Florida’s Constitutional Revision Committee (CRC) continues to receive considerable opposition over several of the proposals it is considering, especially Proposal 23, a measure the agriculture community believes will only open up a bevy of “frivolous, environmental litigation.”
“Proposal 23, a dangerously broad and vague proposal from the Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC), is scheduled to be heard and voted on by the Judicial Committee on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Proposal 23 would introduce the “right to a clean and healthful environment” into the Constitution. This may sound like a good idea, but the underlying language in the proposal provides a cause of action for any person to sue any party over virtually anything that could be perceived to impact the “natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment.”–Florida Farm Bureau
With Florida’s agriculture world coming together to oppose Proposal 23, one of the CRC’s members, state Senator Denise Grimsley, who is also a candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture in 2018, penned a letter to William Schifmo, Jr. Chairman of the CRC’s Judicial Committee, expressing her disapproval of the measure.
Grimsely says that the proposal “strikes at the heart of Florida farming and ranching communities,” adding that if approved, Proposal 23 “would unleash a no-holds-barred wave of interventionism and frivolous lawsuits” that farmers like liker herself “would be unable to fend off.”
“It stands to undermine environmental gains and rolls out a red carpet to the court system for anyone with an ax to grind, regardless of legal standing or science. Imagine the unintended consequences of freezing permitting processes and clogging the courts with challenges that could paralyze the ability of farms – and all small businesses for that matter – from operating with any shred of predictability.” –State Senator Denise Grimsley
This proposal may die a quick death. It may.