State Seal Calendar

Meeting Proceedings for September 4, 1997

PRESENTATIONS WERE MADE BY THE FOLLOWING:

 

 

1. BILL McCOLLUM - Orlando (Congressman)

Art. IV, s. 5: Proposes changing the cabinet system, so that it is an all appointed cabinet, except perhaps for an elected attorney general. If this is not feasible, at least give the other cabinet members the title of administrative officers, not executive officers, and have them administer their individual departments. Discussion ensued regarding the publicís ability to appear before the executive branch as they may do with cabinet meetings presently. The speaker felt that cabinet meetings could still be provided for, but the cabinet would be appointed rather than elected.

 

2. PAT L. TORNILLO - Tallahassee (FEA/United)

Art IX, s.2: Give governor the power to be responsible and powerful. Have the governor appoint a board of education, which would appoint a commissioner of education.

Art. IX, s.5: At the local level, require that the elected school board appoint the superintendent. Superintendents should not be elected.

Art. VII, s. 3: Require a periodic review of all sales tax exemptions.

Art. III, s. 19(f) Eliminate trust funds. Require that each trust fund be reenacted only if it meets a specific set of criteria. More revenue in this state goes into trust funds than into general revenue.

Art. XI, s. 6: Recommends eliminating the taxation and budget reform commission.

 

3. JOHN OSTALKIEWICZ - Orlando (State Senator)

Art. VII, s.3: Exempt the first $5,000 of property for the intangible tax.

 

4. WAYNE BLANTON - Tallahassee (Florida School Boards Association)

Art. IX, s. 2: The current makeup of the State Board of Education is not the best way to operate the public school system. The Governor, the chief state fiscal officer, and the Commissioner of Education should be on the State Board of Education, whether these officials are elected or appointed. This still provides access, but allows for better accountability.

Art. IX, s. 5: Supports the current system of electing or appointing school superintendents, at the local option.

Art. IX: Recommends that the Commission not allow any language in the constitution that opens up the voucher issue.

Art. IX: Recommends giving local school boards home rule power in the constitution.

 

 

5. JIM HEEKIN - Orlando (Member, Board of Regents)

Art. VII: The state needs to establish a stable revenue source for school construction, particularly for

facilities for community colleges and public universities. K-12 takes 60% of the PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay) funds. Community colleges and universities gets the balance. PECO funding is not coming close to meeting the needs.

 

6. RUFUS C. BROOKS - Orlando (NAACP)

Art. IX, s.1: Florida needs to change its attitude and make schools a priority. We must put money into education.

Art. IX: We currently have county-wide voting for school board. This has a discriminatory effect.

 

7. SHERMAN MERRILL - Winter Garden (Self)

Art. I, s. 23: Right to privacy needs to be restored with regard to oneís medical records. It is difficult to get pain medication because doctors have to go through so much red tape to prescribe them and are harassed within their profession.

Art. I, s. 23: People should have the right of choice in medical treatment options, including the use of narcotics. Make it mandatory that patients be given the right to narcotic relief, including the use of marijuana where it is medically indicated.

 

8. SAM FERRERI - Greenacres (Mayor)

Art. VIII: Cities would like to authority to tax in order to provide services. Home rule benefits the whole state, as cities can freely respond to the needs of its citizens. Home rule loses its effectiveness when revenue sources are severely restricted. Cities have the constitutional authority to assess ad valorem taxes; all other taxes must be authorized by general law. The majority of the ad valorem taxes generated are just enough to fund police and fire protection. It has been over 50 years since there has been any significant tax changes.

Art. XI, s. 3: Amend this section to prohibit state initiatives that place limitations on the powers of municipalities. The citizens of a municipality can amend their city charter by initiative; residents of the state should not be permitted to also amend a local charter that replaces the judgment and wishes of a local community.

Art. VII: Cities should be able to levy any tax that can be levied by the state if the tax is approved by the voters of the city.

Art. VII, s. 18: The legislature should not be able to pass unfunded mandates. If the state lawmakers find a service is necessary, they should find a way to pay for it.

Art. : The state should not delve into matters that are primarily local in nature.

Art. VII: The constitution should not restrict the legislature to grant local taxing authority only by general law.

Art. VII: City residents should not be taxed by counties to provide municipal-type services to people living in unincorporated areas.

 

 

8. SAM FERRERI (contíd from page 2)

Art. X, s. 13: Amend this section to codify the existing immunity for municipalities to assure that municipalities are treated the same as the state and its agencies, counties, school districts, and special districts.

Art. VII, s. 3(a): City-owned property should be immune from ad valorem taxes, like county-owned property. City-owned property is exempt, not immune.

Art. VII, s. 4: The legislature should not grant exemptions to the just valuation of property for ad valorem purposes.

Art. VIII: The legislature should not grant benefits to municipal employees that cities must pay for. If the state finds that employees deserve a certain benefit, they should find a way to pay for it.

