State Seal Calendar

Meeting Proceedings for March 17, Part II (File size=449K)





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          1                          STATE OF FLORIDA
                             CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION
          2

          3

          4

          5
                                    COMMISSION MEETING
          6

          7

          8                            VOLUME 2 OF 2

          9

         10   DATE:                   March 17, 1998

         11   TIME:                   Commenced at 1:00 p.m.
                                      Concluded at 6:35 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
         18

         19

         20

         21

         22

         23

         24

         25


  


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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             (Quorum taken and recorded electronically.)  

          3             SECRETARY BLANTON:  Quorum call, quorum call.  All

          4        commissioners, indicate your presence.  All commissioners,

          5        indicate your presence.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  We have got to get going

          7        here.

          8             SECRETARY BLANTON:  Quorum call, quorum call.  All

          9        commissioners, indicate your presence.  A quorum present,

         10        Mr. Chairman.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  If we'll come to

         12        order, please.  All right.  I was hoping Commissioner

         13        Connor would be here because he was going to handle the

         14        next proposal.  Commissioner Riley.

         15             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  If I may have a moment of

         16        personal privilege, Mr. Chairman.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Certainly.

         18             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I would like to take just a

         19        second and this opportunity to introduce my husband, Odin

         20        Toness, sitting in the front row there, who was finally

         21        able to come with me.

         22             (Applause.)

         23             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Thank you.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Would you tell us whether he was

         25        for men and women alike?


  


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          1             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  He is for whatever I am for,

          2        Mr. Chairman.

          3             (Laughter.)

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He is a wise man.  We all admire

          5        his intelligence and good judgment.

          6             Commissioner Connor, the next proposal is Committee

          7        Substitute for Proposal 16 by the Committee on Ethics,

          8        myself, and you were co-introducer.  And rather than me

          9        leave the chair, I was going to ask you to present it.

         10        But we'll read it first and proceed from there.  This is

         11        Proposal No. 16, please read.

         12             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

         13        No. 16, Article VI, Section 7, Florida Constitution, and

         14        Article XII, Section 23, Florida Constitution; providing

         15        for public financing of campaigns for elective statewide

         16        office and for spending limits.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And there is an Amendment No. 1

         18        on the table by the Style and Drafting Committee,

         19        Commissioner Mills.  Commissioner Lowndes will handle

         20        that.

         21             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Just to clarify, did you call

         22        for five hands, sir?

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  No, I didn't.  Five hands.  We

         24        got it.

         25             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Thank you.


  


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          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you.

          2             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  The only change Style and

          3        Drafting has come up with is a change in the last sentence

          4        of the proposal, and it's simply a matter of

          5        clarification.  The last sentence deals with protecting

          6        those people who use public funds, to the same extent they

          7        are currently protected under the existing law.  And the

          8        last sentence, as was originally drafted, said that they

          9        were protecting people who agreed to spending limits.  And

         10        the Style and Drafting Committee felt it was more correct

         11        to say we were protecting the people who used public

         12        funds.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  All in favor of the

         14        amendment, say aye; opposed?

         15             (Verbal vote taken.)

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment is adopted.  We are

         17        now then on Proposal No. 16, as amended by Style and

         18        Drafting's suggestion.  And, Commissioner Connor, you are

         19        recognized to present this proposal.

         20             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We read it.  We started to read

         22        it.  Read the amendment first that we just adopted.

         23             READING CLERK:  By Committee on Style and Drafting,

         24        on Page 1, Line 24, strike "has agreed to spending limits"

         25        and insert "uses public funds."


  


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          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  That has been adopted.

          2        Now, Commissioner Connor.

          3             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          4        Ladies and gentlemen, I was very, very disturbed to read

          5        an article in the newspaper a week or so ago about the

          6        tort reform debate in which a leader of my party made the

          7        statement to this effect:  We promised business that if

          8        they voted for our folks this go-around, then we would

          9        pass this tort reform legislation.

         10             Now, ladies and gentlemen, even Vernon Jordan

         11        understands that one shouldn't get a quid pro quo.  And

         12        yet the statement that was made in the newspaper about the

         13        tort reform issue very simply was that if you vote for

         14        this, we promise you we will give you that.  Now that is a

         15        classic quid pro quo.

         16             In other words, if a special interest group will

         17        support one group of candidates for a particular party,

         18        then in exchange for that support, having made that

         19        investment, they get a return on that investment by

         20        stripping somebody else's rights from them.  Now we all

         21        know, those of us who have been exposed to government,

         22        know that this kind of thing goes on all of the time.

         23        Although it's usually not acknowledged with that kind of

         24        forthrightness.  But the effect is the same.

         25             The effect is to strip the public of confidence in


  


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          1        the process.  And because ordinary people believe that if

          2        they aren't heavy hitters in the financial arena, that

          3        they don't have a voice.  That if they aren't prepared to

          4        pony up with a check, that they are effectively

          5        disenfranchised.  The only thing that I regret about this

          6        proposal is that it doesn't go far enough to apply to the

          7        Legislature.  It just limits it to statewide offices.  So

          8        in that respect, it is a very modest proposal.

          9             But, frankly, Mr. Chairman and I want to be political

         10        realists, and we know that at this point we don't have the

         11        votes to expand the protection of the public in this

         12        regard.  I just want to encourage you in the strongest

         13        terms to give the people a chance to say by their vote on

         14        this constitutional provision that given the choice, we

         15        prefer to use public finances to promote the public

         16        interest in preference to special interest money to

         17        promote special interests.

         18             Because, ladies and gentlemen, as the tort reform

         19        debate illustrates, in return for that investment in a

         20        political campaign, what's typically being traded off is

         21        other people's rights or other people's money.  Because

         22        those who invest in political campaigns are doing so as a

         23        cost of doing business, expecting that if they ride the

         24        right horse to office, they are going to get a return on

         25        that political investment.  And typically it's going to


  


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          1        come from the public treasury, whether it's in the form of

          2        tax relief or special interest legislation or whatnot.

          3             I urge you to support this important proposal to

          4        restore public confidence in the electoral process.  Thank

          5        you.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills is next and

          7        then Commissioner Wetherington.

          8             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, in support,

          9        democracy is not only for the rich.  In Florida, if you

         10        are running for statewide office, you had either better be

         11        rich or know a lot of rich people.  We have had very, very

         12        positive experiences with General Milligan, who used

         13        public financing, the Governor, who used public financing.

         14        This simply is an honesty provision.

         15             I agree with Commissioner Connor.  If we would make a

         16        good investment of public funds, it would be to remove the

         17        influence of so many special interest groups from the

         18        electoral process.  This is a good start.  Actually, I

         19        think Commissioner Thompson, when he was Speaker, started

         20        this out for statewide offices.

         21             It is a good idea from a bipartisan point of view.

         22        It keeps democracy available in a statewide sense -- and

         23        this state is as big as many countries -- to people who

         24        have the capacity to run for office, but maybe not the

         25        checkbook.


  


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          1             This is an important, consistent electoral proposal

          2        with the rest of our electoral proposals, all of which are

          3        about open access to the process.  Access to the process

          4        isn't enough if you don't have the finances, and this

          5        makes it publicly available.  I encourage your support.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  There is an amendment on the

          7        table by Commissioner Langley.  I'll recognize you and you

          8        can move the amendment and I'll ask them to read the

          9        amendment and you move it.  Would you read the amendment,

         10        please?

         11             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Langley, on Page 1,

         12        Line 21, delete "sufficient."

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  As I understand it,

         14        you are just striking the word "sufficient."

         15             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Yes, because of its -- and,

         16        Members, because of its ambiguity.  I don't know what

         17        sufficient means and I don't want the Supreme Court to

         18        have to decide what sufficient means.  If we just put the

         19        funding in there, then the funding will have to fit the

         20        laws on spending limits and everything else.  I meant to

         21        talk to Commissioner Connor about it before I did it.  Do

         22        you have any objection to that?

         23             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I don't.  The only concern I

         24        have, candidly, is that if we delete "sufficient" and

         25        somebody comes back and reads these proceedings and they


  


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          1        say, Well, they deleted language that intended for it to

          2        be sufficient, so it must have meant insufficient.

          3             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  That's not the intent.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I introduced it and I think it

          5        probably makes it constitutionally better language because

          6        it says they shall do it.  I don't think the word

          7        "sufficient" necessarily adds anything as long as it's

          8        understood it's not taking anything away to take it out.

          9        Now, Commissioner Wetherington.

         10             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  I'll just mention on

         11        that, sufficient is obviously implied.  If it's implied,

         12        why not leave it there?

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I don't think it really makes

         14        much difference to me personally, but I'm not going to

         15        enter the debate at this point.  All in favor of the

         16        amendment, say aye; opposed?

         17             (Verbal vote taken.)

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment carries.  Now, as

         19        amended, we are on the Proposal No. 16.  Any further

         20        debate on No. 16?  Commissioner Thompson, you spoke before

         21        I think.  Commissioner Wetherington.

         22             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Question.  Commissioner

         23        Connor, could you just explain to us how it works?

         24             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Yes, sir.  Under the current

         25        system, in order to qualify for public campaign financing,


  


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          1        a candidate has to demonstrate that they have a certain

          2        amount of traction and a certain amount of critical mass

          3        in the marketplace, in the political marketplace.  Once

          4        they cross that threshold and demonstrate that they have

          5        that traction, then they may get matching funds from the

          6        state for contributions made by individuals to that

          7        campaign up to $250.

          8             And then that -- those contributions, ultimately,

          9        have a certain limit.  In other words, you can't get

         10        beyond a certain amount.  So, it's not unlimited

         11        financing.  And under this proposal, that methodology, as

         12        I understand it, will continue to be carried forward,

         13        unless there were some kind of change in the future.  But

         14        it points out that general law implementing this paragraph

         15        shall be at least as protective of effective competition

         16        by a candidate who has agreed to spending limits as the

         17        general law in effect January 1, 1998.

         18             So the present law and the present system would wind

         19        up being the floor, if you will, for public financing.

         20        The Legislature, by general law, could make more -- could

         21        provide different provisions in the future, but not less

         22        than the provisions that they currently have.  Does

         23        that --

         24             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Yes.  Why do we need it?

         25             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  We need it because the public


  


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          1        has lost confidence in the electoral process.

          2             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  How will this help

          3        restore the public confidence is what I'm trying to get

          4        at.

          5             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Because, in my estimation, what

          6        this does is it helps level the playing field.  It does

          7        exactly what Commissioner Mills indicated.  One, it

          8        doesn't mean that you have to be a rich person or have a

          9        lot of rich friends to run for public office.

         10             And the general public, the people who aren't rich,

         11        which is most of the folks here in the state of Florida,

         12        feel, and I think properly so, that their voice has been

         13        diluted by virtue of their inability to contribute

         14        financially to the same extent as those who have special

         15        interest money to support political candidates.  And so

         16        they have become cynical, withdrawn and apathetic,

         17        believing in many respects that their vote doesn't make a

         18        difference, because really it is a vote plus money is what

         19        it takes to make it in today's political arena.

         20             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Thank you.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is there any further debate?

         22        Commissioner Langley as an opponent.

         23             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  This sounds like a great idea

         24        and it is another curative measure that's going to make

         25        everything fair and just and honest.  The problem is


  


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          1        people are involved.

          2             And the problem that I see with it is that there are

          3        people that don't really like any politicians.  Even when

          4        you ran for governor, believe it or not, Kenny, there were

          5        people that did not like you, and they don't want to

          6        contribute to your campaign.  And there are people out

          7        there that run for office that have some ideas that are so

          8        controversial and so much in opposition to what a person's

          9        principles may be, now you are going to tax those people

         10        and give it to politicians.

         11             Many of them are just out there as gadflies, just

         12        running.  And yet we are going to make people who have no

         13        interest in politics, who can't afford to pay the taxes

         14        they pay, this money, folks, is real money.  It's not

         15        Monopoly money and it's not Scotty's money, it's real

         16        money that is being taxed to give to politicians, much of

         17        which is wasted in campaigns, if you have ever run one.

         18        And it's just not right to make people participate in

         19        somebody's campaign that is running on issues that are

         20        absolutely contrary to their beliefs.

         21             It's worked for 100 years.  It's not perfect.  Do you

         22        think this cures this problem?  Do you think the amendment

         23        sounds good?  So the big law firm of Mr. Lowndes with 85

         24        law partners says, hey, guys, send Kenny Connor $100

         25        apiece and they will match it.  We just doubled our


  


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          1        contributions.  Or the labor union does the same thing, or

          2        the real estate office with 400 employees.  Hey, guys,

          3        that guy is all for real estate, send him $200 apiece and

          4        the government will match it and give him $200 more.

          5             It doesn't cure anything.  It is a step in the wrong

          6        direction.  It is working, it isn't perfect, but it is the

          7        best in the world.  Why are we going to mess with it?

          8             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  Commissioners, I rise in

          9        opposition to this proposal for some of the same reasons

         10        that I gave before, of course, but I have to differ with

         11        our good friend Mr. Connor and -- Commissioner Connor.

         12             You know, 30 years ago in the legislative body of

         13        this state, it was comprised of 60 percent, or excess, of

         14        lawyers.  A decade ago, lawyers made up 44 percent of the

         15        legislative body in the state of Florida.  Currently it's

         16        27 percent.  That doesn't say that lawyers shouldn't be in

         17        the Legislature.  I'm only showing you that that's how

         18        it's changed in the last 25 years.

         19             And so today we are not electing people to the Senate

         20        and the House of Representatives in our Legislature

         21        because of, quote, any monies that are out there, they are

         22        running in their local communities.  Now the same thing is

         23        in a statewide basis.

         24             I -- you know, it's amazing, we have said in this

         25        body a number of times, if anyone was to say how everyone


  


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          1        was going to vote in here, none of us know how anyone is

          2        going to vote on these issues.  That's our strength, and

          3        not our weakness.

          4             But I just think this is wrong.  I believe that we

          5        should not have public financing.  I'm opposed to, on the

          6        federal tax bill where you can just have, you know, one

          7        dollar, checked off.  I've never checked off that one

          8        dollar and I don't plan on checking it off.  And I don't

          9        think we need to have public financing in our state.  It's

         10        wrong, it's not -- it's, as Commissioner Langley said,

         11        it's worked for several hundred years, I would hope we

         12        wouldn't change this system.  I would urge you to vote

         13        against this proposal.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Smith.

         15             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I rise

         16        to support this proposal.  Please remember that this

         17        government was established by the aristocracy of this

         18        country.  The Declaration of Independence was written by

         19        the wealthy, wealthy white men who said they pledge their

         20        lives and their fortunes.

         21             One of the reasons, Commissioner Langley, that this

         22        nation is so great is because it refuses to remain static.

         23        It is alive, it's vibrant, not only constitutionally but

         24        legislatively.  Who would have thought just a few years

         25        ago issues like flextime, issues like working women having


  


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          1        time off to care for their children?  People said, We

          2        don't need to deal with this issue, we have been doing it

          3        this way for 200 years.  We have to be flexible.

          4             Your ability to serve your state, to serve your

          5        county, to serve your city should not be dependent upon

          6        the balance in your checkbook.  We need to level the

          7        playing field.  I really respect those of you who say, I

          8        don't want my money to go for a particular candidate, but

          9        all of our tax dollars go to people or institutions or

         10        organizations we don't like, in terms of subsidies, in

         11        terms of who gets the tax breaks, in terms of a whole lot

         12        of issues.

         13             So this is not some new system that we are setting up

         14        where our tax dollars are going to possibly candidates we

         15        don't like.  What we are doing is we are saying after 200

         16        years of necessarily, by the way we have established

         17        things, kind of limited the access to public service.  Not

         18        to public service, I take that back, to public office --

         19        because everybody can serve.  Limiting or marginalizing

         20        the ability of people who are working-class people to

         21        participate in politics, to participate in public office,

         22        and thereby serve in public service.

         23             The time for that should end.  Is this a panacea?

         24        Almost nothing that we are doing here is a panacea.  What

         25        we are trying to do in this relay race of justice is to do


  


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          1        our share to move our state one step further toward making

          2        equal opportunity for all available, whether it is in the

          3        area of education, whether it's in the area of

          4        environment, or whether it is in the area of public office

          5        holding.

          6             And so while I share the concerns of the

          7        commissioners who have risen to say they don't want their

          8        money going to a particular candidate, I'm proud to

          9        support this because I really think that working people

         10        from my community and working people from your community

         11        will have a better chance to step forward and serve and

         12        not just allow service to public office holding to be for

         13        the aristocracy.  Thank you.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Corr.

         15             COMMISSIONER CORR:  Thank you.  Just a quick question

         16        for Commissioner Connor.  Commission Connor, could this be

         17        done without this amendment to the Constitution?

         18             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  It can be done.

         19             COMMISSIONER CORR:  Okay.  And it is an existing law,

         20        already, right?

         21             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  There is an existing law on

         22        public financing, which is -- the vitality of which is in

         23        jeopardy.

         24             COMMISSIONER CORR:  To clarify now and to speak in

         25        opposition.  Two reasons to vote against this.  The first


  


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          1        one is that it is already law.  It can already be done,

          2        it's already been done in previous campaigns in the

          3        Legislature.  Bob Milligan keeps being used as an example

          4        of that.  So that is the first reason to vote against it.

          5             The second reason is that this is the wrong kind of

          6        reform, if you can even call it reform.  I think

          7        Commissioner Langley said it best.  What this does, it

          8        doesn't limit the contributions or the interests of those

          9        special interests and lobbyists, et cetera.  All it does

         10        is just add taxpayers' money to the mix.  All it does is

         11        add more money, it doesn't limit spending like the title

         12        claims that it does.

         13             So this would be one more in a series of, quote,

         14        reform proposals about campaign financing that are brought

         15        forth to the public.  Year by year we hear about reform on

         16        a federal level, on a state level, but it's always the

         17        same.  I agree as much as anybody on this commission, but

         18        one of the greatest concerns we have in this process is

         19        the way elections and campaigns are controlled by the

         20        interests of those that hover around these lobbies out

         21        here; whatever you want to call them, special interests or

         22        whatnot.  That's one of the greatest concerns we have.

         23             I'm always baffled by how the public doesn't seem to

         24        understand that and doesn't seem to rally around issues

         25        like that.  But for some reason, no change ever gets made.


  


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          1             So this starts to sound right, but it really does

          2        nothing in the final analysis other than just add

          3        taxpayers' money to the mix.  I think it just is going to

          4        add to the problem, make it even worse in the final

          5        analysis.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further debate?

          7        Commissioner Connor, if you would like me to, I would take

          8        the floor on this since I introduced it.

          9             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  That would be fine.  I'd be

         10        proud for you to close, Mr. Chairman.

         11             (Commissioner Thompson assumes the Chair.)

         12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Douglass to

         13        close.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I have

         15        heard the debate, I have heard it over and over.  Those

         16        that want money to run government oppose public financing,

         17        they oppose any reform in campaign contributions.  Those

         18        who are committed to the vested interests running our

         19        country, running our state take that position.  That's not

         20        to say that they are not sincere or that they have

         21        deep-seated convictions that are not rooted in the greed

         22        that is apparent in some of the people that invest in our

         23        political process.

         24             But it is to say that if we want to do something to

         25        allow the people to vote on it, this is the only vehicle.


  


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          1        This is the only vehicle.  They cannot vote on what's

          2        before the Legislature.  They cannot vote in that body

          3        where so many interests have verged with financial

          4        investments.  But they have to do it with the people.

          5             And I see nothing wrong with submitting this to the

          6        people for including it in their Constitution as a

          7        requirement that this be done in these elections.  I agree

          8        with Commissioner Connor, it would be better if we could

          9        apply it to all elections.  It would certainly go a long

         10        way to clean the public's view of what's happening.  The

         11        big threat to our form of government today is the concept

         12        of our citizens that our political leaders are not free

         13        agents and are not agents of the people.  I know that most

         14        of them are, but the concept is they are not.

         15             Therefore, I think it only appropriate that we afford

         16        the opportunity to people to vote on this.  And there was

         17        another person who was elected with public financing that

         18        everybody forgets and that's Commissioner Brogan, along

         19        with Commissioner Milligan.  And Commissioner Milligan, of

         20        course, never would have won without it.

         21             And all you do is you say, I'm going to comply with

         22        the spending limits.  And the other fellow says, okay, go

         23        ahead.  And the other guy says, I'm not going to comply.

         24        The person that does comply is afforded public financing

         25        beyond the amount set, which is $500,000 at the current


  


                                                                          144

          1        time in the governor's race.

          2             So I think that if we really want to be a commission

          3        that's remembered as thinking about the people, as

          4        Commissioner Smith so adequately put it, then we should

          5        vote yes on this and allow it to go to the ballot next

          6        November.  Thank you very much.

          7             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The gentleman having closed,

          8        the question recurs on the adoption of Proposal No. 16.

          9        The Secretary will unlock the machine and the members will

         10        proceed to vote.  All members voting.

         11             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The Secretary will lock the

         13        machine and count the vote.

         14             READING CLERK:  Twenty-four yeas, 12 nays,

         15        Mr. Chairman.

         16             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  So the measure goes to Style

         17        and Drafting for future reference.  Take up and read

         18        Proposal No. 79.

         19             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

         20        No. 79, Article VI, Section 1, Florida Constitution;

         21        providing that requirements for placing the name of a

         22        candidate with no party affiliation or minor party

         23        candidate on an election ballot must not be greater than

         24        the requirements for major party candidates.

         25             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Commissioner Riley, is


  


                                                                          145

          1        this your proposal?  All right.  There is a Style and

          2        Drafting amendment.  Would you read the Style and Drafting

          3        amendment, please?

          4             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

          5        Drafting, on Page 1, Lines 20-25, strike the underlined

          6        and insert: "however, the requirements for a candidate

          7        with no party affiliation, or for a candidate of a minor

          8        party, for placement of the candidate's name on the ballot

          9        shall be no greater than the requirements for a candidate

         10        of the party having the largest number of registered

         11        voters."

         12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Show me five hands

         13        right quick so we can get to the Style and Drafting

         14        amendment.  Thank you.  Commissioner Lowndes to explain

         15        the Style and Drafting amendment.

         16             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  The Style and Drafting

         17        amendment simply changed several prepositions.  They

         18        changed some "of" to "for" and some "from" to "of."  And

         19        they changed the word "shall" -- changed the word "must"

         20        to "shall," feeling that shall was the better language in

         21        the Constitution.  It does not change the meaning or

         22        there's nothing substantive with respect to it.  They're

         23        purely grammatical changes.

         24             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Debate or questions on the

         25        amendment?  Debate or questions on the amendment?  Hearing


  


                                                                          146

          1        none, all those in favor of the amendment say aye; those

          2        opposed, say no.

          3             (Verbal vote taken.)

          4             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Show the amendment adopted.

          5        Now we are on the proposal as amended.  Is there debate on

          6        the proposal as amended?  Commissioner Riley, you are

          7        recognized to close.

          8             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I can open and close very

          9        quickly.  This has been unanimously voted on.  I would

         10        sincerely hope that there's not much that I can say that

         11        can increase that number.  So therefore I will remind you

         12        that Florida has the most restrictive ballot access laws

         13        in the nation, and this is our one opportunity to fix it.

         14        And sincerely hope that we all continue to support the

         15        idea of doing so.  Thank you.

         16             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The lady having closed, the

         17        question recurs on adoption of Proposal No. 79.  The

         18        Secretary will open the machine and the members will

         19        proceed to vote.  All members voting.

         20             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         21             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  All members voted.  The

         22        Secretary will lock the machine and announce the vote.

         23             READING CLERK:  Thirty-three yeas, zero nays, Mr.

         24        Chairman.

         25             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  And so the proposal goes to


  


                                                                          147

          1        Style and Drafting.  Take up and read Proposal 128 by

          2        Commissioner Ford-Coates.

          3             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 128, Article VI, Section

          4        5 of the Florida Constitution; providing for primary

          5        elections.

          6             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Ford-Coates, you

          7        are recognized to explain.  Is there an amendment on Style

          8        and Drafting?  Need five hands.  Seeing five hands, we are

          9        on this measure.

         10             Is there an amendment on the desk?

         11             READING CLERK:  Amendment on the desk, Mr. Chairman.

         12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Read the amendment.

         13             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

         14        Drafting, on Page 1, Line 8, strike everything after the

         15        proposing clause and insert:  Section 1.  Section 5 of

         16        Article VI of the Florida Constitution as revised by

         17        amending that section to insert lengthy amendment.

         18             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Who is going to explain that?

         19        Commissioner Ford-Coates, you are recognized.

         20             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Commissioners, this

         21        amendment merely states more clearly what we intended to

         22        do by this primary reform package.  The new wording says,

         23        If all candidates for an office have the same party

         24        affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the

         25        general election, all qualified electors, regardless of


  


                                                                          148

          1        party affiliation, may vote in the primary elections for

          2        that office.  I think it's fairly self-explanatory.

          3             (Chairman Douglass resumes the Chair.)

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  On the amendment, Commissioner

          5        Langley.

          6             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  If you want to go ahead and

          7        adopt the amendment, I'll speak on the bill.  Either one.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think we are on the amendment

          9        at the moment; aren't we?  Any discussion on the amendment

         10        or debate?  If not, all in favor of the amendment say aye;

         11        opposed?

         12             (Verbal vote taken.)

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries.  Now we are on the

         14        proposal.  The proponent of the proposal was Commissioner

         15        Ford-Coates and you may proceed.

         16             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Thank you, Commissioner.

         17        I first of all want to thank Commissioner Mills for

         18        working with me on this initial proposal.  I appreciated

         19        his help.

         20             Commissioners, Proposal 128 returns to the people the

         21        simple right to vote for their elected officials.  Our

         22        Constitution states, quite clearly, that there shall be a

         23        general election to select our public officials.  The

         24        reality is that many times the public official is selected

         25        in the primary because no one else has filed from another


  


                                                                          149

          1        party or as an independent.  That means that only a

          2        fraction of the public selects the public official.

          3             In Pinellas County in 1996 more than 57 percent of

          4        the electorate could not vote for their school board, tax

          5        collector or clerk of circuit court.  That's over half the

          6        voters who had no opportunity to vote on these important

          7        officials.  Every public official should be acting in the

          8        best interests of all their constituents and should be

          9        elected by all their constituents.  This proposal will

         10        return the vote to all the electors.

         11             I would point out that you have on your desk several

         12        articles and editorials that have appeared around the

         13        state on this issue.  And one in particular, a Sarasota 

         14        Herald Tribune, was written last Saturday.  And that

         15        newspaper asked people to call my office and let me know

         16        how they felt about this proposal.  I want you to know in

         17        that 24-hour period after this came out, of course we

         18        weren't taking phone calls until Monday, we received over

         19        150 calls, faxes and letters delivered in support of this

         20        proposal in that very short period of time.

         21             This is something that appeals to the average man or

         22        woman on the street.  They want to be able to vote for

         23        their public officials.  It is time to return the

         24        franchise to those people.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Lowndes.


  


                                                                          150

          1             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Yes, I would like to speak in

          2        favor of this proposal.  You know, we just passed

          3        unanimously a ballot access proposal.  This is really

          4        ballot access, it really is affording more people the

          5        right to vote.  And my sense is we passed the last one

          6        unanimously, we should pass this one unanimously.  Because

          7        we are really giving more people the right to vote by

          8        doing this.  Thank you.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Langley and then

         10        Commissioner Barkdull.

         11             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  I rise in opposition.  I don't

         12        particularly like party politics, and you know, it's kind

         13        of ugly sometimes, but it works.  And it is a mechanism

         14        that is set up from the very committee level to promote

         15        anti-interest people and to promote a philosophy.  And

         16        between the parties, there are philosophical differences,

         17        including the Libertarians or any other parties that may

         18        come up.

         19             But it's easy to see the problems with this proposal.

         20        You have a county -- well, you know, when I first ran in

         21        Lake County, the Republican registration was 28 percent.

         22        And I still won, somehow.  They didn't know me that well

         23        then.  You know, it's still possible to do that.  The

         24        registration now in Lake County is 63 percent Republican.

         25             When I first ran -- I'll tell you-all a secret not


  


                                                                          151

          1        many people know.  When I came back from Korea in 19, that

          2        was this century, in 1957 --

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The war was over.

          4             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  I know that, I was in

          5        occupation.  You-all made such a mess over there that we

          6        had to clean it up.

          7             But anyway, I came back and I had turned 21, and my

          8        dad took me up to the county registrar's office, a lady

          9        named Catherine Baker, she had been there for about 30

         10        years.  And I said I want to register Republican because I

         11        had known General Eisenhower and I thought he was great.

         12        Son, there ain't no use registering Republican in Lake

         13        County, you would never get to vote.  And so I registered

         14        Democrat.  Not for long, not for long.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is it true confessions time?

         16             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Yes, but it makes a point.  It

         17        is like the little puppies, at 10 days my eyes were opened

         18        and then I went back to register Republican.  Be that as

         19        it may, Republicans didn't win many elections in those

         20        days, but the philosophy of the Republican party developed

         21        and caught the pleasure and the attraction of the middle

         22        class people and we built a party in this state.  And we

         23        are still building a party in this state.

         24             And now you want to destroy the party system.  Give

         25        ole' Slick Willie credit, he captured the middle, you


  


                                                                          152

          1        know, no strong Democrat and no strong Republican vote in

          2        this country in 1996.  He appealed to them.  And that's

          3        all well and good.  What I'm saying is don't destroy the

          4        party system.  And in doing this, you are destroying the

          5        party system.

          6             Scenario:  I'm running for Republican nomination,

          7        have a record as a conservative, Democrats put up a

          8        liberal Republican whom I could beat hands down in any

          9        other election, but in the primary, all of the Democrats

         10        in the county run out and vote for the liberal Republican.

         11        Now what is the party philosophy?  It's destroyed.

         12             And that can happen the other way in Democratic

         13        counties where the Republicans would put up a

         14        conservative, very conservative Democrat and run out in

         15        the Democratic primary, where there's very little turnout,

         16        and vote in the conservative Democrat and destroy the

         17        liberal bent of the Democratic party in that county.

         18             You know, it's working like it is, again, and I

         19        implore you that this is not a good idea.  If you want to

         20        vote in my primary, Ms. Ford-Coates, we'll let you

         21        register and you can come vote.  Thank you.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barton is next,

         23        followed by Barnett and then Connor.

         24             COMMISSIONER BARTON:  Commissioner Langley has really

         25        stated everything that I was going to state except that I


  


                                                                          153

          1        would remind you that the primaries are a process by which

          2        the party selects their candidates.  And it taints the

          3        process when the people of other parties vote in those

          4        primaries.  I might add, too, I had the same experience in

          5        1965 in Collier County when I went down to register.  I

          6        was a little tougher than you, I registered Republican

          7        anyway.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett is next,

          9        followed by Commissioner Connor.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I would like to speak in

         11        support of this proposal.  The issue to me -- and I have

         12        voted against it consistently.  I voted against this

         13        proposal consistently, but I have been worrying and

         14        thinking about it and I want to tell you why I now believe

         15        that we should support it.

         16             And it hasn't got, to me, anything to do with

         17        Democrats or Republicans.  I was born a Democrat, I'll

         18        probably die a Democrat, but I vote often for Republicans

         19        and I raised a Republican.  My son is a Republican.

         20             (Laughter.)

         21             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  But to me, it is not about

         22        party politics.  Since I've been registered to vote, I

         23        have only missed voting in one or two elections,

         24        regardless of what it was.  To me, the right to vote, the

         25        privilege to vote in this country is one of the great


  


                                                                          154

          1        privileges we have in a free society.  And I honor it and

          2        I do my best to participate in the process.

          3             And I have become convinced that Commissioner

          4        Ford-Coates is right, that many, many times we are faced

          5        with a situation, usually in local political issues, very

          6        local races where many people cannot exercise that right

          7        to vote.  Too few people in this country today exercise

          8        the privilege to vote for their elected officials.  And if

          9        this proposal in any way encourages more people to go to

         10        the polls, it wouldn't matter to me which party, whether

         11        it's Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian or whatever.

         12        If it encourages people to go out and speak and

         13        participate in the political process, then I think

         14        whatever faults I thought it had are far outweighed by the

         15        benefits of exercising our rights to elect our governing

         16        officials.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Connor.

         18             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Ladies and gentlemen, this

         19        proposal not only enhances voter turnout and participation

         20        of people in elections, it enhances the party system.

         21        Why?  Because you are not required to choose between what

         22        political party you are going to be a member of and

         23        whether or not, on the other hand, you are going to be

         24        able to vote in the election.

         25             And that is the choice, the Hobson's choice, that we


  


                                                                          155

          1        give many voters today.  We say, If you join this

          2        particular political party, then you won't be able to play

          3        a meaningful role in your community in the elections that

          4        take place.  That ought not to be.

          5             Now what this proposal does is it allows people to

          6        join the party that most, most nearly equates with their

          7        own philosophy of principle, and enables them to

          8        participate all the way through, even through the

          9        election, where the primary election is in effect the

         10        general election.  It doesn't force them to join a party

         11        as a matter of convenience, it enables them to join a

         12        party based on conscience because they won't forfeit their

         13        right to vote in the process.

         14             I suggest to you, Mr. Langley, that if this provision

         15        had been in effect for a longer period of time, Florida

         16        would have moved toward Republican dominance long ago,

         17        because the effect would have not been a chilling effect

         18        preventing people from registering Republican because they

         19        gave up their right to vote.

