State Seal Calendar

Meeting Proceedings for January 13, 1998


          1                          STATE OF FLORIDA
                             CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION



                                    COMMISSION MEETING



              DATE:                   January 13, 1998
              TIME:                   Commenced at 8:30 a.m.
         11                           Concluded at 6:15 p.m.

         12   PLACE:                  The Senate Chamber
                                      The Capitol
         13                           Tallahassee, Florida

         14   REPORTED BY:            KRISTEN L. BENTLEY
                                      JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR
         15                           MONA L. WHIDDON
                                      Court Reporters
         16                           Division of Administrative Hearings
                                      The DeSoto Building
         17                           1230 Apalachee Parkway
                                      Tallahassee, Florida









          1                             APPEARANCES


          3   CARLOS ALFONSO
              CLARENCE E. ANTHONY
              PAT BARTON
          6   ROBERT M. BROCHIN
          7   KEN CONNOR
              CHRIS CORR (ABSENT)
              VALERIE EVANS
              DICK LANGLEY (ABSENT)
         13   JOHN F. LOWNDES
         14   JACINTA MATHIS
              JON LESTER MILLS
         15   FRANK MORSANI
         16   CARLOS PLANAS
              JUDITH BYRNE RILEY
         18   H. T. SMITH
              ALAN C. SUNDBERG (ABSENT)
              PAUL WEST





          1                             PROCEEDINGS

          2             COMMISSION SECRETARY:  All commissioners please

          3        indicate your presence.  All commissioners indicate your

          4        presence.

          5             All unauthorized visitors, please leave the chamber.

          6        All commissioners indicate your presence.  All

          7        commissioners indicate your presence.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Will everybody please take your

          9        seats, please?  Let's come to order, please.  Take your

         10        seats, please.  Commissioner Barkdull, I'll call on you in

         11        just a moment.  All unauthorized people will leave the

         12        chamber.  And can we have a quorum?

         13             COMMISSION SECRETARY:  Quorum present, Mr. Chairman.

         14             (Quorum taken and recorded electronically.)

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Would you all rise for the

         16        opening prayer given this morning by Reverend Robert

         17        Shelley, pastor of the Christian Heritage Church in

         18        Tallahassee.  Reverend Shelley.

         19             REVEREND SHELLEY:  I would like to pray with you the

         20        petition of Micah 6:8.  He has showed you, O man, what is

         21        good and, what the Lord requires of you, but to do justly,

         22        to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

         23             Our Father God, you have shown us down through the

         24        millenniums by your revelation of knowledge what you

         25        desire from man.  So we would pray this morning that the


          1        same revelation of knowledge that has been a part of our

          2        heritage move and touch and impress each mind, each heart

          3        that is here.  That each law that is being considered,

          4        each word might be considered with justice.  It would be

          5        equitable and fair to all men.  And, Lord, we would pray

          6        also that each one of us would love mercy, that compassion

          7        would touch our heart today as we consider the

          8        far-reaching effect of each decision.  And Lord, that we

          9        might walk humbly before you, that we might lean upon

         10        your strength, upon your wisdom and your knowledge as we

         11        contemplate this very important agenda.  We ask this in

         12        the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Remain standing, please.

         14        Commissioner Nabors, would you come forward and lead us in

         15        the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.  You can come up

         16        here.

         17             (Pledge of Allegiance.)

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, good morning.  I think not

         19        everybody hasn't quite made it yet, but we do have a

         20        substantial quorum.  This should be a very short meeting,

         21        I think.  Commissioner Barkdull, am I right?

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.  We are going to be

         23        meeting in committee in about 20 minutes.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is there any business that we

         25        need to take up or do we defer to the afternoon sessions?


          1             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I think everything should be

          2        deferred.  But we have announcements.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proceed.

          4             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  First, you have an orange

          5        packet that we worked off of yesterday.  Those that we

          6        didn't reach yesterday are on special order today and

          7        should be reached today.  Following that, we have a

          8        supplement to the special order calendar, which is in

          9        blue.  When we exhausted the orange calendar, we will

         10        revert to the blue one.

         11             You are also to be reminded that the judicial and

         12        bonding and investment committee meetings for this

         13        afternoon have been canceled.  We have committee meetings

         14        tomorrow in the afternoon, and that is the reverse of what

         15        the original block schedule showed, but it was a

         16        supplemental schedule, it was sent out last week and it

         17        was on your desk yesterday, and it is shown on a block

         18        schedule on the front of your calendar today.

         19             There will be a rules and calendar meeting at 6:00

         20        this afternoon in Room 309.  I want to remind the

         21        Declaration of Rights Committee that the Proposal No. 17

         22        by Riley was recommitted to that committee yesterday

         23        afternoon.  The -- also some members have indicated that

         24        they plan to withdraw proposals and they will be able to

         25        do that at -- either now or at the conclusion of today's


          1        meeting, so bear that in mind.

          2             Mr. Chairman, that concludes any announcements that I

          3        have at this time.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does anybody else

          5        have any announcements?  The matter on reconsideration

          6        will be taken up this afternoon; is that correct?

          7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  And other matters on

          9        reconsideration can be raised any time during the day?

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  From yesterday's package?

         12             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Anybody else have any other

         14        announcements, Ms. Secretary?  I'm reminded by the

         15        Secretary that we need to adopt the proposed special

         16        order.  Without objection, the proposed special order will

         17        be adopted.  Commissioner Barkdull doesn't think we have

         18        to do that, but we'll do it anyway.  Commissioner Rundle?

         19             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Mr. Chairman, at this time I

         20        would like to withdraw Proposal 81.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  What is that?

         22             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  That has to do with signature

         23        verification and absentee ballot.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Without objection,

         25        Proposal 81 will be withdrawn.  You have to have more


          1        strict scrutiny of absentee ballots, I understand?

          2             (Off-the-record comment.)

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Presently, you are doing just

          4        that, right?  Commissioner Barnett?

          5             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  It's my understanding that the

          6        proposed special order calendar includes a proposal by

          7        Commissioner Brochin and one by me.  The one I have is 144

          8        dealing with punishment, and I think his deals with the

          9        death penalty.  We had talked with Commissioner Barkdull

         10        about our need to have that mater deferred to the next

         11        time the Commission meets.  And so if that's on the

         12        agenda, I would really like to request that that be done.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Both of them?

         14             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Yes.  I don't know where --

         15        there he is.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are these in committee?

         17             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  No.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  They are on special order.  Well,

         19        I prepared an amendment to the death penalty provision

         20        that I intend to offer.  I'm prepared to do it whenever it

         21        comes up.  But just so you will know, Commissioner Brochin

         22        and Barnett, I proposed to offer an amendment that would

         23        provide that the capital punishment shall be, when there

         24        is a finding of sufficient first degree murder or other

         25        capital offenses, if there are any, that the jury shall


          1        have the alternative to sentence to death, upon a

          2        unanimous vote, and upon a majority vote, may sentence in

          3        the alternative, life imprisonment and solitary

          4        confinement without parole.

          5             And the third alternative would be -- and that would

          6        be my majority vote.  And the third alternative would be

          7        life in prison, period.  And that would be my majority

          8        vote.  I plan to offer that as an amendment to

          9        Commissioner Brochin's proposal, original proposal, which

         10        was that it took a unanimous vote for the death penalty,

         11        and it was changed, I believe, in the committee from nine

         12        to three; is that correct?  And I'm going to offer that

         13        amendment, so everybody can be getting their thoughts

         14        together on it.

         15             Recognizing that the federal system already provides

         16        for life imprisonment and solitary confinement is one of

         17        the alternatives there, and that presently there's several

         18        hundred prisoners in the federal system that are in

         19        solitary confinement because of incorrigible activity.

         20        And I won't argue the point, but I want you-all to be

         21        aware of that.  I'm ready to go this week or next week or

         22        whenever you want it on special order.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Thank you.  I think it is

         24        going to promise to be an interesting discussion.  And in

         25        order to make it more interesting, we would just like a


          1        little more time to talk amongst our commissioners about

          2        it.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  I didn't want to be

          4        misleading any of you that that was on there.  You are

          5        deferring them from today's special order; is that

          6        correct?  Is that the request, Commissioner Barkdull?

          7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  No, the request is that it be

          8        deferred until our next meeting in January.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  What does the Rules

         10        Committee say on that?

         11             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  The Rules Committee hasn't

         12        met and specifically taken it up.  I have indicated that

         13        we would like to get to it as soon as possible.  We would

         14        certainly defer to the wishes of the commission and we

         15        will schedule it for -- I would recommend that the Rules

         16        Committee be scheduled for the next meeting in January.

         17        But I would suggest that it will not be deferred beyond

         18        that.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Would it be more appropriate if

         20        we waited?  Is the Rules Committee going to meet before we

         21        meet this afternoon?

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  No, it's going to meet at the

         23        end of the afternoon session, but we can make a report

         24        tomorrow.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett?


          1             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Whatever the will of the

          2        commission is, Mr. Chairman.  I just simply, when you

          3        approve the special order calendar, I wanted to make sure

          4        that you and the other commissioners knew that if you

          5        can't accomplish it now, at the appropriate time, we'll

          6        move to temporarily pass it until the next meeting of the

          7        commission, a date certain.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll treat that as a motion to

          9        remove it from the special order for today and it will not

         10        be returned to the special order until it's recommended by

         11        the Rules Committee.  Without objection, that will be

         12        the -- Commissioner Evans, you have to let me know over

         13        there.  I see out of my right eye pretty well but it's

         14        dark over there.

         15             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Okay.  I object because we have

         16        been noticed that this issue is up.  I would prefer that

         17        discussion amongst commission members be in the sunshine

         18        rather than behind closed doors.  We have fully discussed

         19        it in committee; it's ready.  We come to Tallahassee a

         20        great deal of the time.  We have got this whole week -- we

         21        have got quite a few days at the end of January, two weeks

         22        in February.  I think that we need to get on with our

         23        business and stop putting issues off so that we can get

         24        our ducks together a little bit better.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We'll treat that as


          1        an objection to the motion Commissioner Barnett previously

          2        stated, and we'll vote on it.

          3             All of those in favor of the motion, say aye.

          4        Opposed.

          5             (Verbal vote taken.)

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is a two-thirds vote and it

          7        does carry.  It is a majority, it does carry, and it is so

          8        done.  Any further items?  Commissioner Freidin?

          9             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  Good morning, Mr. Chairman.  I

         10        would like, at this time, like to withdraw Proposal

         11        No. 88, increasing the length of the regular legislative

         12        session and including a mandatory recess.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection that will be

         14        withdrawn.  Are there other -- Commissioner Anthony?

         15             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Mr. Chairman, I would like to

         16        remove the item Proposal 52.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  What is that?  Tell us what it

         18        is.

         19             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Oh, proposal, payment of ad

         20        valorem taxes on the first half of 50,000.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does everybody

         22        understand the motion; which is to withdraw Proposal 52?

         23        Without objection, it is withdrawn.  Just a moment,

         24        Commissioner Alfonso.  That wasn't an objection, is that

         25        correct?  All right.  Commissioner Alfonso?  It is


          1        withdrawn.

          2             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  I would like to withdraw

          3        Proposal No. 176.  This proposal was originally introduced

          4        to deal with some of the aspects of Cabinet reform that we

          5        are dealing with in the executive, and now all aspects of

          6        this proposal have been addressed and other proposals that

          7        we are dealing with and it is no longer necessary for us.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, Proposal 176

          9        is withdrawn.  We are moving right along today.  Has

         10        anybody got anything else?  Okay.  I would like to say

         11        that Commissioner Morsani stands among us in vain this

         12        morning, he was the only one that got singled out for his

         13        vote yesterday when he was the only one that voted for one

         14        thing.

         15             Commissioner Planas assured him that we needed at

         16        least one negative vote.  All of you are working very

         17        hard, and I think now we can go and finish our committee

         18        work.  I would entertain a motion that we adjourn.

         19             Commissioner Barkdull?

         20             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I would move that we recess

         21        until the hour of 1:00 p.m. today.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is so done without objection.

         23             (Session recessed at 9:00 a.m., to be continued at

         24        1:00 p.m.)

         25             SECRETARY BLANTON:  All commissioners indicate your


          1        presence.  All commissioners indicate your presence.

          2             Quorum present, Mr. Chairman.

          3             (Quorum taken and recorded electronically.)

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Come to order.

          5        Please take your seats.  Clear the gallery.  Come to

          6        order -- not the gallery, clear the floor.  Those who were

          7        not here to indicate their presence, be sure the secretary

          8        knows you are present.

          9             Commissioner Barkdull?  Chairman of rules.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman and members of

         11        the commission, you have the special order for this

         12        afternoon before you.  There will be, as we proceed,

         13        certain items that will be temporarily passed or would be

         14        requested to be temporarily passed and I'll explain those

         15        as we get to them.  I would ask for the consideration of

         16        the commission.

         17             I had a request from one chairman of one of the

         18        committees that the time for consideration of proposals

         19        before that committee be extended through a meeting that

         20        will be scheduled for 6:15 on Thursday evening.  And at

         21        this time, I move you, sir, that the Declaration of Rights

         22        Committee have until the conclusion of the meeting

         23        scheduled for 6:15 Thursday on evening to complete its

         24        work.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection,


          1        the motion passes unanimously.  Are you going to have

          2        everybody here, Commissioner Smith, do you think, for that

          3        meeting?

          4             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  We expect to have everyone

          5        except Commissioner Barton who has advised me that she

          6        won't be here.  She's an alternate who doesn't vote but --

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Would everybody who was there

          8        today concur to this time and that you needed that; is

          9        that what you told me I think?

         10             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Yes.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right, sir.  Then that will

         12        be scheduled then for 6:15 for the Declaration of Rights

         13        to conclude their work.  Commissioner Barkdull?

         14             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, I was the

         15        sponsor of Proposal No. 122 which related to automatic

         16        restoration of civil rights.  After Commissioner Thompson

         17        enlightened me this morning, I would like to withdraw that

         18        proposal.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection

         20        it's withdrawn upon the enlightenment of Commissioner

         21        Thompson.  We have on special order a matter on

         22        reconsideration.  I'd like to pass that until everybody is

         23        here.  The person that moved it has not -- oh, you're here

         24        now.  How many do we have present, Madam Secretary?

         25             (Off-the-record comment.)


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The reason I ask that is

          2        Commissioner Rundle isn't here and she's involved in this.

          3        We'll pass this without objection until either later today

          4        or perhaps tomorrow for consideration.  Welcome to

          5        Commissioner Argiz who's joined us since this morning.

          6        Also Commissioner Mathis is here though she has not

          7        arrived in the chamber.  And they were unable and were

          8        excused from the previous meetings.

          9             Commissioner Planas, you rise?

         10             COMMISSIONER PLANAS:  Yes.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You're recognized.

         12             COMMISSIONER PLANAS:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

         13        want to withdraw Proposal No. 98, that is a different

         14        language, that's not legislative terms.  I'd like to

         15        withdraw it.  Thank you.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection,

         17        Proposal No. 98 is withdrawn.

         18             Commissioner Riley?

         19             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Mr. Chairman, I'd like to also

         20        withdraw Proposal No. 3 on the assessment of fees if

         21        acquitted.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, Proposal No. 3

         23        is withdrawn.

         24             Commissioner Anthony?

         25             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I'd like to withdraw Proposal


          1        No. 100, the creation, slash, abolishment of

          2        municipalities.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, Proposal

          4        No. 100 is withdrawn.

          5             Commissioner Henderson?

          6             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Without objection, I would

          7        like to request withdrawal of Proposal 136 relating to

          8        redevelopment and in-fill.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, Proposal 136

         10        is withdrawn.  Any further commissioners --

         11             Commissioner Ford-Coates?

         12             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  After the withdrawal of

         13        Proposal 100 by Commissioner Anthony, and yesterday

         14        Commissioner Nabors withdrew Proposal 92, those two

         15        proposals were the only agenda items for the Local

         16        Government Committee.  And with that, the Local Government

         17        Committee has passed on all of the proposals referred to

         18        it.  I assume that means the local government is working

         19        quite well these days because it is closest to the people.

         20        So that committee meeting will be cancelled for tomorrow.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Very well.  Everybody involved

         22        then is aware of that cancellation now.  Anybody who's not

         23        here, Commissioner Ford-Coates, you can let them know.

         24             Commissioner Barkdull?

         25             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  We'll also make an


          1        announcement tomorrow morning that that's cancelled.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Correct.  All right.  Is there

          3        anything further before we start on the special order?

          4        And we're back to the first item on the special order

          5        which is Proposal No. 60.  Would you read it, please?  We

          6        have a new reader today.

          7             READING CLERK:  Proposal 60 by Commissioner Langley,

          8        Article V, Section 2 Florida Constitution; providing for

          9        the cross assignment of judges.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Langley

         11        is not here.  Does anybody care to present this?  Are

         12        there any proponents?  Are there any opponents?  Does

         13        anybody want to get up and explain what it does?  There we

         14        go.  Commissioner Kogan?

         15             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  All right.  It has been the

         16        practice of chief judges around the state following their

         17        right under the Constitution to reassign certain judges

         18        that are under authority, particularly in this instance,

         19        county court judges to do circuit court work.  What

         20        happened was in one of our counties, and if I recall

         21        correctly I believe it's Palm Beach County, some of the

         22        judges were assigned to temporary duty and that's the way

         23        the Constitution now reads, temporary duty for a six-month

         24        period, time after time after time, where some of them

         25        actually served three and four years in a temporary


          1        capacity in six-month increments.  And that case came to

          2        us for a decision as to what was temporary and the Court

          3        felt that serving three or four years as a county court

          4        judge doing circuit court work was not temporary.  So we

          5        stopped them from doing that.

          6             This is an effort to allow the judges, to the chief

          7        judges to go ahead and use the county court judges again

          8        but this time the word "temporary" is stricken.  You know,

          9        I'm not speaking for or against this, but the major

         10        argument that I've heard for this is that there are some

         11        county court judges, and I know this from my own personal

         12        experience, who are very, very capable and able to do

         13        circuit court work.  And for example we've got a county

         14        judge in Dade County who's been doing circuit court work

         15        now for many, many years and he's even retired on top of

         16        it.  And he's perfectly able to do the work that he's

         17        doing.  This is a plus side.

         18             The negative side that I've heard is, Look, you know,

         19        we elect these judges, you know, to be either circuit

         20        court judges or county court judges and a lot of people

         21        will tell you, especially those who have been on judicial

         22        nominating commissions, that many times we put nominations

         23        forward for young attorneys that we feel will make good

         24        county court judges but we feel they may need the

         25        seasoning or they may never really be ready for circuit


          1        court work.  And the problem arises when these particular

          2        county court judges get assigned to do circuit court work.

