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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700295: New Executive by Christopher Louis Licata III - Withdrawn by the Submitter

ARTICLE IV: EXECUTIVE

SECTION 1. Governor.
  1. The supreme executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall be commander-in-chief of all military forces of the state not in active service of the United States. The governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, commission all officers of the state and counties, and transact all necessary business with the officers of government. The governor may require information in writing from all executive or administrative state, county or municipal officers upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices. The governor shall be the chief administrative officer of the state responsible for the planning and budgeting for the state.
  2. The governor may initiate judicial proceedings in the name of the state against any executive or administrative state, county or municipal officer to enforce compliance with any duty or restrain any unauthorized act.
  3. The governor may request in writing the opinion of the justices of the supreme court as to the interpretation of any portion of this constitution upon any question affecting the governor's executive powers and duties. The justices shall, subject to their rules of procedure, permit interested persons to be heard on the questions presented and shall render their written opinion not earlier than ten days from the filing and docketing of the request, unless in their judgment the delay would cause public injury.
  4. The governor shall have power to call out the militia to preserve the public peace, execute the laws of the state, suppress insurrection, or repel invasion.
  5. The governor shall by message at least once in each regular session inform the legislature concerning the condition of the state, propose such reorganization of the executive department as will promote efficiency and economy, and recommend measures in the public interest.
  6. When not otherwise provided for in this constitution, the governor shall fill by appointment any vacancy in state or county office for the remainder of the term of an appointive office, and for the remainder of the term of an elective office if less than twenty-eight months, otherwise until the first Tuesday after the first Monday following the next general election.
SECTION 2. Lieutenant governor.

There shall be a lieutenant governor, who shall perform such duties pertaining to the office of governor as shall be assigned by the governor, except when otherwise provided by law, and such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

SECTION 3. Succession to office of governor; acting governor.
  1. Upon vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall become governor. Further succession to the office of governor shall be prescribed by law. A successor shall serve for the remainder of the term.
  2. Upon impeachment of the governor and until completion of trial thereof, or during the governor's physical or mental incapacity, the lieutenant governor shall act as governor. Further succession as acting governor shall be prescribed by law. Incapacity to serve as governor may be determined by the supreme court upon due notice after docketing of a written suggestion thereof by three cabinet members, and in such case restoration of capacity shall be similarly determined after docketing of written suggestion thereof by the governor, the legislature or three cabinet members. Incapacity to serve as governor may also be established by certificate filed with the custodian of state records by the governor declaring incapacity for physical reasons to serve as governor, and in such case restoration of capacity shall be similarly established.
SECTION 4. Cabinet.
  1. There shall be a cabinet composed of an attorney general, a chief financial officer, and a commissioner of agriculture. In addition to the powers and duties specified herein, they shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be prescribed by law. In the event of a tie vote of the governor and cabinet, the side on which the governor voted shall be deemed to prevail.
  2. The attorney general shall be the chief state legal officer. There is created in the office of the attorney general the position of statewide prosecutor. The statewide prosecutor shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the state attorneys to prosecute violations of criminal laws occurring or having occurred, in two or more judicial circuits as part of a related transaction, or when any such offense is affecting or has affected two or more judicial circuits as provided by general law. The statewide prosecutor shall be appointed by the attorney general from not less than three persons nominated by the judicial nominating commission for the supreme court, or as otherwise provided by general law.
  3. The chief financial officer shall serve as the chief fiscal officer of the state, and shall settle and approve accounts against the state, and shall keep all state funds and securities.
  4. The commissioner of agriculture shall have supervision of matters pertaining to agriculture except as otherwise provided by law.
  5. The governor as chair, the chief financial officer, and the attorney general shall constitute the state board of administration, which shall succeed to all the power, control, and authority of the state board of administration established pursuant to Article IX, Section 16 of the Constitution of 1885, and which shall continue as a body at least for the life of Article XII, Section 9(c).
  6. The governor as chair, the chief financial officer, the attorney general, and the commissioner of agriculture shall constitute the trustees of the internal improvement trust fund and the land acquisition trust fund as provided by law.
  7. The governor as chair, the chief financial officer, the attorney general, and the commissioner of agriculture shall constitute the agency head of the Department of Law Enforcement.
SECTION 5. Election of governor, lieutenant governor and cabinet members; qualifications; terms.
  1. At a state-wide general election in each calendar year the number of which is even but not a multiple of four, the electors shall choose a governor and a lieutenant governor and members of the cabinet each for a term of four years beginning on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the succeeding year. In primary elections, candidates for the office of governor may choose to run without a lieutenant governor candidate. In the general election, all candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall form joint candidacies in a manner prescribed by law so that each voter shall cast a single vote for a candidate for governor and a candidate for lieutenant governor running together.
  2. When elected, the governor, lieutenant governor and each cabinet member must be an elector not less than thirty years of age who has resided in the state for the preceding seven years. The attorney general must have been a member of the bar of Florida for the preceding five years. No person who has, or but for resignation would have, served as governor or acting governor for more than six years in two consecutive terms shall be elected governor for the succeeding term.
SECTION 6. Executive departments.