         20             So if you support the party system and you believe

         21        people ought to be aligned and affiliated with parties

         22        that most narrowly mirror their consciences and

         23        convictions, I urge you to support this proposal.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any further debate?  If not, are

         25        you ready to vote?  Oh, excuse me.  Commissioner


  


                                                                          156

          1        Ford-coates, you get to close.

          2             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Thank you, my last chance

          3        on the issue.  Commissioners, let me give you some figures

          4        to illustrate how this proposal will correct the problem

          5        that we face in these so-called primaries.

          6             If you have a voter pool of 100,000 adults, potential

          7        voters, half are registered to vote, you have got 50,000

          8        registered voters.  If, as in Pinellas County, 57 percent

          9        are not members of the majority party, we have 21,500

         10        people who can vote in the primary.  If there's a

         11        50 percent turnout, 10,500 voters, then to win that

         12        primary election all you need is 5,251 votes, that's

         13        50 percent plus one.  5,251 votes in a population of

         14        100,000 people could elect the public officials to serve

         15        that area.

         16             Is that the kind of mandate we want in Florida?  I

         17        submit to you it is not.  We need to do everything we can

         18        to increase voter participation.

         19             In closing, with apologies to a good Republican,

         20        Abraham Lincoln, let me take editorial license with his

         21        good advice about how often you can fool the people and

         22        say to you that today in the state of Florida we have

         23        public officials elected by only some of the voters all of

         24        the time.  And we have public officials in Florida elected

         25        by all of the voters only some of the time.  It is time


  


                                                                          157

          1        that all our officials are elected by all of the voters

          2        all of the time.  Please vote for this good proposal.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We'll unlock the

          4        machine and vote.

          5             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Everybody

          7        has now voted.  There are 37 votes cast.  Lock the machine

          8        and announce the vote.

          9             READING CLERK:  Twenty-five yeas, 12 nays,

         10        Mr. Chairman.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That last little bit did it

         12        there, Commissioner Ford-Coates.  Those statistics won it

         13        over.  That is going to Style and Drafting for grouping.

         14             We now move to Proposal 149 by Commissioner Scott.

         15        Would you read it?

         16             READING CLERK:  Proposal 149, Article IV, Section 5,

         17        Florida Constitution; providing for the candidate for the

         18        office of governor to run without a lieutenant governor

         19        candidate.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  This one passed 28 to 2.

         21        If there's not five hands, it'll be sent to Style and

         22        Drafting.  Not seeing five hands, it's sent to Style and

         23        Drafting.

         24             (Off-the-record comment.)

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  If we don't get five hands


  


                                                                          158

          1        there's no amendment.  It doesn't have one unless -- oh,

          2        Style and Drafting has an amendment?  We still need five

          3        hands, I think.

          4             (Off-the-record comment.)

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Style and Drafting all

          6        raised their hands.  Commissioner Scott, you were doing

          7        good.  Read the amendment, please.

          8             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

          9        Drafting on Page 1, Lines 21-23, strike the underlined

         10        language and insert:  "In primary elections, candidates

         11        for the office of governor may choose to run without a

         12        lieutenant governor candidate."

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  On the amendment.  It is just a

         14        style amendment is all, it doesn't change --

         15             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Yes, Mr. Chairman.  It does not

         16        change the meaning at all.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott is a

         18        proponent.  Do you have any --

         19             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I was not able to get to the

         20        meeting last night, but Style and Drafting appears to me,

         21        instead of saying "all candidates may" it just says

         22        "candidates may."  And the difference would be that they

         23        all wouldn't have to choose to do it.  So it just

         24        clarifies that some may do it.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  So you support the


  


                                                                          159

          1        amendment.  All in favor of the amendment, say aye.

          2        Opposed?

          3             (Verbal vote taken.)

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  As amended, any debate?  If not,

          5        if you're ready to vote, we'll vote.  This is the one that

          6        does away with the need for the governor to choose his

          7        lieutenant governor's candidate in the primaries.  He has

          8        to still do it in the general election.  Commissioner

          9        Barkdull, you rise to a question?

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.  Would Chairman

         11        Mills or whoever from Style and Drafting is handling this

         12        amendment.  As I understand this amendment or the proposal

         13        as it is now amended, we have several candidates running

         14        in a primary for the office of governor, some of them can

         15        select a lieutenant governor and I guess it'll be up to

         16        the Legislature as whether they appear in tandem on the

         17        ballot, and others that don't, which I'm trying to find

         18        out whether that will change the way the ballot language

         19        will be.

         20             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  This exactly tracks the intent

         21        of the original language, which means you just have a

         22        choice.  You can run with or without.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  That's the point I wanted to

         24        be sure that everybody understood, that this is changing

         25        it where some people may make a selection and others may


  


                                                                          160

          1        not.  Now my question is, would they be in tandem, those

          2        that had selected a lieutenant governor, would both names

          3        appear or just the top man?

          4             (Off-the-record comment.)

          5             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Yes, that's exactly right, man

          6        or woman.  That since it, this only authorizes them to run

          7        without it, it would be my interpretation that it would

          8        remain, they would run in tandem on the ballot, if they so

          9        chose.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Then we would have possibly

         11        one pair of candidates, a pair of females running in

         12        tandem and a male running separately.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Only in the primary though.

         14             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  In the primary, correct.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You still have to have in tandem

         16        in the general election.  You shouldn't have said that,

         17        that may appeal to a lot of people, Commissioner Barkdull.

         18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  It makes it an interesting

         19        proposition.  I just wanted to be sure everybody is as

         20        interested --

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think so.  We had a lot of

         22        debate on this and it was adopted, 29 to 2.  If you are

         23        ready to vote we'll proceed to vote on the amendment,

         24        proposal.  Unlock the machine and let's vote.

         25             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)


  


                                                                          161

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

          2        vote.

          3             READING CLERK:  Thirty-one yeas, 2 nays,

          4        Mr. Chairman.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We'll proceed to the

          6        next proposal, which is by Commissioner Marshall, Proposal

          7        No. 158.  Would you read the proposal, please?

          8             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 158, Article IX, Section

          9        4, Florida Constitution; providing for nonpartisan school

         10        board elections.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are there any amendments?

         12             READING CLERK:  None on the desk.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  None on the desk.  Now do we have

         14        five hands to revisit this?  It only got 21, but we still

         15        have to have five hands to vote on it again.  We have five

         16        hands.  It only got 21 votes, but we still have to bring

         17        it up.

         18             Commissioner Marshall is the proposer and you are

         19        recognized, Commissioner Marshall.

         20             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

         21        Commissioners.  I do believe in partisan politics, I

         22        believe political parties and public policy are

         23        strengthened by active participation in partisanship in

         24        elections.  I think that helps to strengthen public

         25        policy, sharpens the debate, the contrast between


  


                                                                          162

          1        different political philosophies.  But I think there are a

          2        few occasions when public offices, officers' civic duty is

          3        burdened by partisanship, and I think this is one of

          4        those.

          5             I think school board members can function more

          6        effectively, carry out their duties more faithfully if

          7        they are elected in nonpartisan elections.  I ask you for

          8        a moment to think about the issues, the most prominent,

          9        the most widely debated and discussed issues that school

         10        board members are likely to take up.  They would include,

         11        for example, the establishment of school attendance zones.

         12        There's a major article in this morning's Tallahassee 

         13        Democrat about the controversy that's in this community

         14        over the assignment of students to particular zones within

         15        the district.

         16             Another issue would be teacher compensation, an issue

         17        that school board members are burdened with that ought not

         18        to be a matter of political consideration.  Another would

         19        be discipline of students, expelling students for

         20        misbehavior.  Another common issue would be the selection

         21        of school sites when new school buildings are to be

         22        constructed.

         23             The pernicious effects of making politicians into

         24        those who set school board policy, who determine policy

         25        for the school board, in other words, school board


  


                                                                          163

          1        members, I think, imposes on them a burden we ought not to

          2        ask them to carry.

          3             If an elected school board member, elected in a

          4        partisan campaign, has to answer to the electors on such

          5        issues as those I've just mentioned; the disciplining of

          6        students, zoning, the selection of school board sites, I

          7        think that imposes on those school board members a burden

          8        that they ought not have to carry, and in many cases do

          9        not want to carry.

         10             A few minutes ago, Commissioner Langley -- is he

         11        still in the room?

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He's here.

         13             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  A few minutes ago

         14        Commissioner Langley made the following statement and I

         15        thought so much of it that I wrote it down.  He said, I

         16        don't like party politics.  And I would like to see the

         17        hands of those who believe that.  He then went into a

         18        discussion of the means by which Commissioner Langley was

         19        elected after he took off the uniform and decided to run

         20        for public office.

         21             I liked the description he gave several weeks ago

         22        when he was attributing a quotation to a legislator from

         23        the Panhandle named Billy Joe Rishe [phonetic], when he

         24        said that Mr. Rishe described his success in politics by

         25        saying, half the stuff my political opponents say about me


  


                                                                          164

          1        isn't true, later he said -- Commissioner Langley, can we

          2        ask you to explain that, please?

          3             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  What he said was, Them folks

          4        back home telling lies about me, and half of them ain't

          5        even true.

          6             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  So I thought it might be

          7        useful to explain Commissioner Langley's partisan views on

          8        public service.

          9             In any case, whether true or not, I believe we impose

         10        a needless burden on school board officers who are elected

         11        on partisan platforms.  And I therefore urge you to vote

         12        in favor of Proposal 158.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any further discussion on

         14        Proposal 158?  Any opponents or proponents on Proposal

         15        158, nonpartisan election of school boards?  If not, we'll

         16        proceed to vote.  Unlock the machine and we'll vote.  If

         17        you are not in the chamber, you better get here.

         18             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, everybody was here.  They

         20        are not here.  They are now here.  Lock the machine and

         21        announce the vote.

         22             READING CLERK:  Twenty-three yeas, 13 nays,

         23        Mr. Chairman.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have sent 158 to

         25        Style and Drafting for inclusion on the ballot.


  


                                                                          165

          1        Incidentally, that changed right at the end there in case

          2        you-all weren't looking.

          3             The next proposal is Committee Substitute for

          4        Proposals 172 and 162 by the Committee on Legislative

          5        Affairs, Article III, and Commissioners Thompson and

          6        Evans-Jones.  Would you read the amendment, please?

          7             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

          8        Nos. 172 and 162, a proposal to repeal Article III,

          9        Section 16, Florida Constitution, relating to legislative

         10        apportionment and create Article II, Section 10, Florida

         11        Constitution; providing for a commission to establish

         12        legislative and congressional districts; providing for the

         13        appointment of members to the commission; requiring that

         14        the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court fill certain

         15        vacancies on the commission; requiring meetings and

         16        records of the commission to be open to the public;

         17        providing certain exceptions; requiring that the

         18        commission file its final report with the Secretary of

         19        State within a specified period; requiring that the

         20        Supreme Court determine the validity of the plans;

         21        providing for the Supreme Court to establish the districts

         22        under specified circumstances; providing for the

         23        assignment of senatorial terms that are shortened as a

         24        result of apportionment; deleting requirements that the

         25        Legislature apportion the state into legislative


  


                                                                          166

          1        districts.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  This is Commissioner

          3        Evans-Jones on the proposal.

          4             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Can we have your

          6        attention please?

          7             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  I'm just briefly going to

          8        go through the steps.  I think most of you have been here

          9        and --

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Excuse me, I didn't ask for the

         11        five hands.  Okay, you have the five hands.  Now, excuse

         12        me for interrupting.

         13             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  That's fine.  I just

         14        briefly want to walk you through the proposal.  How many

         15        commissioners?  There are nine.  The commissioners are

         16        appointed.  The President of the Senate and the Speaker of

         17        the House, and the minority leader of the House and the

         18        minority leader of the Senate will each appoint two

         19        people.  Those eight people will then elect their

         20        chairman.  If they can't decide on a chairman, then the

         21        Supreme Court justice, Chief Justice, would make the

         22        appointment.

         23             Are there any restrictions on who could be on the

         24        commission?  Yes, there are restrictions.  Commissioners

         25        should not be an elected public official, party officer,


  


                                                                          167

          1        lobbyist, legislative employee, congressional employee, or

          2        relative of the Florida Legislature or member of the U.S.

          3        House of Representatives.  Additionally, they would take

          4        an oath not to run or lobby for two years.  And that is a

          5        healthy thing, Commissioners.

          6             Would the commission have standards to go by?  And

          7        this is very, very important.  The commission would be

          8        required to use sensible and fair redistricting standards

          9        in drawing the maps.  Those standards are, and I want you

         10        to really listen to this very closely, shall have equal

         11        population, shall be composed of contiguous territory and

         12        districts shall not be drawn to dilute minority voting

         13        strengths.  And that is extremely important.

         14             Could you challenge this?  Yes.  Would single-member

         15        districts be required?  There would be 120 members of the

         16        House and 40 of the Senate.  Would these meetings be open

         17        to the public?  Yes, they would.  And this is very

         18        important because they have never been noticed before, any

         19        of the meetings.  They are always held very privately.

         20        And I think it's important that the public would be able

         21        to have an input and would know what's going on.

         22             I think another very healthy thing would be the

         23        public hearings that would be required so that people will

         24        be able to give their input as far as to this

         25        reapportionment commission.


  


                                                                          168

          1             I think that there have been a lot of people here who

          2        have been pressured by one thing or another to vote for or

          3        to vote against this.  And I think that you have to

          4        understand that we are not here as Republicans and we are

          5        not here as Democrats.  We are here as citizens of the

          6        Constitution Revision Commission with an obligation to the

          7        citizens of Florida and not to our party.  And I think you

          8        should remember that.

          9             What we are simply trying to do is to have equity in

         10        the process.  You cannot expect a member of the

         11        Legislature not to be tremendously concerned with their

         12        own seat.  That's just a fact of life, whether it be when

         13        the Democrats are in control or whether -- when the

         14        Republicans are in control.  It is unrealistic to think

         15        that they will not use their power.

         16             If you have fairness and equity, I sincerely believe

         17        that the best candidates will win and I think that's very,

         18        very important for the citizens of Florida.  We have

         19        gotten a lot of editorial support throughout the state for

         20        this process.  I think the people are really very confused

         21        about the political process.  They really don't trust the

         22        politics and the politicians.  I think this will be a

         23        wonderful step forward to let them understand that we can

         24        rise above petty partisan politics and that we can do what

         25        is indeed the right thing to do.


  


                                                                          169

          1             I urge you very strongly to try to put your partisan

          2        feelings behind you, to try to remember that you are here

          3        to serve the people of Florida and not necessarily your

          4        particular party.  And I just urge you, plead with you,

          5        please, please vote yes.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Scott,

          7        you rise as an opponent?

          8             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Commissioners, there are a lot

          9        of reasons -- I was commenting to somebody today that one

         10        of the big differences between this commission and the

         11        Legislature is that we only argue these things once.  So

         12        now we have been there two or three times, but I hope you

         13        will give me your attention for a minute.

         14             Diversity.  You know, who is going to know what's

         15        best for Miami or Pensacola or Jacksonville or Tampa?  The

         16        diverse groups that we send here, their geographic and

         17        historical and cultural communities of interest, who best

         18        knows that other than someone who is elected to office?

         19             Equal representation, let's talk about equal

         20        representation for a minute.  This bill would allow four

         21        people to pick all of the memberships and they will be

         22        evenly divided and you can bet that they are going to be

         23        evenly divided party-wise and you can bet that they are

         24        not going to be able to easily select a chairman.

         25             I just think that that -- letting four leaders, and


  


                                                                          170

          1        having been one of them, to pick people, even if you try

          2        to get a diversity, I mean, you could get a diversity by

          3        race, but who knows if the person that may be black or may

          4        be Hispanic is going to know anything about the inner

          5        areas of Jacksonville or the Tampa Bay area or Miami.

          6             Accountability.  The Legislature is accountable.  We

          7        had an experience, it's been discussed by Commissioner

          8        Crenshaw and others, with a 20/20 Senate.  And we had

          9        difficulty with reapportionment and I know Commissioner

         10        Zack was there for that.  But that's passed now.  So that

         11        was one bad experience.  I don't think you should take

         12        this away from the Legislature.

         13             One of the things that I have to say to you that's

         14        different is this, minority districts.  Now I want to tell

         15        you that I don't know if I could qualify as an expert, I

         16        certainly should qualify as an expert client on behalf of

         17        the Florida Legislature and the minority members with the

         18        lawsuits that we've been through.

         19             When we started, and the lawyers in here will

         20        understand, we had the Shaw case and the Miller case and

         21        the Bush case and others.  They have thrown out all the

         22        minority districts in this country.  And the first one

         23        that they upheld -- why did they throw them out, first of

         24        all?  Because they were able to show that race was, that

         25        other considerations were subordinate to race.  That race


  


                                                                          171

          1        was the predominant factor.  Okay.

          2             We went to the federal court in Tampa.  Now that I've

          3        dropped all my papers but I can remember it anyway what

          4        they said because I was there.  What they said was -- this

          5        is the big factor with us is that the Legislature has

          6        approved this, deferring to the Legislature.  They

          7        deferred to the Legislature in these other cases.

          8             Now in our argument in the U.S. Supreme Court, in our

          9        argument in the U.S. Supreme Court, what we said was we

         10        did not make race the predominant factor.  We said that

         11        unlike -- we said that this case does not involve the

         12        critical factor identified in the Shaw and the Bush case.

         13        In both those decisions the court made clear that the key

         14        defect was that race had been the factor that could not be

         15        compromised.

         16             Now you may think, and I know the intentions are

         17        good, that where it's been written into this bill that

         18        there will be minority districts and except for that

         19        requirement, along with a couple of others, then we are

         20        going to have, follow geographic boundaries and so forth.

         21        This is a total -- if you trust me on anything -- a total

         22        setup for a Fourteenth Amendment challenge.  If this is

         23        the law of Florida, and there is a plan enacted under

         24        this, it will clearly be thrown out.  And there will be no

         25        deference to the Legislature.


  


                                                                          172

          1             What we were able to do is say, Look, we have got

          2        this community of interest, and we -- while race is a

          3        factor, it was not the predominant factor.

          4             Now the courts have deferred to the Legislature.  All

          5        of the things we do up here, we could raise taxes, we

          6        could do, double the sales taxes and eliminate all the

          7        tax, all exemptions for services, we could effect -- you

          8        know the saying, all of us that have been here know that

          9        life, liberty and property is in jeopardy when the

         10        Legislature is in session.

         11             We can do all of those things, but now this one thing

         12        that's probably the heart of all of it we are going to

         13        take that away from the people who are elected and give it

         14        to an apportionment board.  I would urge you and I'm very

         15        sympathetic to, I know that Commissioner Evans-Jones has

         16        strong beliefs on this and has for some time, but this is

         17        a serious matter, it will adversely affect the minority

         18        districts.

         19             We now, I went through this before with you, we have

         20        five members of the Senate, let them sit at the table.

         21        Let them sit at the table, even though there are only five

         22        out of 40 or 17 out of whatever in the House, out of 120.

         23        Let them have a chance to say what's best for Jacksonville

         24        and for Tampa and for Miami.

         25             So, you know, this is an idea that, like some others,


  


                                                                          173

          1        that sounds good on its face but it is the heart of

          2        democracy and I would urge you to defeat this proposal.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Sundberg.  Six

          4        minutes used by the opponents, five by the proponents.  Go

          5        ahead, Commissioner Sundberg.

          6             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  In favor of the proposal.  It

          7        has been written that no person is so blind as one who

          8        will not see.  How is it that we are incapable of seeing

          9        what apparently everybody in the state of Florida sees

         10        quite clearly?  In all the public hearings there was

         11        absolute support for this proposal.  I heard, I can recall

         12        no dissenting voice.  Everybody thought it was a good

         13        idea.  The editorial support has been uniformly in favor

         14        of this.  The Sun Sentinel says, Of the six things which

         15        are essential for this commission to address, that one of

         16        that six is this proposal.

         17             The Palm Beach Post says, Redistricting is too

         18        important to be left to active politicians, not

         19        politicians, active politicians.  A Legislature full of

         20        people trying to nail down their jobs or move up to better

         21        ones is of no earthly use to the taxpayers.  How is it

         22        that we cannot put this on the ballot to let the people

         23        out there vote in favor of it?

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Wetherington.  In

         25        favor?


  


                                                                          174

          1             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Yes.  I have great

          2        respect for the Legislature and for legislative process.

          3        One of the hallmarks, however, of proper legislation and

          4        one of the things that is important in all government is

          5        the problem of conflict of interest that we all deal with

          6        and have to deal with on a daily basis.  It seems to me

          7        that there is a very strong and significant conflict of

          8        interest that's built into the legislative decision

          9        concerning the apportionment.

         10             And that this conflict of interest, although you

         11        can't totally eliminate all aspects of conflict of

         12        interest you can always make a case, but basically the

         13        substance of this conflict of interest can be eliminated

         14        by having an independent group who don't have the conflict

         15        of interest make these decisions which will give, to a

         16        great extent, confidence on the part of the public.

         17             Because one thing that's great about a jury, you can

         18        fault the jury system in a lot of ways, but one thing

         19        that's great about the jury system is the feeling that it

         20        is impartial.  And that whether they are right or whether

         21        they are wrong you have got an impartial, you have got a

         22        decision without conflict of interest.  That's one of the

         23        things that we are very careful about eliminating when we

         24        pick a jury.

         25             And I think that that's the major factor here.  It is


  


                                                                          175

          1        not that the Legislature is not very capable and not very

          2        competent, they are extremely capable and very competent.

          3        But this is an area where the appearance and perhaps the

          4        reality of conflict of interest is so substantial that I

          5        think that it overshadows the good work that the

          6        Legislature intends to do.  And we can correct that by

          7        having this well-thought-out proposal adopted.  Thank you

          8        very much.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you.  Commissioner Mathis,

         10        are you an opponent?

         11             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  Opponent.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Beg your pardon?

         13             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  Opponent.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized.

         15             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  I don't want to go back to

         16        backroom deals.  And lofty language offers no security for

         17        me.

         18             The legislative process in doing apportionment

         19        probably isn't pretty, it isn't well thought out, probably

         20        gets a little ugly, but I can elect and have a voice by

         21        putting elected officials who have a voice in that

         22        process.  I am not that comforted by lofty language and

         23        lofty goals.  My grandaddy told me somebody promised him

         24        40 acres and a mule.  That doesn't mean he got it.  Let

         25        those people who are elected represent their constituents


  


                                                                          176

          1        in this reapportionment process.

          2             Conflict of interest, are we going to take that a

          3        step further?  Are we going to say the Legislature has

          4        such a conflict of interest that they can't make their own

          5        rules of procedure?  There is an inherent conflict in that

          6        also but we have delegated to the Legislature certain

          7        powers and responsibilities.  We have certain safeguards

          8        and safety nets if they fail to meet those

          9        responsibilities.  But that does not mean that nine people

         10        are going to be able to do it better than those who have

         11        been elected to serve the constituency of all of Florida.

         12             I am not going to say that there aren't problems, and

         13        there are some in this room that know the problems much

         14        better than I.  But neither are there, are we going to

         15        eliminate all of those problems with nine people.  And to

         16        tell you the truth, I feel safer with the ugly process,

         17        not so pretty, maybe not so well done, but I feel safer

         18        with the diverse body of legislators that Commissioner

         19        Scott referred to making those decisions because a

         20        diversity of Florida is represented at the table.  They

         21        are sitting there and helping to make those decisions.

         22             So I would say that, let's leave this with the

         23        Legislature and let the Legislature reform the process, if

         24        in fact -- I think that's what we heard at the public

         25        hearing that there needs to be some reforms.  But I don't


  


                                                                          177

          1        think that nine people are going to be able to do it any

          2        better than the Legislature.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Zack.

          4             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  With

          5        all due respect, Commissioner, I always prefer a pretty

          6        process, one that's open to the light, one that's ethical

          7        and one that can be seen by everyone who cares to look at

          8        it.

          9             The process of reapportionment is done at 1:00, 2:00

         10        in the morning on computers, with people who have a vested

         11        self-interest in saving their seat.  I believe enlightened

         12        self-interest is one of the great motivating forces in the

         13        world; however, I don't believe it belongs in the

         14        reapportionment process.

         15             In this vote in the final analysis is a vote of

         16        philosophy.  It is a vote to determine whether people who

         17        have a conflict of interest, inherent conflict of

         18        interest, they can't avoid it, should draw those seats or

         19        whether it should be an independent commission that has

         20        public hearings like we had throughout the state, that

         21        gives input from all segments of the state and draws the

         22        best districts possible without regard to the fact of who

         23        might be the opponent in that district.

         24             As I mentioned to you-all before, this process has

         25        become so sophisticated that the information given to the


  


                                                                          178

          1        people drawing those districts will tell you when they

          2        voted, how they voted and what they had for breakfast that

          3        morning, where their opposition lives.

          4             If the group that doesn't like them voted against

          5        them last time, do you think that if an opponent, possible

          6        opponent is going to run, that that district just might

          7        have a little curve to avoid that opponent running in

          8        their district?  Do you think that a pocket of voters who

          9        are opposed to the way a legislator voted might just be

         10        drawn out of that district?  Of course that is what

         11        happens, and will happen unless we have an independent

         12        commission.

         13             I know that the issue regarding whether or not we

         14        have a Fourteenth Amendment challenge is an important

         15        issue, and properly raised.  But what this says is that

         16        that commission may not draw districts in a manner that

         17        dilutes the voting strength of any racial or language

         18        minority group.  That is precisely what the case law says.

         19        That is what DeGrandi [phonetic] stood for, that is what

         20        Shaw stands for, that is what Miller stands for and that

         21        is what the law is.  Whether we're there or not that is

         22        the law of this country.

         23             There will be the same minority districts no matter

         24        which proposal we have.  It is just a question of who

         25        draws the districts.


  


                                                                          179

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner West,

          2        you are an opponent?  You have two minutes.

          3             COMMISSIONER WEST:  Thank you.  I'll -- I certainly

          4        won't take that much time.  I have nothing but the utmost

          5        respect and personal regards for Commissioner Evans-Jones,

          6        tremendously creative.  And in talking with her about this

          7        particular thing, we tried to iron out some differences.

          8        I'll tell you why I oppose it is because it is not the

          9        legislators drawing special districts for themselves, it

         10        is really the people.

         11             I mean, as Commissioner Mathis mentioned, to me the

         12        whole issue is accountability.  Who do those nine people

         13        have to answer to?  They don't have to answer to anybody.

         14        Who do those legislators have to answer to?  They have got

         15        to go up every two years or four years or whatever it is,

         16        they have to go up and get re-elected.

         17             And I would just strongly urge you to realize that as

         18        we go to these public hearings that we have been in, let

         19        me tell you one of the major themes that has been woven in

         20        and out.  And that is the theme of accountability.  If you

         21        were to go to the Floridian public, voting public and ask

         22        them, Do you want to have a say-so or do you want this

         23        commission appointed?  I'm telling you what, you are going

         24        to get a strong backlash.

         25             And, again, I just urge you to vote for


  


                                                                          180

          1        representation where the elected officials are the ones

          2        that are accountable that will be drawing the districts.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Smith,

          4        30 seconds.  All the time is up on both sides.  You have

          5        30 seconds.

          6             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Mr. Chairman, in 30 seconds let

          7        me just say that this has been one of the more troubling

          8        decisions for me because Commissioner Scott and others

          9        have brought up concerns about minority districts.

         10             What I did was I had the staff to give me the debate

         11        on tape that transpired at the time that the opponents of

         12        this proposal were in the minority, and I listened to the

         13        entire debate.  And after listening to the entire debate

         14        and reading the case law, I was convinced by the

         15        then-minority position that this is definitely the right

         16        thing to do.

         17             I think Commissioner Crenshaw and others made a very,

         18        very powerful argument as to why, notwithstanding who was

         19        in the majority, that this matter should be handled by an

         20        independent panel.  And it is not nine commissioners, it

         21        is 17 commissioners.  And I think this will go a long way

         22        toward us giving confidence in the people to our electoral

         23        process.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  To close,

         25        Commissioner Evans-Jones.


  


                                                                          181

          1             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          2        Commissioners, I think this is probably one of the most

          3        important votes that you are going to cast today.  We do

          4        have 17 members and the reason that we increased it was to

          5        answer some of the problems that people wanted more people

          6        who could have diversity.  And I think that will give the

          7        diversity.

          8             And I think the other thing that you have to remember

          9        is if they, if the Legislature had done such a good job,

         10        why did it have to go to the Supreme Court?  They have not

         11        done such an excellent job and we need to recognize that.

         12        I can tell you, Commissioners, that it takes an enormous

         13        amount of the legislators' time during a reapportionment

         14        session.  And everything, everything else takes a complete

         15        backseat.

         16             And why?  Because they are looking after their own

         17        seat, where they are going to run, where they are going to

         18        run in the future.  And if you think for a single second

         19        that it is not going to be a partisan, whether it is the

         20        Democrats or whether it is the Republicans who are in

         21        charge, it is not going to be fair, it is not going to be

         22        equitable.

         23             And I challenge you, I really challenge those of you

         24        who -- I know you have had your arms twisted, I have had

         25        mine twisted.  Where did it go?  It is still here.  I am


  


                                                                          182

          1        going to live and survive and I am going to do what I

          2        really think is the proper thing to do.  And I ask you to

          3        do that same thing.

          4             I know that the public would be so appreciative of a

          5        commission who could lift themselves up just a little bit

          6        above the partisan level and for people to have the

          7        courage to do what they really think is the right and

          8        proper thing to do.  I have been working on this for many,

          9        many years.  It is something, its time has come.  The

         10        Legislature is full of self-interest, and it will always

         11        be that way.

         12             And you say, well you have 160 members who are going

         13        to be involved.  My friends, forget that.  You have about

         14        one or two who are going to make all of the decisions.  In

         15        this case you have got nine and that's really a whole lot

         16        better.  Why do I keep saying nine, 17, 17.  And I think

         17        that you will find that this is indeed the way to go.

         18             I don't think that we want to operate on a

         19        don't-get-angry, let's-get-even philosophy.  I think

         20        that's beneath us to do that as Republicans.  And I think

         21        that we can be better than that.  And I challenge you to

         22        vote yes on this very, very, very important proposal.

         23        Thank you.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Debate is closed.

         25        Open the machine and we will proceed to vote.


  


                                                                          183

          1             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

          3        vote.

          4             READING CLERK:  Twenty-two yeas, 15 nays,

          5        Mr. Chairman.

          6             (Applause.)

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And everybody voted.  We move on

          8        to the next proposal, 155, by Commissioner Scott, passed

          9        29 to 1.  Read it, please.

         10             READING CLERK:  Proposal 155, a proposal to revise

         11        Article III, Section 16, Florida Constitution; providing

         12        for the Legislature to apportion the state into

         13        single-member senatorial districts of contiguous territory

         14        and single-member representatives' districts of contiguous

         15        territory.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are there five hands?  If not, we

         17        will go forward.  There is not.  This will be referred to

         18        Style and Drafting for inclusion in the package.

         19             Now we go to Proposal No. 59 by Commissioner Zack.

         20        Would you read it, please?

         21             Wait a minute, excuse me.  Commissioner Barkdull, I

         22        didn't mean to slight you.  Commissioner Barkdull's

         23        Proposal No. 123.  Do we have five hands on that?  It was

         24        passed 20 to 9.  Read it, please.

         25             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 123, a proposal to


  


                                                                          184

          1        revise Article XI, Florida Constitution; repealing Section

          2        6 relating to the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Do we have five hands

          4        on that?  We have an amendment so we better have five

          5        hands from Style and Drafting.  We do.  Two amendments on

          6        the table.  The first amendment is by Style and Drafting.

          7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, I would suggest

          8        you take up the Barnett and Nabors' amendment first

          9        because --

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Amendment No. 1 will be the one

         11        by Barnett and Nabors.  Would you read it, please?

         12             READING CLERK:  By Commissioners Barnett and Nabors,

         13        on Page 1, Lines 9-10, strike said lines and insert:

         14        "Section 1.  Section 6 of Article XI of the Florida

         15        Constitution is revised by amending that section to read."

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The amendment will,

         17        we will take that up first and then the other amendment,

         18        depending on what this one does; is that correct?

         19             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  That's correct.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioners Barnett and Nabors,

         21        one of you want to present your amendment?  This isn't a

         22        matter we have already voted on; is it, this amendment?

         23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Not in the form it is in now.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  How do I interpret that

         25        answer?  We have, but not quite like this?


  


                                                                          185

          1             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Something like that.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection we will proceed

          3        with the Barnett and Nabors' amendment.  You are

          4        recognized, Commissioners, one of you.

          5             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I'll

          6        be glad to explain this amendment.  As most of you know, I

          7        have argued several times as this has come -- as a

          8        proposal to eliminate the Tax Commission has come before

          9        this body about my belief that we need to maintain this

         10        mechanism in our Constitution so that we will have an

         11        opportunity to, in a systematic, routine and thoughtful

         12        way to consider revisions to our tax structure and

         13        importantly to our budget structure.

         14             A number of concerns have been raised by members of

         15        the commission about the timing of this proposal, about

         16        the timing of the work of the Taxation and Budget Reform

         17        Commission, about the voting process, the cumbersome

         18        voting process.

         19             What you have before you is a proposal that is really

         20        the, I think the good work of Commissioner Nabors.  I wish

         21        I had thought of it because I strongly support it.  And

         22        what this does is two things.  One, it continues to

         23        eliminate the cumbersome voting process that is in the

         24        current Constitution.  It continues to have a two-thirds'

         25        vote for any product of the Taxation and Budget Reform


  


                                                                          186

          1        Commission, but that language that requires a majority

          2        vote of each of the groups from the various appointing

          3        bodies has been eliminated.  And I think there is general

          4        agreement that is a very cumbersome and unworkable

          5        product.

          6             The other thing this does that I think is very

          7        important and addresses concerns of Senator Scott, I hope,

          8        and others is rather than being a commission that meets

          9        every ten years, and the next meeting to begin in two

         10        years, what this proposal does is make the Taxation and

         11        Budget Reform Commission meet every 20 years.  And it

         12        schedules it so that it will meet in the ten-year interval

         13        when the Constitution Revision Commission is not meeting.

         14             So the Constitution Revision Commission would meet,

         15        ten years later the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission

         16        would meet, and ten years later the commission would meet

         17        again.  It would roll over on a 20-year process.  And

         18        under that scenario, the Taxation and Budget Reform

         19        Commission would not meet again until the year 2007.

         20             So that is the gist of the amendment.  It is an

         21        effort to address some of the concerns people had, but it

         22        is also an effort to continue what I think is a very

         23        important and necessary mechanism in our Constitution to

         24        address our tax structure and our budget structure.  And I

         25        ask your support of that amendment.


  


                                                                          187

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  On the amendment,

          2        Commissioner Barkdull.

          3             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I think it is a friendly

          4        amendment.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any further discussion on the

          6        amendment?  If not, all in favor say aye; opposed?

          7             (Verbal vote taken.)

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment is adopted.  Now on

          9        the proposal as amended, you were the proposer?

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I was the proposer but now

         11        with the amendment that Commissioner Barnett has explained

         12        I would move the adoption of the proposal as amended.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are not going to move the

         14        other amendment?  There is another amendment on the table.

         15             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  It is not needed,

         16        Mr. Chairman.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Will somebody withdraw it?  It is

         18        withdrawn by Style and Drafting.  Now does everybody

         19        understand what the proposal now provides?  Commissioner

         20        Nabors, maybe you can explain it in a few short words.

         21             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Let me -- everybody pay

         22        attention.  Let me tell you why I think this is very

         23        important.  All of the structural reasons that

         24        Commissioner Barnett talked about are in place.  There is

         25        still a two-thirds' vote, we have taken away the weighted


  


                                                                          188

          1        vote for the House and the Speaker.

          2             But the most fundamental thing is we have delayed

          3        this -- the convening of this body until the year 2007 and

          4        it meets every 20 years.  So it meets in the decades in

          5        between Constitution Revision Commissions.  And I think it

          6        is fundamentally important.

          7             One of the frustrations I have in this process, as

          8        all of you know, on my Proposition 6 we didn't deal with

          9        tax reform in a fundamental way.  This would allow that to

         10        be done 10 years from now with a new commission that's

         11        dedicated to tax reform.  As I said when I closed my

         12        debate on Proposition 6, without this, we really don't

         13        have a vehicle until 20 years from now to deal with tax

         14        reform because of things dealing with issues like the

         15        sales tax if you believe the Legislature won't do it with

         16        a constitutional amendment, you have the single subject

         17        matter that's going to bar voter initiative.

         18             All of those who feel guilty, and there are many of

         19        you, for voting against my Proposal No. 6, who are not

         20        going to be able to sleep at night because of that guilt,

         21        you can relieve a lot of your feelings by voting favorably

         22        on this amendment.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Anybody else want to

         24        discuss sleep?  Commissioner Connor.

         25             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I'd like to ask a question of


  


                                                                          189

          1        Commissioner Barnett.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Certainly.  Commissioner Barnett

          3        yields to your question, sir.

          4             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Commissioner Barnett, is the

          5        effect of this amendment, does it mean that it would be

          6        easier for the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission to

          7        put a proposal on the ballot than it currently is?

          8             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Yes.

          9             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further?

         11        Commissioner Evans.

         12             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I have a concern, I don't know

         13        if it is a question or just a concern, maybe it is a

         14        question for Commissioner Barnett about changing it from

         15        90 days to 180 days.  My concern is that people who have

         16        an interest in educating the public will have only,

         17        basically only 90 days' notice that something is going to

         18        go on the fall ballot to get their educational materials

         19        together, to find the money to place ads and so forth.

         20             And this will be in the heat of all of the other

         21        elections, too, just the final tail end, 90 days.  So I'm

         22        wondering about why has it been changed from 180 to 90.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I think the reason,

         24        Commissioner Evans, was to make it consistent with the

         25        same type of treatment for the proposals of the


  


                                                                          190

          1        Constitution Revision Commission.

          2             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  We did not change that though

          3        for this commission.  We did not change it.

          4             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  That was my understanding as

          5        the reason was to keep that consistency there.  We would

          6        leave it at 180 if you wanted to offer, you know, an

          7        amendment to the amendment to keep it at 180.  It was

          8        designed for consistency in the Constitution.

          9             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Okay.  Then may I offer that

         10        amendment then to -- because we did not change it with the

         11        other.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You can offer it, but you have

         13        got to put it in the table in writing.  Commissioner

         14        Barkdull.

         15             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  May I suggest that we, for a

         16        short period of time, temporarily pass that because there

         17        is another scribner's problem with this that's got to be

         18        pointed out.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does anybody object to

         20        temporarily passing and coming back to it after they get

         21        the amendment straight correcting the scribner's problems?

         22        Okay.

         23             Okay.  We will go to Proposal No. 59 by Commissioner

         24        Zack.  Would you read it, please?  There is one amendment

         25        on the table.  Hold it.


  


                                                                          191

          1             (Off-the-record comment.)

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  I was wrong.  It is

          3        No. 152 by Commissioner Barkdull.

          4             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 152, a proposal to

          5        revise Article XI, Section 2, of the Florida Constitution;

          6        amending the deadline by which the Constitution Revision

          7        Commission must file any proposed revision of the

          8        Secretary of State.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There are no

         10        amendments on it.  It passed 29 to nothing.  If there is

         11        no show of five hands, we will proceed to the next one and

         12        this one will be sent to Style and Drafting for inclusion

         13        on the package.  Therefore it is done that way, it is

         14        adopted.

         15             Now if I can find the next one, 59 is the next one by

         16        Commissioner Zack.  Would you read 59, please?

         17             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 59, a proposal to revise

         18        Article X, Section 13, Florida Constitution; relating to

         19        suits against the state; providing for arbitration of

         20        certain tort claims; providing a limit on the waiver of

         21        sovereign immunity for claims submitted to arbitration.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There is an

         23        amendment.  But first of all we need five hands, a Style

         24        and Drafting amendment.  All right, we have five hands.

         25        We will proceed.  Read the amendment, please, moved by


  


                                                                          192

          1        Commissioner Mills, or Commissioner Lowndes, excuse me.

          2        It should be amendment --

          3             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

          4        Drafting, on Page 1, Lines 17-24, strike the underlined

          5        language and insert: "When a tort suit for which provision

          6        has been made by general law claims damages in excess of

          7        the amount permitted by the limited waiver of sovereign

          8        immunity established by general law, the claimant may

          9        elect to submit such claim to arbitration in lieu of a

         10        trial by judge or jury, in accordance with procedures

         11        established by general law.  Sovereign immunity is waived

         12        for such arbitration decisions to the extent of five times

         13        the limited waiver of sovereign immunity established by

         14        general law."

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We are on the

         16        amendment.  Commissioner Lowndes, please.

         17             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  It is a Style and Drafting

         18        amendment, Mr. Chairman.  And there are certain phrases

         19        and clauses which have been added to what existed

         20        initially to clarify the situation.  The phrases are, for

         21        which -- "a tort suit for which provision has been made by

         22        general law."  And that addition is to clarify the

         23        proposition that this amendment doesn't create any new

         24        rights to bring suits against the state.

         25             The second addition is on the third line, it is "in


  


                                                                          193

          1        lieu of trial by judge or jury."  And that's to clarify

          2        the point that if a claimant selects arbitration, the

          3        arbitration is in lieu of the claimant's right to a trial

          4        by judge or jury in the matter.

          5             And the third change is in the fifth line.

          6        Previously the amendment, the proposal dealt with

          7        $500,000.  Rather than putting $500,000 as a figure in the

          8        Constitution, it was felt that saying five times the

          9        limited waiver of sovereign immunity, which today would be

         10        $500,000, but which would be increased or decreased if the

         11        limited waiver was changed.

         12             Those are the three changes which were deemed by

         13        Style and Drafting to be nonsubstantive.  I'll be happy to

         14        answer any questions on them.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Zack.

         16             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I don't understand why this was

         17        done.  You know, this is different than what we came out

         18        with.  I thought Style and Drafting is supposed to change

         19        the style and drafting, not make a whole new proposal.

         20        And this is a completely different proposal.

         21             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  In what respect?

         22             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  In every respect.  You had a

         23        $500,000 per occurrence, I mean, per incident waiver of

         24        sovereign immunity under the old proposal.  Here the

         25        Legislature could reduce the amount of sovereign immunity


  


                                                                          194

          1        to 20,000, five times that is back to 100,000 in an

          2        arbitration provision.  That's not what was intended.

          3             And frankly this allows -- it appears to me to allow

          4        more games to be played as opposed to less games.  And the

          5        whole idea was not to have any more games with the claims

          6        bill process and to make it a clean, straight-up $500,000

          7        for anybody who gets injured in the state of Florida based

          8        on an arbitration-type proceeding.

          9             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Your point is that the change

         10        is the five times the limited immunity rather than the

         11        $500,000?

         12             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Right.  I think the change goes

         13        to the essence of the original proposal as opposed to

         14        merely being a change.

         15             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  But that is the issue you are

         16        raising, that change?

         17             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I don't understand how that is a

         18        style, that is a point of clarification or point of

         19        information.  To me --

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Since I suggested it, I would

         21        certainly rule it was all right.

         22             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Well that doesn't surprise me.

         23        And I understand --

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Enlightened self-interest.

         25             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Enlightened self-interest.  But


  


                                                                          195

          1        if somebody would be kind enough to explain to me --

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll explain to you why I

          3        suggested it.  Number one, I don't think you should tie

          4        into the Constitution an amount, period.  And what that

          5        does is put what it is now.  And if the Legislature

          6        chooses to go up or down, this will go up or down, which

          7        was really I think the intent of most of those who

          8        supported this.

          9             There may come a day when, you know, $100,000 may be

         10        too much, those of us that lived during the Depression and

         11        can remember it and the deflation periods.  But there also

         12        will come a day when the $500,000, if we continue to do

         13        what we have done for the last ten years, will be woefully

         14        inadequate.  And there is no escalator in here.  And this

         15        way it is automatic and the Legislature only has to deal

         16        with the basic problem under this proposal.  My suggestion

         17        was that it made it fairer and better constitutional

         18        language.

         19             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I appreciate the explanation of

         20        the philosophy.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I felt it was not a change in the

         22        bill, the proposal.  That's the proposed amendment anyway

         23        from Style and Drafting.  Any more discussion on that?

         24        Commissioner Nabors.

         25             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Commissioner Lowndes, to make


  


                                                                          196

          1        sure I understand this provision.  Let's say the

          2        Legislature by general law wanted to have the monetary

          3        limit the same.  Say they wanted to raise the tort limits

          4        to 500,000.  Under this proposal there would be an

          5        automatic then five times for the arbitration; is that

          6        correct?

          7             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  That's correct.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further questions

          9        on the amendment?  If not, we will vote on the amendment.

         10        All in favor of the amendment say aye; opposed?

         11             (Verbal vote taken.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Unlock the machine and let's vote

         13        on the amendment.

         14             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         16        vote.

         17             READING CLERK:  Seven yeas, 24 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment fails.  Any further

         19        amendments?

         20             READING CLERK:  None on the desk, Mr. Chairman.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are back to the proposal,

         22        which is truly the way you had it, Commissioner Zack.  And

         23        it is your proposal and we call on you.

         24             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         25             I guess if any one of us was driving a bus down the


  


                                                                          197

          1        street and we had had too much to drink, went on the other

          2        side of the road, and ran into a carload of children and

          3        an adult and left some of them as paraplegics, killed

          4        others, and we would very much like to have no

          5        responsibility to respond by way of a money judgment under

          6        that scenario.

          7             It is unfortunate, it would be unjust, and it should

          8        be illegal.  It is clearly morally wrong.  The fact of the

          9        matter is that's exactly the right that the sovereign has

         10        in the state of Florida.  And it goes back to common law

         11        England, which we are not going to have time to go back

         12        that far.  Needless to say, it is an absolute right to

         13        immunity, which was waived in a very limited manner in

         14        1983 to the extent of $100,000.

         15             You have heard the testimony that in today's dollars,

         16        based on inflation and the cost of medical care, that that

         17        amount of money is at least $250,000 today if you equal

         18        that benefit.  Are Floridians today entitled to at least

         19        the same type of benefits as those in 1983?

         20             Well, what this proposal does is it allows a

         21        replacement for what has been described by everyone who

         22        has participated in the process an abusive, political

         23        manipulated process called the claims bill.  And as we

         24        know, and we heard the President say and we know from the

         25        people that have administered the claims bill process this


  


                                                                          198

          1        last year, there have been no claims bills.  And the

          2        reason for that is that they looked back at the previous

          3        claims bills and there was quite an odor that was arising

          4        from that process.

          5             What we try to do here is to layer on top of the

          6        $100,000 cap a $400,000 claims bill in effect.  Where you,

          7        an injured person, can use an arbitration process, a judge

          8        appoints three arbitrators, this is not a complicated

          9        process, it is done everyday in every court in the state

         10        of Florida, and allow those three individuals to decide up

         11        to $500,000 what the claim is worth.

         12             Now, that carload of people, had it been a private

         13        individual, a quadriplegic today by the normal life

         14        expectancy, a young one, is about $10 million if not more.

         15        You are talking about probably $30 million worth of

         16        medical care and treatment.  The maximum those people will

         17        get is $500,000 each.

         18             It is not a big change.  What it is is giving the

         19        people of this state a sense of fairness because this

         20        is -- all it becomes in the final analysis before you cast

         21        your vote, a balancing between the government's desire to

         22        protect itself and the innocent victims' ability to

         23        recover some limited amounted of money if in fact the

         24        government is wrong.

         25             Now in the first meeting of our subcommittee I asked


  


                                                                          199

          1        all the insurance people who were in attendance, and I

          2        assure you there were many, give us some idea what the

          3        cost will be to government.  It is a legitimate concern.

          4        And it is you know, we have had a number of amendments

          5        that have reduced the potential amount of recovery.  We

          6        have heard from not a single representative of the

          7        insurance company in any of our public hearings as to what

          8        the cost of this increase will be so that we can determine

          9        how to balance those respective interests.  So I decided

         10        to go find out for myself.

         11             And I can tell you that the parade of horribles that

         12        we have heard about, the bankruptcy of cities, bankruptcy

         13        of states has not occurred.  That there is no sovereign

         14        immunity in many, many states including the notoriously

         15        litigious state of California, the state of New York, the

         16        state of Arizona, the state of Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana

         17        and Michigan, just to name a few.

         18             I also tell you that in Texas where they have a

         19        $250,000/$500,000 cap, the per capita premium difference

         20        between the state of Florida -- by the way, the state of

         21        Florida with the $100,000/$200,000 limit, per capita cost

         22        is $10.33.  Texas, it's a whopping $11.30.  California

         23        that has no cap, none, zero, the entire $30 million would

         24        be recovered in the example I explained, their citizens

         25        really come out of pocket big time, $2, $2.


  


                                                                          200

          1             Now there has got to be a renewed sense of fairness

          2        that the people of our state feel about government.  And

          3        every time that there is a wrongful act for which they are

          4        barred, and an unjust result, it diminishes their respect

          5        for government.  And I suggest to you $2 a year, at most,

          6        is not a lot to pay to renew that respect.

          7             (Commissioner Thompson assumes the Chair.)

          8             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Proponents have how

          9        much time left?  Four minutes okay.  Commissioner

         10        Wetherington, for what purpose?

         11             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  I would like to speak in

         12        support.

         13             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You are recognized.

         14             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  And I would like to point

         15        out that this is a relatively modest proposal and the

         16        insurance figures that were being thrown out are very

         17        significant because as you know about insurance

         18        underwriting, one of the things that the insurance people

         19        look at is predictability.  And that's where caps are

         20        critical because under this proposal, you would still

         21        retain that predictability.

         22             Remember, it is only going to be a small percentage

         23        of your cases that are going to go over $100,000 anyway.

         24        For example, in the studies that we did over the years in

         25        Dade County, 60 percent of the cases are resolved, in


  


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          1        terms of jury verdicts, for between zero and $25,000.  It

          2        is only when you get into the top 10 percent of tried

          3        cases that you get over 100- or $250,000.

          4             Also, another factor that would be very comforting to

          5        insurance companies in this particular situation is the

          6        fact that for the larger claims, you are using an

          7        arbitration procedure which some people, some defendants

          8        find more comforting rather than juries, I don't

          9        necessarily agree with that but some of them do.  They use

         10        arbitration in the disputes between insurance companies

         11        and private companies constantly.

         12             So I don't think that there is any huge, massive

         13        concern here about bankrupting the treasuries because of

         14        the availability of insurance, because the predictability

         15        remains there.  And also it does address to some extent

         16        those terrible cases, although they are a small percentage

         17        of the cases, where you have catastrophic losses and where

         18        the amount of money that you are giving is still of a

         19        relatively minor nature because medical expenses can be a

         20        half a million dollars in a given case.

         21             This is a very thoughtful proposal that Commissioner

         22        Lowndes has come up with.  And it balances I think all of

         23        the factors that should be taken into consideration in a

         24        measured waiver of sovereign immunity.  The Legislature

         25        can increase this if it wishes to.  And I think that based


  


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          1        on everything that I have heard, it is a very responsible

          2        proposal, one that we can endorse with comfort and be

          3        proud of doing so.  Thank you.

          4             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further debate?  How many

          5        more minutes do the proponents have?  One more minute for

          6        the proponents, if anybody wants it.  Anybody wish to

          7        speak in opposition?  Commissioner Nabors, you are

          8        recognized.

          9             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Mr. Chairman, let me make

         10        several points about the proposal.  The first is is that I

         11        don't think anybody should be misled that this proposal

         12        eliminates claims bills.  I don't think that that's really

         13        been purported.  Under the Constitution, you can still

         14        have a claims bill whether you go the route of arbitration

         15        or whether you go the route of the traditional tort trial

         16        because the Legislature inherently has the power to give

         17        claims bills.  So this is not going to eliminate claims

         18        bills.  So you can put that aside.

         19             So then you ask yourself the question, Well, why are

         20        we doing this in the Constitution and what does it do?

         21        The difficulty I have with this and why I am opposed to it

         22        is you create two for compensation.  One is traditional

         23        tort with a jury trial for 100,000, basically, the other

         24        is arbitration for 500.  Why is that different?  I would

         25        argue that -- to me that is an arbitrary difference that


  


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          1        we made which is fundamentally a legislative decision,

          2        which is my principal opposition.

          3             These are classic legislative decisions that have to

          4        be made.  Maybe it is more appropriate for the Legislature

          5        to have the compensation amounts the same when you resort

          6        to jury trial or arbitration.  Why are we trying in the

          7        Constitution to deal with fundamental issues like

          8        sovereign immunity which inherently involves trade-offs in

          9        terms of how it is conducted and where the burden of the

         10        law falls?

         11             It is inconceivable to me that 22 members of this

         12        group will feel comfortable dealing with sovereign

         13        immunity in the Constitution in this specific way, and yet

         14        not feel comfortable dealing with the issue of wrongful

         15        death, which we voted down.  The same philosophical

         16        underpinning allies this proposal as it does the wrongful

         17        death issue.

         18             I'm very sympathetic to the issue of plaintiffs'

         19        recovering their damages.  Although I represent local

         20        governments, I am also a member of the trial, Florida

         21        Trial Lawyers Association as well.  But the problem is

         22        we're trying in the Constitution, after four or five steps

         23        at the last exit, to come up with a proposal to deal with

         24        an issue which is fundamentally legislative.  So I would

         25        urge you to vote against it.


  


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          1             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Scott, for what

          2        purpose?

          3             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  To speak against it.

          4             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You are recognized.

          5             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Just briefly.  We debated this,

          6        I think, a couple weeks ago when we were here and I just

          7        can't understand -- when we were early on here started

          8        voting 26 to 4 we voted against taking away a right to a

          9        jury trial on much less consequential matters than what we

         10        are talking about here.

         11             What you are doing here is putting this into an

         12        arbitration process, not a jury trial.  I really think it

         13        is a bad idea, I think it is going to be very difficult

         14        and it should be dealt with by the Legislature.  The exact

         15        same issue we have had time and again here about going in

         16        and picking one thing and putting it in the Constitution.

         17        The Legislature can deal with this, and we should not put

         18        this into the Constitution and do away with the right to

         19        trial by jury.  So I would urge you to vote against this

         20        proposal.

         21             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further debate?  Commissioner

         22        Anthony, in opposition.

         23             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Thank you, Mr. Chair, I

         24        appreciate it.  I have listened to the arguments and

         25        thankfully the last meeting that we had I was not here to


  


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          1        hear some of the debate, but I will tell you that it seems

          2        as if this proposal will not die.  Looking at the minutes

          3        of the last meeting, the proposal had not gotten enough

          4        votes and then somehow it was reconsidered and brought up

          5        again, the issue of sovereign immunity.

          6             We have wrestled with this issue over and over trying

          7        to find a way to make it look good so that all of us can

          8        get the number of votes to move it toward the Constitution

          9        and the citizens of Florida.  As late as today we got

         10        another proposal, another amendment to try to get more

         11        support for this issue.  It is so obvious by the number of

         12        gyrations, the number of amendments that have been

         13        proposed that this is not good public policy and this

         14        would not be good for our Constitution or our citizens.

         15             A modest proposal, Commissioner Wetherington said.  A

         16        modest proposal to a small city as South Bay can mean

         17        clearly a tremendous impact on the level of service and

         18        the quality of service to my citizens, to our community,

         19        to the citizens of the state of Florida.  Modest it may be

         20        in the eyes of those who made this proposal, but I would

         21        say tremendous impact, if you will, on local government.

         22             The assumption that one who may have committed an

         23        act, that may be considered wrong by Commissioner Zack, to

         24        have been drunk and driving a bus and run over someone and

         25        they become a quadriplegic is a horrible assumption on


  


                                                                          206

          1        behalf of the local government employees because I will

          2        tell you that that may have happened once.

          3             But to assume that local government employees who

          4        have had such an occurrence were in that state is not a

          5        good assumption.  Local government provides public

          6        training, safety training for our employees.  And I'm

          7        going to stop there on that issue.

          8             But what is more important here is that as a public

          9        official, making a decision in a public body, when someone

         10        comes before me tonight at my commission meeting, if I can

         11        make it back, they will say, There is a pothole in the

         12        road on Southwest 7th Avenue.  And perhaps I need to buy

         13        five police cars and I tell my administrator, Look, next

         14        month we will cover that pothole.  Right after that

         15        meeting someone uses my testimony of the fact that I

         16        recognized that that pothole was there, and they had an

         17        accident, and they sue us based upon those statements.

         18             I say to you that the sovereign immunity in the

         19        statutes that we have today works.  The process works.  It

         20        may not be the best process for those who are litigators,

         21        but I will tell you that it is the best process that

         22        protects and provides an opportunity to those citizens who

         23        are wronged and it also provides an opportunity for local

         24        government to be able to provide the level and quality of

         25        service that they demand in our state.


  


                                                                          207

          1             I beg you today to oppose this amendment, or whatever

          2        amendment may come up at our next meeting or another

          3        amendment that may come up five seconds from now.  I don't

          4        know what's going to happen with the proposers of this

          5        process because we have had five amendments,

          6        Commissioners.  How many more can they provide to you to

          7        make you vote no?  Vote no.  It is not good for our

          8        Constitution, it is not good for citizens, and it is not

          9        good for this commission to support this proposal.

         10             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Commissioner Zack, you

         11        have two minutes to close.

         12             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Commissioner Anthony, the process

         13        remains exactly the same, exactly the same.  If you are

         14        not liable, you don't pay anything, zero, nada.  This is a

         15        process by which, if you are liable, you get some modest,

         16        and I use the word modest form of justice.  What are we

         17        doing here?  What are we doing right now by your voting

         18        yes?  What you are doing is allowing the citizens of this

         19        state to tell you to speak in one voice as to what they

         20        expect of their government, what responsibility they

         21        expect their government has to them, and that they are

         22        willing to pay the $2 or $1 a year for that additional

         23        responsibility.

         24             Each of us has uninsured motorist coverage on our

         25        policy, we pay another $50, $100, or $200 a year for that


  


                                                                          208

          1        coverage because we are concerned what happens if somebody

          2        with no insurance runs into us.  The citizens of Florida I

          3        assure you want to have the right to vote as to whether

          4        they are willing to pay an extra dollar, or two dollars to

          5        be protected in the event that there's an accident where

          6        someone is found by arbitrators, not a runaway jury,

          7        arbitrators to be wrong, and to a limited extent.

          8             You know, since the beginning of this proposal I have

          9        heard from lobbyists who said, Legislators are going to

         10        change this, you are never going to get to reach this when

         11        it comes to today, this date.  They said, It's going to be

         12        changed, we are going to take care of it, we know there is

         13        a problem.  I see a number of them sitting there who told

         14        me that.  It's not changed, not going to be changed, we

         15        have to do something about it today to allow the citizens

         16        to make this decision.  Please vote yes.

         17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  So the question recurs on the

         18        passage of Proposal No. 59 to the Committee on Style and

         19        Drafting.  The Secretary will unlock to machine and the

         20        members will proceed to vote.  Have all members voted?

         21        All members voting.

         22             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The Secretary will lock the

         24        machine and announce the vote.

         25             READING CLERK:  Thirteen yeas, 21 nays, Mr. Chairman.


  


                                                                          209

          1             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  So, the proposal fails

          2        passage.  Pick up and read the next proposal.  Proposal

          3        No. 40.

          4             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 40, Article IX, Section

          5        4, of the Florida Constitution, authorizing certain

          6        counties to be divided into more than one school district.

          7             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Is there an amendment on the

          8        desk?

          9             READING CLERK:  Yes, Mr. Chairman.

         10             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Read the amendment.

         11             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Butterworth, on Page

         12        1, Lines 19 and 20, delete those lines and insert:  County

         13        may be divided into two or more, but no more than five

         14        school districts.  No district may have fewer than 25,000

         15        students, as.

         16             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  First of all, let me

         17        see five hands to take up the proposal.  Okay.  I see five

         18        hands.  Commissioner Butterworth is now recognized on his

         19        amendment.

         20             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Mr. Chairman, thank you

         21        very much.  All Commissioners, it seems that there are two

         22        things that were bothering a number of us in reference to

         23        this proposal, and that was that a county may be

         24        subdivided into too many districts, and thereby, having,

         25        perhaps, maybe 15, 20 districts in one county.  That would


  


                                                                          210

          1        be totally inappropriate.

          2             Therefore, I suggest that we limit that a county can

          3        be divided into, if they choose to divide, to between two,

          4        but no more than five, but that each district may have no

          5        fewer than 25,000 students.  I think that this will

          6        resolve some of the problems that some of us had.

          7             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Is there a debate on

          8        the amendment offered by Commissioner Butterworth?  Debate

          9        on the amendment?  Hearing none, the question recurs on

         10        the adoption of the amendment.  All of those in favor of

         11        the amendment, say aye.  Those who oppose it, say no.

         12             (Verbal vote taken.)

         13             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The proposal is adopted.

         14        Now, we are back on the proposal as amended.  Are there

         15        further amendments on the desk?

         16             READING CLERK:  None on the desk, Mr. Chairman.

         17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Is there debate on the

         18        proposal as amended?  Hearing none -- excuse me,

         19        Commissioner Anthony, for what purpose?

         20             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I am sorry, we are on Proposal

         21        No. 40, correct?

         22             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Yes, and it was just amended

         23        by an amendment by Commissioner Butterworth.

         24             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Yes, I saw that.  If no one

         25        else wants to talk in opposition to this proposal.


  


                                                                          211

          1             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You are recognized.

          2             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Mr. Chairman, looking at the

          3        proposal, and in regards to dividing it into more than one

          4        school district really does concern me, a person from a

          5        rural community, a very wealthy community such as Palm

          6        Beach County.  South Bay is located in rural Palm Beach

          7        County, western.  Three communities consist of the Glades

          8        community.  And with being in such a county, having

          9        districts that represent just that area will not provide

         10        the quality, I don't think, as well as the level of

         11        education that all of Palm Beach County would receive.

         12             It also concerns me that what we may be doing here is

         13        further segregating our counties and our communities.  And

         14        if we are going to looking toward the year 2000 and trying

         15        to find ways to further engage our kids in education that

         16        is cost-cutting as well as futuristic, I don't think that

         17        this cutting it up to districts will do that.

         18             I've had a number of calls, not from administrators,

         19        because, in fact, if we get and we cut up into more

         20        districts, what we are going to have are more

         21        administrators, and not more teachers, and not more

         22        classrooms and not better educational literature, but in

         23        fact, what we are going to have is that we may have a

         24        higher administrative cost brought down to us.  But what I

         25        have heard is from some citizens who have just been


  


                                                                          212

          1        concerned about the practical implication of this

          2        proposal.

          3             So, I ask that you look at the proposal and gauge

          4        whether or not it really will improve the quality of our

          5        education in this state of Florida.  Mr. Chairman, thank

          6        you.

          7             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Wetherington,

          8        for what purpose?

          9             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  (Inaudible response.)

         10             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  I was going to let you close,

         11        is that okay?  Oh, you have never explained it.  I'm

         12        sorry, well, why don't you go ahead and explain it, and

         13        Commissioner Anthony said more than likely he'll just

         14        change his whole attitude on it.

         15             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  I knew I could count on him

         16        to do that.  Commissioners, you are generally familiar

         17        with Proposal 40.  And on February the 9th, 22 of the 32

         18        members present voted in its favor.  Since then, the

         19        education establishment and especially the teachers'

         20        unions have expressed their displeasure over Proposal 40,

         21        as they were expected to do that.

         22             A school board member of Pinellas County described it

         23        as an evil thing which people should not be committed to

         24        vote on, but she didn't explain on why giving citizens the

         25        chance to vote on how their schools should be organized is


  


                                                                          213

          1        evil.

          2             Opponents to Proposal 40 have mentioned the increased

          3        costs associated with more school districts, as

          4        Commissioner Anthony just did, adding more school board

          5        members and another superintendent for each district.  Let

          6        me address that by putting it in the terms of the school

          7        district that I know best, Leon County, and give you some

          8        numbers to see how such a measure would change things,

          9        change costs in Leon County.

         10             Leon County's school budget is just about a quarter

         11        of a billion dollars right now, $250 million.  There are

         12        33,000 students in Leon County, K-12, and if you divide

         13        $33,000 into $250 million, then you get about $7500 per

         14        student as the annual cost of education.  Now that

         15        includes debt service and Federal aid and some other

         16        things, so it's not to figure what the school people

         17        mostly identify as operating costs.  But let's take the

         18        $250 million, there are five school board members in Leon

         19        County, their total salaries come to $130,000, but they

         20        meet and travel and have other operating expenses, so

         21        let's throw another $100,000 in for that.

         22             And then let's add the superintendent, another

         23        superintendent, round it off to $100,000, that would be

         24        $330,000.  If you divide $330,000, the costs of the

         25        increases that might be called for in this proposal by


  


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          1        250 million, the operating cost for one year of Leon

          2        County schools, you will get a little over 1 percent.

          3        That would be the cost of duplicating that administrative

          4        structure, about 1 percent, a little over 1 percent.  And

          5        so, if you divided Leon County into two districts, you

          6        would have to say 2 percent as an increase in costs.

          7             What about the savings in cost that result from the

          8        reduced bureaucracy?  Well, rather than to speak to that

          9        in numbers, let me quote again, as I did on February the

         10        9th, a report in the Orlando Sentinel on the attempts to

         11        reduce the administrative structure in Orange County.  The

         12        quotation is that in Orange County, a school principal

         13        reports to a senior director, who reports to the associate

         14        superintendent, who reports to a deputy superintendent,

         15        who reports to a superintendent.  That's what happens in

         16        the large counties.

         17             Commissioners, the current issue of Education Week

         18        carries an article that ought to interest all of us.

         19        Education Week is the journal that comes as close as any

         20        to being the newspaper of record of American public

         21        education K-12.

         22             It reports this week, a copy that reached me two days

         23        ago, on the third international mathematics and science

         24        study, which it describes as the largest, broadest and

         25        toughest study of student achievement ever completed.  Of


  


                                                                          215

          1        the 21 countries that took place in the science and math

          2        sections of that study, our seniors ranked 18th.  The bad

          3        news, Commissioners, is that we were behind, these are our

          4        graduating seniors in science and math, we were behind the

          5        Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland,

          6        Norway, France, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Austria,

          7        Slovenia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Russian Federation,

          8        and the Czech Republic.  The good news is we were ahead of

          9        Lithuania, Cyprus and South Africa.

         10             You have not heard me speak in these terms before

         11        because I'm not a public school basher, I have too much

         12        invested in the public schools, but those, Commissioners,

         13        are the facts, and there's no denying those facts.  So you

         14        say, and I say, that something simply must be done,

         15        something must be done to rescue public education in

         16        Florida.  We owe it to the state, our consideration of the

         17        State's economy, and most of all, to the sense of

         18        self-realization and fulfillment of our young people.

