Voter approval could change the West Palm Beach, FL city charter and get rid of the term-limits provision.

Read the story from the Palm Beach Post

After a vote in the Miami-Dade Commission that would have put a half-cent transportation surtax to a vote of the people failed, one commissioner said he plans to run a petition drive to put the measure on the ballot through the initiative process. Signatures of 4% of the county’s registered voters, about 48,000, would be needed to put the matter on the ballot.

Read the story from Miami Today

Brad Ashwell Legislative Advocate for the Florida Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), has been named as the May 2009 recipient of the John Lilburne Award. He is being honored for his work in defeating anti-initiative legislation and defending the rights of Florida voters.

It’s time for a detour after Miami-Dade commissioners Tuesday blocked one route to giving voters a shot at repealing the local half-percent transit surtax, Commissioner Carlos Gimenez says.

He plans a “two-pronged attack”: pushing measures to return to what he says voters were promised in approving the surtax, and seeking funding to launch a petition drive to get a repeal on the ballot.

The Miami Herald is reporting that two bills that would have significantly altered Florida’s election law, including banning paying petition circulators by signature, is unlikely to pass this year. The legislative session is scheduled to end May 1.

The mayor of Tampa, FL wrote a letter to the governor urging him to veto an election reform bill that is working its way through the state legislature. She isn’t the first one in the state to critize the changes. At least three bills seek a host of election reforms including banning paying initiative petition signature collectors by the signature and forcing them to register with the state.

A Florida newspaper has criticized a bill that would require signature collectors in the state to submit personal information to the supervisor of elections and push activists even farther away from polls.

Thanks to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News.

The Florida House voted to send an amendment to voters that would allow flexability to class-size mandates passed by voters in 2002. As a constitutional amendment, the bill must pass both chambers by a three-fifths vote and then get 60% voter approval. The bill must now pass the state Senate to make it on the 2010 ballot.

Read the story from the Miami Herald

Florida would join 13 other states in permitting marijuana for medical use under a ballot initiative being circulated for the 2010 ballot. Proponents claim that polls indicate wide support for medical marijuana in the state. The Attorney General’s office had not received the initiative so could not comment on it.

Read the story from the Cape Coral Breeze

Voters in Gainesville, FL rejected a charter amendment that would have removed protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender residents 58 to 42 percent. The final vote was 11,717 against the amendment and 8,375 in favor.

Read the story from the Orlando Sentinel

Several state activists have used the initiative and referendum (I&R) process to pass Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) legislation.

TABOR is seen by some as a way of limiting the growth of government. It requires increases in overall state government spending to be tied to inflation and population increases.

TALLAHASSEE — Senate Democrats voted Wednesday in caucus to oppose a constitutional amendment pushed by Brevard County Sen. Mike Haridopolos to put spending caps on state and local governments in the midst of a severe recession.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The 2009 legislative session will be dominated by the struggle to handle an economy that keeps on sliding, but it’s not all lawmakers will be dealing with when they begin work Tuesday.

More than 2,000 bills have been filed for consideration during the 60-day session covering a wide area of subjects ”” cell phone use in cars, making government records more accessible, sexual education in schools, the regulation of tanning salons and much more.


Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

Florida’s best-known initiative and referendum backer of the
Progressive Era was retired U.S. Senator Wilkinson Call. The closest the
Florida legislature came to approving statewide I&R was the state senate’s
passage, in 1912, of a version so restrictive that it would have made it
virtually impossible to put an initiative on the ballot. The senate quickly
rescinded even this weak bill.


Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous