State Seal Calendar

Meeting Proceedings for March 17, 1998 (File size=218K)

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          1                          STATE OF FLORIDA
                             CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION
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          3

          4

          5
                                    COMMISSION MEETING
          6

          7

          8                            VOLUME 1 OF 2

          9

         10   DATE:                   March 17, 1998

         11   TIME:                   Commenced at  9:00 a.m.
                                      Concluded at 12:05 p.m.
         12
              PLACE:                  The Senate Chamber
         13                           The Capitol
                                      Tallahassee, Florida
         14
              REPORTED BY:            JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR
         15                           MONA L. WHIDDON
                                      Court Reporters
         16                           Division of Administrative Hearings
                                      The DeSoto Building
         17                           1230 Apalachee Parkway
                                      Tallahassee, Florida
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         19

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          1                             APPEARANCES

          2   W. DEXTER DOUGLASS, CHAIRMAN

          3   CARLOS ALFONSO
              CLARENCE E. ANTHONY
          4   ANTONIO L. ARGIZ
              JUDGE THOMAS H. BARKDULL, JR.
          5   MARTHA WALTERS BARNETT
              PAT BARTON
          6   ROBERT M. BROCHIN
              THE HONORABLE ROBERT A. BUTTERWORTH
          7   KEN CONNOR
              CHRIS CORR
          8   SENATOR ANDER CRENSHAW (ABSENT A.M. SESSION ONLY)
              VALERIE EVANS
          9   MARILYN EVANS-JONES
              BARBARA WILLIAMS FORD-COATES
         10   ELLEN CATSMAN FREIDIN
              PAUL HAWKES
         11   WILLIAM CLAY HENDERSON
              THE HONORABLE TONI JENNINGS
         12   THE HONORABLE GERALD KOGAN
              DICK LANGLEY
         13   JOHN F. LOWNDES
              STANLEY MARSHALL
         14   JACINTA MATHIS
              JON LESTER MILLS
         15   FRANK MORSANI
              ROBERT LOWRY NABORS
         16   CARLOS PLANAS
              JUDITH BYRNE RILEY
         17   KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE
              SENATOR JIM SCOTT
         18   H. T. SMITH
              ALAN C. SUNDBERG
         19   JAMES HAROLD THOMPSON
              PAUL WEST
         20   JUDGE GERALD T. WETHERINGTON
              STEPHEN NEAL ZACK
         21
              IRA H. LEESFIELD
         22   LYRA BLIZZARD LOGAN

         23

         24

         25


  


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          1                             PROCEEDINGS

          2             SECRETARY BLANTON:  All unauthorized visitors, please

          3        leave the chamber.  All commissioners, indicate your

          4        presence, all commissioners, indicate your presence.

          5             (Pause.)

          6             SECRETARY BLANTON:  All unauthorized visitors, please

          7        leave the chamber.  All commissioners, indicate your

          8        presence, all commissioners, indicate your presence.

          9             (Quorum taken and recorded electronically.)

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have got one that says he is

         11        not here.  Commissioner Sundberg, you are reflected as

         12        being absent by your own vote here.  Is everybody signed

         13        up yet?  We are ready to get going, we have got a long

         14        day.

         15             All right.  If you will come to order, please.

         16        Everybody take your seats, please, for the opening prayer.

         17             If everybody would please rise for the opening

         18        prayer, Commissioners.  Commissioners, at this time I

         19        would like to call on the Reverend James H. Monroe of

         20        Tallahassee who is going to offer the opening prayer this

         21        morning.  Reverend Monroe.

         22             REVEREND MONROE:  What a sobering, thrilling task you

         23        have.  You are privileged.  Let us pray.  Eternal God,

         24        whose awesome acts of creation were to bring order out of

         25        chaos, light into darkness, and to separate the discrete


  


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          1        elements one from the other, who made all things in an

          2        orderly progression, pronouncing each part to be good, who

          3        culminated all by creating humanity with features similar

          4        to yourself and finally pronounced the whole of your

          5        creation as very good, and who gave this God-like creature

          6        a charge to act in a God-like way by managing and caring

          7        for your work, bless these your servants who have come

          8        here today to do God-like things, to bring renewed order

          9        into what always tends towards chaos, to inject fresh

         10        light into what is always fading, and to separate out

         11        distinct and discrete parts of human interaction which are

         12        always tending to merge and intermingle and confuse.

         13             Do not let your servants be diverted from the central

         14        task by peripheral concerns.  Give them boldness to

         15        entertain lofty visions and courage to acknowledge noble

         16        dreams.  Grant that their fruit, the fruit of their work

         17        today may be good, and at the conclusion of their work the

         18        people recognize it is very good.  For those of us who

         19        live today and for those who shall live tomorrow, amen.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Amen.  The pledge of allegiance

         21        will led by Susan Evans, the daughter of Commissioner

         22        Valerie Evans, along with Sara Tanner and Rachel Tanner

         23        fellow home schoolers from Orlando.  Where are my pledge

         24        people this morning?  You can stand there, if you like,

         25        ladies.


  


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          1             (Pledge of allegiance.)

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'd like to also introduce our

          3        two pages, two of our pages for today.  They are Stephanie

          4        and Elizabeth Provow.  They are nieces of Billy Buzzett,

          5        our executive director, from Grayton Beach.  And if you

          6        can't tell them apart, there is a good reason.  They are

          7        identical twins.  Where are you?  They are right over

          8        here, and we are glad to have them.  You just call for

          9        them and you are going to think you got the same one.

         10             Commissioner Evans, you wanted to be recognized for

         11        an introduction.  Commissioner Evans is recognized.

         12             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I would like to recognize Sara

         13        and Rachel's mom, Angela Tanner, who is here with the

         14        video camera.  We home school together and we have been

         15        studying Florida history this year.  So this is a Florida

         16        history field trip for them.  And then the home school dad

         17        of Susan Evans is in the back, Bob Evans.

         18             (Applause.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I thought he was a home school

         20        mom you told me.  Judge, we are glad to have you with us

         21        and, ladies, likewise.  Are there any other introductions

         22        anybody has at this time?

         23             Those of you that haven't designated your presence, a

         24        couple just came in, please let the Secretary know you are

         25        here.  We will now proceed.  Commissioner Barkdull, if you


  


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          1        can get a little order, I'm going to ask you to present

          2        the Rules Committee report.  Ladies and gentlemen,

          3        Commissioners, if you would, please take your seats and we

          4        will get started.  We have got a long day ahead, I know

          5        you know that.  So as soon as we get this over with, we

          6        will start moving.

          7             Commissioner Barkdull, you are recognized.

          8             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

          9        Members of the Commission.  You have on your desk the

         10        regular calendar which we will generally follow.  There is

         11        one item that is out of place that is under education and

         12        really belongs under the executive branch.  When we get to

         13        the appropriate place on the calendar, I will move that we

         14        temporarily pass it until we get to the executive section.

         15             The book that we will be working out of today is the

         16        white packet, not a colored sheet, the white packet.  And

         17        the reason for this is we want to work off of this because

         18        it is Style and Drafting's material and it has the proper

         19        lines if you want to offer amendments.  The other packets

         20        that you have are not in sync with this packet.  So you

         21        need to work off of this one, particularly in proposing

         22        any amendments, because you need to have the proper line.

         23        If you do not have it on your desk, raise your hand and

         24        they will get it to you.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  There are a couple that don't


  


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          1        have it.

          2             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Well they will get them to

          3        them before we get to the calender.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  This is the right one right here.

          5             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  This packet, this white packet.

          7        That's the one that we will be working off of today.  Any

          8        questions about that?  Anybody that doesn't have it, raise

          9        your hand.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  They are coming around with

         11        them, just keep your hands up.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Just keep your hands up and she

         13        will get them to you.

         14             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  That's the right one.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

         16        Barkdull, you may proceed.

         17             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  All right.  You also have on

         18        your desk a memorandum in reference to the procedure that

         19        will be followed today with the five hands and the, for

         20        reconsideration.  Any amendments that will offered to a

         21        matter that is brought up by five hands will be subject to

         22        a majority vote.  This follows the procedure that we

         23        established at the last meeting as to what we would do

         24        after the public hearings.

         25             I would like to suggest, Mr. Chairman, that we have a


  


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          1        time limit on debate on the issues today.  And to put it

          2        before the body I would move you, sir, that we have ten

          3        minutes, pro and con, and two minutes for the mover of the

          4        proposal to close on the items as we reach them.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  All those in favor

          6        say aye; opposed?

          7             (Verbal vote taken.)

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries.  We will have a time

          9        limit of ten minutes per proposal with two minutes to

         10        close by the proponent.  We will try to get a timekeeper

         11        so we can kind of keep up with it because we have a lot of

         12        bookwork to do today.  Commissioner Barkdull, proceed.

         13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I would like to know if there

         14        is any committee chairman, particularly committee Chairman

         15        Mills, if he has any announcements to make at this time.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Style and Drafting Chairman

         17        Mills, you are recognized.

         18             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, the Style and

         19        Drafting Committee will meet tomorrow morning at

         20        9:00 o'clock, room to be announced.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You will be preparing for our

         22        next meeting on the groupings; is that correct?  And any

         23        other matters you might have to take up.  Proceed,

         24        Commissioner Barkdull.

         25             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I would like to know if there


  


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          1        are any other matters by any member of the commission they

          2        want to take up before we start to vote.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Anybody?  Okay.  Commissioner

          4        Barkdull, go ahead.

          5             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Seeing none, Mr. Chairman,

          6        I'd like to have a point of personal privilege, the

          7        opportunity to address --

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  First of all, without objection

          9        the report and recommendations of the Rules Committee are

         10        accepted.  And now you may proceed.  Do you have something

         11        else?

         12             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.  On a point of

         13        personal privilege, I'd like to address the body from the

         14        well.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are granted the privilege of

         16        doing that.  I think we have everybody here.  No,

         17        Commissioner Barnett hasn't made it yet, and Commissioner

         18        Crenshaw.  His plane didn't crash, it just turned around;

         19        is that right, Commissioner Jennings?  And I think

         20        Commissioner Barnett is coming, but she probably had a

         21        firm meeting.

         22             Commissioner Barkdull is recognized on a point of

         23        personal privilege.  Please give him your attention.

         24             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman and

         25        Commissioners, as we begin the defining votes of this


  


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          1        commission, I would like to speak to you on the welfare of

          2        this body.  I have been asked by many members to give my

          3        thoughts on the comparison of this commission with the

          4        other commissions that I was privileged to serve on.

          5             The '68 commission was charged differently than this

          6        commission.  It was a statutory commission charged with

          7        the responsibility of making a complete review of the

          8        Constitution of 1885, and its some 150 amendments, for

          9        consideration by the Legislature.  This rewrite was

         10        ultimately submitted to the public in 1968 by several

         11        joint resolutions adopted by the Legislature.  This

         12        Constitution provided the constitutional authorization for

         13        a Constitution Revision Commission in the ten years

         14        following its adoption and every 20 years thereafter.

         15             In 1978 the Constitution Revision Commission was

         16        charged differently.  It was charged with the

         17        responsibility of conducting public hearings and

         18        recommending changes, if any.  This commission recommended

         19        59 proposals, all of which were defeated at the polls,

         20        although many were subsequently submitted to the people by

         21        joint resolution or adopted as general law.  Today in

         22        1998, under the same charge, we have adopted some 47

         23        proposals.

         24             After the '68 success of the rewrite of the

         25        Constitution, those of us that were privileged to


  


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          1        participate in that constitutional revision were able to

          2        bask in ten years of reflected success.  After the 1978

          3        debacle, we had to spend 20 years trying to explain the

          4        failure.  The first experience, obviously, made those of

          5        us that participated proud.  And the latter experience

          6        left each of us deeply disappointed.

          7             I fear that the present path of this commission, with

          8        the multitude of proposals, may be embarking on the latter

          9        course and not the former.

         10             At the time we organized in June, each of the

         11        appointing authorities gave us certain charges.  Governor

         12        Chiles said in part, "Today I believe our Constitution

         13        needs a tune-up.  I would like to see this commission use

         14        a rifle shot approach and tackle a limited number of

         15        revisions impacting major issues."  I'd like to repeat

         16        that last sentence:  "A limited number of revisions

         17        impacting major issues."

         18             President Jennings said in part, "As we look at the

         19        issues, it is almost superfluous to say we need to

         20        concentrate on those issues that should be in the

         21        Constitution."  And I again repeat the last sentence:  "We

         22        need to concentrate on those issues that should be in the

         23        Constitution."

         24             Speaker Webster said, in speaking of responses he

         25        received from prospective appointees in reference to


  


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          1        constitutional revision, "It should not contain

          2        substantive law, that's left to the Legislature.  I would

          3        challenge you to leave it that way.  The Constitution

          4        Revision Commission should review carefully, should review

          5        rigorously but revise cautiously."  And I again repeat the

          6        concluding remarks:  "The Constitution Revision Commission

          7        should review carefully, review rigorously, but revise

          8        cautiously."

          9             And Chief Justice Kogan charged:  "Let's address

         10        those things that we feel need to be addressed and not

         11        just meet here for the purpose of changing everything."

         12        And I again conclude with his final remarks:  "Let's

         13        address those things that we feel need to be addressed and

         14        not just meet here for the purpose of changing

         15        everything."

         16             The '78 Constitution was prone to act as a

         17        super-Legislature.  And so far this commission, I believe,

         18        has emulated them.  We must remember we were all appointed

         19        to examine the Constitution and to make recommendations,

         20        if any, for change.  We were not appointed to substitute

         21        ourselves for the elected representatives of the people

         22        and the Legislature.

         23             As I have previously mentioned, one of the effects of

         24        too many proposals is that negative voters, when they go

         25        to the polls, will many times vote no on all proposals to


  


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          1        be sure they have voted against the one they came

          2        specifically to vote against; whereas, those who go to the

          3        polls to vote affirmatively many times vote only for the

          4        propositions and do not vote on other proposals.

          5             As we have all been told, this Constitution Revision

          6        Commission, as an appointed body, is unique in this

          7        country in its ability to submit constitutional changes.

          8        Our membership, save and except the Attorney General not

          9        having been elected by the people, our focus should be on

         10        constitutional change and we should not encroach on the

         11        legislative branch of government.

         12             We need to look to the Constitution's basic

         13        principles.  We must give up personal preferences in

         14        exchange for the ability to offer to the people of Florida

         15        needed changes in our state's basic structure of

         16        government.  We each should give our support for a

         17        proposal only if we truly believe it is needed to effect

         18        constitutional change, and not to merely satisfy a

         19        personal desire.

         20             We must put the greater need of the state ahead of

         21        any personal agendas, or personal animosities.  We took an

         22        oath, which reads in part as follows:  To support the

         23        Constitution and government of the United States and of

         24        the state of Florida and that we would well and faithfully

         25        perform the duties as a member of the Constitution


  


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          1        Revision Commission.

          2             The section of the Constitution creating the revision

          3        commission reads in part as follows:  That we were to

          4        examine the Constitution of the state, we are to hold

          5        public hearings, and we are to file with the Secretary of

          6        State its proposals, if any, for a revision of the

          7        Constitution or a part of it.

          8             We have no charge to act as a super-Legislature

          9        passing general laws.  Examining the proposals so far

         10        adopted in light of our constitutional charge I find only

         11        seven that I think truly warrant constitutional change.

         12        As we have begun to take our definitive votes of this

         13        commission, I hope you will also examine to determine

         14        which you believe are truly needed for constitutional

         15        change, and leave to the Legislature the further

         16        consideration of those proposals that might be the subject

         17        of general law or merit additional constitutional review.

         18             With each affirmative vote we cast, we add to the

         19        length of the ballot questions.  The success of our work

         20        and the acceptance by the people will be in inverse

         21        proportion to the length of the ballot.  And may each of

         22        us, when this day's work is completed, feel that we have

         23        discharged the responsibility reposed in us in conformity

         24        with the oath we took at the onset of this commission.

         25             Thank you.


  


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          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We will proceed.  I

          2        think that's enough personal privilege, that took ten

          3        minutes.  And I'm not going to rebut that or anything else

          4        at this point.  Commissioner Wetherington, did you rise

          5        for recognition?

          6             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  I rise to say that I take

          7        issue with a number of things that Commissioner Barkdull

          8        said.  I don't disagree about the purposes, I think that

          9        the, what I determined here is that people are voting on a

         10        high-minded basis, I don't see any indication of a

         11        super-legislative mentality.  There may be some issues

         12        that I don't think would be appropriate, but I think that

         13        basically what I've felt from the beginning is that

         14        everybody on the commission has been acting within the

         15        spirit and purposes of the reason why we are here.

         16             And if there is any implication to the contrary, I

         17        specifically reject it, I don't believe in it.  I believe

         18        in the commission, I think everybody has done their very

         19        best.  They are motivated by the highest ideals and I

         20        think that's what we should be remembered for.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you, sir.

         22             Okay.  Before we get underway, I would like to say

         23        just two or three short remarks as chairman.  Number one,

         24        it has been a real privilege to serve this group.  I don't

         25        know a group of people that I have come to respect and


  


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          1        know as friends, regardless of whether we agreed or not.