Art. V: Cities should have the right to establish their own magistrate systems.

 

The following were presented in a written submission, as the speakerís time ran short:

Art. VII, s. 2: Amend this section to clarify and ensure a municipalityís right to manage its right-of-ways and to receive fair compensation for the use of its right-of-ways.

Art. VII, s. 6(b): Amend this section to provide an exemption of fifty percent of the value of a homestead with a maximum exemption of twenty-five thousand dollars.

Art. VII, s. 4: Amend this section to require the imposition of ad valorem taxes for the portion of the year that new construction is completed and public services are provided.

Art. VIII, s. 9: Amend this section to authorize a municipal occupational license tax. This authority is proposed to be vested solely with the various municipalities of our State without limitation or restrictions.

 

 

9. MARY BERGLUND - St. Petersburg (League of Women Voters of Florida)

Art VII: No tax sources or revenues should be specified, limited, exempted, or prohibited in the constitution. Floridaís reliance on sin and sales taxes will continue to produce inadequate revenue for the needs of Florida. The following standards should be used in judging revenue raising proposals: favor progressive taxes rather than regressive taxes; an ideal state tax structure produces revenue growth over time; stability and flexibility; administrative compliance and efficiency; consistency with economic, environmental and social goals.

 

Opposes casino gambling

Opposes the homestead exemption increase

Taxes do not belong in the constitution

Opposes amendment requiring 2/3 vote for new constitutionally imposed state taxes.

 

10. RICH CROTTY - Orlando (Property Appraiser, Orange County)

Art. VII: No matter who owns land, if it is used for a non-governmental, proprietary activity, it should be subject to ad valorem taxes. Currently, counties are immune from taxation, and municipalities are exempt from taxation. This has been construed so that county-owned property is never subject to ad valorem taxes, no matter how it is being used. Municipal property if exempt from taxation if it is being used for a governmental purpose, and is taxable if used in a proprietary endeavor. This results in unfairness. While the cities are recommending that they be treated the same as counties, the Property Appraisers recommend that counties be treated like cities. If cities were treated like counties, this would result in $150,000,000 off the tax rolls in Orange County.

 

Art. VII: Recommends that owners of tangible personal property with a cumulative value of less than $5,000 should be exempt from filing requirements and taxation on that value. It is unduly cumbersome to collect intangible property taxes on these small amounts. In Orange County, this proposal would result in 57% fewer returns, yet less than a 1% reduction in collections.

 

11. TOM DRAGE - Winter Park (Representing Orange County Property Appraiser)

Art. VII: Proposes that the constitution give the legislature the authority to waive the sovereign immunity from taxation that presently exists for property owned by the state or an instrumentality of the state (i.e., counties). In Article VII, s. 3, municipalities are granted an exemption from ad valorem taxes for municipally-owned properties used for municipal purposes. This has been extended to other governmental entities that are not considered an arm of the state. Mr. Drage proposes that this same principle apply to state and county property. Fixing the inequity in this way is preferable to fixing it by creating more exemptions, which would adversely affect, among other things, school funding. A savings clause would be recommended with regard to the situation of improvements funded through bonding.

 

12. JIMMY ROSS - Longwood (Self)

Art VII, s. 3(c): Prevent local government from using tax collections for economic development. They should only be using tax exemptions for this purpose, not using the tax revenues of the citizens.

Art VII, s. 10: Define "public purpose" as it is used in construing this section.

Art. II, s. 5(b): With regard to the oath of office for public officers, add the following at the end of paragraph (b): No addition or deletion of the above oath is permissible. The oath must be administered as provided in the constitution. Mr. Ross is aware of public officers who have altered the language of the oath set out in the constitution.

 

 

 

13. JULES COHEN - Orlando (Self)

Art. X, s. 4: There should be no homestead exemption if the homestead was acquired with money from crime or fraud. He is not suggesting that this be extended to where the homestead is used for criminal activity because there may be innocent family members entitled to protection.

 

 

14. CHARLIE BRONSON - Indian Harbor (State Senator)

Art. IV, s. 6/Art. VII, s. 1: Recommends that each of the five water management districts be made state agencies. The Governor would appoint a secretary of each of the five water management agencies, in lieu of the appointment of executive directors. This would make the water management districts subject to performance based budgeting - they are currently independent districts. These five districts, together, utilize almost $1 billion in ad valorem taxation money in their operations. In response to a question, Senator Bronson stated that although he earlier felt that any entity that had taxing power should be elected, as applied to water management districts, this would result in membership being comprised of members from the larger areas within the district, with little representation of the less populated areas.

 

 

15. JOHN DOWLESS - Orlando (Florida Christian Coalition)

Art V, s. 10: Supports election of all judges. Judges are making the law, not simply interpreting it. The politics are no less, just different, with the merit selection system.

Art V, s. 11: Support popular election of supreme court justices from single-member districts, with a recall option. If the current system is retained, at least allow for Senate confirmation or by some elected officials.

Art. I, s. 23: State must defend the sanctity of human life to the born, unborn, infirm and aged.

 

 

16. RAY VALDES - Seminole Co. (Tax Collector of Seminole County)

Art. VIII, s. 1(d): Tax collectors, specifically, and all constitutional officers, in general, should remain elected.

 

 

17. JOHN R. HARTMAN - Kissimmee (Florida Family Council)

Consider each provision of the constitution and how it either strengthens or weakens the family unit. Reject any provision that places individual rights above those of the two-parent family.

 

 

18. DAVID ELONA - Gainesville (Self)

Art. VII, s. 8: Add a second sentence to this section as follows: Such funds may not be used to concentrate any population historically segregated in the State of Florida. That is, no housing, no schools, no roads, no economic development that will result in further desegregation of African Americans. Serious consideration should be given to preventing the use of state funds to continue the separation of races through the stateís infrastructure, such as the concentration of low-income housing in Floridaís cities. Wants to perpetuate affirmative action. Mr. Elona has concerns regarding the racial makeup of the Commission.

 

19. KARL WILLIAMSON - Longwood (Seminole County Historical Commission)

Art XI, s. 3: Simplify the petition initiative process to make it easier. This would have the effect of making voting more attractive to disaffected voters.

Art. VI: Supports recall provision

Art. VI: A "none of the above" option should be shown on ballots

Art. VI: Would like ballot access changes to eliminate uncontested races and make it easier to qualify, such as fewer signatures required, lower fees, etc.

Supports Constitutional Liberty Coalition Proposals.

 

20. MARLENE YOUNG - Bartow (Polk County Comm./Florida Association of Counties)

Art. V, s. 1: Counties have continued to shoulder the increasing burden of the State Court System. Local property taxes spent on Article V costs leaves little money for local services.

 

21. RICHARD GRAVES - Wabasso (Florida Chamber of Commerce)

The Florida Chamber of Commerce commissioned an academic study regarding the citizen initiative process. Based upon this study the Chamber recommends the following:

 

Art. XI, s. 3: Create an indirect statutory initiative process that would entail research, analysis and open deliberation in the following manner: require the sponsor of an initiative to declare whether the initiative is statutory revision or amendment; require the sponsor to provide a written description of the purpose and intent of the initiative; conduct an analysis and summarize the potential impact of the initiative; identify other statutes that will be affected, and related constitutional provisions; require the initiative committee to collect valid signatures of 8% of the votes cast during the last presidential election in at least one-half of the stateís congressional districts, with signatures valid for two years. Then, require the legislature to review and act on the proposed initiative during the session immediately subsequent to the initiative receiving the required signatures. The legislature may enact the proposal as drafted, may make modifications to the proposal with the consent of the sponsor, or refuse to act or fail to approve the initiative. If the initiative is

 

21. RICHARD GRAVES (conít from page 6)

not approved by the legislature, it would be placed on the next general election ballot and require a 3/5 vote of the electorate for approval. Repeal or modification to laws adopted through the initiative process would be prohibited for a period of two years. Repeal or modification of those adopted by a vote of the electorate could only be made by a vote of the electorate. Initiatives affecting specific local areas or groups of persons should be prohibited

Art. XI, s. 3: To amend the constitution by initiative should require a 3/5 vote of the electorate. The required signatures should be increased to 10 percent or higher of the votes cast during the most recent presidential election.

Art. XI, s. 6: Amend this section to allow each Taxation and Budget Reform Commission to adopt its own voting rules.

Art. XI, s. 3: Modify submittal deadlines for initiative petitions to allow supervisors of elections a reasonable time to verify signatures.

Art. XI, s. 3: Provide for a Florida Voter Guide that briefly describes each ballot issue to be mailed to each registered voter by the Division of Elections along with their mailing of the sample ballot. Require that only the ballot title and summary be printed in the newspaper notice, with information on how to obtain the entire text of the proposed.

Art. XI, s. 3: Where the ballot title or summary are determined to be insufficient, initiative sponsors should be given a reasonable time to modify the initiative. No changes should be allowed any later than 90 days prior to the election.

Art. XI, s. 3: Authorize the legislature to allow for the use of scientifically proven and accepted methods of random sampling for verifying signatures.

Art. XI, s. 3: Require signature gatherers to sign each petition signature form.

 

22. STEPHEN MAHER - Winter Park (Self)

Art. X, s. 3: The cap on sovereign immunity prevents settlement in larger cases. Abolish sovereign immunity, or at least raise the caps. In response to a question, Mr. Maher agreed it would be an excellent start to abolish sovereign immunity with regard to proprietary functions, and retain it as to governmental functions.

