a digital reporter for ABC Action News. Follow her on Twitter @MaryWFTS.