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Bills to abolish the CRC fail

Senior Editor Regular News

Measures calling for the abolition of the Constitution Revision Commission failed to pass in the 2020 legislative session, despite bi-partisan support and the backing of diverse advocacy groups.

SB 142 by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg and chair of a criminal and civil justice spending subcommittee, died on the Senate calendar after winning unanimous approval by several committees.

The companion, HB 301 by Rep. Brad Drake, R-DeFuniak Springs, passed the House 93-25 on February 22. But the measure stalled in the Senate after being referred to several committees.

Both measures would have asked voters this November to approve a constitutional amendment abolishing the 37-member, mostly appointed commission that has the power, every 20 years, to put proposed amendments directly on the ballot.

Earlier this year, Brandes said the CRC is too powerful and lacks accountability.

“They’re unelected individuals, taking things and putting them in the constitution that were not vetted in a typical process,” Brandes said.

Measures calling for the abolition of the CRC also failed to pass in the 2019 legislative session.

The CRC was heavily criticized in 2018 for bundling unrelated issues into a single ballot question, including one that asked voters to ban offshore drilling and indoor vaping.

An attempt this year to limit CRC ballot proposals to a single subject also failed to pass.

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