          3             Now these are the pro and con arguments that I've

          4        heard.  I'm not taking a position on this.  I've seen

          5        situations where the county judges sitting as circuit

          6        judges, in fact, really helped the system and really

          7        helped us move cases along.  Now, perhaps Commissioner

          8        Barkdull, from his experience, may be able to add to that.

          9        But those are just my observations.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Would the gentleman yield?

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He yields.

         12             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Kogan, in your

         13        explanation something arose that I had not considered

         14        really in reference to this.  Is not the fact that you

         15        have the ability to assign county judges to circuit level

         16        particularly important in smaller counties where you only

         17        may have one or two county judges and no resident circuit

         18        judge?

         19             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Yes, this is very important and

         20        used for that purpose.  And that is, you know, you don't

         21        really want your circuit judges really riding the circuit

         22        like they used to and have to travel many, many miles.  If

         23        you have an emergency situation on the circuit court

         24        level, you don't want to have the litigants go several

         25        counties over to where the circuit judge may be sitting or


          1        wait for the circuit judge to come there.  So it's

          2        convenient because you always have in every county at

          3        least one county court judge --

          4             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  My recollection now from

          5        testimony before the Article V task force is you've got

          6        two county judges east of here and some of the rural

          7        counties almost as county judges are riding the circuit as

          8        acting circuit judges.  Would the failure to pass this

          9        prevent, obviously, in those situations where you're

         10        limited a number of county judges and limited circuit

         11        judges not resident in the county?  This six-months'

         12        limitation must give you a problem in reappointing them to

         13        those duties.

         14             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  It does give you a problem.

         15        Unfortunately, the problem arose in one of the more

         16        populist counties, Palm Beach County.  We haven't had, to

         17        my recollection, a case coming out of the

         18        sparsely-populated areas.  And I don't know whether or not

         19        the court, had it been a sparsely-populated area, might

         20        not have ruled the other way.  The way it is now, we've

         21        ruled that the word "temporary" means that 3 to 4 years

         22        assigned consistently as a circuit judge even though your

         23        county court judge is not temporary.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Butterworth?

         25             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  If Commissioner Kogan


          1        would yield for a question.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He yields.

          3             (Off-the-record comment.)

          4             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Remember, I didn't pose this.

          5        I'm just trying to explain what it is and give you the

          6        arguments on both sides.

          7             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Well, you're a good

          8        sounding board on some of these questions, just bouncing

          9        off of what Commissioner Barkdull stated.  Let's say in

         10        the larger counties, what happens when a number of the

         11        county judges that finish their calendars and they're

         12        available to take, perhaps, some of the circuit work but

         13        not be assigned permanently but just maybe an hour or two

         14        hours it takes to be a backup judge for a circuit court

         15        judge --

         16             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  That's no problem at all.  Even

         17        when it reads "temporary," that's a temporary assignment.

         18             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  But everyday must a chief

         19        judge do that every single time or can he just -- will

         20        this allow a chief judge to identify three, four, five,

         21        six, seven county court judges, whatever, to where those

         22        judges would in essence be available at all times to be

         23        able to --

         24             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  You can do that now because

         25        that's a temporary assignment.  The case we had


          1        unfortunately dealt with judges who were sitting full time

          2        as circuit judges even though they were county judges for

          3        a period of 3 to four years.  We just said that's not

          4        temporary.

          5             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Mr. Chairman, my situation

          6        as a county judge and circuit judge, having the

          7        opportunity to serve as county judge, but a circuit judge

          8        in juvenile bench literally would be on vacation quite

          9        often and travelling throughout the country insofar as

         10        various juvenile justice matters.  So I found myself being

         11        able to be assigned.  I was doing both dockets.  And I'm

         12        kind of wondering if we have situations like that in the

         13        state, we may have it in the rural areas, where I believe

         14        there is nothing wrong with passing this measure and we

         15        might correct some problems that exist.  So there is no

         16        harm for doing this.

         17             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  The only argument that I've

         18        heard in opposition to this is that we have voted for

         19        county judges, we want them to do county court work.  We

         20        voted for circuit court judges, we want them to do circuit

         21        court work.  And there aren't people who object to the

         22        fact that county judges are doing circuit work.  The

         23        feeling is that the circuit judges sit it in a higher

         24        court and are more qualified to do that work than the

         25        county judges.  That's the argument I've heard on the


          1        other side.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, Commissioner Henderson.

          3             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, I'm going to

          4        rise in support of the proposal.  I don't have a dog in

          5        this hunt but some of you may know that my wife is chief

          6        administrative judge, county judge, in Volusia.  And so

          7        there's a big county issue too that I'm familiar with.

          8        She is the only sitting county judge in basically a

          9        quarter area of the county.  If you look, here's a big

         10        county, 750,000 acres and here's one county judge, the

         11        only judge sitting in this one portion of the county.

         12             Now, there are two ways to do this.  There is the

         13        strict construction of this language, which is temporary,

         14        and it would mean that anytime you had an emergency

         15        situation dealing with spouse abuse that they would have

         16        to go track down a circuit judge somewhere else in the

         17        county.  But because of the way this works, she is serving

         18        as a counterpart in the western part of the county,

         19        another county judge, who has the authority to enter

         20        injunctions for the protection of spouses who are in

         21        danger.  And I can tell you that that is a matter of

         22        judicial economy.  It's a system of helping the victims

         23        and it works.

         24             And I know at home over Christmas, on three times on

         25        Christmas day, a deputy came by to have injunctions


          1        entered.  The same thing happened New Year's Day.  So

          2        there is a great economy for the process to be able to

          3        have a county judge in an area where there is not a

          4        sitting circuit judge to be able to take care of some of

          5        these matters.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Connor?

          7             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Question, if I may, of the

          8        commissioner.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He yields.

         10             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Commissioner Henderson, I'd

         11        like to understand what the prejudice is that is suffered

         12        from the ability to make temporary assignments in

         13        instances in which you just suggested, for example, I can

         14        envision that a court could well assign a county judge to

         15        temporarily serve as to take care of the duties you asked.

         16        And I ask this for this reason.  We have historically had

         17        a two-tiered system.  We have a system of county judges

         18        who are appointed -- who are designated to serve in the

         19        county courts, courts of limited jurisdiction.

         20             We have circuit judges who serve in our circuit

         21        courts.  And it seems to me that under the current regime,

         22        that a provision is made for temporary assignments in

         23        instances where it's necessary to accomplish the very

         24        kinds of concerns that you raise.  And yet the effect of

         25        this proposed amendment would be, I think, in many


          1        respects to do what cannot now be directly done and which

          2        many do feel would circumvent the system.

          3             So I ask you what is the prejudice that can't be

          4        cured through the temporary assignment process and I

          5        understood what the judge had to say -- what Commissioner

          6        Kogan had to say, but I wasn't sure I appreciated the

          7        significance of the prejudice.  I've tried cases in

          8        federal courts by consent with federal magistrates rather

          9        than Article III judges.  I've had county judges by

         10        consent handle circuit court matters.  But is this an

         11        entree that would only wind up altering our system,

         12        eliminating the distinctions between county and circuit

         13        judges and can the requirements of the administration of

         14        justice not be met through the utilization of temporary

         15        assignments?

         16             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I think that's a very good

         17        question.  And I think the answer in the case I'm familiar

         18        with, this is the case in south Florida, it's been a

         19        temporary assignment for more than a couple of years.  So

         20        how long is temporary?  And I think the same is true with

         21        the other part of the county where you have county judges

         22        sitting in an area for some time.  And so as a result of a

         23        decision Commissioner Kogan mentioned, they know that

         24        they're not on as solid ground as they used to be.

         25             The other opportunities to provide a unified court


          1        system before this body, it did not come forward.  I don't

          2        think there is support for it.  I don't see this as an

          3        erosion of that.  I see it as judicial economy.  I

          4        remember it as a practicing attorney in a small town that

          5        was isolated from the rest of the court system.

          6             It was nice to be able to have a judge locally that

          7        you could go and deal with and not have to track down in

          8        the rest of the circuit and I think that has a lot to do

          9        with the cost to litigants as well.

         10             I'm also sensitive to the issue raised by

         11        Commissioner Butterworth.  We often have a lot of waste in

         12        the system because of the way that the dockets are set,

         13        the agendas are set for extended periods of time.  There

         14        will be times when judges and courtrooms sit empty when

         15        other litigants need to have their day in court.  And so

         16        if this helps that, I think we've given some improvement

         17        to the system.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Connor?

         19             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  One further question, if I may,

         20        in that regard.

         21             (Off-the-record comment.)

         22             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  You were the last one up.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You married into it from my

         24        understanding of what you said.  We're not ruling that's a

         25        conflict because we know you don't do what your wife tells


          1        you to do.

          2             (Laughter.)

          3             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  When those assignments take

          4        place then, does that judge have jurisdiction regardless

          5        of the consent of the parties or the consent of the

          6        parties' lawyers?  In other words, if a county judge is

          7        assigned temporarily or for an unlimited period, does that

          8        mean the litigants and the lawyers are stuck with that

          9        judge, if you will, and I don't mean that in a negative

         10        sense, but are they required to have that county judge or

         11        is it by consent of the parties and lawyers involved?

         12             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman and

         13        commissioners, I think there are people in this chamber

         14        that are smarter than me to answer that question.  And

         15        maybe I should punt that to, perhaps, Commissioner Kogan.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You can punt it to Commissioner

         17        Barkdull because this was discussed in detail on the

         18        Article V Revision Commission.

         19             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  All right.  Actually, the

         20        authority is in the hands of the chief justice to make the

         21        assignments.  But the amendment gives me, the chief

         22        justice, the authority to delegate his or her authority to

         23        the chief judges.  All the chief judges, rather all the

         24        chief justices that I know of, including myself, have

         25        delegated this authority to the chief judges of the


          1        circuit.

          2             Now, theoretically, I could as chief justice stop

          3        every one of these assignments just by revoking the

          4        authority that I've given to the chief judges of each

          5        circuit to make these assignments.  So if somebody would

          6        call my attention, for example, to the fact that some

          7        county court judge has been sitting an inordinate amount

          8        of time, you know, even under the amendment, even if you

          9        took out the word "temporary," I could still say, you

         10        know, That judge is a county judge and that judge has been

         11        there a long time and after all, a county judge is

         12        supposed to do county judge work and circuit judges do

         13        circuit judge work, and revoke my chief judge's authority

         14        to appoint a county judge to sit as a circuit court judge.

         15        So it's not an unbridled authority.  The chief justice --

         16        what's that?

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think Commissioner -- I've got

         18        three here competing.  I think you were first.

         19             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, this is perhaps a

         20        question -- perhaps a statement.  I was going to ask

         21        Commissioner Morsani to take the floor and ask the

         22        question, but I won't do that yet.  It seems to me that

         23        the cross assignment is probably a necessary

         24        administrative function that makes sense and I haven't

         25        understood why it's not working adequately now.  But the


          1        thing that struck me, as thinking of this from the

          2        legislative perspective and the funding perspective, do we

          3        in an Article V sense, when we go to the Legislature to

          4        ask them to fund circuit judges and fund county judges,

          5        diminish our capacity to really show the need?

          6             In other words, where we're using county judges to do

          7        circuit work, isn't what we really need to make the case

          8        if we have that kind of caseload for an increased number

          9        of circuit judges because I take the point that you have

         10        people who are doing a job which isn't precisely their job

         11        description doesn't mean they are not capable, it doesn't

         12        mean they are not doing a good job.  But if we don't have

         13        enough people on the circuit bench, why don't we ask the

         14        Legislature to do that?  And if it's the failure of the

         15        Legislature to do that, then it should be pointed out.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson -- wait a

         17        minute.  I think Commissioner Zack had risen.  I'll get to

         18        you in just a moment.

         19             Commissioner Zack.

         20             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Commissioner Kogan yield for

         21        another question?

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You need to use your microphone.

         23             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  The question, I was with you for

         24        a while and now I'm not sure that I understand precisely

         25        what you said in your last comments and I want to be clear


          1        as to what the effect of the amendment would be.  But what

          2        you indicated is, even if this amendment was favorably

          3        passed by this body, that you still would have the right

          4        to challenge whether a county judge who is continually

          5        reappointed, in fact, was acting as a circuit judge; is

          6        that correct?

          7             (Off-the record comment.)

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Could you use the microphone,

          9        please?

         10             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  All right.  Now this would be

         11        the amended one.  The amended one would read, The chief

         12        justice shall be the chief administrative officer of the

         13        judicial system and shall have the power to assign

         14        justices or judges, including consenting retired justices

         15        or judges, to duty in any court and to delegate to the

         16        chief judges of the judicial circuits the power to assign

         17        judges for duty in their respective circuits.

         18             In other words, I could, if I wanted to, just say,

         19        I'm not giving you that authority and I refuse to assign

         20        this particular county judge to circuit court work.  I can

         21        do that.  I can do that right now but I don't.

         22             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  You don't and other --

         23             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Other justices don't either.

         24        We've left it up to the chief justices of the circuits

         25        because they know what the needs are in their particular


          1        circuits.

          2             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Now, would the ruling of the

          3        Supreme Court possibly have been different had the

          4        appointment that was challenged under the case law cited

          5        in our materials been made by the chief justice as opposed

          6        to the circuit chief?

          7             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  That's hard to say.  The main

          8        complaint was these county judges were sitting there as I

          9        recall 3 and 4 years.  There were two of them and that

         10        this not meet the present constitutional provision that

         11        says "temporary appointment," that's the issue we decided,

         12        whether or not this was a temporary appointment.

         13             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  So as a practical matter, even

         14        though a chief justice would have the right to not allow

         15        this continual appointment, as a practical matter, it's

         16        highly unlikely that would occur; isn't that accurate?

         17             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Yes, highly unlikely.  I know

         18        one particular judge sitting in Dade County, he's been

         19        sitting there as a circuit judge for years and years when

         20        he's a retired county court judge, but nobody has ever

         21        complained about it.  No case has ever been brought before

         22        us and we haven't ruled on it.

         23             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Well, I guess I'm curious to know

         24        your view of this and where you will end up on this

         25        question primarily because I don't know and I would like


          1        to be enlightened, as I'm sure other commissioners, as to

          2        how necessary this is for the chief judges of various

          3        circuits to have additional powers to help control their

          4        calendar and will this, in fact, aid in the administration

          5        of justice or is it not necessary?

          6             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  It will help them move their

          7        calendars and it is necessary in the administration of

          8        justice.  I just pointed out to you the one negative that

          9        I've heard people mention.  And, of course, there is

         10        always the chief justice that can, even if you change

         11        this, if the chief feels a county court judge is just

         12        sitting too long as a circuit judge, can just reassign

         13        that particular judge.

         14             Then of course you have to trust the chief justice of

         15        the court and I don't know whether people want to put that

         16        authority.  No matter which way you do it, whether you

         17        keep what's in here now or whether you put in the

         18        amendment the chief justice still has the authority to

         19        assign the judges.  The only reason this was changed was

         20        to take out the word "temporary."

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull?

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You served on the Article V

         24        Revision Commission.  And my recollection is that this was

         25        considered by the commission and it was concluded that it


          1        was an unnecessary addition to the Constitution as

          2        proposed; isn't that what happened?

          3             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, I would have to

          4        go back to the recommendations.  I don't want to go off

          5        the top of my head on it because I was of the view that it

          6        was recommended and the Legislature decided to defer to

          7        what this body had taken up.  We'd have to go back to the

          8        final report.  Possibly Billy can help us.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, the reason I asked that is

         10        because if I remember the argument correctly that hasn't

         11        been made here today was that what we were doing is

         12        creating a combined one-tier trial system by this.  And

         13        why it doesn't appear that way on the surface, that that

         14        was the intent and we had a problem with counties under

         15        40,000 or less could have county judges who were not

         16        members of the Bar, that was all in the discussion.  I

         17        haven't heard that discussed today.

         18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, I think that

         19        discussion came up when we had a provision before the

         20        Article V task force by Senator Dudley which was

         21        attempting to merge the trial courts.  I didn't recall

         22        that debate when it came up on the temporary assignments.

         23        In fact, it was my recollection that those -- we had two

         24        county judges that came up and testified before us and I

         25        thought it was pretty much a consensus of the body that we


          1        were very happy that they were doing circuit judge work in

          2        those seven or eight counties.  And I thought -- I know we

          3        did not recommend the merger of the trial courts.  But I

          4        do think we recommended to eliminate the word "temporary."

          5             And as Commissioner Kogan has indicated, the chief

          6        justice at all times has control of this because he

          7        authorizes the chief judges of the circuits to do what

          8        they want to but he can also withdraw that and also I'm

          9        well aware, being a recipient of some of these, that when

         10        you're assigned, you can assign for a specific time or a

         11        specific case.  So the control lays completely within the

         12        chief justice and he can exercise it as he sees fit.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, I don't want to get into

         14        the debate, but one of the things that was mentioned in

         15        this discussion is the fact that the Constitution requires

         16        that the chief justice certify to the Legislature the

         17        number of circuit court judges and county judges that are

         18        needed.  And that one of the problems in having this in

         19        place, it's not now there, is that the argument can be

         20        made that there is no need for additional circuit judges

         21        and certainly no need for additional county judges because

         22        the county judges have time in addition to their duties as

         23        county judges to serve as circuit judge.

         24             And therefore, what you wind up doing is giving an

         25        improper picture of the caseload to the individual courts.


          1        That was my recollection of the main discussion that we

          2        had on the Article V revision along with the idea that

          3        when you -- under the present Constitution, it's

          4        impossible for a chief judge, be he good or bad, to just

          5        carte blanche assign a judge to last -- a county judge to

          6        last as a circuit judge and then the parties couldn't do

          7        anything about it.

          8             And there was concern reflected by Commissioner

          9        Zack's question about do the parties have a right not to

         10        use a county judge.  And I don't know that this addresses

         11        that, does it, Commissioner Kogan, that issue?

         12             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  (Nods negatively.)

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So that would still be whatever

         14        it is today you think?

         15             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  (Nods affirmatively.)

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Your answer is yes?

         17             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Yes.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  I think we pretty well

         19        understand what this does now.  If there's further debate

         20        we'll certainly entertain it.  Anybody else?

         21             Commissioner Thompson?

         22             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  I'm going to vote for it and I

         23        understand those that are not.  From the point of view of

         24        the rural counties, and I know most of you don't come from

         25        rural counties, so your experience is going to be more


          1        important as to where you live.  But rural counties --

          2        let's take a circuit like this one.  All the judges by and

          3        large are going to be elected from one place, Leon County.