         19        Because that loss is simply incalculable.

         20             The conditions in which our schools are in trouble me

         21        greatly, the conditions in which the tests show that our

         22        seniors do better only than those in Lithuania, Cyprus and

         23        South Africa.  With the division of the large school

         24        districts, will the large school districts into smaller

         25        units cure this problem?  Of course not.  Would doing so


  


                                                                          216

          1        bring about a sudden and dramatic change resulting in

          2        short-term improvement?  Perhaps not.  But a recognition

          3        that the problem exists and a place to start in addressing

          4        it is paramount in importance, and that's what we are

          5        looking for today, we are looking for alternatives to

          6        improve a very ineffective public school system.

          7             Under Proposal 40, Commissioners, the Legislature

          8        would enact a special law calling for setting up a special

          9        commission, a special commission of citizens from the

         10        district to suggest how we might be redesigned into

         11        smaller, more discrete units.  The citizens, before they

         12        vote, would familiarize themselves with the plan proposed

         13        by the commission and they would have the chance to amend

         14        it.  They would be provided answers to such questions as,

         15        What happens in the division of debts, and buses, and

         16        buildings and the legal costs for writing new contracts

         17        and all of that.

         18             On the basis of the plan before them they would vote

         19        it up or down.  After they knew the specific solutions to

         20        specific problems, they would have the opportunity to

         21        reject it if those problems are too difficult to solve.

         22        And in some counties, I believe there would be, I suspect

         23        that the commission would come back with a report that the

         24        voters would say, that's too complex for a change to be

         25        made.  In other cases, in other school districts, I


  


                                                                          217

          1        believe that the commission would come back with a report

          2        saying it is a reasonable thing to do and therefore, the

          3        populous, the people, would have a chance to vote on it.

          4             We might take a moment to look at what -- at the

          5        situation for the school organization in other states.

          6        Again, I think I reported some of these data to you on

          7        February the 9th, but Florida is alone among the populous

          8        states in this country on the number of school districts

          9        that the public school system is divided into.

         10             We inherited this system from the 1947 Legislature

         11        when it was deemed to be a wise move to set up a

         12        county-wide system.  Times have changed.  What the 1947

         13        and subsequent legislators did to make more functional a

         14        dysfunctional school system is a record that we can all be

         15        proud of, but that was then and this is now.  Other

         16        states, Alabama has 127 districts, Georgia has 181, North

         17        Carolina 119, Texas 1,044, New York 711, and so on, Ohio

         18        611.

         19             Now, what those states have decided is that it's

         20        important for the neighbor school concept on which our

         21        system was devised in this country, to remain intact, to

         22        have school districts close enough to the voters so that

         23        they have some input on policy.  The situation that we

         24        have today in Dade County is where nine school board

         25        members respond to 350,000 students and their families.


  


                                                                          218

          1        Reduced to its simplest terms, Commissioners, the question

          2        is this, are we willing to have the people of Florida

          3        consider a new system for the organization of our schools,

          4        or are we unwilling to have them consider any change in

          5        organization with consequence for the next 20 years,

          6        because if we do not approve this measure, they will have

          7        no opportunity to do that.

          8             In looking at the editorial comments, I saw an

          9        article in one of the around-the-state papers that talked

         10        about this being a trivial change that could be made by

         11        the Legislature.  It cannot be made by the Legislature.

         12        We have the unique situation of having our Constitution

         13        tell us how many school districts we may have.  And that,

         14        Commissioners, is unique among the states in this country.

         15        It cannot be handled by fine-tuning, as one of the

         16        newspapers said, it is a constitutional issue.

         17             With those arguments, I implore you to address this

         18        as one of the most important issues.  In fact, really, the

         19        only issue of real substance in the whole realm of

         20        education.  And I know there are other proposals,

         21        including one that has to do with the Cabinet system.  I'm

         22        talking about operational matters for school systems.  And

         23        with that, I earnestly solicit your positive vote.  Thank

         24        you very much.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Marshall has taken


  


                                                                          219

          1        all of the proponents' time.  Now, he'll have two minutes

          2        to close and he can share that time with someone if he

          3        wishes.  Commissioner Smith, for what purpose?

          4             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  I rise to oppose the proposal.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized.

          6             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  This

          7        proposal will not only divide school districts, but more

          8        ominously, it'll divide communities.  It will divide rich

          9        from poor, black from white, those whose native tongue is

         10        English, and those whose native tongue happens to be

         11        something other than English.

         12             This debate concerning this issue really reinforces

         13        the good feeling that I have about this process, because

         14        although Commissioner Marshall and I are diametrically

         15        opposed, his discussion has been honest and yet

         16        passionate.  And he honestly told us that he can't look

         17        you in the face and tell you that dividing the school

         18        districts will make the bottom-line education for our

         19        children pass those countries that he named.  He honestly

         20        admitted that he can't tell you that we would have an

         21        immediate positive impact with regard to this.

         22             So, the question recurs, as the Chairman likes to

         23        say, then why should we do it?  I submit to you that

         24        probably the most compelling evidence I've seen in terms

         25        of education was presented to the Education Committee by


  


                                                                          220

          1        Commissioner Marshall, it was extremely compelling.  Maybe

          2        for Commissioner Jennings it wasn't new because she's

          3        worked at this a long time, but it was shocking to me.

          4             And what I did as I tried to reassess whether I was

          5        doing the right thing, because Commissioner Marshall has

          6        forgotten more about education than I'll ever learn and

          7        he's very sincere in his support for this proposal and so,

          8        I said, We'll consider it.  And what I did, I went back to

          9        the information that he provided.  And when I saw the

         10        states that had many more districts like Alabama and

         11        Georgia, what I did was, I looked at those states and how

         12        their students were performing and how our students were

         13        performing.  And some of them were performing better and

         14        some of them were performing worse.  So, that didn't give

         15        me any comfort that dividing into more school districts

         16        would give us better performance for our students.

         17             Additionally, with regard to this proposal, please

         18        understand the following:  One, it will definitely

         19        increase the number of administrators.  Two, it will

         20        definitely increase the number of politicians.  Three, it

         21        will not add one new teacher.  Four, it will not add one

         22        new school.  Five, it will not result in smaller

         23        classrooms.  Now, if this was a smaller class size

         24        proposal I would proudly support this with my friend

         25        Commissioner Marshall.


  


                                                                          221

          1             And clearly, if you look at the housing patterns in

          2        the large areas, whether it's Palm Beach, Broward, Orange

          3        County or Dade County, and you start dividing these school

          4        districts up with the segregated housing patterns, we

          5        can't help but move further toward resegregating our

          6        schools.

          7             Additionally, it's going to cause some serious

          8        concerns about the ability to redesign the debt structure.

          9        My daughter is in public school in Dade County, she goes

         10        to Carver, which is a magnet school for languages.  Who

         11        gets the magnet schools?  I mean, how are they going to

         12        decide that?  And if we decide to divide the school

         13        districts up, try to visualize this, try to visualize your

         14        county if it's large divided in half.  Okay, do you see

         15        any new schools?  You see a line, do you see any new

         16        schools?  What do you see?  You see more politicians.  You

         17        see more administrators.  You see more costs.

         18             I cannot fathom how in the world you can balance that

         19        with the knowledge that we have that's going to further

         20        resegregate the system, rich and poor, brown and black

         21        versus white, that we move forward with this proposal.  I

         22        agree with Commissioner Marshall, this is one of the most

         23        important proposals that we have because it demonstrates

         24        what we shouldn't be doing for the 21st century, we should

         25        be bringing our people together not intentionally driving


  


                                                                          222

          1        them apart, based on economics, or based upon color, or

          2        based on language.  Please vote no.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Further debate?

          4        Commissioner Mathis.

          5             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  I reluctantly speak as an

          6        opponent to this proposal.  I have great respect for

          7        Commissioner Marshall and I, like Commissioner Smith, know

          8        that Commissioner Marshall knows more about education than

          9        I ever want to know or I'm going to know, but I do know

         10        about my kids.  And Commissioner Marshall also referred to

         11        Orange County.  And I was concerned, so I went to those

         12        people who are in my direct community.

         13             And I visited with Superintendent Dennis Smith and

         14        Susan Arken who sits on the school board in our area.  And

         15        while Orange County used to be very administrative and top

         16        heavy, they are moving toward a flat organization.  And

         17        Superintendent Smith didn't have to wait for the

         18        Legislature to break the district down into more workable

         19        areas, he did it administratively.

         20             He's broken the Orange County district into five

         21        areas.  There are about 160 administrators that will

         22        probably be looking for new jobs soon.  He's been able to

         23        bring enthusiasm, he's flattened out the organization,

         24        brought in more accountability, empowered parents.  And

         25        he's at the schools.


  


                                                                          223

          1             I understand that there are problems with our

          2        schools, but we don't want to divide our communities in

          3        order to solve a problem, because I think what we would

          4        really be doing here is creating additional problems.  The

          5        results that we are looking for can be achieved

          6        administratively, without the risk of duplicate expenses,

          7        without the risk of underserving students who have special

          8        needs, and without the risk of creating haves and

          9        have-nots and uneven allocations of resources.  I

         10        reluctantly but strongly urge this commission to vote no

         11        on this proposal.

         12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Freidin, for

         13        what purpose?

         14             COMMISSIONER FREIDEN:  I rise in opposition.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  One minute is what the

         16        opponents have left.

         17             COMMISSIONER FREIDEN:  With a tremendous amount of

         18        respect to Commissioner Marshall, I must oppose this for

         19        reasons that you have heard me state before.  This is not

         20        a governance issue, this is not an education improvements

         21        issue, I'm afraid it is a move to establish districts that

         22        represent pockets of people instead of the multicultural

         23        and multi-socioeconomic society that I think we all want

         24        to be living in.

         25             Smaller is not better.  New Jersey and New York have


  


                                                                          224

          1        numerous, hundreds of school districts.  They have

          2        actually, in both of those states, they have actually

          3        passed legislation to allow the state to take back over

          4        school districts to make them smaller again.

          5             Texas has over 1,000 districts and they don't have

          6        any better educational results than Florida does.

          7        California has over 1,000 districts, and things are so bad

          8        there that they offer no extra services to students other

          9        than what they can get private funding for.

         10             Smaller districts lose economies of scale,

         11        administrative costs will rise, there will be more

         12        superintendents, more people to run different purchasing

         13        departments, different transportation systems, different

         14        food service departments, different record-keeping,

         15        different hiring, and all of those departments require

         16        supervision.  I urge you to oppose this proposal.

         17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  All time for debate

         18        has expired.  Commissioner Marshall to close.  You have

         19        two minutes, you can yield some of that time, if you would

         20        like.

         21             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Commissioner Smith pointed

         22        out that I claimed there would be no immediate impact of

         23        this resolution, and indeed I did.  And if anybody has a

         24        solution that would develop an immediate impact and

         25        improve our public schools, please tell me what it is


  


                                                                          225

          1        because I want to support it.

          2             The problems that we are having in public schools

          3        were not generated in one year or one decade, nor will

          4        they be solved that quickly.  What the adoption of

          5        Proposal 40 will do will make schools more responsive and

          6        more accountable, and it, Commissioner Smith, could very

          7        well result in short-term, in fewer administrators,

          8        reduced class size, more teachers, and all of the good

          9        things that we want to achieve.

         10             As regard to cost, the short and flip answer to the

         11        cost of the transition is that, I have no idea how it's

         12        going to work and that is the joy of this proposal.  There

         13        is a commission established that addresses those issues,

         14        and once addressed, a plan is laid before the people and

         15        they can vote it up or down.

         16             All you are doing by voting yes on Proposal 40 is

         17        giving the people an opportunity to say whether they want

         18        to adopt a new plan or whether they don't.  I think that

         19        pretty well summarizes it.  Mr. Chairman, I do appreciate

         20        the accolades about your respect for my knowledge and

         21        education, and of course, that ought to dictate that you

         22        vote yes on Proposal 40.  Thank you very much.

         23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Gentleman having closed, the

         24        question recurs on adoption of Proposal 40.  The Secretary

         25        will unlock the machine and the members will proceed to


  


                                                                          226

          1        vote.  All members voting.  All members voting.

          2             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The Secretary will lock the

          4        machine and announce the vote.

          5             READING CLERK:  Eight yeas, 26 nays, Mr. Chairman.

          6             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Proposal No. 40 is not sent

          7        forward.  Now, I think we want to go back to Proposal No.

          8        123 that has to do with the Tax Commission and was

          9        temporarily passed.  Did we have an amendment pending, as

         10        I understand it?

         11             READING CLERK:  On the desk.

         12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  And then there's

         13        amendments to the amendment, I think.  There's two

         14        amendments to the amendment, I think.  And we'll read the

         15        first amendment to the amendment, if you will.

         16             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Evans on Page 2, Line

         17        18, strike 10 and insert 20.

         18             (Chairman Douglass resumes Chair.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The amendment to the

         20        amendment.  Is that what this is?  That was the amendment.

         21        All right, so we have adopted the first amendment.  And we

         22        need to reconsider that, so there can be two amendments

         23        placed on it, I'm told.  Commissioner Barkdull, you move

         24        to reconsider it?

         25             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I move to reconsider the vote


  


                                                                          227

          1        by which we adopted the first amendment.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  All of those in

          3        favor, say aye.  Opposed?

          4             (Verbal vote taken.)

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's adopted.  Now, we will

          6        reconsider it, is that right?  All of those in favor of

          7        reconsideration, say aye.  Opposed?

          8             (Verbal vote taken.)

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now, where are we now, on the

         10        amendment; is that right?  We are on the amendment, and

         11        there's an amendment to the amendment.  And that's by

         12        Commissioner Evans; is that correct?  All right, there's

         13        two amendments.

         14             Okay.  The first amendment to the amendment by

         15        Commissioner Evans.  Perhaps it might be appropriate to

         16        reread the amendment so we'll know what it is that we are

         17        amending now.  Is that okay, Commissioner Barkdull?

         18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, this is just the one

         19        that corrects the scribner's error and moves it from 10 to

         20        20 years.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  This amendment is, all right,

         22        that's Commissioner Evans' amendment, moves it from 10 to

         23        20 years and corrects the scribner's error.  All in favor,

         24        say aye; opposed?

         25             (Verbal vote taken.)


  


                                                                          228

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment to the amendment is

          2        adopted.  Now, there's another amendment to the amendment.

          3             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Back to 180 days we have to

          4        file -- the Commission would have to file with the

          5        Secretary of State rather than 90, and it puts it in line

          6        with what the Revision Commission has to do and so forth.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Is that -- read it.

          8        Okay, let's do some reading here.

          9             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Evans, on Page 3,

         10        Line 9, delete all of said lines and insert:  "Or

         11        budgetary laws of the state not later than 180 days prior

         12        to the general."

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  That is the amendment

         14        to the amendment.  Any discussion?  All in favor, say aye.

         15        Opposed?

         16             (Verbal vote taken.)

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment to the amendment is

         18        adopted.  Now, we are on the amendment as amended to the

         19        proposal.

         20             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Correct.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Whose amendment is it?

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  It is Barnett and Nabors',

         23        and it is a friendly amendment.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You have discussed it already,

         25        have you not, Commissioner Barnett?  Is everybody ready to


  


                                                                          229

          1        vote on the amendment to the proposal as amended?  We are

          2        not voting on the proposal, we are voting on the amendment

          3        as amended to the proposal.  Does everybody understand?

          4        All right.  Let's unlock the machine and vote.

          5             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

          7        vote.

          8             READING CLERK:  Thirty yeas, zero nays, Mr. Chairman.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now, we are on the

         10        proposal as amended.  That's Commissioner Barkdull's

         11        proposal.  You have the floor.

         12             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  What this does now will

         13        continue the Budget and Tax Reform Commission.  It will

         14        meet every 20 years.  It meets on the 10 years different

         15        from the Constitution Revision Commission, and it does not

         16        require the excessive number of votes to get a matter on

         17        the ballot, it requires just two-thirds of the entire

         18        commission.  And I would urge its adoption.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any discussion?  If

         20        not, we'll -- Commissioner Connor.

         21             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I have a question.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.

         23             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  If we vote no on this proposed

         24        amendment, does that leave us with the status quo of a

         25        prospective commission as it presently exists?


  


                                                                          230

          1             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  That's my understanding, it

          2        would leave the Constitution just like it is.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does everybody

          4        understand now that we are voting on the proposal as

          5        amended relating to the Finance and Budget Commission, Tax

          6        and Budget Commission?  Unlock the machine and let's vote.

          7             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

          9        vote.

         10             READING CLERK:  Thirty yeas, one nay, Mr. Chairman.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  By your vote you have

         12        approved and sent forward to Style and Drafting 123 for

         13        including on the proposal ballot.

         14             All right.  The next one is Proposal 157 by the

         15        Committee for Education and Commissioner Mills.  There's

         16        an amendment on the table.  Would you read it?

         17             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

         18        157, a proposal to revise Article IX, Section 1, Florida

         19        Constitution.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There is an amendment

         21        and it's a Style and Drafting amendment.  Oh, I need five

         22        hands before we reconsider this.  We have it.  Thanks.

         23        Now, read the Style and Drafting amendment, please.

         24             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

         25        Drafting, on Page 1, Lines 13 through 25, strike all of


  


                                                                          231

          1        said lines and insert lengthy amendment.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Mills.

          3             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, we have just had a

          4        discussion on the importance of education.  As I think we

          5        know, the most important issue to the public that we

          6        intend to send these proposals to is education.  This

          7        proposal, the reason that I suggest we raise five hands,

          8        it was almost unanimous before.  This is the definition of

          9        the term adequacy.

         10             And Commissioner Thompson, and I believe it's

         11        Commissioner Connor as well, brought up a salient point

         12        that was actually reinforced in our public hearings, which

         13        is to say that the purpose of public schools is not only

         14        to prepare people for higher education but to prepare

         15        people to serve in the democratic society to compete in

         16        the economy of the state of Florida and the world.

         17             So that's simply what this does, it clarifies that

         18        language so that you don't have the confusion that we had

         19        before that related to the higher education.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  This is on the amendment.

         21        Commissioner Scott has a question.

         22             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Commissioner Mills, could you

         23        explain to me how this is a Style and Drafting amendment?

         24        I mean, it is totally different, totally changed, it talks

         25        about a democratic society and all kinds of things.  I


  


                                                                          232

          1        mean, what does that have to do with Style and Drafting?

          2             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, that's fine, we'll change

          3        it to -- because actually the purpose was to define the

          4        object of K through 12 and, if you don't think it is a

          5        Style and Drafting amendment, that's fine.

          6             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well, as Chairman, do you think

          7        it is?  Do you think that is a Style and Drafting change?

          8        It is all new words, all new lines, different global

          9        economy.

         10             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, it's not all new lines.

         11        I'll be glad to argue it separately, it doesn't make any

         12        difference.  It's actually narrower than the previous

         13        proposal.

         14             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well, it concerns me that this

         15        is put out here as a Style and Drafting amendment.  I

         16        mean, that's supposed to be language -- I mean, all of

         17        this stuff is going back to Style and Drafting.  I am

         18        concerned that, you know, it's going to be --

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  As I understand it, he's going to

         20        relieve you of any consideration and offer it as his own

         21        amendment.  And I regret that you weren't at Style and

         22        Drafting to tell them that yesterday since you are on the

         23        committee.

         24             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well, I regretted it too if I

         25        knew they were going to --


  


                                                                          233

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You might have heard of this.

          2             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, if I

          3        knew that they were going to go off and rewrite stuff in

          4        Style and Drafting.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Do you want to respond to that,

          6        Commissioner Mills?

          7             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, Mr. Chairman, this

          8        amendment, in no major way changes what's going on here.

          9        I don't think -- want people to get uneasy about what

         10        Style and Drafting has done because we have been

         11        insidiously careful about protecting the intent of this

         12        particular amendment, corrected amendment, that actually

         13        Chairman Douglass drafted on the floor.  And one of the

         14        problems was, with all good intent on the floor, it's

         15        impossible to get the wording precisely correct.  But I'm

         16        perfectly willing to argue this as a separate amendment.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  We'll treat it as

         18        Commissioner Mills' amendment one to the proposal.  And

         19        you may proceed from there.  You may speak in favor of the

         20        amendment, Commissioner Mills.

         21             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, Mr. Chairman, the object

         22        of doing this was, again, in response to Commissioner

         23        Thompson and I think it was Commissioner Connor's concern,

         24        about identifying higher education as the only purpose of

         25        K through 12.  K through 12 has other purposes which this


  


                                                                          234

          1        defines, and the language is precisely identical to the

          2        previous language.

          3             This language was suggested at the hearing, I

          4        believe, by Tara Sessoms [phonetic], former Chairman of

          5        the Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Legislature and

          6        Speaker.  This simply adds the terms, To participate in a

          7        democratic society and to successfully compete in a global

          8        committee.

          9             The object of this was to provide purposes that would

         10        apply generally to citizenship as opposed to solely be

         11        limited to access to higher education.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any discussion on the amendment

         13        to the proposal offered by Commissioner Mills?

         14        Commissioner Scott.

         15             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  She was up first.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Evans.

         17             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I rise to oppose the amendment.

         18        The language to participate in a democratic society and to

         19        successfully compete is a global economy is straight out

         20        of the outcomes-based education language that this is a

         21        religious issue.  There are a lot of people who do not

         22        want to see our country move to the one world government

         23        type of mentality.  And to put this kind of issue into our

         24        Constitution is quite egregious as far as -- as what we

         25        are truly trying to teach our children.  Am I on the wrong


  


                                                                          235

          1        amendment?  To participate in a democratic society and to

          2        successfully compete in a global economy, straight out of

          3        outcomes-based education, is quite a great concern for a

          4        lot of people.  A lot of people do not believe that our

          5        public education should be spending money to promote

          6        religion, and this puts it in the Constitution that we

          7        will.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott, you wanted to

          9        be in opposition, didn't you?  Commissioner Mills.

         10             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, both to respond to

         11        those comments and any unease.  The substance of that

         12        proposal is -- ends with the word education and I have no

         13        problem striking the language that prepares students to

         14        participate in a democratic society and successfully

         15        compete in the global economy.  And then that language,

         16        Commissioner Scott, is precisely the same as it was

         17        before, except it doesn't mention higher education.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further

         19        discussion on the amendment?  If not -- Commissioner

         20        Kogan.

         21             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, Commissioner Kogan needs

         22        to introduce that amendment, which I accept, which would

         23        strike everything after education.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, put it on the table, the

         25        amendment to the amendment.  We have been doing real well,


  


                                                                          236

          1        I hope we can not get tangled up if we can avoid it and

          2        keep moving along.  We have done very well so far.  We are

          3        seeming to run into a little snag here and there now.

          4        Have you got the amendment on the table?  It is a slow

          5        table, Commissioner Mills.

          6             (Pause.)

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let's temporarily pass it and

          8        move on to the next one.  The amendment to the amendment

          9        has got to be drafted.  Without objection we'll move on to

         10        the next proposal.

         11             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  The next proposal is 166,

         12        this is the one I mentioned earlier this morning.  It's

         13        out of line, I move that we temporarily pass it.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You had already moved it to the

         15        other part of the special order in your report.  And I

         16        ruled that when you did.

         17             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  All right.  Then the next

         18        matter will be 181.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's correct.  The next

         20        proposal for consideration is No. 181 by Commissioner

         21        Brochin.  Would you read the proposal, please?

         22             READING CLERK:  Proposal 181, a proposal to revise

         23        Article IX, Section 1, Florida Constitution.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Brochin,

         25        you are recognized.


  


                                                                          237

          1             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Thank you.  Proposal 181 deals

          2        with expressing the fundamental value of the people of our

          3        state to be the education of their children.  The very

          4        first thing I did when I was appointed to this Commission

          5        was to go back and read all of the Florida Constitutions.

          6        And lo and behold, back in the Constitution of 1868 buried

          7        there, you will find the following language:  It is the

          8        paramount duty of the State to make ample provision for

          9        the education of all of the children residing within its

         10        borders without distinction or preference.

         11             That's essentially the language that's before you

         12        today, extracted from the 1868 Constitution.

         13             Last time we voted on this, it passed overwhelmingly

         14        by 19 to 5, and therefore, I would urge your approval at

         15        this point.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Do we have five hands to revote

         17        on this?  Thank you, we do.

         18             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  The intent, and I do want to

         19        be clear on the intent, is as follows:  One, it is to

         20        allow the people of this state to say through its

         21        Constitution, through its document, that it has

         22        fundamental values, and one of those fundamental values is

         23        the education of its children.

         24             Two, it is to allow the people of this state, through

         25        the Constitution, its document, to instruct its state


  


                                                                          238

          1        government that its paramount duty is to provide an

          2        adequate, adequate education for its children.

          3             Three, it is to tell by the people of this state,

          4        when they move forward in the education of our children,

          5        whether it's through vouchers, whether it's through

          6        charter schools, whether it's through private schools,

          7        public schools, that all children, all children in the

          8        state will move there together.

          9             The other thing that I did when I joined this

         10        Commission was to write down a series of factors as to

         11        what would be appropriate for amending our Constitution,

         12        and this falls squarely within those factors.  We cannot

         13        argue here today that Proposal 181 is legislative in

         14        nature.  We cannot say that Proposal 181 is something that

         15        the Legislature, the Governor, or the courts should take

         16        care of.

         17             Proposal 181 is quintessential constitutional

         18        language that sets forth, in clear and unambiguous terms,

         19        the high value of education that we place on our

         20        Constitution for education.  Now, when we arrived here,

         21        there were a lot of things in our Constitution that set

         22        out rights, next of kin, access to courts, and I could go

         23        on.

         24             When we also arrived here, our Constitution does

         25        mention children, it talks about children and how we are


  


                                                                          239

          1        supposed to punish them, Article I, Section 15.

          2        Otherwise, you don't find children in our Constitution.

          3        And the time, I believe, has come now to place it there so

          4        that we are sure that the education of our children for

          5        the future is preserved.  And I urge your adoption of this

          6        proposal.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Morsani,

          8        do you rise in support or opposition?

          9             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I rise in support.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized, sir.

         11             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I would hope that you would

         12        all vote for this proposal.  I picked up something that I

         13        thought you might like to hear.  There once was a pretty

         14        good student who sat in a pretty good class and was taught

         15        by a pretty good teacher who always let pretty good pass.

         16        He wasn't terrific at reading, he wasn't a whizbang at

         17        math, but for him education was leading straight down a

         18        pretty good path.  He didn't find school too exciting, but

         19        he wanted to do pretty well, and he did have trouble with

         20        writing and nobody taught him to spell.  In doing

         21        arithmetic problems pretty good was regarded as fine.

         22        Five plus five need not always add up to 10, a pretty good

         23        answer was 9.

         24             The pretty good class they sat in was part of a

         25        pretty good school.  And the student was not an exception,


  


                                                                          240

          1        on the contrary he was the rule.  The pretty good school

          2        that he went to was there in a pretty good town, and

          3        nobody there seemed to notice he could not tell a verb

          4        from a noun.  The pretty good student, in fact, was a part

          5        of a pretty good mob, and the first time he knew what he

          6        lacked was when he looked for a pretty good job.  It was

          7        then that he saw the position, he discovered that life

          8        could be tough, and he soon had a sneaky suspicion pretty

          9        good might not be good enough.

         10             The pretty good town in our story was part of a

         11        pretty good state, which had pretty good aspirations and

         12        prayed for a pretty good fate.  There once was a pretty

         13        good nation, pretty proud of the greatness it had which

         14        learned much too late, if you want to be great, pretty

         15        good is, in fact, pretty bad.

         16             I recommend that we pass this proposal.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Alfred Lord Tennyson

         18        has given us the word here.  Now, is there any further

         19        discussion on this amendment -- proposal, excuse me.  If

         20        not, we'll proceed to vote.  Unlock the machine.

         21             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  People are absent from the

         23        chamber.  Well, I don't think we have to wait on them to

         24        get back.  Lock the machine and announce the vote.

         25             READING CLERK:  Twenty-eight yeas, one nay,


  


                                                                          241

          1        Mr. Chairman.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote, you have approved

          3        this for Style and Drafting to place on the ballot.  Now,

          4        we'll go back to Proposal No. 157 which we left waiting on

          5        Commissioner Kogan's amendment to the amendment.

          6        Commissioner Kogan, let me have them read that.  And this

          7        is the amendment to the amendment.

          8             Now, for the benefit of those that might have been

          9        out of the chamber, this is the amendment that relates to

         10        the proposal on, aspirational statement on education and

         11        adequate provisions that were raised at the last phrase in

         12        the amendment, needed to be changed, and Commissioner

         13        Kogan has offered an amendment.  Would you read the

         14        amendment, please?

         15             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Kogan on Page 1, Line

         16        6, delete and insert, strike "that prepares students to

         17        participate in a democratic society and to successfully

         18        compete in a global economy."

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And then insert, no, not insert

         20        anything, just a period.  Is that it, Commissioner Kogan?

         21        Okay.  Everybody understand the amendment to the

         22        amendment, it is to strike that sentence.  All right.  All

         23        in favor, say aye.  Opposed?

         24             (Verbal vote taken.)

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries.  Now, we are on the


  


                                                                          242

          1        amendment as amended to the proposal.  Commissioner Mills,

          2        do you want to close on that?

          3             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I just move it.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Move on the amendment to the

          5        proposal.  All of those in favor of the amendment, say

          6        aye.  Opposed?

          7             (Verbal vote taken.)

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We are now on the

          9        proposal as amended.  Commissioner Mills.

         10             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I simply move it, Mr. Chairman.

         11        This defines adequacy in a way that gives us an

         12        opportunity to elevate our vision of our school system.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Is there anybody that

         14        wants to speak to this?  All right.  If not, open the

         15        machine and let's vote.

         16             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Lock the machine and

         18        announce the vote.

         19             READING CLERK:  Twenty-eight yeas, two nays,

         20        Mr. Chairman.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  By your vote, you

         22        have sent this to Style and Drafting for inclusion on the

         23        ballot.  We now move to Committee Substitute for Proposal

         24        66 by the Committee on Judicial.  And Commissioner

         25        Wetherington.  Would you read it, please?


  


                                                                          243

          1             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal No.

          2        66, a proposal to revise Article V, Sections 10 and 11,

          3        Florida Constitution.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  This is the opt-in,

          5        opt-out merit retention, and it was adopted 24 to 7.  Are

          6        there five hands to reconsider this?  If not, it's adopted

          7        and sent to Style and Drafting for inclusion on the

          8        ballot.  Now, we move to crime and punishment, Proposal

          9        No. 24 by Commissioners Rundle, Mills, and Butterworth.

         10        Would you read it, please?

         11             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 24, proposal to revise

         12        Article IV, Section 8, Florida Constitution.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner -- which

         14        one of you wants to take this?  Commissioner Mills.  There

         15        is an amendment on the table.  This is by Style and

         16        Drafting.  It is an amendment that's being offered by

         17        Commissioner Mills on behalf of Style and Drafting.

         18             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Commissioner Mills on behalf of

         19        Style and Drafting.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Correct.  And would you -- let me

         21        let her read it.  Okay, would you read the amendment?

         22             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

         23        Drafting, on Page 2, Line 20, strike all said lines and

         24        insert, no persons sentenced to state prison shall be

         25        released for any reason prior to serving almost 85 percent


  


                                                                          244

          1        of sentence imposed unless granted clemency.  State

          2        prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment shall be

          3        incarcerated for the rest of their natural life unless

          4        granted clemency.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Before we go forward,

          6        are there five hands to redo this?  There are five hands.

          7        All right.  Proceed on the amendment to the proposal.

          8        This is the stop proposal, is that it?

          9             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Yes, Mr. Chairman.  This simply

         10        strikes out the language in the first two sentences which

         11        some folks believed were editorial comment.  Not that I

         12        don't agree with that, but --

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does anybody want to

         14        discuss the amendment or any questions?  All right.  If

         15        not, all in favor of the amendment to the proposal, say

         16        aye.  Opposed?

         17             (Verbal vote taken.)

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment is adopted.  Now,

         19        we are on the proposal.  Commissioner Butterworth is

         20        recognized to present the proposal as amended.

         21             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Mr. Chairman, before I do

         22        that I would like to present an amendment which I think is

         23        being passed out now.  If it would be appropriate, I would

         24        like to just discuss the amendment first.  It's very, very

         25        simple.  What the amendment does, and a lot of concern


  


                                                                          245

          1        that people have is, are we really locking in the

          2        Legislature over a number of years, perhaps a number of

          3        crimes that perhaps we really don't wish to have people

          4        being locked into 85 percent of service or time to be

          5        served; therefore, what the amendment will do will be to

          6        only require the 85 percent to the persons who were

          7        sentenced to state prisons for a violent crime.

          8             And I believe this does take care of a number of

          9        concerns that people have had over the last number of

         10        weeks.  And I would urge the adoption of that particular

         11        amendment, which you should have.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let me have her read the

         13        amendment, please, by Commissioner Butterworth.  Would you

         14        read the amendment?

         15             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Butterworth, on

         16        Page 1, Line 1, after the word "present," insert "for a

         17        violent crime."

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Everybody heard him

         19        explain it, I think.  Any discussion?  Commissioner

         20        Morsani.

         21             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  Question of Commissioner

         22        Butterworth.  As a percentage of our population, prison

         23        population, what is -- how many violent crimes versus

         24        other crimes?

