Pam Bondi asks court to review gambling initiative

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Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking the state Supreme Court to review a proposed constitutional amendment on gambling.

Bondi sent a letter to the court Friday, asking it to judge the initiative’s “validity.”

The request, however, is pro forma. It’s required under law when an initiative garners enough signatures.

As of Friday, the Voter Control of Gambling amendment had 73,810 valid signatures toward the requirement of 683,149 signatures. It’s aiming to get on the 2018 statewide ballot.

The language would “ensure that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling,” the ballot summary says.

The Voters In Charge committee, the group behind the amendment, is chaired by John Sowinski. He also heads the Orlando-based No Casinos anti-gambling expansion organization. The two are separate entities.

“Our state’s history shows that you cannot expand gambling even a little in one place without it resulting in an explosion of gambling in another,” Sowinski said in a January statement.

“The people of Florida should have the ultimate say when it comes to deciding on gambling expansion, not gambling industry lawyers and lobbyists.”

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.



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