          4        So in the other counties out in that circuit, you have a

          5        county judge.  Now we're requiring all county judges to be

          6        lawyers and I don't necessarily agree with that by the

          7        way.  And one of the best I know is not a lawyer.  But

          8        nevertheless, we're doing that.

          9             And so what happens is in those outlying areas,

         10        because of the caseload and the bigger county in the

         11        circuit, it's harder to get with a circuit judge.  And

         12        when the jurisdiction was changed of the circuit courts to

         13        include probate and some of those things that the county

         14        courts have historically done, that then changed access

         15        for things like ex parte orders and so forth and probate

         16        matters.  You can't find a judge.  You have to get in line

         17        at the Leon County Courthouse for quite a little bit of

         18        time because of the caseload and all.

         19             Whereas, if you were in Liberty County and your judge

         20        was assigned on a more or less permanent basis to circuit

         21        matters, then you can go to that judge and in the morning

         22        he or she can sit over county court matters and take a

         23        break, sign your probate order, and go on about your

         24        business.  So it works out pretty good.  And I think the

         25        public is well served by it and the qualification question


          1        is answered.

          2             In our response to Mr. Connor's concern about,

          3        probably what I see and being concerned about to some

          4        extent, is a singletary trial system.  And I tell you, if

          5        you're going to require all the judges to be lawyers, you

          6        might as well make up your mind that you're going to end

          7        up getting there some day and there's no doubt about it,

          8        especially in the rural counties, that's about the way

          9        something like this will work out.  And it's no big

         10        problem.

         11             And before these decisions that made I think the

         12        judges, the chief judges, reluctant to have a sort of a

         13        permanent assignment of those county judges, those lawyer

         14        county judges to the circuit responsibilities, it worked

         15        real well and you had access to judges.  Remember in small

         16        counties, you've got a county judge for the smallest

         17        populated county in the state as well as those and the

         18        others.  So, you know, they can fill in.  They do get paid

         19        the enhanced amount that circuit judges get paid, but

         20        that's not a big difference to the taxpayers, especially

         21        for, I think, the efficiency of the system.

         22             So it works pretty good and I don't see any big

         23        problem with it from the point of view of the counties

         24        that I know about.  If you see problems, then, of course,

         25        I certainly would understand that.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mathis?

          2             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  Will Commissioner Thompson

          3        yield for a question?

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He yields.

          5             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  Is there a problem with keeping

          6        records of county cases versus circuit cases and where

          7        those cases are assigned or doesn't the clerk keep those

          8        records now and couldn't you tell from looking at those

          9        records when a temporarily-assigned county court judge

         10        heard a circuit court case?

         11             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Sure.  They always just assign

         12        them as active circuit judges is what my experience has

         13        been.  So the clerk's office keeps up with all that.  I've

         14        never known of any problems.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Connor?

         16             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, I'm going to vote

         17        against the proposal for two reasons.  One, I am persuaded

         18        by Commissioner Mills' observations that if this

         19        stopped-at measure is permitted to continue indefinitely,

         20        it does take the heat off the Legislature from doing what

         21        it should do which is to fund a circuit judge's position

         22        for the circuit involved.

         23             Two, from practicing around the state, I have found

         24        that there is wide variation in the experience level with

         25        familiarity of circuit judges and county judges with


          1        respect to issues that commonly recur in circuit court.

          2        And the parties do not, as I understand it, have any say

          3        in whether or not the case will be presided over by a

          4        county judge on assignment or circuit judge.  And because

          5        of that great variation, I feel confident it may work

          6        better in small circuits where folks get called on more

          7        commonly to do circuit duty than in some of the larger

          8        circuits.

          9             My reservations have nothing to do with the lack of

         10        confidence in the chief justice or the person who occupies

         11        the position of chief justice.  We do have a two-tiered

         12        system.  We are determined to maintain that system in

         13        place and I would be careful about doing indirectly what

         14        we have not been willing to do directly.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further

         16        discussion, debate?  All right.  Prepare to vote.  Unlock

         17        the machine.  Lock the machine and record the vote.

         18             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         19             READING CLERK:  12 yeas, 15 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It fails.  All right.  We'll move

         21        to Proposal 39 where we left with great confusion

         22        yesterday afternoon.  Are you prepared to unconfuse us,

         23        Commissioner Henderson?

         24             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, I am more than

         25        prepared to get everybody on track to put this one up or


          1        down and get on with it.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Before you go, there is --

          3             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  You're not going to try to

          4        confuse us, are you?

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes, I am.  I'm going to call on

          6        Commissioner Barnett.  Well, I was going to have her

          7        introduce our page and our page went to do some work.

          8        We'll wait until she comes back, Commissioner Barnett.

          9        And then I would like the secretary to note that at least

         10        two of the members that are recorded present haven't been

         11        here since lunch.  I want that recorded in the journal.

         12             Now, you may proceed.

         13             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         14        And to my colleagues, I want to apologize for the heat of

         15        the moment at the end of the day yesterday.  I think we

         16        all learned what has been said wisely many times here, you

         17        get past 5:00 and 5:30 and on to 6:00, our minds are on

         18        other things and it's easy to get confused.  And so to the

         19        extent that I did anything to confuse, what to me is a

         20        very important and sensitive issue, I apologize.  And I

         21        want to tell you exactly where I think we are.

         22             Yesterday before we concluded, we adopted an

         23        amendment by Commissioner Nabors and that is now the --

         24        and that amendment is essentially what was favorably

         25        reported from the Committee on Bonding Investments on this


          1        issue.  And so I want to make sure that everybody has

          2        before you the language that we are about to vote on

          3        because it is not in the orange packet and it is not in

          4        the blue packet.  What it is in is in the journal.  And if

          5        you look in the journal on Page 135, it is the italicized

          6        language in the bottom right-hand corner.  So I want to be

          7        sure you're all with us.  So you're all with us, that is

          8        what is before us.

          9             And I see some people referring to the actual

         10        amendment itself from yesterday, it's the same language.

         11        It doesn't matter.  I just want to make sure that one of

         12        these -- I see Commissioner Thompson looking.  You can

         13        either refer to Amendments 1 to 39, which was handed out

         14        yesterday afternoon, or you can refer to Page 135 of the

         15        journal down at the bottom, the italicized language.  Are

         16        we all there?

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We're on Proposal 39 which is not

         18        what we're on; is that correct?

         19             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  No, sir, we're on Proposal

         20        39 as amended.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  As amended.  And then in order to

         22        determine how it's amended, you read the journal or the

         23        amendment.

         24             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I don't want to confuse you.

         25        We're on 39 as amended and the only way you can see what


          1        that is is by looking at the journal.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And that number is what of that

          3        proposal?

          4             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  We are on Proposal 39 as now

          5        amended.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.

          7             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  And I'm prepared to move

          8        that forward to conclude this matter which would conclude

          9        39 and would also conclude other proposals.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Have we adopted the amendment?

         11             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  We have adopted the

         12        amendment, yes, sir.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So maybe I should ask

         14        the clerk to read the -- we didn't do any reading when we

         15        started.  Read the proposal title.

         16             READING CLERK:  Proposal 39 by Commissioner

         17        Henderson, Article X, Florida Constitution; creating the

         18        Florida Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund and

         19        providing for its source of funds and purposes.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

         21        Henderson, if you would explain now how the proposal as

         22        amended differs from the present Constitution, then that

         23        may get us to where we need to go.

         24             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Let me explain where we are

         25        and what we're going to try to do here.  Now we've gotten


          1        past the procedure because I don't want there to be any

          2        confusion about this.  As we heard during the public

          3        testimony, we have a very successful program in this state

          4        called Preservation 2000 which was started by Governor

          5        Martinez, continued by Governor Chiles.  And each

          6        Legislature in the last eight years under the leadership

          7        of Commissioner Crenshaw, Commissioner Scott and now

          8        Commissioner Jennings, have all approved bonding under

          9        this proposal.

         10             Unfortunately, that bonding existed under a carryover

         11        to the 1885 Constitution.  And so the reference to this is

         12        in a footnote at the end of Article 12, Section 17, of the

         13        schedule which says that, The bonding authority for this

         14        program expires in the year 2013.  Now that means in a

         15        practical matter when the Legislature goes to issue bonds

         16        this year for the eighth or ninth series of bonds, that

         17        there will only be a 14 year or 15-year life on those

         18        bonds.

         19             And so the program, effectively, will expire in two

         20        years because the bonds will be unmarketable.  So there

         21        were three proposals that were filed.  And we went to the

         22        Committee on Bonding and Investments.  And the language,

         23        which is before you, is essentially the preferred language

         24        that came out of committee, decided on the wisdom of

         25        Commissioner Nabors who I think, by the way, Commissioner


          1        Nabors is an outstanding bond lawyer -- worked with him in

          2        a number of capacities -- that the best way to do this was

          3        not to fix it in the schedule of the Constitution but

          4        actually to move it into the bond section and allow for

          5        the issuance of full faith and credit to be used for this

          6        purpose so voters can approve it and be able to continue

          7        to do that.

          8             And what it does is give to the Legislature the

          9        annual discretion, the annual discretion, to decide how

         10        they should or would use this authority for bonding.

         11        Currently they are doing it on a basis of about $300

         12        million a year.  Currently they are using a portion of

         13        revenues and documentary stamps.  And so the proposal that

         14        is before you doesn't deal with that, doesn't tie up the

         15        Legislature, doesn't tie up the documentary stamps.  It

         16        gives them full discretion on the use of that.  And so

         17        that is what is before you today.

         18             So what the proposal is different from, merely

         19        amending the schedule, as is Commissioner Barkdull's

         20        proposal, is because we've learned a lot in the last eight

         21        years, Preservation 2000.  So the language that is before

         22        you makes more sense for where we are in the program

         23        today.  Will help us with water issues, will help us with

         24        Everglades restoration and other things.  And I would say

         25        this.  When we finish -- when we finish with the bond


          1        committee -- and I wish Commissioner Hawkes were here to

          2        express all this today but he was trying to do that

          3        yesterday afternoon -- there were a number of interests

          4        that were in the room that we were working with.

          5             If you can imagine in a bill dollar program like

          6        this, not only are there environmental issues, there are

          7        representatives of industry, agriculture, forestry, local

          8        governments.  You know, since this program was put

          9        together, over 20 local governments representing a vast

         10        majority of people of the state have all approved bond

         11        issues of their own and they're using those funds to match

         12        with Preservation 2000 so they're able to have additional

         13        acquisitions back in their home communities.

         14             And so after that, we got together, we worked out the

         15        language which is before you.  So I can represent to you

         16        today that the language, which I'm going to ask you to

         17        support favorably, is essentially what was approved by the

         18        committee.  It is language that all the interests have

         19        agreed to and it is something that will command great

         20        public support and has indeed tremendous bipartisan

         21        support.

         22             So I will tell you that of all things that we do,

         23        this may be the one thing that when it's all over and done

         24        with will have the greatest impact for us, our children,

         25        our grandchildren.


          1             If we were dealing with schools or roads or prisons,

          2        we'd all be agreeing that as we grow and continue to grow,

          3        the dynamic state we are, 700 people a day moving to this

          4        state, that of course we'd like to continue to be able to

          5        take care of those needs, those infrastructure needs,

          6        roads, prisons, and schools.  Unfortunately, our

          7        flexibility to deal with this issue will expire in a very

          8        short period of time.  This is our best opportunity to fix

          9        that.  It is something that commands great public support.

         10        And in that regard, I'm happy to propose its adoption.

         11             Mr. Chairman, any questions, I'll be glad to try to

         12        answer.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think what's been bothering, at

         14        least bothering me with all of this discussion, and the

         15        reason I keep asking how this differs from the previous

         16        Constitution, is that my understanding always has been,

         17        and as it is stated in Section A of Article 11, that the

         18        state bond pledging the full faith and credit of the state

         19        may be issued only to finance -- or refinance the cost of

         20        state fixed capital outlay projects authorized by law and

         21        purposes incidental thereto upon approval by the vote of

         22        electors.  And we operated on that for many years in the

         23        state of Florida when we didn't have full faith and credit

         24        bonds by the state.

         25             And then we had what is P2000 referred to, and we


          1        authorized the pledging of state bonds pledging all or

          2        part of the full faith and credit of the state.  And in

          3        the amendment, as I understand it, you just added some

          4        language which didn't really change it, it added something

          5        to it like water resources or --

          6             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Just to be very clear about

          7        what's added in this --

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  But it is essentially the same.

          9             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  The same thing as water

         10        resources, historic preservation and restoration.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Would the adoption of this allow

         12        the state to pledge the full faith and credit of the state

         13        by law without the referendum?

         14             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I'm going to allow -- I'm

         15        going to ask, if I could, defer to Commissioner Nabors to

         16        answer that.  This is, as I understand it, this is

         17        typically the way this is done for various projects where

         18        the full faith and credit has been pledged.  And,

         19        Mr. Nabors, could you help me with that question?

         20             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Yes, Mr. Chairman, it would.

         21        And the reason we went into Article VII, Section 11, is

         22        because that's the provision that says there can be no

         23        state bonds payable from state tax revenues.  There are

         24        many times in the Constitution in Article VII we enumerate

         25        the ability of the state to incur debt.  It has to be a


          1        specific constitutional amendment because Article VII,

          2        Section 11 -- so what it does, except for those that are

          3        grandfathered in, like the P2000 was grandfathered in,

          4        Peco (phonetic) is grandfathered in, which is part of the

          5        gross receipts tax.

          6             So what this does, it allows the citizens, if they

          7        want to approve this, to allow either the Legislature by

          8        general law, by general law, to either pledge a full faith

          9        and credit, which is what they are essentially doing now,

         10        or to designate a revenue stream within their discretion

         11        to be used for these purposes.

         12             And it also, since it's in Article VII, Section 11,

         13        any projects that are funded with bond proceeds, if you'll

         14        look in the journal on the amendment in existing law,

         15        Subsection F has to be approved in the appropriations act

         16        or by general law.

         17             So the Legislature goes through this process, it

         18        approves the projects, and it basically, if the voters

         19        approve this, it would have the ability by general law to

         20        authorize essentially the Preservation 2000 program to

         21        continue.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Then what you are

         23        telling me is under the present Constitution the only

         24        bonds that may pledge the full faith and credit of the

         25        state without a referendum are Peco bonds and --


          1             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well --

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Wait a minute, and these bonds.

          3        Now, whether we amended the Constitution or not --

          4             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well you have bonds, you have

          5        bonds for transportation, other things.  Every time -- any

          6        time you pledge a full faith and credit of the state after

          7        the '68 revision, it requires a specific constitutional

          8        amendment if it is not grandfathered in.  The problem is

          9        this Preservation 2000 is grandfathered in, but it is

         10        scheduled and its term is expiring.

         11             So you really -- it is inappropriate really to go in

         12        and try to amend the scheduled provision of the 1885

         13        Constitution.  If the people want to allow this type of

         14        funding to continue, then it ought to be a freestanding

         15        proposal to that effect.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, the reason I keep asking

         17        this is because if that's true, then why do we have the

         18        provision that requires a referendum to have the full

         19        faith and credit of the state proposed?  And granted you

         20        can bond anything and pledge the full faith and credit, if

         21        by referendum it is proposed, what this does is allow the

         22        Legislature and maybe that's what it does now, but it

         23        allows the Legislature, without a referendum, to pledge

         24        all of the future revenue of the state to secure the

         25        bonds, which creates a much lower interest rate, I'm sure.


          1             Commissioner Barkdull, do you rise to that?

          2             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  As I read this, this is a

          3        grant of authority to the Legislature by law to issue

          4        general revenue bonds with no vote of the people for items

          5        that are not covered in the present Constitution.  And

          6        that's the reason why I have indicated to Commissioner

          7        Henderson that I would not support the proposal.  All I

          8        wanted to do with my proposal was do what Virginia

          9        Wetherall asked us to do, and that was to extend the time

         10        for refinancing for the P2000 bonds.

         11             But clearly, when you add this language to the

         12        Constitution, which this does and it is not in the present

         13        Constitution, state bonds pledging all or part of

         14        dedicated State tax revenues or the full faith and credit

         15        of the State, may be issued by the state in a manner

         16        provided by general law to finance the acquisition -- I've

         17        left out a couple of words which were refinance -- and

         18        improvement of the natural land, water areas, and related

         19        interests and resources for the purpose of conservation,

         20        outdoor recreation, water resource development,

         21        restoration of natural systems or historic preservation

         22        and for such multiple purposes as provided by general law.

         23             There is no such grant in the present Constitution

         24        for the Legislature to do that and there is a very good

         25        reason.  This state either went bankrupt or came very


          1        close to becoming bankrupt because it issued a lot of

          2        bonds in the 1920s.  And in the early '30s we put a

          3        prohibition in against the state having any more of those

          4        bonds.  And finally in the '60s it began to relax that a

          5        little bit.  This is now going back to what we had before

          6        where there would be an unlimited authority in the

          7        Legislature to issue full faith and credit bonds with no

          8        vote of the people and I think it is a bad idea.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Now, who wants to rise to

         10        speak?  I think Commissioner Butterworth.

         11             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Thank you very much,

         12        Mr. Chairman.  I read some of these words and it gives me

         13        a great deal of problems.  We don't have any numbers for

         14        the sentences, but the words "and related interest," I

         15        have real, real problems with that and I would have to

         16        vote no on this measure, even though I am in favor of

         17        extending Proposition 2000, and I think it will cause more

         18        problems in the long run than the small part than the

         19        large problem we are attempting to fix.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Anybody else?  Commissioner

         21        Scott?

         22             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I would like to speak in support

         23        of this amendment.  It's admittedly a little bit more than

         24        just Preservation 2000, but I think it is good.  I think

         25        that Preservation 2000, which we have had a lot of people


          1        when we first started it ten years ago or so, concerned

          2        about it and what are they doing and whatever.  I think

          3        it's proven itself.  It is an example of the type of thing

          4        that should be available to the Legislature to deal with

          5        and this does not mandate anything, it simply authorizes

          6        them to deal with it.

          7             The 50-year, I think it is a 50-year limitation, on

          8        Preservation 2000 is an example of outmoded things that we

          9        don't really need in the Constitution.  So this doesn't

         10        have any date in it and I would be in support of it and

         11        try to answer any questions if anybody has any, other than

         12        the chairman.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I had one you don't want to

         14        answer I think.  About we can't now issue bonds for

         15        historic preservation, can we, without, of the general,

         16        pledging the general revenues of the state without a

         17        referendum?

         18             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Why don't we let the sponsor who

         19        is more familiar with what we can and can't.  Some of it

         20        we can, some of it we probably can't.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's what's bothering me.