         25             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  312 to 16.


  


                                                                          246

          1             (Laughter.)

          2             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  You are a lot of help.  I

          3        mean, are most of the people in prison for violent crimes?

          4             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Nowadays most people are

          5        in prison for violent crimes.  In the past, years gone by,

          6        they were not.  What this would allow is that if there is

          7        a crunch, that the Legislature would be able to deal with,

          8        if they have to release people early, would be able to

          9        deal with the issue of the nonviolent offender, but we'll

         10        be sending the message out for the violent offender, if

         11        you are convicted of a violent offense in the state of

         12        Florida, you are going to spend 85 percent of your time in

         13        a prison unless of course you receive some type of

         14        clemency by the Governor and the Cabinet.

         15             But I believe this goes a long way in resolving some

         16        of the concerns and there were people who did have an

         17        order to bring more support to what I think is a very,

         18        very fine amendment.

         19             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I do have questions on the

         20        proposal, but we are not there yet, we are on the

         21        amendment.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  On the amendment,

         23        questions from Commissioner Smith to Commissioner

         24        Butterworth.

         25             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Commissioner Butterworth, with


  


                                                                          247

          1        regard to the definition of violent crime, is it defined

          2        the same as violent crime is defined with regard to

          3        habitual offender statutes, or what specifically is going

          4        to be the definition?

          5             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  That would be left up to

          6        the Legislature as to the definition, or the courts will

          7        probably, the courts or the Legislature would do it.  I'm

          8        sorry.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Rundle.

         10             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  I believe that violent crimes is

         11        defined in state law as part one crimes, so I think

         12        there's already by law a definition of what constitutes

         13        violent crimes.  I think that's right.

         14             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  My question is, with regard to

         15        part one crimes, are those definitions, the definition of

         16        those crimes included in violent crimes, are they the same

         17        as those identified in the habitual offender statute,

         18        which can cause you to double or triple a person's

         19        sentence?  Does anybody know that?

         20             If you don't, I'm not trying to put anybody on the

         21        spot, I'm trying to follow up on Commissioner Morsani,

         22        because based on what the violent crimes are and what the

         23        population of the prison is, in terms of percentage of

         24        violent crimes, we can tell whether we are really taking

         25        the handcuffs off of the Legislature or whether we are


  


                                                                          248

          1        just making pretty handcuffs.

          2             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  The way I view this, for those

          3        of you who don't know, the habitual offender statute deals

          4        with those that commit certain crimes within a certain

          5        period of time over a number of years, so they get an

          6        enhanced penalty.  The habitual violent offender provision

          7        would deal with some of the same violent acts that you

          8        would have in part one crimes, robbery, kidnapping, some

          9        of those kinds of things.  But it wouldn't necessarily

         10        mean that you would be sentenced under the HVO.

         11             In other words, being sentenced under the Habitual

         12        Violent Offender Act would require that you have committed

         13        certain offenses, again, over a certain number of years,

         14        that you are in fact a career criminal according to the

         15        definitions in Florida state statutes.  You might not be a

         16        habitual violent offender, still commit a violent crime,

         17        and then this would apply to you.

         18             And for those of you who don't know, the Habitual

         19        Violent Offender Act as well as GORIT [phonetic], do

         20        provide for an 85 percent time served now.  I hope that

         21        answers your question on that.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now we are still on

         23        the amendment.  Commissioner Wetherington on the

         24        amendment.

         25             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  On the amendment.  A


  


                                                                          249

          1        question for Commissioner Butterworth.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.

          3             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Is battery a violent

          4        crime?

          5             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  I would think that would

          6        be a violent crime, sure.

          7             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  If I spit on you, that's

          8        a battery, under the law that's a battery.

          9             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Based upon what you are

         10        convicted of, if it is a violent offense then it would be

         11        85 percent.

         12             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  So if I spit on somebody,

         13        that's a violent crime and I have got to do 85 percent,

         14        whatever the circumstances are, right?

         15             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  You have served on the

         16        bench much longer than I have.  I don't know how many

         17        people you have put in prison for spitting on people.  I

         18        have not had the opportunity to --

         19             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  I'm trying to use an

         20        example that violent includes a tremendous number of

         21        things, including battery.  And now if that was on a

         22        police officer, then it would be a felony.  If you commit

         23        battery on a police officer, that is a third degree

         24        felony, you can send somebody to five years in the state

         25        penitentiary, unless they have changed that the last time.


  


                                                                          250

          1             So if I spit on a police officer, I have got a

          2        five-year felony, I am going to serve 85 percent of a

          3        five-year felony under that sentence under this proposal,

          4        right?

          5             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Commissioner, under the

          6        present law of the state of Florida if you are convicted

          7        of any offense and you receive time, you are going to be

          8        serving 85 percent of that time.  What this does, it puts

          9        in the Constitution 85 percent of violent only.  The way

         10        it is drafted now it would be 85 percent of any crime.

         11        Spitting on a police officer may not end up being a

         12        violent crime under the laws of Florida.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Nabors.

         14             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  I'd like to speak against this

         15        amendment at the appropriate time.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The appropriate time is now or

         17        never.

         18             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  All right.  I didn't know if

         19        they were still asking questions.

         20             Quickly, with all due respect to Commissioner

         21        Butterworth, what bothers me about this amendment, so you

         22        know where I'm coming from and why I'll vote against the

         23        proposal, is I think this is inherently legislative.  As

         24        we deal with the definition of what is violent, we talk

         25        about it in terms of what legislation says.  You have got


  


                                                                          251

          1        to remember, we are putting this in the Constitution.

          2        Legislation can come and go.  We use the term "violent"

          3        and we try to explain it in terms of what the legislation

          4        says from time to time.

          5             To me this is underscores why this proposal or this

          6        public policy should be done by the Legislature and not in

          7        the Constitution.  I urge you to vote against the

          8        amendment because it's vague in terms of the

          9        constitutional standard and ultimately I would have to

         10        urge you to vote against the proposal.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.

         12             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I want to speak briefly in

         13        favor of the amendment.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Speak away.

         15             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Without the amendment the

         16        Legislature is going to be locked in in the future as far

         17        as adjusting any sentences.  And with the amendment, if

         18        there is a problem which can arise, the Legislature can

         19        redefine what is a violent crime, as I understand what the

         20        amendment would do.

         21             Otherwise, until such time as the Legislature changes

         22        anything and we pass this the way it is, somebody that

         23        commits a crime, a violent crime as defined today, is

         24        going to do 85 percent of the time.  But there may become

         25        a time in the future when the Legislature for one reason


  


                                                                          252

          1        or another in its wisdom decides to redefine violent

          2        crime, and that's within their prerogative.

          3             And I think that this is a good amendment which would

          4        put the Legislature in a position that has to fund the

          5        cost of these operations to be able to control somewhat

          6        what they are going to have in the way of population.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any more discussion on the

          8        amendment?  Commissioner Connor was next.

          9             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, I am not prepared

         10        to accede to the notion that the Legislature necessarily

         11        is the one that decides what a violent crime is.  Without

         12        a definition in the Constitution and without a reference

         13        to a statutory provision, which Commissioner Barkdull has

         14        pointed out previously is not good constitutional

         15        practice, I think the courts have the discretion to

         16        determine what's a violent crime.

         17             And so, Commissioner Morsani, with all due deference

         18        to my colleagues who suggested that to the contrary, it

         19        strikes me that the courts are going to be the ones who

         20        decide what the meaning of the terms of the Constitution

         21        is, where a definition is not spelled out and where no

         22        reference to a definition is spelled out.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We have used up the

         24        time on this amendment.  Are you ready to vote?  Yes, you

         25        can close.  Well I think all the time is up.  Proponents,


  


                                                                          253

          1        opponents, proponents and you can close.

          2             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Commissioners, I am

          3        personally in favor of the proposal as it is, but I do

          4        believe that this amendment will make it better insofar as

          5        being able to pass it here as well as having the

          6        Legislature be able to work within it.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We will proceed to

          8        vote on the amendment.  Everybody understand?  Unlock the

          9        machine and let's vote.  This is the amendment, not the

         10        proposal.

         11             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         13        vote.

         14             READING CLERK:  Twenty-eight yeas and 5 nays,

         15        Mr. Chairman.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now we are on the proposal which

         17        is by Commissioners Butterworth, Rundle and Mills.  Who is

         18        going to present the proposal?  Commissioner Rundle.

         19             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Fellow commissioners, we are

         20        getting to that part of our program where we are

         21        addressing issues of public safety.  And let me just point

         22        out to you there are only 2 out of these 44 proposals that

         23        deal with the issue of crime and public safety.

         24             And I think most of you know that when you talk to

         25        citizens around the state of Florida, or we're trying to


  


                                                                          254

          1        recruit citizens to the state of Florida, there are

          2        basically two things on their minds; crime and education.

          3        And so of all the proposals we are coming up to the only

          4        two that at least address an issue that's very important

          5        to the citizens of the state of Florida.

          6             This particular proposal, to give you just a brief,

          7        brief history, if you will recall, we spent a decade

          8        suffering as a state with our early release policy from

          9        our state prisons.  We have suffered also in our courts

         10        because our judges who take due time, who listen to

         11        argument, weigh everything, make a decision on what the

         12        appropriate sentence is for a particular defendant is

         13        completely gutted through whatever policy the state

         14        Legislature has in place at that time.

         15             Yes, it is true, the state Legislature did finally,

         16        after people like you met at our hearings -- and by the

         17        way there is a whole bunch of them up here that have made

         18        this trip yet again because they were victims of Florida's

         19        policy -- they started an initiative process.  And both

         20        the first time and the second time they have a cumulative

         21        number of around half a million citizens that already

         22        support the initiative process.

         23             But what it did was it forced the Legislature to go

         24        ahead and enact the 85 percent provision, which they could

         25        change tomorrow or they could gut in any way they want


  


                                                                          255

          1        with gain time and incentive time, provisional credits.

          2        They have called it everything imaginable in the last

          3        decade.

          4             People keep saying, It doesn't belong in the

          5        Constitution.  I never quite know what that means because

          6        to me the Constitution is what the people wish for.  There

          7        is a lot of aspirational language that's in our

          8        Constitution.  Of the 44 proposals, I asked my legal

          9        staff, tell me which ones must be done in the Constitution

         10        and which ones can be done legislatively.  And upwards of

         11        50 percent of all the proposals we are considering can be

         12        done legislatively.

         13             But I don't have a problem with that, I think that's

         14        okay.  If it is important to the people of the state of

         15        Florida, then it belongs in our Constitution.  This is one

         16        way to protect it.

         17             One last thing please think about.  The Senate

         18        unanimously voted, even after it was state law, to put it

         19        on the state Constitution, to leave it to the people, to

         20        put it on the ballot so it can be voted in.  The House was

         21        about to do the same thing except someone came along and

         22        increased it from 85 percent to 100 percent so it died.

         23             If your Legislature believes that it should be in the

         24        Constitution, your citizens up there believe it should in

         25        the Constitution, why shouldn't we allow them that option


  


                                                                          256

          1        to vote it in?  I urge you please to support this, we are

          2        very close to our 22 votes.  Thank you.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

          4        Wetherington and then Commissioners Smith and Brochin.

          5        Commissioner Wetherington.

          6             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  I speak in opposition

          7        with the greatest friendship and respect for both

          8        commissioners that are sponsoring this.  But something I

          9        read interestingly in the Houston Chronicle Monday,

         10        March 16, as follows out of Santa Ana, California:  A man

         11        who stole four chocolate chip cookies from a restaurant

         12        must serve 26 years to life in prison under the state's

         13        three strikes law.

         14             Judge Jean Reinheimer [phonetic] refused Friday to

         15        reduce the sentence given in 1995 to Kevin Webber, 34,

         16        previously convicted of a burglary and assault with a

         17        firearm.  "I just see no reason to say Mr. Webber is

         18        anything other than the three strikes defendant the people

         19        and the Legislature had in mind when they enacted this

         20        law," the judge said.  Three strikes laws mandate tough

         21        punishments after third conviction.

         22             Now presumably this defendant who stole four

         23        chocolate chip cookies from a restaurant under the

         24        85 percent rule would be serving 85 percent of 26 years to

         25        life.  Obviously, you get the feeling that this is not a


  


                                                                          257

          1        sentence that I am particularly in agreement with.  There

          2        are a lot of sentences that come out and a lot of

          3        circumstances that come out where you can get some very,

          4        occasionally, although usually we get good sound

          5        sentences, but you can get some very skewed results for

          6        lots of reasons in the criminal justice system.

          7             The idea, on a situation like this, of having a

          8        constitutional requirement of serving 85 percent of the

          9        time no matter how ridiculous the sentence is, in my mind

         10        is unthinkable.  I don't want to go into the problem that

         11        we have with this massive building up of the jail

         12        overcrowding that we are having now and that we are going

         13        to continue to have in the future.

         14             To remove any ability to deal with that problem other

         15        than the continuing warehousing of people, irrespective of

         16        whether or not they have been rehabilitated or are capable

         17        of being rehabilitated, regardless of the circumstances

         18        underlying the sentence, whether it is a horribly just or

         19        unjust sentence, to my mind is unthinkable.

         20             And I understand the motives, and the frustrations

         21        with law and order but this is -- this would be, in my

         22        judgment, a totally arbitrary, unworkable solution.  It

         23        would be impractical, we could not afford it and even if

         24        we could afford it to say automatically that there is

         25        no -- there is nothing built in for good time, there is


  


                                                                          258

          1        nothing to help the prison officials with respect to

          2        giving somebody some hope, there is nothing in there of

          3        rehabilitation, we completely wipe everybody off, there is

          4        no possibility of reform is to me a bad, unjust thing to

          5        do and I oppose it.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Smith

          7        and then Brochin.

          8             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I rise

          9        to oppose this proposition.  And let me just assist my

         10        good friend Commissioner Wetherington with the four

         11        chocolate chip cookies, which is not a violent crime.

         12        That individual had tried to run out of the store and a

         13        police officer tried to catch him and he pushed him,

         14        that's a battery on a police officer and then that would

         15        be a violent crime and therefore even with the amendment,

         16        the Butterworth amendment, he would be subjected to 26

         17        years having to serve 85 percent.

         18             We have done a lot of bashing of our Legislature and

         19        I rise to commend the Legislature for responding to STOP

         20        and passing the legislation that requires 85 percent of

         21        time.  This is a legislative responsibility.

         22             And Commissioner Rundle states that 50 percent of our

         23        proposals can be handled by the Legislature, and

         24        50 percent must be in the Constitution.  But there is a

         25        difference between those that can be handled by the


  


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          1        Legislature and those that have been handled by the

          2        Legislature, which is in fact this particular proposal.

          3             Secondly, we know for a fact that the Legislature is

          4        not going to downgrade sentences.  We haven't seen that.

          5        The Legislature is not saying, We are going to, the

          6        15-year minimum mandatory sentences and 5-year minimum

          7        mandatory, 3-year minimum mandatory sentences, habitual

          8        offender, violent offender, life sentences, we are going

          9        to reduce them back.  Politicians can't run on an

         10        I'm-reducing-sentences platform.  We know that it won't

         11        work in Florida.

         12             And so what we are doing is we're crippling the

         13        ability of the Legislature to be able to deal with the

         14        kind of problems that can arise by this type of draconian

         15        legislation.  Let me just tell you this, Commissioner

         16        Rundle is right.  The people will vote for this.  If you

         17        made all violent crimes life felonies, the people will

         18        vote for it.  We need to bring some kind of sanity to this

         19        debate and to this discussion.

         20             We need to provide some discretion.  We need to

         21        provide some compassion and some understanding.  If you

         22        look at the sentences in Florida we have some of the

         23        toughest sentences in the country, maybe surpassed by

         24        Texas.  But what are we doing?  We are feeding raw meat to

         25        people who are hurt.  And I think that we need to bring


  


                                                                          260

          1        some intellectual sanity and honesty to the process.

          2             And I implore you, we were 14 votes before that voted

          3        no, we need 16 votes today.  And I urge those of you on

          4        the fence to think about the fact that it has already been

          5        fixed by the Legislature.  Please, let's not write this in

          6        our Constitution.  If we are going to do that, let's also

          7        write in the Constitution that all life, all violent

          8        felonies will do life imprisonment.  All people with

          9        mandatory sentences, you do everyday, if we really feel

         10        that way.

         11             And I don't think we really feel that way.  And I

         12        don't think we have to pander to the public because most

         13        of us are not running for anything except for the respect

         14        of the people of the state of Florida.  Please vote no.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  How much time?  Opponents have

         16        about used up your time.  Commissioner Brochin, are you a

         17        proponent or opponent?

         18             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  I am an opponent.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are going to wind up the

         20        opponents.

         21             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  If I ever run for public

         22        office I am going to right now make three campaign

         23        pledges; one, I'm going to amend the wrongful death

         24        statute and take care of age.  Two, I'm going to remove or

         25        lift the caps on sovereign immunity.  And, three, I'm


  


                                                                          261

          1        going to pass a law that says that people should spend

          2        100 percent of their time in prison because this proposal,

          3        as well intended as it is, has the point of truth in

          4        sentencing.

          5             But the problem is we are not the Legislature, and I

          6        am not running for office, and this is already the law in

          7        the state of Florida.  Not only is it the law in the state

          8        of Florida, we are proposing a number, 85 percent to go

          9        into our Constitution.  And respectfully, you do not place

         10        those sort of tight and narrow restrictions in a document

         11        that should lay out some broad, overriding principles on

         12        how to govern, not specifically micromanage the way

         13        government is to be run.

         14             So in my humble opinion, it does not meet any of the

         15        tests for what the Constitution Revision Commission should

         16        be doing, except that it does have the more than distinct

         17        possibility of being approved.  But as Commissioner Smith

         18        adequately said or aptly said -- well adequate is still a

         19        good term, you know -- we need to bring some intellectual

         20        honesty to it.

         21             And to put 85 percent, or any number like that, in

         22        terms of how prisoners should go and for how long is a

         23        mistake that we may not be able to correct.  Whereas, the

         24        Legislature who has put it into our law and who meets

         25        every year and can meet more often if necessary has that


  


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          1        sort of flexibility that is necessary and that is why I'm

          2        voting against it.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The proponents have

          4        some more time left.  Commissioner Mills.

          5             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, let me tell you, what I

          6        think I'm hearing here, it is like the guy that's beaten

          7        up on the side of the road and folks walk over to him and

          8        say, Gee, you look like you have been badly beaten up by

          9        those two guys over there.  What can we do to help those

         10        two guys over there?  We are talking about trying to make

         11        criminals serve the time that they are entitled to.  And

         12        they have earned.

         13             And I hear judges talk about sentencing and saying

         14        they are ridiculous sentences.  If they are ridiculous

         15        sentences, they are giving them.  All this does is say you

         16        are going to serve 85 percent of whatever ridiculous

         17        sentence that you happen to determine to give.

         18             Now talk about the Legislature.  Why we need to do

         19        this?  The Legislature would never do that, not so.  1987,

         20        take you back, that Legislature was certainly not elected

         21        on being weak on crime.  That Legislature was confronted

         22        with a federal order which said, We are going to empty

         23        your prisons unless you do.  And by statute, in this

         24        section, they said, We are going to start releasing

         25        prisoners, whoever gets there.


  


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          1             Commissioner Butterworth had a great point.  If

          2        you're going to release people, let's release people who

          3        we have examined.  And now this is limited to violent

          4        offenders.  Think about this.  What we did in 1987 was

          5        what these people, the victims were talking about.  We

          6        released people because we didn't think ahead.

          7             This in the Constitution means the Legislature cannot

          8        open the back door.  They have got to plan ahead because

          9        we in the Constitution have told them that if you pass a

         10        statute that says everything that's illegal, convict

         11        somebody and a judge imposes a sentence, however

         12        ridiculous, they are going to serve 85 percent of that.

         13        What could be more honest?  The whole rest of the system

         14        is moving.  The whole rest of the system can be changed.

         15        This one part cannot.  And will the Legislature do it?

         16        History speaks.  The Legislature did it.  In 1987 we

         17        started letting people out.

         18             And this would compel the Legislature to look ahead

         19        in terms of corrections.  If you don't want to let people

         20        out, build a prison.  This is -- the citizens of this

         21        state deserve an honest system where if you are sentenced,

         22        you do the time.  That's very simple.  If you don't want

         23        to do the time, don't pass the statute, don't sentence

         24        them.  Once they are sentenced, this honestly says, You

         25        will do 85 percent of your sentence.  That's all it does.


  


                                                                          264

          1             And it should be in the Constitution.  Why?  Because

          2        the Legislature will, will have to and will release

          3        people.  This will make that, make the Legislature look

          4        ahead in a way that the Constitution only can do.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Butterworth.

          6             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Mr. Chairman, I'd like to

          7        assure Commissioners Wetherington and Smith that I just

          8        contacted Secretary Singletary at the Department of

          9        Corrections and we have nobody doing jail time for

         10        stealing four cookies.  I have also contacted my good

         11        sheriffs from Citrus and Pinellas County and they advise

         12        me that they have nobody serving time in their respective

         13        jails for stealing four cookies.

         14             But if in fact we did, there is a safety valve in

         15        this amendment, this proposal, which says that the

         16        Governor and Cabinet, if there is an unjust circumstance,

         17        they can correct it through clemency.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  It is time to close.

         19        Anybody want to close or is there a close by any of the

         20        proposers?  If not, then we are prepared to vote.  Open

         21        the machine and let's vote.

         22             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         23             (Off-the-record comment.)

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  If everybody has voted that's

         25        going to vote, then lock the machine and announce the


  


                                                                          265

          1        vote.

          2             READING CLERK:  Twenty yeas, 11 nays, Mr. Chairman.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We will move to

          4        Proposal No. 167 by Commissioner Rundle.

          5             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 167, a proposal to

          6        revise Article VIII, Section 5, Florida Constitution.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner -- there

          8        is an amendment being offered -- do I have five hands on

          9        this?  Yes, we do.  Okay.  There is an amendment on the

         10        table.  Commissioner Smith?

         11             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Would you record me as no on the

         12        last vote?  I didn't vote.  I pushed my button but it

         13        didn't -- I pushed it, but it didn't register.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, Commissioner

         15        Smith -- we all knew you were no, we just didn't get you

         16        down.  So you will be recorded as voting no.  That was the

         17        other vote I was looking for because I have been counting

         18        how many is voting.  But if you don't vote, that in effect

         19        is a no vote on these votes.

         20             The amendment -- first of all, read the proposal.

         21        Did we read the proposal?  Now the amendment is offered by

         22        Commissioner Connor.  Would you read the amendment,

         23        please?

         24             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Connor, on Page 1,

         25        Line 10, through Page 2, Line 3, strike all of said lines


  


                                                                          266

          1        and insert lengthy amendment.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Connor

          3        to explain the amendment.  This is a fairly, it is not

          4        lengthy, but it is long enough that he is going to need to

          5        explain it.

          6             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Well it is certainly

          7        straightforward, Mr. Chairman.  Ladies and gentlemen, the

          8        whole rationale that's been put forth to us behind CRC

          9        Proposal No. 167 has been to close the so-called gun show

         10        loophole.  And we have heard all kinds of explanations

         11        about how that gun show loophole is being abused and how

         12        it threatens the citizens of Florida.  And as a

         13        consequence of that loophole, we need 167 to close the

         14        loophole.

         15             The fact of the matter is, ladies and gentlemen, if

         16        you will take a look at CRC 167, it doesn't even reference

         17        gun shows.  It doesn't even mention the word.  There is no

         18        provision whatsoever in CRC 167 that will result in any

         19        penalty or any violation of the law as a result of selling

         20        a gun at a gun show, plain and simple.

         21             Now Florida has a state preemption statute.  And

         22        historically what we have done in order to assure

         23        uniformity throughout the state is to follow that state

         24        statute.  Now if you really want to close the loophole at

         25        gun shows, then I have given you the opportunity to do so


  


                                                                          267

          1        by positing this amendment.

          2             And basically what it provides very simply is that

          3        any person engaged in the business of selling or dealing

          4        in firearms at gun shows, exhibitions or flea markets or

          5        on their premises must be a licensed firearm dealer.  Now

          6        what this means is this protection and this provision is

          7        even broader than gun shows because we pick up flea

          8        markets and their premises.

          9             If you follow this through, you will see that

         10        "engaged in the business" means a person who devotes time,

         11        attention and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular

         12        course of trade or business, with the principal objective

         13        of livelihood and profit, through the repetitive sale --

         14        excuse me, through the repetitive purchase and resale of

         15        firearms.

         16             Now what the term does not include is a person who

         17        makes occasional sales, exchanges or purchases a firearm

         18        for the enhancement of a personal collection or of a hobby

         19        or makes an occasional sale of all or part of a personal

         20        collection of firearms.  Now Judge Barkdull and

         21        Commissioner Langley both registered concern and expressed

         22        concern about that.

         23             Now this is an opportunity to put your money where

         24        your mouth is if you really believe that the problem is

         25        gun shows and you want to close the loophole on gun shows.


  


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          1        Can this be done by the Legislature?  You bet it can.  In

          2        fact, Senator Gutman and Senator Thomas both have

          3        identical bills that have been put forward by the

          4        Legislature.  I have advocated all along that this is a

          5        problem amenable to a legislative solution.  And the fact

          6        that there are bills now pending, supported by the NRA,

          7        affirmed by Unified Sportsmen of Florida, and promoted by

          8        Marion Hammer, who is the president of those, have

          9        advocated the passage.

         10             So what I want to do is give you the opportunity, if

         11        you really want to do it and if you really are concerned

         12        about gun shows and closing the gun show loophole, to pass

         13        this proposal.  You certainly will usurp the prerogative

         14        of the Legislature in doing so, but we don't seem to have

         15        much problem in doing that all day long as far as that

         16        goes.  But this will address that problem.  And 167 as

         17        presently framed does not do one thing about gun shows and

         18        you are kidding yourself if you think to the contrary.

         19        Just read the language.  Thank you.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Connor, I had one

         21        question on the amendment, I won't leave the floor, I am

         22        not speaking for or against this.

         23             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Yes, sir.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does your amendment close the

         25        loophole where individuals go to gun shows and swap or


  


                                                                          269

          1        sell or exchange firearms --

          2             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Yes, sir.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  -- like the McVeighs and those

          4        people?

          5             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Well it does not -- I refer you

          6        to Page 2, Mr. Chairman, the language commencing at the

          7        end of page, of Line 2 on Page 2.  The term does not

          8        include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges or

          9        purchases a firearm for the enhancement of a personal

         10        collection or for a hobby, or makes an occasional sale of

         11        all or part of a personal collection.

         12             And I would make this observation in this regard,

         13        Mr. Chairman.  One of the things, frankly, that I think

         14        you need to understand is that presently if you violate

         15        the law that's in existence with respect to the sale or

         16        exchange of firearms without getting the background check,

         17        that is a felony in Florida.  Now what the Proposal 167

         18        does is to bat that issue down.  And it is a federal

         19        crime, by the way, for a licensed dealer to do it at a gun

         20        show, it is also a felony.

         21             Now what we are talking about is batting this down to

         22        the counties where they can make it a misdemeanor for what

         23        is otherwise punishable as a felony under federal law.

         24        That's a rather curious position to be in, as I perceive

         25        it, but if you want to close that loophole that's the way


  


                                                                          270

          1        to do it.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The reason I ask that is when I

          3        read that, that seemed it me to exclude from the gun show

          4        regulations so to speak, anybody that wasn't a licensed

          5        firearm dealer or where their principal objective is to

          6        profit through repetitive sales.  And isn't one of the

          7        things we have heard in public hearing, which I know you

          8        wanted to address, that people go to these gun shows and

          9        swap with people who are not licensed firearm dealers and

         10        all this or others and that that was the loophole that was

         11        causing a lot of problems?  And I know you wanted to

         12        address that.

         13             And it just seems to me, and the reason I asked you

         14        that question, that you might need to add a little

         15        language to that.

         16             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, on Line 3

         17        exchanges is included.  It says, "a person does not

         18        include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges or

         19        purchase of firearms for the enhancement of a personal

         20        collection or for a hobby."  And so I think that exchanges

         21        which are for a personal collection, or for a hobby, would

         22        be exempted out.  And I think that's an appropriate

         23        exemption here.  But those who are engaged in repetitive

         24        purchases or resales for profit, this takes care of them.

         25             The Legislature is prepared to pass this bill out.


  


                                                                          271

          1        As I say, it has the support of the NRA.  It did not have

          2        the support of Commissioner Rundle, which is the only

          3        reason it hasn't advanced down the path at this point.

          4        But you can do it here or you can do it in the

          5        Legislature.  Frankly, I think it is better to do it in

          6        the Legislature but let's not kid ourselves about what 167

          7        does.  It doesn't do a thing about gun shows, not a thing.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Lowndes

          9        has a question.

         10             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Commissioner Connor --

         11             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Yes, sir.

         12             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  -- what does "their premises"

         13        refer to?  What does the "their" refer to?  What is the

         14        antecedent of that pronoun?

         15             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Gun shows, exhibitions, flea

         16        markets.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does that answer your question?

         18             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Yes, thank you.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Smith.

         20             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Question, Mr. Chairman.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You may.

         22             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Mr. Connor, you are very, very

         23        particular about words, as you have demonstrated

         24        throughout this process.  What does the word "occasional"

         25        mean?  Does that mean you can sell your guns three times a


  


                                                                          272

          1        year, five times a year, seven times a year?

          2             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I think occasional means

          3        whatever the dictionary definition of occasional is.

          4        Frankly I think that's a term that is capable of being

          5        defined.  It means every now and then, irregular.  It is

          6        not repetitive, as is indicated here.

          7             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Well, aren't you a little

          8        concerned that in terms of the enforcement of this

          9        provision a person who was legitimately attempting to be

         10        in compliance with the law would not know whether or not

         11        participation in three gun shows as opposed to five gun

         12        shows could cause him to run afoul of the law and would

         13        place in the hands of police officers or a sheriff, who

         14        may not like you or may not like what is going on, the

         15        unbridled discretion to make a determination of what is --

         16        you know, he could say, Billy Bob, I saw you here at the

         17        last gun show.  This says occasional.  Looks to me, Billy

         18        Bob, you are here at every gun show.  Put your hands

         19        behind your back, you are going with me.

         20             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I am certainly amenable to

         21        language that would be occasional but not to exceed X

         22        number a year.  I am certainly not averse to that.  But

         23        the point here is to protect those who really are not

         24        engaged in the business from running afoul of the law in

         25        that regard.


  


                                                                          273

          1             And where we define repetitive purchase and resale of

          2        firearm, where we talk about repetitive resale of

          3        firearms, I think that shows that what we are trying to

          4        except out from the definition of dealer is a person who

          5        comes and makes an occasional transfer, sale or exchange.

          6             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Second question, Mr. Chairman,

          7        and that's it for me.  If in fact I was a part of some

          8        black militant group who had as its mission to overthrow

          9        or destabilize the government and I had, I was a convicted

         10        felon, would I be able to go into a gun show and with my

         11        record buy a gun from someone who is making an occasional

         12        sale because that person would not run a background check

         13        on me?

         14             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I think the answer to that is

         15        yes.

         16             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you.

         17             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  And guess what?  You can do

         18        that under 167 as framed now.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any -- the amendment we are on is

         20        Commissioner Connor's amendment.  Anybody want to speak on

         21        the amendment?  Commissioner Rundle.

         22             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  I'd like to speak against the

         23        amendment.  As Commissioner Connor knows, we have had many

         24        discussions about this, this language does not close the

         25        loophole for precisely the reason that Commissioner Smith


  


                                                                          274

          1        just pointed out.  Your problem isn't your licensed

          2        dealers.  It is those that are occasional private

          3        collections that can go to as many gun shows and sell as

          4        many firearms without any background checks and without a

          5        requirement that there be a waiting period.  And that's

          6        where the abuse is coming in.

          7             This is no more than a restatement pretty much of

          8        what the law is today that still allows the problems that

          9        you have seen on your tape and that you have heard about

         10        occurs because of this kind of language.  So again, you

         11        know I really urge you not to fall into this trap, I think

         12        that it is a trap.  I think it is just a restatement of

         13        the problem, it is not a solution to the problem.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further?

         15        Anything further on the amendment?  Does everybody

         16        understand we are voting on Commissioner Connor's

         17        amendment which I guess in effect is a strike-everything

         18        amendment.  Commissioner Connor can close.

         19             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I'll close on it by withdrawing

         20        it, with this understanding, and help you understand this.

         21        This is uniquely a legislative issue.  This matter can be

         22        solved.  These items can be defined.

         23             Now we make, I believe, a grave error in including

         24        167 on our ballot proposals.  And it will be a major drag

         25        factor.  It will -- this was not a proposal that emanated


  


                                                                          275

          1        out of the public hearings, it was not one that the public

          2        requested that it be filed.  Many people have very strong

          3        convictions about it.

          4             To Commissioner Rundle's great credit, she has

          5        focused attention on this issue, the Legislature is

          6        prepared to deal with it, the NRA is prepared to support

          7        an appropriate way to close this loophole, we should not

          8        burden our Constitution with it.  And with that I'll

          9        withdraw the proposal, Mr. Chairman.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well without objection your

         11        proposal or amendment will be withdrawn and we will revert

         12        to the proposal in its original form.  And we are dealing

         13        of course with Proposal 167.

         14             Now, Commissioner Rundle, would you like to open on

         15        the proposal?

