7 STATE OF FLORIDA
8 CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION
9 Meeting of June 17, 1997
10 The Senate Chamber
11 The Capitol
12 Tallahassee, Florida
13 9:30 a.m.
19 Reported by:
20 RAY D. CONVERY
21 Court Reporter
1 P R O C E E D I N G S
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Please go ahead and call the
3 roll. You can note Justice Kogan asked to be excused
4 and was excused today, he can't be here today, and Mr.
5 Butterworth is in Washington and asked to be excused,
6 and he's excused.
7 SECRETARY BLANTON: Alfonso.
8 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: Here.
9 SECRETARY BLANTON: Anthony.
10 COMMISSIONER ANTHONY: Here.
11 SECRETARY BLANTON: Argiz.
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Here.
14 SECRETARY BLANTON: Barnett.
15 COMMISSIONER BARNETT: Here.
16 SECRETARY BLANTON: Brochin.
17 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: Here.
18 SECRETARY BLANTON: Connor.
19 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Here.
20 SECRETARY BLANTON: Corr.
21 COMMISSIONER CORR: Here.
22 SECRETARY BLANTON: Crenshaw.
24 COMMISSIONER EVANS: Here.
25 SECRETARY BLANTON: Evans-Jones.
1 COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES: Here.
2 SECRETARY BLANTON: Ford-Coates.
3 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Here.
4 SECRETARY BLANTON: Friedin.
5 COMMISSIONER FRIEDIN: Here.
6 SECRETARY BLANTON: Hawkes.
7 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: Here.
8 SECRETARY BLANTON: Henderson.
9 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Here.
10 SECRETARY BLANTON: Jennings.
11 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Here.
12 SECRETARY BLANTON: Langley.
13 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Here.
14 SECRETARY BLANTON: Lowndes.
15 COMMISSIONER LOWNDES: Here.
16 SECRETARY BLANTON: Marshall.
17 COMMISSIONER MARSHALL: Here.
18 SECRETARY BLANTON: Mathis.
19 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Here.
20 SECRETARY BLANTON: Mills.
21 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Here.
22 SECRETARY BLANTON: Morsani.
23 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: Here.
24 SECRETARY BLANTON: Nabors.
25 COMMISSIONER NABORS: Here.
1 SECRETARY BLANTON: Planas.
2 COMMISSIONER PLANAS: Here.
3 SECRETARY BLANTON: Riley.
4 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Here.
5 SECRETARY BLANTON: Rundle.
6 COMMISSIONER RUNDLE: Here.
7 SECRETARY BLANTON: Scott.
8 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Here.
9 SECRETARY BLANTON: Smith.
10 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Here.
11 SECRETARY BLANTON: Sullivan.
13 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Here.
14 SECRETARY BLANTON: Thompson.
15 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Here.
16 SECRETARY BLANTON: West.
17 COMMISSIONER WEST: Here.
18 SECRETARY BLANTON: Wetherington.
20 COMMISSIONER ZACK: Here.
21 SECRETARY BLANTON: Chairman Douglass.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Here.
23 Has anybody that didn't answer the roll come in?
24 Over here, Commissioner Crenshaw is here. The
25 Secretary announced you were always late.
1 In order to proceed at this time I'd like to call
2 on Father David P. McCreanor, pastor of the St. Louis
3 Catholic Church in Tallahassee, to come forward and if
4 you would give the prayer, Father? He's known to his
5 parishioners as Father Dave.
6 FATHER McCREANOR: Thank you, sir.
7 THE CHAIRMAN: Everybody please rise.
8 FATHER McCREANOR: Almighty God, we thank you for
9 the freedom we enjoy in our nation and state. We
10 thank you for this gathering today that seeks to
11 assure and preserve the God-given freedoms for the
12 citizens of Florida into the 21st century. The men
13 and women who have accepted the responsibility of
14 making constitutional recommendations come in need of
15 a higher power than the human mind to help them in the
16 decision-making process. We call on you today,
17 Almighty God, to provide that power in all the
18 proceedings of this Commission, anoint each person
19 here with the spirit of wisdom, knowledge,
20 understanding and judgment. Grant them the vision to
21 deal with the issues that affect the ever-changing
22 needs of this fast growing state. May the decisions
23 of this committee both preserve and enhance the
24 quality of life we now enjoy.
25 We give you thanks, Almighty God, for the wisdom
1 of those inspired to call for a Constitution Revision
2 Commission to meet every 20 years and for all those
3 who served in the past and for those present today.
4 We ask your special blessing on Dexter Douglass,
5 who chairs this Commission, and all the Commission
6 members with their families. Keep them safe during
7 the year ahead and protect them with your love.
9 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
10 Would Commissioner Crenshaw please come forward
11 and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance?
12 (The Pledge of Allegiance.)
13 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Crenshaw, if you will
14 remain there or walk around front, the Secretary will
15 administer the oath to you so that you can be
16 officially a member of this Commission.
17 You can do it wherever you want to.
18 THE SECRETARY: We're getting a Bible.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: And we're going to use the Bible
20 in this instance.
21 THE SECRETARY: Raise your right hand.
22 (Commissioner Crenshaw sworn.)
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
24 Welcome, Commissioner Crenshaw. First let me
25 thank Father McCreanor for being with us this morning,
1 and then let me thank the Commissioner -- where did
2 she go -- Commissioner Jennings for the wonderful
3 dinner we all had last evening, and we certainly all
4 enjoyed the pleasure of the reception and getting to
5 see each other. I enjoyed seeing you there.
6 What we're going to do today is partially
7 ceremonial. We'll have the -- part of the program
8 this afternoon will be Governor Reubin Askew
9 addressing the group, and he will do that after our
10 noon recess, and this morning we're very fortunate to
11 have with us Professor Robert F. Williams, a
12 distinguished professor of law at Rutgers University
13 of Law in Camden, New Jersey.
14 Professor Williams received his law degree from
15 the University of Florida and he served as a
16 legislative assistant to the Legislature during the
17 1967 Constitution Revision Commission.
18 Professor Williams is known nationally and
19 throughout the country as one of, if not the foremost
20 authority from his writings in state constitutional
21 law. We're pleased to welcome this native son of
22 Florida back to the Sunshine State and to address this
24 Professor Williams, if you would come forward,
25 please, we would be delighted to hear your remarks,
2 Professor Williams?
3 PROFESSOR WILLIAMS: Thank you very much,
4 Chairman Douglass, Commissioners. I think you could
5 have heard me anyway. I'm deeply honored to be
6 invited to come here and talk to you. It's a terrific
7 opportunity for me to return to my home state, to my
8 home Capitol building, even though I got started as
9 many of you did in the old Capitol building and the
10 Holland Building and those places. I've had a chance
11 to see friends and classmates and mentors and a whole
12 range of people that I remember since I've been here
13 the last 24 hours or so.
14 And I want to say at the outset, I envy you. 20
15 years ago when I was involved with the '78 Commission
16 essentially as a lobbyist, and 30 years ago when I was
17 involved with the Legislature as it worked with the
18 product prepared by that Constitution Revision
19 Commission, I sort of dreamed that maybe this year I'd
20 be sitting out there where you are now, and if I'd
21 worked hard and continued my career here, I thought I
22 might have had that opportunity, but instead I took a
23 different route. I'm one of the three or four people
24 who have moved from Florida to New Jersey and reversed
25 the flow of the usual migration, and I've been --
1 spent the last 18 years studying and teaching and
2 writing about state constitutions.
3 Why would I do such a thing? It's because of
4 what I learned here in Florida, the ideas I got from
5 the people you know and have heard about in '67, '68
6 and '78, and I'm still pursuing those ideas and I hope
7 to continue to do it, but I would like to just say
8 that -- I want to make an early application here.
9 Some of you will be appointing authorities in 2017,
10 and I would like to have a chance to sit out there,
11 and I'm still a dues-paying member of the Florida Bar
12 and I'm going to keep paying those dues for the next
13 20 years, and in 2017 I'm going to be practicing law
14 in the state of Florida and I hope you'll remember me.
15 1997 is actually a very big year for state
16 constitutions in this country, as some of you know,
17 and, of course, the main reason why it's a big year is
18 because this Commission is sitting, but you're sharing
19 your enterprise with a number of people around the
20 country. As some of you know, New York voters will
21 vote in November on whether to call a full-blown
22 constitutional convention in that state. California
23 just completed a constitution revision commission
24 which has filed its report. New Mexico recently, in
25 the last year or two, completed a constitution
1 revision commission. It's the 100th anniversary of
2 the Delaware state constitution. It's the 50th
3 anniversary of our New Jersey constitution, my home
4 state now. Montana is celebrating its 25th
5 anniversary. So there's a fair amount of activity
6 going on around the country with respect to state
7 constitutions, and I hope that you will try to get in
8 touch with those people and stay in touch with them,
9 because, as unique as Florida's Constitution is and
10 the problems and potential of Florida are, you do
11 share a number of things in common, I think, with
12 others working on state constitutions in this country.
13 So this morning I want to see if I can paint a
14 picture for you of your place in the broad national
15 context of state constitution-making and also link
16 what you're doing to the deep historical roots of this
17 enterprise of state constitution-making. Then I want
18 to talk a little bit about the unique and special
19 characteristics of state constitutions, and then
20 finally reflect on the processes of state
21 constitutional revision in the 1990s.
22 Now, I'm not going to make any substantive
23 recommendations to you. I'm sure you're glad of
24 that. I think everybody's full of ideas already and
25 expect you to have your whole agenda formed in your
1 mind, and I don't think you should do that.
2 I'm a little hesitant because I think opening
3 speeches to constitutional conventions or
4 constitutional commissions are kind of like graduation
5 speeches where the next day nobody remembers what was
6 said, but I know that you know graduation speakers
7 always say that. They always say, "I know you're not
8 going to remember what I said. I don't remember what
9 the graduation speaker said at my graduation," but
10 then they go on and talk to you anyway and try to be
11 the one speaker who's different, and that's what I'm
12 going to try to do. I hope I'll be able to succeed
13 with you, if you'll bear with me.
14 You're taking your place or you took your place
15 yesterday as the next step in a, what's now a 221-year
16 history of state constitution-making. It began in
17 1776, in wartime. Our New Jersey state constitution
18 was adopted on January -- on July, excuse me, July 2,
19 1776, an interesting date it seems to me, during
21 The state constitutions of that period were the
22 domestic political language of the revolution. That
23 was what the debates were about: How should we
24 structure our governments, now that we've declared
25 independence? Even while we're still fighting a war
1 for independence, who should participate in our
2 governments? What should our institutions look like?
3 What kind of rights guarantees should be in these
4 constitutions? This was the topic of debate during
5 that ten years while we fought the war, won the war
6 and struggled trying to get a federal constitutional
7 convention together.
8 So the roots of this Commission reach deeply into
9 that history, directly to James Madison, Ben Franklin,
10 John Jay, all men in those days, of course, white men,
11 who learned about constitution-making working on state
12 constitutions a decade before they got famous and
13 worked on the federal Constitution.
14 These roots are not only deep but they're wide.
15 They spread all across the United States to all the
16 states which have adopted and revised state
17 constitutions, and they also -- these roots also
18 spread around the world to federal systems all around
19 the world. There are 18 or 20 systems that use sub-
20 national component units, or states, the way we do.
21 Most countries don't, of course. It's too
22 inefficient, it's too much trouble, but -- so you're
23 now engaged in an enterprise that is being worked on
24 in South Africa as they draft the provincial
25 constitutions there, the equivalent of state
1 constitutions. The former East German states, called
2 lander, have just finished a process of revising their
3 sub-national constitutions, most of them with the help
4 of constitutional commissions, by the way. So the now
5 reunified Germany is made up of component units, each
6 of which have state constitutions.
7 These processes are also going on in Russia.
8 Brazil the last decade completed this process of
9 revising, and I think actually we have a lot to learn
10 from each other even around the world, not just in
11 other states in the United States.
12 This sub-national or state constitution-making in
13 a federal system is experimental. You've heard states
14 referred to as the laboratories of federalism, the
15 laboratories of experiment, and since the beginning of
16 our country we have recognized state constitution-
17 making as experimental, trial and error, and even as
18 early as 1778, the famous Tom Paine -- he's famous
19 because he advocated independence from England, but he
20 was also a very important state constitutional thinker
21 and architect in Pennsylvania. He applauded, in 1778
22 he applauded the happy opportunity, quote, "happy
23 opportunity of trying a variety in order to discover
24 the best. By diversifying the several constitutions,
25 we shall see which states flourish the best, and out
1 of the many posterity may choose a model," close
3 So down through this 221 years, this tradition of
4 experimentation has come to us. We've had hundreds of
5 state constitutional conventions in this country and
6 state constitutional commissions, thousands of state
7 constitutional amendments, about 150 separate state
8 constitutions; and from the beginning those
9 experiments in the 13 original states served as models
10 for the federal constitutional convention.
11 Actually, if you ever got so bored that you
12 wanted to sit down and read the debates of the federal
13 constitutional convention, you'd see that a lot of
14 what those debates were about was whether we should
15 follow the New York model or the Massachusetts model.
16 Nobody wanted to follow the Pennsylvania model and
17 nobody wanted to follow the New Jersey model. It's
18 very interesting, and it's no accident that literally
19 the first line of the Federalist Papers addressed to
20 the people who were worried about this new federal
21 Constitution said, "New Yorkers, don't worry, this new
22 federal Constitution, it really looks a lot like the
23 New York state constitution." It might be the second
24 line of the Federalist Papers, but it's right up
1 After the federal Constitution was adopted, the
2 state constitutional convention continued on its own
3 course, different from the developments in federal
4 constitutional law, and through this period of time,
5 of course, state constitutions were both cursed and
6 praised, but there's one thing that's clear about this
7 process of evolution of state constitutions and
8 experimentation. It gave a chance for voices to be
9 heard in constitution-making, voices that were never
10 heard in the federal constitutional process.
11 The 55 white men who drafted the federal
12 Constitution were not a diverse group. State
13 constitution-making, though, has heard the voices of
14 women, African-Americans, native Americans, Latino
15 people. All kinds of people in our country have had a
16 chance to be involved in one level or another with
17 state constitution-making, and of course that's
18 continued in this Commission today.
19 And states still continue to be the laboratories
20 of experiment in the federal system. States continue
21 to copy ideas one from the other or to reject ideas
22 that have been tried in other states and haven't
23 worked, and, of course, the federal government
24 continues to look to the states for models to emulate.
25 One only has to look at the current debates over
1 line item veto in Washington. That was invented in
2 the states. Balanced budget, that was invented in the
3 states. Term limits, invented in the states.
4 Victims' rights provisions in constitutions, invented
5 in the states, just to name a few of the current ideas
6 that are circulating in Washington as proposed federal
7 constitutional amendments, and you're the direct
8 descendants of this two decades of experimentation.
9 Now, these experiments, these processes that
10 we've seen unfold over two centuries -- did I say two
11 decades -- two centuries, have had two sorts of kinds
12 of experimentation. One has been with the content or
13 the substance of the state constitutions, and that I'm
14 not going to talk about. What should be in there,
15 what kinds of institutions, what kinds of rights,
16 that's not -- I'm very interested in that, but it's
17 not my interest with you here today.
18 The other kinds of experiments, though, on the
19 other hand, have been procedural or process-oriented
20 experiments. Throughout these two centuries the
21 debate has focused on, well, how can you change the
22 state Constitution? Should you be able to change the
23 state Constitution? How easy should it be? How often
24 should you do it? So the question that's asked by one
25 group is, how stable should the state Constitution be?
1 And asking the question that way suggests an answer,
2 but the other way to ask that same question is, how
3 rigid should a state constitution be? And asking the
4 question that way seems to suggest a different sort of
5 way of looking at the state Constitution.
6 One of them is, keep it the way it is.
7 Stability's important. The other one is that if it's
8 rigid, it can block our progress, and of course we've
9 seen that in many states, including Florida before
10 1968 and even today, possibly.
11 The first state constitutions didn't provide for
12 their own amendment and revision, and the New Jersey
13 Constitution of this July 2, 1776, which is the date
14 we all like to talk about in New Jersey, you can
15 imagine, beat the Declaration of Independence by two
16 days -- that constitution amazingly said, "Look, if we
17 settle with the British, we settle this current
18 controversy," as it was called, "this constitution
19 will be null and void," okay. It didn't say anything
20 about, "What if we lose?" because they knew what would
21 happen. They'd be hanged as traitors, but it also
22 didn't say anything about what would happen if we won.
23 So we did win the Revolution, and in New Jersey
24 we were stuck for 80 years with a constitution that
25 nobody knew how to change. Finally, after a lot of
1 debate, people realized the Legislature could pass a
2 bill calling for a state constitutional convention, so
3 we did have a convention in 1844.
4 But this whole process question about how you
5 revise or modernize a state constitution has bothered
6 Americans since the beginning, and it still bothers
7 us. I suspect it bothers you somewhat, how much
8 change, how quickly, these kinds of things.
9 So we began in -- our New Jersey state
10 constitution was drafted by the state legislature, if
11 you could call it that. It was really a revolutionary
12 congress. It really didn't have the attributes of
13 higher law that we think of for a constitution now.
14 Pretty quickly, though, Delaware, Pennsylvania
15 invented the constitutional convention. It's one of
16 America's great contributions to the constitutional
17 learning of the world, and this was refined in
18 Massachusetts in 1780 where they had both an elected
19 convention and they submitted their product to the
20 voters, literally to the voters, who adopted it. They
21 had voted down a constitution in 1778, during wartime,
22 partly because it came from the state legislature and
23 not from an elected convention.
24 So that was one model, the elected convention
25 with submission to the voters for ratification.
1 Pretty quickly we developed the limited
2 constitutional convention. The limited constitutional
3 convention is a terrific creative response to the
4 forces of status quo. It's a way of saying there are
5 certain things that are too politically difficult to
6 tackle, so let's just take them off the table and
7 let's work on some other things, okay, that we would
8 have never gotten -- we'd still have the 1776
9 constitution in New Jersey if we hadn't had the
10 ability to have a limited constitutional
11 convention which protected the equal representation
12 for counties in the Senate prior to one-person/
13 one-vote. That was a very important thing, and
14 frustrated change.
15 About 120 years ago we saw the advent of the
16 constitutional commission, originally limited
17 constitutional commissions, like, say, the Article V
18 Task Force here. I would say that was a limited
19 constitutional commission, focused on one topic.
20 Utah fairly recently has invented the continuous
21 revision mechanism and has a permanent commission.
22 Alaska's considering that now, but in Florida in 1968,
23 we invented something new under the sun, the
24 appointed, automatic Constitution Revision Commission
25 which has direct access to the ballot, access to the
2 This Commission that you're on today is the
3 culmination of this process of trial and error of
4 trying to deal with the question of whether the state
5 Constitution should be immutable or mutable,
6 changeable or static, and this automatic idea, for
7 many years I thought this was the idea of Chesterfield
8 Smith or Sandy D'Alemberte or somebody like that, and
9 as some of you know, there's another guy who had the
10 idea first, and it was Thomas Jefferson.
11 Jefferson thought that the Constitution should
12 reflect the views of the living generation, quote, "so
13 the Constitution can be handed on with periodical
14 repairs from generation to generation," close quote.
15 Now, Jefferson hated the 1776 Virginia
16 constitution, so he of course wanted periodic revision
17 of it. So I think in some ways your answer to the
18 question, should the Constitution be stable, draws on
19 what you think of the current Constitution, obviously.
20 So I guess you can trace your roots directly to Thomas
21 Jefferson, which I think is probably a buoying
22 feeling, depending on what you think about Jefferson.
23 On the other hand, he basically would probably
24 call you repair people, repairing the Constitution to
25 pass it on to the next generation. The alternative to
1 this was John Locke. John Locke drafted -- having no
2 problems of limited ego, did a draft constitution for
3 the Carolinas that provided it would stay in effect
4 forever, an amazing sort of idea. It was never
6 Anyway, like New York, about 15 states now have
7 this automatic vote on whether to have a
8 constitutional convention or not, but you're quite
9 unique in this Commission that you have now. It's --
10 interestingly it has not been copied by any other
11 state in 30 years. The experiment, I take it, is
12 still under way. The final results aren't completely
13 in, it seems to me, but this process has certainly
14 stood the test of time in Florida.
15 If I remember correctly, there was an amendment
16 on the ballot to abolish the Commission, and that was
17 voted down. The Commission has been emulated -- is
18 that wrong? I knew I should have checked that, but
19 maybe it was proposed and it wasn't put on the ballot.
20 I forget, but if you remember, after '78, there was
21 some agitation to get rid of this animal.
22 The Tax and Budget Reform Commission emulates
23 this process, it seems to me, and has worked all right
24 depending on how you look at its product, I guess.
25 So all through this process we see changes in
1 state constitutions both with respect to what they
2 contain and changes with respect to the processes by
3 which they will be updated or changed.
4 The Englishman James Bryce came to the United
5 States and observed American governmental institutions
6 and commented in the 1880s that the American state
7 constitutions are a gold mine of instruction for the
8 natural history of Democratic communities. An
9 American 40 years later, James Dealy, said that one
10 might almost say that the romance, the poetry, and
11 even the drama of American politics are deeply
12 embedded in the many state constitutions.
13 So I think whether you like natural history or
14 whether you like romance and poetry, there's something
15 in the state constitutional tradition for you; and
16 certainly looking into the Florida state Constitution
17 you can see both poetry and romance and natural
18 history, and some other things, of course.
19 So this Commission is the latest gadget, it seems
20 to me, the latest invention in the technology of state
21 constitutional change. It operates to shift the
22 burden of inertia, to shift the burden of political
23 inertia away from the status quo toward the
24 possibility of change. It's an alternative to a
25 constitu have to
1 vote whether they want a convention at all, as we'll
2 see in New York later this year, but I think you
3 really should consider yourself -- now that you're
4 appointed and sworn in, you should consider yourself a
5 constitutional convention because you will now operate
6 from here forward with all of the attributes of a
7 constitutional convention in the traditional sense,
8 except that you don't have an elective constituency,
9 and maybe that's a good thing. For a lot of you, it's
10 probably a relief, but each one of you, as I see it,
11 now slightly from afar, have a statewide constituency,
12 which in other respects is I guess only shared by the
13 Governor, the Cabinet members and the United States
14 Senators from Florida.
15 And I believe what we've learned about the way
16 constitutional conventions operate can inform us about
17 how you're likely to operate and how possibly you
18 would take the your responsibilities.
19 The 1978 Constitution Revision Commission, to my
20 way of thinking, was the most open, deliberative and
21 well-documented process of state constitutional
22 revision country, and that even
23 took place before the Internet, e-mail, most kinds of
24 video and all these sorts of things, and I don't think
25 today we see it as the failure that we once saw it.
