A proposed Republican bill in the Florida House of Representatives could change the way amendments are added to the state’s constitution, making it tougher for controversial issues like abortion to end up on the ballot. State Rep. Rick Roth wants to raise the threshold for passing amendments from 60% to a whopping 66.67%, or two-thirds majority. He’s pushing for this change because he thinks voters are being hoodwinked by sneaky, unclear amendments, and he wants to protect the sanctity of the state constitution.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 31, 2024
Roth isn’t a newbie to this game. He’s been trying to make this happen for a while, but now, with amendments in other states getting the green light by the skin of their teeth, he’s lighting a fire under this bill. In a meeting with the Florida House Ethics, Elections, and Open Government Subcommittee, Roth argued that voters need to be better informed about what amendments really mean. He’s worried that people are getting bamboozled into approving things they don’t understand, and he’s not having it.
When asked if he’s just trying to dodge a potential abortion amendment, Roth said, “Nah, this ain’t about that.” He pointed fingers at the “flawed” constitutional process in the state and insisted that the statutory process is the better way to go. According to Roth, putting amendments on the ballot is just too darn vague, and he’s had enough of it.
Here’s the deal: Florida’s constitution currently needs a 60% vote to make any changes, which is already higher than some other states. But Roth wants to crank it up even more. And if this bill gets the thumbs-up from the bigwigs, it’ll show up on the 2024 ballot, where it’ll need a 60% vote to make it official.
Now here’s where things really get spicy. There’s another potential amendment on the horizon, and it’s all about the A-word. Yup, abortion. This snazzy ballot initiative wants to slap some handcuffs on restrictions to the procedure before 24 weeks, but it leaves a little wiggle room for when a patient’s health is at risk. However, not everyone is throwing confetti at this idea. State Attorney General Ashley Moody is giving it the stink-eye, saying the language is more twisted than a pretzel and is meant to confuse folks.