 

23. JEFF BUTLER - Orlando (Self)

Art. XI, s. 3: Supports statutory initiative. This does not require compromising the constitutional initiative process. Both should be available.

Art. XI, s. 3: Supports leaving constitutional initiative as is. Special interests canít unduly influence the process (for example, casinos failed). Since 1972, 132 initiatives have been proposed, only sixteen have made it to the ballot; only 11 were passed. We need not be concerned about the number of initiatives filed, but about the number that make it to the ballot, and that number is very low. As to requiring a supermajority, the problem is that they disenfranchise the majority. The more rigorous the process, the more only big

 

23. JEFF BUTLER (conít from page 7)

business can participate. The best vote is a straight-out majority vote. Eighty percent of Floridaís voters favor the initiative process as it now exists.

 

24. SHIRLEY LITTLE - Summerfield (Self)

Art. VI: Add a section: "(a) The electors of all counties and municipalities shall have the right to adopt or repeal ordinances by initiative and referendum in accordance with procedures and criteria prescribed by general law; (b) The number of certified petitions required to invoke a referendum shall not exceed 5% of the number of registered votes in the last preceding general election in the county or municipality; © This provision does not apply to land use ordinances affecting less than 5 % of the area of the county or municipality, budget ordinances and tax and fee ordinances, and does not affect other provisions of this constitution that require voter approval of taxes, fees, or expenditures." Many county charters allow citizens to make or change county ordinances through referendum. Those in non-charter counties do not have this right. In 11 of the 13 counties which allow citizen referendum, there have been only 8 initiatives ever to make it onto the ballot. Three of those were ultimately declared unconstitutional. Even in charter counties, the bar has been set too high.

 

25. VERNA K. ECHOLS - Orlando (Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church)

Art XI, s. 3: Add to this provision: "After one period of defeat following a vote resulting from the petition process, a moratorium will be in effect for a period of not less than six years for that particular subject matter". If politicians left the party politics aside after an election, there would be fewer initiatives.

 

26. TOM REGNIER - Lauderhill (Secretary, Libertarian Party of Florida)

Art.I, s. 9: Florida law allows for the forfeiture of property for merely the accusation of crime.

Art I, s. 5: Ballot access laws unduly favor the two major parties.

 

Urges adoption of the proposals of the Constitutional Liberty Coalition.

 

27. LARRY LAWVER - Oveido

Art. II, s. 7: Opposes the environmental bill of rights. Supports individual property rights.

 

Art. X: Supports the proposals of the Constitution Liberty Coalition, particularly the proposal relating to government power to regulate the use of private property. Suggests the following addition: Government is delegated the limited power to regulate the use of private property solely to protect public health and safety, in accord with common law standards of nuisance. This delegation of power shall be interpreted narrowly.

 

28. CHARLIE BRINKLEY - Orlando (Florida Bankers Association)

Art. X, s. 4: There should be a cap on the homestead protection against forced sale. There should be a reasonable threshold.

 

29. BOB HATTAWAY - Orlando (Greater Orlando Aviation Authority)

Art. VII: Recommends adding a provision to the constitution so that the tax immunity granted to counties is extended to municipalities and those special districts that operate a public airport or seaport. These governmental bodies want to be treated the same as a county would be. There is an unfair situation when an airport or seaport is treated differently according to whether the land is owned by a municipality or a county. There is currently a lot of needless litigation as to what constitutes a public use.

 

30. RAY and PATRICIA McEACHERN - Tampa (Association for Responsible Medicine)

Art. X, s. 13: Abolish sovereign immunity.

 

31. CHRIS MURO - Satellite Beach (Self)

Art. I, s. 23: This provision has been interpreted too broadly. It has been interpreted by our courts to prohibit the requirement for parental consent for a minor to have an abortion. Proposes that a new section be added to the constitution which would provide that the right of parents or legal guardians to direct the medical and dental care of their minor children; and to direct and provide for the education and upbringing of their minor children.

 

32. LEIGH McEACHERN - Chuluata (Self)

Art. I, s. 15: Supports a mandatory death penalty for all premeditated murder. This will restore the sanctity for life.

 

33. BERNADETTE CARTER - Royal Palm Beach (Self)

Art. I, s.2: Add age to the classes which cannot be discriminated against. The wrongful death act prevents recovery to children of the victim of medical malpractice if the children are over the age of 25.

 

34. GERALDINE F. THOMPSON - Windermere (Floridians Representing Equity and Equality)

Art. I: Proposes that the constitution include an assurance for affirmative action, such as the following: "The citizens of this state shall enjoy equal opportunity to employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, and other benefits of citizenship. Additionally, the state, its agencies, political subdivisions, and municipalities are authorized to take action to remedy the effects of past discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, the purchase of goods

 

34. GERALDINE THOMPSON (contíd from page 9)

and services, and the expenditure of public funds." We need to address the present effects of past discrimination. There is an initiative pending to do away with all affirmative action laws. Affirmative action laws were intended to be temporary to bring about true equality for those who were left out of the initial guarantee that all men are created equal. These laws should not be done away with until there is true equality.