1 I remember that crushing feeling that next
2 morning. Some people remember the feeling of elation,
3 I'm sure, when that package was voted down, and as you
4 know now, that kind of set the agenda for this next
5 generation of state constitution-making and ultimately
6 was not a failure at all.
7 This Commission promises to be even more open and
8 more interactive from the things I've heard now with
9 the technology that we have, and I think, frankly, you
10 may have to be more interactive with the public if you
11 want to be successful. I'll talk about that in a
12 couple of minutes, but you've got this terrific
13 groundwork laid already by the Collins Center on
14 Public Policy, the Article V Task Force, the
15 Constitution Revision Commission Steering Committee,
16 the Florida Bar, probably some others, all kinds of
17 people have offered their assistance to you, and I
18 think yo in other states are
19 watching this. People are very curious about this
21 Even when I came here, people asked me, is it
22 true, are we unique? Yes, you are. And for that
23 reason people are very, very interested in how this
24 process is going to work, and it remains to be seen
25 whether the state of Florida will become one of Tom
1 Paine's states that flourish the best or whether the
2 experiment ultimately will fail; but I think we're in
3 kind of a crisis of state constitutional change in
4 this country now, and so it's more important than ever
5 that this experiment serve to teach people around the
6 country, because yours is an unlimited Commission. I
7 think that's good and bad.
8 I mean, you have an open mandate, but it means
9 you'll have to focus, you'll have to set priorities,
10 you'll probably have to limit yourselves. This is
11 part of the mandate to you from the generation of
13 Once you're appointed, you set the agenda for
14 what yoThe public climate is as
15 follows, I think, once again from afar from Florida,
16 but I was just in Miami last month for two days, so
17 maybe that counts.
18 The public is generally unaware of the state
19 Constitution. There was a survey ten years ago that
20 indicated over half of the public didn't even know
21 that they had a state Constitution, and I think about
22 half the lawyers don't know there's a state
23 Constitution. The judges know, but even sophisticated
24 professionals are not very conversant with the state
25 Constitution in any level of detail.
1 So I think you have a dual task. One is to
2 thoroughly educate yourselves about the state
3 Constitution and its processes of change, and then to
4 help educate the public about this.
5 Well, what are these state constitutions we're
6 talking about? They're -- because they're called
7 constitutions, people think, well, they must be like
8 the federal Constitution. They're little federal
9 constitutions. They're clones of the federal
10 Constitu not.
11 American state constitutions occupy a unique
12 place in the legal and political technology of our
13 constitutional federal system. They're unique in
14 their origin, they're unique in their function, and
15 they're unique in their hierarchical place in the
16 pecking order of our legal system. They're chameleon-
17 like, oddly enough. They -- within the state, there's
18 the supreme law of the state. They're constitutional
19 documents. They take precedence over all other forms
20 of state law. At the same time they're subservient.
21 They're lesser forms of law. They give away to any
22 contrary federal law, even federal common law. Even
23 federal administrative regulations, if they're valid,
24 trump the state Constitution. So it's a funny kind of
1 They also include things ranging all the way from
2 what we think of as the great ordinances of
3 constitutions, the due process and equal protection
4 requirements and separation of powers, they range from
5 that all the way to including trivial, lesser kinds of
6 constitut, and
7 for this a lot of people have poked fun at state
8 constitutions as not really being constitutions.
9 My own view is they really are constitutions but
10 they're different from the federal Constitution, and
11 people have to understand that and accept that.
12 Well, how are they different? Let's look at this
13 uniqueness for a minute. They're different in their
14 legal and political function, okay, and you heard
15 yesterday from Chesterfield Smith this basic notion
16 that, in contrast to the federal Constitution, which
17 enumerates delegated powers and then has the Bill of
18 Rights as kind of an afterthought or really a deal to
19 get the federal Constitution adopted, the state
20 constitutions by contrast limit otherwise plenary or
21 residual power that the states never gave away to the
22 federal government, so that you don't have to find
23 something in the legislative article that authorizes
24 the Legislature to pass a divorce law, a law about
25 wills, a criminal statute. That's within the reserved
1 plenary power of the state Legislature, unlimited
2 state Constitution and by the federal
4 Now, this is slightly overstated. If you look
5 carefully at any state constitution, you'll go, no,
6 that isn't right or it's not 100 percent right,
7 because there are enumerations of power in the state
8 Constitution, for example, to the Supreme Court. The
9 Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules of
10 practice and procedure. It has the power to regulate
11 the Bar, okay. That's a grant of authority. The Game
12 and Fish Commission has the legislative and executive
13 power to regulate hunting and fishing. These are the
14 grants of power, these are enumerations of power.
15 Sometimes you'll see an enumeration of power to
16 overcome a judicial decision interpreting the state
17 Constitution to prohibit some exercise of power. The
18 way to overcome that is to grant the power, but
19 interestingly, almost all of these things, lo and
20 behold, transform themselves from grants of power to
21 limits on the Legislature, okay.
22 The power of the Supreme Court to promulgate
23 rules of practice and procedure limits the
24 Legislature. The authority of the Game and Fresh
25 Water Fish Commission limits the Legislature. The
1 last I looked, the way to figure out if you can hunt
2 on Sunday is to look at the regs of the Commission,
3 not the statutes. So that operates as a limit on the
5 If these constitutions have a different function,
6 if they work differently, I wonder if they look
7 different? Yes, they do. They are longer. They have
8 a different form. They're layered. They reflect this
9 natural -- mine of natural history of democratic
10 communities and poetry and all that stuff. They have
11 specific limits in them.
12 If you look at your legislative article, for
13 example, it's filled with procedural restrictions on
14 the Legislature. If the United States Constitution
15 had the Florida legislative article, we wouldn't have
16 had the shenanigans over the last month about the
17 unrelated government shutdown rider being attached to
18 a disaster relief bill, but they don't have it.
19 They've got this slim, brief, thought-to-be-model
20 Constitution, and it's so cool because it's short.
21 Well, I'm not so sure it's better in that respect.
22 The detailed finance and tax article, local
23 government article, education article, all of these
24 deal with matters that are uniquely within the
25 reserved powers of the states. You don't have to have
1 them at all. You don't need a finance and tax
2 article. You don't need an authorization to the
3 Legislature to levy taxes or borrow money. I'm not
4 sure how comfortable all of us would feel without
5 those articles, no offense.
6 People believe in the states that those are
7 things that should not be left exclusively to the
8 Legislature. So we have this ballooning -- those
9 weren't in the original state constitutions. They
10 grew up over the years, and so we have this expanding
11 state Constitution that ends up to be pretty long, and
12 every time you want to do something within those
13 areas, you've got to make an exception. It makes it
14 longer, okay. So it doesn't meet this vision of what
15 a real constitution should look like when people think
16 about that in an one-dimensional way, modeling on the
17 United States Constitution.
18 Well, if they work differently and they look
19 differently, maybe there had be a different way to
20 change them, and of course there is, as you know and
21 as we've discussed. This -- and so the text of the
22 state Constitution is much more volatile, fluid than
23 the federal Constitution. The federal Constitution's
24 essentially unchangeable with some few exceptions.
25 That's not true at all for the state Constitution,
1 yielding a slight paradox. These are thought to be
2 constitutional documents, protecting rights, yet they
3 can be changed by a majority vote.
4 In any event, these constitutions are tools of
5 lawmaking. They're instruments of government, and
6 it's clear that state constitutional revision does
7 take -- none of you need to be told this, but state
8 constitutional revision does take place within the
9 larger mechanisms of state politics, and I think we
10 have to be aware of that. The state constitutions are
11 political. State constitutional revision is
12 political, and that's fine.
13 Just a few more points about what I think is the
14 current climate for state constitutional change. I
15 don't think it's a pretty picture, frankly. Public
16 discontent with government is what I think is one of
17 the things that fuels the initiative movement. It's
18 thought to be independent of government. The problem
19 with it, as everybody pointed out, it doesn't have the
20 deliberative compromise potential that the regular
21 institutions of government have.
22 There's a political scientist called Gerald
23 Benjamin who was research director for the New York
24 Constitution Revision Commission that laid the
25 groundwork for this vote coming up in November on
1 whether they should have a constitutional convention
2 or not. He identified this paradox that we have in
3 current government discussion now, quote, "The public
4 wants big change in government but has rejected the
5 most thoughtful and deliberative methods of achieving
6 such change." They've rejected the calls for
7 constitutional conventions in Illinois in 1990,
8 essentially all of the states that have had these
9 automatic calls.
10 You -- in Florida, you -- we get to jump over
11 that hurdle, okay, but the question really, I think,
12 is quite clearly whether you as a Commission can
13 operate in a way that will convince the public that
14 you are independent of the regular processes of
15 government. I think the Commission has the potential
16 to do that. This Gerry Benjamin says again, quote,
17 "to channel the public discontent now targeted at
18 state government, we need a method of constitutional
19 revision independent of existing government
20 institutions," close quote, and I wonder if this
21 Commission may be such an instrument. It is
22 independent of regular government institutions, and it
23 does have that potential, I think. You're going to
24 need to consider testing the waters for potential
25 change possibly before you reach your final
2 The public hearing process may help in that
3 respect, but I think there are lessons to be learned
4 from the initiative process that probably some polling
5 -- there's a thing called the deliberative opinion
6 poll which is supposed to model what the public would
7 think about something if they were fully informed. It
8 sounds to me like a fancy focus group, I'm not sure.
9 Focus groups may be useful, I don't know. The
10 interactive process, a two-way flow of information
11 that would merge this direct democracy instinct for
12 independence from regular government institutions with
13 the deliberative consensus-building process that you
14 have available to you. Obviously it's very important
15 to try to gauge opposition or status quo instincts
16 ahead of time.
17 A massive study of seven constitutional
18 conventions concluded, quote, "Just as the delegates
19 and political activists in each state tend to break
20 down ultimately into reformers and supporters of the
21 status quo, so the electorate divides in a similar
22 fashion. In sort, constitutional revision potentially
23 polarizes state communities or the attentive portions
24 of them along predictable lines, change and reform --"
25 blah, blah, blah. I won't read the whole thing.
1 So I think -- just to close -- I think I'm going
2 to meet my deadline. I try to do that.
3 I think there are a list of things that you're
4 going to have to try to think about doing, and it's
5 nice to just be able to give this free advice and go
6 back to my law school, but I hope you'll think about
7 some of these things.
8 You've heard some of them already from some of
9 the speakers, but I think your most important job is
10 to try to keep an open mind for now. Give yourself
11 time to come to understand this state Constitution. A
12 lot of you know a lot about it already, I know that,
13 but you may not have thought about it in every
14 possible way.
15 Try to assess how the Florida Constitution really
16 touches the lives of Florida people, where it touches
17 those lives and how, and where it touches government
18 and how, because obviously much of what goes on in
19 government is not dependent on the state
20 Constitution. Maybe if there are problems there, they
21 don't need to be remedied using the state
22 Constitution, but until you really fully get a picture
23 of at what places the government and the people touch
24 the state Constitution, I don't think you can tell
25 what, if anything, needs to be done.
1 I think you've got to give yourself time to come
2 together as a collegial body. This is a different
3 institution from the Legislature. It's a different
4 institution from a City Commission or anything like
5 that. I think with but two exceptions, all of you are
6 freshmen in this. I think it's two, with two
7 exceptions. And you may have done a lot of things in
8 politics, but you haven't done this before, and it's
9 different. This body will develop a collective
10 personality, group dynamics and all of that, different
11 from other political bodies. You don't have to run
12 for reelection, obviously, you don't need me to tell
13 you that. You didn't run for this body. You didn't
14 have to run a campaign to get here, at least an
15 election campaign.
16 What I'm really suggesting is that you try to
17 transform yourself into Commissioners from what you
18 were the day before yesterday and what you'll go back
19 to as this process continues. That's partly why I
20 think the Chairman asked you to from now on call
21 everybody Commissioner, not Chief Justice or President
22 or whatever. It's -- it seems like a surface tactic,
23 but it actually has some potential to bring you
24 together in a different way.
25 Try if you can to distance yourself somewhat from
1 your current regular constituency. You do have this
2 statewide constituency now, and if you can, distance
3 yourself from your appointing authority, at least in
4 some respects, and I think you need to do this not
5 only to make the inside job work, to -- not only to be
6 able to work together over the next almost-year in
7 this process, and I think it's going to go beyond the
8 next year if you think about the election campaign, if
9 you suggest any changes; but you need to have this
10 independence to work inside this chamber together and
11 also to present an independent face to the public,
12 because I think in 1978, the -- one of the -- there
13 are a lot of reasons, there's been at lot of analysis
14 as to why those recommendations went down, including
15 some them were bad ideas probably, but that -- I think
16 it was the beginning really of this negativism about
17 government. 1978 was the year of Proposition 13, and
18 I think it's just gotten worse.
19 I think people are not willing to trust what
20 people tell them, government officials tell them all
21 the time; and if you can begin to take on the identity
22 of independent Commissioners rather than government
23 officials and government as usual, I think you'll have
24 a better chance of convincing the public to do what
25 you want them to do.
1 You know, if you don't feel like statespeople
2 right now, you don't feel that, wait a little bit,
3 hang on. The studies show that a high percentage of
4 you will become statespeople, will rise above the
5 direct constituent kind of things, not all of you, but
6 some of you, okay. So try to wait, seek consensus,
7 build on the combined strength of this body.
8 Maybe you don't need a whole lot of ideas. Maybe
9 you only need a couple of good ideas that everybody
10 can pull behind. If you combine the clout in this
11 room together with that of your appointing
12 authorities, I'll bet you could do anything you think
13 the state needs, but if you instead spread yourself
14 out, if you are beguiled by the unlimited nature of
15 your mandate, you may end up accomplishing nothing.
16 A couple more technical points. There's general
17 agreement about this idea. I heard it in our
18 conversations at the reception last night. There's
19 general agreement that the state Constitution should
20 be limited to fundamentals and not legislative
21 detail. Of course, your fundamentals might be my
22 legislative detail, or when I was representing clients
23 in front of the Commission in '78, my fundamental
24 ideas were told to me to be legislative detail. So
25 it's not an easy dichotomy, but it's one that most
1 people agree on. So most people that speak to
2 constitutional conventions and commissions say, stick
3 to fundamentals, keep it short, and I don't think
4 that's exactly the right way to go.
5 Use some words if you need them. Brevity isn't
6 any sort of special virtue, it seems to me. Of
7 course, you don't want to load up the Constitution
8 with rigid detail, but putting something in the state
9 Constitution at the one time elevates it to the
10 highest legal position in the state and it also puts
11 it beyond change by ordinary legal processes, and you
12 know these things, and that is good sometimes and it's
13 bad sometimes, right, taking something out of the
14 normal processes of legal change, and what studies
15 have shown are that the good things are usually
16 anticipated; the good that you get from putting
17 something in the state Constitution you usually can
18 imagine. The bad things are usually unanticipated.
19 There are things you couldn't imagine or you couldn't
20 predict, hard as you thought about it. So the
21 unanticipated negative consequences of putting
22 something in the state Constitution really ought to be
24 You might want to consider developing something
25 called -- this is my cutesy idea -- some sort of a
1 constitutionalization impact statement to try to force
2 yourself to think beyond the pros and cons of the
3 policy that you're, you know, discussing, but also to
4 think of it, if it's a good idea, do you need it in
5 the Constitution? You might, but what are the costs
6 and benefits of that?
7 You need to work on some of these technical
8 questions: Will a provision be self-executing, will a
9 court enforce it without implementing legislation? If
10 a court won't, why are you putting it in the
11 Constitution? Maybe it sounds good, maybe it's a good
12 idea, but you've got to worry about the problem of
13 negative implication. The expression of one thing
14 sometimes is read as a limit on others. So people put
15 into state constitutions that widows of veterans got a
16 tax exemption. It sounds like a good idea. They
17 found out later, the courts told them the Legislature
18 can't pass a statute giving widowers of veterans a tax
19 exemption when our society changed, okay. What seemed
20 like a good idea turned into a limit on the
22 Putting things in the state Constitution
23 delegates a lot of decisionmaking to the judiciary
24 often. You don't always have to do that. We just
25 amended our constitution in New Jersey, one of these
1 local government mandate protections, and the people
2 didn't want the court adjudicating that. So the
3 commission was created and the decisions of the
4 commission are non-justiciable, they're not reviewable
5 by the courts, but by and large when you put something
6 in the state Constitution, you delegate a decision
7 about it to the courts.
8 Some people would say, what's wrong with that?
9 But others might say, well, gee, I don't know if I
10 want to do that. You need to think about it ahead of
12 What about Sunset provisions? Sunset provisions
13 could be used in state constitutions. Do you think
14 it's a good idea? Well, let's try it for a
15 generation. Let the next generation muster a majority
16 to keep it. That's a possibility. The Sunshine
17 amendment adopted here showed us another mechanism.
18 Parts of that went into effect but they could be
19 changed by statute. How could do you that? Because
20 it says so in the amendment, okay. So that's an
21 interesting mechanism, it seems to me.
22 In any event, the real question is, is the loss
23 of flexibility worth it? Try to develop ideas for
24 assessing these impacts as you debate, you know, what
25 will the state be like in the next generation.
1 I've heard some current debate about changing the
2 public housing laws around the country, and almost all
3 of that debate is state constitutions won't let us do
4 it. There's an idea to go to more mixed income
5 housing and some privatization and, oh, the state
6 constitutions were amended 100 years ago to say the
7 state can't lend its credit to private corporations
8 and all that sort of thing. So you need to think out,
9 do we have things in the state Constitution that limit
10 what we ought to be doing for citizens?
11 Techniques for presenting the recommendations to
12 the public, we saw in '78 that the separation of
13 questions on the ballot didn't necessarily protect the
14 non-controversial provisions. People just voted
15 against all of them. Maybe all of them were
16 controversial. I don't think they all were, but
17 anyway, if you can manage your unlimited mandate
18 carefully and wisely, pull together, give yourself
19 time to develop this identity as really a
20 constitutional convention, I think you'll be
22 Most people who give these kind of speeches say
23 you've got to try to provide for the next 100 years.
24 In Florida, you don't have to do that. You can kind
25 of guess till the next generation, there will be
1 another Commission, and remember, I want to be on it.
2 For better or for worse, you don't really have to try
3 to make a Constitution for the next 100 years, but I
4 think if you do a good job people will remember you
5 for 100 years.
6 I want to just leave you with the words of
7 Governor Alfred Driscoll of New Jersey as he opened
8 the 1947 constitutional convention in New Jersey --
9 which we still have that constitution 50 years later,
10 and everybody says don't change it -- he said, "The
11 rights --" quote, "The rights you exercise in this
12 convention were won in 1776 and protected in memorable
13 struggles through the years. May you be blessed with
14 clearness of vision, soundness of purpose and
15 successful accomplishment to the end that citizens of
16 this state 100 years hence will repeat your names with
17 pride and call you devout and wise and just."
18 Yours, ladies and gentlemen, is the opportunity
19 of a century. Now, I know once again a couple of you
20 have had more than one chance to serve in this body,
21 but most of you won't get that chance. This is your
22 shot, and most people say that this kind of experience
23 is their most meaningful public -- piece of public
24 service in their career. So I hope you'll be able to
25 leave an enduring legacy.
1 I think you're privileged. I wish you the best
2 of luck, and I'll see you in 2017.
3 Thank you very much.
4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Professor
6 We're going to take -- not right this moment,
7 before we do -- we're going to take a short recess,
8 but I'd like to recognize a couple of people in the
9 gallery, with your permission.
10 First, the president-elect of the Florida Bar,
11 Mr. Bloomberg, is up here. I'd like to thank him for
12 the work the Bar did on the Bar Journal that y'all
13 received which had various issues that were
14 discussed. He tells me they will have another issue
15 at some time if we need it.
16 I would also like to recognize -- thank you very
17 much for being here, sir.
18 I'd like to recognize someone that's been around
19 me for a long time and take a personal moment to
20 recognize Janice Piotrowski who sits up here. She's
21 been my assistant for 39 years this month, and anybody
22 that can last that long with me certainly has to be
23 noticed. My wife has lasted almost 42 years. The
24 remarkable thing is that they put up with me that
25 length of time, but I'm very happy to introduce Janice
1 to you.
2 We're going to take a recess for -- well, let's
3 come back at ten minutes till, but before that, I'd
4 like to point out the lawyer for the Speaker wanted to
5 pass out some substitute amendments on the rules which
6 we will take up shortly. They have not been passed
7 out. I think he indicated that one of the members
8 wanted to pass that out, and I would suggest to that
9 member, if there is one, that they can put it on the
10 desks or give it to the secretary and she will place
11 it on the desks.
12 The proper way to do this, I guess, of anything
13 for those that are listening, is any items that you
14 want distributed to the Commission while it's in
15 session should go to the Secretary and not to --
16 directly to the floor. That's not to restrict
17 anybody, because any member, obviously, that wants
18 anything distributed can have that done. On the other
19 hand, people who are not officially with the
20 Commission do not do that. They take it to the
22 Without -- with everybody's permission, I'll
23 entertain a motion that we take a recess until 10:50.
24 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: So moved.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: There's a motion.
1 Anything that is distributed will have the
2 Commissioner's name on it and number for the secretary
3 to distribute it.
4 There was a motion that we recess until 10:50.
5 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I move we do recess at
6 this time until 10:50, Mr. Chairman.
7 THE CHAIRMAN: All in favor say aye.
8 (Chorus of ayes.)
9 THE CHAIRMAN: Opposed, like sign?
11 THE CHAIRMAN: The Commission will please come to
13 THE SECRETARY: There is a quorum present, Mr.
15 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. We will proceed at
16 this time to call on Commissioner Barkdull, who was a
17 member of the Steering Committee, which consisted of
18 Speaker Webster, Senator Scott, myself, Commissioner
19 Barkdull and General Butterworth.
20 The attempt was made to, primarily by
21 Commissioner Barkdull, to come up with rules that
22 followed pretty much the '78 and '68 pattern with some
23 changes, and I think he's made even other changes that
24 have probably been -- or if they haven't been, he can
25 now discuss them with us. I would like to call on
1 Judge Barkdull for the purpose of presenting proposed
3 Judge Barkdull?
4 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
5 members of the Commission.
6 So far we have operated without any rules, and we
7 need to get some rules for several reasons, primarily
8 to get us organized, and secondly, to have the
9 authority for the Chair to employ people and to
10 arrange for them to be paid and also to arrange that
11 the Commissioners here can be reimbursed their
12 expenses in connection with this meeting, because
13 until such time as we get formally organized, we'll
14 have a problem with the Comptroller.
