The Florida House next week could start moving forward with a proposal aimed at restricting subjects that can be included in ballot initiatives. The House Public Integrity & Elections Committee is scheduled Tuesday to take up the proposal (HJR 1127), filed by Rep. Mike Beltran, R-Lithia.
Under the measure, initiatives would have to be “limited to matters relating to procedural subjects or to the structure of the government or of this (Florida) Constitution.” Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, has filed an identical proposal (SJR 1412), which is awaiting committee action. In recent years, the initiative process has been used to pass a wide range of constitutional amendments on issues such as legalizing medical marijuana and increasing the minimum wage.
Republican lawmakers have contended that such issues do not belong in the state Constitution and should be decided by the Legislature. But supporters of such initiatives argue they have needed to take issues to the ballot because lawmakers ignore voters’ wishes. If lawmakers approve the change proposed by Beltran and Brodeur, it would go on the November ballot. That is because changing the initiative process would require amending the Constitution.