 

35. MONIQUE EDWARDS - (Floridians Representing Equity and Equality).

Art. I: The Commission should adopt the language of the FREE coalition dealing with affirmative action laws, as set out by the previous speaker. Women, African Americans and Latinos are currently not sufficiently represented in the businesses and professions in this country.

 

36. ROBERT L. BENDICK, JR. - Altamonte Springs (The Nature Conservancy)

Consider the future of Floridaís natural resources as you review ideas for revisions to our Constitution. Take action to safeguard water resources. Find creative ways to support private, rural land uses as forestry and agriculture. Create recreation areas to meet needs of children and families, and manage and restore the stateís conservation and recreation lands.

Art. XII, s. 9: Establish a source of revenue for conservation and recreation through a Florida Land and Water Trust Fund with revenues from the Documentary Stamps Tax.

Art. XII, s. 9: Adopt an amendment to govern the disposal of public conservation lands.

 

37. RITA LOWNDES - Orlando (Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando)

Art. I, s.23: Leave this provision alone. This excellent language provides the citizens of Florida with the right to be let alone. The real and serious disadvantages of state compelled parental consent far outweigh any theoretical advantages. The current language does not prevent or hinder communication between parents and children, and the state is incapable of passing a law to provide meaningful communications among them. Parental consent laws do not address the problems, only add to them. We should work to have fewer abortions, not make them more dangerous.

 

38. ROGER RUVELL - Winter Park (Self)

Art. IV, s. 9: The Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission has too much power. It hides behind constitutional immunity. Remove this commission from the constitution, or give its authority to regulate business to the Department of Agriculture.

 

39. BUD KLECKNER - Vero Beach (Audubon Society)

Strive for a sustainable usage of our natural resources

. Art IV, s. 9: Supports unification of the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission.

 

40. KEITH HOLCOMB - Orlando (Self)

Art. X, s. 16: Supports leaving the net ban as it is.

Art. XI, s. 3: Supports the initiative petition process.

 

41. BILL BISHOP - Orlando (Self)

Art. X, s. 16: Supports leaving the net ban as it is.

Art. XI, s. 3: Supports the initiative process.

 

42. MATT OZOLNIEKS - Orlando (Florida Right to Life)

Art I, s. 23: There should be a clarification as to parental rights; return a childís right to her parentís counsel. Mr. Ozolnieks presented the commission with 1000 signed petitions to this effect.

 

43. BERTIE HUNT - Orlando (TRIAD)

Art. I: Adoption records should be open. Chapter 63 of the Florida Statutes should be revised to provide access to information. This can be done through intermediaries. Signed, mutual consent releases would be obtained by the intermediary. All persons connected with the placement would be protected. Other states have such a program. Records are now being destroyed. If you are foreign-born or American Indian, you can obtain this information. Sealed records can kill.

 

44. MARGARET ANGLIN - Orlando (Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando)

Art. I, s. 23: Donít change this provision.

 

45. JEAN HURDEN - Lakeland (Florida Womens Consortium)

Art. I, s. 2: Add the term sex or gender to the classes that cannot be discriminated against.

 

46. JOHN BARRY - Orlando (Florida Civil Rights Initiative)

Art. I, s. 2: Place the Florida Civil Rights initiative on the ballot. This initiative provides that the governments of Florida shall not discriminate against, nor grant preferences to, individuals or groups based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of government contracting, government education, and government employment. This does not apply to affirmative action programs, but to preferences.

 

47. JOHN BOOK - Orlando (Self)

Art. IX: Donít allow for vouchers for private schools.

 

48. MARY E. WILSON (Florida National Organization for Women)

Art. I, s. 23: Donít change the privacy rights

Art. I, s. 2: Opposes the civil rights initiative

 

 

49. JOHN N. GOVATOS - Maitland (Central Florida Offshore Anglers)

Art. IV, s. 9: Supports unification of the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission.

Art. X, s. 16: Leave the net ban where it is.

 

 

50. MARGARET R. BROUSSARD - Indialantic (Self)

Art. II, s. 7: Any environmental bill of rights should be carefully crafted to say precisely what it intends.

Art. II, s. 7: Create a permanent land and water conservation fund to pay for protecting our resources, and managing our natural systems, offering incentives to private landowners to encourage good stewardship of natural systems while allowing traditional use of their land, and offering opportunities to people to visit and study the natural systems in a way that does not harm. Reasonable usage fees should be one source of funding for the maintenance of public property.

Art. XII, s. 9: Guarantee that conservation lands and wildlife habitats and preserves are protected forever. Extend the bonding authority for P2000 lands past the year 2013 when it expires.