15 What I'm going to recommend is this procedure,
16 and the reason for it is to try to give everybody on
17 the Commission an opportunity to address these rules,
18 and I have seen -- had laid on my desk but I've not
19 had an opportunity to read it, what purports to be a
20 substitute amendment to be offered by some
21 Commissioner which would address, I'm sure, the entire
22 rules as it looked to me like it was a substitute of
23 the entire package.
24 I propose to offer a motion that we adopt these
25 rules that are before you that have the date of June
1 the 12th on them, except Rule 5, and also that the
2 provision that provides for two-thirds amendment of
3 the rules be delayed until the conclusion of the next
4 meeting, at which time the rules will be under
5 consideration and can be amended by a majority vote,
6 if that's the procedure that is the will of the
7 Commission. That leaves alive the opportunity for any
8 change in the proposed rules by a simple majority vote
9 through the next meeting, which will include all the
10 provisions of the present rules as well as what will
11 be submitted as a redraft of Rule 5.
12 I think that all of us recognize that Rule 5 has
13 got some problems with it, and I'm not talking about
14 the numerical numbers as much as the grouping and many
15 other parts of it, and I think for proper
16 consideration of the Commission of Rule 5, a proposal
17 has got to be redrafted and be submitted.
18 So it is the intention and would be the hope
19 that, if it's the Commission's will, to adopt these
20 rules today subject to the situation that Rule 5 is
21 not included and the effect of the provision that
22 calls for two-thirds for amendment would be delayed
23 until the conclusion of a regular scheduled meeting
24 called for the purpose of considering rules, which
25 will probably be our next meeting.
1 And also we would request, assuming that the
2 motion passes, that all members of the Commission send
3 to the Commission any proposed changes that you want
4 in the rules so that they can be disseminated back to
5 every member of the Commission and they will have an
6 opportunity to see them before you come back to the
7 meeting and don't have a packet dropped on your desk
8 at the last moment to try to analyze, and we will try
9 to help with all of the suggestions that are received
10 by having the staff correlate them as to what rule
11 they might be applicable to and send them out to you.
12 It's not to limit what anybody can do when they
13 come here, but it's to -- as a courtesy to your fellow
14 Commissioners to give them an opportunity to see what
15 you would suggest as a form of an amendment.
16 Now, with that explanation, Mr. Chairman, I would
17 like to move that we adopt the proposed rules except
18 Rule 5, subject to being amended at a scheduled
19 meeting by a majority vote, notwithstanding the two-
20 thirds rule which I request be delayed until the
21 conclusion of the next meeting.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Discussion?
23 Commissioner Langley?
24 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
25 I wish Commissioner Barkdull -- I've got to get
1 used to that, Judge -- but I wish that you would
2 enlarge upon that to use this time we have today to
3 discuss some of the members' problems with the present
4 rules and with the hope that if we reach some
5 consensus here today, though it not be formal, that
6 perhaps we can give some enlightenment to whomever is
7 drafting those rules to come back with a re-draft that
8 will have -- there are a lot -- in discussions around
9 the floor, there are a lot of changes that I don't
10 think we have a single vote in opposition. A lot of
11 them I think were inadvertent, i.e., not adopting
12 Robert's Rules of Order. I think we need some basis
13 upon which to proceed. I don't know if that was
14 inadvertent or what, but I don't think anybody
15 disagrees that we should have that in a rule.
16 I don't think anybody disagrees that the showing
17 of three hands in this body should entitle us to a
18 record vote. There are several things. I don't think
19 that anybody disagrees that -- well, that's part of
20 Article V, but in the draft -- the majority vote's
21 been changed in that draft until the final product.
22 I wish that we could go over some of these things
23 and have a general discussion today and perhaps, as a
24 result of that, have a consensus from which you could
25 come back with a set of rules that may well be totally
2 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Langley, I
3 think that's a very good suggestion, and I think we
4 should utilize the time.
5 I've got to say to you, when I read the final
6 draft and saw that Robert's Rules was dropped out of
7 it, I was surprised myself. I went back last night
8 and I found out it appears that, in using the Senate
9 rules, it appeared that the Senate rules had dropped
10 out Robert's Rules and that's the way I assume that's
11 what happened here, because the last people that
12 looked at this were to compare the rules to a Senate
13 draft, and that's the only explanation that I can
14 give, because I didn't realize until I got up here and
15 looked at the last set that Robert's Rules had been
16 dropped, and that's the best explanation that I can
17 get for it, and that's my guess. Commissioner Scott
18 could maybe enlighten me on that.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Langley, could the Chair ask
20 you a question?
21 Is it your suggestion that Commissioner Barkdull
22 just refer to the rules -- everybody has them before
23 them -- and then if there's any discussion on a
24 particular rule that we have that? Is that what
25 you're suggesting?
1 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Well, I think we should
2 stay in the open process. I know that one of the
3 Commissioners is going to offer a general amendment,
4 and that, I think, will throw these issues open before
5 the Commission, and I think that's a good way to get
6 to it, frankly, and again, I -- Mr. Chairman, I see no
7 acrimony here. It's a bunch of people that really
8 want to do something for their state, and I think we
9 can reach an accord without any great hassle about it.
10 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Jennings?
11 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Mr. Chairman and
12 Commissioners, we had discussed this sort of
13 informally a minute ago. Perhaps, Commissioner
14 Barkdull, we could just go through them one by one,
15 and we've got some time and I think all of us are
16 concerned. These are the rules we're going to have to
17 live with for a year or so, and of course a number of
18 our members aren't quite as familiar with them as
19 maybe some of the legislative members, especially the
20 Senators, because these are more like the Senate rules
21 than anybody else's, and as we go through each one,
22 then perhaps, Mr. Chairman, there would be
23 Commissioners who would be interested in just asking a
24 question, discussing. Some may not actually be as
25 clear as to what the intent of the rule is, and we
1 just have some general discussion before we even
2 accept any proposed amendments. It might make us all
3 feel a little more comfortable about where we're
5 Do you feel comfortable in doing that?
6 THE CHAIRMAN: I feel very comfortable with that.
7 And then any motions or amendments would be
8 directed after we went through the rules.
9 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: And perhaps we've got
10 some time. I see we're not scheduled for lunch until
11 about 12:30, so we do that, and maybe we break for
12 lunch and we continue to talk, and then we come back,
13 and we might be in a posture at that point to feel
14 comfortable to move forward with either substantive
15 amendments or knowing which ones we want to delay for
16 a later time.
17 THE CHAIRMAN: I would suggest that Commissioner
18 Barkdull withdraw his motion and proceed to discuss
19 the rules as we called on him to do, and then
20 everybody note in there as he goes -- Commissioner
21 Scott, did you have -- did you seek to rise?
22 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Mr. Chairman, what I was
23 going to say, to try to get this started maybe, with
24 Rule 1, there's two, three things that many of -- I
25 think most all of us feel that we might want to
1 clarify and just, you know, sort of -- I don't know
2 that we've got to go through every single subdivision
3 and say does anybody have a problem, but if -- you
4 know, we could start either with Rule 1 or wherever
5 and try that.
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, with the suggestion
7 from the Chair, I'm happy to withdraw the motion.
8 I would suggest, following up on Commissioner
9 Scott's point and Commissioner Jennings' point, that
10 we take up part 1, which starts with Rule 1, and if
11 there is some comment on the floor about any part of
12 that, I think it would be in order then, if that --
13 and we'll be discussing it really as a committee of
14 the whole, which is fine.
15 THE CHAIRMAN: Very well.
16 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Well, Mr. Chairman, I
17 learned not to volunteer when I was in the service,
18 but let me just say that, regarding Rule 1, there are
19 two or three things that we think probably we need to
20 clarify. For example --
21 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Mr. Chair, before we get
22 into that, could I ask just one question for
24 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. The procedure is to
25 ask the person on the floor if he will yield.
1 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Commissioner Scott, will
2 you please yield to me on a question of procedure and
4 THE CHAIRMAN: And also speak into the mike.
5 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: And speak into the mike,
6 okay. No, I'm not familiar with this process.
7 THE CHAIRMAN: You will be in a few meetings.
8 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Commissioner, I'd just like
9 to know when it would be appropriate to offer the
10 substitute amendment on the proposed rules that have
11 been drafted basically with issues involving opening
12 up this process and making sure that the Commissioners
13 are empowered and that it's a fair proceeding, and I
14 would just like to know from you when it would be
15 appropriate to offer that substitute amendment.
16 THE CHAIRMAN: It would be appropriate -- now
17 that there's no motion before the house, it would be
18 appropriate to offer it after this discussion and
19 somebody makes a motion, then it would be appropriate
20 to offer whatever. So I think that Senator -- excuse
21 me -- Commissioner Scott had the floor, was going to
22 discuss Rule 1, and we were going to go down the rules
23 that way before we made any motions.
24 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Thank you.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: Senator -- Commissioner Scott, I'm
1 going to learn to remember that, too, so --
2 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: I'm having a little trouble
3 with "Mr. Chairman," too.
4 THE CHAIRMAN: So do others, not all of them
5 members of this Commission.
6 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Okay. Let me just say, for
7 example, for some reason in one of the drafts we have
8 just cause for excused absence. It might have come
9 from the 20 years ago when they were worried that
10 maybe people wouldn't come, and we don't really think
11 that we need to have "for just cause." If a
12 Commissioner needs to be excused, you know, he needs
13 to let the Chairman know and we'll operate. That's
15 Then a 72-hour notice provision --
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Excuse me, Commissioner.
17 Are we on Rule 1?
18 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Right. 1.17 and 1.18 were
19 the two relating to the excused absence, and then
20 there's a couple of suggestions. I'm not sure that
21 they're -- in 1.23, for example, to add a 72-hour
22 notice provision for the agenda, excluding Saturdays
23 and Sundays for the Commission, and that there's --
24 THE CHAIRMAN: A question, Commissioner Scott.
25 You're on part 3 of Rule 1, is that correct, on page 5
1 of my draft --
2 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: I was going by the numbers
3 of 1.23.
4 THE CHAIRMAN: Is that correct?
5 Okay. If everybody will turn to page 5, and 1.17
6 is part 3 of Rule 1, which presently reads, "Unless
7 excused for just cause." What you're suggesting is
8 that we eliminate the language, "for just cause," in
9 1.17, is that right?
10 All right. And then you moved to 1.18 and said
11 that one was already all right, I believe.
12 What was your next one?
13 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Well, we have 1.23, which
14 relates to open meetings, and I think this point has
15 been picked -- or at some it's appropriate to add the
16 72-hour -- you know, the notice provision.
17 THE CHAIRMAN: Is the notice provision in the
18 rule somewhere else?
19 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir. Yes, it is.
20 THE CHAIRMAN: When you get to that one, I guess
21 we can take it up, but, Commissioner Langley -- are
22 you through with number 1, Commissioner Scott?
23 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Yes, and I would yield.
24 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, you yield.
25 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Mr. Chairman, on 1.18,
1 which you passed over as all right, I take it, too,
2 that the proposal there says that the Commission shall
3 excuse any member upon a request in writing from that
4 member. In other words, if I could not make the
5 meeting because I had a trial or a death in the
6 family, I would write to you and say, "Mr. Chairman,
7 please be advised I'll not be able to attend the
8 meeting of July 31st," and at that time you shall, not
9 you may?
10 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. "The Commission Chair
11 shall excuse any member from attendance at any
12 Commission meeting and such excused absence shall be
13 noted in the Journal," you would add that --
14 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Upon written request, yes.
15 THE CHAIRMAN: And "request in writing" --
16 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: And "shall --"
17 THE CHAIRMAN: "Shall" and "request in writing."
18 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Yes.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: And that would be on Rule 1.18.
20 Any objection to that from anyone? If there are
21 any objections, stand up and give them.
22 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Mr. Chair?
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Sundberg?
24 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: It seems to me that's
25 incongruous to have a written request for an act that
1 must be performed. If it's not going to require any
2 action on the part of the Chair, just change it to a
3 notice that simply says within so many days, a
4 Commissioner who will not be able to attend shall
5 notify the Chair.
6 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, let me say that one of the
7 reasons that that excuse thing was in there in '78, as
8 I recall, is because we didn't want to do that. We
9 wanted everybody to feel that they had to attend
10 unless they had some real reason, and I'm certainly
11 willing to assure you that if I'm exercising any
12 prerogatives, that any reason you give other than, "I
13 just don't want to show up," would be agreeable. I
14 think that's -- I'm not too concerned with this at
15 this point.
16 If we have people who just don't show up, then
17 maybe we should keep it a little more mandatory.
18 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Mr. Chairman, I'm not
19 speaking to the substance of the motion. I'm simply
20 saying that I think what the people who spoke to this
21 are suggesting is simply a notice requirement as
22 opposed to seeking permission, or it just seems to me
23 it doesn't make sense to require a written request for
24 something that the Chair must do. No, I'm not saying
25 I'm in favor of that position, but if we're going to
1 do it, let's clean it up where it says you simply
2 notify the Chair.
3 THE CHAIRMAN: What is -- does someone else have
4 a comment on that? Do you follow what he was talking
5 about, Commissioner Langley? Does that cause you any
7 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: It's a tempest in a
8 teapot, because there's no -- nothing happens if
9 you're not here. I mean, there's no punitive measures
10 whatsoever. So I don't know that it really matters at
11 all. It's just that, to try to let the Chairman know
12 that you're not going to have a quorum or that, you
13 know, who's going to be absent from a certain
14 committee, at least that way -- whether it be a notice
15 or the written request, at least there'd be some
16 notice for the administration that there might be a
18 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, then, would you agree with
19 Commissioner Sundberg that we just say that on
20 absences, when any member is going to be absent for
21 any reason, he shall give written -- he or she shall
22 give written notice to the Chair prior to the meeting?
23 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: My Commissioner to my left
24 says why "written?" Why not just "notify?" I mean,
25 you know, it was maybe the last minute and so, why not
1 just --
2 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't have any objection to
3 that. If you're not here, you're not here. I agree
4 with that. So do you want to just leave it out, or
5 just have in the rules that every Commissioner should
6 make every effort to attend the meetings?
7 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: That would be agreeable.
8 THE CHAIRMAN: Any objections to that?
9 Commissioner Connor?
10 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Mr. Chairman, I would just
11 make an observation about the need for a technical
12 amendment of Rule 1.1. I think we have miscited the
13 authority of the Governor to appoint the chair, and I
14 think that should be Article IX, Section 2(b), as in
15 bravo, rather than 2(a).
16 THE CHAIRMAN: Why don't we just say Section 2?
17 Is that agreeable?
18 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: That's fine.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: You're absolutely right, however.
20 I thank you for noting that.
21 We're just saying, at Rule 1.1, I was appointed
22 by the Governor pursuant to Section 2 instead of
23 2(a). Is that agreeable? All right.
24 Anybody else? We're on Rule 1 at this point.
25 Commissioner Hawkes?
1 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
2 I was curious as to, in Rule 1.17, I think
3 there's another place in the rules as well, the
4 language that required the disclosure of a conflict as
5 provided in Section 286.012, Florida Statutes. It was
6 in the previous draft of the rules. It is consistent
7 with what other public entities do, and I was
8 wondering why that language was taken out of this
9 draft and whether or not we -- to maintain as much
10 public confidence as possible, if we maintain that
11 language, it would seem as though we would assist the
12 public in having confidence in what we do, and I was
13 just wondering the reason why it was stricken in this
14 provision or this draft.
15 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It was because the
16 correlation with the Senate was dropped out.
17 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, does anybody object to
18 including that? Then let's include it, because I
19 think it's very appropriate that we do.
20 Does everybody understand the proposed -- or what
21 he was talking about is that we have a provision in
22 there that refers to the statute, that it did in the
23 draft before, which is the conflict of interest
24 statute, which makes it applicable to us, which means
25 if you have a conflict of interest, you're supposed to
1 reveal it.
2 Any objections to that?
3 If not, anything else on Rule 1?
4 Commissioner Morsani?
5 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: Mr. Chairman, my concern
6 is I agree with what's gone on previously, but the
7 other parts of 1, the 1.12, 1.13, 1.19 and the 20, 21
8 and 22, I must say I object to and I would hope they
9 wouldn't be in there. I don't think that -- we don't
10 want to manage your business and we don't want to --
11 that's not why we're here is to micromanage what goes
12 on, and I really object to those other provisions. I
13 think the others here I certainly endorse.
14 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Will you yield for a
16 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Scott asks you to
18 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Commissioner, let me be sure
19 that we understand what you're saying. Your concern
20 was as to this proposed substitute changes that would
21 change that authority to employ the executive director
22 and so forth, in other words, you were supporting the
23 rule as it's set up that the chairman would elect --
24 when you said you were opposed to the rule, I just
25 wanted to clarify that it was that you were opposed to
1 a change in the rule that would affect the way the
2 chairman conducted his business. Is that correct?
3 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: That's correct.
4 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Thank you.
5 THE CHAIRMAN: Let me suggest this and we might
6 move along a little quicker. Let's take each one of
7 these, for example, Rule 1.1, and Commissioner
8 Barkdull, you moved that, and let's take a vote and
9 see how many people agree with Rule 1.1 as changed.
10 All in favor say aye.
11 (Chorus of ayes.)
12 THE CHAIRMAN: Opposed, like sign?
14 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: All right. I move the
15 adoption of 1.2.
16 THE CHAIRMAN: We haven't adopted 1.1.
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I thought you just did.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: Oh, I thought you had to make a
20 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, you all were a
21 little ahead of me and took a vote, and I didn't argue
22 with it.
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Barkdull moves that
24 we adopt the provisions of Rule 1.1 as amended,
25 correcting the section referenced in the rule.
1 Commissioner Thompson?
2 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Mr. Chairman, what do you
3 mean by adopting? Do you mean adopting as in adopting
4 rules that we're going to have to live by from now on,
5 or -- I mean, we -- first of all, some of these things
6 are not in writing before us.
7 My thought is that we probably ought to adopt
8 something that's in writing before us today, and I
9 liked his first motion, even though he withdrew it
10 temporarily, I was hoping we'd get back to that
11 eventually, and if somebody else has something in
12 writing or really specific at that point that we want
13 to do, we might do it, but by leaving the second part
14 of his motion standing and hopefully adopting that, we
15 could come back at the next meeting and by a simple
16 majority adopt these detailed matters.
17 I think we need to study on these things a little
18 bit, as they say where I come from. You know, we've
19 had some of these things to study on, but I think it
20 would be best for all concerned if we took a little
21 bit more time to do that and not -- I mean, if you
22 want to go through every rule and every detail today,
23 it's going to take a while.
24 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I think, obviously, Rule 1.1
25 as amended, I don't think anybody objects to that.
1 It's just a recitation of the fact, and I was just
2 trying to get that off the table.
3 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: But wouldn't we adopt
4 that when we adopt -- on the question of whether we
5 adopt rules or not?
6 THE CHAIRMAN: That's true.
7 Okay. Let's go ahead like we started, unless
8 somebody wants to make a motion to the contrary.
9 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, we've got to get
10 rid of the motion that was just passed, then.
11 THE CHAIRMAN: We didn't pass it.
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Okay, if that's the
13 ruling of the Chair.
14 THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair rules we didn't pass
15 it. That's what Commissioner Thompson told me.
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, now, as I
17 understand it then, we're back to the Chair's
18 direction. There are no motions on the floor?
19 THE CHAIRMAN: Correct.
20 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: We go through these
21 items and we listen to any comment by a member of the
22 Commission that they may want to address to a
23 particular section.
24 Now, does anybody else, then, if that's the
25 procedure we're following, have any other suggestions
1 as to Rule 1?
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Langley or --
3 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: I think it's the same.
4 And this is an important thing for the Commissioners
5 individually, and that is in -- let me find the right
6 one now. I lost it -- in Rule 1.19, and the argument
7 against this, of course, is that it's not up to the
8 Commissioners to micromanage the Commission, but there
9 is in our Commission budget some $200,000 that's
10 designated to hire consultants.
11 Now, we have here on our Commission the Chief
12 Justice, the President of the Senate, two former
13 Presidents of the Senate, two former Speakers of the
14 House. We have the entire legislative staff and the
15 court system behind us, so to speak. Why do we need
16 more consultants? I mean, we've been -- we can hear
17 this out our ears.
18 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Langley, I
19 agree with you, and I don't see that in 1.9.
20 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Well, what it has in 1
21 point -- 1.19, sir --
22 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: 1.19.
23 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Yes, sir. It has the
24 unbridled authority of the Chair to go hire anybody he
25 wants to hire, and I don't think -- Mr. Douglass is
1 not known as a flaming liberal, and I don't think he's
2 going to go out and spend a lot of our money, but I do
3 think that we have the responsibility as Commissioners
4 to see that these funds are not wasted and that we
5 should have some approval before outlandish
6 expenditures are undertaken.
7 The language is, "No member of the Commission
8 shall incur any obligation payable from Commission
9 funds without the prior written approval of the
11 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Right. What do you want
12 to add to that, Commissioner?
13 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: That no expenditure for
14 consultants or other contracts in excess of $5,000
15 will be incurred without the consensus of the body.
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Would that include
17 employment of our executive director or personnel that
18 he would have to pay?
19 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: No, sir, it would -- I
20 think the amendment proposed actually excludes
22 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, that was the first
23 thing that came to my mind. I haven't seen a
24 proposal, so I don't know.
25 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: But, again, we're just
1 broaching ideas, and think that is a matter of content.
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Will you yield to Commissioner
4 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: And this is really a
5 point of order. I'm really not sure what posture
6 we're in, and I thought I understood after James
7 Harold's comments that we were simply going to discuss
9 Are we going to get in a debate posture,
10 because --
11 THE CHAIRMAN: We'll get into a debate posture
12 after lunch.
13 What we were thinking about doing and offered to
14 do here is to go through the rules without motions and
15 get everybody's comments or objections noted, and then
16 we can come back after lunch and the speeches after
17 lunch and we can go back to the rules and then motions
18 would be in order.
19 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: So we're not -- those who
20 may not agree with these comments that are made are
21 not to debate those comments at this point, is that
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, you can certainly state your
24 opinion. I don't consider it debate. I think that,
25 obviously, we will be able to debate these items
1 later. I think what we were trying to do now is just
2 isolate the objections, because I've been led to
3 believe that most of the rules are acceptable to 90
4 percent of the Commission.
5 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Okay, thank you. Thank
6 you, Mr. Langley.
7 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anything else on --
8 THE CHAIRMAN: Something on this, Commissioner
9 Connor, on this particular rule, Rule 1?
10 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: On Rule 1, yes, sir.
