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CRC abolition moves in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee

Senior Editor Top Stories

Rep. Brad DrakeA move to eliminate the Constitution Revision Commission is picking up steam, with measures now moving in both chambers of the Legislature,

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted 9-2 to approve HJR 301, by Rep. Brad Drake, R-DeFuniak Springs, on November 14.

The legislation would ask voters in November to repeal the 37-member commission that meets every 20 years and has the power to put amendments directly on the ballot. The Senate passed a CRC repeal measure last year, but it stalled in the House.

“I think we’ve got a good shot,” this session, Drake told reporters after the committee meeting. “What happened last year, it got caught in the bundle” of bills that died before time expired.

The session convenes January 14.

The CRC fell under intense criticism for bundling unrelated issues into individual ballot measures, such as pairing an offshore drilling ban with an indoor vaping ban. Repeal proponents also complain that the CRC used the amendment process to set policy that should be reserved for the Legislature.

The CRC placed seven measures on the ballot in 2018, including the sweeping victims’ rights amendment known as Marcy’s Law. Voters approved all of them.

The Supreme Court removed one CRC measure after justices agreed with challengers that the summary was misleading.

The Senate Government Oversight and Accountability Committee voted 5-0 to approve a CRC repeal measure by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, on October 14. Also moving is legislation that would limit CRC measures to a single subject.

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