Budget conference: Senate side accepts lower allocation on advertising proposed constitutional amendments

Keep Our Constitution clean (Large)
The state will spend money to help educate voters on amendments this year.

Budget conferencing is all about the art of compromise, and the Senate did just that in backing off its desired number to advertise proposed constitutional amendments.

While the Senate originally wanted $2 million in its appropriations bill, Senators are accepting a lower House proposal of $1.64 million. That agreement came in the Senate offer from the Conference Committee between the Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development and the House Infrastructure and Tourism Appropriations Committee.

That number is up from previous years. Back in 2018, lawmakers appropriated just $1 million for the same task, facilitating newspaper buys for a whopping 13 amendments, including a Permanent Cap on Nonhomestead Parcel Assessment Increases Amendment, a Homestead Exemption Increase Amendment, and one requiring a supermajority legislative vote to increase taxes or fees.

The latter two of those were ratified.

Additionally, Citizen Initiatives greenlighting casino gambling and the restoration of voting rights for reformed felons were approved, along with seven of eight Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) proposals.

Those included bizarre measures, such as one banning offshore oil and gas exploration combined with a ban on vaping in indoor workplaces, and another combining death benefits for military veterans with a supermajority requirement to increase college fees.

Other CRC measures were more linear, though, including a post-service lobbying ban of six years for former elected officials and a ban on greyhound racing.

Potential citizens’ initiatives on the 2024 ballot include hot button issues, such as the Adult Personal Use of Marijuana and an Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion.

The Legislature has ratified potential amendments including the Partisan Election of School Board Members and the Right to Hunt and Fish. The latter amendment would “preserve forever fishing and hunting, including by the use of traditional methods, as a public right and preferred means of responsibly managing and controlling fish and wildlife.”

With potentially as few as four amendments on the ballot, perhaps the legislative budget will go farther this year than in previous election cycles, even if the Senate fell short of its aspirational goal.

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

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 28, 2024 at 7:36 am

    Funding is being reduced by 22% for educating voters about constitutional amendment ballot initiatives.

    Meanwhile Assley is complaining in court about how confusing they are. It smell like Assley up in here.

    So uh which is it? The amendments are easier than expected and we can cut funding 22%? Or are they so confusing the voter can’t possibly understand them?

    Take your ball and go home, Assley. You lost. The game is over.

Comments are closed.


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