         22        We've added, to me, in the Constitution a lot of things

         23        that people never thought you could do with this.

         24             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  If the people vote to

         25        approve this then they have issued that authority.  I


          1        think that's --

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We all understand that with every

          3        proposal.

          4             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  And so right now we are

          5        purchasing property for historic preservation out of

          6        Preservation 2000.  We purchased historic sites,

          7        archeological sites, the DeSoto site here in Tallahassee

          8        is a good example of that.  So that's not inconsistent

          9        with what we are doing now.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have an amendment on the desk.

         11        That's what I wanted to hear because I don't think people

         12        are aware that you pledge the full faith and credit of the

         13        state for those things.  And what you are telling me is we

         14        do it now and under the existing Constitution, while it is

         15        not in the Constitution.  It is in the schedule; is that

         16        correct?  We are trying to now put what's in the schedule

         17        in the Constitution and remove the date?

         18             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  That's right.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And also adding what Commissioner

         20        Butterworth questioned.

         21             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  That is correct.  We are

         22        basically taking the language from the schedule, putting

         23        in the main body, there are additional words, perhaps with

         24        Mr. Crenshaw's amendment we can word-smith.  If the

         25        Attorney General wants to make it a suggestion, we might


          1        do that.  This is just something we need to do.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The amendment is on

          3        the table by Commissioner Crenshaw.  It is an amendment to

          4        the proposal as amended which we have been debating.

          5        Commissioner Crenshaw, you are recognized on your

          6        amendment.  And welcome, we missed you.

          7             COMMISSIONER CRENSHAW:  Sorry, my plane was cancelled

          8        yesterday.  And I watched the mechanic take the top off

          9        the wing and he never did put it back.  So that's why I

         10        didn't get on the plane.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, we would have sent a car

         12        for you.

         13             COMMISSIONER CRENSHAW:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         14        Members, I think what Commissioner Barkdull said has merit

         15        as long as there is a provision in this that I think ought

         16        not to be in it because first and foremost, Commissioner

         17        Henderson I think has stated well that all this does,

         18        without the language that I'm going to amend out, all it

         19        does is extend the authority that the state has now to

         20        issue bonds for the Preservation 2000 program.  It extends

         21        that credit through this provision.

         22             And if the people of Florida adopt this provision,

         23        then they will have -- we will have the referendum.  They

         24        will have said, Yes, we would like to be able to pledge

         25        the full faith and credit of the state to issue these


          1        kinds of bonds.  But the one troubling thing that I think

          2        gives credibility to what Commissioner Barkdull says, and

          3        what I would propose to amend out, if you read the last

          4        sentence of the italicized language or the last sentence

          5        on the amendment from yesterday, it goes through and says,

          6        You can pledge all or part of the dedicated state tax

          7        revenue for the full faith and credit, et cetera, et

          8        cetera.  And it talks about the different things you can

          9        pledge it for.

         10             But then it says, And for such multiple purposes as

         11        provided by general law.  Now, I agree with Commissioner

         12        Barkdull, what that says is, if the people were to adopt

         13        this, that the Legislature can pledge the full faith and

         14        credit of the state of Florida for these things like

         15        recreation, water, whatever, and for anything else they

         16        decide they want to do in this chamber.  And I don't think

         17        that's a good idea just like Commissioner Barkdull.

         18             But I do think as long as you tell the people that we

         19        are going to extend this authority, we are going to allow

         20        you, just like you can today, to pledge the full faith and

         21        credit of the state of Florida because we think it is

         22        important in terms of the preservation of the environment

         23        to do things like acquire land, improve land, water

         24        resources, restoration of natural systems.  Those are

         25        clear and simple and understandable.  And we ought to do


          1        that.

          2             But we ought not to say -- and also, by the way, we

          3        are going to ask you-all to vote, through a referendum, to

          4        say anything the Legislature decides it's going to do by

          5        general law that it is going to be able to pledge the full

          6        faith and credit as well.

          7             So I think if you will take out the language that

          8        says, And for such multiple purposes as provided by

          9        general law, those are in addition to the things that are

         10        already there, take that out, I think Commissioner

         11        Barkdull's objections go away and we are exactly where we

         12        ought to be in terms of extending this kind of authority

         13        to the state of Florida.  I'll be happy to answer any

         14        questions.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  There is another

         16        amendment.  It is an amendment to the amendment or is it a

         17        separate amendment, Commissioner Butterworth?

         18             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  A separate amendment.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We will proceed then

         20        on the amendment that's pending that's been offered by

         21        Commissioner Crenshaw which deletes the last sentence of

         22        Section E in the Constitution of Section 11 that reads,

         23        And for such multiple purposes provided by general law.

         24             Commissioner Scott, you are recognized.

         25             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I just have a question for


          1        Commissioner Crenshaw.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The commissioner yields.

          3             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Commissioner, what you are doing

          4        is taking out a broad reference but it would not preclude

          5        a bond issuing being for more than one of these purposes

          6        listed; is that correct?

          7             COMMISSIONER CRENSHAW:  That's exactly right.  It

          8        will only be for the things that are listed here that

          9        people can understand and vote yes or no in this statewide

         10        referendum.

         11             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Right.  So that multiple

         12        purposes could be of those but only those, not something

         13        that's not listed.

         14             COMMISSIONER CRENSHAW:  And the determinative

         15        language is as provided by general law.  In other words,

         16        the people of Florida ought not to give the Legislature

         17        the authority to come up here and decide now we're going

         18        to pledge a full faith and credit to issue bonds for some

         19        strange reason.

         20             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Mickey Mouse, okay.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Riley?

         22             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I have a question for the maker

         23        of the amendment.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The Commissioner yields.

         25             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I understand why the multiple


          1        purposes part you would want to take out, but why is it

          2        provided by general law in terms of process, would that

          3        not need to be left?

          4             COMMISSIONER CRENSHAW:  I think as provided by

          5        general law really is what is at issue here.  In other

          6        words, the things that are listed in the constitutional

          7        amendment here are like outdoor recreation and water

          8        resource development, et cetera, those are things the

          9        people have a chance to vote on and they say, yes, it's

         10        okay to pledge the full faith and credit.  But they ought

         11        not to be asked to pledge the full faith and credit of

         12        things that the Legislature just decides to do by general

         13        law.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further debate on

         15        the amendment or inquiries?  If not, we will proceed to

         16        vote on the amendment.  All in favor say aye, opposed like

         17        sign.

         18             (Verbal vote taken.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries.  And now we are on

         20        the proposal as amended.  And there is now an amendment on

         21        the table by Commissioner Butterworth.  Would you read the

         22        amendment, please?

         23             READING CLERK:  On Page 2, Line 16, delete "related

         24        interest" and insert "related natural resources."

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Butterworth, you are


          1        recognized on your proposed amendment.

          2             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          3        This goes along with the previous amendment and it takes

          4        away the opportunity for multiple purposes.  It just says,

          5        "related natural resources," versus the old language that

          6        says "related interests" and I have no idea what "related

          7        interests" means.  I have a higher comfort level with

          8        "related natural resources."

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any discussion on the

         10        amendment?  All in favor say aye.  All opposed.

         11             (Verbal vote taken.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment caries.  And now we

         13        revert to the proposal as amended.  Is there any further

         14        discussion on it as amended?

         15             Commissioner Barkdull?

         16             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir, I would like

         17        Commissioner Henderson to take the floor if he would and

         18        try to explain something to me because I guess I'm dense.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We won't get into that but we

         20        will ask Commissioner Henderson to take the floor.

         21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I'm looking at the

         22        Constitution as printed in the rule book that we have in

         23        front of us which is a blue cover on Page C40 which

         24        relates to Article XII and makes some reference to the

         25        1885 Constitution and Section 17 thereof.


          1             And that starts out with bonds' land acquisition for

          2        outdoor recreation development.  Those were what I

          3        understood to be the bonds that we wanted to permit a

          4        refinancing of.  I do not see any of the language that's

          5        in the beginning of this section that you find on Page 40

          6        which relates to bond -- bonds' land acquisition for

          7        outdoor recreation development, that type of limitation in

          8        this proposal that's before us.

          9             And that's what's concerning me, that this is a broad

         10        grant of power and that, which is in this Section 14, is a

         11        limited grant of power.

         12             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, I'd be glad to

         13        answer that.  I think it's important to note the

         14        historical context of this because of where this is and

         15        what the Legislature has done with it.  What is in the

         16        footnote at the tail end and fine print of the

         17        Constitution is a carryover from 1885 of a grant of

         18        authority that would build our state park system.

         19             You know, if you think about what we have today,

         20        we've got a pretty good, actually we've got a great state

         21        park system.  And at the time, this was the vehicle to get

         22        that accomplished.

         23             Now there is a lot of language in there that's now

         24        obsolete about the way bonds are issued because it has all

         25        been carried over in the main part of the Constitution and


          1        the part of the Constitution that we are now amending.  So

          2        what the Legislature did after, when Preservation 2000 was

          3        created, was develop a program that was very specific that

          4        was tied to the authority, the grant of authority in this

          5        tail end of the Constitution.

          6             Now since -- so they had this as the authority.  They

          7        also had the procedures that were in place with other

          8        general law in other parts of the Constitution and the

          9        mechanics of it.  I mean, this is a bonding program.  You

         10        can't -- bonds still have to be paid off.  You still have

         11        to have a funding source that's tied to paying them back.

         12             The Legislature, through the appropriations process,

         13        has done that every year and I see conversations going on

         14        back here.  I know that Commissioner Scott and

         15        Commissioner Crenshaw when they were president of the

         16        Senate each year had to work on issues relating to finding

         17        the revenue to pay off these bonds.  And we have done that

         18        through the documentary stamp tax essentially each of

         19        these eight years.

         20             So what we're doing with this proposal is having a

         21        clean start, a grant of authority that people will approve

         22        that allows the Legislature to exercise that but they will

         23        still have to exercise it prudently.  It is a bond.  You

         24        are borrowing money from the people, you still have to pay

         25        it back.  Why is bonding important?


          1             Bonding is important for two reasons.  We need to

          2        keep this in mind, the economics of all this.  Why are we

          3        even talking about bonding?  The state is growing at a

          4        rate of 700 people per day.  When we acquire special

          5        places today and we do it by borrowing money for bonding,

          6        it is allowing all those other people who are moving here

          7        to help pay the cost of taking care of that special place.

          8        The other thing that it does is lock in the cost today.

          9        We all know the beautiful, special places in Florida are

         10        escalating in value everyday because of the changes in the

         11        real estate market.

         12             So there is a prudent, businesslike reason to do

         13        this.  And so that's what we are trying to do.  We are

         14        trying to give the Legislature the authority to do this.

         15        I certainly believe that the amendments that have just

         16        been adopted help us to refine this issue to get us in a

         17        place where we ought to be able to approve this.  And I

         18        guess my question now to the back of the room; is there

         19        anything else we move to move forward on this?

         20             (Off-the-record comment.)

         21             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I'm supposed to keep them.

         22        Any other questions?

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'm not granting a recess, but we

         24        are sort of having one.  Because I'm inclined to agree

         25        with what you-all were doing because I went back and read


          1        this and it does create what Commissioner Barkdull had

          2        questioned and Commissioner Barkdull opposed which I think

          3        you-all were trying to resolve.  Which one of you wants to

          4        be recognized to report the consensus of the meeting in

          5        the back of the room?

          6             Commissioner Butterworth?

          7             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  If I could ask

          8        Commissioner Henderson a question.  Commissioner

          9        Henderson, the way this is presently drafted and amended,

         10        can we buy a less than fee, just conservation easements or

         11        whatever else?

         12             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I was sure of it before your

         13        amendment, Commissioner.

         14             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  What are we doing now?

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson wants to

         16        tell us what the problem is.

         17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Mr. Chairman and members,

         18        here is the problem we discussed.  When you take out

         19        related interest, and I agree that was a broad term, and

         20        we don't know what all that would authorize the full faith

         21        and credit the state to be pledged for the purchase of.

         22        But I think all of us, if we are going to do this, and I

         23        think the public, if we are going to do this, would want

         24        you to be able to buy less than the fee.  And for the

         25        nonlawyers, what that means is conservation easements and


          1        development rights and so forth.

          2             I think that's a better buy for the government, and I

          3        think that is a good way to preserve land without taking

          4        it off the tax rolls completely and so forth.  And so I am

          5        sure that's probably why that term was put in there when

          6        you-all were doing the drafting.  But we -- everybody also

          7        understands and is concerned about making it too broad.

          8             One of the things we have discussed was to reconsider

          9        that amendment and offer in lieu of that an interest --

         10        related interest in land.  But I'm not sure of even that

         11        because then, what do you do about water resources?

         12             So what I guess we are saying is maybe we ought to

         13        make a statement here and go on to style and drafting with

         14        it and then when it comes back out, that would probably be

         15        better considered and lawyered a little bit more.  So I

         16        guess what's the pleasure?

         17             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I'll yield to answer your

         18        question.  I agree with you.  The reason why the related

         19        interest was placed there was to make sure that we could

         20        do less than the fee acquisition.  And I think if we just

         21        had interests -- plural, interests --

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Couldn't you just say less than

         23        fee acquisition?

         24             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  No, I don't want to put that

         25        in the Constitution.  Just put interest.  That way, you


          1        don't define what --

          2             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Related property interest?

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's what a fee interest is,

          4        correct?  Well, a fee interest is a property interest.

          5             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  But aren't we talking about

          6        something less than the fee when we talk about development

          7        rights for example, or conservation easements?

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Correct.  Any kind of easement

          9        would be less --

         10             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  So a related property

         11        interest would encompass development rights or

         12        conservation easements.  All right.  Can we temporarily --

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well if somebody would offer an

         14        amendment.

         15             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Interests, plural, interests

         16        in land.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Hold on just a moment, we are

         18        going to take just a minute for somebody to draft this.

         19        But, Commissioner Butterworth, assume they come up with a

         20        draft that meets that provision, I would suggest that you

         21        would withdraw your amendment and then let them offer the

         22        amendment that meets the general consensus of meeting the

         23        problem; is that agreeable?

         24             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Whatever the Chair

         25        dictates is fine.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'm not dictating that at all.

          2             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Whatever the Chair

          3        advises.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I would think that would make us

          5        get to it easier.

          6             Move to -- there has been a motion to reconsider the

          7        amendment that we just adopted offered by Commissioner

          8        Butterworth.  All in favor of reconsidering that say aye.

          9        Opposed, like sign.

         10             (Verbal vote taken.)

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries.  Now we will -- we

         12        don't have to vote on the amendment.  It is withdrawn.

         13        Now, we have an amendment that will be on the table very

         14        shortly covering that subject.  In the meantime, for your

         15        edification, you might read that again, so we know where

         16        we are.  (Pause.)  All right.  Is there an amendment on

         17        the table yet?  Okay.  We have got a little scribner work

         18        to do here.

         19             We are waiting on them to put the amendment on the

         20        table so we can read it.  And I'm going to recognize

         21        Commissioner Mills first and then Commissioner Scott.  Who

         22        is offering the amendment?

         23             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I am.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills offers the

         25        amendment.


          1             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, as I understand

          2        the question --

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now everybody pay attention.

          4        Tell them what the amendment says because we haven't read

          5        it yet.

          6             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  It inserts the words "related

          7        property interest."  And as I understand the issue -- as I

          8        understand the issue, it is a desire to be able to acquire

          9        an interest in land that may be less than buying the whole

         10        land that is the whole -- to buy the property, to buy a

         11        conservation easement.  So this says a "related interest,"

         12        "related property interests" then is that definition and

         13        it would be the intention of the Commission, if this

         14        passes, to include those lesser interests other than a

         15        full fee.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have got two people wanting

         17        you to yield, Commissioner Thompson and Commissioner

         18        Scott, which one do you want?

         19             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I'd like them both.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll give you one at a time.

         21             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Okay.  I'll take Scott first.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott.

         23             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  What are we striking, because

         24        part of the concern that I had was that we had stuck

         25        "related resources" which might include water and air.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The only thing that was struck in

          2        the original amendment was "related interest" I think;

          3        isn't that correct?

          4             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  What are we striking in the

          5        Mills' amendment, that's my point.

          6             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Commissioner Thompson will ask a

          7        question that would clarify that.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson?

          9             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Mr. Chairman, I went up and

         10        looked.  Let me tell you-all exactly where we are.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Can I have her read it?

         12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Sure, but let me give this

         13        explanation.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I certainly will.

         15             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  This is going to be real

         16        simple.  If you will look at what Commissioner Henderson

         17        told you to begin with was the amendment, which is on

         18        Page 135, Subsection E, and you'll look one, two, three,

         19        four lines down where the words "related interest" are

         20        located, we are merely inserting, forget everything that

         21        Commissioner Butterworth has done as far as his amendment,

         22        we are merely inserting the word "property" between

         23        "related" and "interest."  That's the only change to what

         24        you have in front of you.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does that then apply to the


          1        words -- it will read, And water areas and related

          2        property interest and resources for the purposes of

          3        conservation.  It wouldn't apply to resources?  Or would

          4        it?  I think it says "and resources," not "or."  So we

          5        want to be clear on that because you are talking about

          6        applying an easement for the purpose of conservation and

          7        all those other purposes as well, are you not,

          8        Commissioner Mills?

          9             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Yes, sir.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Is that clear to

         11        everybody then that that also allows as redrafted "and

         12        related property interest and resources" would apply to

         13        all those purposes that are stated there?  Commissioner

         14        Lowndes, you have been very quiet and you know a lot about

         15        this.  Do you have any interpretations on the language for

         16        us?

         17             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  I think they are doing an

         18        excellent job.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yeah, but we are not there yet.

         20        Do you think that it does what they intend to do then as

         21        it reads which is to allow easements to be acquired for

         22        all of these purposes, not just for water resources or

         23        related to water areas?

         24             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  If I was going to change it, I

         25        would put "related property interests therein" so you knew


          1        what they were related to.  But other than that, I think

          2        it is the way to do it.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So we can really

          4        refer that to style and drafting if there is a needed

          5        change in the language with the understanding that you

          6        want it to apply too everything; is that correct?

          7             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Do you want to buy -- the

          8        state to buy a related interest, Mr. Mills, in historic

          9        preservation?  I mean, and I'm just thinking out loud and

         10        asking for the group, I think we need to reach a --

         11        Mr. Lowndes, maybe he would yield?

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Lowndes?

         13             COMMISSIONER LOWNDES:  I think the answer to that is

         14        you leave them with the flexibility to do it.  You might

         15        find the circumstances in which you would like to do it

         16        and you might not, but you're not giving them that

         17        flexibility.  I don't think -- to give them the

         18        flexibility, I don't think is harmful.