 

51. GWEN STRAUB - New Smyrna Beach (Self)

Place the following issues on the ballot:

Art. II, s. 7: Direct the governor and legislature appoint a commission to study the capacity of the state.

Art VII, s. 5: A state income tax would slow growth and better provide for our needs

Art. XII, s. 9: Ensure continuation of the P2000 program. A public purchase program is best way to ensure conservation.

Art. II, s. 7: Adopt an environmental bill of rights that would supersede private property rights.

 

 

52. JUDY MADSEN JOHNSON - Orlando (Self)

Art. I, s. 23: Supports the strengthening of parental rights. Strike privacy rights.

 

 

53. JIM FRENCH - South Patrick Shores (Self)

Art. I, s. 24: Supports the sunshine law. It protects against a plan by Brevard County to set up a system of ward politics for zoning decisions.

Art. X, s. :Supports private property rights. When do you have enough land? 53% percent of Brevard is owned by governmental entities.

Art. IV, s. 6: Supports the proposal to make water management districts state agencies.

 

54. MICHAEL ROSEN - Tallahassee (Florida Legal Foundation)

Art. X, s. 6(a): Add the following sentence to this paragraph: The use of private property may be regulated to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the public health, safety, welfare, and morals; provided, that when governmental action denies the owner of real property an economically viable use of all or any portion of the property, which use is not subject to restraint as a common law nuisance or criminal activity, such governmental action constitutes a taking of private property, which shall entitle the owner to full compensation for the loss in fair market value of the ownerís interest resulting from the governmental action.

Art. X, s. 11: Add the following to this section: For purposes of this provision, the title to lands under navigable waters shall be deemed to have been alienated when such lands were included within the legal description of lands that were classified and conveyed as non-sovereignty lands in a deed issued prior to 1969 by the state agency or officials authorized to convey such non-sovereignty lands; provided that the private ownership of such lands shall be subject to, and shall not impair, the right of the public to use navigable waters for boating, fishing, and bathing.

 

55. FRANCES HOWELL-COLEMAN - Winter Haven (Self)

Art. II, s. 7: This is not sufficient to protect our environment. Suggests adding the following: The people shall be secure in their rights to the use and enjoyment of the natural resources of the state with due regard for the preservation of their values; and it shall be the duty of the legislature to provide for the conservation of the air, land, water, plant, animal, mineral and other natural resources of the state, and to adopt all means necessary and proper by law to protect the natural environment of the people of the state by providing adequate resource planning for the control and regulation of the use of the natural resources of the state and for the preservation, regeneration and restoration of the natural environment of the state.

Art. X, s.6(a): Add the following: Private property shall not be taken for public uses without just compensation. The powers of the state and of its local governments to regulate and control the use of land and waters in furtherance of the preservation, regeneration, and restoration of the natural environment, shall be an exercise of the police powers of the state, shall be liberally construed, and shall not be deemed to be a public use of private property.

 

56. CHERYL PALMER - Melbourne (Self)

Art. I, s. 23: Proposes that something be included in the constitution to prohibit physician assisted suicide.

Art. I: Define marriage as one man/one woman.

Art. I, s.23: Supports parental consent for abortion.

 

57. CLAY PHIPPS - Orlando (Self)

Art. IV, s. 5: Require that governor and lieutenant governor have been born in Florida and have resided in Florida for the past 7 years.

Art. XI, s. 3: The entire text of an initiative should appear on ballot. Provide some way to prevent fraudulent use of initiatives.

 

58. EUGENE STOCCARDO - Orlando (Self)

Art. X: Growth management plans should be considered once every 5 years rather than twice a year to encourage longer range planning.

Art. XII, s. 9: Ensure continuation of P2000 funding and find a permanent funding source.

Art. XII, s. 9: Ensure conservation and maintenance of P2000 lands.

 

59. TIM STEORTS - Lake Wales (Self)

Art. II, s. 7: Add a clause to this section: Those who cause pollution shall be primarily responsible for the cost of abatement of that pollution.

Art. X, s. 11: State sovereign lands should be conserved, not leased, sold, or used for the personal gain of someone. The public interest should be something more than the receipt of lease or fee amounts.

Art. VII, s. 4(a): The agricultural exemption should only be available for legitimate agricultural use. For land waiting to be developed, tax the land on the lower value, but the difference in the landís actual tax and the lower value should be deferred rather than a tax exemption if that land was later developed. New Jersey requires 5 years back taxes when agricultural land is developed.

Art. I, s. 9: Add: Private property may be forfeited only after felony conviction of and exhaustion of appeals by the property owner.

Art I, s. 19: Add: A person not found guilty of a crime shall not be assessed fees or costs to recover property seized as evidence or otherwise held.

