2020 Constitutional Amendments

The process to amend the state constitution is interesting in Florida, as there are multiple avenues to change our state’s fundamental governing document. Florida Farm Bureau takes a close look at all of the constitutional proposals on the ballot and has always been wary of citizen initiatives that change the state’s foundational document.

FFBF policy states that the Constitution should be the founding document that describes the powers, duties and functions of the state government. FFBF policy also opposes measures that could be addressed through the regular legislative process. So clearly, a very high standard must be met for amendments to gain support.

The 2020 amendments below are proposals that have already made ballot status or are pending Florida Supreme Court approval through the citizen initiative process. The FFBF board will likely review these at the next board meeting.

Amendment 1: Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections

Sponsor: Florida Citizen Voters

Florida Supreme Court Approval: Yes

This amendment states that only United States citizens who are at least eighteen years of age, permanent residents of Florida and registered to vote, as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in a Florida election.

Amendment 2: Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage

Sponsor: Florida for a Fair Wage

Florida Supreme Court Approval: Yes

This amendment raises minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective September 30, 2021. Each September 30 thereafter, minimum wage shall increase by $1.00 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30, 2027.

Amendment 3: All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor and Cabinet

Sponsor: All Voters Vote, Inc.

Florida Supreme Court Approval: Pending

This amendment allows all registered voters to vote in primaries for state legislature, governor, and cabinet regardless of political party affiliation. All candidates for an office, including party nominated candidates, appear on the same primary ballot. The two highest vote getters advance to general election. If only two candidates qualify, no primary is held and the winner is determined in the general election. The candidate’s party affiliation may appear on the ballot as provided by law. This would be effective January 1, 2024.

Amendment 4: Voters Approval of Constitutional Amendments

Sponsor: Keep our Constitution Clean PC

Florida Supreme Court Approval: Pending

This amendment requires all proposed amendments or revisions to the state constitution to be approved by the voters in two elections, instead of one, in order to take effect. The proposal applies the current thresholds for passage to each of the two elections.

Florida Farm Bureau Federation is also supporting House Bill 7037 by Rep. Jamie Grant during the 2020 legislative session. This legislation includes several provisions that make the Constitutional initiative process more deliberative including raising the threshold of voter petitions to trigger language review, transparency measures requiring disclosure of out-of-state participation and shortening the amount of time groups have to gather petitions. It will also require groups pushing for a ballot initiative to pay for the signature verification process with local supervisors of elections’ offices. This bill adds important accountability into the system that allows citizens to propose amendments to the Florida constitution.