Items of Interest

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS There are currently thirty potential citizen-initiated constitutional amendments for the 2016 ballot.  Few, however, have been collecting the required 683,149 signatures to meet the February 1, 2016 statutory deadline.  Outlined below are some of the amendments which have a chance to appear on the ballot.

Floridians for Solar Choice   This amendment would allow for the installation of solar panels on homes and businesses and permit the sale of such energy without being subject to utility regulations.  This grassroots effort is supported by Tea Party adherents and environmental groups.  It currently has 262,499 verified signatures.

Consumers for Smart Solar This competing solar energy amendment is heavily supported by utility companies who have contributed over $5.9 million to the initiative.  The amendment currently has 376,646 verified signatures.  The Florida Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the language which was submitted on November 24th.

 People United for Medical Marijuana This amendment, backed by Orlando attorney John Morgan, would allow for the medical use of marijuana in instances of debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician.  Currently, the group has submitted 400,032 verified signatures.  On December 17th the Supreme Court ruled that the petition and summary may appear on the ballot next November. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi stated she will not contest the language, as she did in 2014.

Floridians for a Fair Democracy This amendment would restore the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all of their terms of their sentence, including parole or probation.  To date, the amendment has 44,796 verified signatures.

 CLIMATE CHANGE PREPAREDNESS The organizations Climate Central and ICF International recently published a report card on all 50 states’ preparedness for climate change. Florida earned an overall C-. The group gave Florida a D- for inland flooding, a D for extreme heat, and an F for coastal flooding. According to the groups, Florida has not taken proper precautions to address these issues.  The full report is available here.

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