          2        This has been an outstanding group of people dedicated, as

          3        Judge Wetherington just, Commissioner Wetherington just

          4        said, to doing what they think is correct.

          5             The only charge that you have is the one in the

          6        Constitution.  And, that is, you are to do what you think

          7        is correct, not what I think is correct or anybody else

          8        does.  And each of these issues, I know, that have come

          9        this far have people that are just dedicated to having

         10        them on the ballot.  And if it comes out that way, if we

         11        had 200 that all of you together wanted, I would be out

         12        supporting them.  And I'm sure each of you would do the

         13        same.

         14             What I would like to say before we get started on

         15        this journey today is thank you.  Thank you for allowing

         16        me to serve as your chairman, thank you for your dedicated

         17        service, thank you for being great friends, thank you for

         18        being true Floridians and Americans.  Each one of you is

         19        unique.  Each one of you has unique points of view.  And I

         20        have had the pleasure to hear them and to stand here and

         21        hear them coming from all directions.

         22             But there is one thread that runs through this group.

         23        We are here to do the right thing.  We are not here to

         24        advance somebody else's agenda.  We are here to do the

         25        right thing and to present before the people the


  


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          1        opportunity to vote on what we collectively think is the

          2        right thing to vote on.

          3             With that we will proceed to get started.  The first

          4        item on the special order is on reconsideration, the

          5        Committee Substitute for Proposal 6.  So there won't be

          6        any misunderstanding, this is on reconsideration.  If it

          7        gets a majority vote, it will go forward to the next

          8        meeting.  It will have to go to the Style and Drafting

          9        under the rules and would not be voted on for 22 votes, if

         10        it gets a majority vote at this meeting.  It would go

         11        forward.  It has to be considered by Style and Drafting

         12        before we act on it.

         13             So if it does, we will have to wait and see, but

         14        that's my understanding of the rules.  So we will start

         15        with Committee Substitute for Proposal No. 6, Commissioner

         16        Nabors.  And, Commissioner Nabors, you are recognized

         17        because you are the one that got it reconsidered.

         18             We have already voted to reconsider it so it is on

         19        reconsideration at the moment.

         20             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Mr. Chairman, I don't know

         21        whether staff is here or not, but there is an amendment

         22        that Commissioner Lowndes and I worked on that should be

         23        ready to be handed out that --

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  First of all, we will ask, read

         25        the proposal and then read Amendment No. 1.


  


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          1             READING CLERK:  Proposal 6, a proposal to create

          2        Article VII, Section 19, Florida Constitution.

          3             By Commissioner Nabors on Page 1, Line 15, through

          4        Page 3, Line 6, strike all of said lines and insert

          5        lengthy amendment.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So it is a

          7        strike-everything amendment?  Commissioner Nabors, on the

          8        amendment, explain the amendment, please.

          9             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Members of the Commission, this

         10        is the language that I sent to you, each of you a week ago

         11        by Federal Express.  It does not change at all the

         12        substance of the proposal, it is an attempt that

         13        Commissioner Lowndes and I spent in trying to simplify the

         14        language.  And essentially we have collapsed the language

         15        into the same three sections but into one sentence.

         16             The first sentence basically reads that any

         17        exemptions shall, any future exemptions shall be in a

         18        single bill dealing with that exemption only and should

         19        declare the advancement of the state public purpose,

         20        including encouraging economic development and

         21        competitiveness, supporting educational, governmental,

         22        religious or charitable initiatives, while securing tax

         23        fairness.

         24             The second section is the issue that directs the

         25        Legislature in the year 2000-2001 to do a tax fairness


  


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          1        initiative and to reduce the sales tax rate from six to

          2        five, and to achieve revenue neutrality by either

          3        repealing existing exemptions or taxing excluded services.

          4             It makes it clear that in this process it can be done

          5        in one or two general laws and does not require the single

          6        subject considerations.  In other words, there is no

          7        sunset, there is no vote up and down on every exemption.

          8        The Legislature is directed to do that tax fairness

          9        initiative.

         10             And the third section is much simpler language.  It

         11        is the revenue neutrality guarantee which says that in

         12        that process, in the year 2000-2001, that the Legislature

         13        will have to generate the same sales tax dollars as the

         14        previous year, adjusted for growth.  And any money in

         15        excess of that will be used to reduce school property

         16        taxes.

         17             In the spirit of trying to move this issue to a final

         18        vote, I would urge that we adopt this amendment so we

         19        would have more simple language and we could have a fair

         20        debate on the merits of this proposal.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any discussion on the amendment,

         22        on the amendment?  If not, all in favor of the amendment

         23        say aye; opposed?

         24             (Verbal vote taken.)

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment is adopted.  We are


  


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          1        now on the proposal as amended, which was a

          2        strike-everything amendment.  You may continue,

          3        Commissioner Nabors.

          4             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Mr. Chairman, we have on this

          5        debate limited to ten minutes.  Do you want to take who

          6        wants to talk or how do you want me to do that?

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Get going.  You already used one

          8        minute of your time.

          9             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well I think there are others

         10        that want to talk.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well they will talk.  You just

         12        worry about Commissioner Nabors.

         13             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Okay, Mr. Chairman, that sounds

         14        good.  I'm worried about Commissioner Nabors and 22 votes.

         15             Let me speak to the merits of this.  All of you, it's

         16        been a long road since June.  And as all of you know, this

         17        is a proposal that I feel strong about.  I think I have

         18        met with each of you individually.  We have attempted over

         19        the period of time to reduce the proposal to simple

         20        language, I think we have achieved that.  And it is a

         21        relatively straightforward proposition.

         22             It's a proposition that in my judgment is the most

         23        fundamental issue that we can look at.  It goes to the

         24        heart of how we raise money in this state, whether you

         25        believe in education, whether you believe in basic rights,


  


                                                                          21

          1        the judicial system, we have got to have a stable and

          2        dependable source of revenue for Florida to survive in the

          3        next 20 years.

          4             This is not a liberal proposal, it is not a

          5        conservative proposal.  It doesn't generate any new money,

          6        it doesn't cut government, it leaves that to the

          7        Legislature.  But in my judgment it is a fundamental

          8        proposal for Florida for the next 20 years.  It is an

          9        absolute fundamental -- it is what we are about as a

         10        Constitution Revision Commission.

         11             And those of you who may be on the fence on this

         12        issue, who are debating whether to vote or not, I'll

         13        represent to you the vote is close on this issue.  That

         14        the votes are -- but I would submit that we have an

         15        obligation, almost a duty, on a proposal of this magnitude

         16        to let the people debate.  Let the people decide the

         17        issue.

         18             It will be healthy for this state to have a debate on

         19        our sales tax base over the next few months.  And I

         20        believe that the wisdom of this proposal will survive.  We

         21        fundamentally have got to recognize the strain that we

         22        received in trying to deal with our state needs with your

         23        limited base now.  There is no other place we can go.

         24        There is no other place we can go.

         25             The Legislature is institutionally incapable of


  


                                                                          22

          1        putting this proposal towards the people or dealing with

          2        this issue.  It will fail under a single subject

          3        initiative process.  So the only people that can put this

          4        to the people for a fair debate is this commission and I

          5        would urge you to vote for it.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Lowndes.

          7             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Yes, sir.  I rise in favor of

          8        this.  I would like to point out a couple things which

          9        this is not.  It is not a reinstitution, necessarily, of

         10        the services tax, as a lot of people have suggested.  And

         11        it is not a sunsetting of the existing exemptions, as

         12        people have suggested.

         13             What it does is it reduces the sales tax and it

         14        encourages the Legislature to broaden the base of the

         15        sales tax.  It doesn't restrict the Legislature as to how

         16        to broaden the base of the sales tax, it simply encourages

         17        the Legislature to do that.

         18             It is, I think, from a lot of the public hearings

         19        that we heard, there is an important need to broaden the

         20        base.  Broader based taxes are better for everybody.  A

         21        reduction of 5 percent certainly is a better

         22        across-the-board proposition for the average person in

         23        Florida.

         24             So I would speak in favor of this amendment.  Also,

         25        the first part of it I think is also a very important


  


                                                                          23

          1        proposition, that future amendments or future exemptions

          2        would have to be contained in a single bill so they

          3        couldn't be done late at night and tacked on to something

          4        else.  So I think it is a good proposal and I would urge

          5        you to vote for it.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Evans.

          7             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Question.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Question of Commissioner Nabors

          9        or Commissioner --

         10             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Commissioner Nabors.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  He yields.

         12             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I have seen in some newspaper

         13        editorials as well as materials that we have received on

         14        this issue that the rollback to 5 percent would be for two

         15        years and I want that clarified.  To me it says one year,

         16        state fiscal year singular.  And yet with the 2000-2001 I

         17        take it that some people are saying two years.  Am I

         18        correct?  What are the exact dates of that fiscal year?

         19             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  The rollback that will be

         20        mandated is for one year.  It's the year 2000-2001.  There

         21        is only one year rollback.  After that year --

         22             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  It is a calender period of

         23        366 --

         24             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  It is a state fiscal year

         25        running from July the 1st to June the 30th.  The


  


                                                                          24

          1        Legislature then would have the ability in future years to

          2        raise the rate.  The two years that's discussed is the

          3        Legislature would have two years from the time it is

          4        adopted, two legislative sessions, to get to the fiscal

          5        year 2000-2001 budget.

          6             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Two years from now?

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Sundberg.

          8             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak

          9        in favor of this proposal, as I have the earlier

         10        permutations of it.

         11             We have had really the opportunity, unlike many other

         12        bodies or almost any other body in this state, because of

         13        our significant number of public hearings across the

         14        state, to listen to the people about the problems that

         15        face Florida.  Many of them center on education.  But

         16        there are other problems.  One that's going to have to be

         17        addressed, because of action that we are proposing to take

         18        and to put on the ballot having to do with the shifting of

         19        costs from local governments to the state government for

         20        the judiciary.  And that's right and proper to do.

         21             But I suggest to you that almost every one of these

         22        problems will be if not cured at least eased if we can get

         23        a more stable and appropriate tax system for this state.

         24        We desperately need to, for state purposes, to broaden the

         25        base of the taxes which we rely upon.  Now, we have heard


  


                                                                          25

          1        on many instances, and I think it is an appropriate

          2        comment to make, let the people at least make a judgment

          3        on this issue.

          4             For example, I would have let the people make a

          5        judgment on whether or not they want to continue a

          6        prohibition on personal income tax.  They are the ones who

          7        are going to be, you know, burdened with these taxes.  But

          8        aren't they entitled to say, We want a better Florida with

          9        a broader tax base than that very narrow tax base that we

         10        have had to rely on?

         11             And Commissioner Lowndes is absolutely right.  This

         12        doesn't mandate the elimination of any exemption.  But I

         13        suspect if it is, you know, if it is carefully

         14        scrutinized, as this directs the Legislature to do, that

         15        they may arrive at the conclusion that we have become much

         16        more a service-oriented state than a manufacturing or

         17        goods-oriented state.

         18             But that's good, too.  What that means is the

         19        Legislature will be obliged to reassess where we are.  The

         20        statement has been made that the Legislature can't

         21        possibly do this because of the number of exemptions.  I

         22        have suggested earlier that that argument is

         23        self-defeating simply because it points out there are so

         24        many exemptions that the Legislature really should take a

         25        look at this great volume of exemptions we have.


  


                                                                          26

          1             I suggest to you they can rationally do that.  And

          2        what it says is going forward, going forward the

          3        Legislature before it exempts any industry or any segment

          4        of our society from its taxation -- and after all, this

          5        actually happens to be the backbone of a democracy and

          6        that is everybody contributes from their wherewithal to

          7        make this government work.

          8             And so I urge you, let the people, after we have had

          9        a, you know, a full debate on this issue, let the people

         10        decide what they think is a fair means of taxation and

         11        raising revenues for the many, many needs we have in this

         12        state.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further debate?

         14        Commissioner Langley.

         15             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  It is kind of hard to rise

         16        against three of the brightest people in here with Judge

         17        Sundberg and Mr. Lowndes and Commissioner Nabors, but, you

         18        know, the problem is this isn't the normal intellectual

         19        and participation level in the state of Florida.  If every

         20        citizen was as informed as these three gentlemen, it would

         21        be a great idea to submit this to the public but I dare

         22        say I don't know how many of us even understand this in

         23        its present state.

         24             Certainly I don't think Commissioner Sundberg meant

         25        to mislead us with saying this didn't mandate taxes, but


  


                                                                          27

          1        if you will look in (b) there it says, The Legislature

          2        shall reduce the general state sales tax, and three lines

          3        later, by taxing currently-excluded services.  That's

          4        pretty much of a mandate if you pass this.

          5             But you have got to take it, take it home to where

          6        the rubber meets the road.  My old buddy Joe Lunchbucket

          7        got up at 5:30 this morning and grabbed a McDonald's

          8        burger on the way and reported to work.  And he is going

          9        to work all day.  And about 5:30 he will start back home,

         10        and he is not concerned with this amendment.  And he does

         11        not know anything about it and he is not going to take the

         12        time to read about it.

         13             But you know what he does?  He follows the local

         14        paper and he knows how his representative is voting on

         15        these things.  And he knows his representative and he

         16        knows whether he is a tax and spend liberal or a

         17        conservative.  He knows something about it, and he depends

         18        on him to make these decisions.

         19             Because he comes up here with 400 lobbyists on each

         20        side to fill him in on the information and he reads and he

         21        knows the budget and he knows the effect of this

         22        amendment.  But don't ask those poor people out in the

         23        hinterlands to have any comprehension of what this

         24        amendment does.

         25             And as our Judge Barkdull said earlier, you confuse


  


                                                                          28

          1        them with something like this, they are going to go in and

          2        vote against everything.  So if you have something on here

          3        you want, don't contaminate it with this.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now the proponents

          5        have just about used all the time.  I'm going to recognize

          6        an opponent, if there is one.  Commissioner Planas.  Are

          7        you an opponent, Commissioner Barnett?  Okay.  Proceed.

          8             COMMISSIONER PLANAS:  My fellow commissioners, I

          9        agree with Commissioner Sundberg that we have a lot of

         10        problems in the state of Florida.  And we have a lot of

         11        tax problems, too much taxes.  Everybody says that in the

         12        state of Florida.  We cannot burden the citizens of the

         13        state of Florida with more taxes.  You can call this

         14        proposal anything, but I still hear that quacking that

         15        says, It is a tax, it is a tax.

         16             I go out and say to you all, let's go ahead and vote

         17        no.  We cannot bring any industry if we have got this tax

         18        problem going on.  Thank you.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett.

         20             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Mr. Chairman, I'll be brief

         21        because most members have heard my feelings on this.  This

         22        proposal does two things.  One, it is a tax increase.

         23        Believe it or not, it is a tax increase.  And it is a tax

         24        reduction at the same time.

         25             The tax reduction obviously comes in the mandate to


  


                                                                          29

          1        reduce the sales tax for one year down 1 percent.  But the

          2        tax increase comes in the mandate to find $1.8 billion to

          3        replace the revenues that are going to be lost by that tax

          4        reduction.

          5             So -- and it does mandate and it does direct where

          6        you find that money.  And that is in the current

          7        exemptions to the sales tax and in the current services

          8        that are excluded from the sales tax.  So it does revise

          9        the tax, the sales tax on services.

         10             I have deep respect for Commissioner Nabors, and

         11        others who support this, because I believe the state needs

         12        to do this.  But I firmly believe it is impossible to do

         13        it in a deliberative, thoughtful way by mandating it in

         14        the Constitution.  It is a legislative function.  The

         15        Legislature is the one that needs to debate the public

         16        policy reasons behind certain exemptions.

         17             There is a presumption in this proposal that all

         18        exemptions are bad.  And we know that there are many

         19        exemptions that serve legitimate public policy needs of

         20        this state and economic development needs of this state.

         21        And to wholesale eliminate those would put Florida

         22        potentially at a competitive disadvantage with our

         23        neighboring states.  And I fear that it would have a very

         24        serious impact on our economic development activities and

         25        our standing with your business community around the


  


                                                                          30

          1        country.

          2             And so for those reasons, I will vote against it.  I

          3        do believe that the provision mandating a single subject

          4        is important.  And I hope that if this fails, there is an

          5        opportunity to find a place to put that in another

          6        proposal because I think that is a constitutional issue.

          7        But a mandated tax is not.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The time is up for

          9        debate.  And you have the right to close, Commissioner

         10        Nabors.

         11             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Briefly in response.  There is

         12        no wholesale removal of any exemptions by passage, by your

         13        vote or the vote of the voters.  It is the Legislature who

         14        will make those fundamental public policy decisions, which

         15        exemptions serve a public purpose, which serve a special

         16        interest.

         17             And they have two years to do that.  It is

         18        inconceivable they cannot do that in two years.  If we

         19        really believe that, then we have basically given up on

         20        any ability to straighten out Florida's tax reform.  If

         21        everybody pays their fair share, everybody pays less.  It

         22        reduces the rate and spreads the base in a more broader

         23        way.