         16             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Yes, sir, I'd be delighted to.

         17        But I believe an amendment has been filed.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is there another amendment that's

         19        been filed?

         20             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Commissioner Smith?

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I haven't been handed one.

         22             (Off-the-record comment.)

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  There are no amendments on the

         24        table.

         25             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  We had a miscommunication


  


                                                                          276

          1        breakdown there.

          2             I would like to -- maybe while I'm talking

          3        Commissioner Smith or somebody, we want to add the

          4        language.  You-all may remember, the last time we

          5        discussed this, Commissioner Smith said he would come back

          6        and he would add the language criminal record, criminal

          7        history so there was no confusion about medical records

          8        and mental health records.

          9             At that time, however, we didn't know what the exact

         10        correct language was.  We have since discovered what that

         11        is and I believe it is criminal history records that we

         12        would like to amend to this proposal.

         13             While Commissioner Smith works on that, because we

         14        understood that last time that we were going to add that

         15        to this proposal, let me just say a few things.  I know I

         16        don't need to go into the merits of this proposal, I don't

         17        think anybody knows about gun laws and the loopholes more

         18        than all of you.  You have really become great students on

         19        the law and I can see just by the debate we had on that

         20        amendment that you fully understand the problem.

         21             We can't at a local level -- and one reason I made it

         22        a local option for local communities was so that we

         23        weren't imposing on rural areas or other communities

         24        throughout this state a law that may not be a problem for

         25        them.  This is for those areas where it is a problem,


  


                                                                          277

          1        where arms trafficking and illegal firearms is a problem,

          2        where gun shows occur every other weekend in their

          3        communities.

          4             In Dade County and six other urban areas it is a

          5        problem for them.  And really it is only up to that local

          6        community, that local government, they are going to have

          7        to vote for it, decide what language is correct for them.

          8        And it really only does the waiting period three to five

          9        days, background check on all firearms, carry concealed

         10        permit persons are still exempt, and it is to places where

         11        the public has access.  And we have heard a lot about that

         12        discussion.  It is school gymnasiums, school grounds,

         13        civic centers, it could be hotels where people have public

         14        access.

         15             And so we really define this in a very narrow way.

         16        Don't let the, you know, the vocal minority confuse us on

         17        this issue.  It is not going to be a drag factor.  Three

         18        out of four Floridians support this, we tested the

         19        language.  They supported it previously in 1990 by

         20        84 percent and I believe they will do it again.

         21             So you know what it doesn't do.  It doesn't interfere

         22        with anyone's right to carry firearms, it doesn't have

         23        anything to do with moving from one county to the next and

         24        having inconsistent laws, it has nothing to do with

         25        purchase.  I'm sorry, it has nothing to do with


  


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          1        possession, it only has to do with purchase.

          2             And so with that I ask you please, I think 20 of you

          3        did this last time, this is a public safety issue for a

          4        lot of communities.  Remember the problems that we have in

          5        our urban areas.  We have these gun bazaars that we have

          6        got to do something about.  It is not going to solve all

          7        the problems, but it is one source that you can do

          8        something about.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There is an amendment

         10        on the table by Commissioner Smith.  Read the amendment,

         11        please.

         12             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Smith, on Page 1,

         13        Line 25, delete "background" and insert "criminal history

         14        records."

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We have discussed the

         16        amendment.  Do you want to briefly discuss it again just

         17        to say that this takes care of that situation?

         18             (Off-the-record comment by Commissioner Rundle.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  All in favor of the

         20        amendment say aye; opposed?

         21             (Verbal vote taken.)

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment carries.  We are

         23        now on the proposal as amended.  Is there further

         24        discussion or debate on the proposal as amended?

         25        Commissioner Langley, you are an opponent?


  


                                                                          279

          1             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Yes, sir.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized.

          3             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  As a free-living, red-blooded

          4        American, I oppose this.  You know, we used to have a guy

          5        in the House named Ray Maddox from Polk County.  He would

          6        always get up and give these big patriotic speeches.  And

          7        so to save time, we would say, just say No. 4, Ray, or say

          8        No. 3, Ray.  And it would save about ten minutes of his

          9        oratory.  And I feel like saying I just wanted to give

         10        No. 4 again to tell you that this is not going to do one

         11        whit of good.

         12             Unfortunately, Commissioner Rundle, the crooks aren't

         13        going to abide by this law, just like they don't abide by

         14        the present law.  You are making laws that are going to

         15        affect honest, free, fair, ordinary citizens and not do a

         16        darn thing for the criminal because he is not going to pay

         17        any attention to this.  He is breaking the law right now

         18        and he will continue to break the law.

         19             And, again, it depends on which side of the issue you

         20        are on on these things when you say, why not let the

         21        Legislature do this.  This is truly a legislative matter

         22        and the Legislature could let the counties do this on a

         23        countywide level.  Why not let the Legislature do that who

         24        will have a much better grasp of the situation?  And if

         25        this is necessary, let them decide that after the proper


  


                                                                          280

          1        debate and the proper public hearings and everything that

          2        goes into the making of law.

          3             But again, sure, you are going to tie the hands more

          4        of honest people who have some reason to own guns, to buy

          5        guns and to sell guns.  And the criminals will go on

          6        buying theirs on the street corner and doing whatever they

          7        want.  So please don't pass this.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Freidin.

          9        Commissioner Morsani, you are next.

         10             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  As a wanna-be free-living,

         11        red-blooded American, I was walking -- you will recall

         12        that I told you the story about the gun show that is close

         13        to my house.  Well since our -- since we also discussed

         14        this, there was another gun show at Dinner Key Auditorium

         15        and I think it was the last weekend in February, first

         16        weekend in March, something like that.

         17             And I gave serious, I had serious pause when I went

         18        on my Saturday morning walk, but I decided out of

         19        curiosity I would go anyway.  Because you will recall that

         20        the last time I had been on my Saturday morning walk

         21        during a gun show I had seen these young men dressed in

         22        combat fatigues playing war games with the guns they had

         23        just purchased or were carrying into the convention

         24        center.

         25             Well I decided out of curiosity to go again.  And


  


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          1        this time I wore my flak jacket, but this time, and this

          2        is not a joke, this is not lighthearted, this time I saw

          3        in the public parking lot, right in front of the gun show,

          4        a van that had pulled up with a sign that said, Guns For

          5        Sale.  And they were actually selling guns out of this

          6        van.

          7             And they were, this is not something that I want in

          8        my neighborhood.  And I don't think this is something any

          9        of you want in your neighborhoods.  This is dangerous.

         10        This is uncontrolled.  This is not criminals selling to

         11        each other on the street corner, this is the organized

         12        selling of guns, for profit, in a way that is totally

         13        unregulated and uncontrolled in our state and it must be

         14        stopped and this proposal will stop it.

         15             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Connor.

         16        Commissioner Morsani, I'm sorry.

         17             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  Very briefly.  This is very

         18        simple.  We vote for the proposal, but if the Legislature,

         19        they have 60 days to change the law, and if they pass it

         20        by May the 4th, we will take the proposal out.  And so we

         21        challenge the Legislature today to pass legislation to

         22        close this loophole and then we will not put this on the

         23        ballot or we wouldn't suggest this to our citizenry and we

         24        will take it off by May the 4th.

         25             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Connor.


  


                                                                          282

          1             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, I had made that

          2        suggestion earlier in a private meeting with Commissioner

          3        Rundle and with Marion Hammer and with other interested

          4        parties.  And so far at least there hasn't been much in

          5        the way of support for really closing the gun show

          6        loophole, so-called loophole, but rather the appearance to

          7        me, at least seems to me that the real goal is to pass a

          8        constitutional amendment, regardless of what the

          9        Legislature does.

         10             I would say to Commissioner Freidin, it sounds like

         11        what you need to do when a van pulls up and is selling

         12        guns at the gun show with a big sign, Guns For Sale, you

         13        need to call your state attorney.  And you need to tell

         14        your state attorney that federal law requires that anyone

         15        engaged in the business of selling firearms is to be

         16        licensed by the federal government.

         17             And the only exemption, Commissioner Smith, this is

         18        in the federal law, would seem somehow to have made it

         19        even with the language of occasional, it says the only

         20        exemption is, and I quote, A person who makes occasional

         21        sales, exchanges or purchases of firearms for the

         22        enhancement of a personal collection, for the enhancement

         23        of a personal collection or for a hobby or makes an

         24        occasional sale of all or part of a personal collection of

         25        firearms.


  


                                                                          283

          1             Now what Commissioner Freidin has identified as a

          2        problem is an enforcement problem.  You put up a sign,

          3        Guns For Sale, you need to call your state attorney and

          4        then they won't have to be amending the Constitution to

          5        take care of the problem.

          6             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Scott.

          7             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I have an inquiry of the Chair,

          8        Mr. Chairman.  Commissioner Morsani stated about if

          9        something happened in Legislature we can take it off.  And

         10        I just want to clarify that basically 22 votes is going to

         11        be required again after disposed of by Style and Drafting

         12        regarding the grouping.  So that would be available if

         13        this proposal did get 22, it could still be taken off

         14        because it is going to require another 22 votes.  I

         15        discussed this with the chairman of the Style and Drafting

         16        and he agrees with that interpretation.  I mentioned it to

         17        you earlier, but I just wanted to make sure that we are

         18        clear on that.

         19             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well we better let the real

         20        chairman answer that question.

         21             (Chairman Douglass resumes the Chair.)

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The rules -- what you

         23        have to do is vote against the grouping.  And if you amend

         24        the grouping it takes 22 votes.  That's the way the rules

         25        were adopted, that's the way they are.  And so you will --


  


                                                                          284

          1        that's correct, if you have 22 votes you could single one

          2        off and then vote on it again.

          3             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Mr. Chairman, any proposal,

          4        grouping, whatever, is going to require 22 votes.  That

          5        was our understanding because this came from Style and

          6        Drafting.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's true.  Any grouping will

          8        require 22 votes.  The proposals in the grouping will all

          9        require the same vote, 22 votes.  But we are not going to

         10        vote on them individually again under the rules, unless

         11        they are a single item.  That's the way the rules were.  I

         12        asked that question earlier today and that's it.  But this

         13        is not the time to take that up, I don't think.

         14             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well it is because,

         15        Mr. Chairman, with due respect, because Commissioner --

         16        you have agreed, you solved the problem because

         17        Commissioner Morsani said if the Legislature did something

         18        before May whatever we could act on it.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think we can do that, but this

         20        particular one I think so far looks like it is going to be

         21        all out there by itself anyway.

         22             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  But whether it is out there by

         23        itself or not it is still a grouping.  You see what I am

         24        saying?

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is subject to getting the 22


  


                                                                          285

          1        votes in a group or by itself if it is a single amendment,

          2        that's true.  The other thing is I presume that by

          3        unanimous consent we could withdraw it anyway if the

          4        Legislature did what you said, provided the sponsors

          5        agreed with that, Commissioner Langley.

          6             Let's proceed, if we could, on the proposal and we

          7        will worry about 22 votes after we get them.  All right.

          8        Is there any further debate, discussion on this proposal

          9        No. 167 as amended?  If not, we will proceed to vote.

         10        Open the machine and let's vote.

         11             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Has everyone voted?

         13        Commissioner Smith, did you get recorded this time?  It is

         14        Commissioner Hawkes that's left us.  Lock the machine and

         15        announce the vote.

         16             READING CLERK:  Twenty-four yeas, 11 nays,

         17        Mr. Chairman.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have moved this

         19        to Style and Drafting for the grouping.  Now we will move

         20        to the next proposal, which is under Tax and Budget, and

         21        it is Proposal Nos. 49, 103 and 185 by the Committee on

         22        Finance and Taxation and Commissioners Anthony, Henderson

         23        and Mills.  And there are no amendments on the table.

         24        Would you read it, please.

         25             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal


  


                                                                          286

          1        Nos. 49, 103 and 185, a proposal to revise Article VII,

          2        Section 3, Florida Constitution.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There is an amendment

          4        on the table, but first of all, do we have five hands?

          5        This one was voted out 28 to 2.  Do we have five hands?

          6        If we don't get five hands, it will just go forward.  You

          7        do not have five hands.

          8             This is Proposal Nos. 49, 103 and 185 by the

          9        Committee on Finance and Tax, revising the requirements

         10        for exempting municipally-owned property, et cetera.  And

         11        it passed 28 to 2.  And I asked if there were five hands.

         12        There are six hands.  Okay.  Now we can proceed with this

         13        and I'll ask that, first of all, we read the proposal.  We

         14        haven't read the proposal, have we?  We have, all right.

         15        We have read the proposal and now there is an amendment on

         16        the table by Commissioner Brochin.  And would you read the

         17        amendment, please?

         18             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Brochin, on Page 3,

         19        Line 18, insert lengthy amendment.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now Commissioner

         21        Brochin, you need to explain that?  You have the floor.

         22             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  One of the interesting if not

         23        difficult parts of this process is that ideas that are put

         24        forward in other proposals, if you don't vote for the

         25        entire proposal, then you lose the entire idea without


  


                                                                          287

          1        extracting some of the better ideas.  What I am asking now

          2        is this is an excerpt from Proposal No. 6 that deals with

          3        single subject exclusions.

          4             So what I have done is extracted subsection A out of

          5        Proposal No. 6.  And what that does is require, going

          6        forward, that any exclusion for sales tax only contain the

          7        one exemption and of course contain the declaration that

          8        it meets a public purpose.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Several people are up.  Who wants

         10        it first?  What do you rise for?

         11             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Point of order.  The

         12        amendment is not germane.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The original proposal that we are

         14        dealing with deals with revising the requirements for

         15        exempting municipally-owned property, allowing the

         16        Legislature to exempt from taxation property owned by a

         17        municipality or a special district and used for airport,

         18        seaport or public purposes.  It is my understanding that

         19        does not deal with sales tax; is that right?  And the

         20        amendment you have is offered to some exclusion to the

         21        state sales tax; is that correct?

         22             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  It deals with the creation of

         23        exemptions for sales tax.  The proposal that we are

         24        considering deals with the Legislature's ability to exempt

         25        certain entities from tax.


  


                                                                          288

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well I rule that's out of order

          2        on this proposal because this proposal -- that's not

          3        germane to this proposal.  And you can appeal the ruling

          4        of the Chair, but I think it is pretty clear that that's

          5        not germane.

          6             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  How do you appeal?  I'd like

          7        to appeal because I'd like to at least speak about it.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, you know, if it is not

          9        germane, then you are not entitled to take everybody's

         10        time to speak on it.

         11             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Well I happen to think it is

         12        germane.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well I just ruled that it wasn't

         14        based on the interpretation of the rules and the proposal

         15        itself.  And you have appealed the ruling of the Chair,

         16        which I don't believe it is debatable, except the Chair

         17        can explain why they did it.  And I did.  It's not

         18        debatable; is that correct, Commissioner Scott?

         19             That's correct.  The only person that can debate the

         20        ruling of the Chair is the Chair, and I don't intend to

         21        debate it.  I have already announced why I did that.  You

         22        have appealed the ruling and we will submit it to the body

         23        for a vote on whether or not you overturn the ruling of

         24        the Chair.

         25             (Off-the-record comment.)


  


                                                                          289

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Beg your pardon?  They have been

          2        passed out.

          3             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Could we have a comment

          4        on this?

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  No debate.  Am I right?

          6        Commissioner Thompson, help us.

          7             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Let's just ease up

          8        here a minute, folks.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Good for you.

         10             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The whole time I served in

         11        the Florida Legislature, which was 12 years, we never did

         12        appeal the ruling of the Chair, for one thing.  Another

         13        one is, Mr. Chairman, you always have the right to require

         14        people to state the rule when they call a point of order.

         15        Another one is that people can speak to a point of order

         16        and those are the kinds of things that give us all time to

         17        kind of figure out where we are.  And also under 1.5 it

         18        says, Upon appeal no member except the member making the

         19        appeal shall speak more than once.  So I assume --

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let's let everybody give a

         21        speech.

         22             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  I wouldn't take it as

         23        appealing, you know, the ruling of the Chair yet.  Why

         24        don't let's just don't rule on it quite yet and let's talk

         25        about germanity a minute and see if there is really a


  


                                                                          290

          1        provision in the rules about germanity.  He has made his

          2        decision now.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  No, no, just a minute.  Let me

          4        say this, I don't think that I made it entirely clear.

          5        Part of this was in Proposal 6, which was defeated.  And

          6        it is my understanding that once it is defeated it is not

          7        available to be tacked on as an amendment anywhere either.

          8        So in addition to the germanity question, I think the

          9        Chair would rule that it is out of order in response to a

         10        point of order made by several members.

         11             Now the Secretary informs me that the person

         12        questioning or appealing the Chair has the right to speak

         13        and I will give him that right.  And that -- Commissioner

         14        Brochin has the right to speak and so does Commissioner

         15        Henderson.

         16             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I do want the opportunity to

         17        state with more particularity my objection on the point of

         18        order.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Do you want to do that -- do you

         20        want him to do that before you respond, Commissioner

         21        Brochin?  All right.  Commissioner Henderson.

         22             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I raised a point of order

         23        that the amendment offered by Commissioner Brochin is not

         24        germane, pursuant to Rule 7.4.  It is not germane inasmuch

         25        as the main body of the proposal deals with Article VII,


  


                                                                          291

          1        Section 3A, relating to exemptions to ad valorem taxes for

          2        local government.  The amendment which is proposed deals

          3        with Article VII, Section 1, which is sales tax exemptions

          4        for the Legislature.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now we will have

          6        Commissioner Brochin.  Commissioner Brochin is recognized.

          7             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Not being an expert on the

          8        subject, I can only simply read the rule and then try to

          9        apply some standard to it.  The rule says, No proposition

         10        on a subject different from that under consideration shall

         11        be admitted under color of amendment.

         12             The amendment that we are, or proposal that is at

         13        issue here deals with the Legislature allowing -- the

         14        Constitution allowing the Legislature to create exemptions

         15        for municipal property for special taxing districts.  The

         16        proposal that I extracted out of Proposal 6 deals with the

         17        way exemptions are passed.  So when they pass exemptions

         18        on the sales tax, this is a method by which it should be

         19        done.

         20             I tell you that the motives are more pure perhaps

         21        than you suspect in that I actually thought that was a

         22        very good idea in Proposal 6, and when Proposal 6 was

         23        defeated, for which I anticipated was largely an

         24        opposition because of the 5 percent rollback, and the

         25        problems it would be creating, it seemed to me that this


  


                                                                          292

          1        body may want to consider another part of Proposal 6,

          2        which we did not seem to object to, and we actually think

          3        may be a good idea for our Constitution that when we go

          4        forward with our exemptions in this state, we will at

          5        least require the Legislature to do it in a single subject

          6        so it is held out for what it is, an exemption to our

          7        sales tax and nothing else.

          8             The other reason I am doing this is because as I look

          9        at the package we are about to present on tax and finance,

         10        we are going to present one proposal and we are going to

         11        present a proposal that says more government can get more

         12        exemptions to our tax.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now this should be to the ruling

         14        of the Chair.

         15             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Okay.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And I might agree with you on all

         17        that good stuff.

         18             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  But anyway, it seems to me in

         19        terms of germanity -- and don't faint, I admit

         20        ignorance -- it seems to me when you use the word

         21        "germane" and we are talking about exemptions, it

         22        certainly falls under the one similar subject.  And

         23        therefore it strikes me as germane.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  On this it takes a

         25        majority vote to overrule the Chair.  And I have ruled


  


                                                                          293

          1        that this is out of order and made that clear and honored

          2        the point of order made by Commissioner Henderson.  We

          3        will now open the machine and take a vote on whether or

          4        not we overrule the ruling of the Chair that it is out of

          5        order.

          6             (Off-the-record comment.)

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Beg your pardon?  All right.  We

          8        will do it by voice vote.  All those in favor of

          9        overruling the Chair say aye; opposed?

         10             (Verbal vote taken.)

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It fails.  So it is out of order.

         12        Now we will revert to the proposal.  The proposal is, and

         13        it has been read, 49, 103 and 185, and the sponsors were

         14        Henderson and Mills, Commissioners Henderson and Mills.

         15        Who wants to make the proposal?  Commissioner Anthony was

         16        also chairman of that committee or on that committee that

         17        considered it, one of them.  Oh, did we get five?  We did,

         18        we got five.  I did that before I let the amendments come

         19        in.

         20             (Off-the-record comment.)

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  What we are on now, let's get

         22        back on track as Commissioner Thompson said, is the

         23        proposal.  And we need to orderly debate it if we are

         24        going to.  Commissioner Hawkes, do you rise to speak one

         25        way or the other on the proposal?  Which way?


  


                                                                          294

          1             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Opposed.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  First of all, the

          3        proposal people who proposed it have the right to open.

          4        Commissioner Henderson.

          5             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And I'll recognize you next,

          7        Commissioner Hawkes.

          8             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

          9        will be brief because we have done this so many times.  I

         10        don't know if there is anything new that I could add to

         11        the debate and it is late.  The proposal that is before

         12        you came out of ten hours of discussion before Finance and

         13        Tax Committee Chair Commissioner Scott.

         14             The proposal which is before you creates a level

         15        playing field amongst the 67 counties with regard to the

         16        issue of exemptions from taxation for municipalities.  It

         17        says there will be one standard in the state of Florida

         18        for this issue and not 67 different standards as set by

         19        the particular aggressiveness of the local property

         20        appraiser.

         21             This issue is given a lot of work, it is supported by

         22        local governments throughout the state, it is done

         23        primarily to fix a problem that we have in taxing ports

         24        and seaports and airports differently in the state.  It is

         25        not about creating tax exemptions.  It is about a simple


  


                                                                          295

          1        philosophy that government should not tax government and

          2        it is about making sure that we handle our ports and

          3        seaports in the same and like manner.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now, is there anybody

          5        who wants to speak in opposition?  Commissioner Hawkes.

          6             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I'll

          7        be very brief.  And I'm not sure that this is the time to

          8        speak in favor or opposed to this proposal, if you think

          9        it is a good idea or a bad idea, but what I would submit

         10        is consistent with what Commissioner Barkdull said this

         11        morning, is that we ought to try to limit how many ideas

         12        we put before the voters because there is a limited amount

         13        of time that they have.  And if we overwhelm them, they

         14        are going to vote no on everything.

         15             And I would submit that nobody has come forward and

         16        said, There is a situation out there that is in crisis

         17        where these people are being asked to pay property taxes

         18        and they shouldn't be asked to pay them.  We never heard

         19        that testimony.

         20             This is a situation where a government leases out to

         21        a private, profit-making enterprise, a business entity and

         22        that business entity then competes with a private owner

         23        and has an unfair advantage.  But it is not a crisis.  And

         24        we have seen two or three editorials written against this

         25        proposal.  We have 67 property appraisers who would be


  


                                                                          296

          1        opposed to this proposal, and I would just submit to you

          2        that this picks up excess baggage that we don't need to

          3        solve a problem that doesn't exist.

          4             And based upon that, ladies and gentlemen, fellow

          5        commissioners, I would ask that you not give this proposal

          6        22 votes.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now, is there other

          8        debate?  Commissioner Evans-Jones.

          9             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Against the proposal,

         10        Mr. Chairman.  I don't think that any of us really

         11        recognized how much money the local governments are going

         12        to lose by passing this.  And I just want to briefly say

         13        this is from Rich Crotty, who is the Orange County

         14        property appraiser.  And in Orange County alone it would

         15        remove 300 properties valued at $144,999,606 from the tax

         16        roll.  Orange County Government would lose 766,000; Orange

         17        County Schools, 1,316,161; and the City of Orlando 113,956

         18        in tax revenues.  Now that's just in Orange County.  In

         19        Hillsborough County they would lose an estimated

         20        $10 million.

         21             And I do think that this is significant money.  It

         22        takes a lot of money to run the school system.  And some

         23        of the school people are just now aware of this problem.

         24        So I would just like to leave this up to you for your

         25        consideration and I would urge you to vote no on this


  


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          1        proposal.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Riley.

          3             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Question for Commissioner

          4        Evans-Jones, if I may.  And my question has to do with

          5        this general law portion of this proposal.  How can --

          6        since the general law currently has not been made and the

          7        decisions as to which specific exemptions there would be

          8        given, how do these people know that they are going to

          9        lose millions and millions of dollars?

         10             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Well, apparently, you

         11        know, I trust the property appraisers to know what they

         12        have been taxing and what they haven't been taxing.  And,

         13        you know, this is the information that I have received.

         14             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  So perhaps if they are saying

         15        there are those properties that may be in jeopardy, but if

         16        in fact the Legislature is the one who is going to decide

         17        whether or not those properties are in fact exempt.  So

         18        they may be wrong.

         19             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Perhaps.

         20             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  In which case I would like to,

         21        if I may very quickly, speak in favor of this.  And I

         22        speak as a commercial real estate developer, and a person

         23        who is the competition out there in private business.  And

         24        the only reason that I support this is because it says "by

         25        general law."  We are talking about, Let's let the


  


                                                                          298

          1        Legislature.  I say, Wonderful, let's let them decide.

          2        Let's let them decide.

          3             I would sincerely hope that they would keep the

          4        businessperson in mind when they do that and I would ask

          5        that we support this proposal.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Lowndes.

          7             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Yes, Mr. Chairman.  I'm in

          8        favor of this proposal.  It's one matter that needs to be

          9        in the Constitution if anything is to be done about it.

         10        We find ourselves in the situation where the Legislature

         11        has tried to exempt some of these activities and the

         12        courts have said, under the current Constitution, you

         13        don't have the power to exempt them.  This constitutional

         14        change now gives the Legislature the power to deal with a

         15        very complex matter, and that is, what should be taxed and

         16        what shouldn't be taxed.

         17             So I think it is a good proposal, it really provides

         18        flexibility in our system and needs to be in the

         19        Constitution.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Mathis,

         21        Commissioner Nabors is next.  Go ahead.

         22             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  The essential question is:  Is

         23        the proposed change essential to Florida's future?  Yes.

         24        It's essential to help Florida be competitive on a global

         25        scale, it's essential for long-range planning and


  


                                                                          299

          1        certainty in that long-range planning, it's essential for

          2        a strong foundation for economic development.  It is

          3        essential that we do this.

          4             Is there another way to do it?  No.  So I urge your

          5        support of this proposal.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Nabors.

          7             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Just very briefly.  Just to

          8        make sure there's no confusion, of all the things that we

          9        struggled with in Finance and Tax, this was the one that

         10        was the most difficult.  The difficulty we had is that you

         11        could not cure this problem in the Constitution, and what

         12        we came to the conclusion is, this is an example of

         13        something that the Legislature can cure, but it has to be

         14        constitutionally empowered to do it, which is precisely

         15        the purpose of this constitutional amendment.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any discussion or debate, pro or

         17        con?  Ready to vote?  Open the machine and let's vote.

         18             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Has everybody voted?

         20        Lock the machine and announce the vote.

         21             READING CLERK:  Twenty yeas, 4 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Send this to Style and Drafting

         23        for inclusion on the ballot package.

         24             Now we move to local government and the first

         25        proposal is Committee Substitute for Proposals 31 and 55


  


                                                                          300

          1        by the Committee on Judicial and Commissioners Sundberg

          2        and Zack.  Would you first read the proposal?

          3             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

          4        Nos. 31 and 55, a proposal to revise Article V, Section

          5        14, Florida Constitution.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now there is an

          7        amendment on the table.  Oh, we need five hands on this.

          8        We have five hands.  There is an amendment on the table.

          9             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Sundberg, on Page 2,

         10        Line 13, insert lengthy amendment.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  First of all, there's an

         12        amendment by Style and Drafting, Commissioner Mills or

         13        Lowndes.  That is the first amendment, by Style and

         14        Drafting, to 31 and 55.  And Commissioner Sundberg has

         15        offered an amendment to that amendment, that's why I am

         16        bringing that up.  The amendment by Style and Drafting

         17        does what?  We have read it.  You have the floor,

         18        Commissioner Lowndes.

         19             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  The amendment by Style and

         20        Drafting simply corrects a grammatical problem of split

         21        infinitives, which exists in three portions of the

         22        proposal.  It is simply a grammatical change.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now, with that

         24        explanation, there is an amendment to the amendment by

         25        Commissioner Sundberg.  Would you please read?  All right.


  


                                                                          301

          1        Read the amendment, again, first.

          2             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

          3        Drafting, on Page 1, strike everything after the proposing

          4        clause and insert lengthy amendment.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

          6        Sundberg's amendment.  Have you read it?  Now, read it.

          7             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Sundberg, on Page 2,

          8        Line 15, insert lengthy amendment.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Sundberg, on your

         10        amendment to the amendment.

         11             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Has

         12        the copy been passed out?

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes, it has.

         14             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  This was an amendment --

         15        frankly, at the time we were debating early on amongst the

         16        interested parties this Article V cost issue, there was a

         17        schedule that provided for implementation that would give

         18        the Legislature essentially five years from adoption

         19        within which to phase in, because of the significant

         20        fiscal impact.

         21             When we got to drafting other alternatives,

         22        everything in the proposed schedule went out.  This simply

         23        tries to or attempts to reinsert a schedule language that

         24        says that commencing in the fiscal year 2000-2001, that

         25        the Legislature shall commence its funding of these


  


                                                                          302

          1        Article V costs, and that by July 1, 2004, they must have

          2        fully effectuated the state's obligation to fund these

          3        Article V costs for which the state is responsible.

          4             And I urge this amendment on you.  Otherwise, the

          5        effect will be, if it passes in the state it is unamended,

          6        in my opinion, it would become effective in 1999, and the

          7        Legislature will have to dig very deep to come up with

          8        that money in 1999.  And this simply phases in.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Let's move on here to

         10        the amendment to the amendment.  Any discussion on it?

         11        All of those in favor of it, say aye.

         12             (Verbal vote taken.)

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now we are on the amendment as

         14        amended, which is the Style and Drafting grammatical one.

         15        All in favor of the Style and Drafting amendment, say aye.

         16             (Verbal vote taken.)

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We are now on the proposal as

         18        amended, which is the Article V cost proposal.  Does

         19        anybody wish to debate that?  All right.  If not, we're

         20        prepared to vote.

         21             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Mr. Chairman, may I make a

         22        statement, please, for the record in connection -- I am

         23        authorized to represent, being told this by the executive

         24        director of the Florida Association of Counties, that if

         25        this passes in the form in which it is now proposed, that


  


                                                                          303

          1        in fact they will discontinue their efforts to have an

          2        initiative petition put on the ballot.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Unlock the machine and let's vote

          4        on this proposal on Article V cost.

          5             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

          7        vote.

          8             READING CLERK:  Thirty yeas, 2 nays.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I had a request for a quorum

         10        call.  I don't think that we need one on that, we just had

         11        one with 32 here.  But we have got some very important

         12        things to do, so we better get them here.

         13             The next proposal is by Commissioner Nabors and it's

         14        96.  Oh, excuse me, I recognize Commissioner Barnett.  I

         15        didn't see you, excuse me.

         16             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

         17        would like to make a motion to reconsider, please,

         18        Proposal No. 24, this was a Stop Turning Out Prisoners

         19        proposal, I was on the prevailing side.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Barnett

         21        has made a motion to reconsider the vote by which we dealt

         22        with Proposal 24, she was on the prevailing side.  What

         23        was it, 21?  Yeah, the vote was 20 to 11.  You would have

         24        been on the side that voted no, which prevailed.  That's

         25        correct.  All right.  So we are on a motion to reconsider.


  


                                                                          304

          1        And the debate is limited to the motion to reconsider.

          2        Commissioner Smith.

          3             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  I rise for a question.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes.

          5             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Is it the ruling of the Chair

          6        that a vote of 20 to 11 or whatever it was, to 12, that a

          7        person who voted with the 12 is on the prevailing side?

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think that's true.  If it got

          9        22 votes, the person on the 22 vote side would be the

         10        prevailing side.  If it got less than 22 votes, the person

         11        on the less than 22 votes would be on the prevailing side.

         12        I think that's pretty clear.  And Commissioner Barnett was

         13        on the prevailing side.  So we will now have her motion to

         14        reconsider heard.  All in favor of the motion to

         15        reconsider, say aye; opposed?

         16             (Verbal vote taken.)

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We'll take a vote.  Unlock the

         18        machine and let's vote on the motion of whether or not to

         19        reconsider the vote.  Unlock the machine.  Well, turn --

         20        the power went off.  There we go.  Unlock the machine.  On

         21        the motion to reconsider it takes a majority vote.

         22             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Lock the

         24        machine and announce the vote.

         25             READING CLERK:  Twenty-two yeas, 11 nays,


  


                                                                          305

          1        Mr. Chairman.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We are now on reconsideration of

          3        Proposal No. 24, which was the STOP provision.  And we

          4        will debate, as we usually do, after the motion to

          5        reconsider has been made.  Do you rise to debate?  You are

          6        recognized, Commissioner Wetherington.

          7             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  There's only been one

          8        time since I've been here during the last 11 months that I

          9        had a moment, feeling, pass over me of absolute terror.

         10        And that terror was the possibility that this

         11        irresponsible proposal, with all due respect to the

         12        proponents, that this proposal would go in the

         13        Constitution of the state of Florida and would be

         14        submitted to the people.

         15             I've stated before, but I think everybody here ought

         16        to know that studied anything about prisons, I was

         17        supervisor, basically, as chief judge, of the Dade County

         18        Jail for ten years.  And I dealt with a constant

         19        overcrowding problem in the Dade County Jail, the efforts

         20        that we had to deal with to try to solve that problem.