11 If I may, Mr. Chairman, Rule 1.5, there has been
12 a suggestion, and I think that the suggestion may be
13 well taken, that appeals from a ruling of the Chair
14 would be decided by a majority vote of the entire
15 Commission rather than the Chair's ruling being
16 totally dispositive. That may be something we want to
17 give consideration.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: I have absolutely no objection to
19 that. If there's a ruling of the Chair and the
20 majority votes to overrule it, then as chairman, I
21 expect to follow that, whether it was in the rules or
23 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anything else on 1?
24 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: Mr. Chairman?
25 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Hawkes.
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Hawkes.
2 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: Thank you, Commissioner.
3 I was concerned about Rule 1.23, the notice
4 requirements, and I did want to say that I don't think
5 that we should adopt any rule today that does not
6 spell out clearly what kind of notice we're going to
7 give the public, and I don't think it ought to be one
8 of those things that we can come back and fix later.
9 I think it ought to be something that we start off on
10 the right foot with, and if it is taken up someplace
11 else -- I think it mentions 24 hours someplace else.
12 I'm not sure if 24 hours is enough notice.
13 I think it would be nice if we could give the
14 public enough time to participate in the issues that
15 they are concerned with. Maybe they're really
16 compelled to become involved in Cabinet reform but
17 they don't care much about what they do with Article
18 V. So if we're going to discuss Cabinet reform and
19 they want to be there and they want to participate,
20 and if we gave them some kind of notice, like three
21 days, they would be able to more readily participate,
22 and I would really hope that anything we do today
23 addresses the notice of both the meeting that's going
24 to occur and also the proposed agenda that will be
25 taken up at that meeting.
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner West?
2 COMMISSIONER WEST: Thank you. First of all, I'm
3 very nervous to say anything because I feel humbled to
4 be in a meeting with so many distinguished people.
5 I just -- just in looking over the rules, I just
6 came up with two basic concepts. Number one is that
7 I think the members of the Commission would feel very
8 comfortable if the powers of the Commission were
9 spread out over the Commission in a very general way,
10 and secondly that we want to do something that's going
11 to increase the public confidence. If the end result
12 is going to be something that's going to be on the
13 ballot -- I mean, when I go back to Orlando, you know,
14 people that know I'm on this Commission are going to
15 wonder whether or not they really had an opportunity
16 to have some input. So when Commissioner Hawkes talks
17 about, you know, a sufficient period of time to be
18 able to let the public be involved, I really think
19 that's the high road.
20 I think that we need to carefully consider all
21 these things. I feel very uneasy when they say, okay,
22 does anybody have any other objections to it, to Rule
23 1. Does that preclude us from -- after lunch from
24 addressing any others?
25 THE CHAIRMAN: Absolutely not.
1 COMMISSIONER WEST: Okay. So really, again,
2 nervousness notwithstanding, I just think that we need
3 to make sure that whatever we do is going to be a
4 mechanism that will increase public confidence, make
5 sure that the public feels that they've had an
6 opportunity to have input in this, and I think that
7 all of us would feel very comfortable going back to
8 our respective homes and telling our people that -- or
9 our people telling us, thank you for the opportunity
10 that you gave me.
11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. I think what we're
12 trying to do, though, is keep this on the track of the
13 specific rules at this point and discuss them.
14 From what I understand, the ideas of notice and
15 everything are included in other rules. We haven't
16 gotten there yet. The basic statement is that all
17 proceedings and records of the Commission shall be
18 open to the public, and I think that's as far as it
19 goes there, but further on there are notice
20 requirements which we can deal with.
21 Commissioner Nabors?
22 COMMISSIONER NABORS: Mr. Chairman, let me make
23 sure that my mind's straight. I want to -- I heard
24 Commissioner Thompson, and it seems to me that what
25 we're doing today is going through and getting a
1 general consensus of some changes that may be needed
2 to be made. As long as at the end of the day we
3 preserve the right that whatever we adopt today, that
4 at the next meeting we have a -- by the same majority
5 have the right to make specific amendments, then we
6 can come back at the next meeting with specific
7 amendments relevant to the rules, and maybe between
8 now and then the people that worked on the rules can
9 incorporate some of those that are obvious so that the
10 draft we're dealing will have those changes made, but
11 I think if we try to get into a debate today or if we
12 try to get into some kind of a -- without specific
13 language in front of us, there could be
14 miscommunication. As long as we recognize that if
15 adopt these exact rules today, under some kind of
16 motion they can be amended by a majority rule next
17 time, that we always have the ability then to draft
18 specific language and know what we're voting on.
19 So I think that the observation of Commissioner
20 Thompson was wise and we ought to keep that in mind,
21 that we're not doing anything in concrete today if we
22 do it within the context of getting the sentiment of
23 the body and then coming back with a majority vote and
24 then cleaning them up at our first meeting.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. So we don't get too
1 far afield, what we're really doing here is asking for
2 people to express their known objections to the rules
3 that have been distributed as we go down them, Rule 1,
4 and then we'll go to Rule 2. There will be no votes.
5 This afternoon we'll be in a better position to
6 move forward and perhaps take votes, and then the idea
7 of whether or not it takes a majority vote to amend
8 them at the next meeting will be one of the items that
9 will be considered.
10 So what I would like to do is to proceed and get
11 the objections, specific objections at least stated
12 before us now before we go to lunch on -- as far as we
13 can go, and not get bogged down on the general rules
14 at this point, if that's possible, and I'll proceed
15 with that in mind.
16 Are there any other notations anyone wants to
17 make to specific rules in Rule 1?
18 Commissioner Evans?
19 COMMISSIONER EVANS: Mr. Chairman, I particularly
20 liked what you said yesterday in your comments, that
21 you don't even want the appearance of anyone running
22 this Commission other than the Commissioners, and in
23 light of that commitment on your part, I have a
24 concern with Rule 1.3 as it's presented on the June
25 12th proposal, and I particularly like Commissioner
1 Mathis's proposal, the wording there, in that in this
2 case the Commissioners themselves with plenty of
3 advance notice would be able to make the committee
4 assignments rather than having any one person having
5 that power vested.
6 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. Your objection is
8 Any other objections to -- in Rule 1?
9 Commissioner Mathis?
10 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Commissioner, what I'd like
11 to do is just -- in order to save time, just to
12 propose that everyone take note of the proposed
13 objections on the proposed rules changes chart, and
14 that way I wouldn't -- no one would have to restate
15 them, if they cared not to, and we would -- I think
16 that would be clear, but I think there are objections
17 to Rule 1 that are included on the proposed rules
18 changes that I'd like to put before the body, and it's
19 clearly in writing before them today.
20 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Commissioner Mathis, we
21 will consider those your objections, and I don't want
22 to cut anybody else off from objections which that
23 might do. So we will proceed. If anybody has any
24 objections -- that would save you from having to get
25 up every time and object, of course.
1 Are there any other objections to Rule 1,
2 specific objections as to specific rules?
3 Yes, sir, Commissioner West.
4 COMMISSIONER WEST: I know I wasn't too specific
5 last time and I apologize, but I have some concern
6 with 1.20, 1.21 and 1.22, mainly because of what was
7 previously said about this being -- you know, the
8 power being vested in the Commission as opposed to the
9 Chair, understanding your commitment to having this be
10 a very open process, that as opposed to the executive
11 director works at the pleasure of the Chair, he would
12 work at the pleasure of this entire Commission, the
13 same thing with the Commission staff in those three
14 sections, 1.20, 1.21 and 1.22.
15 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
16 Any other objections to Rule 1 that anybody wants
17 to note?
18 If not, we'll move to Rule 2.
19 Commissioner Barkdull?
20 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, I don't think a
21 motion is in order under the --
22 THE CHAIRMAN: No motion. Just keep going.
23 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Has anybody got any
24 comment on Rule 2?
25 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Byrne.
1 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Mr. Chairman, my question is
2 I'd like some definition or some explanation from the
3 Steering Committee exactly what the purpose of
4 miscellaneous and what might be the catchall for that.
5 THE CHAIRMAN: It sounds like a financial
6 statement, doesn't it, Mr. Morsani, the one I give to
7 the banks?
8 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: This was an addition --
9 this was an addition that was added when we were
10 correlating these rules with the Senate rules.
11 Well, there is a miscellaneous article in the
13 THE CHAIRMAN: I thought that's what it was, it
14 was the miscellaneous article. These trace the
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: The substantive
17 committees generally trace the articles of the
18 Constitution. They're not quite in numerical order.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: And there is a miscellaneous
20 article, which I think that was the purpose of that.
21 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: That's Article X of the
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Langley?
24 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Mr. Chairman, if you
25 please, doesn't the following language, "additional
1 standing committees may be named by the Chair,"
2 doesn't that cover that?
3 THE CHAIRMAN: I think it covers it. The
4 miscellaneous there, though, was intended to track the
5 Constitution, which has an article, and then there are
6 committees for each article, and then the issue of
7 additional committees would be another issue, I think.
8 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Mr. Chairman?
9 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Scott.
10 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: I think the suggestion is
11 maybe we don't really need to have a committee with
12 that title, but if you're going to have it, then
13 Commissioner Langley wants to be chairman of it
14 because he could take up anything he wanted.
15 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Langley, we may have
16 to elect the chairman of that one by the whole body.
17 Everybody may want it.
18 No, actually it really applies only to the
19 constitutional provision is my understanding of the
21 Commissioner Mills?
22 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, we had a lot
23 of discussion yesterday of initiatives, and that's
24 under Article XI. Since you were tracking articles, I
25 was wondering if you had planned putting those issues
1 somewhere else. I mean, we have nothing under -- we
2 have all ten articles tracked and we have no Article
3 XI committee.
4 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't know. Let's visit that at
5 lunch. I don't know what it means. We'll find out.
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Do you want to include a
7 sub -- if you want a substantive committee that's on
8 amendments, I have no problem with that.
9 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, you had
10 tracked the Articles I through X, and that's why X is
11 miscellaneous because X is miscellaneous.
12 THE CHAIRMAN: Right.
13 COMMISSIONER MILLS: And there is an Article XI,
14 which includes, if you wanted to amend this
15 Commission, amend initiatives, amend conventions, that
16 if you want a jurisdiction to track articles, then you
17 would have --
18 THE CHAIRMAN: Your suggestion is we add No. XI,
19 Article XI --
20 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Yes.
21 THE CHAIRMAN: -- which includes those items. I
22 think that's well taken.
23 Any other objections to any other parts of Rule
24 2, other than Ms. Mathis has noted in her written
1 Commissioner Hawkes?
2 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: I would like to
3 specifically comment on one of Commissioner Mathis's
4 objections. You know, again, in one of the notice
5 provisions it says -- uses the term "if possible." I
6 think our rules ought to take out terms like "if
7 possible." There's no definition of what defines
8 "possible" or what doesn't define "possible," and --
9 THE CHAIRMAN: What rule was that?
10 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: That's 2.15.
11 THE CHAIRMAN: Proceed.
12 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: And also I am kind of fond
13 of Commissioner Mathis's 2.17 proposal where basically
14 it requires a majority of the Commission to approve
15 the rules and administrations calendar, and again,
16 maybe because I was a minority member of the
17 Legislature, I remember times where my bill might rest
18 on a part of the calendar that we were never going to
19 get to even if we did go to two o'clock in the
20 morning, and this basically, again, I think, does two
21 things: one, it restores the Commissioners'
22 confidence that if their proposal has some other
23 interest amongst the Commission and it doesn't have
24 interest with the rules and administrations committee
25 agenda, that they can at least vote and bring it up
1 that way; and I think it restores some confidence in
2 the public that there isn't gamesmanship that says
3 that you're on the calendar but you can't be brought
4 up. There is a mechanism to bring it up, and it makes
5 the Commission act more as a collegiate body and
6 allows every Commissioner to fully participate, which
7 obviously the Chair has expressed and --
8 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't think these rules give the
9 rules committee the authority to keep anything from
10 being considered. They're not like the Legislature.
11 We're not going to have the system you had in the
12 Legislature where the rules committee says exactly
13 what you can vote on. We're only here like two days
14 at a time and this sort of thing. I think -- it's not
15 my understanding of the rules that the rules committee
16 can control anything other than setting the agenda of
17 those that are before it.
18 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: Then if that's the case, it
19 would be easy to adopt this amendment and restore the
20 public confidence and no Commissioner would ever feel
21 that his proposal was sitting on the special order
22 calendar and was never going to get to --
23 THE CHAIRMAN: We don't have a special order
24 calendar under these rules, Commissioner Hawkes, not a
25 special order calendar. It's a misunderstanding of
1 this function to think -- to compare it to that type
2 of legislative process. I think Mr. Langley
3 understands that and others that have served in the
5 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: We have an order of
6 business that makes reference to the special order.
7 We have --
8 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Langley?
9 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: I think the confusion, Mr.
10 Chairman, is on page 17 at the top of the page, Item 8
11 in the order of business does refer to special orders
12 as determined by the rules and administration
13 committee. So, you know, having been in this
14 environment, that assumes that there would be a
15 special order, and what we're saying here is that if
16 that committee comes out with a special order, that by
17 a majority vote the body could add to that special
18 order just by a majority vote on the floor.
19 Otherwise, you -- I know in the Legislature, if you
20 get a bill on the general calendar, we call it the
21 graveyard because, you know, that's where it dies. If
22 you can't make special order, you're out of the
24 So this would enable, again, the majority of the
25 Commission, which is what we're all about, to make
1 that decision whether or not a bill should be heard.
2 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't think we have a general
3 order calendar on proposals, though.
4 Commissioner Mills?
5 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Would Commissioner Barkdull
6 yield for a question on this?
7 My understanding is that this Commission acts
8 almost as a committee of the whole and that all
9 committees are advisory in nature, and that every
10 proposal ends up being considered by the whole
11 Commission, which makes -- these committees tend to be
12 -- to facilitate the hearing process and the
13 amendatory process of what is an incredibly weak
14 committee structure and an incredibly strong
15 Commission. And so the question is, is the Commission
16 strong, is the Commission able to do the will of the
17 Commission, and the majority of the Commission? It
18 seems to me it's very clear that these committees are
19 simply to facilitate the consideration, bring it to
20 the floor of the Commission. The majority of the
21 Commission can do anything it wants to. I mean,
22 that's the weakest -- I mean, I think maybe
23 Commissioner Barkdull or someone might clarify that,
24 but it appears to me that -- yes, I remember the
25 special order calendar. I even remember James Harold
1 kept me off it a couple of times, but -- I mean, there
2 is no special order calendar that says, in the rule
3 that I saw, that the committee shall transmit and
4 shall be on the calendar, and whatever would be done
5 here was simply ordering it, is that correct?
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: The whole import of these
7 rules were to keep a majority vote available up until
8 the final adoption of a proposal, if any, that would
9 be submitted.
10 COMMISSIONER MILLS: But it's clear that these
11 committees cannot stop the proposal.
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: That's correct.
13 THE CHAIRMAN: They have to report out favorable
14 or unfavorable.
15 COMMISSIONER MILLS: They may come without a
16 recommendation, but yet it still --
17 THE CHAIRMAN: And if they don't report, then the
18 rules provide they come out anyway.
19 Commissioner Hawkes again.
20 COMMISSIONER HAWKES: If I understood the Chair
21 correctly in some of your introductory remarks, I
22 believe in 1978 they had 600 proposals, perhaps. You
23 know, there is -- we may end up with 200, we may end
24 up with 1,600. No one knows how many proposals will
25 actually be before this Commission.
1 What this talks about is the daily order of
2 business, and we get to a daily order of business
3 called special orders where this Commission's going to
4 have an opportunity to vote on those proposals. Do
5 you favor that proposal? Are you opposed to that
6 proposal? Do you think it needs an amendment?
7 There has to be some mechanism to set up an
8 order. Which proposal do we take up first, one, two,
9 three, four?
10 It seems clear from these rules -- and maybe I
11 have misunderstood them, in which case, that's fine,
12 but the rules and administration committee sets that
13 order, which proposal comes first, which proposal
14 comes second. If they do that and there's 600
15 proposals and you're number 600 and we're up here for
16 two days, you're not going to be heard. If the next
17 time you come up you're still resting at the bottom,
18 you're still not going to -- and that may be fine.
19 The Commission may feel very comfortable with that
20 because that proposal is not the most critical and one
21 that the Commission as a whole feels that we ought to
22 take up and consider.
23 All this amendment proposes is a mechanism where,
24 if a majority of this Commission thinks we ought to
25 take up a proposal and consider it, it allows us to do
1 that and doesn't prevent us from being able to do that
2 because the rule, itself, states that we need a
3 two-thirds vote to overcome the daily order of
5 THE CHAIRMAN: Let me say one thing here. I
6 think everybody has a misconception about how this
7 Commission operated in '78 and probably will this
9 We provided and have provided that the general
10 public at public hearings could offer proposals, and
11 we agreed that we would consider all proposals offered
12 by the public, and the way we did that is we came back
13 after public hearings -- and I can't remember whether
14 it was after a series or all of them -- and we had a
15 list of proposals that were kept by the staff, and
16 there were reported to be 600, and what happened was
17 we had I think a two-day meeting at which time all
18 proposals presented by the public were presented one
19 by one to the Commission, and it took ten votes for
20 them to remain as proposals to be considered by the
21 Commission. And I think after that one day -- I think
22 it maybe even took less than one day. Out of those
23 600, there were like -- including those offered by
24 Commissioners as well, some on the same subject -- 200
25 proposals, and that was the actual number of proposals
1 that were on the table.
2 The committees heard and considered all 200 of
3 those, not 600, and it covered everything, and then
4 the committees either reported them back favorably,
5 unfavorably or in some instances made not a committee
6 substitute but a simple thing like that, and then you
7 had the opportunity on the committee to have a
8 majority reporting it favorable and a minority
9 reporting it unfavorable, and that was before the
10 Commission when it came out, and if the committees did
11 not act on them within the period of time that was set
12 by the Commission, they were brought back to the
13 calendar anyway without any recommendation, so that
14 the Commission ultimately considered every proposal
15 that was brought before it by the public and by the
17 Now, it seems, when you read this, that you're
18 thinking in terms that we're going to have debate on
19 600 proposals, and that's not going to happen, nor in
20 practicality would it happen. Many of the public
21 proposals become proposals of the Commissioners, and
22 you try to combine those and you get rid of them that
23 way, but that's the reason that everybody may be
24 concerned to some extent.
25 I don't recall a single time that any item with
1 this same rule was kept from consideration by the
2 Commission, and I don't think it will be this time,
3 regardless of which type rule we adopt, but I note
4 your objection and I'm sure Commissioner Barkdull and
5 other members of the committee can deal with that.
6 Any others? Yes, sir, Commissioner Zack.
7 COMMISSIONER ZACK: Mr. Chairman, the way the
8 committee's structured, when you have a question like
9 reapportionment, which deals with all three branches,
10 how is that going to be handled within the committee
11 structure? Will the three different committees deal
12 with it or will there be one committee that will be
13 assigned the subject?
14 THE CHAIRMAN: My recollection is
15 reapportionment is under the legislative committee.
16 COMMISSIONER ZACK: Thank you.
17 Also, why was privacy stricken as one of the
18 issues to be considered by the committee?
19 THE CHAIRMAN: It's in Article I.
20 COMMISSIONER ZACK: And that's why it was
21 stricken from the ethics and election?
22 THE CHAIRMAN: It's in Article I.
23 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It's in Article I.
24 COMMISSIONER ZACK: Thank you.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Henderson?
1 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: On that issue on 2.1 on
2 the standing committees, I really like the explanation
3 that we ought to track the committees to the existing
4 articles within the Constitution, and in that note
5 just a couple of items.
6 You've created a separate committee for bonding
7 and investments, and yet that all generally falls
8 within the finance and taxation article, and I want to
9 know if the Chairman felt there was some need for
10 singling that out, and the other -- I'll tell you, I
11 enjoy the term "miscellaneous," but I think that that
12 really not only embraces that article but Article II,
13 which is general provisions, and maybe that might be a
14 better term for linking those two articles together.
15 THE CHAIRMAN: Maybe it would be a better term
16 just to name the two articles. Would you agree?
17 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: If you track one for
18 each article, that would be fine with me.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: And just group those two together.
20 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: That's right.
21 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't have any problem with
22 that. That's the easiest way to do it.
23 On the issue of the finance and taxation and
24 bonding, my recollection is in '78 they decided to do
25 that because they're not the same. It turned out --
1 and I can tell you from experience that I never ever
2 knew anything about bonding and investments and I
3 never, listening to all the debate and everything
4 else, thought I knew anything about it when we
5 finished. With finance and taxation, we all know
6 something about that. So I think they were separated
7 because of the technical nature of the bonding and
8 investments, and I believe Commissioner Crenshaw might
9 be an expert in that area.
10 And they are -- while they're in the same
11 article, they're really not related as it comes to the
12 issue of changing them, and that's why the '78
13 Commission did that, and I thought it worked very well
14 because you didn't -- you had a specific committee
15 that dealt with the bonding and those issues which
16 were made up primarily of people in the Commission
17 that knew that subject, and, on the other hand, the
18 finance and taxation committee went across the board
19 and you had a more general representation on that
20 committee. I think that's the reason for that. It's
21 a good question, though.
22 Commissioner Ford-Coates?
23 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Mr. Chairman, in that
24 same vein, just to clarify, the committee on ethics
25 and elections is actually a combination of two
1 articles also, is it not, Article II on ethics and
2 Article VI on elections, so they don't actually
3 mirror? There are a few exceptions?
4 THE CHAIRMAN: I think that's true.
5 I don't see anything wrong with labeling these on
6 the articles, and maybe with the exception of finance
7 and taxation and bonding, which I really think should
8 be separate. We can work on that. Those are good
10 Any other objections?
11 If not, move to Rule 3. Rule 3.3 is the one I
12 was talking about about the public proposals.
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Does anybody have any
14 specific comment on Rule 3?
15 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Mr. Chairman --
16 THE CHAIRMAN: We'll move to Rule 4 -- excuse me,
17 Commissioner Langley.
18 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Yes. Mr. Chairman, you
19 and I spoke a little while ago on the floor about
20 3.35, concerning differentiating between those
21 proposals that are received in public hearing by the
22 public and those which are initiated by Commissioners,
23 and I think we need to reach some consensus on whether
24 or not a Commissioner who has a proposal again has to
25 get ten co-introducers, so to speak, before that can
1 be heard. If that was the intent of the rule, it was
2 stricken. It was in and then it was out, then it was
3 in. So I don't know which -- where you're going, but
4 I don't know -- the way that you described it happened
5 in '78 doesn't seem that bad, but if a Commissioner,
6 after listening to the public, has his own initiative
7 -- his own proposal that he would like to propose, it
8 seems like that ought to be a privilege of that
10 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't recall that being in the
11 '78 rules.