         24             I disagree with Mr. Langley.  I trust the average

         25        person, the wisdom of the average person to understand


  


                                                                          31

          1        this.  They understand that there are exemptions that

          2        serve a special interest and they understand the fact that

          3        there is going to be a rate reduction and a fairness in

          4        terms of how those exemptions are given.

          5             The average person is very smart about these issues.

          6        They are not tax lawyers, and they're not accountants, but

          7        they see through the wisdom of a fundamentally fair

          8        proposal of tax reform.  And let's give them a chance to

          9        have that debated and let them decide that.

         10             We serve as citizens to have a rule of restraint to

         11        decide what we will let people -- we have an obligation to

         12        present to our citizens, our fellow citizens, things that

         13        are of fundamental importance to their future.  And this

         14        is one of those issues.  I urge strongly your vote in

         15        favor of this proposal.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We will prepare to

         17        vote on Proposal No. 6 as amended.  Would you unlock the

         18        machine and vote.

         19             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everyone voted?  Lock the

         21        machine and announce the vote.

         22             READING CLERK:  Seventeen yeas, 18 nays,

         23        Mr. Chairman.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have defeated

         25        Proposal No. 6.


  


                                                                          32

          1             We will now move to the special order.  The next

          2        proposal is Committee Substitute for Proposals 36 and 38.

          3        Would you read the proposal, please?

          4             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

          5        Nos. 36 and 38, a proposal to revise Article II, Section

          6        7, Florida Constitution.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  It takes five hands

          8        to revote.  Do I see five hands that want to do it?  There

          9        are five hands.  Proceed to read -- there is an amendment

         10        on the table by the Style and Drafting Committee and

         11        Commissioner Mills will be recognized after it is read.

         12        Read the amendment, please.

         13             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposals 36

         14        and 38, by the Committee on Style and Drafting, on Page 1,

         15        Lines 21 and 22, strike "for future generations."

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills, you are

         17        recognized.

         18             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, the Committee on

         19        Style and Drafting in considering this proposal and

         20        specifically Commissioner Lowndes pointed out something

         21        that actually made a great deal of sense.  The way this

         22        was written we were preserving and protecting natural

         23        resources for future generations and not for ourselves.

         24        So this simply means that the preserve and protect would

         25        be both for this generation and for future generations.


  


                                                                          33

          1        And I think that amendment is technical.

          2             Actually, if you want, Mr. Chairman, I can go ahead

          3        and explain the bill briefly.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proceed.  This will be part of

          5        your time.

          6             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Yes, sir.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well we better vote on the

          8        amendment first.  All those in favor of the amendment say

          9        aye; opposed?

         10             (Verbal vote taken.)

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Amendment carries.  Now you can

         12        proceed to debate the issue.

         13             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  This

         14        proposal dealing with conservation and protection of

         15        natural resources is both consistent with and responsive

         16        to what we heard throughout this state from everybody from

         17        hunters, fishermen, to gun owners, who all said, We want

         18        to conserve and protect the natural resources for our

         19        future.

         20             I think it is also important to look at the wording.

         21        Conservation and protection are the words that denote the

         22        kind of programs Florida has been using in the recent

         23        past, which is for land acquisition and protection of

         24        long-term property use.  These all protect property rights

         25        and are nonregulatory in nature.  That's important.


  


                                                                          34

          1             It is also important that thematically this is

          2        precisely what the rest of the environmental package does

          3        and sets it off.  The rest of the environmental package

          4        deals with lacn acquisition and preservation and

          5        protection and conservation for land for future

          6        generations.

          7             The third issue to vote for it is because of what it

          8        doesn't do.  You have heard some conversation in the past

          9        about whether this may or may not generate litigation.  In

         10        terms of determining that answer, we asked Professor

         11        Gudridge of the University of Miami, and those of you who

         12        were at the St. Pete hearing heard his answer.  And his

         13        answer was, This is not self-executing, this does not

         14        generate litigation, it is not enforceable judicially, it

         15        is a political directive.  It is a political directive to

         16        the Legislature to enact conservation and preservation

         17        measures in any form they see fit.

         18             You know, Mr. Chairman, I just want -- I've been

         19        involved in environmental issues in a lot of different

         20        countries.  And the basic conservation and protection

         21        issue is one that we as this generation with the

         22        opportunity to vote for future conservation protections

         23        should take advantage of it.

         24             I was in Haiti, which is a country that has gone a

         25        little bit beyond where we have in consuming our natural


  


                                                                          35

          1        resources.  And I was walking in an area that used to be

          2        rain forest and is as desolate and dry as any desert you

          3        could see.  And the program we were implementing would be

          4        the replanting of trees.  And all I could think about was

          5        these folks that are planting the trees would never sit in

          6        their shade.  And the only thing that I think that they

          7        thought about was that maybe their children could.

          8             So I hope that we enact this conservation and

          9        protection directive of the Legislature, which is

         10        perfectly consistent with the rest of our package.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let me tell you that in this

         12        package you have got, they are in numerical order by the

         13        number of the proposal.  So if you are having difficulty

         14        finding them, that's the way they are set up in this

         15        handout.  So it's Proposal No. 36 and No. 38.  And that's

         16        the one we are on.  But when we get to them, listen to the

         17        proposal number and you can find them by going to the

         18        number in the packet.  Is there further debate?  Does

         19        anybody else want to be heard on this?  Now this is a

         20        22-vote vote.

         21             All right.  If you are ready, we will proceed to

         22        vote.  Unlock the machine and let's vote.

         23             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Lock the

         25        machine and announce the vote.


  


                                                                          36

          1             READING CLERK:  Twenty-three yeas, 12 nays,

          2        Mr. Chairman.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have sent this

          4        to the ballot.

          5             Proceed to the next proposal, which is Committee

          6        Substitute for Committee Substitute for Proposal 45 by the

          7        Committee on Executive and Legislative and Commissioner

          8        Henderson.  This is the unification amendment.  There is

          9        one amendment on the table.  Would you read it, please,

         10        and then we will read the amendment that's on the table.

         11             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Committee

         12        Substitute for Proposal No. 45, a proposal to revise

         13        Article IV, Section 9, Florida Constitution.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Before we proceed

         15        with the amendment, are there five hands that want to

         16        proceed with this?  It received 23 votes so if you don't

         17        raise five hands it will go to the ballot.

         18             There are five hands.  Now please read the amendment.

         19        Commissioner Henderson, you almost won.  Read the

         20        amendment, please.

         21             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Thompson, on Page 1,

         22        Line 23, delete that line and insert "life and freshwater

         23        aquatic life, and shall also exercise regulatory and

         24        executive powers of the state with respect to marine life,

         25        except" --


  


                                                                          37

          1             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have two amendments so I guess

          3        we can read the second amendment if you would like or we

          4        can proceed with yours, Commissioner Thompson.

          5             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  It doesn't matter to me.

          6        Commissioner Henderson, what's your pleasure?

          7             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, what I'd like

          8        to do is go ahead and read my amendment, I'll explain the

          9        posture we're in --

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Read the Amendment

         11        No. 2.  Does everybody understand that Amendment No. 1 has

         12        been read by Commissioner Thompson and we are now reading

         13        Amendment No. 2 by Commissioner Henderson?

         14             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Henderson, on Page 2,

         15        Lines 4 through 8, after the period insert lengthy

         16        amendment.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Who wants to go

         18        first?  Are you going first Commissioner Henderson?  Go

         19        ahead.

         20             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and

         21        I'll try to be brief.  I hope the commissioners understand

         22        at this point I have almost lost my voice because of

         23        working through this issue yesterday.  We spent about --

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  They believe it is because you

         25        stayed up too late last night.


  


                                                                          38

          1             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  That's also true,

          2        Mr. Chairman.  But the issue here relates to the --

          3        actually there are two components of this:  Whether all of

          4        the regulatory authority concerning marine life moves from

          5        DEP to the new commission, and what is the status of fees

          6        derived from saltwater fishing licenses and federal

          7        matching programs as a result of this transfer.

          8             The Department has raised issues concerning both of

          9        those things.  The agreement which we worked out and has

         10        been previously adopted by this commission was that the

         11        regulatory authority which was being transferred was

         12        narrow in scope to the Marine Fisheries Commission, as it

         13        exists March 1st of 1998.  That is what is being

         14        transferred.  We have set up the mechanism for other

         15        regulatory authority to be transferred to the commission

         16        by subsequent legislative acts.  The only transfer by

         17        operation of constitutional law, if this were to pass,

         18        would be the transfer of the Marine Fisheries Commission.

         19             So the amendment which Commissioner Thompson offers

         20        really deals with this very narrow issue of whether or not

         21        there is any regulatory authority which will currently

         22        still remain at DEP.  And the answer to that is, yes, we

         23        did not move, for instance, manatees or turtles with this,

         24        with this amendment.  We have only moved the Marine

         25        Fisheries Commission.


  


                                                                          39

          1             The second issue relates to saltwater fishing

          2        licenses.  Currently, that money is allocated for a lot of

          3        different reasons, a lot of different purposes.  The

          4        Marine Patrol is part of that.  Thirty percent of

          5        saltwater fishing licenses goes to the Marine Patrol.

          6             The concern is that if language is there as it is,

          7        then the Legislature will be required then to send all

          8        money to the new commission.  And DEP is concerned that

          9        some of that money would not come back to take care of

         10        some of the things that they will continue to do, as

         11        contemplated that they will continue to do.

         12             We spent several hours yesterday with all of the

         13        parties; the proponents of the initiative, the general

         14        counsel for DEP, the general counsel for the Game

         15        Commission, other interested parties.  And I would

         16        represent to the commission that we did not reach an

         17        agreement on language.  My amendment is my best shot at

         18        it; Commissioner Thompson's amendment is his best shot at

         19        it.  And so that is where we are.

         20             I proposed this to the Committee on Style and

         21        Drafting last night.  I will not speak for Commissioner

         22        Alfonso, I'll let him do that, but Commissioner Alfonso

         23        found that this is not a technical change but a

         24        substantive change and opposes it.

         25             And so that is where we are.  So now that I have


  


                                                                          40

          1        explained that, Mr. Chairman, I will withdraw my

          2        amendment.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So you have now withdrawn your

          4        amendment; is that correct?

          5             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I have now withdrawn my

          6        amendment and now will defer to Commissioner Thompson.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, the amendment

          8        is withdrawn and we'll now proceed to Amendment No. 1 by

          9        Commissioner Thompson.

         10             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  I had a question.  I'm sorry,

         11        Mr. Chairman, I am just a little bit slow sometimes.  You

         12        called that objection before --

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll say you objected.  Go ahead

         14        and ask your question.

         15             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  I just wanted to ask him a

         16        question.  You said there were two problems.

         17             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  That's right.

         18             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The first one was what

         19        happens to license fees?  The second is, what authority

         20        are we transferring?  Your amendment dealt only with the

         21        first; is that correct?

         22             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mine dealt with the

         23        saltwater fishing license issue.

         24             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  So if you withdraw yours and

         25        even if mine passes, this proposal would require all


  


                                                                          41

          1        saltwater license fees to go directly to this commission;

          2        is that correct?

          3             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Under the current language,

          4        that's true.  Nevertheless I would argue, and maybe we

          5        need to state a record here, that if there is still

          6        residual regulatory authority within DEP, then this issue,

          7        as with some of these other issues, are going to have to

          8        be addressed by the Legislature next spring, before this

          9        takes effect on July 1.  And they are going to have to

         10        open up the saltwater fishing license statute to be able

         11        to make the allocation.

         12             It's clearly contemplated by all those involved that

         13        the new commission could contract with DEP to carry on any

         14        number of functions that they are doing now.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are you ready to proceed on your

         16        amendment?

         17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well right now I thought I

         18        was objecting to his withdrawal and asking a question or

         19        two.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Go ahead.

         21             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  His withdrawal, which is kind

         22        of an awkward position to be in.  But I think everybody

         23        needs to understand clearly what we would be doing if we

         24        don't adopt his amendment.  And I thought that he was

         25        going to pursue his amendment and then mine would solve


  


                                                                          42

          1        the regulatory problem, his would solve the license fee

          2        problem.  Let me tell you what the problem is with not

          3        having his amendment.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  What I'm going to do

          5        is to rule that he withdraws his withdrawal.  The

          6        amendment is on the floor, it's Amendment No. 2 that's

          7        been explained by Commissioner Henderson.  And as I

          8        understand it, if we adopt this one, Commissioner Thompson

          9        then feels that his would be appropriate after the

         10        adoption.  Is that correct, Commission Thompson?

         11             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Correct, Mr. Chair.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So we are on the

         13        amendment by Commissioner Henderson, which he attempted to

         14        withdraw which is no longer withdrawn.  Commissioner

         15        Morsani.

         16             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I don't understand anything

         17        either one have said.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We are voting on Henderson's

         19        amendment.

         20             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  And as a result, if I

         21        understand our procedures, if we vote on his amendment and

         22        adopt it, then that goes in as part of his proposal; is

         23        that correct?

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's correct.

         25             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  Well, I don't think we have


  


                                                                          43

          1        enough information to vote to accept that amendment.  I

          2        mean, personally, gosh, we debated these things and the

          3        committees came forth with what we had up to this time.  I

          4        have a real serious and sincere question about taking --

          5        you know, making this decision so quickly with all of the

          6        deliberations that we have had for about 11 months now.

          7             I must rise to oppose, I think, both of these

          8        amendments rather vociferously, if I have used the right

          9        language, because I think that we are embarking on some

         10        dangerous ground that we don't have any business in at

         11        this late stage.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We are going to have quite a few

         13        amendments that are offered by Style and Drafting.  And as

         14        I understand it, this one was going to be offered by Style

         15        and Drafting, but Commissioner Alfonso felt that it had a

         16        substantive matter in it.  And therefore it was brought in

         17        this form.  Am I correct on that, Commissioner Alfonso?

         18             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Absolutely, correct,

         19        Mr. Chairman.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is appropriate, Commissioner

         21        Thompson, for Commissioner Alfonso to speak to the

         22        amendment, I think is what we'll have at the moment.

         23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Sure.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  This is on the Henderson

         25        amendment.  That's what we are on.


  


                                                                          44

          1             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Right.  I just want to speak

          2        to it at the appropriate time.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right, sir.  Commissioner

          4        Alfonso.

          5             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  We spent a lot of time working

          6        on this unification package and a lot of people have been

          7        involved.  And at the late hour we have this amendment

          8        that really waters down unification.  To quote a fellow

          9        commissioner, is it the critters and the resource that we

         10        care about or the staff that manages it?  And let's really

         11        think about that.

         12             What is the logic of this?  Are we going to split

         13        fees and have a fight over who does what or are we going

         14        to take care of this commission as we have been working

         15        hard to do?  I would remind all of you that we had a

         16        unanimous vote on the pure unification proposal that we

         17        have worked on from the start, a unanimous vote, zero

         18        dissenting votes.  I would urge you, I would implore you,

         19        to not vote for this amendment.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Anybody else want to

         21        speak on the amendment?  Commissioner Thompson, on the

         22        amendment, Commissioner Henderson's amendment.

         23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Let me see if I can explain

         24        this.  It's not very difficult, fortunately, or I

         25        certainly couldn't explain it.  But if you look at the


  


                                                                          45

          1        present wording of the proposal on Page 1, on Line 23, it

          2        says, after it delegates the authority and regulatory

          3        authority, it says, "Except that all license fees for

          4        taking wild animal life" -- now, that's the Game and

          5        Freshwater Fish Commission right now -- "and freshwater

          6        aquatic life" -- that's the Game and Freshwater Fish

          7        Commission right now, they get all of those license

          8        fees -- but what we add here "and marine life and

          9        penalties for violating regulations shall be prescribed by

         10        general law."

         11             Now what that means is that all of that money, all of

         12        the license fees for those things will go to the

         13        commission, the new commission.  And the problem is -- and

         14        Commissioner Alfonso, there's nothing wrong with any of us

         15        learning something at any time.  And I think we'll

         16        probably learn some more before this stuff comes back from

         17        Style and Drafting.  But what we have learned is that

         18        there are federal laws that track your state license fees.

         19        And so they require that in order to get the money, you

         20        have got to, you have got to use that money where you send

         21        your license fees.

         22             And so if you send it all to the new agency for the

         23        Marine Fisheries Commission, all of the federal money has

         24        to go there.  And all of the things that DEP presently

         25        does in respect to all of that money, and part of it as I


  


                                                                          46

          1        understand it is based on a federal law named

          2        Wallop-Breaux named after the legislators that initiated

          3        it, and that money goes to DEP and is used in a lot of

          4        different programs.

          5             Now I don't know all of the things that it's used

          6        for.  And I just bet you that you don't know either.  And

          7        I just bet you that you may not think that this new

          8        commission will be set up immediately to handle all of

          9        that money.  But I can tell you, if we are mandated in the

         10        Constitution, it's going to go there, and the Legislature

         11        is not going to have any discretion.  They're not going to

         12        have any judgment to exercise in that respect.