         21             And in that process, I became familiar with the whole

         22        problem throughout the state, throughout the country, in

         23        the state and federal system with respect to sentencing,

         24        the whole problems of sentencing, the purposes of

         25        sentencing, the financial problems of sentencing.


  


                                                                          306

          1             And it became absolutely clear to me that one of the

          2        most dangerous things are putting absolute inflexible

          3        sentencing requirements in that back the jails up and do

          4        not allow any flexibility whatever either for the

          5        administration of personal judgment or do not allow the

          6        prison system to adequately manage these systems by having

          7        the proper kind of incentives that they need, by

          8        recognizing the fact that different people respond

          9        differently, that there is the possibility of

         10        rehabilitation in certain instances, that imposing the

         11        financial burden on the public, which is unwilling to

         12        accept this financial burden by constantly manufacturing

         13        and dumping people in jails with no purpose, in many

         14        instances, except for some kind of arbitrary, automatic

         15        rule is absolutely unthinkable.

         16             And I'm shocked -- I've got to tell you I'm shocked

         17        to find out today that 20 people would vote for this

         18        thing, 20 very intelligent people would vote for this

         19        thing.  I can tell you that this is the one thing that I

         20        have heard that I am absolutely shocked has a possibility

         21        of passage.

         22             To send this to the people of the state of Florida

         23        and to say that we are going to constitutionally mandate

         24        that anybody that's given any sentence in the state of

         25        Florida, with the sentencing laws the way they are and who


  


                                                                          307

          1        knows what they can be in the future, they will serve,

          2        with no discretion, 85 percent, in my opinion, is

          3        irresponsible.  And I say that with great respect.  I

          4        think it's irresponsible and it's a dangerous proposal.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  If anybody has got

          6        anything to say that they didn't say before.  I believe

          7        that you are recorded now as being against this,

          8        Commissioner Wetherington.  Commissioner Langley, are you

          9        a proponent?

         10             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Wait a minute, where are we,

         11        on the final vote?  I am an opponent, believe it or not.

         12        Hard line, put them in jail, hang them first, try them

         13        second, whatever.

         14             But this to me, the reason that this shouldn't

         15        work -- I know it is a very popular thing and some of you

         16        elected officials, I guess there's no way that you can

         17        vote against it, but being popular and being right are

         18        often two different things.  I believe in the

         19        representative democracy that we have.  I believe that the

         20        people who are elected by their local people ought to make

         21        these decisions.

         22             When you hamstring the Legislature with this kind of

         23        a chiseled-in-stone 85 percent rule, without the

         24        corresponding responsibility of who is going to fund

         25        this -- and believe me, I have seen times in the


  


                                                                          308

          1        Legislature when we have had to go back and reduce the FTE

          2        to schools because -- you remember, Senator Jennings --

          3        because the sales tax did not bring in what we expected it

          4        to do.

          5             I've seen times when we have had to release prisoners

          6        because we had nowhere to put new prisoners because the

          7        federal judge was saying, You are not going to have over

          8        97 percent capacity.  These things have to be dealt with

          9        on a flexible basis by the elected representatives of the

         10        people.  Sure, this is popular.  Put in there also, you

         11        know, loss of a hand for petty theft.  That would probably

         12        pass also, but that doesn't make it right.

         13             This is not the thing to do.  I suspect some

         14        motivation here is to put something popular on the ballot

         15        so that this will give some legitimacy to some of these

         16        other things we are putting on the ballot.  That's not a

         17        proper motive.  You know, let's settle down here and do

         18        what's right.  The Legislature can take care of this, they

         19        have the responsibility, they have to answer to their

         20        people and this is not the way to do it.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  I would like to

         22        request, it's getting late in the day, we are getting a

         23        little personal here.  I don't think that anybody is

         24        irresponsible and you didn't mean to say that anybody was,

         25        as I understand that, Judge --


  


                                                                          309

          1             (Off-the-record comment by Commissioner

          2   Wetherington.)

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  -- correct.  But the

          4        interpretation that some others might have put on it about

          5        the motives of people voting, we haven't really gone into

          6        that.

          7             So somebody that is a proponent has the right to

          8        speak here, too, if you would like.

          9             (Off-the-record comment.)

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Question for whom?

         11        Ms. Rundle take -- Commissioner Rundle will take the

         12        floor.

         13             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I would like to know how

         14        different this proposal is than the federal proposal.

         15        Because I remember when we were debating this initially

         16        and when you discussed it, you said that this just brought

         17        us in line with the federal proposal.  And you also

         18        indicated something to the effect that criminals were

         19        deciding which court system they liked better.  I would

         20        like to know what the answer is to both of those

         21        questions.

         22             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  The answer to the first question

         23        is that the federal government does have an 85 percent

         24        time served provision.  And that seems to be pretty much

         25        the standard number.  It gives some leeway for some of the


  


                                                                          310

          1        rehabilitation correctional supervision that's needed to

          2        maintain safety within the actual facility.  So that seems

          3        to be a pretty widely-accepted number of 85 percent.

          4        Also, the federal government, I believe, provides some

          5        funding to local states that use that federal standard of

          6        85 percent.

          7             The second part of your question dealt with when our

          8        time served was so low in state prisons, where people were

          9        serving 10 percent, 15 percent -- regardless of what the

         10        sentence is.  The issue is not what is the sentence, the

         11        issue is, is there any truth in what that sentence is.

         12        And there was a time when you would have defendants

         13        standing in a courtroom saying, I would rather go to state

         14        prison because they knew they were going to serve less

         15        time in the state prison system than they were in their

         16        local jail.

         17             And I think we've had some discussion about that.

         18        And that was a very, I think, chilling time for all of us

         19        as we all stood in the courtroom and watched people choose

         20        state prison because they were going to serve less time

         21        over a local jail.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We are about to run

         23        out of time here.  Commissioner Kogan.

         24             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  I want to speak in opposition to

         25        this.  I understand what Commissioner Rundle says, and we


  


                                                                          311

          1        are very, very good friends and we're still going to be

          2        very good friends regardless of the outcome of this vote.

          3             The fact of the matter is the federal guidelines are

          4        statutory in nature.  They are not part of the United

          5        States Constitution.  Once you put this in the

          6        Constitution of the state of Florida, the only thing that

          7        can ever change it is another constitutional amendment.

          8        Now whether or not they could ever muster that, I don't

          9        know.  If I had to guess, based upon popular feeling out

         10        there, I would say they would never be able to get a

         11        change, regardless of how difficult overcrowding or other

         12        situations may arise in this particular state.

         13             You are going to force the Legislature, if they have

         14        to, to change guidelines, to lower sentences, you don't

         15        need this mess in the Florida Constitution.  It is a

         16        legislative matter, something which they are capable of

         17        handling.  They know the prison population, they know how

         18        many dollars and cents it costs to build prisons, to put

         19        in more prison beds.  They know how to adjust these things

         20        in order to meet whatever the existing conditions are.

         21             But once you have got this in, you are going to tie

         22        their hands in a very, very difficult way.  So I urge you,

         23        regardless of the popularity of this particular proposal,

         24        I urge you to vote against it.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any more debate?


  


                                                                          312

          1        Commissioner Mills.

          2             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Very briefly.  First, I am

          3        stunned that Commissioner Langley opposes this, but I

          4        believe that he does that in good spirit.

          5             And the reason that this does not tie the hands of

          6        the Legislature -- and I've been there, I chaired the HRS

          7        Criminal Justice Committee, I went to every correctional

          8        institute in this state, walked through every cell.  And I

          9        realized that the Legislature has all the leverage that

         10        you need to respond to this system.

         11             Why are people upset?  Why are those people out

         12        getting 500,000 signatures?  They are upset because they

         13        are victims and they cannot predict what somebody who has

         14        been arrested of a crime the Legislature described, that

         15        has been sentenced by a judge and sent to the jail gets

         16        out.  The Legislature is perfectly capable, as I think

         17        Commissioner Kogan just described, of predicting when they

         18        are going to be overcrowded.

         19             If you don't have this, we'll go right up to the edge

         20        and you will have 1987 all over again.  And we'll start

         21        turning out prisoners based on legislative action that

         22        they can't resist.  They can't resist, they are going to

         23        do that.  But if you have this one constitutional,

         24        predictable constitutional standard for the victims and

         25        for the people of this state, you will not have to do


  


                                                                          313

          1        that.  The Legislature will be forced to look ahead and

          2        they will be forced to do their job and they will do it.

          3             So let's do this for the people of this state that

          4        are concerned about crime and concerned about being,

          5        having criminals turned out.  This is the most solid

          6        measure that we have and I'm shocked that people would

          7        vote against it.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are we ready to vote for it

          9        again?  On Proposal No. 24, it's on reconsideration.  Open

         10        the machine and let's vote.

         11             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Has everybody voted?

         13        Lock the machine and announce the vote.

         14             READING CLERK:  Eighteen yeas, 15 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have again

         16        defeated this, No. 24.  Your red blood is back.

         17             Okay.  We move on now to Proposal No. 96 by

         18        Commissioner Nabors.  Would you read it, please?

         19             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 96, a proposal to revise

         20        Article VIII, Section 7, Florida Constitution.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Nabors,

         22        you are recognized.  There is an amendment, excuse me, by

         23        Style and Drafting.  It's moved.  Five hands, do we have

         24        five hands?  Do we have -- we need five hands.  This is

         25        the ex parte thing.  We have five hands.


  


                                                                          314

          1             Now, Commissioner Lowndes offers the Style and

          2        Drafting amendment, which you would please read.

          3             READING CLERK:  By Committee on Style and Drafting,

          4        on Page 1, Line 15, strike "local government public

          5        officials" and insert "a local government public

          6        official."

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Lowndes.

          8             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  The purpose of the amendment

          9        from Style and Drafting was simply to change a plural to a

         10        singular on the basis that it made -- it read better and

         11        it was more proper grammatically.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  All in favor of the

         13        amendment, say aye; opposed?

         14             (Verbal vote taken.)

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Amendment carries.  Now, on the

         16        proposal, Commissioner Nabors.

         17             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Briefly, I know, it's late and

         18        we have discussed this one several times.  This is the

         19        proposal, Commission, if you recall, there's court cases

         20        that dealt with the fact on land use decisions at the

         21        local level considered a quasi-judicial.  And as a

         22        consequence of that, there can be no ex parte

         23        communications between citizens and their elected

         24        officials.

         25             I know of nothing that caused more problems and


  


                                                                          315

          1        disrespect at the local level and misunderstanding as the

          2        inability of citizens to discuss land use decisions that

          3        are pending with their local officials.

          4             This doesn't change the rule that the decisions have

          5        to be based upon substantial, competent evidence in front

          6        of the commission.  We have a provision in here that says,

          7        Except as provided by ethics laws, which gives you all the

          8        reasons to have regulations relating paid lobbyists and

          9        those types of circumstances.  And I would urge your

         10        support.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Wetherington.

         12             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  Once again, I speak in

         13        very strong opposition to this.  If a judge was handling a

         14        matter on a nonjury basis, and somebody walked in and

         15        talked to that judge about that case and about the facts

         16        of that case on an ex parte basis and the judge listened

         17        to that, the judge could be removed from office.

         18             A federal chief judge in Federal Bankruptcy Court in

         19        Illinois a number of years ago called up, after he ruled

         20        in favor of one of the sides, and talked to the lawyer and

         21        told the lawyer what to put into the order in his favor.

         22        That judge was removed as the chief judge of the

         23        bankruptcy court in the state of Illinois for an improper

         24        ex parte communication.

         25             We are talking about quasi-judicial matters where the


  


                                                                          316

          1        judicial type of determinations are made in zoning areas

          2        that affect not only the entire community but the property

          3        rights and the interests of the neighbors and everybody in

          4        those neighborhoods.  Those matters should not be heard ex

          5        parte.  Everybody can come down in public and say whatever

          6        they want to in the presence of everyone else so that all

          7        of the people that have an interest have an opportunity to

          8        rebut those statements.

          9             We do not need closed door, ex parte communications

         10        on judicial matters.  We don't need it in the area of

         11        zoning, we don't need it in the courts.  The whole trend

         12        in modern ethics in the Code of Judicial Ethics and the

         13        Canon of Legal Ethics has been a clear, bright line,

         14        prohibition of ex parte communications.  It is the central

         15        theme of our whole ethics system.  It is a part of due

         16        process, is a part of that which is fair to both sides.

         17             To take it now and say it now becomes

         18        constitutionally appropriate for public officials that are

         19        passing upon quasi-judicial matters affecting millions and

         20        millions of dollars and the rights of their community, ex

         21        parte, in my humble opinion, is wrong.  I would be opposed

         22        to it as a rule, I would be opposed to it as a statute and

         23        I'm triply opposed to putting something like this in the

         24        Constitution.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Lowndes.


  


                                                                          317

          1             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Yes, I would like to rise in

          2        favor of this proposal.  It's not very often that I would

          3        disagree with Commissioner Wetherington.

          4             But for maybe 40 years I've been involved in zoning

          5        matters, and it was only when the Snyder case came along

          6        that there was a great shock and chilling effect on county

          7        commissioners and city commissioners as to what they could

          8        do and what they couldn't do.  Up until that time, they

          9        felt like they were a member of their community, and they

         10        had to make decisions for their community, they were

         11        elected by their community and they felt that one of the

         12        best ways to make those decisions was to be able to talk

         13        to the people in the community, just like the Legislature

         14        does.  They viewed themselves as legislators more than

         15        they viewed themselves as judges.

         16             This has caused a great deal of problem throughout

         17        the state because each county attorney and each city

         18        attorney has come up with a different system or a

         19        different rule and nobody quite knows where they are.

         20             You know, you talk about the proposition of lobbyists

         21        and moneyed interests having access to the county

         22        commissioners, for example, but on the other hand, people

         23        with money have access to attorneys and have ability to

         24        prepare great cases and have ability to put on significant

         25        presentations before the county commission.  The average


  


                                                                          318

          1        person doesn't have that, the average person is

          2        intimidated, the average person is not equipped or at

          3        least don't feel they are equipped to go up against that

          4        kind of proposition.

          5             So you have cut off the one avenue that the average

          6        person thought he had, that was to be able to talk to his

          7        county commissioner, the fellow that he lived down the

          8        block or lived across the way, that he elected or voted

          9        for for this office.  It's caused a lot of problems around

         10        the state.  It has changed what's worked well in Florida

         11        for years and years and years and it needs a

         12        constitutional amendment to put it back where it was.

         13        Thank you.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Scott.

         15             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Commissioners, with all due

         16        respect to Commissioner Wetherington, this is exactly the

         17        opposite of what he -- he used judicial about six or eight

         18        times, talking about judicial.  What we are talking about

         19        here, and ethics and we are worried about -- what happens

         20        is somebody that's going to be unethical and has gotten

         21        somebody to authorize a big hazardous waste dump somewhere

         22        in west Broward, all those people that don't like it now

         23        cannot go to Commissioner Parrish or Scott Cowan or

         24        whoever and tell them about it.  And that's the problem.

         25             So just like Commissioner Lowndes says, it's just


  


                                                                          319

          1        exactly the opposite.  This allows the people to talk to

          2        their commissioners.  I mean, this case, this case has

          3        made a ridiculous situation.  People that are concerned

          4        don't understand.  They are getting nasty phone calls.

          5        What do you mean they can't talk to me?  I don't like

          6        that.

          7             And actually they are getting the opposite

          8        impression.  They think they have somehow done something

          9        wrong or sneaky because they have to tell them they can't

         10        talk to them.  I would urge you -- you know, we have

         11        debated this before, it's only back here again because of

         12        a Style and Drafting amendment, a minor event.  I would

         13        urge you to readopt the proposal.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further debate?

         15        Commissioner Rundle.

         16             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  Originally, I voted in favor of

         17        this because I was very sympathetic to the point that

         18        Commissioner Lowndes and Commissioner Scott were making.

         19        I'm frequently approached by people, citizens in my

         20        community who have a beef and I think my job is to listen

         21        to that.

         22             But in looking at this with greater scrutiny, I'm

         23        very concerned about the potential for abuse.  And being

         24        in the business that I'm in, I'm afraid I already see a

         25        lot of abuses occur in local government.  Some of it is


  


                                                                          320

          1        very intentional, some of it is accidental, but most of it

          2        is doing business behind closed doors.  And I'm really,

          3        really concerned about what I already see in my community

          4        about this opening the door to closed doors.

          5             And so, I'm going to vote against it this time and

          6        I'm going to urge all of us to understand the potential

          7        abuse for corruption that this particular -- although

          8        well-intended, Commissioner Nabors, I think that this does

          9        make us very vulnerable to corruption.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Ford-Coates.

         11             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Commissioners, again, with

         12        all due respect -- that seems to be the phrase for the

         13        day --

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's the word for the day, all

         15        due respect for the learned gentleman on the right.

         16             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  -- level playing field, et

         17        cetera.

         18             With all due respect to Commissioner Rundle, I think

         19        this will do just the opposite.  If there's any potential

         20        for abuse, the potential will come from lobbyists, et

         21        cetera, who could be required to disclose contact with

         22        public officials, et cetera.

         23             My concern is for the average person who has to take

         24        a day off from work, go down to the county meeting, make a

         25        presentation, give up a day's pay in order to tell their


  


                                                                          321

          1        commissioner whether they -- a man or a woman that they

          2        ran into at the 7-11 or the gas station or the grocery

          3        store -- their opinion on an issue.  They cannot tell

          4        their elected officials how they feel on these subjects.

          5        If they run into them on the street, if they run into them

          6        at the PTA, they can't tell them.  That's wrong.

          7             And those are the people that are suffering from

          8        this.  I submit to you that those people who may abuse

          9        anything will be trying to do it no matter what, this

         10        won't control that.  But this will allow the average

         11        person the access they deserve to their locally-elected

         12        officials.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner West.

         14             COMMISSIONER WEST:  I have a question of Commissioner

         15        Nabors, if he will yield.

         16             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Yes.

         17             COMMISSIONER WEST:  I wasn't here, I was in the

         18        hospital when you guys voted on this, so my question to

         19        you is, if you could just explain again the provisions for

         20        what's coming up.  Obviously the ones that are for it and

         21        the ones that are opposed to it are concerned about the

         22        abuses.  Have there not been provisions for the abuse as

         23        far as making sure that ethics are followed?

         24             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Of course my view is -- my view

         25        is abuses will occur with or without this amendment.


  


                                                                          322

          1        People will be corrupt and do corrupt conversations or

          2        corrupt relationships with county commissioners.  That's

          3        going to occur in any event.

          4             What we are talking about here is a barrier that was

          5        court created a few years ago that puts a barrier between

          6        the average citizens talking to their legislative official

          7        about a land use decision.  I was a county attorney for 15

          8        years when this didn't apply because the courts hadn't --

          9        county commissioners could talk to citizens, could go out

         10        to neighborhoods and it worked very well.  It didn't

         11        foster corruption.  If there's corruption in certain parts

         12        of the state, that corruption will occur anyway.

         13             We make it clear in this provision that any ethnics

         14        laws are not restricted.  If a county like Dade County

         15        wants to have rules about lobbyists have to register and

         16        indicate when they have talked to people, those can occur.

         17        But the average citizen, the average Joe can go and talk

         18        to a county commissioner or city councilman about what

         19        they feel rather than having them be sworn in in a

         20        judicial type proceeding, which is intimidating to them.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We are getting down here now to

         22        time --

         23             COMMISSIONER WEST:  I just wanted to say that I agree

         24        with Commissioner Lowndes and Commissioner Ford-Coates and

         25        I think we ought to accept this proposal.


  


                                                                          323

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think the proponents have

          2        1 minutes.  Are you a proponent?

          3             (Off-the-record comment.)

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Opponent?  Well, you have two

          5        minutes.

          6             (Off-the-record comment.)

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'm going to yield the floor.  He

          8        is going to get back up and close, you can question him

          9        then.  Commissioner Sundberg.

         10             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Directed to Commissioner

         11        Ford-Coates.  You say they ought to have the opportunity

         12        when they are in public to talk about an issue.  But

         13        therein is the problem.  It is the essential nature of the

         14        issue when the governing body is acting in a

         15        quasi-judicial capacity, that is different.

         16             Commissioner Nabors talks about land use decisions.

         17        It is only those land use decisions that are

         18        quasi-judicial in nature and that affect the essential

         19        rights of individuals as opposed to when they are acting

         20        in their executive or legislative.  And nobody is trying

         21        to curb that at all.

         22             But the real problem is, and it can be innocent, and

         23        that is when you run into your friendly commissioner in

         24        Publix and you say, Hey, did you know this about that

         25        dispute that's going on between the city and Farmer Jones?


  


                                                                          324

          1        And he says, no, I didn't know that, but it's bad

          2        information that he gets and he makes a decision based on

          3        that information and nobody ever knows he got that

          4        information.  It could be completely innocent.  But it

          5        flaws the process, a quasi-judicial process.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We have one more

          7        minute for an opponent.  And we have got to cut this

          8        debate, ladies and gentlemen.  Commissioner Connor, do you

          9        have to have a question on this?

         10             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I don't have a question, I want

         11        to make a statement, Mr. Chairman, about it.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You can do that.

         13             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I'm opposed, I'm in opposition

         14        to reconsidering it.

         15             The ordinary person on the street, notwithstanding

         16        that notice is often published, rarely receives that

         17        notice.  The average person on the street gets paid by the

         18        hour.  When they come to hearing, they lose money by the

         19        hour.  Typically the developer, when they come to a

         20        hearing, their experts and all the other folks are getting

         21        paid by the hour.

         22             Just what you said, Commissioner, is exactly what

         23        happens.  Somebody runs into somebody else at a casual

         24        meeting after they have learned about it, expresses their

         25        concern and doesn't feel like they ought be shut out of


  


                                                                          325

          1        the process because suddenly everything's being treated

          2        like it's some judicial process, even though you are

          3        calling it quasi-judicial.  All they know is they have a

          4        right and believe they ought to be able to instruct their

          5        elected representative.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So you are in favor of the

          7        proposal; is that correct?

          8             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Against reconsideration.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We don't have reconsideration, we

         10        are just here to vote on it again.

         11             (Off-the-record comment.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes, if you feel constrained to

         13        spend that minute, you may do so.  You are recognized,

         14        Commissioner Zack, as an opponent.

         15             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  You know, we should call this the

         16        lobbyists' relief act.  There's no question in my mind

         17        that that's all this is.  It is an opportunity to go and

         18        speak to public officials out of the sunshine, when all of

         19        this should be conducted within the public view.

         20             Commissioner Nabors, I believe that anybody who wants

         21        to make a statement to a quasi-judicial officer, such as

         22        the commissioners are at the time, easily can write a

         23        letter that can be published.  They do not have to come in

         24        and get sworn.  What that letter does is make a public

         25        record of what's being said and allows it to be challenged


  


                                                                          326

          1        by people who take an opposing view.  It's done in the

          2        open, it's done in a fair manner.

          3             I know, as chairman of the ethics commission, I'm

          4        sure Commissioner Connor has had the same thing happen,

          5        people constantly want to come up and talk to you about

          6        ethical issues.  And it's very simple.  We say, I want to

          7        vote on this, please don't discuss it with me but write me

          8        and I'll submit it to everyone on the commission.  It's

          9        very simple.  It provides a safeguard to make sure we know

         10        who is speaking to who about what, and what is really

         11        going on, not what is perceived to be going on.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All of the time is up and

         13        Commissioner Nabors can close.

         14             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Quickly.  This has nothing to

         15        do with lobbyists.  The provision allows -- it allows

         16        ethics laws.  You have the requirement for registration of

         17        lobbyists.  Maybe there's a problem in Dade County, all

         18        those who talk about it are from Dade County.  I can tell

         19        you, from my experience as representing under the rule

         20        that it used to be, which this brings it back to, is that

         21        citizens could talk to their elected officials about land

         22        use decisions.  Corruption was not bred in that

         23        environment.

         24             The only reason it's quasi-judicial is strictly

         25        because of the recent court ruling.  What happens is the


  


                                                                          327

          1        average person goes up and sees a county commissioner in

          2        the 7-11 or anywhere, wants to talk about a zoning

          3        decision, and the county commissioner has to say, No, I

          4        can only talk to you if you go to a meeting and are sworn

          5        in and give sworn testimony, which chills those people's

          6        ability to talk.

          7             In addition to that, the commissioner can't go down

          8        to the neighborhood, talk to the people and work out

          9        problems.

         10             To try to clothe this in some idea of some evil,

         11        lobbyist-type of an issue is a mischaracterization of

         12        this.  We have this problem because of a court ruling,

         13        this puts it back to the way it was before that court

         14        ruling.  It allows all the citizens to talk to their

         15        elected officials and not feel intimidated.  That's simply

         16        what this proposal does.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The debate is closed.

         18        And now we will open the machine and vote.  Would you

         19        unlock the machine, please?

         20             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Everybody hasn't voted.  There we

         22        go.  Lock the machine and announce the vote.

         23             READING CLERK:  Twenty-two yeas, 9 nays,

         24        Mr. Chairman.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It passes.


  


                                                                          328

          1             We now move to Committee Substitute for Proposals

          2        159, 163 and 182 by the Committee on Executive and

          3        Commissioners Mathis, Evans-Jones and Riley, dealing with

          4        the Constitution requirements for the membership of the

          5        Florida Cabinet.  Would you read the proposal, please?

          6             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

          7        Nos. 159, 163 and 182, a proposal to revise Article IV,

          8        Sections 3(b), 4 and 8 and Article XII, Section 9(c),

          9        Florida Constitution.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There's one amendment

         11        on the table from Style and Drafting, which is a very

         12        short one.

         13             (Off-the-record comment.)

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I beg your pardon.  Oh, five

         15        hands, yes, indeed.  If we don't get five hands, it passed

         16        24 to 7.  We have got five hands.  All right.  The first

         17        amendment on the table is a strike everything afterwards,

         18        which is by Commissioners Zack, Anthony, Evans-Jones and

         19        Mathis.  Would you read that, please?

         20             READING CLERK:  By Commissioners Zack, Anthony,

         21        Evans-Jones and Mathis, on Page 1, Line 10, through Page

         22        8, Line 15, strike all of said lines and insert lengthy

         23        amendment.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Somebody needs to

         25        explain the lengthy amendment because I have a feeling


  


                                                                          329

          1        it's not that hard to explain.  Commissioner Zack, do you

          2        want to do that?

          3             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  It's pretty easy to explain and

          4        it's going to be short.  What it does is take into

          5        consideration the testimony we heard at a number of public

          6        hearings from the agricultural community about the need

          7        for an agricultural member of the Cabinet.  And it does

          8        not do anything to diminish, frankly, power of the

          9        Governor.  You will see that the Governor, under the

         10        three-person Cabinet needed to have one additional, one

         11        Cabinet member vote with him to move the process forward.

         12             Here, in the event of a tie, the Governor will always

         13        be on the prevailing side.  Again, all he needs to have or

         14        she needs to have is one Cabinet member to vote in favor

         15        of his proposal.

         16             It still streamlines the Cabinet, it still is Cabinet

         17        reform.  There are people who have concerns about Cabinet

         18        reform and what it means to the process.  We, I think

         19        here, want Cabinet reform.  But this may be taking the

         20        Cabinet reform in stages and seeing how it works and still

         21        providing for the concerns that we heard around the state.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  I think, if I

         23        understand you correctly, what this does is basically add

         24        the Commissioner of Agriculture to the Cabinet, but he's

         25        not a member of the State Board of Administration, which


  


                                                                          330

          1        he's not now.  But he is in the other constitutional

          2        Cabinet --

          3             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That is correct.  In all other

          4        regards, he is or she is.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Then there is a -- it also

          6        provides what the other one does for the State Board of

          7        Education; is that correct?  Is that correct?  It is the

          8        same as the other amendment in all other respects?

          9             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That is correct.  There is

         10        another amendment to this amendment on the table by

         11        Commissioner Langley.

         12             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Yes, sir, it is the

         13        handwritten one, Your Honor [sic].

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Commissioner Langley has

         15        an amendment on the table.  Would you read it, please?

         16        This is an amendment to this long amendment which puts the

         17        Commissioner of Agriculture in the Cabinet, and then you

         18        have an amendment to that.  And if you would read that,

         19        please.

         20             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Langley, on Page 8,

         21        Lines 6-7, delete "all" and insert "in primary elections

         22        in 2002, the office of chief financial officer shall be a

         23        new office as a result of this provision."

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Langley,

         25        you are recognized on your amendment to the amendment.


  


                                                                          331

          1             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          2        Listen up, Members, because as presently written, this

          3        bill would grandfather in the Commissioner of Agriculture

          4        and the Attorney General.  When I say, "grandfather in"

          5        they would still have to run again, but it would delete

          6        them from the Eight Is Enough provision, which the people

          7        of this state overwhelmingly passed several years ago,

          8        which I don't particularly agree with, but it ought to be

          9        applied equally.

         10             I have spoken with the general about it, he has no

         11        problem with it.  I haven't spoke with Mr. Crawford about

         12        it, but I didn't know he was going to be in here.  But all

         13        the amendment does is it says that those two are not

         14        considered new offices, which would exempt them from the

         15        Eight Is Enough statute.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  On the amendment I've got, maybe

         17        I've got the wrong one, it says the office of chief

         18        financial officer shall be a new office.

         19             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Yes, sir, that would be the

         20        only one that's new.  That would be a new one because it

         21        combines several offices.  But the other two would not be

         22        new.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  I follow you.

         24        Commissioner Butterworth.

         25             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Question of Commissioner


  


                                                                          332

          1        Langley, if I can.  Commissioner, would you accept a

          2        friendly amendment to this in order to take the Attorney

          3        General off of the Constitution Revision Commission in

          4        future years?

          5             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Absolutely.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's out of order.  You have

          7        already collected your money.

          8             (Laughter.)

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now, this is the amendment to the

         10        amendment.  Do you understand what he's done is made sure

         11        that the only new officer created that could serve eight

         12        years, is that correct, or under the term limits, maybe

         13        eight years, is the office of chief financial officer?

         14        The Commissioner of Agriculture and the Attorney General

         15        would not be considered new in that respect, which would

         16        then apply the term limits to them.

         17             All right.  Does everybody understand the amendment

         18        to the amendment?  All in favor say aye; opposed?

         19             (Verbal vote taken.)

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment to the amendment is

         21        carried.  Now we are on the amendment as amended which

         22        puts the Commissioner of Agriculture -- wait a moment, we

         23        have got an amendment to the amendment by Henderson.

         24             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner


  


                                                                          333

          1        Henderson, I'll have them read it.  Read the amendment,

          2        please.

          3             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Henderson on Page 3,

          4        Line 7, delete "the Commissioner of Agriculture."

          5             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, I believe that

          6        you misspoke earlier when you said that the Commissioner

          7        of Agriculture was not on the Board of Administration.

          8        The Commissioner of Agriculture is not now on the State

          9        Board of Administration, and this deletes the commissioner

         10        from the state board.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Oh, you delete it because he is

         12        not supposed to be on this because he isn't now.  That's

         13        correct.  I understand.  That is a friendly amendment.

         14        All right.  All in favor of the amendment, say aye;

         15        opposed?

         16             (Verbal vote taken.)

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment is adopted, which

         18        deletes the -- it makes it as it is now.

         19             Now we are on the amendment as amended which adopts

         20        the Cabinet reform but restores the Commissioner of

         21        Agriculture, if you pass this amendment, to Cabinet status

         22        and would be a statewide elected office.  Does everybody

         23        understand that?  All right.  We'll have any debate that

         24        anybody has on that amendment.  You have already spoken in

         25        favor, I guess, or do you want to speak again?  Was it


  


                                                                          334

          1        yours?  It was yours, no further.  All right.

          2             Any opponents?  This is on the amendment which

          3        restores the Commissioner of Agriculture, but leaves

          4        everything else like it was passed.  All right.  If not,

          5        we'll proceed to vote on the amendment by Commissioner

          6        Zack, et al., as amended.  All right.  Unlock the machine

          7        and we'll vote.

          8             (Off-the-record comment.)

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  No, no, we are putting the

         10        Commissioner of Agriculture in it and then we go to the

         11        proposal.

         12             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  We have

         14        lost some soldiers.  Unlock the -- I mean, lock the

         15        machine and announce the vote.

         16             READING CLERK:  Thirty-one yeas, 1 nay, Mr. Chairman.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now we are on the proposal as

         18        amended and there is an amendment on the table from Style

         19        and Drafting, which is still pertinent, I take it.

         20             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  Yes, sir.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  You are recognized,

         22        Commissioner Lowndes, to move that amendment from Style

         23        and Drafting, which is No. 2 now.

         24             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  The amendment from Style and

         25        Drafting deals with the Article IX, Section 2, dealing


  


                                                                          335

          1        with the State Board of Education.  And --

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Wait a minute, I've got to read

          3        it.  Please read it.

          4             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

          5        Drafting, on Page 4, Line 24, after the word "of" insert

          6        "free."

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You may proceed.

          8             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  As I say, it's Article IX,

          9        Section 2, with respect to the State Board of Education.

         10        It would change it from reading "the system of public

         11        education" to "the system of free public education."  And

         12        the reason for that is that the system of free public

         13        education is described another place in the Constitution

         14        and it differentiates it from having jurisdiction or

         15        authority or business over the university and college

         16        systems.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does everybody

         18        understand?  This is a rather technical amendment to

         19        comply with the rest of the Constitution on that.  All in

         20        favor of the amendment, say aye; opposed?