         19             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further inquiry, Mr. Nabors

         20        just pointed out to me that if we do what we are talking

         21        now, you are buying the property interest for the purpose

         22        of those things so that would clarify it, I think,

         23        Mr. Chairman, better than anything we have said so far as

         24        far as I'm concerned.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So that if it needs


          1        to be cleaned up, we know the intent, the amendment is on

          2        the table.  All those in favor of the amendment, unless

          3        there is further debate, will please say aye.  Opposed?

          4             (Verbal vote taken.)

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries.  We now are on the

          6        proposal as amended which I think we all understand as

          7        well as we are going to where we are.  Now we will then

          8        proceed to vote on the proposal as amended.

          9             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted that wants to

         11        vote?  Lock the machine and announce the vote.

         12             READING CLERK:  25 ayes, 2 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Morsani, you were

         14        not joined by one voter.  Almost you were.  So that honor

         15        is still yours at the moment.

         16             We will now move to the next item on the special

         17        order, which is Proposal No. 151 by Commissioner Barkdull.

         18        Would you please read it?

         19             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, I'll

         20        short-circuit it, I'll withdraw this.  They tell me what

         21        we just did cured it.  It cured it all right.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull admits his

         23        defeat and moves to withdraw with unanimous consent

         24        Proposal 151.  And without objection, it is withdrawn.

         25             All right.  Proposal 91 by Commissioner Hawkes, he


          1        was here this morning.  Okay.  Commissioner Hawkes who

          2        sponsored this, is asking that it be temporarily

          3        approved -- I mean passed.  And without objection, we will

          4        temporarily pass it until special order tomorrow.  Without

          5        objection, it is done.

          6             All right.  Proposal 96 by Commissioner Nabors, would

          7        you read it, please?

          8             READING CLERK:  Proposal 96, a proposal to revise

          9        Article I, Section 5, Florida Constitution; prescribing

         10        types of communications that are within the purview of the

         11        people's right to instruct their representatives.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  This was approved by

         13        the Committee on Local Government.  Commissioner Nabors,

         14        you are recognized to present this proposal, No. 96.

         15             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  I believe --

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I don't believe your mike is on.

         17             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Is it now?  I believe this was

         18        approved unanimously in the Local Government Committee.

         19        For those of you that have dealt with local governments,

         20        you have really got to put separation of powers' concepts

         21        aside in the sense that a county commissioner or a city

         22        council person legislates by the adoption of an ordinance.

         23        They do the executive function by the administration of

         24        laws and we also appropriate the funds by the adoption of

         25        budgets.


          1             So within that body of that local government entity,

          2        of all the various functions of government, which is

          3        historically done, generally in terms of land use

          4        decisions, historically in Florida, they were also

          5        considered legislative decisions by local governments and

          6        they were always subject to what was called the fairly

          7        debatable rule.  And that was if it was fairly debatable

          8        as to whether the action was reasonable or not by local

          9        governments, then that was the standard review by the

         10        courts.

         11             With the line of cases that were with the Jennings'

         12        case and other cases which are talked about in the

         13        material, there is a line of cases out of the Supreme

         14        Court which characterizes land use decisions as

         15        quasi-judicial.  And that characterization alone carries

         16        with this two concepts.

         17             One concept is the standard of review on appeal just

         18        like on quasi-judicial procedures, whether or not there is

         19        substantial competent evidence.  The other issue is a

         20        prohibition by court decree of ex parte communications

         21        with the decision-makers of the Board of County

         22        Commissioners or the city council members.

         23             This proposal does nothing with the standard of

         24        review.  It still leaves it basically as substantial

         25        competent evidence but it tries to deal with that issue in


          1        terms of the abilities of citizens to instruct their

          2        government to recognize that in these, even in these ex

          3        parte procedures at the local level, citizens have a right

          4        to talk to their elected officials.

          5             And this is a real world problem in terms of citizen

          6        credibility.  And the way it has been interpreted all over

          7        this state, each county has its own rules and it's a

          8        consequence of a county commissioner going to a 7-11 and

          9        running into a citizen, the citizen wants to talk about a

         10        pending matter.  The county commissioner says, Well, I

         11        can't talk to you about that except at a public hearing.

         12             And the quasi-judicial concept in these land uses

         13        just doesn't work at the local level.  Citizens don't

         14        understand it, elected officials are embarrassed by it.

         15        And it really doesn't foster the dialogue that needs to

         16        occur.  I don't consider this a neighborhood association

         17        amendment or development amendment.  It really is a good

         18        government amendment to allow their citizens to be able to

         19        instruct their elected officials on these matters.

         20             It doesn't change the nature of the process in terms

         21        of quasi-judicial on the standard of review but strictly

         22        recognizes constitutionally that the citizens can instruct

         23        their elected representatives.  This was crafted by a

         24        consensus of local government lawyers and officials.  It

         25        preserves, you will notice in the amendment, the fact of


          1        any existing laws dealing with public ethics that may be

          2        by law now or may be adopted in the future.

          3             So if the Legislature wants to put some constraints

          4        on that dialogue in terms of ethics, they could do that.

          5        But without this, without this constitutionally, the

          6        Legislature really cannot effectively deal with this

          7        problem.

          8             And I would urge you to support it.  I think if any

          9        of you elected officials are constantly put in pressure of

         10        being able to discuss with their citizens these issues,

         11        they go to the heart of how they feel about their

         12        neighborhoods and their property, whether it is a

         13        developer or a homeowner.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Connor?

         15             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, I'm supportive of

         16        the proposal.  And a number of folks have commented on the

         17        differences between candidates for judicial office and

         18        judges and other elected officials.  I think nowhere is

         19        this more in evidence than in this particular area where

         20        people feel it is important and they have a right and it

         21        ought to be an unbridled right to address and instruct

         22        their executive branch members on these issues.

         23             I would like to ask a question, if I may, of the

         24        sponsor.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He yields.


          1             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Commissioner Nabors, I had a

          2        question in my own mind as I read this language where it

          3        says, And instruct their local government public officials

          4        without being constrained with regard to ex parte

          5        communication considerations.  I can envision that in

          6        different counties, different commissions, different

          7        bodies, different counties, may choose to conduct their

          8        business in different ways.

          9             So, for example, if Broward County said, We want to

         10        adopt a rule with respect to quasi-judicial matters and

         11        zoning issues, which does limit ex parte proceedings, but

         12        Bradford County said, We don't want any such rule, would

         13        the language that I have just quoted prevent those bodies

         14        from providing a rule, an internal operating rule against

         15        ex parte communications and if so, is that your intention?

         16             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  I think it does.  And that is

         17        the intention.  The problem with what we are doing is

         18        going into the Declaration of Rights and giving rights to

         19        the people.  Now we tried to craft this so that local

         20        governments all have generally, whether city, county

         21        charter, or non-charter, all have powers of local

         22        self-government not inconsistent with law.  And so this

         23        would be a grant of a right to citizens which I don't

         24        think that the home rule power could override.

         25             However, if there is a decision made in the future,


          1        which is the purpose of the constitutional revision not to

          2        prejudge these things, if there was a decision made in the

          3        future, there needs to be some kinds of local authority in

          4        terms of ethics and certainly the Legislature could

          5        authorize local options to deal with slices of it as long

          6        as it didn't interfere with the basic right which is

          7        granted by this provision.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Anyone else?  Commissioner

          9        Anthony?

         10             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  If

         11        any provision has really limited interaction and input of

         12        citizens of local governments, this provision clearly has,

         13        the ex parte communication provision.  There are a number

         14        of examples, and Commissioner Nabors has stated a couple,

         15        but let me give you a visual one where an elected official

         16        is at the grocery store and there may be a landfill zoning

         17        issue that that body has to deal with in that coming

         18        Tuesday commission meeting.

         19             If a citizen walks up to me and says to me that they

         20        have a viewpoint on that landfill rezoning of that

         21        property, I will have to tell them to meet me at the

         22        public, announced public hearing on that Tuesday evening.

         23        And once they get there, and this is a citizen who maybe

         24        it's their first interaction with the public policy arena,

         25        once they get there, they have to stand before me, raise


          1        their right hand, and be sworn in as a witness.

          2             I will tell you that once they find out that process

          3        and find that they have to go through that process, to be

          4        able to share their viewpoint on a land use zoning issue,

          5        they are very intimidated and they will not follow through

          6        in terms of making their testimony and that's what we call

          7        it in quasi-judicial proceedings, a testimony before the

          8        body.  The commission, the city commission.

          9             We have had citizens who have been cross-examined, if

         10        you will, by lawyers in front of our city commission and

         11        thus they respond to their mayor or their city commission

         12        or their chairman of their county commission and say, What

         13        am I?  Am I on the witness stand here?  Am I the one who

         14        wants the land use rezoning done?  I am just a citizen who

         15        is concerned about the impact that it may have on my

         16        property, on my house, on my homestead in my community.

         17             This has been one of the most unfriendly provisions

         18        that local government officials have had to deal with in

         19        my 13 or 14 years of being an elected official.  And I

         20        tell you, I am so uncomfortable when I have to tell a

         21        person who this may be their first interaction with the

         22        public policy arena that they have to come up and be sworn

         23        in.

         24             We need to change this because I want to and you want

         25        me to be able to respond to the citizen who I walk into at


          1        the grocery store.  This is not about those developers and

          2        the attorneys that represent them.  Because I will tell

          3        you that most often and not all the time, their

          4        communication and they are dealing with this

          5        quasi-judicial process, they are very much familiar with

          6        it, and they feel at ease with the process.  It is about

          7        the citizen who wants to be able to share their -- provide

          8        their input to their representative that they elected and

          9        have access to that elected person.  Thank you,

         10        Mr. Chairman.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

         12        Henderson?

         13             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, I don't know

         14        if I've said too much today.  I might run the risk of

         15        confusing people.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, you are on a roll.  You

         17        have got them unconfused with the help of the Attorney

         18        General, the former president of the Senate, and the

         19        former Speaker of the House.  So you may proceed.

         20             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I'm glad I didn't need the

         21        chief justice.  I may need him on this one.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, he might have been there

         23        writing, we don't know.

         24             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I have shared the same

         25        experience as Commissioner Anthony.  I served as county


          1        commissioner during the time that we had to deal with the

          2        impacts of the Snyder decision.  And I'll tell you, there

          3        were two things that happened that greatly impacted the

          4        way we do business.  First of all, immediately people were

          5        tremendously intimidated when they came in.  And people

          6        are intimidated anyway when they come into chambers for

          7        the first time to deal with an issue they care about, they

          8        are passionate about.

          9             But when they realize they don't know what the rules

         10        are, they don't know if they can talk to their elected

         11        officials, it is a wall of separation and an unnecessary

         12        wall of separation.  And the other thing, and I think this

         13        is maybe the thing that people feel the strongest about.

         14        I mean, before we had to deal with this, there was a way

         15        to work things out.  You know, I mean these many times are

         16        neighborhood issues.  You've got a zoning case or board of

         17        adjustments case, either a shift of a house or putting in

         18        a pool or even, you know, a local development.

         19             If there were people that came out against it, what

         20        you would do, as a commissioner, is go meet with them.

         21        All right.  I'll meet you out there on your property, we

         22        will go out there, we'll get everybody together and work

         23        it out.  We'll reach an accommodation and we'll bring it

         24        back to the city commission or the county commission and

         25        it will get approved.  And that's what's missing now.


          1             Now I understand the rationale behind how we got

          2        here, and it was the idea to have all -- we're talking

          3        about property rights and we'll talk about it in chambers

          4        and we'll make a decision based upon the information that

          5        comes on in chambers.  But the reality is, that that might

          6        be the way it works in Hillsborough County with a Hearing

          7        Officer system and it is formal, but I was once the city

          8        attorney of a town with less than 1,000 people.  But the

          9        zoning decisions were made in the back of the grocery

         10        store because there was more room to do it there than

         11        there was in City Hall chambers and that's where decisions

         12        were made, and they were made in the open and everybody

         13        knew what they were and people got together and they

         14        participated in that and it is a reminder that most local

         15        governments are not big local governments, they are little

         16        local governments.  They know how they can find Mayor

         17        Anthony.  They know where he shops.  They know where he

         18        goes to church.  They know where they can talk to him and

         19        that's true all across this state.

         20             I support this concept.  I am going to say to my

         21        friend, Commissioner Nabors, I'm still not totally sure

         22        about the language and the placement of this.  We have got

         23        time to work on that in the committee on style and

         24        drafting, but I think this is a provision that will go a

         25        long way toward taking down that wall of separation that


          1        we have now built up between people and their local

          2        government.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any further discussion?  All

          4        right, are we ready to vote?  Then we will vote.

          5             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

          7        vote.

          8             READING CLERK:  27 yeas, 0 nays, Mr. Chairman.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Anthony, you

         10        prevailed, barely.  And you and Commissioner Nabors are to

         11        be commended, you got an unanimous vote.

         12             We will move now to Proposal No. 98 by Commissioner

         13        Planas.  And would you read it, please?

         14             COMMISSIONER PLANAS:  I withdrew that proposal

         15        earlier this afternoon.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  That is withdrawn.

         17             Then Commissioner Ford-Coates on 127 is the next

         18        proposal.  Would you read that, please?

         19             READING CLERK:  Proposal 127, a proposal to revise

         20        Article VIII, Section 2, Florida Constitution; providing

         21        that a municipality may be abolished only by vote of the

         22        electors of the municipality.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized, Commissioner

         24        Ford-Coates.

         25             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Commissioners, if you will


          1        recall, we had testimony during our hearings from a city

          2        that was affected without their knowledge in the beginning

          3        by an effort in a special act of the Legislature to

          4        abolish that city and roll it into a neighboring city.

          5             That happened because general law provides two ways

          6        to dissolve a municipality.  One is by an ordinance of

          7        that body and a vote of their electorate, which seems fair

          8        to me that the electorate gets to decide whether or not

          9        they are going to abolish their own city.

         10             However, there is a second way under Florida law

         11        which is by special act of the Legislature.  There is no

         12        provision whatsoever in general law that requires the

         13        voters of that municipality to have a voice in that

         14        decision.  That is not to say that the Legislature could

         15        not put in that requirement.  But this seems to me to be a

         16        basic need that within the Constitution a local

         17        government, a municipality, should be assured that it

         18        cannot be abolished unless its own electors vote to

         19        abolish it.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Nabors.

         21             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  I'd like to speak against this

         22        proposal.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proceed.

         24             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  And this is a subtle

         25        distinction and I can't remember what the vote was in the


          1        committee but what we are doing here is we are limiting

          2        the authority of the Legislature to abolish municipalities

          3        by always requiring that they be voter approved within the

          4        abolished municipalities.  Generally, that's what the

          5        Legislature would always do, but the current Constitution

          6        gives them that flexibility.

          7             Let me give you some examples.  In my lifetime, in

          8        Brevard County, we had two cities that were consolidated.

          9        We had Titusville and Indian River City.  We had Melbourne

         10        and Eau Gallie.  And the Legislature, in its wisdom,

         11        provided for votes within the new city and not votes

         12        within each of the old cities.  So what this does is

         13        constitutionally it prohibits you from consolidating

         14        cities unless each area that is being consolidated votes.

         15        And I don't think that's what we ought to be doing in the

         16        Constitution.

         17             There may be times as Florida becomes more urbanized

         18        where you have small cities and for whatever reason, if

         19        they're enclaves of protectionism whether it's land

         20        development, or whatever it is, that the Legislature ought

         21        to have the flexibility, it should not be limited

         22        constitutionally to deal with the status of those

         23        municipalities without requiring the people to vote within

         24        that area.  The Legislature ought to have the ability to

         25        provide for a common vote among a new city without this


          1        dual referendum requirement which is what that would

          2        cause.

          3             So I'm sympathetic with the issue.  I think generally

          4        this has been dealt with by the Legislature and we

          5        shouldn't limit the Constitution to the power of the

          6        Legislature to deal with specific issues of consolidation

          7        that may arise in this state.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott?

          9             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I just want to speak briefly

         10        against it.  In Broward County one time we had a city

         11        named Hacienda Village and it was like on the corner of

         12        State Road 84 and whatever and there was like 28 people

         13        there and in a bar -- we abolished that city.  The whole

         14        county wanted it abolished, but if we had to depend on a

         15        vote of the people that lived there in the bar and

         16        wherever in the trailer park, they never would.  I mean it

         17        would still be there in the midst of 1.5 million people.

         18        So I would rather leave me some flexibility, with all due

         19        respect to Commissioner Ford-Coates.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Anthony?

         21             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Would Commissioner Nabors

         22        yield for a question?

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Nabors yields.

         24             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Commissioner Nabors, do you

         25        agree that the best decisions for local government are


          1        made by the citizens within that local government?  Do you

          2        agree with that?

          3             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Yes, I do.

          4             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Then do you agree that better

          5        decisions are made up here in Tallahassee on behalf of

          6        citizens within the local community?

          7             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well, I mean, generally not,

          8        but there may be an occasion sometime down the future

          9        where all local governments are essentially creatures of

         10        the Legislature by general law.  So there always has to be

         11        the ability of the Legislature to deal with things, they

         12        go beyond the boundaries of a particular city.  But, yes,

         13        I'm an advocate of home rule.  I have lived, breathed and

         14        died home rule but I think this is an instance where total

         15        local priority may be against the best interests of a

         16        community.

         17             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Is it correct then that in

         18        order to incorporate a local government community there is

         19        an affirmative vote to do so and then action by the

         20        Legislature?

         21             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well, not constitutionally.  I

         22        mean, the Legislature has always required that but the

         23        Constitution doesn't require it.  The Constitution says a

         24        municipality may be established or abolished under

         25        charters amended by general or special act.  We have a


          1        history in this state of not abolishing municipalities

          2        unless the people vote on it, a history of not creating

          3        municipalities unless the people vote on it.  That's a

          4        history that's ingrained in our system.  That doesn't mean

          5        we that we should constitutionally limit the ability of

          6        the Legislature to deal with peculiar problems down the

          7        line.

          8             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Comment, Mr. Chairman?

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Certainly, you have the floor.

         10             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I do understand what

         11        Commissioner Nabors is saying, but I think that if a group

         12        of people -- and the history of local governments, local

         13        governments are not created by the state like county

         14        governments.  They are created by the people whether or

         15        not it is five or ten people who come together based upon

         16        a common issue, common topic, common values and they say

         17        to themselves, We want to incorporate because we have

         18        something special here that we want to preserve.  Once

         19        they take that action to do so, they make their decision

         20        that they want to incorporate and they do so.