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It wasn't.
13 THE CHAIRMAN: Is there any reason to put it in
15 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: No, Commissioner Langley
16 is absolutely right. It would take ten -- nine co-
17 introducers, and that was not -- should not be the
19 THE CHAIRMAN: No, that should be deleted, you're
20 right, Commissioner.
21 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Each Commissioner can
22 make a proposal and it gets full consideration.
23 THE CHAIRMAN: I can assure you in '78 the
24 Commissioners made single proposals that were heard on
25 the floor, but you're right, though. That should be
1 struck, that provision, and the other left intact.
2 Any other suggestions or objections?
3 If not, we'll move to Rule 4 which we've had some
4 discussion on already. Any further comments on Rule
6 If not, we'll move to Rule 5.
7 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: We skipped Rule 5,
8 unless --
9 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Langley?
10 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Understanding that some of
11 the major things will be decided later, Mr. Chairman,
12 I think we ought to go ahead and discuss it so that --
13 THE CHAIRMAN: Is it the will of the Commission
14 we discuss Rule 5, which I think is appropriate, too?
15 I agree with you.
16 Commissioner Barkdull, would you --
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Let me say that the
18 overall intent of Rule 5 is that everything will
19 operate by majority vote until we get to final
20 passage, and then it will be whatever super-majority
21 that this Commission decides they want to put in.
22 Those of us --
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Now, that's assuming -- now,
24 there's some of them here may want a majority, and we
25 don't want to --
1 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I said whatever majority
2 that they pick.
3 THE CHAIRMAN: You said super-majority, and
4 that's a Freudian slip, but that's okay.
5 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: One of the problems that
6 we recognized, Sunday afternoon particularly, at
7 least, is the grouping, and I don't think any of us
8 are satisfied with the language that's in the present
9 rule as far as grouping is concerned, and that becomes
10 very, very important at the end of the process.
11 Assuming that there are proposals that get the
12 requisite vote to be considered and sent to the
13 Secretary of State, the grouping becomes very
14 important, and I, and I think other members and the
15 people that work on these rules, would welcome
16 anything you want to suggest, and it may be premature
17 at this time to try to set grouping at the end of this
19 You may want to consider leaving the method of
20 grouping open until you get towards the conclusion of
21 the deliberations and see what's been passed and then
22 consider what you may want to talk about in the way of
23 grouping, but I frankly think that it would be better
24 if we deferred the method of grouping until we got to
25 see what we were going to group.
1 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Mr. Chairman?
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Sundberg.
3 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Is it clear, though,
4 Commissioner Barkdull, that as now stated in the
5 version that we are considering, that it permits
6 grouping to take place on a majority vote as opposed
7 to some super-majority?
8 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I think that --
9 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: It was not clear to me
10 from --
11 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, I think probably
12 the reason that's not clear is that the Commission --
13 the subcommittee did not intend to recommend any vote
14 on final passage of a proposal to go on a ballot,
15 that that's got to come from the wisdom of this body,
16 and -- as to what that will be.
17 Now, of course, the three-fifths is one of the
18 requirements of the Legislature. As you all know, I'm
19 sure, that this was a big contention in the last
20 Revision Commission as to what the vote would be, and
21 it was the consensus of the Steering Committee to make
22 no recommendation before this Commission but to leave
23 it up to the wisdom of the Commission when they adopt
24 these rules as to what vote will be necessary to send
25 a proposal to the Secretary of State and have it go on
1 the ballot.
2 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: But when you say what
3 majority to send it to the Secretary of State, do you
4 include within that statement the grouping issue as to
5 how it will be sent?
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: No, sir. No, sir.
7 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: So that these rules as
8 currently --
9 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: As drafted, they give the
10 style and drafting committee the authority to group,
11 and that's the point that I think we should really
12 think about until we see what you want to group, and I
13 have a lot of hesitation to at this point recommend
14 that the style and drafting committee have the power
15 to group.
16 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Precisely my point, Mr.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Sundberg, I think
19 we're -- he's trying to divide this into two
20 questions, I think, and which you have. Number one,
21 do we agree on the final vote that it will take to put
22 it on the ballot, whatever it is? And we need to
23 consider that, whether we do it at this meeting or
24 some other meeting.
25 And the other is, before we vote on the final
1 vote, what do we vote on, and do we determine that by
2 a majority vote, in other words, approving or
3 rejecting or amending the style and drafting report,
4 or do we require the same majority for that as we do
5 for putting it on the ballot? That's the two
6 questions, is that correct?
7 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Absolutely, and it goes
8 back to Commissioner Jennings' observations yesterday
9 that we keep single issues separated, because once you
10 start grouping, then that presents the opportunity for
11 logrolling, about which several of the speakers
12 yesterday commented.
13 So I think it is very important that we address
14 it at that stage as well as when it finally gets to
15 the ballot.
16 THE CHAIRMAN: I understand your suggestion, if
17 that's what it is, is that we have the same majority
18 vote for the passage of a particular change or a
19 proposal for changing the Constitution that we have
20 for the final vote when we vote to put it on the
21 ballot. Is that my understanding of what your --
22 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Without debating this
23 issue now, yes, that would be precisely my point, Mr.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: I thought I got that.
1 Okay. Does anybody have any misunderstanding of
2 the two issues that he poses, or is that clear?
3 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: I don't think it's clear
4 to anybody -- pardon me, if I may be recognized -- but
5 I don't think anybody understands it. I thought I did
6 until Commissioner Sundberg spoke, and then, as I
7 understand it, it is -- and I don't think there's any
8 disagreement on this, but a proposal is passed by
9 majority vote and is sent to styling and drafting.
10 Styling and drafting somehow mix it up with something
11 else and bring it back. At that time there should be
12 only a majority required to unscramble those eggs and
13 put them back, but the final product, when finally
14 accepted by a majority vote, would have to be approved
15 by whatever majority or super-majority that this
16 Commission decides.
17 Are we on the same page?
18 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Not at all.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: Just a minute. He is, I think,
20 because if you reach that point where you've got a
21 majority vote on a proposal and then you could have a
22 super-majority vote that that proposal is going on the
23 ballot, you still -- they've been voted on
24 separately. You still may need to -- and I don't know
25 that you would -- actually combine two others in order
1 to have a sensible vote, and this does occur, and I
2 think that's what he's concerned with, that you may,
3 and if so, should you have the same majority as the
4 final vote on that point? Is that correct,
5 Commissioner Sundberg?
6 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: That is correct, and I'm
7 not suggesting just how it unscrambles, but what I am
8 suggesting is that grouping is just as important as
9 the final product, Senator Langley, because you can
10 get the logrolling --
11 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Langley, please.
12 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Pardon me, Commissioner.
13 He'll always be Senator Langley to me. He was a
14 Senator when I was a small boy, see, so I have --
15 THE CHAIRMAN: It's beginning to show.
16 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: But that, as I say, if
17 you believe logrolling is evil, and I think most
18 people here do, it permits logrolling at that level
19 which would, it seems to me, defeat the two-thirds.
20 I'm not sure just how we get there, but that's
21 the principle I would advocate.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Scott, maybe you can
23 straighten us out.
24 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: I don't think Commissioner
25 Sundberg was ever a small boy, he's so tall there, but
1 let me just say something. We discussed this -- if I
2 might just take one minute -- I was going to do this
3 at some point -- to explain to all of you
4 Commissioners the great pains that the Steering
5 Committee took not to be presumptuous, and this being
6 identified as a major issue, and that's why there is
7 not a specific recommendation. I think several of us
8 prefer some kind of extraordinary majority, perhaps
9 three-fifths, to finally place things on the ballot;
10 but other than that, Judge Barkdull -- Commissioner
11 Barkdull, what he has said from the beginning, let's
12 don't do number 5 because of the concern about the
13 style and drafting committee and the grouping issue.
14 What I think is that, just like we do with other
15 constitutional amendments, not that the Legislature
16 should be the guide, but that's probably the only body
17 that has acted on them, that you can amend them by a
18 majority vote or separate them or divide the question,
19 if they group three or four and you only want one or
20 perhaps two, until the final vote, but then if you
21 have at the extraordinary vote -- let's just say if
22 that becomes what y'all want to do, then to get the
23 three-fifths vote you may or may not have to group two
24 items that maybe are related, and I can think of some
25 that might be legitimately related, that might -- in
1 order to get enough votes. But the point is the
2 process I think will sort that out and the system will
3 sort that out.
4 As this is drafted, which again let me say, Judge
5 Barkdull said let's don't act on it. So that's not
6 like that's a proposal that's being pushed here. We
7 just -- you know, we need to sort out what sort of
8 majority for final passage and whether we want perhaps
9 some super-majority to divide questions or not, but I
10 would suggest that we don't. Perhaps when we think
11 about it, we're going to come down and say we want a
12 majority vote to set to the amend -- amend whatever it
13 is and then go about it that way, and so -- but again,
14 I want to tell you that in this and many other
15 matters, including proposals -- several of the
16 Commissioners asked me in the last day or so, well,
17 what are the issues and what did the Steering
18 Committee think were the issues, and we took great
19 pains to not say this is the agenda, these are the
20 issues and so forth.
21 So that's what we're all about, and while I'm
22 talking here, what Commissioner Mills says is also
23 very true. I think I viewed and most of us viewed
24 this as basically like a committee of the whole. In
25 other words, we're not into trying to have committees
1 kill and keep things from being heard, and should that
2 ever become a problem, I'll be the first one to join
3 with anyone who has those concerns in making sure that
4 doesn't happen.
5 So on this point I do think we need some
6 clarifying. We might want to wait and see what kind
7 of proposals there are before we finalize the
8 extraordinary, if there is to be an extraordinary
9 vote, but otherwise -- and one other comment, while
10 I'm at it, so I can then sit down.
11 I do think, regardless if we adopt some rules
12 today, which I would urge us to think about over lunch
13 what Commissioner Hawkes said about the notice issue.
14 That's simple. We can put in there, because that
15 would affect our meetings that might occur in the near
16 future, in the next couple of months. So we might
17 consider that.
18 I hadn't found it -- James Harold and I were
19 looking for it -- where it's as clear perhaps asin the
20 proposal that Commissioner Mathis has to set out that
21 would be a 72-hour notice with the agenda.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.
23 I would like to point out before we leave this
24 that there are reasons other than logrolling to
25 combine these issues. For example, in finance and
1 taxation, we may vote separately on several different
2 things that have to go into the same vote, and so
3 they're not all on that basis, and I think that's what
4 Commissioner Langley was thinking about when he said
5 that as well.
6 Commissioner Nabors?
7 COMMISSIONER NABORS: I'd just like to say I
8 think that the wisdom that on the original motion on
9 the second 5 to delay that is sound, I mean, in the
10 sense that we're all new to this process. We're
11 getting to know each other. We're going to go through
12 a public hearing process. We'll have a better feel
13 for the types of proposals that are going to arise up
14 and really Article V deals with the issue of how we're
15 going to make our final decision, which is in a sense
16 what we adopted initially, and I have mixed feelings
17 about how I feel about majority versus extraordinary.
18 I'd like to be thoughtful about that because I think
19 that issue, in terms of how we're going to deal with
20 that issue, how we're going to group, is going to
21 determine the success of what we do, and a lot of
22 those decisions may be driven by the number of
23 proposals we have on the table that we think are
25 So I really think that the wisdom -- I think it's
1 helpful to talk about this Rule 5, but I think the
2 wisdom of delaying that after the rules are adopted so
3 we all have a better feel for what we're doing and
4 what the public sees as the problems is a very wise
6 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. That suggestion is
7 that we take all these suggestions on Rule 5 and Rule
8 -- we'll go ahead with the other rules and perhaps
9 adopt them or some form of them and leave Rule 5 out
10 of the motion for adoption today and take it up at our
11 subsequent meeting, noticed for that purpose. Is that
12 the sense of what you said?
13 COMMISSIONER NABORS: Well, except that I'm not
14 sure in my view, though, we're talking about perhaps
15 taking action today and then amending the rules at the
16 first meeting. We may want to delay Article V to
17 another meeting after the public hearing process is
19 THE CHAIRMAN: That would remain to be seen, and
20 we can handle that if that comes up. So we can move
21 to -- if we accept that suggestion, we'll move to our
22 Rule 6.
23 If no comments on Rule 6, we'll move to Rule 7.
24 No comments on Rule 7?
25 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: You've got Senator
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Oh, excuse me. Commissioner
4 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
5 and again in Commissioner Mathis's amendment, proposed
6 amendment, you'll see that there is language there to
7 ensure that every Commissioner's amendment, if
8 properly filed with the secretary, would be heard.
9 Again, this may be some paranoia hanging over from
10 being in the minority of the Legislature for a long
11 time, but it seems the method operandi was to get all
12 the friendly amendments, those sponsored, recognized,
13 and get them on the bill and then move the question,
14 and you're left there with a whole lot of unacted-upon
15 amendments that were on the desk.
16 I think in a body this small that we should have
17 no problem letting every amendment be heard that is
18 proposed by a Commissioner.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: I think under these rules that it
20 would be anyway.
21 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Well, if we adopt Robert's
22 Rules of Order, they do -- there is in there the
23 motion for the previous question which cuts off all
24 further debate, et cetera.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: We originally had that deleted.
1 It's deleted in these rules, and Robert's Rules only
2 controls where there's nothing in the rules.
3 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: All right. But there's
4 nothing in here to protect the amendments filed.
5 That's all I'm seeking here, regardless of the
6 previous question issue. There's nothing in here that
7 would prevent you moving on as far as I know.
8 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't think that's right. When
9 I read them I didn't get that out of it.
10 Commissioner Scott, am I right?
11 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: I think the -- first of all,
12 I think that's one of the reasons that Robert's Rules
13 of Order is not specifically set forth in the Senate
14 rules, where we have gone to Mason's Manual and other
15 type things, and one of the reasons is the Senate --
16 in all deference to my colleagues who served in the
17 House, I would strongly suggest that we do not get
18 into the some of the House rules such as previous
19 questions and tabling and whatever, I mean, because we
20 felt ourselves in the Senate smaller and able to
21 deliberate in not have 120 members, so -- and this
22 body being close to that size, I would think that
23 Senator Langley makes a good point, that we don't want
24 to have previous questions moved so that we cut off
25 people have a chance to make amendments which is --
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I think that -- I thought it
2 was in the rules at one time that the previous
3 question was not allowed, motions to move previous
4 questions were not proper motions. If not, I would
5 think that should be in there.
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: That's in there, I think,
8 THE CHAIRMAN: Was that removed from one of the
10 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: It was in the Senate rules
11 originally, and it --
12 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, I think it got out.
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: We'll put it in.
14 THE CHAIRMAN: I agree, Commissioner Langley,
15 that's correct, because, you're right, we operated in
16 '78 that way, too. Anybody who had an amendment got
17 it heard. They might have got it voted down 36 to one
18 or something, but they got it heard.
19 Commissioner Sundberg?
20 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Mr. Chairman, a question
21 to Commissioner Langley.
22 Commissioner, were you suggesting something along
23 the lines of the language in the proposal the addition
24 that was added to 7.1 in this that says, "All
25 amendments properly filed should be heard and the
1 sponsor given opportunity"?
2 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Yes.
3 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: I would ask that the
4 subcommittee who's doing the drafting to determine
5 however -- whether that conflicts with 7.4, which has
6 to do with germanity. I don't know how they relate
7 one to the other.
8 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, germanity wouldn't preclude
9 it from being considered, it would preclude it from
10 being considered on that motion. I think you have to
11 make rulings on germanity. If somebody offers an
12 amendment to a tax measure to abolish the death
13 penalty, that's not germane, and I think that's the
14 purpose of the germanity. I don't see any conflict.
15 I didn't suggest anybody do that.
16 How about --
17 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Mr. Chairman?
18 THE CHAIRMAN: -- anything further on Rule 7
19 we're on? Commissioner Smith?
20 COMMISSIONER SMITH: I just have a question.
21 Notwithstanding germanity, if in fact this is adopted,
22 does that preclude the -- a super-majority of the
23 Commission from being able to cut off -- in other
24 words, one person can offer 100 amendments and the
25 other 36 can't do anything about it? I just want to
1 know if that's what we're doing, and if so, I just
2 want to know that that's what I'm doing.
3 THE CHAIRMAN: We have a way to prevent that, of
4 course. I think we can shut off debates with two-
5 thirds votes and a lot of other things that could
6 occur, particularly if we have Robert's Rules, but the
7 other thing we can do, if we have somebody that did
8 that, we can have the Sergeant-at-Arms remove them and
9 tie them in the back room. I don't think anybody's
10 going to involved here in filibusters or cloture type
11 things, and if they are, I'd be very surprised; but
12 there are ways to prevent the abuse of the process, I
13 think, and there's inherent power of the Chair in that
14 regard, regardless of what the rules say could occur,
15 when there's a true abuse, but I doubt very seriously
16 if we couldn't get the vote of the Commission to stop
17 that kind of shenanigans, and I would certainly hope
18 that we don't have to put up with that sort of thing.
19 Any further on Rule 7?
20 How about Rule 8? Rule 8.6 sort of handles one
21 of the questions that came up earlier, all questions
22 relating to priority business shall be decided without
23 debate. If somebody doesn't like the order of
24 business, they can move to change it, and if there's
25 no debate and you get a majority vote, then it's
2 Rule 9?
3 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: That's the Robert's Rules.
4 THE CHAIRMAN: Correct. That -- Robert's Rules,
5 where are we going to put that in or are we? What did
6 we decide to do?
7 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: If you determine to put
8 it in, we'll probably put it in back up under the
9 rules and calendar or the control by the Chair.
10 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Rule 9, good old
11 miscellaneous. Okay. Note on Rule 9, on the
12 alternates who are very important to this process,
13 they'll have the same privileges as Commissioners but
14 shall not have voting privileges. In other words,
15 they can debate and enter into the considerations and
16 serve on the committees. That's basically what
17 happened in '78, and it worked very well. In fact,
18 some of the contributions made by the alternates were
19 significant in those debates.
20 Commissioner Jennings?
21 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Mr. Chairman, it's not
22 specific. I think it's understood that the alternate
23 is much like a jury alternate that does not take place
24 -- take a voting stance until a member has to leave.
25 Do we need to clarify that, that the alternates -- for
1 example, if we were at some posture and we were
2 missing two or three Commissioners --
3 THE CHAIRMAN: They can only take a place to vote
4 under the Constitution if somebody dies or leaves
5 office --
6 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Okay.
7 THE CHAIRMAN: -- technically, and I guess the
8 reason the Speaker didn't appoint an alternate is he
9 wanted to leave the option open, if one of his
10 appointees met some misfortune and had to leave, that
11 he would appoint someone as opposed to having already
12 appointed someone, and I think -- I know you and the
13 appointing authority from the Governor expect the
14 alternates to -- that they appointed to step right in
15 and have the benefit of the full discussions that have
16 gone on is the purpose for it, and so I don't think
17 you need to clarify --
18 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: The Constitution -- I
19 realize it was that in the Constitution and that's as
20 clear as we need to make it.
21 THE CHAIRMAN: That's right, because the
22 alternates are not provided for in the Constitution
23 but they are provided for by rule, and they work very
24 well, as a matter of fact.
25 Commissioner Smith?
1 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Mr. Chairman, the Governor
2 has two alternates that he has appointed. If one
3 vacancy occurs, which alternate takes the seat?
4 THE CHAIRMAN: I'll ask the Governor after we
5 adjourn. I don't know. I would think that that would
6 be up to him as the appointing authority.
7 COMMISSIONER SMITH: No problem.
8 THE CHAIRMAN: I want to tell y'all -- and if
9 y'all don't know this, my friend Commissioner Jennings
10 knows this -- making these appointments was a very,
11 very difficult thing for us, for everybody that had to
12 make them, and I think the Governor had something like
13 well over 200 applications for the 15 seats you hold.
14 He had many applications for -- to be designated to
15 the seat I hold, and I understand there were some
16 others that would have liked this that weren't on the
17 Governor's list, but in any event, it was hard to do,
18 and I know that -- I do know, very sincerely know that
19 Commissioner Jennings had a very difficult time
20 leaving off some greatly qualified people, as did the
21 Governor, and she felt the ones that are here are the
22 ones that are qualified and should be here, as did the
23 Governor, and I'm going to tell you the story and then
24 we're going to break for lunch.
25 The old story that I believe was first attributed
1 to John Martin, who was a noted governor that made
2 Fuller Warren look quiet and Sidney Cates look like a
3 liberal. John Martin said that, when you made an
4 appointment, you created one ingrate and 100 enemies
5 for every single one you made. So it's a very
6 difficult process, and all of these different people
7 have sincerely made an effort to appoint you to serve
8 with great decorum.
9 We'll adjourn for lunch upon motion, and lunch is
10 provided today in the Senate --
11 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: What time do you want to
12 reconvene, Mr. Chairman?
13 THE CHAIRMAN: Reconvene at -- what is it?
14 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: 1:15?
15 THE CHAIRMAN: No. I've lost my agenda.
16 THE SECRETARY: 1:45.
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I move we recess until
18 the hour of 1:30.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: All in favor say aye.
20 (Chorus of ayes.)
21 THE CHAIRMAN: All opposed, no?
23 (Lunch recess.)
24 THE SECRETARY: A quorum is present, Mr.
1 THE CHAIRMAN: At this time on our schedule we're
2 going to hear first from Steve Uhlfelder, who was the
3 executive director of the 1978 Commission. Mr.
4 Uhlfelder is currently serving on the Board of Regents
5 and is the vice-chairman, and is considered one of the
6 more active and I guess you could call him progressive
7 -- some people do, others call him obstreperous -- but
8 nobody calls him anything other than very brilliant in
9 government and in management of such things as the
10 Board of Regents, and Steve has been here since his
11 leaving law school. He was president of the student
12 body at the University of Florida when he took on
13 President O'Connell, who still remembers him fondly
14 from back in those days, and Steve has done many
15 things of public service, including being a partner in
16 Holland & Knight here in Tallahassee. He's, I think,
17 the manager of this office now, is that right? That
18 means that he now has great power that he wields here
19 in Tallahassee.
20 I'm speaking fondly of Steve and not -- don't
21 mean to detract from his great abilities and the many
22 things that he's accomplished, and he's here to speak
23 to us briefly and to introduce Governor Askew, who I'm
24 sure will come into the chamber promptly as Steve
25 finishes his introduction.
1 Steve Uhlfelder, would you please come forward to
2 the well?
