Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Please call Governor DeSantis at (850) 488-7146 and ask him to veto Senate Bill 1794!


UPDATE: Thank you to those who quickly responded to our call to contact the Governor to veto SB 1794. Unfortunately, the Governor signed the bill. Now it will be even harder for citizens to put initiatives to amend the State Constitution on the ballot.

 SB 1794 will make it even harder for citizens to put initiatives to amend the State Constitution on the ballot.  The citizen initiative process is enshrined in the Constitution. Don’t let the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida take it away from you!

Please call Governor DeSantis at (850) 488-7146 and ask him to veto Senate Bill 1794!

What will SB 1794 do?
It will make initiative sponsors get at least a quarter of their signatures before the Supreme Court looks at the language of the petition to say if it’s acceptable or not. The law currently requires only 10%. A huge amount of time, money, and effort is needed to get these signatures and this provision is designed to discourage people from even trying. Fully one quarter of an initiative’s budget would be spent before sponsors even know if their ballot language is acceptable.
Signatures will have to come from one half, instead of one quarter, of the state’s congressional districts.
Any citizen could challenge a petition gatherer’s credentials. This means political operatives can file a petition in circuit court against petition circulators, which means time in court, lost time working and less pay, and lots of hassle.
If a petition gatherer’s paperwork is not in order, a legal elector’s signature will be invalidated with no means to cure the defect.
The “shelf life” of signed petitions will be reduced by one half to a single year. Citizen-driven campaigns would be especially harmed as it takes time to collect signatures.
The petition sponsor will be charged for all printing and signature verifying costs. Supervisors of Elections are to charge sponsors of citizens’ petitions the “actual cost” of verifying signatures. For the 2020 election, it takes 766,200 signed petitions to put an initiative on the ballot. That takes time, money, and effort.

Please call Governor DeSantis at (850) 488-7146 and ask him to stop the attack on citizen initiatives by vetoing Senate Bill 1794!