A proposed constitutional amendment aimed at limiting gambling’s expansion in the state now has more than 600,000 signatures, its backers said Monday.
Voters in Charge, the political committee behind the amendment, said it’s “over halfway towards its goal of gathering 1.1 million signatures in order to reach the required number of 766,200 valid petitions to appear on the 2018 General Election ballot.”
“Tens of thousands of Floridians are signing our petition each week and we are on track to accomplish our goal of securing enough signatures for ballot placement by year’s end,” said John Sowinski, chairman of Voters in Charge.
He also heads the anti-casino expansion organization, No Casinos, but that group and the political committee are separate entities.
“We look forward to being on the 2018 ballot, mounting an aggressive statewide campaign and returning the ultimate authority to approve casino gambling to the people of Florida where it belongs,” Sowinski said in a statement.
The amendment would “ensure that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling,” the ballot summary says.
The Supreme Court already approved the amendment for ballot placement, though Justices Ricky Polston and R. Fred Lewis dissented, saying “the ballot title and summary do not clearly inform the public that the proposed amendment may substantially affect slot machines approved by county-wide (referendums).”
That concern is moot because the same court has since also ruled unanimously that counties passing local referendums allowing slots will not be able to offer them because “nothing in (state gambling law) grants any authority to regulate slot machine gaming to any county.”