3 MR. UHLFELDER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
4 Commissioners, congratulations on being appointed
5 to this august body. It's going to be one of the
6 greatest honors in your life. As executive director,
7 I had the opportunity to serve with several of your
8 Commissioners, including the Chair, who I think will
9 be a very good Chair, very fair, very open-minded.
10 I also would like to comment on the executive
11 director, Billy Buzzett, who's got my job, and he'll
12 do a lot better job than I did. He's bright, he's
13 able, he's a very decent human being, and I think
14 you'll be very satisfied with the work of Billy. In
15 fact, Billy and the Steering Committee have done a
16 great job for you by getting you -- helping you get
17 prepared for this responsibility.
18 We didn't have that opportunity. We just hit the
19 ground running and we did it, I thought, fairly well,
20 but we didn't have the background that you have as a
21 result of the Steering Committee that was selected by
22 your Chair along with members of the Senate, House,
23 and the Attorney General.
24 There's a great deal that you will be able to
25 learn from the work of the Constitution Revision
1 Commission of 1978, and I hope you will use their
2 experience. While none of the 87 proposals and eight
3 ballot items passed in 1978, since that time close to
4 50 percent of them have found their way into statute
5 or in the Constitution.
6 I believe that you have a copy of the Law Review
7 article I wrote about that, and I will not go through
8 those issues that did pass.
9 In 1978 we had a very challenging agenda because
10 there was an atmosphere and feeling that government
11 needed to change and the Commission could be a
12 proponent of many of these changes. In fact, it was
13 right after the Bicentennial, and there was a great
14 optimism about government.
15 I'm not sure the atmosphere and the circumstances
16 are the same in 1997, particularly as we look ahead at
17 the new millenium. This is a more cautious and
18 conservative era, and I think you should take that
19 into account as you approach your job.
20 More and more Floridians believe that government
21 and its institutions do not or should not play a
22 significant role in their lives. Today we live in a
23 state that is much larger than it was in '78, nine
24 million in '78, 14.5 million today. It makes your
25 work more difficult because it makes it more difficult
1 to communicate with those citizens who will be voting
2 on your product. When you finish your work product,
3 you will need to promote it, and one of the things
4 that we did not have in '78 was the money to promote
5 our product. In fact, we had $10,000 we were able to
6 raise, because you have to raise it from private
7 sources, and the opposition had over several hundred
8 thousand dollars because at the time the Cabinet
9 officers wanted to protect their jobs and went out and
10 raised some money from those people that they
11 regulated and we weren't able to compete.
12 I would say, if you take on a tough issue, you
13 better be prepared to back it up with the money on
14 television, radio and newspaper in order to be able to
15 effectively sell your product, and I think as you
16 proceed you need to continually think about that,
17 because when the Commission ended its work in May of
18 '78, there was really no staff left. Our funding
19 ended. The Commission really ended, and there was a
20 work product out there that needed to be promoted.
21 So keep in mind you need to set up a not-for-
22 profit, get funding from the Legislature or whatever
23 to get that information out there.
24 In 1978, because of the extensive revisions that
25 were being proposed, some competition arose between
1 the Legislature and the Commission. In fact, two
2 years after the Commission completed its work, the
3 Legislature in 1980 proposed the abolition of the
4 Constitution Revision Commission and placed that issue
5 on the ballot. Fortunately for you, that did not
7 I think that it is important that the Commission
8 remains on good terms with the Legislature. I think
9 you're very fortunate that you have two senators, the
10 President of the Senate and two past presidents of the
11 Senate to keep up communications with the Senate. I
12 think you need to work even more diligently with the
13 House since you do not have House members on this
14 Commission, and I think one thing to remember is that
15 in '68, the document passed. It had to go to the
16 Legislature. In '78 the document didn't have to go to
17 the Legislature and it didn't pass. This competition
18 you can't underestimate, particularly if you're
19 meeting in their chambers, particularly if you're
20 meeting at the same time as they are.
21 One thing that's different between '78 and '98
22 was that in '78 the Legislature adjourned in April.
23 This year the Legislature will be adjourning in May,
24 the same time you finish your work. So I suggest you
25 get your work done early and not compete with the
1 Legislature, or meet outside Tallahassee when they're
2 meeting. I know that's going to be difficult for some
3 of you, but it's important to think about how this
4 plays out and you deal with those kind of issues.
5 I think over the past day and a half you've heard
6 from many people and you've heard many suggestions
7 made to you. During the '78 Commission proceedings, I
8 thought we had some of the best debates, some of the
9 best prepared speakers I've ever heard, Chairman Sandy
10 D'Alemberte, Governor Leroy Collins, Representative
11 Don Reed, former Attorney General Jimmy Kines, Senate
12 President Jack Matthews, just to name a few, along
13 with Chairman Dexter Douglass and Judge Thomas
15 You have many people of similar stature in your
16 Commission, and I would suggest that you will have
17 similar discourse and debate, and even if things don't
18 pass and don't get on the ballot, it's important to
19 debate things, flesh things out, let the public hear,
20 let the press write about it. It's important to have
21 your issues debated, but when you get down to making a
22 decision on what to put on the ballot, I would suggest
23 that you be very cautious and use a .22 as opposed to
24 a shotgun approach the way we sometimes looked at
25 things in the legislative or constitutional revision
1 process in '78.
2 I suggest that if you're going to do that, you
3 need to have an extraordinary vote. We did not do
4 that '78, and I think if we had done that in '78, we
5 would have been more successful. We would have had
6 less issues on the ballot and we would have had the
7 opportunity to pass more issues.
8 I will not go into lengthy detail about the
9 issues you should consider. You've heard that from
10 others. Many people have suggested you need to change
11 the citizens' initiative process, and I agree with
12 that. I think it was a mistake to put it in the
13 Constitution. Getting it out is going to be a whole
14 different matter, and I think one of the ways you deal
15 with that is possibly providing for a statutory
16 initiative which has the same threshhold as
17 constitutional initiative, and raise the threshhold
18 for constitutional initiative.
19 One area of the Constitution which I think you
20 should be careful in changing is the right to
21 privacy. United States Supreme Court Justice William
22 Brennan stated, "State constitutions are the font of
23 individual liberties, for and without it the full
24 realization of our liberties cannot be guaranteed."
25 We live in an era of increased technology,
1 computerization, massive information-gathering about
2 the citizens of our state. We must constantly,
3 vigilantly protect the right to privacy. Esteemed
4 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis emphasized,
5 "The right to be let alone is the most comprehensive
6 of rights and the right most valuable to civilized
7 man." I urge you to proceed with caution when
8 examining the right to privacy, something that was
9 proposed by the 1978 Commission.
10 I wish you best of luck in your
11 responsibilities. I know that you'll undertake your
12 task with great care and caution. I congratulate you
13 and thank you.
14 Well, I'm supposed to introduce Governor Askew,
15 but Governor Askew's not here. So I guess we wait.
16 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, if you want to go ahead and
17 introduce him, then when he comes in, we'll just let
18 him speak, and we'll pick -- he won't know what you
19 said. You can say whatever you want to say. You can
20 point out that he never was an early riser.
21 MR. UHLFELDER: It's two o'clock, but he's a
22 tenured professor now, so --
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, that's true, and my
24 recollection of college, which was long ago, was that
25 the only time that the professor was on time was when
1 I was late, and I presume y'all had the same
2 experience, but why don't you go ahead and give his
3 introduction, and if he shows up --
4 MR. UHLFELDER: Well, since he's not here, he was
5 a terrible governor.
6 It's been -- it was an honor to work for Governor
7 Askew, and I got to know Governor Askew when I was
8 running for president of the student body of the
9 University of Florida and two young senators -- one
10 was running for the Senate, Lawton Chiles, and one was
11 running for Governor, Reubin Askew, and Steve Zack and
12 I and Don Middlebrooks who was going to be a federal
13 judge in Miami, met them on campus one day, and they
14 were really nice to us, so we said, yeah, we'll put
15 this organization together for you, and they were in
16 fourth place, and back then we didn't look at polls,
17 we weren't smart politicians, but we endorsed them and
18 we became friends with them and they always listened
19 to us as students, and I later went to work for him
20 and worked in his office as counsel and worked with
21 him in the Department of Community Affairs.
22 But I can think of no finer person to address you
23 than Governor Askew. He helped establish the agenda
24 for the Constitution Revision Commission in 1977 and
25 '78, one that he -- he tried to persuade the people of
1 Florida that we needed to change the way we do things
2 in the executive branch, something I'm sure you will
4 He's a former prosecuting attorney, state
5 legislator, former chairman of two federal
6 commissions, a United States ambassador and a member
7 of the President's Cabinet. He's one of the few
8 people in our state who has served in every level of
9 American government.
10 Governor Askew's public service began as an
11 assistant county solicitor, which led to his election
12 to the Florida House of Representatives, and he
13 subsequently served for 12 years in the Florida
15 He was elected Governor and gained recognition as
16 a practical and progressive reformer, a man of great
17 integrity and strong conviction who believes fervently
18 in the need to make government better for the people
19 of this great state.
20 Governor Askew set the agenda for constitution
21 revision, but because of casino gambling being placed
22 on the ballot, he wasn't able to pay any attention to
23 constitution revision and help us pass those issues.
24 One Commissioner once commented, having that on the
25 ballot without Governor Askew's help was like having a
1 heavy plane flying without a pilot, and that's what
2 really as much as anything affected the work product
3 of the '78 Commission was the fact that he got
4 diverted on casino gambling.
5 And think about his foresight. He said that
6 casino gambling would destroy the state and it was not
7 necessary. The people in Miami Beach, in that area,
8 said the only way to restore Miami Beach was to have
9 casino gambling. Look at Miami Beach today. Look at
10 what he projected as a Governor and was able to stop
11 casino gambling and changed what south Florida would
12 look like today.
13 The Askew years as Governor were characterized as
14 years of achievement, reform and great success for
15 Florida. Because of his outstanding record as
16 Governor, Harvard University recognized him as one of
17 the ten greatest governors in American history.
18 It's my great privilege and honor to introduce
19 Governor Askew. Hopefully he'll be here soon.
20 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, Steve, I'll guarantee you
21 the Governor won't make nearly as good a speech as you
22 did an introduction. That was an outstanding
23 introduction and we all thoroughly enjoyed it, and
24 under the circumstances, you're to be commended.
25 I suggest you go be seated and we'll see if he
1 shows up, and if you'd like, you might go out and call
2 out at Westminster Oaks and see if he's on his way.
3 MR. UHLFELDER: Well, this is what he did to us in
4 the '78 Commission work product.
5 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. That's true.
6 You know, this is one of those moments that you
7 don't think's going to happen but did, and we
8 certainly hope nothing happened to him on the way.
9 Before we do resume, I might add a couple of
10 parenthetical things to that. I've known Governor
11 Askew since we were young men in college, and he went
12 to FSU after he returned from his military service
13 right after World War II, in which he was a
14 paratrooper. A lot of people didn't know that, but --
15 and FSU at that time had just become co-ed, and those
16 of us at the University of Florida did not have great
17 respect for the male population here. We dearly loved
18 the female population because that's where we got all
19 our dates and they all came down there on weekends and
20 we all came up here, but I met Reubin on one of my
21 hitchhiking rides up through Mayo and various places
22 which I learned well, up here to visit my sister, who
23 went to school here, and so we got to be pretty good
24 friends while he was here, and he came down to law
25 school at the University of Florida. He'd been
1 president of the student body there, and he
2 immediately announced to the assembled old hands who
3 -- I was a year ahead of him law school and we were
4 sort of involved with Jimmy Kines and Worley Brown and
5 a few of the Lawton Chiles types that -- we were sort
6 of running the political atmosphere of things there
7 then, and he announced to us that he wanted to be
8 president of the student body in summer school at the
9 University of Florida so he could, you know, win the
10 daily double. He would have been president of the
11 student body at Florida and at here.
12 And so we announced to him that we had already
13 thought that we had a candidate who had attended
14 Florida for four years and that was better qualified.
15 So Reubin did not heed us and he ran and he lost, and
16 by a close vote, I might add, and, oh, when he was
17 Governor, which was what, 25 years later, I went to
18 see him about a matter in which I had great interest
19 to one of my clients, and he was always very gracious
20 to me, and, of course, Donna Lou and my wife were
21 friends in college as well. And I went in and I said,
22 "Governor, it's my pleasure to see you, sir, and I'm
23 here to talk to you about doing something for a client
24 of mine," and he looked at me across the table and he
25 says, "You remember when you defeated me for president
1 of the student body, don't you?" And I said, "Oh, no,
2 I don't, I don't remember that at all. I thought it
3 was Jimmy Kines." And he said, "Well, you're going to
4 get to ask me to do something for you, and I'm going
5 to get to pay you back." So I said, "Let me ask you
6 for something I really don't want this time and I'll
7 come back later."
8 But the point is that he has a long memory, and I
9 wish he didn't sometimes, but we -- he got that out of
10 the way and then we were back on an even keel.
11 I could tell other stories that -- while we're
12 waiting here. I could call on a couple of people in
13 the audience to tell stories, but I was hoping he'd
14 show up, but since he hasn't, I guess we'll get on
15 with the business at hand and ask Commissioner
16 Barkdull to return to his previous position at the
18 Does anybody object to us proceeding without the
19 Governor? If he does come in, we will accommodate
20 him. Also, welcome in the back back there, I believe
21 we have a senator over there that --
22 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Senator Grant.
23 THE CHAIRMAN: I thought I'd let you introduce
25 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Oh, well, he's just kind
1 of wandering through. Senator John Grant from Tampa,
2 chairman of our Senate Education Committee.
3 THE CHAIRMAN: Let's give him a good hand. Thank
4 you, John.
5 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: And hiding under the
6 pictures over there is former president Pat Thomas,
7 Senator Pat Thomas.
8 THE CHAIRMAN: Former president.
9 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Former president, right.
10 He's watching over you.
11 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, he's been a friend of mine
12 for longer than we admit as well. Delighted to have
13 you here, Pat.
14 As most of you may not know, Pat has overcome a
15 very severe cancer bout and has returned to full
16 action. He's even growing his hair back. We had a
17 lot of fun with him when he lost that hair, but you
18 look great, Pat, and we're delighted you're here.
19 Somebody told me that Governor Askew was here?
20 Somebody told me wrong, I guess. Well --
21 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Senator Thomas could make
22 a speech.
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Pat, would you like to make a
24 speech in place of Governor Askew?
25 SENATOR THOMAS: As unaccustomed as I am, I guess
1 I could.
2 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. Proceed, Commissioner
4 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Mr. Chairman, I believe
5 under the guidelines that we had this morning, it's
6 now in order for me to make the motion that I made
7 originally and then withdrew, that we adopt the rules
8 as proposed and on your desk, the rules that bear the
9 date June 12th version, with the understanding that
10 Rule 5 will not be considered and with the
11 understanding that the two-thirds provision to amend
12 the rules will be deferred in application until such
13 time as we meet and further consider these rules and
14 which any changes may be made by a majority vote.
15 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. You've heard the
16 motion that's been made by Commissioner Barkdull.
17 Commissioner Smith, you were on your way up there.
18 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Yes, and so that there's a
19 clear understanding, we also intend later to deal with
20 the notice requirement as well?
21 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir. I intend to
22 offer that at the proper time.
23 THE CHAIRMAN: Let me ask -- it's my
24 understanding -- and I made some notes -- that
25 Commissioner Langley had some amendments that would
1 have been appropriate, and they've been handed to me,
2 Commissioner. Would you like to rise and offer the
3 amendments that you have?
4 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Mr. Chairman, thank you.
5 I am on notice that Ms. Mathis is about to offer
6 a substitute, if you want to do this before or after
8 THE CHAIRMAN: Now that you have the floor, go
9 ahead, and then we'll have Governor Askew.
10 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Okay. This is just really
11 a technical amendment which we, I think, all agreed
12 this morning concerning the notice provisions
13 regardless of the other rule conflicts we may have,
14 that we would adopt these notice provisions.
15 Basically it says that the notices will be published
16 no less than five days prior to any Commission
17 meeting, and it has -- it's actually a series, I
18 think, of three amendments that accomplish that by
19 striking some contrary provisions also.
20 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. So these would all be
21 addressed to that subject?
22 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Yes, sir, all to the
23 notice provisions.
24 THE CHAIRMAN: And your amendment then would be
25 an amendment to Rule 1.11 on page 4, line 2 --
1 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Right.
2 THE CHAIRMAN: -- after the word "calendar,"
3 insert, "public hearing and meeting notices of the
5 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Right.
6 THE CHAIRMAN: On page 4, line 10, after the
7 period, insert, "Such notices shall be published no
8 less than five days prior to the Commission meetings,"
9 is that correct?
10 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: That's right, sir, and on
11 amendment to Rule 2.15, it strikes that linage in
12 there that talks about a contrary notice period.
13 THE CHAIRMAN: Which is on page 12, lines 9
14 through 14, delete the entire rule?
15 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Yes, sir.
16 THE CHAIRMAN: Is that correct?
17 You've heard the amendment that's been proposed.
18 We'll debate the amendment.
19 Is there any debate on the amendment?
20 If not, we'll vote on the amendment. We'll have
21 a voice vote, and if anybody calls for a division of
22 the house, we will have a roll call. Is that
24 All right. Commissioner Scott?
25 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Yes. We just had a
1 discussion about why we had talked about 72 hours, but
2 that excluded Saturdays and Sundays, so they just made
3 it five days, which would include Saturdays and
4 Sundays, and I might say that I think this is one that
5 we do need to go ahead and adopt and, in conversation
6 with Commissioner --
7 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. All those in favor of
8 the amendment signify by saying aye.
9 (Chorus of ayes.)
10 THE CHAIRMAN: Opposed, like sign?
11 The amendment carries. Back to the motion.
12 Commissioner Mathis?
13 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Yes, Commissioner Douglass.
14 I wanted to offer a substitute amendment. of the
15 amended rule change of the 21 proposed amendments that
16 we discussed this morning, we dropped three that dealt
17 with Article V and there were ten that had the general
18 consent of the body, and I've outlined those on this
19 amended rule change chart that's been distributed to
20 all of the members.
21 In addition to that we've added 9.3 that was not
22 on the original chart, that reflected this body's
23 desire to allow an amendment of the rules at the next
24 meeting by simple majority rather than the
25 three-fifths vote as is outlined in the current
2 And so I'd like to offer this substitute
3 amendment. I did not have an opportunity to prepare a
4 revision of the rule in full and -- but that I've been
5 told is on its way.
6 THE CHAIRMAN: Actually, for the purposes of
7 moving this -- and I don't want to cut anybody off
8 yet. We'll come back to this, but this will be an
9 amendment, I think, to the motion as opposed to a
10 substitute, so you're going to offer it as an
12 And what I would like to do is to go ahead and
13 hear from Governor Askew at this time, and in the
14 meantime maybe you will have this in such form as we
15 can compare it with our working document. So if
16 that's -- with unanimous consent, we will proceed to
17 hear from the Honorable Reubin Askew who has been
18 introduced, and other things, I might add, Governor.
19 If you would come over here to the podium where
20 the secretary is, we would be delighted to hear from
22 I hope by the time we've returned that we will
23 have this in order to proceed, Commissioner Mathis.
24 GOVERNOR ASKEW: Am I on?
25 THE CHAIRMAN: You're on, Governor.
1 GOVERNOR ASKEW: Thank you for the applause.
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, let's give him some
3 applause. He got here. I mean, you know, we've
4 applauded you in absentia already.
5 GOVERNOR ASKEW: I know that. I told Steve I
6 sure hated to miss that introduction.
7 One of the things you learn quickly as Governor
8 is that when you address the Legislature, when you get
9 introduced from the door, you walk very fast because
10 the applause has a way of dying, and you like to have
11 it going while you're going. So I've tried to pass
12 that on to each of my predecessor -- my successors. I
13 didn't pass that on to my predecessor, who from my
14 understanding was very kind to me and we've become
15 very good friends and I appreciate his kind words.
16 Your chairman asked me to visit with you, and I
17 really don't have any prepared remarks, but I might
18 like to share some thoughts with you.
19 First of all, enjoy this. You know, it's really
20 an historical occasion and you may get tied up from
21 time to time in the tension of the debate, but it's
22 going to be a great experience for you, one that
23 you'll always remember, and so my first advice to you
24 is sort of sit back and relax and enjoy it.
25 I had the opportunity, as some of the others
1 who've spoken, to have been part of the Statutory
2 Revision Commission. We met in the old Senate chamber
3 in November of 1966, and the procedure, of course, was
4 different then because the Legislature was able to
5 sanitize our product, which made it, I think, a great
6 deal more palatable to the people, and the Legislature
7 bought into it.
8 One of the things here is that I wish I saw more
9 members of the Legislature, you know, but be that as
10 it may, I respect all the appointing authorities for
11 whom they appointed, but obviously your product is
12 only as good as you really have a consensus to
13 publicly support it.
14 Now, having said that, I notice that some of the
15 speakers have talked only about maybe doing
16 housekeeping things. I'm not of that view. Now,
17 obviously, I recommended some recommendations to the
18 '78 one and they took me at my word and passed it, and
19 it was not -- it didn't go down -- it went down and
20 didn't pass, but this only comes once every 20 years,
21 and I think to approach it only from the standpoint of
22 just housekeeping I think misses, in my opinion, what
23 the framers of the '68 Constitution really meant.
24 Now, of course, you have to always be mindful
25 that ultimately your product has to be approved by the
1 people, and that's no small part in terms of deciding
2 what your product may be, but if, in fact, if the
3 Constitution only needs a few housekeeping measures,
4 then you won't lose anything if you strike out in a
5 vote on some, and if they fail, why, you haven't done
6 that much bad because it didn't need but housekeeping
7 to begin with.
8 This is an opportunity that under the
9 Constitution is meant for you to review the
10 Constitution and, if necessary, make some basic
11 changes. There were those who said the Constitution
12 in '68 would never pass. It did, and no one knows
13 what your product is going to result in being except
14 it will go directly to the people, and I hope that
15 you'll get an awful lot of input.
16 I particularly would say to those members, active
17 members of the Legislature that it won't hurt to get
18 some input from your colleagues because almost each
19 one of you, each group of you here has the ability to
20 defeat the product, and so if there isn't some type of
21 consensus, then it may not go very far.
22 But I think rather than talk about only making
23 minor changes, or housekeeping, I think it has to do
24 more with how much consensus can be developed on a
25 proposal and how you place it on the ballot, and of
1 course those are things that this Revision Commission
2 will have to face up to.
