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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700081: Initiative and Referendum by Martin Bates

ARTICLE XI: AMENDMENTS, New Section.

Catchline: Initiative and Referendum

 

(a) The people may propose and enact laws by the initiative, and approve or reject acts of the legislature by the referendum. The petition may be filed with the custodian of state records if it meets both of the following requirements:

(1) It is signed by qualified voters, equal in number to five percent (5%) of those who voted in the preceding election for governor in the state as a whole; and

(2) It is signed by qualified voters equal in number to five percent (5%) of those resident in at least one half of the congressional districts of the state, as determined by those who voted in the preceding general election in that county.

(b) An initiative petition may be filed at any time except that one may not be filed for a measure substantially the same as that defeated by an initiative election within the preceding five (5) years. The custodian of state records shall prepare a ballot title and proposition summarizing the proposed law, and shall place them on the ballot for the first statewide election held more than one hundred twenty (120) days after adjournment of the legislative session following the filing. If, before the election, substantially the same measure has been enacted, the petition is void.

(c) A referendum petition may be filed only within ninety (90) days after adjournment of the legislative session at which the act was passed, except that a referendum petition respecting any act previously passed by the legislature may be filed within one year after the power of referendum is adopted. The custodian of state records shall prepare a ballot title and proposition summarizing the act and shall place them on the ballot for the first statewide election held more than one hundred eighty (180) days after adjournment of that session.

(d) If votes in an amount in excess of fifty percent (50%) of those voting in the general election are cast in favor of adoption of an initiated measure, the measure is enacted. If votes in an amount in excess of fifty percent (50%) of those voted in the general election are cast in favor of rejection of an act referred, it is rejected. The custodian of state records shall certify the election returns. An initiated law becomes effective ninety (90) days after certification, is not subject to veto, and may not be repealed by the legislature within two (2) years of its effective date. It may be amended at any time. An act rejected by referendum is void thirty (30) days after certification. Additional procedures for the initiative and referendum maybe prescribed by law.

(e) The initiative shall not be used to dedicate revenues, make or repeal appropriations, create courts, define the jurisdiction of courts or prescribe their rules, enact local or special legislation, or enact that which is prohibited by the constitution for enactment by the legislature. The referendum shall not be applied to dedications of revenue, to appropriations, to local or special legislation, or to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety.

(f) The legislature shall extend the initiative and referendum powers reserved to the people by the constitution to the qualified electors of each local government unit.