CRC 2018 Public Hearing Schedule
The Constitution Revision Commission is holding a second statewide tour of public hearings starting in February 2018. This is a chance for Floridians to help shape proposals before they are placed on the November ballot. These are the CRC Proposals under active consideration as of Feb. 15, 2018.
SOUTH FLORIDA PUBLIC HEARING | Tuesday, February 6, 1:00-7:00 PM EST at Nova Southeastern University | Rick Case Arena at the Don Taft University Center | 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
CENTRAL FLORIDA PUBLIC HEARING | Monday, February 19, 1:00-7:00 PM EST| Eastern Florida State College | Maxwell C. King Center | 3865 North Wickham Road, Melbourne
NORTHEAST FLORIDA PUBLIC HEARING | Tuesday, February 20, 1:00-7:00 PM EST | University of North Florida | Herbert University Center | 12000 Alumni Drive, Jacksonville
NORTHWEST FLORIDA PUBLIC HEARING | Tuesday, February 27, 1:00-7:00 PM CST | University of West Florida | Conference Center & Ballroom | 11000 University Parkway, Building 22, Pensacola
TAMPA BAY AREA PUBLIC HEARING | Tuesday, March 13, 1:00-7:00 PM EST | University of South Florida – St. Petersburg | University Student Center | 200 Sixth Ave. S, St. Petersburg
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA PUBLIC HEARING – To Be Determined
Many Floridians probably can’t recite the current provisions of the Florida Constitution…
… but those provisions affect our lives in ways large and small. For example, Article 2 lists all the general provisions for the state — from state boundaries, to the state seal and flag, to the official state language. What if a constitutional amendment proposed to change the official state language to Latin? That might be an outlandish example, but the point is serious: Our Florida Constitution is open to review and revision, and changes will be proposed by a 37-member panel and voted on by the people. It’s time for all of us to pay attention.
What’s my role?
You can play a critical role during this CRC by learning about Florida’s Constitution and amendment process (on this site), attending and participating in public hearings, submitting proposals to the CRC, educating yourself about proposed amendments, and voting on election day in November 2018.
You can also:
- Request an expert speaker from the Protect Florida Democracy program to talk to your organization about the Constitution Revision Commission and why Floridians should get involved today.
- Write your local newspaper to share your opinion about the CRC through a letter to the editor or op ed. Learn how to submit to your local paper by downloading our guidelines for submissions.
Download “A Floridian’s Guide to the Constitution Revision Commission” for a quick overview of the CRC and how you can participate.
Throughout the process, remember this:
Florida has had six constitutions dating back to 1838, including our current one established in 1968. As Florida residents, we have an opportunity to participate in the democratic process and in shaping our state government by following and participating in the constitution revision process. But it’s important to revise cautiously. Just because you agree with an issue doesn’t necessarily mean it should be in our state constitution.
- A fair and impartial judiciary protects the interests of the public by deciding if an action of government is legal and constitutional. For instance, if an executive branch agency seized half of a person’s land without due process, the judicial branch could rule that such a seizure is unlawful and protect the person’s property rights. Or if the Legislature passed a law making it illegal to own a gun, the citizens could appeal to the judicial branch.
Any amendment that would further limit the judiciary’s power should be suspect.
- The judiciary was not designed to be a political branch of government. Judges should not be influenced by political parties, special interests or other external factors. This allows them to render justice in a fair and impartial way.
- One of our country’s founders, Alexander Hamilton, wrote that the judicial branch has neither the power of the sword nor the purse, but merely judgment. Yet, the judicial branch plays an important role in protecting citizens’ rights. So any amendment that would further limit the judiciary’s power should be suspect.
Protect Florida Democracy when you vote by asking yourself:
- Does this proposal create unintended consequences? For example, an idea might sound really good but have a big, hidden price tag. Think about the cost and consequences of an amendment before putting it into the constitution.
- Is this something that will get out of date and will need to be updated?
- Does this only apply to a small number of Floridians?
- Is it setting specific policy?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it probably doesn’t belong in the constitution.
If an issue isn’t suited for the constitution, it may be better addressed in a statute.