3 In thinking about what to say, I could throw out
4 a lot of questions to you. The framers of the
5 Constitution in 1968, in setting the size of both
6 houses of the Legislature, did so in the legal
7 atmosphere that what we were still trying to do was
8 jockey with counties, and therefore the population
9 didn't always come out just right, and at that time,
10 even though it was after Baker v. Carr, it was prior
11 to Swan v. Adams, before we were reapportioned by the
12 courts. In order to give us the flexibility with the
13 numbers to work with, we said that the Senate should
14 be not less than 30 nor more than 40, and the House
15 not less than 80, no more than 120.
16 Now, obviously, the Legislature's never going to
17 reduce its size. I was a part of that body for 12
18 years and I didn't have that inclination and I don't
19 know that others will, but wherein are you supposed to
20 look at the basic framework of the whole government if
21 it isn't here? You know, that's one of the first
22 questions that pops up. Is 40 and 120 realistic
23 figures? Should they be smaller? Of course, the
24 Legislature can statutorily change it, but it seems to
25 me that 120 is a fairly large house. I think the
1 Senate's a pretty reasonable number, and with "eight
2 is enough," you know, if you project it far enough
3 ahead of time, you can make some real courageous
4 statesmen eight years hence, and it would probably
5 overwhelm the people that we reduced the size of
6 government starting in the body that talks the most
7 about it.
8 And you might also think about shortening the
9 size of the executive branch. I've long felt that
10 there were too many members of the executive branch.
11 What we did back in the late '60s, we strengthened the
12 legislative branch. When I became part of it, it was
13 a rather weak branch. I don't see anybody here that
14 was around at that time. That's before we got Pat
15 into politics. It's before actually he was an active
16 part of the scene, but it was -- the members of the
17 Legislature were either -- had to be reliant upon
18 lobbyists either from the executive branch of
19 government -- and I was a lobbyist for eight years,
20 some of you may remember that -- or from the private
21 sector. We didn't really have any information of our
22 own, and the Legislature was intended to be the
23 primary policy-making institution in our government,
24 and yet it really wasn't equipped to do it.
25 We would see the appropriations bill the night
1 before it was supposed to pass. It was sacrosanct to
2 question it, and only a few knew what was in it, for
3 the most part, and then when we passed it, the
4 Governor had the line-item veto, and the then-
5 existing Budget Commission, with adjustments, they
6 finetuned it and we'd come back two years hence and
7 then the question was moot. And so I always had
8 supported the elected Cabinet system up until that
9 time, up until the Constitution -- they passed the
10 Constitution of 1968, mainly because the Legislature
11 was not able to exercise its full strength in the
12 whole system of checks and balances. It was, in
13 effect, a weak body. Of course, it was somewhat
14 malapportioned, too. It was the worst in the nation
15 in terms of its representative view of the people.
16 And so what I would ask you just to take a look
17 at is that checks and balances have really made our
18 government work. Maybe during the Roman times you had
19 maybe a little split between the general and the horse
20 cavalry, but when you look at governments, no one was
21 really founded like ours on separation of powers. It
22 works, and you have checks and balances, but the
23 Legislature was a weak branch and was imbalanced, but
24 you sufficiently diffused the executive maybe to
25 mitigate it.
1 Now, that's no longer the question. I mean, I
2 don't know of anyone who thinks the Legislature's a
3 weak branch, and I said one time that they had become
4 so independent that they were the most independent
5 since Parliament beheaded the king, but the fact of
6 the matter is that the Legislature is supposed to be
7 independent, it's supposed to be the primary
8 policy-making branch of the government, and it has
9 legitimate oversight.
10 The question really becomes in the Legislature to
11 what extent will they micromanage with the use of
12 computer in their exercise the temptation, in their
13 exercise of oversight? But they're a strong branch.
14 Our court system was really a mess, our trial
15 court system. We had some fine people in it at the
16 time, and many of us worked on this for years, and
17 finally, with the help of some of you, we passed in
18 1972 a revision of the court system. We really made
19 the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court head of the
20 judicial branch. What we didn't do they declared for
21 themselves in Chiles v. Askew to where they could do
22 almost anything. I agree with McDonald's dissent, you
23 know, but the fact of the matter is the legislative
24 branch is strong as it should be. The judicial branch
25 is strong as it should be. The executive branch
1 isn't, and if you wait for the Legislature to make any
2 changes, with "eight's enough," those independent
3 folks become much more attractive, and so we have -- a
4 practical consideration is that, if our system is to
5 work, is it going to be balanced, and why are we
6 fearful of giving authority to the Governor when the
7 Constitution starts off by saying the supreme power is
8 in the Governor? Well, it goes downhill after that,
9 and I could see and supported it, when I felt it was a
10 check on the Governor when you had a weak
11 Legislature. That's no longer the case.
12 I would not ever want to see a legislative body
13 go back the way it was when I got here by any means.
14 One of the biggest reforms we got when I came to this
15 chamber was to reform it to require a live quorum in a
16 committee meeting. And Dick's nodding his head. He
17 was here a long time, too.
18 But you see, they still kept proxies. My first
19 bill I lost by the group -- Bart Knight in Blountstown
20 telling me what a good bill it was and he'd vote for
21 it, and then he voted six proxies against me. That
22 day is past. That day is past, and so what I'd
23 suggest to you, as long as you isolate it on the
24 ballot, I wouldn't be fearful of taking a look at it.
25 I'm not sure whether the people of Florida are
1 quite ready to accept the entire abolition, which I
2 still favor, or whether you can combine them, such as
3 the proposal that Governor Collins and Dexter was
4 involved in also in -- he's been around a long time,
5 too, I might add -- in terms of combining the
6 Secretary, the Comptroller and the Treasurer, and
7 retaining the Attorney General, in effect, what you've
8 got is a new version of the State Board of
9 Administration. But don't be so hesitant to exercise
10 what's expected of you, because you, in effect, are an
11 initiative by the people.
12 Now, we have an initiative, but wherein is there
13 an initiative of the people, itself, in a
14 representative capacity such as you have that will go
15 directly to the ballot? It doesn't happen anymore
16 except in a convention, and that's not likely.
17 So I'd like to -- one of the things I want to
18 leave you with is don't be hesitant to take a look at
19 it. It may be your feeling that it won't pass. Maybe
20 you don't want to change it, but you do not have an
21 executive branch of government that can respond to the
22 people on public policy as the Governor could with a
23 singular voice.
24 One of the things we found in the Legislature
25 with my predecessor is, as much as we disagreed, we
1 were diffuse and couldn't really get any public forum,
2 and the Governor is still the one who has the forum
3 and is the only one that, in effect, can challenge the
4 people, and if you really want to have a Governor lead
5 and not just respond to what the polls say, then,
6 frankly, you need to give that Governor the authority
7 of the office, and then I think you will find it
8 better than it is now.
9 Another provision that obviously you're going to
10 be looking at that most people have talked about was
11 the initiative process. Times have changed greatly
12 since we considered that, and I was a supporter of it,
13 but you see that was before Buckley v. Valeo. In 1976
14 when the Supreme Court got through, in effect, with
15 saying you couldn't limit expenditures except where
16 there was a quid pro quo, such as in the presidential
17 public finance program, overnight that changed. I
18 mean, we saw people trying to put casino gambling on
19 the ballot, but they weren't getting very far, but
20 when they knocked off by a subsequent case the
21 limitation, then the key family in the state with one
22 of the biggest hotels to profit -- at that time we're
23 talking about Miami Beach and south Broward only --
24 put in three-quarters of a million dollars and then it
25 became obvious -- put it on the ballot, and then it
1 became obvious that if any group wants to and has
2 enough money, you can get anything on the ballot.
3 Let's put it this way: You can get the signatures for
4 it. Now, whether it will go through the remaining
5 steps then becomes a question, but when we saw these
6 professional signature-getters in California, for
7 instance, where it's been made an industry, "Are you
8 for casino gambling? Absolutely not. Good. Sign
9 here so you can vote against it." And, "Are you for
10 it? Yes. Good. Sign here so you can vote against
11 it." And then, "Are you for it? Yes. Good. Sign
12 here, you'll get a chance to have it."
13 So believe me when I tell you the citizen
14 initiative that we thought of when this was put into
15 the ballot has been somewhat altered.
16 Now, the people deserve some type of retention of
17 a viable program in it, and it was put in there mainly
18 because of the lack of response from the Legislature
19 in properly apportioning Florida's Legislature, so
20 that what you wind up having is you wind up having
21 stymied, and we said, "Well, if the people have the
22 right to an initiative, that will never happened
23 again." That's true. Well, I don't think it will
24 happen again with the Constitution Revision Commission
25 doing its job, but in looking at it, it's complex.
1 We've made some subsequent changes that have helped
2 it, but the question is, how can we have something
3 left for the people and still not undermine
4 representative government?
5 Our government has functioned on the basis that
6 we elect people and then we judge them. If we don't
7 like what they've done, we turn them out, but if you
8 think you're going to be able to get considered
9 thoughts in the initiative process, that may or may
10 not work.
11 It seems to me, in thinking about it -- many
12 people have -- it seems to me that if we require that
13 an election intervene -- and many times it will,
14 depending upon when the -- when it was prepared for
15 the ballot -- if there was some way that the
16 Legislature would have a shot at it before it's
17 decided and went to the ballot, then I would feel much
18 more comfortable with it to ensure that if there is --
19 if it can be addressed in the Legislature, the
20 Legislature's going to be the deliberative body that
21 will make sense out of it. Mechanically, I'm not sure
22 how you put that all together but, Mr. Chairman and
23 members of the Commission, I believe that the
24 initiative is so important that it might well be
25 worthy of special attention before this body in trying
1 to get the collective view of everyone involved in it.
2 Now, I was a part of putting it on the ballot for
3 the first time successfully, 210,000 signatures. We
4 were a somewhat smaller state then, and I want to tell
5 you, when my people came to me and said, "Governor,
6 the only way this is going to get on the ballot is if
7 you spend the next four to five months at shopping
8 centers throughout the state every weekend," I really
9 thought, boy, all I had to do was just to put
10 something in the paper and they could clip it out of
11 the paper and they'd send it in. It doesn't work that
13 So putting something on a ballot is no easy task
14 if it is really a citizen initiative.
15 Now, as Governor, I had people helping me, but it
16 wasn't the classic case we thought about at the time
17 either, but it needs some consideration, thoughtful
18 consideration of how mechanically we can still make it
19 available and yet us not turn into another California,
20 you know, where you just undermine all sense of
21 representative government.
22 And if you start relying only upon referendums
23 and polls, then ultimately people can react to the
24 emotion of the times rather than being deliberae, and
25 that's why I would much rather put my confidence in
1 the legislative body in terms of that consideration.
2 In the judicial branch -- and this has been twice
3 defeated -- you might also, in the initiative,
4 lengthen the time where you can have a subsequent
5 thing on the ballot after it's been defeated, and that
6 is the merit selection on the part of -- and retention
7 on the part of trial judges. It is not a good system
8 we have. Now, we may think we're denied a chance to
9 elect. The fact of the matter is, H.T., in your
10 county, how many names are on the ballot when they go
11 to vote on circuit judges and county judges?
12 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Too many.
13 GOVERNOR ASKEW: Too many. I lived in Dade
14 County for seven years, enjoyed it, and I want to tell
15 you, if anyone thinks that we furnished them an
16 opportunity for them to exercise really good judgment,
17 it just doesn't work that way, and people say, well,
18 maybe there ought to be something more than, shall so-
19 and-so be retained in office. Maybe there should be a
20 better system. I'm not happy with that system in
21 particular because it still forces the judge to raise
22 money if he has a contested retention campaign, but I
23 haven't seen one that was better. And I hope that you
24 will consider that trial judges need to be selected
25 essentially upon merit, and our system has worked
1 pretty well. We had some kinks to begin with in it.
2 Of course, I put it into existence for vacancies by
3 executive order, and then we put it in the
4 Constitution when we finally passed it.
5 Now, these are some measures -- another
6 incidental measure is, I wonder why the Legislature
7 still -- would still be given the authority for
8 impeachment for judges other than Supreme Court
9 justices? When we met in 1966, the Judicial
10 Qualifications Commission was just coming into being,
11 and I think with this last amendment, which I think
12 was an excellent amendment, and it strengthened the
13 whole process of discipline -- then it seems to me
14 that the Supreme Court ought to have the ultimate
15 authority to decide all discipline of everyone other
16 than their body.
17 Now, we have a provision in it that some of you
18 may or may not be familiar with -- it's not a
19 well-known provision -- that if JQC makes a
20 recommendation on a Supreme Court justice, then you
21 pick out your seven senior justices throughout your
22 circuits -- circuit courts and they become part of the
23 Supreme Court, but it seems to me that the Supreme
24 Court ought to have exclusive authority to discipline
25 everyone up to them, and the Legislature, through
1 impeachment, should have the exclusive authority to
2 deal with the discipline of Supreme Court justices.
3 Now, bear in mind you have both, and some of them
4 say, well, it's a reserve and maybe it can -- you
5 know, it doesn't hurt anything to have it. I really
6 think for clarity and accountability, I think it
7 works better.
8 A couple other points. I'm not going to dwell on
9 the whole question of our financial and tax
10 structure. Most of you are aware of it. Anyone who
11 is familiar with it knows that we have built ourselves
12 into a corner by doing things we needed to attract
13 people and now we've become a tax haven and we have so
14 many people coming in becoming a part of Florida just
15 like you and I am.
16 But the interesting thing about Florida is we've
17 become a state where almost everybody's from somewhere
18 else. In trying to coalesce on issues to ensure
19 quality of life, even for those people coming, we're
20 substantially limited. You're aware of that. My only
21 point is I think you really ought to address it. What
22 you're willing to come out with, that's something
23 different for state government, but one of the biggest
24 problems you should face in terms of challenges is
25 local government.
1 We did a lot to begin with for local government.
2 We freed them up somewhat in the '68 Constitution, but
3 if devolution and all that may or may not mean is
4 going to work, and if there is in fact human need at
5 the tail end and we don't do it as we often think that
6 we might be able to do it, then all we're doing,
7 frankly, is just dropping it all on local government
8 at a time when they're the least able to handle it,
9 and I think it's now time for the state government to
10 free up local governments and let them respond to
11 their needs. Let them be responsible.
12 Of course, some of them would just as soon the
13 state Legislature passed a tax for them and them not
14 have to take the heat, but I believe that with a state
15 as big as we are, projected to grow and grow and grow,
16 700 a day, that we have to understand the challenge of
17 state government and to really sit down and hear from
18 Sam Bell, if he isn't speaking to you, the chairman of
19 the State and Local Government Study Commission, or
20 Lance de Haven Smith, who's the director, from some of
21 them to be able to face up to it.
22 If I had to pick out two issues that are most
23 important of all, I would say the initiative provision
24 and how you free up local government so they can
25 respond essentially to meeting their own needs.
1 And lastly, I would say that -- to repeat what I
2 started with, and that is, don't be so hesitant that
3 you perceive your role only as a housekeeping role.
4 People who have initiatives individually, they're not
5 timid. And while I think you want to think about it
6 in a realistic context, this is the only time every 20
7 years that we can look fundamentally at some of the
8 issues and to be able to see how we can adjust the --
9 recommend adjustments to the people, knowing that the
10 greater chances are they will probably not come either
11 through the initiative process or through the
12 legislative process, and having done that, I think you
13 will do a good job.
14 I wish you well. I think you would want to feel
15 that your job doesn't stop with the passage of your
16 product, your job will just begin, and that's
17 essentially selling it. That's why I think it's so
18 important with -- that the legislative leadership in
19 both aisles, to the extent they're willing, become --
20 may become a part of this.
21 If there's any questions, Mr. Chairman, I'll be
22 happy to entertain them. I'm not seeking them. I'm
23 just saying, in case you do, if you want to ask me, I
24 will stand by.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: The floor's open to entertain any
1 questions from -- or comments from the floor while the
2 Governor's here.
3 GOVERNOR ASKEW: Thank you very much for your
5 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. We'll get back to the
6 business of the rules.
7 Before I entertain any further motion,
8 Commissioner Mathis has prepared a copy of her
9 substitute motion and I understand has agreed to three
10 changes in the substitute motion.
11 First of all, in Rule 2.17, which relates to the
12 special orders, she's agreed to change that from the
13 way it's drafted in her draft, if you have it yet, and
14 it's on page 16 of her current draft that's been
15 handed out, at the top of the page, to read, "Special
16 orders as determined by the rules and administration
17 committee subject to a majority vote of the Commission
18 on motion to change or revise the committee's
19 determination." In other words, it reverses the
20 order. It doesn't require the approval of the
21 Commission, but it affords a majority vote to change
22 the special order.
23 And then on number 9.1, she's agreed to
24 substitute, in place of Robert's Rules of Order,
25 Mason's Rules, which are the rules which are used by
1 the Senate, and the two things that the rules do,
2 Mason's particularly, that we don't have to fool with
3 under that -- if it's that thick, I'm not sure -- it's
4 as thick as the other one -- but it doesn't allow for
5 calling the question or motions to lay on the table in
6 Mason's Rules. Otherwise, they're the rules that are
7 used quite effectively by the Senate.
8 And then the third one is Rule 9.3, which I think
9 we may not have any difference on this, but we wanted
10 to make it clear that the question of the two-thirds
11 vote needed to change the rules once they're adopted
12 at the next meeting would remain intact; in other
13 words, we're not voting to remove that requirement.
14 We're voting to remove it from the requirement through
15 the final adoption at the next meeting, and I think
16 that was true.
17 Do those three changes fairly state what's been
18 agreed to, Commissioner Mathis?
19 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Yes, Commissioner Douglass,
20 they do reflect the changes I've agreed to.
21 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. And the other changes she
22 has listed on a separate page, which I'm sure some of
23 you have had an opportunity -- all of you have had an
24 opportunity to look at them and study them over, and
25 her substitute motion then is to basically adopt the
1 rules for this meeting with the exception of number
2 5, or do you want to leave number -- without the
3 exception of number 5, just all of them? Okay.
4 Number 5 isn't in here. It's left for consideration
5 totally at the next meeting.
6 These rules that you're offering now in your
7 substitute motion would be subject to a final vote and
8 possible amendment at the next meeting, is that
10 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Yes, Chairman.
11 THE CHAIRMAN: That's your motion?
12 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: Yes.
13 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. Now, I'll entertain.
14 -- first of all, Commissioner Mills has been pacing.
15 I want to call on him first.
16 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Well, this is an inquiry of
17 the Chair just for clarification of where we are and
18 where we might be going.
19 We have before us a motion to adopt the rules as
20 drafted, as amended by Senator Langley's motion, which
21 was adopted unanimously.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Now we have a substitute motion.
23 COMMISSIONER MILLS: We have a substitute motion
24 which has 11 rules changes. That is still before us
25 at this time?
1 THE CHAIRMAN: The substitute motion with the
2 three changes that I read are before us. On the other
3 hand, I want to point out, which I think has not been
4 clearly understood, that if we did not pass the
5 substitute motion and we did pass the original motion
6 as amended, it would still be subject to amendments to
7 accomplish this purpose at the next meeting.
8 COMMISSIONER MILLS: So therefore what you're
9 suggesting is a continuation of the consideration of
10 the substitute motion would allow us to adopt rules,
11 operate until the next meeting, consider these series
12 of motions in a majority vote mode at this next
14 THE CHAIRMAN: No, what would happen --
15 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Well, we have the substitute
16 before us now. We have to deal with the substitute.
17 THE CHAIRMAN: If you voted to defeat the
18 substitute motion, it would revert to the motion as
19 amended by Commissioner Langley's motion, and
20 therefore you would then vote on the rules as amended
21 by the motion of Commissioner Langley. That's my
23 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Well, let me ask you this,
24 then. Maybe if Commissioner Scott would take the
25 floor and yield to a question?
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, Senator Scott, please take
2 the floor, but you don't have to yield if you don't
3 want to.
4 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Friendly only.
5 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Okay, I'll make sure of
7 In discussions of the majority of folks here,
8 there are a number of these that are really fairly
9 non-controversial and I think a matter of consensus,
10 but there was sort of a concern about seeing the
11 actual wording and having an opportunity to actually
12 look at those, and it seems like a deliberate way to
13 approach that would be to say, these 11 items deserve
14 consideration. There ought to be actual wording and
15 drafting to do that. We ought to be in a posture to
16 consider them without the debility of a two-thirds
17 vote and that we ought to be able to consider all of
18 these for a majority vote at the next meeting, which
19 would be exactly in the same status we are now, and
20 when we walk into the next meeting, we haven't done
21 anything. In other words, we are exactly where we
22 are. We haven't -- these rules haven't affected our
23 process, but we will have been allowed to see the
24 actual drafts; and I think that there is a consensus
25 on most of these and not disagreement, but it isn't --
1 part of the process is -- problem is procedural, which
2 -- Commissioner Jennings is nodding -- because we have
3 a substitute motion that contains 11 parts, and if we
4 really are to understand this, we have to talk about
5 all 11 parts. And since it is a substitute motion, as
6 long as we're compelled to consider it, we can't get
7 to the motion to have any rules. Is that -- could you
8 sort of augment that, Commissioner Scott?
9 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Well, I guess what I thought
10 we were doing was going ahead with the rules,
11 recognizing and not further complicating. The fact
12 that we didn't perhaps -- we've taken a lot of good
13 input today, the original draft, and we did changes
14 and now we've got more changes, but rather than
15 further making 11 more, even though some of them were
16 discussed -- but I remember people saying, well, if I
17 were going to debate that, I would say this or
18 whatever -- that it seems -- and I would agree with
19 Commissioner Mills that probably what we should do is
20 take these, recognizing that many or most or maybe all
21 of them are going to be acceptable, along with some
22 others that the members that haven't had a chance to
23 study them might come up with. They were just -- I
24 assume, something was just passed out on them, but we
25 haven't had a chance to digest it or read it, so if
1 it's -- you know, recognizing that most of these ideas
2 are probably going to be okay, but rather than getting
3 into amendments and separate -- we would have to
4 separate them procedurally. I think Senator --
5 Commissioner Jennings is right.
6 THE CHAIRMAN: May I inquire?
7 I interpret what both of you say that you are
8 speaking -- seeking to have the substitute amendment
9 defeated at this point, to recur then on the motion of
10 Judge Barkdull as amended by Mr. Langley, which has
11 already been done, and then, if we passed that motion,
12 that entire product is available for consideration,
13 including the matters in the substitute motion at our
14 next meeting. Is that what I'm hearing you say? If
15 it is, somebody please stand up and tell me.
16 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, there is the
17 option to just withdraw the motion, and then we're in
18 the same --
19 COMMISIONER BARKDULL: Yeah, if she withdraws it.
20 COMMISSIONER MILLS: -- we would be in exactly
21 the same place.
