Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Legislative Alert: HB 7037 is the nail in the coffin for citizen initiatives - take action!

Even though Florida already has one of the strictest ballot measure requirements in the country, HB 7037 will impose even more obstacles for placing an amendment to the Florida Constitution on the ballot through the citizen initiative process.

Please call your State Representative and ask him or her to oppose House Bill 7037!
Some particularly damaging provisions of HB 7037 include:

·       Changing the percentage of signatures required to trigger Supreme Court language review from 10 % of the number of statewide electors required to place an amendment on the ballot to 50%. This would leave less time to fix any problems with ballot language uncovered during judicial review and it could hinder a group’s ability to raise money because large donors often wait to contribute until after the review is complete in order to ensure their money is being wisely spent.
·       Requiring that the signature threshold be met in all of Florida's congressional districts rather than half. Under this requirement, failure to gain the required number of signatures in ONE of Florida’s 27 congressional districts could keep an amendment off the ballot.
·       Preventing committees from collecting signatures for one election cycle and then using them for a subsequent cycle. Currently, signatures are valid for two years from the date they were signed. But the legislation would mandate all signatures be rendered invalid on Feb. 1 of every even-numbered year, cutting the shelf life of signatures by just under a half.
·       Requiring campaigns to pay the full cost of counting petitions. Currently, they pay 10 cents a petition.
·       Invalidating a signature on petition if collected by a paid petition gatherer whose paperwork is not in order.

HB 7037 represents the final nail in the coffin for citizen initiatives.

Please call your State Representative and ask him or her to oppose House Bill 7037!