Florida’s Ballot Is Now Effectively Off-Limits to Citizen Initiatives
Washington, DC – Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law to limit out-of-state contributions to political committees trying to place proposed constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot. This law is a thinly veiled attempt to obstruct every citizen initiative from the 2022 ballot. Now, there will be just three amendments on the 2022 ballot — and every one of them will have been put there by the Legislature.
The ballot measure process has been critical to improving the lives of Floridians. Past successful initiatives have included the legalization of medical marijuana, a $15 minimum hourly wage and restoring voting rights for 1.4 million citizens convicted of a felony. Many groups trying to gather the voter signatures needed to make the ballot have seen plenty of obstacles — everything from constitutionally-dubious fundraising limits to laws on petition gathering — and this legislation is just another part of the orchestrated, under-the-radar assault on the democratic process.
In reaction to this, Fairness Project Executive Director Kelly Hall released the following statement:
“Florida passed a $15 an hour minimum wage raise in 2020 via a ballot initiative after decades of legislative inaction. Now, the Florida legislature is retaliating by making it harder to place issues on the ballot through laws limiting petition gathering and more. They are stripping Floridians of their rights and changing the rules in the middle of the game to give themselves the power to simply ignore the will of the people at the ballot box.”