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. Certainly the Commissioner
23 could withdraw her motion and offer it at the next
24 meeting --
25 COMMISSIONER MILLS: So it would avoid defeating
2 THE CHAIRMAN: -- but nobody really wants to
3 defeat anything today, if we can avoid it, but I think
4 what they're urging you to do is withdraw it and
5 introduce it at the next meeting, Commissioner Mathis.
6 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: And take their note -- take
7 my fellow Commissioners' comments with particular
8 care, but the fact that this process has to be open
9 and fair and that all Commissioners be given the
10 opportunity to have an impact here is more important
11 than delaying this, and I think the rules as we have
12 -- that is why I offered the substitute proposal on
13 these rules, that it is in keeping with our
14 constitutional authority as a Commission, and the
15 constitutional authority does not rest in the Steering
16 Committee, it does not rest in the Legislature, and it
17 does not rest in prior commissions.
18 While Commissioner Douglass has been very, very
19 helpful in helping me through this process of
20 understanding the procedures and has kept this process
21 open, I think that it is a matter that we must clearly
22 define to the public that the deliberations of this
23 Commission will be open, and that is why I want to
24 learn from the past but not be controlled by it, and I
25 think it's better to ensure a fair and open process
1 and to make that process clear in the rules, and it
2 says here -- when I read Article XI of the
3 Constitution, it says that this Commission will adopt
4 the rules of procedure, and I don't want us to adopt a
5 set of rules with only the thought of changing them
7 If we cannot contemplate the rules that we are to
8 adopt, maybe we should not adopt them at all, but I
9 propose to you that we had the discussion this morning
10 and the 11 points that I have charted for you on this
11 amended rule change and that are in the proposed rules
12 that you were handed is what we discussed. And it's a
13 matter of personal integrity. We talked about the --
14 we've now amended 1.23 to talk about and add a five-
15 day notice provision. I think that's important for
16 our next meeting, and I think that's important for
17 every meeting that follows.
18 I think there needs to be an affirmative
19 statement in our rules that all amendments will be
20 considered and heard, and I think that needs to be
21 done now.
22 And while I don't want to wear out my welcome or
23 -- I must emphasize to you that I feel strongly about
24 this ever since I first read these rules two weeks
25 ago, and I have looked for a way to bring them before
1 the body, and I've been afforded that opportunity and
2 I appreciate it, but I know, as a minority, unless the
3 rules protect you, you're in trouble. And I have
4 always -- I've been a minority for most of my life,
5 and that's why I've been committed to making sure that
6 the rules are clear, that the playing field is well-
7 defined and that everyone is given an opportunity to
8 participate, and I have found when -- whether you look
9 at basketball or whether you look at civil rights or
10 whether you look at the ability to -- our ability as
11 citizens of Florida to compete globally, if the rules
12 are clear and the playing field is clear and
13 everyone's given the opportunity to participate, we
14 can -- the process is raised to a higher level, and I
15 want to go to a higher level than prior commissions,
16 and I also know that I'm going to have to go home, and
17 when I leave here I'll still be Sam Mathis's wife and
18 I'll still be Jacinta Camille and Elliot's mom. I'll
19 be a lawyer, an entrepreneur, but I want to feel proud
20 about what I did here, and I think these rules open up
21 the process and also recognize that, as Governor
22 Claude Kirk said, he'll still be called Governor, and
23 hopefully what we have accomplished here will still be
24 called open and fair.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Smith?
1 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Thank you very much, Mr.
3 I had originally risen for the purpose of
4 respectfully requesting my good friend Commissioner
5 Mathis to consider withdrawing at this time what I
6 consider to be some good proposals in principle for
7 consideration. I come presuming that we're all acting
8 in good faith. I come presuming that we all want the
9 process to be open. I come presuming that we all have
10 the best interests of the people of Florida at heart
11 and, with that presumption, understanding that the
12 critical issues that my good friend Commissioner
13 Mathis is rightfully concerned about are not issues
14 that directly affect what we need to do between now
15 and the next meeting with regard to amendments.
16 I was very happy that she brought up the issue of
17 notice, as well as other Commissioners, because I
18 think that's extremely important, but for the record
19 and since we are on record, we have already
20 incorporated the notice requirement for our next
22 I respect the fact that Commissioner Mathis does
23 not desire to withdraw her substitute motion. In the
24 spirit of collegiality, I didn't want my first vote to
25 be a vote no against something that someone feels so
1 passionate about because ultimately at least four or
2 five of the principles in the 11 items are things I
3 embrace, but not having seen the language, being a
4 lawyer, understanding the devil is in the details, I
5 must vote procedurally to defeat the substitute motion
6 even though there are items in the substitute motion
7 in spirit and in context that I agree with.
8 So with that having been said, I reluctantly
9 prepare to cast my first official vote.
10 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Mathis?
11 COMMISSIONER MATHIS: I very much have high
12 regard for Mr. Smith, and I appreciate this body's
13 opportunity that they've afford me of bringing these
14 proposals before the body, and I recognize that now
15 may not be the time, and respectfully withdraw the
16 substitute proposal.
17 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, let me commend you. I think
18 that's an act of statesmanship and is an inspiration
19 to the rest of us to work together. I think we might
20 hark back to what Ben Franklin said, and you just did,
21 that I haven't met anybody but me that's always right,
22 and that's not always the case, so -- and I think,
23 too, you need to know that this will afford you a full
24 opportunity to present these changes at the next
25 meeting in such detail and in such manner as you
1 desire, and any other Commissioner. So that will keep
2 our process open and we will be able to proceed to
3 operate under the rules that we have until they are
4 finally adopted or amended at the next meeting, which
5 is what I understand the mission to be -- motion to
6 be, and that the motion is that we adopt the rules as
7 presented and amended by the amendments by
8 Commissioner Langley, pending the right to amend them
9 by majority vote at the next meeting, which will
10 afford the opportunity for you to address that. Is
11 that clear to everyone?
12 Commissioner Henderson?
13 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: It's clear to me, but I
14 want to ask a question and clarification. We had had
15 a discussion this morning concerning the standing
16 committees and I know that we'll -- you'll have before
17 us a request for our committee preference, and so,
18 although there's not a prepared amendment, if there is
19 a consensus for having -- beginning the process by
20 having the committees track the articles with the
21 exception that you noted previously on bonds and
22 investments, and so we would have a committee on
23 general provisions and miscellaneous and then also a
24 committee on amendments.
25 THE CHAIRMAN: I'll treat that as a proposed
1 amendment and hear from Judge Barkdull.
2 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: We'll accept it as an
3 amendment. I would urge all of you that got your
4 committee preference forms, when you fill them out,
5 just write in the ones that are not there that you
6 want to serve on.
7 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. Would you like to read
8 out what they're now going to be so when they write
9 them out, they're all on the same page?
10 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Why don't we finish this,
11 Mr. --
12 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. We will write them out
13 shortly after. We'll go ahead and take the vote, and
14 if we get this done, then we will write out those
15 committees, because what I would really like to do is
16 proceed with this and call for the vote at this time,
17 unless there's further discussion.
18 Commissioner Jones, you?
19 COMMISSIONER EVANS: Evans.
20 THE CHAIRMAN: Evans, excuse me.
21 COMMISSIONER EVANS: I'm Evants, not
23 I have a question of clarification. What we're
24 going to be voting on is what is presented in the
25 packet by Judge Barkdull that includes the appointment
1 of committees by the Commission Chair, yet the next
2 time we meet, we can change that rule as to who
3 appoints the committees by a simple majority vote, is
4 that correct?
5 THE CHAIRMAN: That's right.
6 COMMISSIONER EVANS: So does that mean that you
7 would delay action on appointing committees, or would
8 committees be appointed and then, by majority vote, we
9 could undo it?
10 THE CHAIRMAN: What I plan to do, so there won't
11 be any misunderstanding about this, and one of the
12 reasons I wanted to do it is for everybody to have an
13 opportunity to have their input as to what committees
14 they want to be on, and then I will make appointments
15 to the committees, and then if anybody is dissatisfied
16 with their particular assignments, I'd like to hear
17 from them and consider changing them, as chairman, but
18 obviously, if the majority of this Commission is
19 dissatisfied with the selections I make, you clearly
20 could vote to overrule that. So -- I don't think you
21 will, but it's possible.
22 I'm planning on and I've tried to make this
23 abundantly clear, that these committees are going to
24 reflect the makeup of this body and that they're going
25 to try to utilize the expertise in areas where people
1 have the most knowledge. So if that's a concern, you
2 still have the opportunity to do me in on that.
3 COMMISSIONER EVANS: I was just wanting to make
4 the procedure clear.
5 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, the procedure's clear that
6 the result could be reversed if I do appoint the
7 committees -- and I may not appoint the full
8 committees. I may just tell you the committees based
9 on your preferences that I'm considering and I'd like
10 to hear from you and then appoint you before then, but
11 this would give us the opportunity to hit the ground
12 running and not have to wait around for another month
13 until we get going, and this would allow us to do
14 that, because we're not going to have another meeting
15 for another month, and it's time to move, I think,
16 and so that's why I'm going to do it, assuming this
18 COMMISSIONER EVANS: And along the same line, the
19 committee chair and vice-chair also could be undone by
20 a simple majority?
21 THE CHAIRMAN: You know, if a majority of this
22 Commission doesn't like what I do in appointing the
23 committees, so you'll feel better, I want to know it,
24 because I do not want to be in the position of having
25 appointed a chairman that the majority of this
1 Commission doesn't want, and if I hear from you,
2 you've got to -- you know, I hate the word "trust me,"
3 because it sounds like something I've heard before,
4 but I can assure you, if that's the correct word, that
5 any fears you have about who I appoint I hope I can
6 allay when I do it.
7 It's as important to me as chairman to have the
8 best possible person as chairman of each committee and
9 vice-chairman as we can have, and that's my goal,
10 because I'm in the twilight of a mediocre career and
11 I'd like to wind it up here with a great group like
12 you all working together to consider and decide
13 whether or not to change the Constitution.
14 Maybe I've said enough and I ought to quit and I
15 will, but if you --
16 COMMISSIONER EVANS: Thank you, sir.
17 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Evans-Jones, who has
18 great experience in the Legislature, has arisen.
19 COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES: I just wanted to say,
20 Mr. Chairman, that at first blush, in looking at this
21 it sounded like it might be a good idea to elect the
22 chairman and the vice-chairman, but when you think of
23 the time frame that we're operating under, and we do
24 want someone with expertise, and I'm sure that I have
25 full confidence that you will appoint the people as
1 chairman and vice-chairman who will serve us well.
2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, ma'am.
3 I might add, which chairmanship do you want?
4 That's said in jest, but I do -- I value each one of
5 you as really important members of this, nobody
6 greater than others, but I do recognize, as you do,
7 that there are some with prior experience and with
8 experience in areas different from others, and that's
9 what we're going to try to do.
10 All right. If there's no further discussion, the
11 motion is to approve the rules as presented by
12 Commissioner Barkdull as amended by the amendments by
13 Commissioner Langley.
14 All those in favor say aye.
15 (Chorus of ayes.)
16 THE CHAIRMAN: All opposed say no.
17 The motion carries.
18 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Thank you.
19 THE CHAIRMAN: All right. We have a little bit
20 more business here.
21 Commissioner Scott, I wonder if you would come up
22 and let's discuss the schedule a little bit, if you
23 would take the podium where -- and get that list.
24 Does everybody have their schedule list, or can they
25 get it before them, the tentative schedule list?
1 Let me say that first of all, we have -- the
2 public hearings for July 22nd and 23rd have been
3 confirmed with the facilities where we're to have the
4 public hearings and with hotels where we can stay.
5 Those two are the only ones I think that are actually
6 pretty much set and probably not subject to change.
7 It's possible, after we get going here, that we will
8 need to have a Commission meeting at some point either
9 immediately before that on the Monday of that week,
10 which would then afford the opportunity to come here,
11 then to Panama City, then to Pensacola, or it might
12 be even to have it on the way back, or it might be not
13 to have it at all that week, but we are going to have
14 that meeting in order to get to this rules question
15 and others. So I was going to suggest -- discuss this
16 with Commissioner Scott.
17 For example, one of the things that I see in here
18 that he pointed out to me is, I don't think it's very
19 appropriate to try to hold a public hearing, for
20 example, in Fort Myers on the -- what is it, the
21 Friday before Labor Day? I think we would probably be
22 -- first of all, the last time when I was on the
23 Commission, I tried to go to Fort Myers and I couldn't
24 get there from here. I think I wound up in Orlando
25 and rented a car and got lost on the way. That's
1 before they had any good roads, but they were through
2 when I got there, but it's kind of difficult to get
3 to, and that's a bad weekend. Actually the 28th and
4 29th fit that. We don't have to worry about that too
5 much at the moment, but I would suggest that we
6 schedule the -- no meetings before that Labor Day
7 holiday on that weekend. If that's agreeable with
8 everybody, we would make -- we would change that and
9 set them at another time.
10 The Tallahassee meeting we can set whenever we
11 need a public hearing and we can have a public meeting
12 here and a meeting of the Commission, either one- or
13 two-day meetings, and -- so that's one that is subject
14 to being changed to everybody's convenience.
15 I would like to suggest that we have the hearings
16 in Miami and in Fort Lauderdale in September,
17 preferably around the 11th and 12th of September. I
18 think it's extremely important that we have a big
19 turnout in those areas because they're the most
20 populous areas we go into, and I think to set them
21 August 20th and 21st, when that's when people are just
22 beginning to get back to go to school, I suppose, that
23 it's not too advisable, which would also mean that we
24 would probably want to move the Palm Beach meeting and
25 perhaps group it with Tampa, which is kind of far
1 away, but it could -- still it's a possibility, or do
2 Tampa and Fort Myers in the same grouping and then
3 schedule Palm Beach at a separate time, if we need to,
4 but we could really do Orlando, Palm Beach, Daytona
5 Beach maybe in one set, if we need to.
6 I want you to know, though, these things are
7 tiring. I can recall one in Jacksonville that started
8 at 8:30 in the morning and went through till ten
9 o'clock at night, and that was the only one we had
10 like that, but they can do that, and by the time we
11 started the next morning after we got everybody
12 together and put back together, it was not the best
13 public hearing we had the following morning.
14 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Mr. Chairman, I've learned
15 not to mention this, since I got drafted here to be --
16 but one of the things that I would say is that,
17 obviously the Tampa, Fort Myers, we -- I think there's
18 a lot of people concerned about that. The south
19 Florida ones, we could probably do Miami, Fort
20 Lauderdale and West Palm all in the same time in an
21 afternoon or a two-day or two-and-a-half-day or
22 something like that, and maybe no one -- these are
23 busy people, all of you, and we know you're schedules,
24 but the idea I suppose would be that we would at some
25 point around the middle of September have concluded at
1 least the first round of public hearings and then, you
2 know, start our deliberations.
3 So the north Florida ones, in discussing this
4 before, we felt we need to get started because we
5 don't -- we have a short time frame here of six
6 months. So we could maybe do those and get those
7 done, and if Tallahassee -- I don't know, but maybe an
8 idea might be to get a couple of people to run by
9 everybody's schedule about the Tallahassee, because we
10 definitely want, I would think, in view of our
11 discussion, which is obviously a very open and -- make
12 sure that that is set if the rules would be considered
13 when everyone -- most everyone has a chance to, you
14 know, to be there.
15 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Scott, let me ask you
16 if this is sort of an acceptable thing to all of you.
17 If we go ahead with the Pensacola, Panama City,
18 Jacksonville, Gainesville schedule, we conclude those,
19 then that's the end of July, we don't have any more
20 public hearings until the 1st of September, which
21 would give everybody August -- unless we have
22 Tallahassee -- which we could have wherever we could
23 find was the most mutually convenient time, and then
24 have the Commission meeting at the same time that
25 we're going to schedule these rules, unless we're able
1 to have it prior to the Pensacola-Panama City meeting.
2 What we can do, if it's agreeable, is just have
3 those four agreed to today, and then we'll have the
4 executive director and the staff try to work out
5 another schedule, but I would like to really agree
6 that we should go to Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West
7 Palm Beach in September, and I don't have any problems
8 with doing all three of them at one time.
9 COMMISSIONER SCOTT: How does that sound, to set
10 the south Florida -- I mean, we've got quite a few.
11 Does that sound okay with -- it's probably okay.
12 THE CHAIRMAN: And we can use Tallahassee as a
13 wild card for another meeting, if we need it, and also
14 maybe work one in on the Pensacola-Panama City one --
15 it's a month from now -- if we need that, and we'll
16 just work toward that end and leave here with the
17 understanding that we know we're all going to
18 Pensacola and Panama City and to Jacksonville and
19 Gainesville on those dates, and we -- you can make
20 arrangements for that, and we may have a meeting of
21 the Commission either the 21st or the 24th, or around
22 sometime when we have the Tallahassee meeting in
24 Commissioner Ford-Coates?
25 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Mr. Chairman, may I
1 ask perhaps if we could make a decision in July then?
2 I mean, I think it would be -- it's fine for the staff
3 to give us a suggestion, but it would sure be nice to
4 get these schedules finalized as soon as possible so
5 that --
6 THE CHAIRMAN: That's exactly what we're planning
7 to do.
8 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Oh, I thought I heard
9 you say August --
10 THE CHAIRMAN: No, no.
11 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: -- for final action.
12 THE CHAIRMAN: No. We can probably do this in
13 July is -- where I really want to do it is in July,
14 get the rules finally adopted and get our public
15 hearing schedule finalized.
16 One thing -- and I need to mention this and speak
17 to those who are in the Legislature. I understand
18 there's a possibility that there may be a special
19 session sometime in September, sort of going like this
20 at the moment. Okay.
21 If that comes up, we can accommodate to that, I'm
22 sure, but that's certainly something that's being
23 considered here and there, later in September, though,
24 probably longer later.
25 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Like later in the year.
1 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, probably -- that's right,
2 but, you know, those things have a way of changing,
3 don't they, Commissioner Jennings?
4 Okay. We're going to leave it at that, then.
5 Commissioner Scott, who is here, we're going to go
6 with that. We're going to go with these four meetings
7 that are scheduled definitely to be held and, with
8 Commissioner Ford-Coates' suggestion, we're going to
9 try to have the Commission meeting in July to adopt
10 these rules, perhaps the 21st or the 24th, and then
11 we'll have it done and we can cover it all in one trip
12 to north Florida for those of you from south Florida.
13 Okay. He reminded me, if we swap them and go to
14 Panama City first, which is a 100-mile drive, and then
15 100 miles further to Pensacola, and then it's 200
16 miles back, so -- but we can handle it however we do.
17 COMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Can we get a bus?
18 THE CHAIRMAN: True. Is there any further
19 discussion about these schedules?
20 We will -- the staff, which is Mr. Buzzett and
21 our other staff here, will work with you to keep you
22 informed and to get these things set where everybody
23 can get there.
24 Now, Mr. Buzzett, I want you to tell them about
25 the things that they need to fill out here today, like
1 we need the information, they need it very much for
2 your travel, your Social Security number and various
3 other things. So I'll let him tell you what we have
4 to have.
5 Just a moment. I have Mr. Anthony --
6 Commissioner Anthony is --
7 COMMISSIONER ANTHONY: Mr. Chairman, just for
8 consideration, as we find the sites for meetings, even
9 if we can have a subcommittee to go into rural
10 communities of Florida, not the entire Commission,
11 perhaps that would again provide more access to
12 people. I'm very sensitive because I'm from a -- I'm
13 a little country boy from Palm Beach County, and it's
14 rural Palm Beach County, and I'd like places like
15 Quincy -- can I get your vote, James Harold? That's
16 why I'm calling it Quincy.
17 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Gretna's where --
18 THE CHAIRMAN: Gretna. We'd have to go to
20 We'll certainly consider that.
21 COMMISSIONER ANTHONY: If you could consider
22 that --
23 THE CHAIRMAN: I do want you to know, though,
24 that Commissioner Smith wanted me to point out that
25 when somebody said he was a poor old country boy, to
1 grab your wallet. So we don't accept that, but
2 certainly that's a matter to be considered which we'll
3 take up. Thank you very much.
4 Now Mr. Buzzett.
5 MR. BUZZETT: Just very briefly, there's two
6 documents on your desk. One has to do with the
7 committee preference form, which I think y'all have
8 discussed before, and once you fill those out, if you
9 make sure that you also put your name on there so that
10 we'll be able to tell; and the second thing had to do
11 with travel, and just to facilitate travel, for those
12 of y'all who have never traveled with the State, they
13 have a somewhat bureaucratic method to fill out your
14 travel vouchers. We'd prefer to fill them out for
15 you, and we'd like just to have them on file, and
16 you've got those vouchers sitting in your -- to be
17 presigned and we can fill them out for you.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: Commissioner Langley?
19 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: That presumes then I'll
20 never face a false filing of a -- signing a false
21 travel report because you're filling it out?
22 MR. BUZZETT: Well, we'd fill them out and then
23 provide them to you for final review before they're
25 COMMISSIONER LANGLEY: Okay.
1 THE CHAIRMAN: If you really get in trouble,
2 we'll plead temporary insanity and we'll make it.
3 Okay. Before we adjourn, let me say that I
4 thoroughly appreciate this group and I look forward to
5 working with you, and I think we started in a way that
6 will allow us to be the collegial body we'll become,
7 and I think you'll find, when we start traveling
8 together, that we're going to have a lot of different
9 acquaintances with each other than we started with,
10 and I think we all should look forward to it with
11 great anticipation and I'm certainly honored to be
12 your chairman of a group of this kind, and I think
13 we'll all do very well in doing our constitutional
15 Judge -- Commissioner Barkdull.
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Mr. Chairman, I do now
17 move that we do adjourn.
18 THE CHAIRMAN: All in favor say aye.
19 (Chorus of ayes.)
20 THE CHAIRMAN: Adjourned.
21 (Concluded at 3:10 p.m.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
2 STATE OF FLORIDA )
3 COUNTY OF LEON )
4 I, RAY D. CONVERY, Court Reporter at Tallahassee,
5 Florida, do hereby certify as follows:
6 THAT I correctly reported in shorthand the
7 foregoing proceedings at the time and place stated in the
8 caption hereof;
9 THAT I later reduced the shorthand notes to
10 typewriting, or under my supervision, and that the
11 foregoing pages 2 through 179 represent a true, correct,
12 and complete transcript of said proceedings;
13 And I further certify that I am not of kin or
14 counsel to the parties in the case; am not in the regular
15 employ of counsel for any of said parties; nor am I in
16 anywise interested in the result of said case.
17 Dated this 30th day of June, 1997.
21 RAY D. CONVERY
22 Court Reporter