         13             We did not intend when we set out on this -- and I'm

         14        one of the people that have worked hard on it in your

         15        committee and everywhere -- we did not intend to move any

         16        jurisdiction of the Marine Fisheries Commission beyond

         17        what it presently has.

         18             If you will look on Page 2 at the bottom, sub B, that

         19        is very clear.  And we worked on that several times and we

         20        have talked about it several times.  The jurisdiction of

         21        the Marine Fisheries Commission, as set forth in statutes

         22        in effect on March 1st, '98, shall be transferred to the

         23        new entity.  It goes on to say, The jurisdiction of the

         24        Marine Fisheries Commission transferred to the commission

         25        shall not be expanded except as provided by general law.


  


                                                                          47

          1        Yet you are going to dump all of this money into this new

          2        commission.

          3             So what this amendment does is that it goes back and

          4        says that the Legislature will have the jurisdiction over

          5        those license fees from the Marine Fisheries.  And we

          6        don't upset the Game and Fish Commission and the license

          7        fees that they presently get.  But the license fees for

          8        the Marine Fisheries is not going to automatically just be

          9        dumped into the new agency.  That's all the amendment

         10        says.  The Legislature will have that jurisdiction.

         11             I expect that over a period of time that some of

         12        these things are going to be transferred.  I expect that

         13        probably at some point, for example, the Marine Patrol's

         14        functions on the water of enforcing and regulating the

         15        taking of sports fish and so forth will be transferred,

         16        but that's not going to be dictated if we do it this way.

         17             We only transfer the jurisdiction that the Marine

         18        Fisheries Commission has on March the 1st of '98, and then

         19        let the Legislature fund that appropriately and don't

         20        mandate that all of the license fees go there and then the

         21        federal money goes there, and then the Legislature says,

         22        Well, there's all of your money.  And then all of the

         23        programs that DEP is exercising up the rivers or wherever

         24        they might be are then transferred over there and then you

         25        really don't have an agency that's set up with an


  


                                                                          48

          1        appointed commission that cares about that.

          2             This commission primarily is for game and fish and

          3        also now saltwater fish.  That's what we are really trying

          4        to set up here.  And DEP needs to continue its regulatory

          5        authority.  So for those reasons, I would request that you

          6        vote for the Henderson amendment.  Thank you.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Alfonso.

          8             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Briefly I will read a memo

          9        from DEP to you and just pick some of the operative

         10        language.

         11             "DEP staff and a number of programs will be adversely

         12        affected by the fee transfer.  Loss of those staff would

         13        require that DEP do an immediate damage control

         14        reorganization in several program areas so that critical

         15        tasks would not go undone.  The DEP would then need to

         16        petition the Legislature for funds to restaff."

         17             Think through that.  "It could not absorb to the loss

         18        of the license fees and continue to meet all of its

         19        responsibilities.  The division of law enforcement and the

         20        division of marine resources would be most heavily

         21        impacted."

         22             All of us think that the Marine Patrol would not help

         23        to go patrol the resources.  We are going to give them the

         24        saltwater fishery, but we're not going to give them the

         25        fees.  I would just like everyone to look through the


  


                                                                          49

          1        logic of what's happening here, and just vote on how you

          2        think this should be done.  Thank you.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  I think we have used

          4        enough time, unless you want to close, Commissioner

          5        Henderson.

          6             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I'm getting lots of

          7        conflicting advice here.  I just represent to my

          8        colleagues here, we gave this our best effort.  I

          9        recognize the awkward position that I'm in.  When I stood

         10        here last time, we had all of the interests together that

         11        had signed off on the language that Commissioner Thompson

         12        had just read to you and this has come at the last minute.

         13             When we were working through this yesterday, we were

         14        saying we could do one or the other, but not both, which

         15        is the reason why I withdrew my amendment.  I think that

         16        that part of it can be fixed with the Thompson amendment.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Ready to vote?

         18        Unlock to machine and let's vote.

         19             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         21        vote.  Hold it, Commissioner Sundberg was hidden.  All

         22        right, we are going to include you in the roll call, come

         23        up here and tell them how you voted.  Okay.  Close the

         24        machine and lock the vote.  By your vote it fails 26 to 9,

         25        including Commissioner Sundberg's vote.


  


                                                                          50

          1             Now Commissioner Thompson's amendment, which is

          2        Amendment No. 1 that you have that is before you.

          3        Amendment 2 has been defeated.

          4             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Amendment 1 was

          5        previously read and you have it in front of you.  And I've

          6        kind of backed into the explanation of it.  And it has to

          7        do with the regulatory side.  You just voted on what to do

          8        with the license money.  The second part of it is the

          9        regulatory side.

         10             I'll just explain that again by saying that all along

         11        we have thought we were transferring a limited

         12        jurisdiction, with the Legislature then having the

         13        authority to come back and do whatever they wanted to in

         14        that respect.

         15             Under the present law -- and this is the kind of

         16        thing that happens all the time in drafting.  And that's

         17        the reason I mentioned earlier that we review things that

         18        we have done and we find that they have unintended

         19        consequences sometimes.

         20             But on Page 1, beginning with the sentence beginning

         21        on Line 21, "The commission shall exercise" -- and this

         22        will be the new and expanded commission now -- "shall

         23        exercise the regulatory and executive powers of the state

         24        with respect to wild animal life, freshwater aquatic

         25        life" -- both of those are already the Game and Fish


  


                                                                          51

          1        Commission -- "and marine life."

          2             Now I want to submit to you that that is not

          3        consistent with sub B on Page 2, which says, "The

          4        jurisdiction of the Marine Fisheries Commission as set

          5        forth in statutes in effect on March 1st, '98, shall be

          6        transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation

          7        Commission.  The jurisdiction of the Marine Fisheries

          8        Commission transferred to the commission shall not be

          9        expanded except as provided by general law."  That's been

         10        our intent all along.

         11             This provision that's on the first page is presently

         12        inconsistent with that.  So my amendment makes clear, and

         13        shall also exercise regulatory and executive powers of the

         14        state with respect to marine life as the Legislature sees

         15        fit.  And that's all that there is to it.  It is a very

         16        simple provision that just allows the Legislature to make

         17        the decision as to whether to expand that jurisdiction.

         18        And a lot of that is going to be based on the money.  You

         19        have just voted on some of that.

         20             But what I'm trying to tell you is this:  If you want

         21        to vote with my amendment here, if you don't know what all

         22        of the regulatory and executive powers of the state with

         23        respect to marine life is, if you don't know what that is,

         24        then you had better let the Legislature decide what it is

         25        based on hearings, testimony and present programs and


  


                                                                          52

          1        future programs.  That's all I'm suggesting.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any further debate?  Commissioner

          3        Alfonso.

          4             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Just a note.  The Legislature

          5        has been deciding matters of the resource for a long time.

          6        So if you want to let the Legislature decide how to do

          7        this, go ahead.  If not, I urge you to vote against this

          8        amendment.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett, just a

         10        short time please.

         11             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Question, just a question.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Sure.

         13             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Maybe of Commissioner Thompson

         14        or of Commissioner Henderson.

         15             As people have talked to me about the unintended

         16        consequences that may result in this particular proposal,

         17        one of them is that a current unified permitting system

         18        that DEP has in place, that's been very, very successful,

         19        might be negatively impacted if all of the regulatory and

         20        executive functions are transferred to this new

         21        commission.  And I've been told this is needed to make it

         22        clear that some of that -- that that type of regulatory

         23        control does not get transferred but remains wherever the

         24        Legislature designates it, which is currently DEP.

         25             Is that an accurate concern and does this take care


  


                                                                          53

          1        of that concern?

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson.

          3             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Would my amendment take care

          4        of the concern?  I think so.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are you for or against it,

          6        Commissioner Barnett?

          7             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  For.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  If we are ready to vote.  Well,

          9        unlock the machine and we'll vote on the amendment, which

         10        is Commissioner Thompson's amendment.

         11             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         13        vote.

         14             READING CLERK:  Nineteen yeas and 17 nays,

         15        Mr. Chairman.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have adopted the

         17        amendment.  Now we are on the proposal as amended, adding

         18        Amendment No. 1 only.  Commissioner Henderson.

         19             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  In

         20        support of the package as now amended, I want to make very

         21        clear that what we are doing is a narrow transfer of the

         22        Marine Fisheries Commission to a new Fish and Wildlife

         23        Conservation Commission.  By the Thompson amendment, we

         24        recognize that there are still some matters that still

         25        remain within the regulatory authority of DEP; namely at


  


                                                                          54

          1        this time, manatees and sea turtles.  There may be some

          2        other things.

          3             The amendment contemplates that future Legislatures

          4        will be able to transfer additional authority to the new

          5        commission.  And as Commissioner Thompson said a few

          6        moments ago, I believe that five years from now, ten years

          7        from now, this will not be an issue.  Because in time

          8        people will see that we have a critter agency for the

          9        protection and conservation of the fish and wildlife.  And

         10        it will be an agency that's primarily responsible for all

         11        dealing with regulatory matters.

         12             As I've said before, we have taken great pains to

         13        work with the entire regulated community to reach

         14        accommodation on a number of issues that have been raised

         15        throughout this process.  We have reached essential

         16        agreement on all those outstanding issues.

         17             I know that there are some of you, because you have

         18        told me, and I believe it is true, believe it, none of

         19        this stuff should be in the Constitution.  The reality of

         20        it is, however, that the Game Commission has been in the

         21        Constitution for more than 50 years.  And in that

         22        capacity, the Game Commission has been able to the do an

         23        outstanding job of conservation of our freshwater fish

         24        resources and our nongame and game wildlife.

         25             The only way that we can handle the situation of


  


                                                                          55

          1        dealing with this, frankly absurdity, of having saltwater

          2        fisheries and freshwater fisheries regulated in different

          3        ways is to combine them in one agency.  And we have done

          4        it this way.

          5             The other thing that I might say to you, because I

          6        know that all of you are concerned about the issue of

          7        Cabinet reform.  I would remind you that this is Cabinet

          8        reform, because we have taken away from the responsibility

          9        of the Governor and Cabinet having to deal month by month

         10        with a lot of these little issues, concerning when to take

         11        a lobster, the size of a sea trout, when you can or when

         12        you cannot take a red fish.

         13             I would also suggest to you if this had been in

         14        place, all of the debate that we heard about the net ban

         15        over the course of our 11 public hearings might well have

         16        been moot because a commission set up in this way, to deal

         17        with the issues in an independent way, perhaps would have

         18        reached a different result.

         19             I commend to you an amendment that has broad public

         20        support, I commend to you an amendment that has probably

         21        been endorsed by more newspapers than any other amendment

         22        that is before us, and I commend to you an amendment which

         23        has already been endorsed by the signatures of 100,000

         24        citizens of this state and urge its adoption.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further debate?


  


                                                                          56

          1        This is on the 22 votes.  We already got 22 once, but now

          2        it's amended so we have to vote again.  Unlock the machine

          3        and let's vote.

          4             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

          6        vote.

          7             READING CLERK:  Thirty-six yeas, zero nays,

          8        Mr. Chairman.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have adopted for

         10        the ballot Proposal No. 45.

         11             We will now move to Committee Substitute for Proposal

         12        64, Committee on Bonding and Investments.  Would you read

         13        it, please?

         14             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

         15        No. 64, a proposal to revise Article VII, Section 11,

         16        Florida Constitution.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  This proposal passed

         18        24 to 1.  Unless there is a show of five hands, it will

         19        stand as passed.  There's not a show of five hands, this

         20        one is passed.

         21             Committee Substitute for Proposal 102 by the

         22        Committee on General Provisions and Commissioner

         23        Henderson.  Would you read it, please?  There's one

         24        amendment on the desk.

         25             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal


  


                                                                          57

          1        No. 102, a proposal to revise Article X, Florida

          2        Constitution.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Would you read

          4        Amendment No. 1 by the Committee on Style and Drafting and

          5        Commissioner Mills?  We'll read the amendment first.

          6             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

          7        Drafting, on Page 1, Lines 13 to 18, strike all of said

          8        lines and insert lengthy amendment.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Who speaks for --

         10        Commissioner Barnett speaking for Style and Drafting moves

         11        the amendment.  You are recognized on the amendment,

         12        Commissioner Barnett.

         13             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Let

         14        me explain the changes in the amendment.  Although this

         15        proposal passed our last meeting, some concerns were

         16        raised about language that Style and Drafting had actually

         17        inserted into the original proposal.  And that language

         18        had consequences that no one expected or intended, but

         19        specifically language that said -- that's in the current

         20        proposal, no interest in real property.

         21             We were concerned that an interest in real property

         22        is much broader than the fee simple interest and includes

         23        things such as easements, rights-of-way, mineral

         24        interests.  And we felt that was not the intent of the

         25        proposer, and they confirmed that.  So you will see that


  


                                                                          58

          1        this substitute from Style and Drafting -- this amendment

          2        from Style and Drafting talks about the fee interest in

          3        real property.

          4             Also, the language that Style and Drafting had sent

          5        to you before inserted into the proposal lands acquired

          6        for conservation purposes or held for conservation

          7        purposes.  And there was a concern about how that

          8        designation and how the characterization of something that

          9        may have initially been acquired for purposes unrelated to

         10        conservation became held for conservation purposes, and

         11        then ultimately a concern about the disposition section.

         12             So the amendment that you have before you addresses

         13        each of those issues.  It is our understanding that this

         14        amendment more accurately reflects the intent of the

         15        proposers that lands that are acquired by the state for

         16        conservation purposes may be disposed of at a time when

         17        they are no longer needed for those purposes by a

         18        two-thirds' vote of the governing entity that has title to

         19        the land.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  I neglected to ask

         21        for five hands.  And I assume since there were six members

         22        of Style and Drafting, we had five hands.  Show me five

         23        hands so that we can proceed.  Okay, we are now proper.

         24        Thank you for reminding me of that.  Commissioner Langley,

         25        you are recognized.


  


                                                                          59

          1             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  If Commissioner Barnett will

          2        take the floor and answer a few questions.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  She does.

          4             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  First, can the trustees

          5        currently dispose of this land?

          6             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Not all of this land is

          7        necessarily land that would be owned by the trustees, it

          8        could be owned by various governmental entities.  I think

          9        there's a question -- the answer is yes.  I think one of

         10        the questions comes, and perhaps Commissioner Henderson is

         11        a better person to address this, comes from trading lands,

         12        where you may want to trade lands, as opposed to an

         13        outright sale or you have a large parcel of land and you

         14        want to carve out an out-parcel that's no longer needed

         15        for conservation purposes and dispose of that.

         16             This is distinguishable from, and I think it's

         17        important to make this note, this does not deal with

         18        sovereign lands.  Sovereign lands are covered in another

         19        section of the Constitution and are subject to the public

         20        trust doctrine.  But this is lands other than sovereign

         21        lands that are held for conservation purposes.

         22             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  All right.  If I wanted to

         23        make it easier to transfer some of this land for other

         24        purposes, public or private, that aren't needed for

         25        conservation, would I be for or against this amendment?


  


                                                                          60

          1             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I think you would be for this

          2        amendment.

          3             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Under this rewording on your

          4        amendment, as I read it, you could actually lease land

          5        under that as well; is that not right?  You could lease a

          6        portion of the land, like you could lease it to a school

          7        board or you could lease it to a county commission?

          8             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  The answer is probably yes.

          9             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  I'm trying to get some intent.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  The answer is probably yes.

         11        It deals with managing and disposition.  And if

         12        disposition includes leasing, yes.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

         14        Sundberg.

         15             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  For a question.  Would you

         16        yield, please --

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett yields.

         18             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  -- Commissioner Barnett?

         19             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  This is not my proposal.  I

         20        like it, but --

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  She's going to quit yielding here

         22        in a minute.

         23             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I'll leave that one alone.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Good idea.

         25             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Commissioner Barnett, can you


  


                                                                          61

          1        tell me, and perhaps you explained it but I missed it, why

          2        did we reduce the quality of the estate or increase it to

          3        only a fee interest?  Because the state can have easements

          4        and other lesser than a fee.  Why was that eliminated?  In

          5        the original proposal it says, you know, it dealt with any

          6        interest in real property owned by the state for

          7        conservation purposes.  This is limited just to fee, why

          8        is that?

          9             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I will make an attempt to

         10        answer that, and then Commissioner Henderson may want to

         11        expand on it.  Because of the concern about the burden

         12        that may place on the state that other mineral interests,

         13        easements, rights-of-ways, other things, the burden of

         14        having a supermajority vote to dispose of that might be

         15        too much.  That what they were really looking at were fee

         16        interests in the property and the ability, frankly, to

         17        dispose of what may become surplus lands at some point in

         18        time when they were no longer needed for conservation

         19        purposes, either through the sale or trade of those lands.

         20             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  What does the quality of the

         21        estate have to do with the ability to dispose of it?  You

         22        know, it's not uncommon to have a term of years, very long

         23        term, 99 years, which is tantamount to a fee interest.  I

         24        don't understand why that affects the ability to dispose

         25        of it, whether it's for a term of years or what have you.


