‘Bundled’ constitutional amendments targeted in new bill
Rob bradley says 'no-go' to any last-minute legislation that is self implementing.. Image via Phil Sears.

Legislature 15 ps 011818

The days of “bundled” constitutional amendments would end under a bill filed by Sen. Rob Bradley.

The measure (SB 74) offers a single-subject limitation for the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), a legislative fix for the grouping together of unrelated measures into the same amendment.

Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who last chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, noted that Amendment 10 was detrimental to his home county of Clay.

“Amendment 10 results in fundamental change to the structure of Clay County government,” Bradley said. “In the 1990s, the voters of Clay County reformed their county government after a grand jury identified structural deficiencies. Those reforms, which brought Clay government into the 21st century, were somewhat nullified” by the amendment.

According to the ballot summary, it requires a state department of veterans’ affairs and an office of domestic security and counterterrorism within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It also requires election of sheriffs, property appraisers, supervisors of elections, tax collectors, and clerks of court in all counties.

“This fundamental change, which also affected communities other than Clay, was bundled with popular language about veterans affairs and counterterrorism in order to improve the odds of passage,” Bradley said, describing bundling as a “terrible way to amend the constitution” and “unfair to the voters who are asked to consider these changes.”

Of course, Amendment 10 was not the only bundled measure on the ballot. One in particular that also passed this month elicited consternation from the media and observers but passed anyway.

Amendment 9, which banned offshore drilling and vaping in indoor workplaces, was another of the many odd combinations from the CRC. Nearly 69 percent of voters approved that amendment, as editorial boards and others wondered why the two bans were yoked together.

Florida Today analysis of editorial pages noted that many recommended a “no” vote based on the bundling. Time magazine noted that people were “confused.”

“It makes no sense to the average voter why they were put together,” University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus said.

The CRC won’t meet again till 2038, which certainly will give the body’s next iteration time to process the changes proposed in the current bill — should it become law.

The companion bill in the House (HJR53) is being carried by Jacksonville Beach Republican Rep. Cord Byrd.


A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • MarieJoey Owen

    November 22, 2018 at 9:53 am

    NO MORE BUNDLING‼️ This is how corrupt politicians get CORRUPT GIMMICKS/LIES PASSED. It is time PATRIOTS woke up🙏🏻

  • Michael L Bailey

    November 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Total dishonesty. Total politics. I agree and so do all the other confused voters of Florida, Fix this crooked crap!!

  • Ron Ogden

    November 25, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    “It makes no sense to the average voter why they were put together,” University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus said.
    Well, professor, the reason why is that bundling is a tactic people whose views are in the minority use to get their wishes accepted. It is fundamentally dishonest and undemocratic and it ought to be proclaimed as that in our newspapers, on our TVs and in our college classrooms.

  • Tia Bell-Williams

    November 26, 2018 at 11:20 am

    It was a means to trick voters into approving things they wouldn’t normally support. This is why the people don’t trust politicians.

Comments are closed.


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