         21             (Verbal vote taken.)

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment carries.  We are

         23        now on the proposal as amended.  The sponsors of that were

         24        quite a few.  Does anybody want to speak?  Commissioner

         25        Alfonso was chairman of the Executive Committee out of


  


                                                                          336

          1        which this came, so I'll recognize you to present the new

          2        proposal.  Commissioner Alfonso.

          3             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

          4        won't belabor this point.  We have listened to the

          5        agriculture community, we are responding to their desire

          6        to stay on the Cabinet.  We have a streamlined package

          7        here that we voted on favorably and had enough votes on

          8        the floor.  And I would recommend this amended, now

          9        amended proposal and ask you to give it your favorable

         10        consideration.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does anyone else want to speak to

         12        this?  If not, we'll proceed to vote.  Unlock the machine.

         13             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         15        vote.

         16             READING CLERK:  Twenty-two yeas, 10 nays,

         17        Mr. Chairman.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By your vote you have adopted

         19        this and sent it to Style and Drafting.  We'll now move to

         20        Proposal 168 by Commissioner Corr.  Yes.

         21             (Off-the-record comment by Commissioner Barkdull.)

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, we'll do this one because

         23        this one has got to be changed, I think.  168 by

         24        Commissioner Corr has an amendment, but I'll ask that it

         25        be read.


  


                                                                          337

          1             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 168, a proposal to

          2        revise Article IV, Section 6, Florida Constitution.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We are going to need

          4        five hands on this.  It passed 22 to 6, but it creates

          5        within it a State Board of Agriculture, of course to

          6        appoint the Commissioner of Agriculture, and we just

          7        adopted, you know, an elected one in the Cabinet.  But it

          8        also has some other items in it.  Commissioner Corr,

          9        where's he?  He's not here.  Does anybody want to speak to

         10        this, Commissioner Mills, or one of you?

         11             I need five hands.  If we don't get five hands,

         12        though, then we have got the inconsistency.  Okay.  We

         13        have got five hands.  We either need to amend this or

         14        eliminate it or both.  Does everybody understand -- this

         15        was the one that created the Board of Agriculture, which

         16        we have just made extinct.  But it did have some other

         17        provisions in it and there is an amendment from Style and

         18        Drafting.  Does it address this?

         19             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Yes, Mr. Chairman.  We need to

         20        adjust this now based on what just happened.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Shall we temporarily pass this

         22        and give you an opportunity to correct it and get it back

         23        into shape where we can deal with it?

         24             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Yes.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's already on the floor now.


  


                                                                          338

          1        We are going to temporarily pass it.

          2             And we are going to move to the proposal that we

          3        temporarily passed by Commissioner Riley this morning, if

          4        I can find it.  What's the number, Commissioner Riley?  On

          5        Page 4, and it's 166.  All right.  It creates a Board of

          6        Education, as I understand it.  But let me have her read

          7        that.  Go ahead, 166.

          8             READING CLERK:  Committee Substitute for Proposal

          9        No. 166, a proposal to revise Article IX, Section 2,

         10        Florida Constitution.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We need five hands.  We need five

         12        hands.  We now have five hands.  We are going to No. 166,

         13        which is on Page 4 in your -- we have read it and now --

         14        oh, yes, we need a motion to continue because it is almost

         15        6 o'clock.

         16             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman?

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.

         18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, I move you that

         19        we extend the time of adjournment until we have concluded

         20        this calendar.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  All in favor say aye;

         22        opposed?

         23             (Verbal vote taken.)

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is extended until we finish

         25        the calendar.  We are now on 166, which has been read.


  


                                                                          339

          1        And you will tell us what it is, please.  It is

          2        Commissioner Riley's proposal.

          3             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I have an amendment to this

          4        proposal, which is very simple.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Amendment on the desk.  Let me

          6        let them read the amendment.  Read the amendment, please.

          7             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Riley, on Page 1,

          8        Line 23, insert lengthy amendment.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  On the amendment.

         10             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  What the amendment does,

         11        Commissioners, is to sever the umbilical cord of this

         12        proposal from any Cabinet reform proposals.  While it can

         13        live within that proposal, if it passed by the voters,

         14        this allows it to live on its own.  I would ask you to

         15        support this proposal, I think it makes it stronger, the

         16        amendment to the proposal, it makes it a stronger proposal

         17        and allows it to be a truly educational amendment, or

         18        proposal.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now does everybody

         20        understand that the amendment is what we have got to vote

         21        on, and this is the one that's before you here by

         22        Commissioner Riley.  And what it basically does, it says

         23        if the general election of '98, the proposal offered by

         24        the Revision Commission on Cabinet reform should fail, and

         25        the proposal offered by the Constitution Revision


  


                                                                          340

          1        Commission on reforming the State Board of Education is

          2        passed, the following conforming amendments to Article IV,

          3        Section 5, shall be made.

          4             I understand what you are trying to do is say that if

          5        Cabinet reform is defeated and they pass this, that the

          6        Commissioner of Education will become an appointed office.

          7             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  The State Board of Education

          8        will move from the Cabinet to an appointed state board who

          9        will then elect themselves a Commissioner of Education.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And that would delete from the

         11        present Constitution the elected Commissioner of

         12        Education.

         13             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct.  Last time we met,

         14        while this had overwhelming approval, for those here,

         15        there was a question as to what would happen if one passed

         16        and one didn't.  And this is to answer that question.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So if the other one

         18        passes, then this one would be of no effect; is that

         19        right?

         20             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Does everybody understand

         22        that?  This is a sort of a hedge, I guess, would be what

         23        you would call it.  Is that right, Commissioner Riley?

         24             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Well I'm responding to the

         25        questions that we had the last time it was heard, and that


  


                                                                          341

          1        was the main concern.  And this is in answer to that

          2        concern.  I want to make sure that it can stand alone.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott has a

          4        question?

          5             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Yeah, I just want to make sure.

          6        If you don't want to eliminate elected offices on

          7        education -- I mean, this proposal would do that, right?

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's correct.

          9             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Why are we doing this one

         10        instead of --

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  She moved it.

         12             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  No, but I mean I'm just saying

         13        logically rather than -- wasn't that all taken care of in

         14        the last -- I'm not sure where we're going.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  As I understand what she is

         16        telling us -- and I may be wrong, she can correct me --

         17        what she says is that her amendment would say that if the

         18        proposal we just passed failed, and this one passed, in

         19        other words, if the voters voted against Cabinet reform,

         20        but voted for her proposal, then the Commissioner of

         21        Education under her proposal, the present Cabinet sitting

         22        here, it would be removed as an elected office and

         23        replaced by a board who would appoint the Commissioner of

         24        Education.

         25             And I think the objection was raised before,


  


                                                                          342

          1        Commissioner Scott, that this was a competing proposal.

          2        What she says she is trying to do is to make it

          3        noncompeting.  You-all have to be the judge of what she

          4        has to say.  Commissioner Barnett.

          5             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Just a question to make sure I

          6        understand the procedure here of Commissioner Riley.  Is

          7        it correct that your overriding goal is to make sure that

          8        there is a vote on the question of an elected versus an

          9        appointed Commissioner of Education?

         10             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct.

         11             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  And that you want to do

         12        that -- as I think I have heard you say, you want to do

         13        that even though we may go forward with the proposal on

         14        the Cabinet that contains a similar position because that

         15        may or may not pass.

         16             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct.

         17             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  And that this amendment that

         18        we have on our desks is designed for the situation if the

         19        major Cabinet proposal did not pass on the ballot, this

         20        would conform it so you would still have a Commissioner of

         21        Education serving on the Cabinet, it would simply be a

         22        nonelected but an appointed commissioner.

         23             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct, correct.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott.

         25             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Just 30 seconds' worth of -- I


  


                                                                          343

          1        would be against this.  I mean, Cabinet reform, if that's

          2        voted down, then to come back and say, Well, we are still

          3        going to have a Secretary of State and we are still going

          4        to have an Insurance Commissioner and we're still -- and

          5        eliminate the elected office for education, which is one

          6        of the ones that's really troubling to begin with, I think

          7        it is a bad idea.  So I'm going to vote against it.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We are on the

          9        amendment which is basically the proposal, however.  Does

         10        anybody want to speak further on this?  Commissioner

         11        Marshall, you were up and you are recognized, sir.

         12             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Thank you, very briefly.  If

         13        we have an appointed Commissioner of Education, and he or

         14        she serves as a member of the Cabinet, that person has

         15        been appointed by the Governor, do we not then give the

         16        Governor two votes on the Cabinet; his own -- along with

         17        the Cabinet rather, as Reubin Askew would say -- his own

         18        and the person he has appointed as commissioner?  Do you

         19        want me to clarify that?

         20             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I would like you to clarify

         21        that.

         22             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  We have an appointed

         23        Commissioner of Education, that person performs as a

         24        member of the Cabinet, assuming the Cabinet endures.

         25             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  What you are assuming is because


  


                                                                          344

          1        the person is appointed therefore they will be an

          2        additional voice of the Governor?

          3             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  That's what I am assuming.

          4             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I would suggest the person is

          5        the wrong person to appoint.  I can't answer that

          6        question.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Governors have been known to

          8        appoint the wrong people.

          9             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  In my proposal in the State

         10        Board of Education, it is the State Board of Education

         11        that chooses the Commissioner of Education.  So in that

         12        respect it is not.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further --

         14        anybody want to speak in favor of this?  Anybody want to

         15        speak against this?  If not, are you prepared and ready to

         16        vote on this?  Do you understand what we are voting on?

         17        Commissioner Butterworth.

         18             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Maybe I just --

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  This is on the amendment now.

         20        This would not pass the proposal.  We would have to come

         21        back and vote on it again just like it is, if we pass this

         22        amendment.

         23             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Is this what we are voting

         24        on, final, this will be the final thing?

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That amendment does in effect


  


                                                                          345

          1        become the proposal.

          2             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  If I can have a question

          3        maybe of Commissioner Riley here.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized.

          5             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Commissioner Riley, who

          6        actually will be doing the appointing of the Commissioner

          7        of Education.

          8             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  The state Board of Education.

          9        But let me clarify something.  The amendment that you have

         10        in your hand does not have the full proposal in it.  It

         11        simply has part, the part that the staff set at my request

         12        and at your request which was what happens if.  And so my

         13        question to the staff was, we need to make sure that if a

         14        State Board of Education proposal passes and a Cabinet

         15        reform proposal does not, that it can stand alone.  That

         16        was the question that was the problem perhaps, if it's a

         17        Style and Drafting, which I have been told that it is not.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  As I understood what you said if

         19        we don't pass this, then we would have one provision that

         20        didn't have -- we had an appointed Board of Education in

         21        it, and then you had this next one that did the same

         22        thing, if we don't pass this amendment.  As it stands now,

         23        you have a provision that says we will appoint a Board of

         24        Education, the Governor will --

         25             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  The Governor will appoint.


  


                                                                          346

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  -- and they will select the

          2        Commissioner of Education.

          3             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And we have a provision, if we

          5        don't pass your amendment, we have a provision in the one

          6        we just passed that says we will have a State Board of

          7        Education that will be appointed by the Governor.  What if

          8        they both pass, and you don't adopt this amendment?

          9             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Well then we are back to the

         10        same question that was asked the last time we brought this

         11        up, which is, what if one doesn't pass.  So I defer to

         12        people who have more experience in this than I in terms of

         13        the Constitution and words.  All I can tell you is that

         14        the State Board of Education is the State Board of

         15        Education proposal, it is not a Cabinet reform.  And the

         16        purpose of this amendment is to sever that umbilical cord.

         17             I'd be happy to withdraw this and argue Proposition

         18        166 on its own, but again, listening to this body and

         19        people in this body what I understood previously was that

         20        on its own that was, that was a problem.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well it may be.  It may be a

         22        problem both ways.  We will just have to wait and vote and

         23        see I guess.  At the moment does everybody understand what

         24        that amendment does?  Commissioner Butterworth, did that

         25        answer your question?


  


                                                                          347

          1             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Not really because if both

          2        things fail, could we be put in a position, which would

          3        not be bad, but the present Governor and State Board of

          4        Education appointing the Commissioner of Education?  So

          5        you would not have the Governor appoint, you would have

          6        the Governor and the Cabinet appointing.  If it would get

          7        down to that or not --

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's not the way it reads.

          9             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  That's not the way it

         10        reads, okay.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

         12        Thompson.

         13             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well I wanted to ask

         14        Commissioner Riley a question or two.  And mainly I

         15        just -- is 166 -- I know that your amendment is striking

         16        everything of the proposed language and inserting new

         17        language; isn't it?

         18             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  My amendment adds two phrases

         19        and that then becomes part of the proposal.

         20             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Is there --

         21             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  It adds a phrase when it speaks

         22        specifically about the election.

         23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  I guess what I am

         24        asking is what effect will -- if the measure that we just

         25        passed that reforms the Cabinet fails, and 166 fails,


  


                                                                          348

          1        there is no problem.  That's what you are saying?

          2             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct.

          3             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  If 166 fails and that fails

          4        there is no problem.

          5             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct.

          6             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  If that fails and 166

          7        passes --

          8             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  And this amendment is in, then

          9        there is no problem.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson, I might

         11        can enlighten that a little bit.  What she has done is

         12        added a schedule to the original proposal she had.

         13             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  This does not change the

         14        proposal.  It cleans it up, as I understand it.  If

         15        schedule is the right term, I like that term, it sounds

         16        nice and clean and not too affectatious so I'll buy it.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's what you say right at the

         18        top, schedule.  And that's what would appear in the

         19        Constitution.

         20             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Mr. Chairman, Members, I

         21        don't see any problem with this.  I think what she is

         22        providing for is an either/or and that's what we need.

         23        That's what the voters are going to need.  If they pass

         24        Cabinet reform, then you dovetail into it.  If they don't

         25        pass Cabinet reform and they do pass this, you dovetail


  


                                                                          349

          1        into it.  If they don't pass both of them, then there is

          2        no problem.

          3             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I think it has been said four

          4        times now.  Thank you.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have got to go on the

          6        amendment first.  Are there any further questions on the

          7        amendment?  I think that maybe clarified it.  All right.

          8        Unlock the machine and we will vote on the amendment.

          9        Does everybody understand the amendment?  It is a

         10        schedule.

         11             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         13        vote.

         14             READING CLERK:  Seventeen yeas, 8 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Obviously everybody didn't vote

         16        but they don't have to on this because it was a majority

         17        vote.  We are now on the proposal as amended which has

         18        this schedule attached to it.  And, Commissioner Riley,

         19        you may present your proposal again.

         20             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I will briefly, thank you,

         21        Mr. Chairman.  And I know we are all brain dead so I will

         22        try to make this brief, although my brain is quickly

         23        waking up.

         24             Charlie Reed came and spoke before us in Jacksonville

         25        and one of his main proposals was this.  And we had people


  


                                                                          350

          1        from around the state, including the commission of 100,

          2        Council of 100, and the Governor's Commission on Education

          3        and you have been given another letter from Charlie

          4        Olingher [phonetic] who couldn't, who didn't have time to

          5        stay and speak to us at one of our public hearings.

          6             These people didn't say we need Cabinet reform, they

          7        said we needed educational reform.  And they presented

          8        this as a strong way that we can do this.

          9             This proposal received almost 90 percent of those

         10        present last time.  I would sincerely hope that we would

         11        have the same percentage this time on this vote.  If you

         12        look at the educational system in the state of Florida,

         13        and you look at the Board of Regents who oversee our

         14        university system, recently in a poll three out of the ten

         15        top universities in the United States were in the state of

         16        Florida.

         17             When he look at our community college system, which

         18        is overseen by an appointed board of community colleges,

         19        there is nobody in the state that doesn't know that we

         20        have an excellent community college system.  Where we get

         21        the bad scores that Commissioner Marshall is talking about

         22        is in K through 12.  We are 41st on the list of SAT scores

         23        and we were a few years ago last on the graduating, high

         24        school graduation.  And we are now only about 43rd.

         25             I would ask that we make a very, very important


  


                                                                          351

          1        change in education of the state of Florida and do what

          2        the experts who have looked at it have asked us to do,

          3        which is to set up a State Board of Education and ask for

          4        your support on this proposal.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Anybody want to

          6        debate?  Commissioner Marshall.

          7             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Question please for

          8        Commissioner Riley.  If this is approved and we have an

          9        appointed Commissioner of education, will that person

         10        function as a member of the Cabinet?

         11             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Yes, but not an elected part of

         12        the Cabinet.

         13             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  It will have a vote on

         14        Cabinet affairs and all of that, if the Cabinet survives.

         15             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Yes, yes.

         16             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Commissioner Riley, I like

         17        the idea very much of placing the responsibility for

         18        education in the hands of a board.  But I am concerned

         19        that this is a kind of piecemeal approach to Cabinet

         20        reform, which we all, I think most of us in education

         21        believe needs to be addressed.  Can you put me at ease on

         22        that, that it is not a piecemeal approach?

         23             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Again, I would say what I said

         24        earlier.  When people came and spoke to us and when the

         25        people who have looked at education in the state of


  


                                                                          352

          1        Florida, they did not look at this as Cabinet reform.

          2        They looked at this as a totally educational proposal and

          3        an educational issue.  That's how they presented it to us.

          4        The people that spoke to us around the state didn't talk

          5        about Cabinet reform with this.  It affects the Cabinet

          6        because of the way our Cabinet is set up, but this is an

          7        educational issue.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We need to -- I think

          9        we have debated this enough over the term of our being

         10        here.  And we are ready to vote on this proposal as

         11        amended.  Unlock the machine and let's vote.

         12             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Lock the

         14        machine and announce the vote.

         15             READING CLERK:  Sixteen yeas, 13 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  It fails.

         17             Here is what we are going to do.  We have, if you

         18        will look, these proposals that passed 26 to nothing and

         19        so on, I want to run through those while Commissioner

         20        Scott and Commissioner Jennings are still here.  They have

         21        to leave pretty quickly.  And let's see -- if we don't get

         22        five hands, they are done.

         23             Proposal No. 4 by Commissioner Langley, that's the

         24        one clarifying the authority of the Department of Military

         25        Affairs, I don't think we need to read them at this point.


  


                                                                          353

          1        If nobody raises their hand, that is adopted.  Nobody

          2        raises their hand.

          3             Proposal 25 by Commissioner Langley, I skipped 8

          4        because it was a 21 to 9 vote.  Proposal 125 by

          5        Commissioner Langley providing military court-martials to

          6        be conducted by military judges, and the National Guard

          7        direct appeal to the DCAs, adopted 28 to 1.  Nobody raises

          8        their hand, that's adopted.

          9             By Commissioner Ford-Coates, reducing the voting age

         10        to 18, adopted 31 to nothing.  If nobody raises their

         11        hands, that's adopted.

         12             By Commissioner Freidin relating to ethics in

         13        government, including that section of the requirement set

         14        out in Article III, Section 18, Florida, which creates a

         15        code of ethics.  It was a technical thing, passed 32 to

         16        nothing.  Nobody raises their hand, it is passed.

         17             Revise the Florida Constitution is No. 37 by

         18        Commissioner Freidin by adopting language that is not

         19        gender specific.  That is a matter of editing.  It is

         20        adopted 25 to 2.  If there are no hands raised, there are

         21        not five hands raised, that is adopted.

         22             Proposal 44 by Commissioner Langley, allowing the

         23        state Supreme Court and the District Courts of Appeal to

         24        submit questions of military law to the federal court of

         25        appeals, uniform services, for advisory opinion.  There


  


                                                                          354

          1        are not five hands, that one is adopted.

          2             All right.  We have a technical amendment on that

          3        that somebody has got to put on here.  On Proposal 44 they

          4        have got the wrong name of the court, Commissioner

          5        Langley.  And they are going to offer the amendment so

          6        raise five hands, give me five hands.  Okay, we have got

          7        five hands.  Now offer the amendment.  Read the amendment

          8        to Proposal 44, please.

          9             READING CLERK:  By the Committee on Style and

         10        Drafting, on Page 1, Lines 25 and 26, strike "Court of

         11        Appeal for the Uniform Services" and insert "Court of

         12        Appeal for the Armed Forces."

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Alfonso,

         14        you are recognized.

         15             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  That was pretty

         16        self-explanatory.  It was just the incorrect court of

         17        uniform services and the correct name is the court of

         18        armed forces.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All in favor of the amendment say

         20        aye; opposed?

         21             (Verbal vote taken.)

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is amended.  As amended, if --

         23        all in favor, unlock the machine and let's vote, Proposal

         24        44 as amended making a technical correction.  Unlock the

         25        machine and let's vote.


  


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          1             READING CLERK:  Proposal 44, a proposal to revise

          2        Article V, Section 2, Florida Constitution.

          3             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

          5        vote.

          6             READING CLERK:  Twenty-six yeas, zero nays,

          7        Mr. Chairman.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Then we have

          9        Committee Substitute for Proposals 112 and 124 by the

         10        Committee on Finance and Taxation and Commissioners Mills

         11        and Ford-Coates providing for an exemption from ad valorem

         12        taxation for certain tangible personal property, which I

         13        believe had to do with mobile homes, didn't it?  If there

         14        are not five hands, that one is adopted.  It is adopted.

         15             Committee Substitute for Proposal 133 by the

         16        Committee on Finance and Taxation and Commissioner Scott,

         17        Article III, providing guidelines for a public review

         18        period for a general appropriations act.  That's the one

         19        that put 72 hours on the conference committee distance

         20        that's not there now.  It passed 31 to zero.  If there are

         21        not five hands, it is passed.

         22             Proposal 153 by Commissioner Barkdull providing for

         23        membership of the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

         24        That was a technical change that was messed up in the

         25        legislative schedule unintentionally and this corrects it.


  


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          1        It was 31 to nothing.  Adopted if there is not five hands,

          2        it is adopted.

          3             Proposal 179 by Commissioner Thompson, providing

          4        guidelines for legislative consideration of veto messages,

          5        revising the calculation of the 72-hour public review

          6        period for the general appropriations bill.  That's the

          7        same general subject we have done, 32 to nothing.  If

          8        there are no five hands on this, it is passed.

          9             Now the only thing we have left is Proposal No. 8 by

         10        Commissioner Barkdull, if you would please read, please.

         11        It had a vote of 21 to 9 so it didn't get 22 votes.  There

         12        were only 30 here.  Please read it.  We need five hands on

         13        this one.  Five hands to consider this one.  We have five

         14        hands.  All right.

         15             Would you read Proposal No. 8 by Commissioner

         16        Barkdull.

         17             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 8, a proposal to revise

         18        Article III, Section 8, Florida Constitution.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull, explain

         20        this, please.

         21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  The Governor at the present

         22        time has 15 days upon adjournment of the Legislature to

         23        veto a bill.  This gives him 30 days.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Do we need any debate

         25        on this?  I think we did it before.  Unlock the machine


  


                                                                          357

          1        and let's vote on Proposal No. 8 by Commissioner Barkdull.

          2             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right, let's vote here.

          4        Maybe this one needed to be debated, there are only 25

          5        people voting.  He needs one more vote and then he makes

          6        it.  Are you going to deprive him of his one vote?  We

          7        should have debated it, I guess, earlier.  Twenty-seven of

          8        us is all that's here?  Well right now the vote is 21 to 6

          9        unless somebody wants to do good.  It is late in the day,

         10        Commissioner Langley, I can tell how you voted.  All

         11        right.  By your vote it is 21 to 6, it fails.

         12             We have 148 that's left, which we -- excuse me, it is

         13        168 that's left by Commissioner Corr which created the --

         14        go ahead and read it.

         15             READING CLERK:  Proposal No. 168, a proposal to

         16        revise Article IV, Section 6, Florida Constitution.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Mills,

         18        you want to explain this and what's going on here?

         19             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, Mr. Chairman, the

         20        amendment on the desk, which I think has now been passed

         21        out, strikes the lines in 168 dealing with the agriculture

         22        commission so it conforms with the previous reinsertion of

         23        the agriculture commission.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So what does that do?

         25             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  It takes it out.  On Page 3,


  


                                                                          358

          1        Lines 4-10, it takes out the lines dealing with the State

          2        Board of Agriculture.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  And what does that

          4        leave in the proposal after you do that, Commissioner

          5        Langley?

          6             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  You know, we are limited to so

          7        many departments.  This does not allow the bureaucrats to

          8        create what is in effect a department but they call it an

          9        agency or something.  If it looks like a duck and walks

         10        like a duck, then it is a duck.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So if we adopt this amendment,

         12        then we're dealing solely with that subject; is that

         13        correct?

         14             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Yes, sir.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does everybody understand that?

         16        Commissioner Lowndes, did you have something?

         17             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  I don't think it deals solely

         18        with that subject.  My sense is it also had the provision

         19        in it dealing with deciding what the Secretary of State,

         20        who would be eliminated, would be called.  Am I wrong

         21        about that?

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is not in the title.

         23             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  The provision at the end of

         24        it, I think, creates the office of custodian of records.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes, it does do that.


  


                                                                          359

          1             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  And it also has the Department

          2        of Elder Affairs' matter in there, too.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And that was one we are just

          4        making a technical correction on.

          5             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  All we need to do is TP it.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We can't TP it, this is the last

          7        one.  168 -- first of all, we have an amendment and we

          8        will do that.  The amendment removes the Board of

          9        Agriculture and that's all it does; is that correct?  All

         10        right.  All in favor of that amendment, say aye; opposed?

         11             (Verbal vote taken.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So now we are dealing with it as

         13        amended.  Okay.  But we have adopted the substitute for

         14        the Style and Drafting amendment which eliminated the

         15        agriculture department.  Now what we have left --

         16        Commissioner, will one of you that knows what's in this,

         17        Commissioner Lowndes or Commissioner Mills or somebody

         18        that was on Style and Drafting, tell us what's left.

         19             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I think I know what's in it --

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Tell us, let us in on it.

         21             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  -- but I may not be the right

         22        person to explain it because I don't like it.  So --

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Maybe you are the right one, this

         24        late in the day.

         25             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  As I understand this


  


                                                                          360

          1        particular proposal, it is an effort by Commissioner Corr

          2        to keep government honest, in a way, so that we live

          3        within the constitutional limit of the number of

          4        departments, the 25 departments.  And there is a concern,

          5        I think, that there are entities which function, currently

          6        today function as a department; for example, the one

          7        that's given to me as the Agency for Health Care

          8        Administration, which really functions as a department but

          9        is administratively assigned to a department and therefore

         10        does not trigger the constitutional cap.

         11             This is an effort to say, you need to live within

         12        that constitutional cap.  And so those entities that --

         13        any entity that functions as a department must actually be

         14        considered a department.  That's my explanation of it.  At

         15        the appropriate time, I don't want to confuse my

         16        opposition to it with trying to explain evenhandedly what

         17        I perceive it does.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now does anybody want

         19        to speak for it or explain it further?  Commissioner

         20        Lowndes, you were up first.  You are next, Commissioner

         21        Sundberg.

         22             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  For some reason, this proposal

         23        had tacked on to it things which were a catchall with

         24        respect to the Cabinet reform because the proposal for

         25        Cabinet reform had already passed.


  


                                                                          361

          1             So this proposal has in it, in addition to what

          2        Commissioner Barnett explained, it has the provision that

          3        would only be effective in the event the Cabinet reform

          4        passed that would create the office which would take over

          5        the duties of Secretary of State.  It also has in it the

          6        provision which changes the elderly care department to

          7        elder care.

          8             Now that is -- why that's tacked on to this, I'm not

          9        sure, because both of them are not relevant to the main

         10        thrust of this proposal, which is the 25 department

         11        matter.

         12             The only concern I would have about it, to tell you

         13        the truth, is that if this was defeated say, for example,

         14        and the Cabinet reform passed, we would not have a

         15        provision dealing with establishing the office to take

         16        over the Secretary of State duties.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Wouldn't that be done by law?

         18             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  It could be done by law, yes.

         19        And so -- but I just wanted to tell you what else is in

         20        here.  And I have no apologies for it because I was not

         21        the author.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does anybody claim

         23        credit for this that wants to speak on it?  Commissioner

         24        Sundberg.

         25             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I claim no credit for it, but


  


                                                                          362

          1        I want to speak in favor of it.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized.

          3             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  As was indicated, I think

          4        Commissioner Barnett said that AHCA, the Agency for Health

          5        Care Administration, it is one of those agencies that to

          6        begin with was put into the Department of Professional

          7        Regulation and then it is moved, I guess it's still here,

          8        DBPR, believe it or not.

          9             The Division of Administrative Hearings is also not

         10        accountable to any department head.  There is one of the

         11        agencies dealing with retirement that likewise is

         12        essentially autonomous.

         13             Our Constitution, I'm not sure it was in '68, I guess

         14        it was, but it was deemed to be executive department

         15        reform by saying there will not be a proliferation of

         16        executive departments in our Florida state government.

         17        And so the number of how they arrived at 25, you would

         18        have to ask Dick Pettigrew, but in any event it was deemed

         19        to be -- 25 was the appropriate number.

         20             And what is built into that is that each, that those

         21        executive functions within a department must answer to and

         22        be subject to the authority of the head of a department.

         23        These agencies like the Agency for Health Care

         24        Administration specifically say their budget is not

         25        subject to the department head, they may act autonomously.


  


                                                                          363

          1             This is an attempt to go back to the original intent

          2        and prohibit the Legislature from calling a cow a bull and

          3        changing the gender of the animal.  And so what -- as I

          4        say, what it seeks to do is say, you know, if you are

          5        going to have an executive department, it must fall within

          6        the purview of that 25 limitation.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have got to vote on the

          8        amendment.  We already voted on one amendment.  Do we have

          9        an amendment?  We voted on the amendment; didn't we?  We

         10        are on the proposal now, is that correct?  The proposal as

         11        amended is where we are.  Commissioner Marshall.

         12             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Mr. Chairman, I don't like to

         13        vote or refrain from voting on an issue without

         14        understanding it.  I do understand what Commissioner

         15        Barnett said and Commissioner Sundberg's explanation very

         16        well, but I'm looking at Section 14 which calls for the

         17        appointment of a Board of Agriculture, an election of --

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That was struck.  That's been

         19        amended out.

         20             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Thank you, thank you.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's the only thing that's been

         22        amended out though.  Everything else is still in.  Is that

         23        right, Commissioner Barnett?

         24             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  That's my understanding, yes,

         25        sir.


  


                                                                          364

          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does everybody understand what we

          2        are going to vote on here when we vote?  We now have a

          3        proposal that deals with the departments, that deals with

          4        the custodian of the records, and makes elderly elder.

          5        And I don't think that changes Commissioner Barkdull and I

          6        one bit, we are both still elders.

          7             In any event, we will vote on this if you-all are

          8        ready to vote on it.  If you want more debate, we will

          9        have that.  This is the last thing we are going to do

         10        today and this is going to be our coup de grace until we

         11        get to coup de grace in a week and then we will be still

         12        available to do things until May 4th, May 5th.  Now, do

         13        you want to vote?  Good.  Open the machine and let's vote.

         14             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Okay.  Lock

         16        the machine and announce the vote.

         17             READING CLERK:  Eighteen yeas, 6 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It fails.  All right.  That

         19        concludes today.  And any announcements?  There are some

         20        committee meetings, a committee meeting.  Commissioner

         21        Mills.

         22             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  No, sir, there is probably only

         23        one committee meeting and that's tomorrow morning at 9:30

         24        for all the hardy souls on the Style and Drafting

         25        Committee, 9:30.  And it will be in the Room B9,


  


                                                                          365

          1        commission's conference room.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now Commissioner

          3        Barkdull for announcements.

          4             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Seeing none, I'm prepared to

          5        make a motion to recess.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  I would like to say before

          7        we quit that this has been one productive day for an open

          8        group like this and your debate was excellent and

          9        nonpersonal, for the most part, and we accomplished a lot.

         10        And I think we can go forth with great pride at this point

         11        and come back and maybe make some more pride in a week.

         12        Commissioner Barkdull.

         13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I move you, sir --

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Wait, Commissioner Barnett.

         15             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Mr. Chairman, I wanted to take

         16        just a moment of personal privilege to thank you for today

         17        and the way you have conducted these proceedings.  I know

         18        you had one time left to rule on your record of being a

         19        great chair, but I did want to express my personal

         20        appreciation to you and also to wish you a Happy St.

         21        Patrick's Day.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are very kind.

         23             (Applause.)

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you.  And extend it all

         25        back to you.  We are doing good.


  


                                                                          366

          1             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I move you, sir, that we

          2        recess until 9:00 a.m., Monday, March 23rd, in this

          3        chamber.

          4             (Session adjourned at 6:35 p.m.)

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          1                             CERTIFICATE

          2   STATE OF FLORIDA:

          3   COUNTY OF LEON:

          4
                        WE, JULIE L. DOHERTY, and MONA L. WHIDDON, Court
          5   Reporters, certify that we were authorized to and did
              stenographically report the foregoing proceedings and that
          6   the transcript is a true and complete record of our
              stenographic notes.
          7

          8             DATED this ______ day of ____________, 1998.

          9

         10
                                 _________________________________
         11                      JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR

         12

         13                      _________________________________
                                 MONA L. WHIDDON
         14                      Court Reporters
                                 Division of Administrative Hearings
         15                      1230 Apalachee Parkway
                                 Tallahassee, Florida  32399-3060
         16                      (850) 488-9675  Suncom 278-9675
                                 Fax Filing (850) 921-6847
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