         21             I think the same thought process should be available

         22        to those citizens who want to now say, We want to abolish

         23        our local government and not by the action of the

         24        Legislature.  We have had a circumstance that we all heard

         25        about during our public hearing that one state


          1        representative had a challenge with the local government

          2        and wanted to combine or abolish that local government.

          3             And that was heard and I think throughout the state

          4        of Florida over 400 local governments and 67 counties said

          5        to themselves, Whoa, can we be abolished as a local

          6        government, could South Bay be abolished as a local

          7        government because we do not agree with our state

          8        representative or senator and that person may be able to

          9        get the votes up in Tallahassee to abolish us.  That's a

         10        scary thought.

         11             And therefore what this provision does, what this

         12        proposal does, is stop that type of action from the state

         13        level and provide us, as the citizens within those local

         14        communities, who made the decision to incorporate based

         15        upon the things that we value most, based upon the fact

         16        that we could provide services within our local

         17        government, whether it is water, police, all the utility

         18        services, we made that decision and we are doing that.

         19             And I don't think that a body, that not one member of

         20        the Legislature perhaps lives in South Bay, should be able

         21        to make that decision on behalf of that municipality and

         22        that's the basic principle of this proposal.  And I say to

         23        you, Commissioners, members of this Commission, that you

         24        do not want someone who does not know your community, that

         25        does not live in your community, to make a decision about


          1        the future or the abolition -- more specifically this

          2        proposal refers to -- about the future or the abolition of

          3        your city.  And I urge you to support this proposal.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Before we go further,

          5        I want to, I have been negligent here.  I recognize

          6        Commissioner Barnett to introduce a page that we have that

          7        most of you didn't know we had so you can push your

          8        button.  I'm going to interrupt the debate for that

          9        purpose so I don't forget it.

         10             Commissioner Barnett, you are recognized.

         11             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  And

         12        I also would like to be recognized to speak on this issue.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let's do first things first.

         14             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Well, it is my privilege to

         15        introduce to you-all my daughter, Sarah Barnett.  She is

         16        in the back of the chambers there as a junior in school.

         17        She is at home for a couple of days on a break.  And I

         18        just decided that it would be, like Commissioner Evans,

         19        this is a great part of her continuing education to see

         20        her government at work and to know that her mother does

         21        work on occasion and so it is really my privilege to

         22        introduce my daughter Sarah to you.

         23             (Applause.)

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Sarah, you can be very proud of

         25        your mother, even though she doesn't work.  She does a


          1        great job on our commission.

          2             Now, I will recognize you now to speak on the

          3        proposal.  And, Sarah, I would -- I need a page, if you

          4        would come to the platform, please.  Go ahead.

          5        Commissioner Barnett.

          6             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

          7        rise to speak against this proposal.  I think that one of

          8        the things I would ask you to focus on is that there is a

          9        difference between various types of local government.

         10        Local government is not just a homogenous entity.  There

         11        are county governments which are basically extensions of

         12        the sovereign and then there are municipalities which are,

         13        in fact, creatures of statute in many ways, they are

         14        called municipal corporations, I think even Commissioner

         15        Anthony used the words, they are incorporated.  And they

         16        are historically very different bodies.

         17             And I think that there is a reason for the treatment,

         18        the current treatment we have where the Legislature often

         19        at the initiation of the local -- the people in the local

         20        community form a municipality by that the Legislature has

         21        the right again to abolish that municipality without a

         22        vote of the electorate.

         23             I think the situation that occurred I believe it was

         24        in Pasco County that we heard about at committee was a

         25        very unfortunate situation.  But in truth, those citizens


          1        kept that situation from occurring.  That municipality was

          2        not abolished.  They were very effective in having their

          3        voices heard in the process and I do not think that we

          4        should take an isolated instance which was not a good, not

          5        an instance anybody ought to be proud of, but take an

          6        isolated instance and now change the organic document and

          7        the organic way that we have treated municipalities and

          8        municipal corporations.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any other comments?  Commissioner

         10        Butterworth?  Morsani will be next.  Do you yield?

         11             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  I yield.

         12             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I was going to make one quick

         13        comment and I think we forgot to read some of our

         14        information here.  This was disapproved in the committee.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you.  I usually announce

         16        that and I forgot to announce it.  Now, Commissioner

         17        Butterworth, with those announcements.

         18             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Thank you very much,

         19        Mr. Chairman.  Having had the opportunity to serve as

         20        mayor of a city, I do believe there are a few cases in

         21        rare instances where cities such as Hacienda Village

         22        should be abolished.  But I do believe in strong local

         23        government and to listen as the commissioner has stated,

         24        that the best place is the local city.  And the local

         25        cities, they know what they want to do, they know whether


          1        or not they want to be abolished or not.  And let them be

          2        the ones to determine that, not the Legislature.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Morsani, now you may

          4        rise again.

          5             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  Well, now I'll speak a little

          6        bit further then.  I didn't think this was going to be

          7        necessary.  But as Commissioner Barnett said, the system

          8        that we had worked.  The City of Port Richie, I'm familiar

          9        with it.  I know the mayor and it's 14 miles from my

         10        house.  And I live in that county.  But the system we had

         11        worked.  So we need not change the system.

         12             As Commissioner Barnett said, the citizenry decided

         13        that they wanted to stay a city, they were not in default

         14        on anything, that there wasn't any reason for it and there

         15        is a proper procedure through the Legislature to keep

         16        their city and they did that.  We did not need to change

         17        that.  And I agree in part with our dear friend

         18        Mr. Anthony, but we don't need to change this.  It came

         19        out of the committee disapproved.  I recommend we

         20        disapprove it.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further comments?

         22             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Would the gentleman yield for

         23        a question?

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Will you yield, Commissioner

         25        Morsani?  He doesn't yield, that settles that.


          1             (Laughter.)

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Are there any other

          3        comments?  Commissioner Barkdull, do you rise to do

          4        something?

          5             (Off-the-record comment.)

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Are we ready to vote

          7        on this?  Commissioner Ford-Coates to close.

          8             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Commissioners, I respect

          9        the opinions of my committee members on local government

         10        and this was disapproved by the committee.  But I submit

         11        to you again that this is part of the local government

         12        article.  It is there to guarantee the basic rights of the

         13        citizens of this state at the local government level.  And

         14        one of the basic rights, I believe, is that a municipality

         15        has the right to establish itself and should have the

         16        right to abolish itself.  That right is not guaranteed

         17        anywhere in the Constitution.  It can be done by the

         18        special act of the Legislature miles and miles away in

         19        Tallahassee.

         20             It is true that the system worked in this instance

         21        but it worked at a cost of dollars and great pain and

         22        suffering for the people in the city that was to be

         23        abolished.  It could have been done with no vote of the

         24        electorate.  There is nothing in our Constitution that

         25        prevents a city from being abolished just by a special


          1        act, the vote of the Senate and the House.

          2             I submit to you that it is just a matter of fairness

          3        and a basic right that a city should make the decision as

          4        to whether or not it should be abolished.  I urge your

          5        support of this proposal.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Is everybody ready to

          7        vote?  Unlock the machine and we'll vote.

          8             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Announce the vote.

         10             READING CLERK:  10 yeas, 17 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It fails.  We'll proceed to the

         12        next proposal, No. 116, by the Committee on Education and,

         13        Commissioner Corr, please read it.

         14             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposal

         15        116, a proposal to revise Article IX, Florida

         16        Constitution, provides in Section 6 to provide funding for

         17        an educational scholarship fund; adding Section 7 to

         18        authorize the creation of an educational scholarship fund.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Who's going to

         20        present this for the Committee on Education?  The chairman

         21        isn't here and the other cosponsor isn't here.

         22             Commissioner Smith, do you rise for that purpose?

         23             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  I'd like for you to introduce

         24        the new reader, I didn't meet the new reader.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, we had two today.


          1             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Well, I met the other one, I'd

          2        like to meet the new one.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll ask the secretary to

          4        introduce you.  Could you introduce the new reader at the

          5        request of Commissioner Smith?  You've got to figure out

          6        who she is.  It's what's her name.  We caught her on the

          7        phone.  She was talking to her family.

          8             SECRETARY BLANTON:  Our reader today is Courtney

          9        Christian who works part-time with us.  She's a student at

         10        Florida State.  And our other reader is Debbie Brown who's

         11        part of the secretary staff.  Our regular reader is in

         12        class at Florida State today so we're flexible in our

         13        office.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you very much.  We're glad

         15        to have you, Courtney.

         16             Now, Commissioner Smith, you rise to present this or

         17        were you just rising for the purpose that we just

         18        accomplished?

         19             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Well, I think that I was -- I

         20        served on the Education Committee --

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Riley is vice

         22        chairman.

         23             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  That's fine.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  She's rising, I think, for the

         25        purpose of presenting it.


          1             Commissioner Riley?

          2             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Commissioner Corr is not here.

          3        And I will present this to the commission.  I will tell

          4        you that we did not pass this out of committee.  I'm sorry

          5        Commissioner Corr is not here to defend his position.

          6        However, I won't defend his position because I'm against

          7        the proposal so I'm not sure how fair that is --

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It shows it was disapproved by

          9        the committee as a committee substitute.  But he's here

         10        for consideration but it was disapproved.

         11             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct, it was.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Go ahead.  Do you want to

         13        tell us what it says?

         14             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I think it's self-explanatory.

         15        If it would please the body, we could defer it until

         16        Commissioner Corr is here.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  If you'd just read it, it's just

         18        one paragraph, isn't it?  It says, the educational

         19        scholarship fund, the Legislature may establish by law an

         20        educational scholarship fund for the purpose of providing

         21        education scholarships for qualified pre-kindergarten,

         22        kindergarten through grade 12 students and students of

         23        higher learning.  That's just adding that provision to

         24        Article IX, Section 7.  Anybody have any questions or any

         25        comments on the proposal?  If not, we'll proceed to vote.


          1             Commissioner Barnett?

          2             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I don't understand the

          3        proposal or the full intent of it, Mr. Chairman.  I was

          4        looking forward to hearing some debate on it and it

          5        doesn't appear to me there's anyone here prepared to

          6        debate it.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Have you read it?

          8             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Perhaps we should move to TP

          9        it.  I read it but it doesn't --

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So you're moving to

         11        TP it?

         12             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I think it would be better in

         13        light of Commissioner Corr and the chairman not being here

         14        to give them an opportunity to fairly debate it.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, we'll TP it

         16        and move to the next item which is Proposal 135 by

         17        Commissioner Henderson.  Read it, please.

         18             READING CLERK:  Proposal 135, a proposal to revise

         19        Article VII, Section 4, Florida Constitution; adding lands

         20        used for conservation purposes to those lands that may by

         21        law be assessed for tax purposes on the basis of their

         22        character or use.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  This was approved by the

         24        Committee on Finance and Taxation.

         25             Commissioner Henderson?


          1             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          2        This is the last of our various environmental proposals

          3        that have worked their way through the system.  This one

          4        came through favorably recommended by the Committee on

          5        Finance and Tax.  Maybe I should have said earlier that

          6        one of the hats that I wear as chairman of the State

          7        Greenways Commission, which is charged by the Legislature

          8        of trying to develop a program to succeed Preservation

          9        2000 which we did earlier and also to make strides to work

         10        with private landowners in the state to try to enhance

         11        conservation.

         12             The last two years we've engaged in a conversation

         13        with some of the -- just tremendous private property

         14        owners.  Great stewards of Florida's landscape and a set

         15        of proposals are working their way through, being drafted

         16        earlier this week, participated in a drafting session with

         17        the legislation which will be introduced in session this

         18        year.  It was one of the items that came out of that that

         19        we can only do by constitutional amendment and that is

         20        what is before us today.

         21             We all know that local property appraisers are

         22        allowed to give exemptions for Green Belt, for

         23        agriculture.  It's been done all the time, it's time

         24        honored, it's a good idea.  We also know a few years back

         25        the voters of the state approved a provision for Blue Belt


          1        which is a means to give some limited exemption in the --

          2        primarily central Florida -- areas of high water table to

          3        be able to enhance the ability for conservation.

          4             And by state law, that has been expanded to allow for

          5        a grant of partial exemption in the area of noncommercial

          6        recreational uses.  But there is no ability at present to

          7        be able to give any form of exemption when land is used

          8        simply in conservation.  People are being good stewards of

          9        the land.

         10             I'll give you an example, the case that really

         11        brought it to my attention.  Actually, I know of many, but

         12        this is one I'm very familiar with.  Lisa Vombromboski

         13        (phonetic) is a person who lives in Hernando County.  She

         14        lives on a wonderful piece of property that sits between

         15        the two big parts of Withlacoochee State Forest.  She has

         16        on her property one of the nicest, most wonderful stands

         17        of longleaf pine left in Florida.

         18             And from her point of view, she's doing a better job

         19        of conserving that property than the state forest system.

         20        Now, I'm not going to get in that conversation, but she's

         21        conserving and she's preserving it and she's been doing

         22        that for years.  I'd also tell you about Ms. Vombromboski,

         23        that she would have enjoyed Commissioner Planas'

         24        conversation yesterday about leaving Cuba to come here to

         25        discover discrimination.


          1             She left Germany earlier this century.  But she left

          2        Germany not to avoid Hitler, but she left Germany to avoid

          3        the Keiser and she's lived on this property since 1917 and

          4        has been an outstanding steward of the land.

          5             Anyway, this year the property appraiser in Hernando

          6        County finally figured out that she wasn't going to cut

          7        down her wonderful stand of longleaf pine, the nicest

          8        private stand of longleaf pine in Hernando County, and

          9        decided this probably should be taxed as development

         10        property.

         11             And so if she had cut down her trees, she would have

         12        had an exemption for agriculture purposes.  But because

         13        she chose to keep her longleaf pine, of which we've lost

         14        95 percent of it in this state, she's being penalized for

         15        that purpose.

         16             So I would tell you that this is a means by which the

         17        Legislature -- we're not going to create an exemption by

         18        doing this -- but it's a means by which the Legislature

         19        can fashion a remedy whereby we can work with private

         20        property owners who are outstanding stewards of the land

         21        to be able to try to protect some precious resources

         22        within this state.

         23             This is a very simple amendment that has the ability

         24        to do a tremendous amount to reward good stewardship by

         25        private property owners but also provide for protection of


          1        resources for future generations to come.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'd like to ask you this.  The

          3        example you gave, if she had objected, she would have won

          4        under the existing Constitution.  But the other examples

          5        of this would not be related to agriculture use, which

          6        even though she's not going to cut the timber, it's still

          7        use.  And under the Constitution, the tax assessor was

          8        wrong and there are cases that would so hold.

          9             I want to point out to you though, that what you're

         10        proposing, I believe, is other areas of conservation that

         11        don't relate to agriculture; are you not?  For example,

         12        somebody that dedicates part of their land to drainage,

         13        would a lake be one?

         14             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I'd say maybe, maybe not.  I

         15        think the Legislature is going to have to do that just as

         16        they've taken many years to work through the standards for

         17        the Blue Belt, but at least they've given them that option

         18        to do that.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So under this, if you had a lake

         20        that you had constructed for a drainage --

         21             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Maybe a lake is not a good

         22        example because what is the value of that lake anyway?  I

         23        mean, it's not like you're going to develop the lake.  You

         24        have, in effect, taken it out of development.  But I tell

         25        you, this is a battle that we do fight every year with 67


          1        different property appraisers around the state, you have

          2        67 different ways of looking at issues.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills?

          4             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, gentleman yield

          5        for a question?

          6             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I don't know.  Frank, what

          7        do you think?

          8             (Laughter.)

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  If he doesn't yield to the

         10        question, ask it anyway because you're recognized to have

         11        the floor and he doesn't have to answer it if he doesn't

         12        want to.

         13             (Laughter.)

         14             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Commissioner Henderson, we've

         15        been working on a parallel issue, which I wanted you to

         16        try to explain the difference between -- I think maybe

         17        I'll try and then see if this works.  This is not a

         18        conservation easement, this is a conservation use.  And it

         19        may result in diminution of the assessment.  Now, the

         20        other issue that's coming along, for those of you, we were

         21        talking about conservation easements and interests in land

         22        today, relate to conservation easements which are those

         23        interests formerly acquired either by the State or the

         24        major conservancy or some organization for which you can

         25        provide an exemption.


          1             I just wanted to discuss the distinction so when this

          2        issue comes before this Commission in the next couple of

          3        days it will understand why they are quite different.

          4             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Let me ask you or perhaps

          5        Chairman Scott, was that considered by the committee today

          6        and what happened?

          7             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Chairman Scott had the burden of

          8        having a lot of very controversial issues and this is not

          9        one that he was able to get at at that point.  And the

         10        other issue that I think we're going to need to do is

         11        define conservation that was raised.  And I think I

         12        support your provision but it is a completely different

         13        issue than a conservation easement.  This is a

         14        conservation use and perhaps you could -- want to augment

         15        what that discontinuing is.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are you suggesting that we TP

         17        this to consider the conservation definition in

         18        conjunction with the proposal you're talking about?

         19             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, I mean, I would certainly

         20        be loathe to propose -- to TP anything Mr. Henderson has.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He's getting used to it.

         22             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I'm waiting for that other

         23        shoe to drop, you know, it's been that way.  And I might

         24        ask, Chairman Scott, is this going to come before your

         25        committee before the end of the week, do you know?


          1             (Off-the-record comment.)

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It will have to.

          3             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  You can withdraw it from

          4        committee and we can take it up on the floor.  I mean what

          5        do you have, two, you have two --

          6             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Why don't we do -- with the

          7        Chairman's permission, we'll ask that it be withdrawn from

          8        F and T and we'll TP it and when we're ready to bring it

          9        forward we'll tell the Rules Committee.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think that's agreeable with me.

         11        If it gets unanimous consent, we'll do it.

         12             Commissioner Scott?

         13             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  This issue is different and I

         14        wouldn't want it to be a precedent for a number of other

         15        issues.  This is really not exactly a tax issue, it's sort

         16        of quasi but it's more of an issue on a broader scale; do

         17        you agree with that, commissioner?  I mean, I don't think

         18        it's affecting --

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is a tax issue because it

         20        affects the assessment.  And it is clearly a tax issue and

         21        that's what it is, that's what it's intended to be.  My

         22        point, which he made in asking the question earlier, was

         23        that -- you may want to study this and Commissioner

         24        Henderson may, to make sure that we're not giving

         25        somebody's lake, like mine, special status to have a


          1        lowered assess when I'm using it to enhance the value of

          2        my property quite extensively.

          3             And what's suggested by you is that you withdraw it

          4        from consideration and have it clarified before we come

          5        back to the floor with it; is that right?