  


                                                                          62

          1        Perhaps Commissioner Henderson could explain it.

          2             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I'll let him try.  I don't

          3        think the intent was ever to deal with anything other than

          4        fee simple interest and the related management, cost, and

          5        burden on the state when those lands were no longer needed

          6        for conservation purposes, the cost of management and then

          7        to be able to ease the disposal of those lands.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Ready to go on the

          9        amendment.  Everybody understand the amendment and ready

         10        to vote on the amendment?  Open the machine and let's cast

         11        your vote.

         12             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         14        vote.

         15             READING CLERK:  Thirty-four yeas, 1 nay,

         16        Mr. Chairman.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  As amended, we are on

         18        the proposal now, No. 102, as amended.  This is a 22-vote

         19        vote.  Open the machine and let's vote.

         20             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         22        vote.

         23             READING CLERK:  Thirty-one yeas, 5 nays,

         24        Mr. Chairman.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you sent this to the


  


                                                                          63

          1        ballot.  We'll now move to Proposal No. 135 by

          2        Commissioner Henderson.  Would you read it please and

          3        there's an amendment on the table by Style and Drafting.

          4             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 135, a proposal to

          5        revise Article VII, Section 3, Florida Constitution.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  This one passed

          7        before but without 22 votes.  I need five hands to proceed

          8        to hear the amendment.  I see five hands.

          9             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, excuse me,

         10        this one has passed unanimously every time that it's come

         11        before us.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'm sorry, I was looking at the

         13        wrong one.  I didn't mean to slight you there,

         14        Commissioner Henderson.  It still takes five hands.  All

         15        right.

         16             For Style and Drafting, Commissioner Mills, who

         17        yields to Commissioner Lowndes of the committee to offer.

         18        Would you read, please, the proposal first?  Have we read

         19        it?  Read the amendment, please.

         20             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

         21        Drafting, on Page 3, Lines 9 to 12, strike all of said

         22        lines and insert "a county or municipality may be

         23        authorized by general law to grant ad valorem tax

         24        exemptions for real property used for conservation

         25        purposes as defined by general law."


  


                                                                          64

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  On the amendment,

          2        Commissioner Lowndes for Style and Drafting.

          3             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  The

          4        Style and Drafting amendment does not change and is not

          5        intended to change the substance of the proposal.  It is

          6        simply a simplification of the language.  And it simply

          7        eliminates some unnecessary and somewhat redundant words.

          8        It makes clearer, in the view of the Style and Drafting

          9        Committee, the intent of the proposal.  I would be happy

         10        to answer any questions that anybody has about it.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any questions on the

         12        amendment?  All in favor of the amendment, say aye;

         13        opposed?

         14             (Verbal vote taken.)

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment carries.  We are

         16        now on the proposal.  Are you ready to vote on the

         17        proposal?  Unlock the machine and let's vote.

         18             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Everybody voted?  Lock the

         20        machine and announce the vote.

         21             READING CLERK:  Thirty-five yeas, zero nays,

         22        Mr. Chairman.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have adopted

         24        No. 135 as amended.

         25             We'll now move to Proposal No. 2 by Commissioner


  


                                                                          65

          1        Sundberg, Commissioner Smith.  I need five hands to

          2        reconsider, to go forward with it.  Are there five hands?

          3        I beg your pardon?

          4             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  May I -- I guess it is a

          5        personal privilege.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You have a personal privilege.

          7             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  First

          8        of all, let me thank the members of the commission for

          9        their support of Proposal 2.  And I think basically their

         10        support has evidenced really a commitment of the members

         11        of this commission to the spirit of what we are about as a

         12        people, and that is to ensure equal opportunity for all.

         13             Let me thank my good friend and right-hand man,

         14        Commissioner Sundberg, for his committed floor management

         15        of Proposal 2, and his courageous standing up for the

         16        proposition of equal opportunity.  I would also like to

         17        thank the members of the Declaration of Rights Committee

         18        for their favorable recommendation.

         19             And as you know, the first time this matter came up,

         20        we had 23 votes in favor.  The last time it came up we had

         21        21 votes, and at least three members, who were excused

         22        absences, were prepared to support it, including my good

         23        friend Commissioner Anthony who was on his honeymoon at

         24        the time.

         25             Based upon personal commitments that I have received,


  


                                                                          66

          1        if they hold true, and they have always held true, we have

          2        22 votes to move this forward today.  However, based upon

          3        consultation with my friends in the civil rights community

          4        throughout the nation and in the state of Florida, and

          5        particularly the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in

          6        Washington, D.C., the Washington bureau of the National

          7        Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the

          8        Florida state chapter of the NAACP, I'm going to request

          9        that Commissioner Sundberg withdraw this proposal at this

         10        time.

         11             While we believe that it's always appropriate to try

         12        to advance the cause of equal opportunity, we feel that

         13        with regard to this proposal being placed in this

         14        Constitution at this particular time, that the timing is

         15        not appropriate for us to ensure that the proposal will in

         16        fact be appropriately explained to the people of the state

         17        of Florida, and that we'll be able to galvanize the kind

         18        of financial support that we need to ensure that we do not

         19        regress from the present status.

         20             And let me just say, we did a survey of the nation,

         21        Florida has some of the best equal opportunity proposals

         22        in its university system.  And based upon the governmental

         23        allocation of funds, most of which are mandated by the

         24        government, federal government, one in particular dealing

         25        with transportation, which you were handed a newspaper


  


                                                                          67

          1        article about, where the United States Senate just

          2        rebuffed an action to regress from the equal opportunity

          3        proposals throughout the states where monies are sent for

          4        transportation.

          5             And we would like to, at this time, and I have

          6        already spoken to Commissioner Sundberg and he is

          7        reluctantly in agreement with this, but I just wanted to

          8        make sure I stated for the record and I wanted to make

          9        sure that I commended each of you for your past support

         10        for the concept of equal opportunity.

         11             I'm very confident that we will face this issue in

         12        the not too distant future and I'm sure that I will be on

         13        the front lines of the battleground.  And those of you who

         14        oppose it, I look forward to discussing this with you

         15        probably in the year 2000, as this issue will definitely

         16        be one that's confronted by the people of the state of

         17        Florida.  Thank you very much.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's not necessary to withdraw

         19        it.  If it doesn't get five hands, it's no longer

         20        available for consideration.

         21             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Mr. Chairman, may I be heard?

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  For what purpose?

         23             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  To explain why I will not

         24        urge five members of this group to bring this up for

         25        consideration, if I may.


  


                                                                          68

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, try to make it short, we

          2        have got a long day.

          3             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  With great reluctance, but

          4        even greater deference to H.T. Smith, I urge you not to

          5        bring this matter further before this body.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That was a great speech.  Do we

          7        have five hands?  If not, the matter is no longer

          8        available for consideration.

          9             We now move to Proposal No. 5 by Commissioner Planas.

         10        Do I see five hands?  If not, it will be referred to Style

         11        and Drafting for grouping and put on the ballot.

         12             Proposal No. 11 by Commissioner Freidin.  Do I see

         13        five hands?  There are five hands.  All right.  Would you

         14        read No. 11, please?

         15             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 11, a proposal to revise

         16        Article I, Section 2, Florida Constitution.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Freidin,

         18        you are recognized on the Proposal No. 11.

         19             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  Lest there be any confusion

         20        about what we are talking about here, this is the proposal

         21        that adds the words "female and male alike" after the

         22        words "all natural persons" in Article I, Section 2, of

         23        our Constitution.

         24             Commissioners, I wish that I had the eloquence of

         25        Commissioner Smith because I wish that there were


  


                                                                          69

          1        something more I could do to urge upon you than I have

          2        already done to urge upon you the passage of this

          3        proposal.  As the commissioner said, I know that each and

          4        every one of us is absolutely committed to doing what is

          5        right for the people of Florida.  And I submit to you that

          6        passage of this proposal and placing it on the ballot is

          7        right for all of the people of Florida.

          8             It has been 150 years that women in our country have

          9        been trying to attain equality.  And while we, as we have

         10        discussed in the past, we have attained equality in many,

         11        many ways, we have not attained equality in our Florida

         12        Constitution.  The Constitution -- the purpose of a

         13        Constitution is to set out the basic ideals and the basic

         14        principles and the basic protections that should be

         15        afforded to all of our people.

         16             It is inexcusable that our Constitution in 1998 does

         17        not mention women.  It is inexcusable that other classes

         18        of people are mentioned in our Constitution with specific

         19        protections and that women, more than 50 percent of our

         20        population, are not mentioned.  It is difficult for me to

         21        believe, and it is difficult for many people to believe

         22        how there would possibly be a question or problem with

         23        adding these words into the Constitution.

         24             I urge you to join with the thousands and thousands,

         25        and millions, actually, of women in this state who want to


  


                                                                          70

          1        see equality for women embedded in our Constitution.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Further debate.  Commissioner

          3        Langley, you are recognized.

          4             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  You

          5        know, when you have an issue and the proponents won't tell

          6        you whether or not this does anything, either it does make

          7        the law different or it doesn't change anything.  And to

          8        be very simple in logic, if it doesn't do anything, why do

          9        it?

         10             If it does make changes, i.e., homosexual marriages,

         11        homosexual adoptions, no more alimony maybe, you know, no

         12        more responsibility for spouses, nobody says, yes, that

         13        will or no, that won't.  So either you are going to vote

         14        to do nothing -- and again, I always thought that all

         15        natural persons included male and female -- either you are

         16        going to do nothing by adding it or either you are going

         17        to open Pandora's box as to who knows what it does.

         18             And the worst example I know is when I sat here in

         19        good faith in 1980-something and voted for the right of

         20        privacy to be put in our Constitution, never, never would

         21        I have dreamed that the Supreme Court would say that gave

         22        a teenager the right to have an abortion without parental

         23        knowledge or consent.

         24             So what can a court do with this?  I don't know.  And

         25        I certainly submit to you the sponsors don't know either,


  


                                                                          71

          1        or they have a secret agenda that they do know and won't

          2        tell you.  That is the issue.  And with that background, I

          3        can't vote for it.

          4             (Commissioner Thompson assumes the Chair.)

          5             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further debate?  Commissioner

          6        Riley.

          7             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  We don't have a secret agenda,

          8        Commissioner Langley.  And I think our agenda and

          9        certainly my agenda is very open on this issue.

         10             In 1918 Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment.

         11        And it says, if I may, "Equality of rights under the law

         12        shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by

         13        any state on account of sex."  This is not the Equal

         14        Rights Amendment in those words, this is a compromise set

         15        of words.

         16             And I can tell you that it does do something.  It

         17        says to the thousands and thousands of women in this state

         18        that this group is willing to put on the ballot the

         19        ability of men and women in this state to choose to put

         20        these words in the Constitution and make sure that if

         21        there's any question that women do not have equal rights

         22        at any point, that this will give strength to the ability

         23        to give rights to those women, and to all women.

         24             This is Women's History Month, and I can't think of a

         25        better thing that we could do in the month of March than


  


                                                                          72

          1        to put this on the ballot.  This is our opportunity.  We

          2        cannot let another 20 years pass and allow this

          3        possibility to go by.  It will tell the thousands of

          4        women, and you received a resolution as you came in this

          5        morning, or at least on your desk, that represents over 27

          6        groups in the state, men and women, and represents over

          7        50,000 members of those organizations.

          8             I can tell you that there is no organization in this

          9        state that is a women's organization that does not support

         10        this proposal.  I would strongly urge you, Commissioners,

         11        if you are sitting on the fence, by any chance sitting on

         12        the fence, if you are not sure how you want to vote on

         13        this issue, this is the time to say to all the women in

         14        the state of Florida, We think you should have equal

         15        rights and this is our opportunity to make sure that that

         16        happens.

         17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  I have Commissioners

         18        West, Kogan, Smith, Barnett, Connor, Evans-Jones and

         19        Evans.  The proponents have four minutes and the opponents

         20        have eight.  Commissioner West, you are recognized.

         21             COMMISSIONER WEST:  I just have a question for

         22        Commissioner Freidin.

         23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, let's wait until she

         24        closes.  Is that okay with you?

         25             COMMISSIONER WEST:  That will be fine.


  


                                                                          73

          1             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay, thank you.  Next would

          2        be Commissioner Kogan.  Commissioner Morsani, I'll put you

          3        down at the end, too.  Okay.

          4             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  We have heard from the women,

          5        but this is not solely a women's issue.  This is a

          6        statement that this Constitution Revision Commission can

          7        make.  And the statement is that once and for all this

          8        state will go on record as saying that there is no

          9        question but that under the law of this state, men and

         10        women are equal.  And I say this on behalf of the men who

         11        make up approximately half of the population of this

         12        state.

         13             And for our spouses, our daughters, our friends that

         14        are women, there is no hidden agenda here.  But the time

         15        has finally come for us to put at rest this issue once and

         16        for all.  And by saying that men and women are equal under

         17        the law, then we have made that statement that the time

         18        has finally come for it.  And I recommend to all of you to

         19        vote in favor of this proposal.

         20             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Proponents have two

         21        minutes.  Commissioner Smith is the next one to be

         22        recognized.  Do you wish to be recognized?

         23             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  This

         24        job that we have as members of the Constitution Revision

         25        Commission is not a job for the fainthearted.  And so for


  


                                                                          74

          1        those of you who are sitting there concerned about the

          2        fact that controversy is going to ensue, every struggle

          3        for human rights should be a matter of controversy and

          4        conviction.

          5             I can remember it like it was yesterday the debate in

          6        the United States Congress when the issue of the civil

          7        rights laws were being debated.  And people rose one after

          8        another saying, Why do we need a civil rights law when we

          9        have it in the Constitution that all men are created

         10        equal?  I never would have thought that all men created

         11        equal didn't mean me.

         12             We know for a fact that there's discrimination

         13        against women.  We see it in income, we see it around us.

         14        This is the time for the people of the state of Florida to

         15        step into the 21st century two years in advance and say,

         16        There is no doubt that the conscience and the conviction

         17        of the people of the state of Florida is that women and

         18        men are created equal.

         19             And I'm proud that I was given an opportunity to

         20        serve here on behalf of my grandmother who ran a

         21        restaurant for my brother because the bank wouldn't give

         22        her a loan because she was a woman, because of my mother

         23        who couldn't get a job that she wanted because she was a

         24        woman, and because of my two daughters, one of whom is in

         25        FAMU right now, to say that there will be no


  


                                                                          75

          1        constitutional impediment for you to reach your dreams.

          2             And so I urge you to join the proponents and vote yes

          3        for the women and girls of this great state.  Thank you.

          4             (Chairman Douglass resumes the Chair.)

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  I'm told that we have

          6        two minutes for the proponents left.  Commissioner

          7        Morsani.

          8             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  Thank you.  I won't take two

          9        minutes.  I stand before you today because of two women.

         10             (Pause.)

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are you looking at your black

         12        book?

         13             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  That would be better maybe.

         14        Okay, thank you.  Because of my mother-in-law and my

         15        mother.  And my mother-in-law marched for women's

         16        suffrage, and you mentioned that 1917, my mother-in-law

         17        was there.

         18             And when I was asked to come on this commission, my

         19        mother-in-law, who was born in 1898 and recently deceased,

         20        and who was as articulate as anyone in this room within

         21        seven hours of her death, and my mother, who is 90, said,

         22        If there's anything that you do, son -- (Commissioner

         23        crying.)

         24             Let's do it.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner


  


                                                                          76

          1        Evans-Jones.

          2             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          3        I know that some of you have been concerned about the

          4        intent of this, whether it was really for equal rights or

          5        whether there was a hidden agenda.  And I requested

          6        Commissioner Freidin to explain that to me.  And she has

          7        written this to have in the record and I think it's

          8        important that you understand this.

          9             And she says, "As a sponsor of the proposal, I state

         10        unequivocally that in offering this proposal I do not

         11        intend and have never intended for it to form the basis

         12        for a right to same-sex marriage in this state.

         13        Furthermore, I'm satisfied that adoption of this proposal

         14        by the voters would not confer such a right."  And I just

         15        wanted to share that with you if anyone had any concerns

         16        about that.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  One minute left for proponents.

         18        Commissioner Barnett.

         19             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Mr. Chairman, words indeed

         20        matter.  And particularly in a constitutional setting.

         21        And let me call your attention to the words "all natural

         22        persons."  Those words in our Constitution today have

         23        historically been in there to distinguish people from

         24        corporate entities.  They did have a meaning and it meant

         25        all natural persons, meaning corporate entities did not


  


                                                                          77

          1        get the rights that are in this basic section.

          2             And I think it is important that we go forward and

          3        say "all natural persons, men and women alike" to make it

          4        clear that that term was not an exclusive term, but an

          5        inclusive term.  And to make the statement that Brother

          6        Smith so eloquently made.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have got three minutes left

          8        for opponents, no time left for proponents, except close.

          9        Opponents?  Commissioner Evans.

         10             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Just for the record, while ago

         11        we had eight minutes and none of us have spoken.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay, well keep going.  We only

         13        have five.

