A bill that would require a greater proportion of voters to support amending the state Constitution is advancing.
Republican Rep. Rick Roth of West Palm Beach is proposing legislation (HJR 129) that would raise the required share of “yes” votes for a constitutional amendment to pass from 60% to 66.67%. Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee gave its nod to the measure the resolution’s second committee stop, with Democrats opposed.
Roth referenced well-heeled special interests, big tech and “scary and perilous times” as reasons to increase the bar for amending the state Constitution.
“There are just too many funny things going on in America today that are usurping our rights,” Roth said.
Such a threshold would have meant Marsy’s Law victims’ rights and $15 minimum wage amendments wouldn’t have made it into the state Constitution.
If both Chambers agree, it will be placed on a ballot for voters to decide.
Testimony, though, brought forward blistering criticism.
“I appreciate Rep. Roth’s paternalistic intent to protect Florida voters from our current, misinformation-filled landscape,” said Matthew Smith, representing sheetmetal workers. “I believe the bill is unnecessary, frivolous and does not represent the wishes of the majority of voters … It seems like the bill is a usurpation of the people’s ability and right to govern themselves.”
The bill heads next to the Judiciary Committee and then, if advanced, to the State Affairs Committee.