 

60. KEITH MORRISON - Orlando (Triangle Democratic Caucus)

Art. XI, s. 3: Reconsider the initiative process. Limit the items which the constitution specifically addresses. The constitution should lay out the rights of citizens and the responsibilities. Proposes that it be more difficult to amend the constitution.

Art. I, s. 23: Retain this privacy right.

Art. I, s. 2: This section should be amended to include race, religion, sexual orientation, sex or gender, or physical handicap.

Art. I, s. 23: Amend as follows: All individuals shall be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, public services or accommodations, or the extension of credit, on account of matters pertaining to his or her personal or private life. This provision does not prevent the establishment of bona fide qualifications or requirements. The legislature may provide by general law for protection of other fundamental rights.

 

61. LELAND D. HARDY - Orlando (Self)

Art. V, s. 10: Judges should be limited to a 4-year term, including supreme court justices.

Art. II, s. 3: Judges should be accountable to the state legislature for their rulings and decisions. The legislature should have the authority to review and correct illegal rulings.

Art. I, s. 22: The right of trial by jury is being violated. When a judge overturns the jury, a person hasnít had a trial by jury, but a trial by a judge.

Art. V, s. 15: The Florida Bar Association should be outlawed. It violates the Florida right-to-work law and antitrust laws.

Art. I, s. 21: There should be no roadblocks to access to courts. There should be no filing fees.

Art. V: A pro se litigant should be notified by the court if he or she has violated a court rule and be given the opportunity to correct the nonconformity according to the courtís instructions. Judges should not throw out pro se cases because of minor errors that have nothing to do with the case.

62. PATRICIA McEWEN - Palm Bay (Self)

Art. I, s. 2: Define natural person. Ms. McEwen proposes it should be from conception until natural death.

 

63. GUY P. COBURN - Winter Park (Florida Parent Educators Association)

Art. I, s. 23: Absent a showing of abuse, abandonment, or neglect, a parent must have the power to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

 

64. DIANA B. MOORE - Winter Park (Self)

Art. I, s. 2: Proposes that "age" be added to this section. The wrongful death act precludes Ms. Moore from recovering for damages for medical malpractice upon her parent because she is over 25.

 

65. BRIAN BUSTAMANTE - Orlando (Self)

Art. VI: Opening ballot access would given citizens greater voting choice and would encourage voting.

Art. VII, s. 5: Opposes state income tax

Art. II, s. 7: Opposes any further diminishment of property ownership because of environmental concerns.

Supports the proposals of the Constitutional Liberty Coalition

 

66. JANET HAWKINS - Orlando (Self)

Art. VI: Ballot access laws operate in favor of major political parties. Discrimination against a political party on the basis of size should not be tolerated. Filing times, fees, numbers of petitions should be the same. The legislature wonít act to change this situation.

Supports the proposals of the Constitutional Liberty Coalition

 

67. BUDAGAIL S. KIRCHMAN - Orlando (Self)

Art. V, s. 10: All judges should be elected. Judges should not be imposing their own policy.

 

68. ELEANOR S. SIMPSON - Orlando (National Action for Former Military Wives)

Art. V: Per curiam affirmed cases should be able to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Very few civil cases are heard by the Supreme Court.

Art. V, s. 10: All judges should be elected.

 

69. NORMA VAUGHAN - Orlando (Self)

Art. V, s. 3: Define Supreme Courtís jurisdiction to policy matters. Mrs. Vaughanís husband was involuntarily committed. They were involuntarily divorced.

Art. V, s. 15: Lawyers have never been held accountable for their abusive treatment of the elderly.

 

70. J. CHRISTY WILSON, III - Orlando (Self)

Art X, s.6(a): There is a large class that is not protected by this eminent domain property rights provision- small business owners. A small business owner can lose his or her property because some engineer determines their property is needed for a road, airport, or some other use. Consider a modification: For purposes of this section, a business shall be deemed to be private property. The Supreme Court has held that a business is not private property. (These businesses are property when they are being taxed, but not when eminent domain is exercised).

71. MICHAEL STEINWACHS - Cocoa Beach (Self)

Art I: Suggests adding the following section: Any person convicted of using or possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony shall serve a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in a Florida State prison without the possibility of parole or time off for good behavior. The term "minimum mandatory" shall not be construed to mean anything other than the least amount of time that shall be served by those convicted.

 

72. MARK KINDER - Orlando (Self)

Art. X: Supports adding: Government is delegated the limited power to regulate the use of private property solely to protect public health and safety.

Art. I, s. 9: Add: Private property may be forfeited only after felony conviction.

Art. X, s. 6(a): For purposes of eminent domain, public purpose should require a substantial, explicit public purpose.

Art. VI: Provide for the ability to recall judges and all elected officials. The sufficiency of reasons for recall shall not be reviewable.

Art. II, s. 7: Opposes an environmental bill of rights. Current laws already provide for penalties for polluters and require payment of costs for cleanup.