All functions of the executive branch of state government shall be allotted among not more than twenty-five departments, exclusive of those specifically provided for or authorized in this constitution. The administration of each department, unless otherwise provided in this constitution, shall be placed by law under the direct supervision of the governor, the lieutenant governor, the governor and cabinet, a cabinet member, or an officer or board appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the governor, except:

  1. When provided by law, confirmation by the senate or the approval of three members of the cabinet shall be required for appointment to or removal from any designated statutory office.
  2. Boards authorized to grant and revoke licenses to engage in regulated occupations shall be assigned to appropriate departments and their members appointed for fixed terms, subject to removal only for cause.

SECTION 7. Suspensions; filling office during suspensions.
  1. By executive order stating the grounds and filed with the custodian of state records, the governor may suspend from office any state officer not subject to impeachment, any officer of the militia not in the active service of the United States, or any county officer, for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony, and may fill the office by appointment for the period of suspension. The suspended officer may at any time before removal be reinstated by the governor.
  2. The senate may, in proceedings prescribed by law, remove from office or reinstate the suspended official and for such purpose the senate may be convened in special session by its president or by a majority of its membership.
  3. By order of the governor any elected municipal officer indicted for crime may be suspended from office until acquitted and the office filled by appointment for the period of suspension, not to extend beyond the term, unless these powers are vested elsewhere by law or the municipal charter.
SECTION 8. Clemency.
  1. Except in cases of treason and in cases where impeachment results in conviction, the governor may, by executive order filed with the custodian of state records, suspend collection of fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves not exceeding sixty days and, with the approval of two members of the cabinet, grant full or conditional pardons, restore civil rights, commute punishment, and remit fines and forfeitures for offenses.
  2. In cases of treason the governor may grant reprieves until adjournment of the regular session of the legislature convening next after the conviction, at which session the legislature may grant a pardon or further reprieve; otherwise the sentence shall be executed.
  3. There may be created by law a parole and probation commission with power to supervise persons on probation and to grant paroles or conditional releases to persons under sentences for crime. The qualifications, method of selection and terms, not to exceed six years, of members of the commission shall be prescribed by law.
SECTION 9. Fish and wildlife conservation commission.

