Some Pushing to Alter Policy on Amendments

By Marra, Andrew | The Florida Times Union, April 17, 2001 | Go to article overview

Some Pushing to Alter Policy on Amendments


Marra, Andrew, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Andrew Marra, Times-Union staff writer

TALLAHASSEE -- There are probably few things lawmakers hate more than being told what to do.

To be sure, many legislators are less than thrilled about their most recent constitutional mandate: building a high-speed rail system linking Florida's five largest urban areas.

Voters approved an amendment to the Florida Constitution last year requiring the state to begin construction on the system by November 2003. Lawmakers are concerned about the potential cost, which some estimate could be as high as $20 billion.

Now in the wake of that amendment, some lawmakers are proposing changing the way the state constitution is amended. Proposals include an attempt to require that amendments be approved by a higher percentage of voters and an effort to ensure people know the economic cost of every referendum before voting on it.

Ironically, both efforts take the form of proposed constitutional amendments, which would have to be approved by voters to become law.

"If we do not address how issues are put in our constitution we are going to completely undermine the whole legislative process," said Rep. Andy Gardiner, an Orlando Republican.

Gardiner is sponsoring a bill that would let voters decide in 2002 whether future amendment proposals should need approval by three-fifths of voters, rather than the simple majority currently required. A Senate version of the bill calls for approval by two-thirds of voters.

Under Gardiner's criteria, the high-speed rail system amendment (which was approved by 53 percent of voters) would not have made the cut.

In fact, an analysis shows that, for better or worse, eight of the 19 constitutional amendments approved by voters since 1994 could not have passed the proposed three-fifths hurdle.

Gardiner said his bill would not stifle the ability of Floridians to amend their constitution, arguing that any truly sound amendment would be approved overwhelmingly anyway.

He is not alone among lawmakers in thinking that it is too easy to tack amendments onto the Florida Constitution.

"Maybe it ought to take more than a simple majority to change the highest law in the land," House Speaker Tom Feeney, an Oviedo Republican, said last week.

Still, some are skeptical of lawmakers' intentions.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Some Pushing to Alter Policy on Amendments
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.