Art. VII, s. 5: Opposes a state income tax as not necessary.

 

73. SHEILA REBACK - Altamonte Springs (Self)

Art. I: Adult adoptees should be given the same rights as others. Currently, the do not have the right to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate. Equality under the law would require opening these records to adult adoptees.

 

74. AL BERNETTI - St. Cloud (Florida Sportsmen Magazine)

Art. X, s. 16: Keep the net ban.

 

75. BILL DANIEL - Oviedo (Self)

Art. IV: State agencies are not protecting the stateís interests. There needs to be a way to make state agencies protect our rights under the state constitution. All waters of Florida area dedicated to the public. DEP claims waters are not navigable. No one is looking out for the waterways. Weíre using P2000 money to buy land the state already owns.

Art. X, s : Define in the constitution "navigability". "Ordinary high water line" should be defined in the constitution.

 

76. EDNA STANFORD - Sorrento (Florida Retired Teachers Association)

Art. X, s. 17: Ensure that the state retirement funds are used solely for the purposes they were intended - for retirement payments and administrative costs.

 

77. ERNEST MURO, Satellite Beach (Self)

Art. I, s. 23: Parental consent should be provided for. A minor child should not be able to obtain an abortion without parental consent or notification. What is next? Right of minors to join cults, choose their own religion, etc.

 

 

THE FOLLOWING SUBMITTED WRITTEN STATEMENTS:

 

Dwight Tauton - St. Petersburg

Art. I, s. 5: Supports the ballot access language of the Constitutional Liberty Coalition.

 

George A. Vaka - Tampa (Florida Defense Lawyers Association)

Art. I, s. 2: The Association urges caution in amending this section in response to those who have spoken against the Wrongful Death Act. This is a matter that is legislative in nature, not constitutional. Rather than being discriminatory, the right of recovery for children under 25 is an added right that was not available at common law. There is a rational basis for making special provision for children dependent upon their parent. The suggested amendment is too broad-sweeping and would relate to any statutory right or duty.

 

 

Yvonne E. Rice - Lake County (Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society)

Art. XII, s. 9: We should ensure that conservation lands are not used for other purposes. Parks, preserves and refuges should be protected by the constitution for their authorized and original uses.

 

Nadine Foley - Umatilla (Lake County Conservation Council, Trout Lake Nature Center, Lake Rail/Trails

Art. II, s. 7: Supports the Environmental Bill of Rights. One area that should be addressed in the bill of rights is the preservation of sustainable agriculture, i.e., agriculture that does not pollute.

 

Patsi Franklin - Maitland (Self)

Art. VII: The constitution should be amended to change s. 212.055, Florida Statutes to read: In a county where the maximum local capital outlay millage has been levied for the preceding 3 fiscal years and the cumulative student enrollment growth for the preceding 5 years is greater than 20%, then 10% of the sales surtax in each year it is collected may be used for specifically allocated operational expenses. Allocations would be used for projects in each of the countyís schools as proposed by the schoolís School Advisory Council.

 

Michael K. Laney - Maitland

Art. VII: The people should have the right to vote on special assessment taxes. Local governments are shifting standard government service funding to special assessments.

 

Bill Kasper - Gotha (Children Hurt in Legal Decisions)

Art. V, s. 15: Place lawyers under the jurisdiction of the Department of Professional Regulation.

 

THE FOLLOWING SUBMITTED CARDS BUT DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK:

 

Bill Suber - Seminole county Property Appraiser

John Pinder

George Giegor

Jeff McFadden

Doug Head - Orlando (Orange County DEC)

Jean Brown Michlewski - Kissimmee (Kissimmee Audubon)

James R. Saboff - Maitland (Self)

Ruth R. Gray - Eustis (Self)

Philip A. Diamond - Orlando (Self)

Howard P. Barry - Clermont (Friends & Neighbors of Central Florida)

Cecilia Height - Winter Park (Self)

John Ryan - Orlando (Sierra Club, Polk Group)

Robert Goodwin - Orlando (Self)

Mary Ann Smania - Oakland Park (Self)

Dorothy Sloan - Orlando (Self)

Yvonne Taylor - Orlando (Self)

Louise Doylz - Orlando (Self)

Carla Josephson - Orlando (Self)

David A. Smith - Orlando (Self)

Dana Church - Orlando (CAMM)

P. Delegal Loyless - Orlando (Common Cause)

Richard Gaber - Orlando (Self)

June Zak - Winter Park (Self)

Mary Grieder - Orlando (Self)

Georgiana Kovac - Orlando (Self)

Kurt Harris - Sanford (Seminole County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board)

Jeffrey L. Caughey - Merritt Island (Self)

Martha Marshall - Kissimmee (AVAS)

Helen Lamers - Satellite Beach (Self)

Ellen Hone - Orlando (Self)