There shall be a fish and wildlife conservation commission, composed of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the senate for staggered terms of five years. The commission shall exercise the regulatory and executive powers of the state with respect to wild animal life and fresh water aquatic life, and shall also exercise regulatory and executive powers of the state with respect to marine life, except that all license fees for taking wild animal life, fresh water aquatic life, and marine life and penalties for violating regulations of the commission shall be prescribed by general law. The commission shall establish procedures to ensure adequate due process in the exercise of its regulatory and executive functions. The legislature may enact laws in aid of the commission, not inconsistent with this section, except that there shall be no special law or general law of local application pertaining to hunting or fishing. The commission's exercise of executive powers in the area of planning, budgeting, personnel management, and purchasing shall be as provided by law. Revenue derived from license fees for the taking of wild animal life and fresh water aquatic life shall be appropriated to the commission by the legislature for the purposes of management, protection, and conservation of wild animal life and fresh water aquatic life. Revenue derived from license fees relating to marine life shall be appropriated by the legislature for the purposes of management, protection, and conservation of marine life as provided by law. The commission shall not be a unit of any other state agency and shall have its own staff, which includes management, research, and enforcement. Unless provided by general law, the commission shall have no authority to regulate matters relating to air and water pollution.

SECTION 10. Attorney General.

The attorney general shall, as directed by general law, request the opinion of the justices of the supreme court as to the validity of any initiative petition circulated pursuant to Section 3 of Article XI. The justices shall, subject to their rules of procedure, permit interested persons to be heard on the questions presented and shall render their written opinion no later than April 1 of the year in which the initiative is to be submitted to the voters pursuant to Section 5 of Article XI.

SECTION 11. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The legislature, by general law, may provide for the establishment of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

SECTION 12. Department of Elderly Affairs.

The legislature may create a Department of Elderly Affairs and prescribe its duties. The provisions governing the administration of the department must comply with Section 6 of Article IV of the State Constitution.

SECTION 13. Revenue Shortfalls.

In the event of revenue shortfalls, as defined by general law, the governor and cabinet may establish all necessary reductions in the state budget in order to comply with the provisions of Article VII, Section 1(d). The governor and cabinet shall implement all necessary reductions for the executive budget, the chief justice of the supreme court shall implement all necessary reductions for the judicial budget, and the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate shall implement all necessary reductions for the legislative budget. Budget reductions pursuant to this section shall be consistent with the provisions of Article III, Section 19(h).

NEW ARTICLE

Title: REPLACE ARTICLE 4

 

Section 1

  1. The Executive Power of the Florida shall be vested in an Executive Triad made up of a Governor, Chancellor, and Speaker. No person except a Citizen shall be eligible to the offices of Executive Power. 
  2. The Governor at ratification shall hold that office until the last Friday of July of the 1st odd numbered year after ratification.
  3. The Lieutenant Governor at ratification shall hold the office of the Chancellor until the last Friday of July of the 2nd odd numbered year after ratification.
  4. The Speaker of the House of Representatives at ratification shall hold the office of the Speaker of the Florida until the last Friday of July of the 1st odd numbered year after ratification.  

Section 2

  1. The Citizens of the Florida shall elect a Governor on the 1st Wednesday of July of the 1st odd numbered year after ratification and every four years after that. Submitted ballots for Governor that shall be tallied via instant exhaustive election, the votes of citizens directly shall choose a Governor-Elect counted via instant exhaustive election. The Governor-Elect shall at noon on the last Friday of July shall become Governor for no longer than two terms of four years.   
  2. The Citizens of the Florida shall elect a Chancellor on the 1st Wednesday of July of the 2nd odd numbered year after ratification and every four years after that. Submitted ballots for Chancellor that shall be tallied via instant exhaustive election within each County and then each County shall cast a single ranked choice ballot reflecting the tally therein. Every County's ballot shall be of equal weight. (as the population is the same every enumeration) These County ballots shall be tallied via instant exhaustive election and choose a Chancellor-Elect. The Chancellor-Elect shall at noon on the last Friday of July shall become Chancellor for no longer than two terms of four years.   
  3. The Legislature of the Florida along with the several County Executive Triads in Convention shall elect a Speaker of the Florida on the 2nd Wednesday of July of the 1st odd numbered year after ratification and every two years after that. Each member shall have one independent vote. Submitted ballots for Speaker shall be counted by instant exhaustive election and choose a Speaker-Elect; whom at noon on the last Friday of July shall become Speaker for no longer than four terms of two years. This Convention for electing the Speaker shall be held in a different County Seat every two years.  