         14             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I am a member of Concerned Women

         15        for America, and Florida has many tens of thousands of

         16        members.  And I submit to you that the organizations that

         17        Commissioner Riley referred to do not include Concerned

         18        Women for America.  So there are many tens of thousands of

         19        women in Florida who do not support this, including me,

         20        and there are many hundreds of thousands of women who are

         21        members of Concerned Women for America nationwide that do

         22        not support this amendment.

         23             So I just want to make the record clear that the

         24        proponents do not speak for all women and do not even come

         25        close to speaking for all women.


  


                                                                          78

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any more opponents?

          2        Opponents.  Commissioner Connor.

          3             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, I rise in

          4        reluctant opposition to the proposal.  And I would like to

          5        explain the basis for that.  I worked closely with

          6        Commissioner Freidin and Commissioner Riley to come up

          7        with language that would avoid the problem of creating a

          8        heightened standard of review as it related to

          9        gender-based discrimination, and felt strongly that we had

         10        done that.  And that's why I spoke strongly in support of

         11        the proposal as it is presently framed.

         12             And I do support equal rights for women.  My wife has

         13        been an equal partner with me from the day of our

         14        marriage.  I have two children who are females who are

         15        pursuing their careers.  And I want them to experience

         16        equal protection of the law.

         17             The concern I have relates to matters that occurred

         18        after our vote.  The very day after our vote, after we

         19        sought to change the language so that it does not present

         20        the problem that I registered concern about, Charlene

         21        Carres, who is a very able lawyer and against whom I've

         22        appeared in a variety of venues, made this statement in

         23        the Tampa Tribune.

         24             She indicated, excuse me, Charlene indicated, "If

         25        this ends up being put in the Florida Constitution, it


  


                                                                          79

          1        should mean that the courts will have to treat the laws

          2        that treat the sexes differently with the same high level

          3        of suspicion as with race," said Charlene Carres, a civil

          4        rights lawyer and women's rights advocate.  The change

          5        would make the Florida Constitution consistent with the

          6        Florida Civil Rights Act, the Federal Civil Rights Act,

          7        and other laws that bar sex discrimination, according to

          8        the article.

          9             Now, if that's the case, if indeed it does carry with

         10        it this heightened scrutiny, then I would submit to you

         11        that's the very path on which Hawaii wound up arriving at

         12        the conclusion that it did, that heterosexual marriages

         13        were presumptively unconstitutional because of sex-based

         14        discrimination.  I raise the same concern about the Alaska

         15        decision, because Alaska, which came to a similar result,

         16        has in its Constitution an explicit privacy provision, as

         17        does Florida.

         18             This weekend when I was in Boston attending a track

         19        meet that my son was running in, I went to a coffee shop

         20        with my wife and daughter, sat down and picked up a

         21        newspaper that was stacked up there entitled Bay Windows.

         22        It is, according to its masthead, New England's largest

         23        gay and lesbian newspaper.  And the headline is, "Alaska

         24        marriage ruling is hailed by activists as a hit out of the

         25        park."  And in that article it discusses the profound


  


                                                                          80

          1        significance that the Alaska ruling will have in advancing

          2        the gay rights agenda.

          3             I'm deeply concerned, that notwithstanding the best

          4        of intentions, and I credit the sponsor of this proposal

          5        with her explicit and unequivocal statement of intent and

          6        those of you who have likewise registered your statement

          7        of intent.

          8             In my judgment, that is clearly the intention that

          9        has been all along to divorce the gay rights agenda and

         10        same sex marriages from women's rights.  Notwithstanding

         11        that, and having seen the outcome of the privacy amendment

         12        from the 1978 Constitution and recognizing how, in my

         13        judgment, the court stood the plain language of that

         14        amendment on its head, I fear that we may be facing the

         15        very same problem in the future as it relates to the

         16        same-sex marriage issue.  Thank you.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner West for a question,

         18        I understand.

         19             COMMISSIONER WEST:  I just have a question if

         20        Commissioner Freidin will yield.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  She yields.

         22             COMMISSIONER WEST:  Can you address that concern?

         23        You know, in speaking with you privately, you know, I

         24        don't think there's nobody in here, I would suspect there

         25        is nobody in here that wouldn't support what Commissioner


  


                                                                          81

          1        H.T. Smith mentioned.  I know I would.  But the concern of

          2        how the courts can take this, whether it is the intention

          3        or not, can you address -- I like what Commissioner

          4        Evans-Jones had mentioned, but how far will that intent go

          5        when it's being ruled by a panel of judges?

          6             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  Well, I'm not a judge, but I

          7        have seen over and over and over again courts looking at

          8        what was expressed by a body that was passing on or

          9        considering a particular law, proposal, constitutional

         10        provision.  And with all of us standing here making these

         11        statements about intent, I am certain that that would come

         12        into play in a court decision.

         13             I think that we need to, to reflect upon the fact

         14        that we had -- you know, Commissioner Connor, is quoting

         15        an attorney who made some statement in the newspaper.  And

         16        she in fact didn't say anything about same-sex marriage, I

         17        don't think, in the newspaper.  We heard testimony at both

         18        of our public hearings from a professor of constitutional

         19        law at the University of Miami.

         20             And I -- he actually wrote out his, summarized some

         21        of his comments, faxed them to me late last night and I

         22        couldn't get them distributed to all of you today.  But I

         23        would like to read to you from his comments, with regard

         24        to the same-sex marriage question.

         25             He says, "The addition of the phrase 'women and men


  


                                                                          82

          1        alike' to existing Article I, Section 2, will not legalize

          2        same-sex marriage in Florida.  The Hawaii Supreme Court

          3        plurality opinion reasons from language in the Hawaii

          4        Constitution that bars discrimination because of sex."

          5        Different language than what we are proposing here.  "That

          6        language, the Hawaii judges thought, makes any legislative

          7        reference to men and women constitutionally suspect.

          8        Proposal 11, in sharp contrast, treats as proper

          9        legislative references men -- the treatment of women and

         10        men alike.

         11             "As the dissenting judge in the Hawaii case noted,

         12        the exclusion of same-sex marriage there treated women and

         13        men alike.  Neither men nor women could enter into

         14        same-sex marriages."

         15             The Alaska court, which Commissioner Connor just

         16        mentioned that opinion, that court opinion decision rests

         17        on a reading of an Alaska constitutional right to privacy.

         18        This opinion, the Alaska opinion, is irrelevant to what we

         19        are proposing to put into the Florida Constitution now,

         20        the question of the meaning of female and male alike.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Freidin, it's been

         22        about four minutes over on the proponents' side.

         23             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I was simply responding to his

         24        question.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I've started to say you have


  


                                                                          83

          1        responded long enough and that's your close, but we will

          2        let you close, okay.  You can put that in the record if

          3        you would like.

          4             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I wanted to make sure that he

          5        was satisfied in terms of the response to that.  And we

          6        will also offer it into the record.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Would you now proceed

          8        to close?

          9             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I am going to yield to

         10        Commissioner Wetherington to close.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Wetherington, you

         12        are recognized to close.

         13             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Thank you very much.  It

         14        is an honor to be permitted to close on this very

         15        important issue.

         16             It is not a long walk that the women of the state of

         17        Florida are asking us to take with them.  They are asking

         18        us to treat them in the same way that we treat men.  This

         19        principle is found in the Bible and is an ideal that is

         20        worthy of our belief.  As Chief Justice Kogan so

         21        eloquently stated, now is the time for Florida to adopt

         22        this principle and place it in its Constitution.  And I

         23        strongly urge your support of this proposition.  Thank

         24        you.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We are now ready to


  


                                                                          84

          1        vote on this proposal.  Unlock the machine and we will

          2        vote on Proposal No. 11.

          3             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Lock the

          5        machine and announce the vote.

          6             READING CLERK:  Thirty yeas, 5 nays, Mr. Chairman.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have adopted

          8        Proposal No. 11 and the proposal is referred to Style and

          9        Drafting for grouping.

         10             We now move to Proposal No. 14 by the Committee on

         11        Declaration of Rights and Commissioner Freidin.  Read it

         12        and then we will see if we get five hands.  Read it,

         13        please.

         14             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal 14,

         15        a proposal to revise Article I, Section 2, Florida

         16        Constitution.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  This was passed by a vote of 29

         18        to 1.  If there is not five hands, it will be referred to

         19        Style and Drafting for grouping.  Seeing no hands, this is

         20        referred to Style and Drafting for groups.

         21             Now we move to Proposal No. 58 by Commissioner Zack.

         22        All right.  If I see five hands, we will proceed to

         23        revisit this.  If we don't get five hands -- okay, we have

         24        five hands.  Read it and there is an amendment on the

         25        desk.


  


                                                                          85

          1             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 58, a proposal to revise

          2        Article I, Section 21, Florida Constitution.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There is an amendment

          4        on the desk by Style and Drafting.  Who is going to handle

          5        that for Style and Drafting, Commissioner Mills, the

          6        amendment on Proposal 58?

          7             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Commissioner Lowndes.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Lowndes will handle

          9        this for Style and Drafting.  Read the amendment, please.

         10             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

         11        Drafting, on Page 1, Lines 16 to 19, strike the underlined

         12        language and insert "in any action for personal injury or

         13        wrongful death, the right of a personal recovery shall not

         14        be denied or abridged because of age."

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Lowndes on the Style

         16        and Drafting amendment.

         17             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Just give me one second, if

         18        you would.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All you have done is substitute

         20        the word "shall" for "may"; is that correct?

         21             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  That's right.  Now it comes

         22        back to me, Mr. Chairman.  The word "shall" was put in

         23        simply to make it consistent with the first sentence of

         24        Section 21 of Article I, and make it clear that it is not

         25        a permissive proposition, that it is a mandatory


  


                                                                          86

          1        proposition so far.  And I believe that is the intent of

          2        the proposer, and simply to conform the language to the

          3        existing section and make clear what the intent of the

          4        proposer was.  And the only change was, as you suggested,

          5        was the word from "may" to "shall."

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does everybody understand the

          7        amendment?  Commissioner Barkdull.  I wonder if we could

          8        have a little order here, please, and get everybody back

          9        in the chamber.  We have 36 people present, have had.  We

         10        may have 37, but they are not always here.

         11             Commissioner Barkdull, you wanted to be recognized on

         12        the amendment?

         13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  No, sir, on the proposal as

         14        amended if it passes.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  If there is no

         16        debate, all in favor of the amendment say aye; all

         17        opposed?

         18             (Verbal vote taken.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment is adopted and now

         20        we are on Proposal No. 58.  The proponent of that is

         21        Commissioner Zack who has the right to open.

         22             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  For the last six months, we have

         23        debated issues in this chamber regarding fairness,

         24        regarding the rights of people to be treated equally.  I

         25        don't think there is a single person in this chamber who


  


                                                                          87

          1        would question the right of a black person to be treated

          2        the same as a white person, a woman to be treated the same

          3        as a man, we have the nationality origin proposal, no one

          4        can question the right of a Hispanic to be treated the

          5        same as an Anglo, or a Christian to be treated the same as

          6        a Jew.

          7             We have one vestige of discrimination left in our

          8        Constitution.  Just one.  And now is the time to eliminate

          9        that one.  It only applies to the difference between the

         10        old and the young.  It has been said that every

         11        civilization has been judged historically by the way they

         12        treat the elderly.  And we likewise one day will be judged

         13        by the same standard.

         14             As we went to the public hearings around the state,

         15        and I attended every single one of them, there was no cry

         16        heard that was louder and more painful than the people who

         17        had lost their parents, their loved ones, and had felt

         18        totally frustrated, had felt totally impotent to right a

         19        wrong.

         20             As a matter of fact our Constitution says there

         21        should be no wrongs for which there is no right.  But to

         22        each of these individuals who are over 25 years of age,

         23        they could do nothing about how their parents were killed.

         24        Unintentional as it may have been, accidental as it may

         25        have been.  They sat there with their pain and found no


  


                                                                          88

          1        way of relieving it until they came before us and told us

          2        their story.

          3             And we today have a right, an obligation I suggest,

          4        to do something about that pain and about the

          5        discrimination that continues, the legal discrimination

          6        that continues in our Constitution.

          7             You know, it is ironic I guess that today -- or

          8        poignant probably more than ironic -- that my daughter's

          9        birthday is today.  And frankly I wish I was home with

         10        her.  But today if she turned 26, and I walked across the

         11        street and I was killed by a drunken driver, she would

         12        have no cause of action.  Where yesterday she would.  And

         13        if her brother was 24 and she was 26, both who I hope love

         14        me the same, one would be able to recover and one would

         15        not.

         16             No degree of intellectual honesty can let that

         17        situation continue within our state.  As a matter of fact,

         18        we are the only state in the country that has this

         19        provision.  It makes no sense, it is morally wrong.  And

         20        frankly, the Supreme Court has not looked at the equal

         21        protection aspects of it and I personally believe it is

         22        legally wrong.  But there will be no question about that

         23        once this commission, hopefully, acts to remove this

         24        discrimination on age.

         25             Now, I have heard some people say, you can't bring


  


                                                                          89

          1        back your lost mother or father, money won't bring them

          2        back.  And it was interesting because a couple of the

          3        women who spoke said, We are not interested in money.  I

          4        don't think any of them were interested in money.  What

          5        they were interested in is following the Biblical

          6        admonition to honor thy mother and thy father.  And it was

          7        their view that their mother and father's memory were

          8        dishonored by their inability to have the people who

          9        caused their death respond to that death.

         10             And when I say respond, that means to act

         11        responsibly.  Our system of justice is based on taking

         12        responsibility for one's actions.

         13             There is a poem by Robert Burns that some of us have

         14        heard from time to time and probably one that we should

         15        remember at this time.  It says, Come live with me, the

         16        best is yet to be.  The last of life for which the first

         17        was made.  It is wrong to take away the very best part of

         18        life, the time that you share with your family, with your

         19        mother, with your father as grandparents, that your

         20        children should share with them, the very best part of

         21        life and say that there is no accountability in the state

         22        of Florida but in every other state there is.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

         24        Wetherington.

         25             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Question.


  


                                                                          90

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Question.  He yields.

          2             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Am I correct that the

          3        Legislature could tomorrow morning decide that it is going

          4        to eliminate pain and suffering, mental anguish as an

          5        element of damages and therefore leave only economic

          6        recovery; is that right?

          7             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That is correct.

          8             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  So basically if this got

          9        too burdensome and they thought this was too burdensome,

         10        they could just make it an economic damage base and what

         11        effect would that have on the situation you are talking

         12        about?

         13             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I believe that there is no

         14        possibility of the Legislature taking away the wrongful

         15        death benefits from every citizen of the state of Florida.

         16        You know, you could say the same thing about just about

         17        any law that you want to go through the same process with.

         18        But the fact is that this is a discriminatory statute and

         19        it is wrong and I do not believe that that would be a

         20        justification for voting against it.

         21             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  The Legislature moved the

         22        age, up one time it was 18, I think, or 21 and they moved

         23        it up to 25.  I mean, they did make an adjustment, didn't

         24        they, on the age under the wrongful death statute?

         25             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Absolutely.  And the 21


  


                                                                          91

          1        limitation was wrong as well.  There should be no age

          2        limitation.  If they raise it to 26 or 27 or 28 and

          3        three-quarters, the fact of the matter is there should be

          4        no age limitation.  This is pure discrimination.

          5             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Why isn't this a

          6        matter -- this is part of our wrongful death remedy

          7        procedure.  Why isn't this something we should leave to

          8        the Legislature to change?

          9             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Because it historically has shown

         10        that it is unable to do it.  What I have noticed during

         11        the course of these proceedings is that virtually

         12        everything can be changed by the Legislature.  And people

         13        who are in favor of a matter say that should be a

         14        Legislature prerogative.

         15             Those people who believe that every 20 years this

         16        Constitution Revision Commission listens to the people of

         17        the state of Florida, and determines whether there is a

         18        stranglehold on the Legislature, for whatever reason, by

         19        whatever group, that they have the ability to go directly

         20        to us and we have the ability to go directly to the

         21        citizens of the state of Florida and have the citizens

         22        make that decision.  And I believe that this is precisely

         23        the kind of issue that you go to the citizens.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Freidin.

         25             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I wanted to talk a bit about


  


                                                                          92

          1        the practical impact of the law as it exists at the

          2        present time.  There has been some question about whether

          3        there, whether this is something that really needs to be

          4        done.  Do children of parents who are wrongfully, who die

          5        wrongfully as a result of malpractice or some other

          6        wrongful act really need to be able to recover?

          7             And the question is the recovery is only part of what

          8        we are talking about here.  And the reason for that is

          9        that these, the doctors in particular who may be sued as a

         10        result of malpractice will not be sued in these cases.  As

         11        a practical matter, if there is not a sufficient recovery,

         12        lawyers will not take these cases.  These cases will not

         13        be brought because these cases have to be brought on

         14        contingency fees.  The people who bring these cases can't

         15        afford to pay hourly fees for their lawyers.

         16             So this is an enforcement mechanism as well as a

         17        recovery mechanism.  And as a practical matter, it is

         18        essential to policing of malpractice cases that something

         19        be done about this problem.  It is apparently not, it has

         20        not been done in the Legislature and I urge you to vote

         21        favorably on this proposal.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Opponent.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Opponent.  I recognize you.  I'll

         25        be back to you, Commissioner Leesfield.