          6             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  No.  What I was asking and

          7        I'm prepared to ask it formally.  What it sounded like we

          8        wanted to do is to withdraw the Mills' proposal from F and

          9        T, have an opportunity for us to see if we can make these

         10        concepts work, and if we can develop that, we'll inform

         11        the Rules Committee and it will come back to the floor.

         12        Now, if the chairman wants to hear this back in committee,

         13        that's fine.

         14             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well, I would say this, why

         15        don't we just temporarily pass your proposal for the

         16        moment and let's talk about whether we withdraw this.

         17        Let's take a look at it.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We'll temporarily pass this and

         19        not remove it from special order but we're just going to

         20        TP it and we'll come back to it.  The next proposal is

         21        No. 119 by Commissioner Corr, who is not here, disapproved

         22        by the committee on education.  Would you read it, please?

         23             READING CLERK:  Proposal 119, a proposal to revise

         24        Article IX, Section 6, Florida Constitution amending the

         25        eligibility requirements for receiving state school funds.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does anybody want to speak to

          2        this?  Commissioner Riley is vice chair of education.

          3             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Mr. Chairman, since we

          4        temporarily passed the previous one, I would suggest we do

          5        the same for this since Commissioner Corr is not here.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection,

          7        we'll temporarily pass it.  I do want to caution everybody

          8        that just because somebody is not here is not good to TP

          9        these items.

         10             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Then I'd be happy to not make

         11        that motion and we can deal with it.  I wanted to deal

         12        with the other one and it was the recommendation that we

         13        temporarily pass that since he wasn't here.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's the same person.

         15             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I understand that, that's why

         16        I'm suggesting having done one, we should perhaps do this

         17        one.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, we'll

         19        temporarily pass it.  I do want to say in the future just

         20        because somebody is not here should not be a grounds, per

         21        se, because we have a lot of people that miss meetings

         22        that may have sponsored these proposals and we've got to

         23        get to the end of our work.  We're temporarily passing

         24        No. 119.

         25             We go to No. 133 by the Committee on Finance and


          1        Taxation which and Commissioner Scott recommended as a

          2        committee substitute.  Would you read it, please?

          3             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposal

          4        133, a proposal to revise Article III, Section 19,

          5        Paragraph D, Florida Constitution; providing guidelines

          6        for the public review period for general appropriation

          7        acts.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott, you're

          9        recognized.  I wonder if we can have a little order before

         10        this starts.  This is a proposal that probably needs your

         11        attention.  Those in the back of the room, would you

         12        please take your seat?  Thank you very much.

         13             Commissioner Scott?

         14             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I normally don't like a lot of

         15        attention.  I would rather just go ahead and pass it out.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We want you to have attention

         17        because when you rise, it's very important to us.

         18             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  What this does, commissioners,

         19        this corrects a basically drafting problem with the

         20        72-hour waiting period for the budget.  And some of you

         21        that were on the committee will recall what happened.  But

         22        the way it was drafted and the way it's been interpreted

         23        is that you have to wait 72 hours from when the Senate

         24        bill is passed and then have to wait another 72 hours when

         25        the House bill is passed.  And then when you go to the


          1        conference committee, you've got to wait another 72 hours

          2        for them.

          3             And what was really intended and even the comment

          4        for -- this is a provision that got on the ballot from the

          5        Budget and Taxation Commission.  Even their comments

          6        really meant only the conference report or the final

          7        product.  So the way this is now drafted and the way we

          8        would change it, it would say that there would be a

          9        72-hour review period before the passage of the bill in

         10        the form that would be presented to the Governor.  And

         11        this corrects -- all of our experts, House and Senate both

         12        agree, that this corrects the problem.  It's about that

         13        simple.  Any questions?

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further

         15        discussion or questions?  Does everybody understand the

         16        proposal?  Ready to vote?  Unlock the machine.

         17             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Announce

         19        the vote.

         20             READING CLERK:  28 yeas, 0 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Scott,

         22        you see how important it was that we had you rise and

         23        everybody listen because you didn't get a single negative

         24        vote on that.

         25             All right.  Proposal No. 168 by Commissioner Corr


          1        approved by the Committee on Executive.  Would you read

          2        it, please?

          3             READING CLERK:  Proposal 168, a proposal to revise

          4        Article IV, Section 6, Florida Constitution; providing

          5        that an entity purportedly within an executive department

          6        which is not subject to the direct supervision of the

          7        agency head is a department.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The committee on

          9        executive is -- the chairman was here.  Commissioner

         10        Alfonso -- did he walk out of the room?  I guess he had to

         11        go home and take care of his new fatherly duties.  Is

         12        there anybody on the committee here that wants to present

         13        this?

         14             Commissioner Morsani?

         15             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I'm the vice chairman of that

         16        committee.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes, sir.

         18             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I'm the vice chairman of that

         19        committee and being so -- who else is on my committee

         20        that's here today?  Where are you?  Commissioner Barkdull

         21        and Commissioner Thompson.  I would like to defer to

         22        Mr. Barkdull on this matter.  See, that way I didn't have

         23        to bother you, Mr. Butterworth --

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You're going to have to call

         25        these people "commissioner" because one is a judge and the


          1        other is a general.  They haven't been called "Mr." in so

          2        long, they don't know they are one.

          3             Commissioner Barkdull?

          4             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, members of the

          5        commission, I see this was approved by the committee.  I'm

          6        not sure that I was present at the time.  But in reading

          7        it and in view of something that came up in the committee

          8        today, I may have a concern I might not have had if I was

          9        present at the committee when it was approved and that is

         10        in effect we're creating by this proposal here, if it's

         11        adopted, we are in effect saying that certain agencies are

         12        going to become departments.  And I'm wondering about how

         13        we're going to run into the 25 department limitation if we

         14        do that.  And possibly my friend Commissioner Thompson

         15        with his wisdom can straighten me out again.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson, with your

         17        wisdom, you have the floor.

         18             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, maybe I can.  I read the

         19        proposal here and I read in the committee and his

         20        explanation, it wasn't consistent with what I was reading.

         21        Let me tell you what this does and it's one of those

         22        things -- I mean, it's not my proposal, but I don't know

         23        that it's all bad.  I don't know whether it rises to the

         24        level you want to place it in the Constitution or change

         25        the Constitution.  The problem is you've got a provision


          1        in the Constitution presently under the executive branch

          2        that says you're going to have 25 departments to carry out

          3        the regulatory functions of the executive branch.

          4             Now, there have been a lot of shenanigans that have

          5        gone on through the years to end up creating a new agency

          6        without calling it a new agency and therefore skirting

          7        this constitutional provision.  Most recently I believe

          8        the agency-owned health care was that way at one time or

          9        maybe it was -- it had something to do with health care,

         10        whatever it is.  You know more about that than I do,

         11        Mr. Chairman.

         12             But anyway, the way that Commissioner Corr is trying

         13        to take care of that and say, If you're going to have 25

         14        agencies only specified in the Constitution, then that's

         15        all you ought to have.  And the Legislature and the

         16        Governor can't get together and creatively come up with

         17        another one some way or another.  So that one way to

         18        assure that is any entity that is supposed to be part of

         19        the Department has to answer to that department head.

         20        Because what they've done is they've created an agency

         21        that has its own head that's supposed to be part of the

         22        Department but doesn't have to answer to the agency head.

         23        So that's all it is, Commissioner Morsani.  And, you know,

         24        it's just a decision that we have to make.  I voted for it

         25        then, I'll vote for it now, recommend it to you.


          1             I think if you're going to have a 25 limitation, you

          2        ought to have it, it ought to be read and this is a way to

          3        do it.  Maybe there is a better way to do it, but it's

          4        probably worth moving forward and probably fits ultimately

          5        on the technical side of what we're doing.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson, both our

          7        general counsel, Ms. Kearney and I were involved in the

          8        case that's referred to in the summary.  And the issue was

          9        dealt with by the Court and they determined the Agency for

         10        Health Care was not a department in effect, though there

         11        was no ripe discussion of it.  My recollection is that the

         12        main reason people want a department head as opposed to an

         13        agency, where you might have this ambiguity, is a

         14        department head must be confirmed by the Senate, an agency

         15        head does not, and that can be critical in some instances

         16        as you might know.  And that was one of the objections

         17        that was raised in this case that we had.

         18             And I think what this is, is an attempt to avoid a

         19        situation where it might be said that the Legislature and

         20        perhaps even the Governor avoided the requirement for

         21        confirmation by calling a department an agency.  And what

         22        I think Commissioner Corr's proposal was trying to do was

         23        to avoid that being probable as I understand it.  Was that

         24        discussed in the committee, Commissioner Morsani, in that

         25        fashion?


          1             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I can't recall exactly now.

          2        We discussed this, gosh, about 60 days ago I think.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We argued in this case there were

          4        only 23 departments so they could hold it was a de facto

          5        department and go from there, but they didn't take that.

          6        We were looking for a way to cover it on the other side as

          7        I recall.

          8             Commissioner Nabors?

          9             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Mr. Chairman, I'm concerned

         10        there may be some unintended consequences of this.  I know

         11        no one wants to continue to temporary pass this.  But for

         12        example, I really haven't studied this proposal.  But if

         13        you recall last session after great public debate, the

         14        Florida Housing Finance Agency was created as a separate

         15        corporation.  And although it's within the Department of

         16        Community Affairs, I don't think it's under the direct

         17        supervision as this contemplates.  I think it reports to

         18        the Governor.

         19             I just think we need to be careful about this

         20        language because we may have some unintended consequences.

         21        What I'd like to do is temporarily pass this, let us look

         22        at this language and see if there may be some consequences

         23        beyond what we think there is there.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection,

         25        we'll temporary pass it for further study and we'll bring


          1        it back up on the calendar.

          2             The next proposal is No. 97 by Commissioner Evans,

          3        disapproved by the committee on Declaration of Rights.

          4        Would you read the proposal, please?

          5             Do you have it?  I'll read it.  The tile is Article

          6        I, Section 23, of the Florida Constitution; prohibiting

          7        the performance or partial birth abortion as defined

          8        except in specified circumstances providing that a woman

          9        upon whom such an abortion is performed is not subject to

         10        prosecution under this section.

         11             And it's by Commissioner Evans who has risen to

         12        present the proposal.  Commissioner Evans.

         13             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Yes, thank you.  I want to start

         14        out by telling you what this amendment does not address.

         15        This amendment does not address, nor does it affect

         16        reproduction choices.  In fact, any discussion of

         17        reproduction choices merely muddies the waters and removes

         18        the focus from this particular procedure.  This amendment

         19        addresses just one particular procedure which is

         20        particularly described in the amendment itself.

         21             The procedure occurs in second or third-term

         22        pregnancies, the later term pregnancies with viable

         23        babies.  The procedure involves the doctor turning the

         24        baby so that the baby will emerge feet first.  The doctor

         25        has to induce labor, cause the baby to come out feet


          1        first, and then right before the baby is fully born, just

          2        a nanosecond before, in fact, the doctor has to literally

          3        sometimes hold the head in to keep the baby from taking

          4        that first breath of air.  Just before the mouth and nose

          5        emerge, the doctor punctures the skull of the baby and

          6        inserts a suction tube, sucks out the brains of the baby

          7        and crushes the skull thereby killing the baby.

          8             So that's the procedure, in order to give you an idea

          9        of viability of the babies.  I personally had a friend who

         10        last May 25th gave birth prematurely to a 23-week old

         11        baby.  The baby was 1 pound, 1 ounce, in size, 11 inches

         12        long, tiny, tiny, tiny little baby.  I wish I could pass

         13        the pictures around to you, that would be time consuming,

         14        this little child, it's absolutely amazing how tiny a

         15        human being can be and be viable and survive.  She's alive

         16        and well.  She went home shortly after when she was

         17        originally due to be born and is doing well.  So these are

         18        viable babies that we're talking about, babies that

         19        otherwise would be born alive.

         20             Now, the problem with a partial birth abortion is

         21        that it is extremely dangerous to the mother to have the

         22        baby be born this way.  There are serious consequences.

         23        No doctor who has a true concern for the health or the

         24        life of the mother would ever choose to deliver a baby

         25        feet first.


          1             If a mother's health is jeopardized, a doctor will do

          2        anything possible to try to turn the baby so that the head

          3        would come head first, that's the way a woman's body is

          4        made.  The head is always able -- well, just about --

          5        always able to come out.  If there are serious problems,

          6        then the doctor turns to a cesarean section.  He doesn't

          7        turn the baby around feet first and say, We've got to

          8        crush the skull of your baby in order to save your life.

          9             So, second and third-term abortions can be achieved

         10        by methods that are much more safe for the mother.  A

         11        common method is to inject a drug which will stop the

         12        baby's heart, induce labor and the baby is born head

         13        first.  The mother still goes through labor but she

         14        delivers a dead baby rather than a live baby.

         15             Now, we do not have statistics to share with you as

         16        to how many times per year this procedure is used.

         17        Reporting the procedure is -- reporting the particular

         18        procedure used is apparently not required.  And when there

         19        are reporting requirements, the reporting requirements are

         20        not necessarily enforced.

         21             One report that Commissioner Riley brought to us --

         22        and when I'm through, if you need to correct what I say,

         23        feel free to -- is that there are one or more groups that

         24        have reported that in the last year Florida, at least

         25        those groups in Florida, performed this particular


          1        procedure 12 times.  So banning this particular procedure

          2        obviously does not ban late-term abortions.

          3             Now, why does a ban of this particular procedure need

          4        to be in the Constitution, why can't it just be through

          5        the Legislature?  The Legislature indeed has acted on it.

          6        The House voted overwhelmingly to support a ban.  The

          7        Senate voted overwhelmingly to support the ban, the

          8        Governor vetoed it.

          9             Even if we were to override the veto or have it come

         10        up again and have it passed, it's obviously the people of

         11        the state of Florida definitely do not want to be

         12        associated with this heinous procedure.  But even if it

         13        were to pass, the question then is, as soon as the

         14        opponents found their plaintiff and did their proper judge

         15        shopping to get the correct judge to uphold -- to strike

         16        on constitutional grounds, would it then withstand

         17        constitutional security in the Florida Supreme Court?

         18             I have no doubt but that depending on the world view

         19        of the various Supreme Court members, that the Supreme

         20        Court could indeed say that the statute is

         21        unconstitutional pursuant to the privacy clause.

         22             So in order to keep this particular heinous,

         23        dangerous procedure out of Florida, then we need a

         24        constitutional amendment rather than the legislative

         25        action.


          1             So this time, this place, is the only way to ensure

          2        that this dangerous, heinous procedure is not inflicted

          3        upon unsuspecting women who find themselves in a crisis

          4        situation.  I do not see how a civilized society can in

          5        good conscience endorse this barbaric procedure.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any discussion?

          7        Ready to vote?  Commissioner Connor?  A proponent,

          8        Commissioner Connor.

          9             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Members of the commission, a

         10        partial birth abortion is an unspeakable act of barbarity

         11        in a civilized society.  It is difficult to imagine a more

         12        horrific procedure to an innocent unborn child who is on

         13        the threshold of taking his or her first breath.  The only

         14        thing that prevents this child from enjoying the

         15        protections of Article I, Section 2, which provides that

         16        all natural persons are equal before the law, is 3 inches.

         17             This is a procedure that by design occurs when the

         18        physician repositions the baby within the womb, turning

         19        its position from a head-first delivery to a feet-first

         20        delivery.  The body is delivered to the base of the skull

         21        and all but about 3 inches remains before the head is

         22        delivered.  At that point, the physician, a healer in

         23        traditional thought, inserts a pair of scissors at the

         24        base of the skull, pushes those scissors in, making a

         25        pathway in which to insert a suction catheter.


          1             At that point, the baby's brains are literally sucked

          2        into the vacuum tube.  The skull is then crushed and the

          3        baby is delivered.  The sole goal of this procedure is a

          4        dead baby.  And but for the physician's careful retention

          5        of the upper portion of the baby's head in the birth

          6        canal, this child would be accorded all the protections

          7        available under the Constitution of the state of Florida.

          8             We know that this procedure is carried out throughout

          9        our United States and we know from testimony that occurred

         10        in the Legislature that at least I believe one abortionist

         11        performs about a dozen of these procedures a year in the

         12        state of Florida.  As Commissioner Evans has indicated,

         13        there are no mandatory reporting requirements about the

         14        procedures that are employed.

         15             And, in fact, the number of procedures in Florida,

         16        the number of abortions that are carried out in Florida

         17        are typically understated because there are no sanctions

         18        that accompany the failure to report the number of

         19        procedures.  But we know from the procedures that are

         20        reported, that the total number of abortions reported are

         21        something on the order of 80,000 abortions in the state of

         22        Florida every year.

         23             One of these procedures in a decade, I submit to you,

         24        would be too many.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have heard

         25        profound and compelling debate in which we decried the


          1        desperate sentencing treatment that occurs with respect to

          2        African-American citizens in which we have lamented the

          3        way in which society may have discriminated in the area of

          4        housing, in hiring with respect to Florida's gay and

          5        lesbian citizens.  We've heard concerns expressed about

          6        the way in which females are treated.

          7             And the question I would ask you to consider today is

          8        whether or not your concerns are broad enough and whether

          9        your compassion is deep enough for this unborn child that

         10        they should not be subjected -- we already know there is a

         11        license to kill the innocent unborn child, that's a

         12        fixture on the constitutional landscape of our federal and

         13        of our state Constitution.

         14             So really, all we're talking about is the way in

         15        which we are going to destroy the life of that child.  If

         16        this were a convicted capital felon who was being

         17        submitted to this kind of treatment as part and parcel of

         18        the death penalty, the hue and cry would be so great that

         19        you could not quell the outrage.  But we don't hear the

         20        silent scream of the innocent unborn child who does not

         21        get the benefit of any due process protection, who does

         22        not get the benefit of a trial by jury, who does not get

         23        the benefit of any kind of hearing, and who does not get

         24        the benefit of a stay of execution.

         25             And then this child is executed in the most horrific


          1        manner that one can conceive of.  I dare say the Marquis

          2        de Sade would not in his wildest imaginations have

          3        concocted a procedure of such barbarity.  I know we don't

          4        like to talk about it.  It's something that we don't like

          5        to talk about in polite discourse and indeed there was

          6        much discussion in our committee that considered this bill

          7        about the civility of the discourse that had taken place.

          8        Ladies and gentlemen, if we are a civilized society, can

          9        we tolerate such cruel and unusual punishment of the most

         10        innocent vulnerable member of the human family?

         11             I don't expect any folks in here who have firm

         12        convictions about the right to abortion to change their

         13        mind on whether or not abortion should be or should not be

         14        permitted in this state.  But ladies and gentlemen, I

         15        implore you to look within your own hearts, to look within

         16        your own consciences and ask yourselves what the

         17        toleration of this procedure says about the nature of our

         18        society and our obligation to the tiniest member of the

         19        human family.

