A proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution will be sent to the Florida
Supreme Court for review. The
proposed amendment is known as the “Floridians for Solar Choice” amendment and would allow Florida electricity consumers to buy
electricity from somewhere other than a utility. The proponents of the
proposed amendment are confident that the issue will pass the supreme
The amendment is needed because the law forbids customers from buying their
electricity from any business or entity but a utility. Operating as a
monopoly on the system because of the law, other providers of electricity
are not allowed into the marketplace. If the amendment is passed it is
not clear whether newcomers would help to pay to keep the electric grid
up-to-date and make their electricity available statewide.
Amending the Florida Constitution
This story brings up an interesting issue in the Florida legal landscape.
What is the process for amending the state’s constitution? Who are
the primary players, and what elements must be met? Below we will answer
some of these questions and provide an overview of one way (the same as
this solar initiative) the Florida Constitution can be amended.
Florida’s Constitution itself provides the guidelines on how to amend it. Section 3 of Article
XI provides that the power of amending the constitution belongs to the
people. The people can amend the constitution through an initiative if
they can obtain the following things:
It must be an amendment that embraces only one subject.
The people must amass a petition with a number equal to 8% of amount of
votes cast in half the congressional districts from half the districts
of the state for the previous presidential election.
The people must file the language of the amendment and proof of petition
votes with the custodian of state records.
This is the first step that must be taken to amend the constitution through
an initiative. After this is done, the issue moves onto the attorney general
and supreme court for the state.
Next, the state constitution directs the attorney general to send the language
of the amendment to the supreme court who will review the language of
the amendment for constitutionality. And the
two primary things the supreme court will review are:
Whether the proposed language in the amendment satisfies the single-subject
requirement of the constitution - meaning the amendment does not touch
more than one subject.
Whether the title of the amendment satisfies the requirements of
Florida Statutes 101.161(1).
Once an amendment is passed, it will be put on the next ballot for the
people to decide. If the amendment gets 60% of the vote in the next election,
it will become a part of the Florida Constitution.
Panama City Area Accident and Injury Attorney
The Pittman Firm we practice a very important part of Florida’s civil law, personal
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See related blog posts:Supreme Court Strikes Down Congressional Districts;Critical for Individual Liberty: First Amendment Freedom of the Press.