  


                                                                          93

          1             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, Members of the

          2        Commission, I rise as an opponent of this for the simple

          3        reason that this is a statutory cause of action which this

          4        proposal wants to move into the Constitution.  I don't

          5        think we should do that.  You are going to lock in this

          6        specific cause of action, and I think this cause of action

          7        is purely statutory and it ought to be left to the

          8        Legislature.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Leesfield.

         10             COMMISSIONER LEESFIELD:  Chairman Douglass, I'd like

         11        to speak in favor of 58 and respond to the very good

         12        question asked by Commissioner Wetherington and raised by

         13        Commissioner Barkdull.

         14             This is not a Legislature matter because it deals

         15        with an arbitrary provision.  This is a provision that

         16        only discriminates based upon age.  This is an arbitrary

         17        approach to treating people of different ages within our

         18        state population.  It has nothing to do really with -- the

         19        Legislature could fix anything.  What we have got here is

         20        a child who loses a parent, if that child is 24 they have

         21        a cause of action, if that child is 25 they have no cause

         22        of action.  If a parent loses a child that is over the age

         23        of 25 and single, there is no cause of action.

         24             So this is age-based discrimination.  And there is no

         25        better place to cure discrimination in an arbitrary way


  


                                                                          94

          1        than in the Constitution.  So all of the proponents for

          2        this, you can say what you want about every single measure

          3        that comes before us, send it to the Legislature, from gun

          4        control on.

          5             But when we were dealing with people being treated

          6        differently because of their age, and I can tell you from

          7        a practical basis that in my office every single week I

          8        have had members of the Legislature come in with their

          9        parents who are in their 60s or 70s who were killed in a

         10        hospital setting.  And they come and say, My mother went

         11        in for an endoscope and she came out dead.  Now I want to

         12        bring a lawsuit.

         13             Anybody in this room and anybody in this state can be

         14        faced with the identical situation.  They come in and say,

         15        My parent went in for a procedure and now they are gone,

         16        let's go find out the reasons, let's make a wrong a right,

         17        let's find out how we can equal the playing field.  You

         18        can't do it.  That person has no cause of action and you

         19        have to turn to a member of the Legislature or a member of

         20        the judiciary or a member of the public and say, There is

         21        no cause of action based upon age.

         22             So this is a Constitutional provision to even the

         23        playing field for people of all ages.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right, proponent?

         25        Commissioner Ford-Coates.


  


                                                                          95

          1             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Commissioner Zack, would

          2        you just clarify for me --

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Question for Commissioner Zack.

          4             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  And then I'd like to speak

          5        in opposition of the proposal.

          6             As I read the law that these people came to us about

          7        in 768, just am I correct that a survivor can sue for

          8        medical costs and burial costs and support, it is only the

          9        noneconomic damages that they can't sue for, the pain and

         10        suffering?

         11             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Is there a way that I can answer

         12        it that you would vote in favor of it?

         13             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Probably not.  I mean, am

         14        I correct in that statement?

         15             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  There is very little expense in

         16        burying somebody because once they are dead -- as a matter

         17        of fact, your question goes to the very point that it is

         18        much better to kill somebody and there is an interest in

         19        killing somebody because there is such a limitation on any

         20        type of liability compared to actually helping them.

         21             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  But they can sue for

         22        future support and loss of support, regardless of age?

         23             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  If there is support, which there

         24        isn't in most of these cases.

         25             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Okay.


  


                                                                          96

          1             Commissioners, I was frequently moved to tears by the

          2        testimony we heard around the state on this issue.  And

          3        when the proposal came up, I am a layperson, I don't

          4        understand torts and the rest of this stuff very well.  So

          5        I went back and I tried to look at this law and say, Well,

          6        what can they sue for?  They can sue for economic damages.

          7        I then asked, Okay, if they can't sue for pain and

          8        suffering, noneconomic damages, how are these physicians

          9        and hospitals held accountable?

         10             And I learned about the Agency for Health Care

         11        Administration.  Last week I went and looked up on the

         12        Internet to see if that agency really was there.  And I

         13        found a web page that gave me complaint forms, information

         14        on claims on doctors throughout the state.  I printed out

         15        some of that information, I didn't -- you know, all the

         16        paper is being used up by faxes in other areas,

         17        Commissioner Rundle, but -- so I didn't print out the

         18        whole thing.  But there is a method there to discipline

         19        physicians and health care providers when medical

         20        malpractice occurs.

         21             In the last year, the Legislature has made

         22        significant changes to that discipline process.  And I

         23        have a list of those, one, two, three, four, five, six,

         24        seven major changes to that disciplinary process that make

         25        it stronger.  And more work is being done everyday by the


  


                                                                          97

          1        Legislature to ensure that these problems of medical

          2        malpractice are dealt with appropriately.

          3             I think we need to remember two things in particular.

          4        This proposal does not just cover the medical malpractice

          5        stories that we heard, it covers all personal injury.  And

          6        I can't begin to understand what the effect of that will

          7        be.  Because of that, I think again, just to reiterate, I

          8        think it is a legislative matter.  But, secondly, I must

          9        tell you that as I have told Commissioner Zack, my good

         10        friend, whom I usually agree with, I personally have a

         11        problem with suing for pain and suffering.

         12             I think in this country we have become very litigious

         13        and I think that the general public agrees with economic

         14        damages, agrees with discipline, but has some questions

         15        about pain and suffering and some of the outrageous awards

         16        that we have seen around the country.

         17             I am particularly concerned about how this proposal

         18        will affect hospitals in rural areas and public hospitals.

         19        In my own community, Sarasota Memorial Hospital is for the

         20        first time in its history -- and Sarasota Memorial is open

         21        24 hours a day, seven days a week, there to service anyone

         22        who walks through the door -- for the first time in our

         23        hospital's history, they are facing a $12 million deficit

         24        because of problems with Medicare funding and

         25        reimbursement.


  


                                                                          98

          1             And last year they made major cuts in their budget.

          2        They have cut physicians, they have cut some services.

          3        This kind of change to our Constitution will increase the

          4        number of suits against the hospital at a cost to defend

          5        of probably $100,000 a suit.

          6             We are, Commissioners, in a state that has an aging

          7        population.  People die.  And one of the stages of grief

          8        is anger.  And one of the results of that anger is filing

          9        suit.  I suggest to you that the results of this change in

         10        our Constitution will be complex and far reaching.  The

         11        only reasonable place to deal with this is the Legislature

         12        because when the Legislature makes a decision, if the

         13        impact, the unseen impact is significant, the Legislature

         14        can come back and fix that proposal.

         15             So I suggest to you that because of the unknown

         16        consequences, and even though my heart goes out to those

         17        people who suffered their losses, I must tell you that my

         18        own mother went in a small rural hospital in the mountains

         19        of Virginia one night complaining about pain, was released

         20        from that hospital and went home and died that night.  I

         21        certainly know what it feels like to have someone who is

         22        part of your life die as a result of possible medical

         23        malpractice.

         24             But I submit to you there are better ways to deal

         25        with holding those institutions and those physicians


  


                                                                          99

          1        accountable.  It does not belong in our Constitution.

          2        Thank you.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott.  Excuse me,

          4        Commissioner Morsani, I'll recognize you.  There is two

          5        minutes left for the opponents.

          6             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Thirty seconds.  I want to point

          7        out to you, I have personally supported in the Legislature

          8        and committees the object of this proposition.  However,

          9        if you put this in the Constitution, what will happen is

         10        this right has only existed for anything to recover for

         11        any claims for pain and suffering and noneconomic damages

         12        since I believe 1990.

         13             And what could happen and what would have to happen,

         14        there would be no authority for the Legislature to pick

         15        and choose, and this really is a legislative matter.  You

         16        are going in and picking 2 percent of the 98 percent

         17        subject and putting it in the Constitution.  And when you

         18        do that, the Legislature could only then eliminate

         19        noneconomic damages for every claim in Florida.  And so --

         20        regardless of age, medical malpractice or whatever.

         21             So for that reason I don't think it should be in the

         22        Constitution and will vote not to put it there.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Morsani.

         24             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  Again for 30 seconds.  I

         25        certainly agree with the previous two speakers.  I think


  


                                                                          100

          1        the claim is hollow when the claim says it is not for

          2        economic advantages, meaning pain and suffering, I think

          3        that is a hollow claim.  I think that Commissioner Coates,

          4        Ford-Coates, has done an excellent job of outlining the

          5        reasons why not to vote for this proposal.  I would

          6        encourage you not to vote for this today.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There is no further

          8        debate.  Commissioner Zack, you have the right to close.

          9             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I always listen very, very

         10        carefully when Commissioner Ford-Coates speaks.  And the

         11        questions regarding the Agency for Health Care

         12        Administration and her statements regarding that agency I

         13        thought were very interesting and, frankly, important.

         14             I want you to know before you cast that vote that the

         15        reason those, that agency investigates physicians is when

         16        there is a claim or judgment against the physician.  That

         17        triggers the investigation.  That is one of the main

         18        things that they look at.  And when you have no claim for

         19        anyone who is over 25 years of age, you have all those

         20        people who never bring a claim and therefore there is no

         21        triggering event, or at least one of the triggering events

         22        is not occurring.

         23             It has been shown, in every state, that malpractice

         24        is reduced by one thing and one thing alone, that is

         25        accountability.  And what we are talking about here is


  


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          1        accountability.  But more than accountability, we are

          2        talking about pure discrimination.  This is not about

          3        money, this is about fairness, justice and discrimination.

          4             Look at your calendar.  And look at what we just

          5        voted for.  Proposal No. 5 prohibits discrimination based

          6        on national origin.  Of course we are all against that.

          7        Proposal No. 11 prohibits gender discrimination.  Next

          8        number, Proposal 14 prohibits discrimination on physical

          9        handicap and physical disability.  Next Proposal 58,

         10        discrimination on age.

         11             The only difference here is that we are talking about

         12        certain vested interests that would like not to be held

         13        accountable.  All of us would like to go through life

         14        being the king, having no accountability.  But that's not

         15        how our system of justice works, that's not how our sense

         16        of fairness works, and that's not what our Constitution

         17        should allow.

         18             Why is it that the person who experiences anger, as

         19        suggested by Commissioner Ford-Coates, who is 25 years of

         20        age has any different anger or right to work through that

         21        anger or the right to hold the person accountable for that

         22        anger because of their age?  This is a very, very limited

         23        proposal.  I want to make --

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You have got to wrap it up.

         25             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Very, very limited proposal and


  


                                                                          102

          1        it is one that I believe clearly needs to be addressed and

          2        what I consider to be an argument that really needs to be

          3        looked at very carefully before you vote about the

          4        Legislature's right to destroy this cause of action.  I

          5        believe that our Legislature is going to do the right

          6        thing, it did the right thing in allowing the wrongful

          7        death statute to exist, and there is no question in my

          8        mind that it should not be employed in a discriminatory

          9        fashion.

         10             I ask you to please vote for this.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  It is as amended,

         12        Proposal No. 58.  Unlock the machine and we will vote.

         13             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Lock the machine and

         15        announce the vote.

         16             READING CLERK:  Fifteen yeas, 20 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have defeated

         18        Proposal No. 58.

         19             I'd like to announce that on Proposal No. 11, for the

         20        record, Commissioner Rundle's vote did not record.  Please

         21        correct the record to show her voting in the roll call,

         22        making the vote 31 yeas, 5 nays.

         23             All right.  We will now move to Proposal No. 187.  We

         24        are going to break for lunch at 12:00, incidentally, we

         25        are going to take 45 minutes.  And we are moving right


  


                                                                          103

          1        along.  But right now we are on Proposal No. 187 by

          2        Commissioner Connor.  Would you read it, please.

          3             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 187, a proposal to

          4        revise Article I, Section 3, Florida Constitution.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There is an amendment

          6        on the table.  Would you read the amendment?  This is a

          7        Style and Drafting amendment on the table.  Would you read

          8        the amendment, please?

          9             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Butterworth, on

         10        Page 1, Line 17, after the comma insert "except with

         11        respect to prisoners in jails, prisons or other

         12        correctional facilities."

         13             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, that's not a

         14        Style and Drafting amendment.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Oh, I'm sorry, excuse me, you are

         16        absolutely right.  It is by Commissioner Butterworth on

         17        the amendment.  This is the RFRA proposal that you know

         18        about and this proposal is by Commissioner Butterworth,

         19        the amendment is by Commissioner Butterworth.  I'm going

         20        to recognize Commissioner Butterworth on the amendment.

         21        Commissioner Connor will be recognized on the proposal.

         22             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         23        What this amendment does, it simply exempts from the

         24        proposal prisoners who are in jails, prisons or other

         25        correctional facilities.  I'd like to direct your


  


                                                                          104

          1        attention to a letter that should be on your desk from the

          2        Florida Department of Corrections Secretary, Secretary

          3        Singletary, who has great concerns with this.  And as you

          4        know, he is in charge of the prison system in the state of

          5        Florida.

          6             As it says in the first paragraph, "This particular

          7        RFRA proposal mirrors the one that Congress passed a

          8        number of years ago and was subsequently struck down by

          9        the United States Supreme Court on unrelated grounds."  He

         10        states that the federal act created serious problems that

         11        undermined the safe and orderly management of Florida's

         12        correctional system with the number of grievances on

         13        religious grounds increasing approximately three-fold.

         14             He also stated that it resulted in increased and

         15        recognized gangs and hate groups who are known to be

         16        masquerading as religious groups.  And this proposal

         17        without an exemption for inmates will make it increasingly

         18        difficult for the department to deny special requests made

         19        by those under the guise of religion.

         20             When this was passed in Congress, all 50 secretaries

         21        of the Departments of Corrections objected to this

         22        particular RFRA without the amendment taking out the

         23        prison systems because of the problems that it would cause

         24        for not only the correctional staff but also everyone else

         25        involved.  And I urge you to pass this amendment.


  


                                                                          105

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Before we do anything

          2        else, I was reminded that I didn't ask for five hands and

          3        that we proceed to rehear this matter.  Raise your hands

          4        if you are for it.  Okay.  We will go forward.  Now we are

          5        on the amendment.  Does everybody understand the

          6        amendment?  Or is there a further debate on the amendment?

          7             Commissioner Connor, would you like to address the

          8        amendment?

          9             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I would, but I believe

         10        Commissioner Barnett had a question first.  I'd like to

         11        speak in opposition to the amendment.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett.

         13             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Thank you.  I'd like to ask

         14        Commissioner Butterworth a question because I think I like

         15        the amendment but I want to make sure of one particular

         16        thing.  If this amendment is adopted, and we went forward

         17        and adopted the proposal, then nothing would occur that

         18        would diminish the current guarantees under our

         19        Constitution that are provided to people in a penalogical

         20        institution, it would only mean that the standard of

         21        review there would continue to be the reasonableness test

         22        as opposed to the higher compelling interest test.

         23             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Yes, Commissioner, that is

         24        correct.  It would not change what's happening now.  And

         25        there are still cases that are brought through the court


  


                                                                          106

          1        system.

          2             But the Florida Department of Corrections obviously,

          3        and has throughout the years, as Mr. Singletary states,

          4        the department supports the rights of all citizens,

          5        including inmates, to practice their religious beliefs as

          6        afforded under the First Amendment.

          7             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I just wanted to make clear

          8        that we are not in any way diminishing the current

          9        constitutional protections to prisoners, but that the

         10        standard is simply one step lower than the compelling

         11        interest standard.

         12             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  That's correct.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further --

         14        Commissioner Connor on the amendment.

         15             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Commissioners, I'd like to urge

         16        you in the strongest possible terms to reject the proposed

         17        amendment.  You will note in the attachments that I

         18        provided for you the results of a survey in 1996 of states

         19        on pending RFRA claims regarding prisoners.  And you will

         20        note that after RFRA there was actually one fewer case

         21        filed based on religious liberty issues in the aftermath

         22        of RFRA than there were beforehand.

         23             Now the effect of adopting this prisoner exemption

         24        will be that the coalition which has supported RFRA

         25        historically will break down on the basis of the prisoner


  


                                                                          107

          1        exemption.  And, ladies and gentlemen, I would submit to

          2        you that it is not necessary.  The state can easily, the

          3        state can easily prove the compelling interest that it has

          4        of a penalogical nature as it relates to the exercise of

          5        religious freedom.

          6             I met for about two hours with an attorney for the

          7        Department of Corrections and members of the House

          8        corrections committee, both staff and the chairman of that

          9        committee, to discuss this issue.  And one of the things I

         10        learned that the Department of Corrections has available

         11        to it now, that the Attorney General has available to him

         12        now, is a provision in the Florida Statutes that provides

         13        explicitly that in the event a state prisoner brings a

         14        frivolous lawsuit and there is a finding that that lawsuit

         15        is frivolous, any or all, any -- strike that -- all or any

         16        part of the gain time earned by that prisoner is subject

         17        to forfeiture.  That's Florida Statute 944.28 and also

         18        944.279.

         19             And the representative of the Department of

         20        Corrections readily acknowledged that the department

         21        scarcely ever seeks that kind of relief.  And so I would

         22        submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, that we currently

         23        have provisions to deal with this issue.

         24             I urge you not to adversely impact, by the breakdown

         25        of the coalition, the right to religious freedom of


  


                                                                          108

          1        14 million Floridians because of some few claims that have

          2        been filed in the state prison system.  And I guarantee

          3        you, people with time on their hands and a free prison

          4        library available to them are going to be filing

          5        complaints.

          6             This exemption is not warranted, it is not needed and

          7        I urge you respectfully, and with all due regard to the

          8        Attorney General to oppose it.  Thank you.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  This is on the

         10        amendment.  Unlock the machine and we will vote on the

         11        amendment.  The amendment is as stated by Commissioner

         12        Butterworth.

         13             When you are absent from the chamber it is the same

         14        as a no vote on these votes.  So everybody isn't here

         15        obviously voting.  We're still missing a few.  This is on

         16        the Butterworth amendment.

         17             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Announce the vote.

         19             READING CLERK:  Eighteen yeas, 18 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I thought I was breaking the tie

         21        and somebody slipped in there and got it.  It fails on a

         22        tie vote.  We now go back to the proposal by Commissioner

         23        Connor and you are recognized, Commissioner Connor.

         24             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         25        Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that you are very familiar


  


                                                                          109

          1        with these proposals, or with this proposal.  Let me say

          2        very simply that I think we would all agree that the right

          3        to the free exercise of religion is without a doubt one of

          4        the most cherished liberties that we Americans enjoy.  It

          5        was, after all, provided for and protected in the First

          6        Amendment, the very first one.

          7             The standard of review and the level of protection

          8        that has been historically recognized under the First

          9        Amendment was changed in 1990 as a consequence of the

         10        Employment Division versus Smith case.  That lowered

         11        standard of review, that diminished level of protection

         12        accorded to the free exercise of religion resulted in the

         13        formation of the broadest, most diverse religious

         14        coalition in the history of America in support of the

         15        Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

         16             The United States Supreme Court struck that down

         17        because it said that Congress cannot pass a law that was

         18        intended to protect the states in that regard, that that

         19        was the states' province, but that states were free to

         20        pass, in their state Constitutions, those kinds of

         21        protections.

         22             Now you will note in the materials that you have

         23        received from the Gibbs law firm that one of the folks who

         24        urged in the strongest of terms for states to pass and

         25        strengthen this kind of protection was Justice Brennan.


  


                                                                          110

          1        And Justice Brennan has been hardly considered a raving

          2        fundamentalist among judicial officers.  And he pointed

          3        out the extraordinary importance of states raising the

          4        standard of protection that would be afforded to their

          5        citizens.

          6             I urge you likewise to raise the level of protection

          7        that we accord to the 14 million Floridians in this state.

          8        I do want to clarify one item.  The Coalition for the

          9        Exercise of Religious Freedom, which is included in the

         10        packet of materials attached to your memo, includes the

         11        Antidefamation League.  However, the league has indicated

         12        that it does not support a state Constitutional protection

         13        provision, preferring that that be handled as a matter of

         14        legislation by the state Legislature.

         15             Respectfully to the league, I would submit to you,

         16        ladies and gentlemen, the problem with that approach is

         17        that the state Legislature cannot dictate to the state

         18        court the standard of review that it will apply in

         19        evaluating free exercise claims.  That would represent a

         20        classic invasion of the judicial prerogative and would

         21        raise profound problems with respect to the separation of

         22        powers.

         23             I urge in the strongest possible terms to support

         24        this important proposal.  Thank you.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Smith.


  


                                                                          111

          1             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You rise as which?

          3             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  I rise as a proponent and I have

          4        a very, very short statement.  One, is it needed?  Yes.

          5        To raise the standard of scrutiny we must have a

          6        constitutional amendment.

          7             Two, is it wanted?  Yes.  In my 50 years as a

          8        Floridian I have never seen such a broad coalition of

          9        religious organizations supporting any type of Legislature

         10        on any type of constitutional amendment as this.

         11             Third, should we do it?  Yes.  The founders of this

         12        nation made the First Amendment protect religion for a

         13        reason.  And now we need to take it to the next level and

         14        ensure that government for the 21st century doesn't

         15        infringe on the protections which are most important to us

         16        as a people, and that is the right, however we choose, to

         17        express our appreciation for our maker.  Thank you.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Wetherington.

         19             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Question.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Question of the sponsor?

         21             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Yes.  Going back to one

         22        of the examples that we talked about earlier is the zoning

         23        law.  And the zoning law limits the uses that property

         24        that's located in a single family residence can be put to.

         25        And under that law, it is not a place where you can have a


  


                                                                          112

          1        church, for example.

          2             Someone regularly invites 40, 50 people over for

          3        church services at their house, the zoning authorities

          4        contend that under these circumstances they're violating

          5        the zoning laws.  Their contention is that their right of

          6        free exercise of religion is such that they have a right

          7        to do this, and their right is sufficient to override the

          8        zoning law under those particular circumstances.  All

          9        right.  That's the question.

         10             Now, under this proposal, do they prevail or does the

         11        zoning law prevail?

         12             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I think it is important to

         13        understand that, first of all, that in order to qualify,

         14        in order to assert a deprivation of their religious

         15        liberty, first of all, they have to demonstrate that there

         16        is a substantial burden that's been imposed on the

         17        exercise of their religious freedom.

         18             Secondly, I think it is important to understand that

         19        under the exercise of police power, the state can

         20        typically demonstrate that it has a compelling interest in

         21        the zoning laws.

         22             Thirdly, where they are either -- and as you know,

         23        Commissioner Wetherington, there may be challenges that

         24        result in constitutional deficiency as applied or

         25        facially.  As applied, for example, where, and there have


  


                                                                          113

          1        been cases where people had folks come to their house to

          2        worship or for Bible studies and had 40 or 50 people

          3        there.  And they were prohibited from doing that by the

          4        zoning authorities and yet if you had a party or an event

          5        at your house and had 40 or 50 people, they were permitted

          6        to do that under the zoning laws.

          7             As applied under those circumstances, I think that

          8        would represent an unconstitutional infringement upon the

          9        free exercise.  But without seeing the zoning law itself,

         10        it is difficult for me to speak to that in a vacuum.

         11             There was one example, if I might point out, and you

         12        should have a letter from the Gibbs and Crays Law Firm,

         13        that illustrates, I think, the kind of thing that RFRA may

         14        get at in the kind of context that you made reference to

         15        where it says this:  "A Florida church was nearly

         16        prevented from constructing a new building because it

         17        could not afford to construct the handicapped ramp in the

         18        baptismal pool.  Because of the slant required for the

         19        ramp, the baptismal pool would have had to be the size of

         20        the entire sanctuary, requiring parishioners to tread

         21        water during services."  This was surely a burdensome

         22        requirement for which the city could not show a compelling

         23        interest.  Without the RFRA standard then in place, this

         24        church might not have been able to construct the new

         25        building since the handicapped access laws are generally


  


                                                                          114

          1        applicable and do not discriminate against religion per

          2        se.

          3             But first of all, I think what you have to

          4        demonstrate is the substantial burden, then the state is

          5        required to demonstrate that it has a compelling interest

          6        and burdening the free exercise and has acted in a most

          7        narrowly tailored manner to do so.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further debate?

          9        Commissioner Kogan.

         10             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  I rise in opposition to this

         11        particular amendment.  Nothing frightens me more when we

         12        attempt to redefine or add to the definition of those

         13        basic freedoms; freedom of speech, freedom of religion,

         14        the right to assemble, and freedom of press.  These items

         15        have been, first of all, in the United States Constitution

         16        as part of the Bill of Rights since we became a nation.

         17        They are enumerated under our Declaration of Rights in our

         18        state Constitution.

         19             I want to read for you, if I can and with your

         20        indulgence, through the Declaration of Rights' statement

         21        in the Florida Constitution as it now exists and then I'll

         22        read it to you with the proposed amendment.  Article I,

         23        Section 3, Religious Freedom:  There shall be no law

         24        respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or

         25        penalizing the free exercise thereof.  I would say


  


                                                                          115

          1        everybody basically understands what that means.

          2             The next part says, "Religious freedom shall not

          3        justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace

          4        or safety."  That I submit is understandable to everyone.

          5        It continues, "No revenue of the state or any political

          6        subdivision or agency therefore shall ever be taken from

          7        the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any

          8        church, sect or religious demonstration or in aid of any

          9        sectarian institution."  Understandable to the average

         10        person, yes.

         11             The addition to this amendment reads as follows:

         12        "The state or any political subdivision or agency thereof

         13        may not substantially burden the free exercise of

         14        religion."  That's understandable.  Now listen, "even if

         15        the burden results from a rule of general applicability

         16        unless the state demonstrates that application of the

         17        burden is in furtherance of a compelling interest and is

         18        the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling

         19        interest.

         20             And that I submit to you, my fellow commissioners, is

         21        not capable of being understood by the average citizen of

         22        this state when lawyers have difficulty understanding and

         23        deciding what it may mean.

         24             Why on earth do we want to add this to the

         25        Constitution of the state of Florida if it is going to


  


                                                                          116

          1        cause our citizenry to not understand what this is all

          2        about, and not really know what they are voting on?  Let's

          3        not mess with the definitions that are now contained in

          4        the Declaration of Rights in the Florida Constitution.

          5        And I urge you to vote against this.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Sundberg.

          7             If there are people on the floor that aren't members,

          8        it would be appreciated if you would not go to the desks

          9        of the various members while we are in debate.

         10             Commissioner Sundberg.

         11             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  In opposition, Mr. Chairman.

         12        Nothing is more sensitive in our basic document or no

         13        subject matter is more sensitive than the free exercise of

         14        religion.  Speech, assembly, they do not touch as deep

         15        into the well of each individual as the free exercise

         16        clause.

         17             There is, I submit to you, a very well-developed body

         18        of law in recognition of the sensitive balance that must

         19        be maintained whenever government seeks to intrude upon

         20        those issues that are so sensitive to each individual.

         21        The addition of this language, it is maintained, is simply

         22        to reverse a particular decision of the United States

         23        Supreme Court that says, you apply in most instances, just

         24        like you do to any other entity, neutral principles of law

         25        when you are talking about zoning and construction and


  


                                                                          117

          1        this sort of thing you have to do to comply with what

          2        people in an organized society have to do when they live

          3        amongst one another and build structures.

          4             But I caution you, the decisions of both the United

          5        States and the Florida Supreme Court, there is a very,

          6        very well-developed body of law carefully crafted to

          7        address this very, very sensitive issue of the

          8        establishment of a religion.  This language, as Justice

          9        Kogan indicates, takes us I know not where.

         10             I urge you to leave in place those principles which

         11        we now understand.  They aren't understated as they are

         12        currently in our Constitution.  And I suggest you make a

         13        big mistake by adding language to them.  Thank you.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mathis.

         15             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  I rise in support of this

         16        proposal having dealt with a church in a, with a local

         17        government in central Florida where the local government

         18        opposed the church's expansion, not because it would harm

         19        the health, safety or welfare of the citizens, but because

         20        the church had stood against adult entertainment coming to

         21        that town.

         22             What this proposal does is clarify that government

         23        cannot misuse its position to inhibit the free exercise of

         24        religion.  I know I am standing in opposition to two

         25        recent Supreme Court justices but I as a little citizen of


  


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          1        Florida who want to go and worship and for my church to

          2        expand and be a part of the community, have seen the need

          3        for this language.  So have a number of people throughout

          4        this country.  And so has a large population in the state

          5        of Florida, having put this proposal before us.

          6             I say that there is a broad-based coalition, diverse

          7        and overwhelming, that supports this proposition and they

          8        see the need.  There is a need for clarification and we

          9        are the only entity that can do that.  This needs to be

         10        done in the Constitution.  The United States Supreme Court

         11        has said and invited state governments to do this, propose

         12        this proposal in their Constitutions.  All we are doing

         13        here is accepting their invitation to clarify the free

         14        exercise of religion.  And I would urge you to support

         15        this proposal.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Freidin.

         17             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  There is nobody in this

         18        chamber that, I am certain, that does not hold religious

         19        freedom to be the most cherished of the freedoms that are

         20        provided to us in our United States Constitution and in

         21        the Florida Constitution.

         22             But I think that as you review the Florida

         23        Constitution you will find that there is not another place

         24        in it where there is a standard of review that is set out.

         25        This is a very, very unusual thing.  Now why is it?  The


  


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          1        reason is is that this started out as a federal statute.

          2        And when it was held unconstitutional by the United States

          3        Supreme Court as an intrusion into states' rights, in

          4        part, and for other reasons, there was a movement among

          5        the proponents of this to have it passed throughout the

          6        country as legislation.

          7             This is the only, well there is one other state that

          8        is currently considering it as a possible constitutional

          9        amendment, but numerous states have actually passed it as

         10        legislation.  In fact, it is my understanding, that it has

         11        been filed with this session of the Legislature in this

         12        very building.  And I am not aware what the status of it

         13        is, but it has been filed.

         14             This is a legislative matter, it is not a

         15        constitutional matter.  There are so many questions that

         16        are being raised about what does it do.  Let's not put it

         17        in a place where it is going to be for the next 20 years

         18        with difficulty or impossibility of changing it.  If it is

         19        something that should go forward, let's let the

         20        Legislature deal with it.  It does not have to be in the

         21        Constitution.  This is one of those matters that can be

         22        handled legislatively if there is in fact a need for it.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further debate?

         24        If not, Commissioner Connor, you may close.

         25             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Let


  


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          1        me, if I may, read to you from the comments sent to us by

          2        the American Jewish Congress as it relates to this matter.

          3             "The principle is a simple one:  Every citizen is

          4        entitled to ask government to justify interference with

          5        his or her religious liberty.  Depending on the

          6        circumstances, it may or may not be possible to

          7        accommodate religious practice in the face of legitimate

          8        government concerns.  But every citizen is entitled to

          9        insist on a second look to ensure that government does not

         10        needlessly trample religious freedom.

         11             "This principle is flexible enough to take legitimate

         12        governmental concerns into account and yet stringent

         13        enough to offer real protection for religious liberty."

         14             Now with all due deference to our judicial colleagues

         15        who are in this body, they well know what a compelling

         16        interest standard means and what the requirements are for

         17        narrowly tailoring legislation to accomplish that

         18        interest.  They deal with it everyday.  This is not some

         19        amorphous, fuzzy, undetermined kind of concept that we are

         20        dealing with here.

         21             The issue is whether or not we are going to accord

         22        the highest measure of protection for religious liberty in

         23        this state -- which we historically enjoyed up until 1990

         24        when the Supreme Court of the United States eroded that

         25        protection in the Smith case -- or not.


  


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          1             Now if you worry about people and the impact on the

          2        culture and society or perhaps on you who are serious

          3        about the exercise of their religious freedom, then you

          4        ought to vote against this proposal.

          5             But if you believe that religious freedom is

          6        something that should not just be tolerated, but protected

          7        and cherished, and that it ought to be among our most

          8        precious of rights, then I would submit to you that you

          9        ought to vote in support of this.  And to suggest that we

         10        are creating some kind of ambiguity, the likes of which we

         11        know not what will happen or where it will lead us, I

         12        would suggest to you is a smoke screen and nothing short

         13        of facetious.  Thank you.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Unlock the machine we will vote

         15        on the proposal.

         16             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Lock the

         18        machine and announce the vote.

         19             READING CLERK:  Twenty-two yeas, 13 yeas,

         20        Mr. Chairman.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By the barest of margins you have

         22        sent this forward for grouping to Style and Drafting.

         23             It is now time for lunch.  I want to tell you,

         24        though, we have lunch in the back in the lounge.  So we

         25        are going to cut our lunchtime and we are going to do 30


  


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          1        minutes for lunch.  And I will entertain a motion that we

          2        recess for lunch and it is in the members' lounge.  And

          3        the chamber will be secured.  The chamber will be secured.

          4        So you may leave everything where it is.

          5             (Lunch recess.)

          6             (Session recessed at 12:05 p.m., to be continued in

          7   Volume 2.)

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          1                             CERTIFICATE

          2

          3   STATE OF FLORIDA:

          4   COUNTY OF LEON:

          5
                        WE, JULIE L. DOHERTY, and MONA L. WHIDDON, Court
          6   Reporters, certify that we were authorized to and did
              stenographically report the foregoing proceedings and that the
          7   transcript is a true and complete record of our stenographic
              notes.
          8

          9             DATED this ______ day of ____________, 1998.

         10

         11
                                 _________________________________
         12                      JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR

         13

         14

         15                      _________________________________
                                 MONA L. WHIDDON
         16                      Court Reporters
                                 Division of Administrative Hearings
         17                      1230 Apalachee Parkway
                                 Tallahassee, Florida  32399-3060
         18                      (850) 488-9675  Suncom 278-9675
                                 Fax Filing (850) 921-6847
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