The Proposal to Increase Majority for Passing Constitutional Amendments in Florida Sparks Debate

The Florida House Ethics, Elections, and Open Government Subcommittee advanced a proposal on Monday that would make passing constitutional amendments in the state more challenging. The proposal, HJR 335, seeks to increase the required majority for passing constitutional amendments from 60 percent to 66.67 percent if adopted.

The House Ethics, Elections, and Open Government Subcommittee in Florida advanced a proposal on Monday that seeks to increase the required majority for passing constitutional amendments from 60 percent to 66.67 percent amidst debates over the implications for democratic participation and the stability of the state Constitution.


Key Points

    1. Raising the Threshold for Passing Amendments

      The proposal, HJR 335, carried by Rep. Rick Roth, would raise the threshold required for passing constitutional amendments from 60 percent to 66.67 percent if adopted. The aim is to ensure that voters are fully informed before voting on constitutional amendments, particularly due to concerns over trustworthiness in media and government.

    2. Debate Over Implications

      Committee members raised concerns about the proposal’s implications, particularly regarding potential complications in codifying certain rights and limiting democratic engagement. However, supporters argue that a higher threshold would protect the Constitution from hasty or poorly understood changes, safeguard minority rights, and ensure more stability and careful consideration of amendments.

    3. Opposing Views and Public Testimony

      Opponents of the proposal, including representatives from the Florida AFL-CIO and the League of Women Voters, argue that it could hinder democratic participation and potentially obstruct necessary constitutional changes. However, some speakers supported the bill, emphasizing the need to limit frequent changes to the Constitution for the sake of stability.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the proposal to increase the required majority for passing constitutional amendments in Florida has sparked debates about democratic participation, trust in media and government, and the stability of the state Constitution. While supporters argue that a higher threshold would protect the Constitution and ensure more deliberate consideration of amendments, opponents express concerns about potentially limiting democratic engagement and obstructing necessary changes. The bill will continue to be discussed and evaluated as lawmakers consider its implications for Florida’s political landscape.

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