Section 3

  1. The Governor, Chancellor, and Speaker together make up the Executive Triad, within the triad the members having equal standing, two of the three shall constitute a decision of the Triad. 
  2. The Governor, Chancellor, and Speaker may each address joint sessions of Legislature and recommend to their consideration such measures he or she shall see to be necessary and expedient.  
  3. The Executive Triad shall have the power to call up the Florida National Guard and or the defense force of the several counties. The Triad may act as necessary to preserve the public peace, execute the laws of the state, suppress insurrection, or repel invasion. 
  4. The Executive Triad shall be commanders-in-chief of all military forces of the state not in active service of the United States. 
  5. The Executive Triad may require information in writing upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective office from all officers of public trust of State, County or municipal governance.
  6. The Executive Triad shall meet twice weekly and a third time with the entire Cabinet. The Governor shall be the Chairman of these meetings. The methods of facilitating these meetings accomplish as designated by law. (Video Teleconference)  
  7. The Executive Triad shall have power, to nominate and with the consent of two-thirds of the House of Representatives, to appoint: Cabinet Department Deputies, Judges to all State Courts, and other positions of the Florida, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law.  
  8. The Executive Triad shall have power, to nominate, and with the consent of two-thirds of the Senate, shall appoint Appellate Court Judges, Cabinet Department Heads,  and other positions of the State, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law. 
  9. The Executive Triad shall have power, to nominate and with the consent of two-thirds of the Several County Executive Triads, to appoint: Justices of the Supreme Court of the Florida, and other positions of the Florida, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law.  
  10. The Executive Triad shall have the power to fill all vacancies to executive offices that may happen during the recess of Legislature, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.  
  11. The Legislature may also vest the appointment of such inferior positions, as they think proper, in the Executive Triad or a Cabinet Department Heads alone as prescribed by law.  
  12. The Executive Triad shall have the power, to remove from office any Cabinet Department Head, Deputy Cabinet Department Head and all other executive officers of the State not stated herein.  
  13. The Executive Triad shall have the power of Executive Orders as necessary to direct and oversee the departments of the State and to remain politically responsible for departmental actions.
  14. The Executive Triad may initiate judicial proceedings in the name of the state against any county or municipal official to enforce compliance with any duty or restrain any unauthorized act. 
  15. The Executive Triad may request in writing the opinion of the justices of the Supreme Court as to the interpretation of any portion of this constitution upon any question affecting the executive powers and duties. The justices shall, subject to their rules of procedure, permit interested persons to be heard on the questions presented and shall render their written opinion.
  16. The Executive Triad may make decrees of pardon or clemency in all criminal cases, not including treason or an officer of public trust.

 

Section 4

  1. The Cabinet shall be made of five departments, whose charge shall extend as described below. Each department may have more divisions and agencies under it as made by law. The Department Head of each department shall be responsible for the actions of the department and shall execute the law as well all orders given to it in writing and signed by two or all three of the executive triad. This gives both the executive and the legislature oversight and control over the operations of the government as well allows the judiciary to issue stays on actions by the several departments. The departments of the government are thus subjects of the law and hold no opinion to what the law should be.
  2. Department of State - To further research and development as directed by law, to combat disease, to have exclusive jurisdiction on matters of Veteran Affairs, Parks, Health, Education, Elderly Affairs and Labor.  Secretary of State shall manage this department.
  3. The Department of Engineers - to build and maintain all state structures, to further research and development as directed by law, to have exclusive jurisdiction on matters of Energy, Transportation, Agriculture, Conservation, Wildlife, and Commerce.  The Chief Architect Officer will supervise this department.  
  4. The Department of the Treasury - to collect taxes from the several Counties, to pay out only as directed by law, to provide budgeting recommendations to the Legislature, to publish inventory of government funds, revenue and expenditures to the Citizens no less than once every twelve months, to investigate all cases of counterfeiting and Fraud. The Chief Financial Officer shall settle and approve accounts against the state, and shall keep all state funds and securities by leading this department.
  5. The Department of Justice - to execute enforcement of laws, to manage prisons, to put the incarcerated to labor, to prosecute those who have been indicted by Grand Jury, and to hold parole and probation boards for the convicted. The Attorney General shall be in charge of this department.
  6. The Department of Emergency - To ensure State Security and to conduct coastal patrols. To ensure the safety and manage the security of all public officials and candidates. To establish secret contingency plans necessary to defend the sovereignty of the State and the Republic to which it belongs. To command the Guard when called into service after a declaration of State or National Emergency.  The Emergency Management Officer will control this department.

Section 5

  1. In the event of the resignation, removal or death of the Governor, the Chancellor shall become Governor for the remainder of the incomplete term.  
  2. In the event of the resignation, elevation, removal, or death of the Chancellor, the Speaker of the Florida shall become Chancellor for the remainder of the incomplete term.  
  3. In the event of the resignation, elevation, removal or death of the Speaker of the Florida, the Line of Succession shall dictate who shall become Speaker of the Florida for the remainder of the incomplete term.   
  4. In the event of the resignation, removal or death of the Governor and Chancellor, the Speaker shall become Governor for the remainder of the incomplete term, and the office of Chancellor and Speaker filled immediately by Line of Succession.  
  5. In the event of a sudden vacancy of the entire Executive Triad continuity of government shall be preserved by Line of Succession to the entire Executive Triad. When the line of Succession shall find three eligible, living and willing successors, those three shall become the Executive Triad and from among themselves by two-thirds appoint one as Governor, one as Chancellor and one as Speaker for the rest of the terms respectively.  
  6. The Line of Succession shall be as follow: 
    Senate Chair Pro-Tempore, 
    House Chair Pro-Tempore,
    Attorney General, 
    Senate Majority Leader, 
    House Majority Leader, 
    Emergency Management Officer, 
    Senate Minority Leader, 
    House Minority Leader, 
    Chief Architect Officer, 
    Senate Majority Whip, 
    House Majority Whip, 
    Secretary of State, 
    Senate Minority Whip, 
    House Minority Whip, 
    Chief Financial Officer, 
    and extended by law to include: The Executive Triads of the five Counties, Cabinet Deputies, and the entire Senate.  
  7. Should the any member of the Executive Triad undergo a medical procedure that would render him or her unable to discharge the responsibility, powers, and duties of the office, then the Line of Succession shall provide an Acting-Executive and assume the responsibility, powers, and duties of Executive but which shall be returned to the actual Executive upon his or her request.  

Section 6

  1. Should a member of the Executive-Triad plus two-thirds of the Cabinet transmit written declaration to the legislature or if not in session the public via news conference, that a particular member of the Executive Triad has become mentally, physically or emotionally unfit to discharge the powers and responsibilities of an Executive. Then that particular member be removed immediately, and the line of succession shall present an Acting-Executive who shall immediately assume the powers and responsibilities of that Executive Office. 
  2. Should the particular member being removed, object and transmits this objection via a written declaration to the legislature or if not in session the public via news conference. Then the Legislature, if not in session shall be called into session within thirty-six hours and within seventy-two hours of either being called into session or upon receiving the latter written declaration, shall lay upon the floor a vote of no confidence in the particular member. 
  3. Should the vote pass, the particular member will be permanently removed and, the Acting-Executive fully elevated. 
  4. Should the vote fail to reach the required two-thirds in both chambers, the Acting-Executive return to his or her former post and the particular member be fully reinstated to his or her office with all of the power and responsibilities their-to.

Section 7

 

  1. In no case shall the person holding an office of executive power assume another without resigning that current office; however, it shall be understood that an acting-officeholder shall be able when completing the acting-office duties and resigning that office be returned to said former office. In all cases, the regular election cycle shall be maintained. The Governor, Chancellor, Speaker and Cabinet shall receive for his or her services, compensations made by law, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he or she shall have been elected or appointed.