         20             And recognizing that for those of us who are on this

         21        commission that the opportunity to address these kinds of

         22        issues in general and this issue in particular will not

         23        come around for 20 years will we be silent on this issue?

         24        Will we give our imprimatur of approval to this issue by

         25        negative vote here today?


          1             Or when the day comes when we speak to our

          2        grandchildren about our service on this commission and

          3        we're asked the question about how we dealt with this

          4        procedure at a time when it was countenanced within our

          5        society, will we say, I leant my support to the carrying

          6        out of that kind of procedure?  Or I was willing to stand

          7        up and be counted and to take a stand against this

          8        outrageous, horrific act of barbarity against the most

          9        precious and vulnerable member of the human family?  I

         10        urge you, I implore you to vote yes to this proposal.

         11        Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Planas

         13        is up first.  You're next, Commissioner Smith, and then

         14        Commissioner Evans-Jones.

         15             Commissioner Planas?

         16             COMMISSIONER PLANAS:  I love life and I love my

         17        children, I've got five of them.  And, Commissioner

         18        Connor, I was very moved about what you said and I will

         19        strongly support what you had mentioned.  Thank you.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Smith?

         21             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  As the

         22        chairman of Declaration of Rights Committee, I have been

         23        privileged to be a part of some of the most heart

         24        wrenching, intellectually stimulating and forward-thinking

         25        debate that has occurred in any of the committees.


          1             So Commissioner Connor should take some comfort in

          2        knowing that this commission is not, will not, cannot be

          3        silent on the profound issues of the day including this

          4        issue.  We took it up, we listened to the public, we

          5        listened to the statistics that were available.  We went

          6        back and recalled what happened with regard to the

          7        testimony taken in the Legislature.  We found out why the

          8        government vetoed it, what his message was about.  We

          9        looked at the federal legislation that passed and the

         10        message as to why President Clinton vetoed it.

         11             We talked about first and foremost, as we always do,

         12        number one, is this a matter that should be in our

         13        Constitution?  That has been the threshold question that

         14        we have asked each other on just about every issue that's

         15        come up, unless it was just fundamentally clear that it

         16        had to be in the Constitution and some of the ones that

         17        were even fundamentally clear, the question still was

         18        asked and we challenged the proponent of the proposal to

         19        articulate the reason.

         20             Let me also rise to say that I too join Commissioner

         21        Evans and Commissioner Connor in stating that this

         22        procedure is a barbaric procedure.  Nonetheless, I believe

         23        that the reason that the committee voted to recommend this

         24        unfavorably was as follows:  First, there were committee

         25        members who were persuaded that notwithstanding personal


          1        feelings about this procedure or any other procedure that

          2        ultimately results in the same ending -- and so whether

          3        we're talking about this procedure or whether we're

          4        talking about lethal injection, electric chair, being shot

          5        by a gun or whatever, there were those that felt that a

          6        medical decision should be made between the physician and

          7        the patient.  And that government should not intervene

          8        with that particular physician/patient relationship.

          9             Secondly, while it is of some consequence that -- the

         10        statistics indicate there are about 8,000 abortions, 6,000

         11        second and third-term abortions.  We know of one doctor

         12        that performs this procedure in Florida.  I think that

         13        there are those who agree with you, Commissioner Connor,

         14        that the majority of Floridians and the majority of people

         15        that feel, based upon the polling, that one is enough or

         16        too many.

         17             However, with regard to this particular issue, I

         18        think it was also the feeling of the committee that

         19        statutorily it was fair that we not only have the same --

         20        that it's important that we do have the same concern,

         21        compassion for the life and health of the mother as we do

         22        or should do as so eloquently articulated by Commissioner

         23        Connor for the unborn child.  We know that both of the

         24        veto messages from the Governor of the state of Florida

         25        and from the President of the United States, whether


          1        rightly or wrongly from your particular perspective, dealt

          2        with the issue of ensuring that within the decision that

          3        the life of the mother was one that was taken into

          4        consideration.

          5             Now, I for one said then and said now that that alone

          6        would not make me vote against this proposal.  I differ

          7        with my Governor and my president on that.  However, I'm

          8        expressing to you the panoply of reasons that were

          9        expressed as we debated the issue in committee.

         10             The statistics now show, based upon information

         11        brought to our attention, that this nation is divided

         12        45 percent, 45 percent, allegedly people who claim to be

         13        pro life and pro choice.  And while it is said that this

         14        issue is not a pro life and pro choice debate, clearly to

         15        the mother and the physician who, by the way, based upon

         16        the testimony, the testimony indicates that this procedure

         17        is performed in situations where the child, or giving

         18        birth of the child, is expected the child will have

         19        deformity like Down's syndrome, et cetera, the proponents

         20        of the proposal say it's the responsibility of the parent

         21        to carry the child to term.

         22             Those of us who take the other point of view say this

         23        is a decision that's between the mother and her physician.

         24        I understand and appreciate the passion and I appreciate

         25        the civility with regard to this discussion both in the


          1        committee and here.  It is one that you should expect

          2        people to feel passionately about.  We are talking about

          3        life and death, both of the unborn child and of the

          4        mother.

          5             And I think when we put that on the ballots and we

          6        think about all of the proposals that we have to deal with

          7        and we think about what our ultimate objective is to

          8        advance the State and not to necessarily divide the State

          9        with an issue that's going to bring the issue down, I

         10        really believe that you will vote and concur with the

         11        Declaration of Rights committee to recommend this

         12        unfavorably.  Thank you.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Evans-Jones.

         14             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  I have a question for

         15        Commissioner Evans.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Evans,

         17        she's going to address a question to you.

         18             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  As I read this,

         19        Commissioner Evans, you have put in that there is an

         20        exception for the life of the mother; is that in the bill?

         21             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Yes.

         22             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Beg your pardon?

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's in there.

         24             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  But so you do have an

         25        exception for the life of the mother.  Was that the reason


          1        President Clinton gave, the reason he vetoed the bill,

          2        because it did not have that in there?

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We need to turn her microphone on

          4        if we could, please.  Commissioner Evans.

          5             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Yes, my understanding is the

          6        problem with the Governor as well as with the President is

          7        there is not a health of the mother exception in here.

          8        We've got life of mother exception.  But if you look at

          9        the follow-up language there whose life is endangered by a

         10        physical disorder, illness or injury.  So, as far as the

         11        physical health of the mother is concerned, that is in

         12        there, the physical life, the physical health is the same

         13        thing.

         14             The problem, however, is that there is no mental

         15        health of the mother in here.  That's my understanding was

         16        the President's problem as well as the Governor's problem,

         17        no mental health provision.  With mental health, the

         18        reason that I didn't put it in here is because with mental

         19        health there is no reason to have the entire amendment

         20        because mental health means all of a sudden I'm seven

         21        months' pregnant and I've decided I don't want to give

         22        live birth.  You know, it doesn't mean I don't want to go

         23        into labor, I'm scared of labor or something like that.

         24        It means, I don't want to give live birth, I don't want

         25        to, it's a mental condition.  So why even worry about the


          1        entire amendment if we put mental health in here.

          2             Now the mother, mind you, in a late-term abortion is

          3        going to go into labor no matter what.  The question is

          4        simply which way will the baby come out and at what point

          5        in the baby's life will the baby be killed.  Will the baby

          6        be killed the nanosecond before birth with the feet first

          7        coming out, a very dangerous position for the woman, or

          8        will the baby be killed with an injection to stop the

          9        baby's heart, induce labor and the baby comes out head

         10        first.  So you've got labor either way, you've got visible

         11        pregnancy either way.  It's just a question of are we

         12        going to deliver -- how are we going to do the delivery.

         13        To me, they both are heinous and barbaric but certainly

         14        this one is just outrageous.

         15             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Would you believe -- I

         16        have another question.  Would you believe that a lot of my

         17        friends who believe in freedom of choice also believe in

         18        the bill that you are presenting here today?

         19             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I would believe it.  I know that

         20        there is a great, great public outcry against this

         21        particular procedure.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Zack?

         23             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  This has been an extremely

         24        enlightening discussion to me and I can tell you as I

         25        stand here, I'm confused.  I do not sit on Declaration of


          1        Rights and I do not believe that I probably have the

          2        medical background necessary to understand some of these

          3        issues.  So I don't know who would be the best to address

          4        this to and I'll address it to the chairman to see if it

          5        came up during the course of your deliberations.

          6             The first thing I don't understand is why a woman

          7        would carry a child to the point where this kind of birth

          8        would occur.  And the second question is, and I gathered

          9        some portion of it from something Ms. Evans just said, is

         10        there a certain point in time during the pregnancy where

         11        if you have an abortion, that it becomes a partial life

         12        abortion regardless of anything else?  I mean, if you are

         13        carrying up to let's say six months or seven months or

         14        eight months, if you choose to have an abortion at that

         15        time, is this what occurs, period, every time there is an

         16        abortion after a certain date?

         17             I don't have the information necessary for me to

         18        understand the medical aspects of what's being discussed

         19        here because it just logically doesn't make a whole lot of

         20        sense why somebody -- I mean, from listening to Mr. Connor

         21        and Ms. Evans, it sounds like on the ninth month when

         22        someone is getting ready to have a child, all of a sudden

         23        they have a decision, you know, a millisecond before the

         24        child is to be born that they don't want this child,

         25        that's what it sounds like from listening to the


          1        discussion.

          2             That doesn't make any sense and I respect our

          3        Governor and I respect our President enough to know that

          4        unless there is another side we haven't heard very much

          5        about, there wouldn't have been this veto by both of them.

          6        And I'd like you, Mr. Chairman, to the extent you can to

          7        answer all those questions before I have to vote on this

          8        issue so that we can make an informed decision on this

          9        question.

         10             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you very much,

         11        Mr. Chairman.  First of all, I'm sure from your question

         12        you realize there's conflicting testimony that has been

         13        presented both to our Legislature and in Congress and to

         14        the committee with regard to either what is considered or

         15        called medical necessity for it or why the procedure is

         16        utilized and if it's necessary.

         17             What we have heard is, first, that with regard to the

         18        procedure, they induce labor.  It is not like someone

         19        works up to nine months necessarily.  Labor is induced for

         20        the purpose of initiating this procedure.  We've heard

         21        testimony on the one hand, obviously, that most times this

         22        is done because women just for some reason, because they

         23        are being pressured by a boyfriend, or pressured by

         24        someone or mentally can't deal with having to care for the

         25        child, makes a decision late and it's real now, it's seven


          1        months, I'm not going to have the child.

          2             So at this point, either this type of procedure or

          3        another late-term abortion procedure.  But obviously this

          4        procedure can't be used that much based upon the

          5        statistical data.  We can extrapolate that although we

          6        have been told that there are about 12 of the procedures

          7        that were done in the last reporting year, I think we can

          8        assume intelligently that there were some that weren't

          9        reported.  So you multiply it times five if you want to

         10        and let's say about 60.

         11             But since there are 6,000 late-term abortions that

         12        have been reported, even if there were 60 of these

         13        procedures, we know 60 partial birth abortions, we know

         14        that there were 5,940 late-term abortions that were not

         15        done as partial birth abortions.  And I'm not saying those

         16        figures are accurate, I'm just trying to put it in

         17        context.

         18             Secondly, with regard to both what the Governor did

         19        and what the President did, clearly there is tremendous

         20        controversy about the rightness or wrongness of their

         21        positions.  How do we know that?  Both houses of Florida

         22        Legislature passed it, both houses of Congress passed it

         23        and the President and the Governor vetoed it.

         24             As Commissioner Evans-Jones tried to indicate, the

         25        polls show about 75 to 78 percent of Americans, pro life


          1        and pro choice, oppose this procedure.  As I said in

          2        committee, to the congregation of some of my, quote,

          3        progressive friends, if there was a statutory provision, I

          4        would vote yes without a doubt.  I would vote yes.

          5             As is, however, because it is a constitutional

          6        provision, I voted no.  Now with regard to the medical

          7        testimony that was presented, there's a tremendous amount

          8        of other medical testimony, Mr. Zack, and I'm sure that

          9        Ms. Evans' answer and Mr. Connor have a lot of information

         10        they can provide to you about it.  We didn't have a lot of

         11        doctors to appear before us with regard to this particular

         12        procedure, so we didn't have a tremendous amount of

         13        medical testimony.

         14             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  If I can ask Commissioner Connor

         15        to yield to a question.  I'm trying to understand, and I

         16        believe other commissioners here have the same question,

         17        what the effect -- what is the effect on the mother of

         18        passing this?  Does it mean that the mother has to come to

         19        a decision earlier in the pregnancy as to whether to have

         20        an abortion?  Is there some medical effect that says, If

         21        we pass this that would say after seven months you

         22        couldn't have an abortion because by definition it would

         23        always be a partial birth abortion?  And I'm trying to

         24        understand the medical effect on the mother and the fetus

         25        if we adopt this.


          1             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  As far as the outcome of the

          2        fetus, as far as the outcome for the baby, you can count

          3        on getting a dead baby in all events.  In other words, if

          4        you can't kill it through the means of the partial birth,

          5        you'll be permitted to kill it through another vehicle of

          6        abortion.

          7             My recollection, Mr. Zack, is that the American

          8        Medical Association who has come down on record in favor

          9        of abortion, has come down on record before the Congress

         10        in opposition to this procedure indicating that there is

         11        no medical justification for the procedure.

         12             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I'd like to yield for a question

         13        on that particular statement.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's true.  I didn't call him

         15        out of order but it was a question.

         16             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  And it is a question.  Why if the

         17        end result is the same, you have a dead baby or fetus,

         18        depending on how you look at it?  Why would you ever use

         19        the partial life abortion?  Why?  I mean, there's got to

         20        be some reason.  Either someone is lazy or insensitive or

         21        ignorant.  I mean, there's got to be some reason people do

         22        things, I assume.  And I'm sure that you can tell us what

         23        is the basis that those people who do it say they do it

         24        for.

         25             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I'll be candid.  It's


          1        impossible for me to conceive of any justification for

          2        this kind of procedure.  Now, what we know about the

          3        nature of the procedure, in the early going, is that in

          4        the early stages of gestation, the baby's body is much

          5        more pliable.  So there are a variety of techniques that

          6        are used to dismember the baby and extract the baby from

          7        the womb.  We have the suction curettage, we have the

          8        dilation curettage, et cetera.

          9             Sometimes the suction machine, because of the

         10        pliability of the child, is so powerful that you can

         11        literally pull the baby apart through the vacuum pressure

         12        that's generated in that connection.  With a dilatation

         13        and curettage, you expand the uterus and go in --

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Connor, the question

         15        didn't go into the procedure.  The question went why

         16        somebody would do it.  Or why somebody would not do it.

         17             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Well, my point -- no, my point

         18        is because these methodologies become increasingly

         19        difficult to use for a later term baby because the baby

         20        does not yield to that kind of destruction.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLAS:  I'm not trying to cut you off, but

         22        I think the discussion of the procedure is not what we're

         23        involved with.

         24             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Let me try and restate it in case

         25        there is any question.  I want to know why at the time


          1        that this procedure is employed another less barbaric

          2        procedure is not employed if they are both equally as

          3        effective?

          4             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Well that's what I'm trying to

          5        suggest is that they are not -- these other procedures are

          6        not equally effective at this late stage in the pregnancy.

          7        That's what I am trying to establish.  And so what happens

          8        is, the later you go in the pregnancy, the more reason

          9        that you would wind up going through a vaginal delivery,

         10        but remember the goal is to produce the ultimate death of

         11        the baby and so the way you do that is through the partial

         12        delivery of the baby and then the procedure as I have

         13        discussed it.

         14             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Well, I'd like to yield to one

         15        more question.  You started the statement that you made

         16        previously with this comment, That in either case, you end

         17        up with a dead baby.  So under your statement, they are

         18        equally as effective, under your first statement.  On your

         19        second statement, you are saying they're not equally as

         20        effective.

         21             I just want to know, I'll tell you, I want to vote on

         22        this and it's an issue that causes each of us, I'm sure,

         23        great concern here.  And you want to do the right thing

         24        for all the right reasons.  And to do the right thing, you

         25        have to understand what the facts are.  And I'm still


          1        waiting for, I would hope you or Ms. Evans or anybody else

          2        who has any knowledge about this, to speak up and as to

          3        why -- it just, to me, is illogical that someone would

          4        want to perform a barbaric procedure by any definition --

          5             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  And my --

          6             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  -- when an alternative is

          7        available that is as equally effective.  And that's pure

          8        logic --

          9             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  -- my understanding of it is

         10        that, A, it may have to do with the point in time during

         11        the gestation at which the decision is made to abort the

         12        baby.  No. 2, the point in time in which it may be

         13        discovered that there are physical defects within the baby

         14        where the decision has been made to abort the baby because

         15        the baby is handicapped.  Or 3, because one or the other

         16        alternatives such a saline abortion, or one of these other

         17        abortions, may be more difficult for the mother to endure

         18        than this particular form.

         19             There are a variety of different forms of abortion,

         20        all of which are efficacious in terms of the end goal

         21        which is the extinction of the baby's life.  But this has

         22        to do, as I understand it, in large part with the point in

         23        time within the gestational period that the decision is

         24        made to abort the baby.

         25             When you make that decision later, rather than


          1        earlier, your range of options becomes increasingly

          2        narrow.  But all I can revert to frankly is that the AMA

          3        position is simply that from a medical standpoint, there

          4        is no medical justification for this kind of procedure.

          5             There are other procedures which will yield a dead

          6        baby when the procedure is applied later in the pregnancy.

          7        This particular procedure we deem to be such a blight on

          8        the face of civilized society that we just believe that it

          9        ought not to be permitted and I hope you will feel that

         10        way too.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Before we go further on this, we

         12        are going to read this again because we have left the

         13        subject to the constitutional provision.  The provision

         14        says, A physician shall not knowingly perform a partial

         15        birth abortion unless the procedure is necessary to save

         16        the life of a mother whose life is endangered by physical

         17        disorder, illness, or injury and no other medical

         18        procedure would suffice for that purpose.  So therefore,

         19        the answer to the questions that have been going around,

         20        there is a time when this would be legal under this

         21        provision, which is when the life of the mother is in

         22        danger and that no other procedure would suffice.

         23             So in spite of all the barbarism and so on, this

         24        would still allow it in those instances.  And where the

         25        Governor's veto occurred was that he, in his message,


          1        stated that this did not consider the health of the mother

          2        as a reason, only her imminent threat of life.  And that

          3        was why he said he vetoed it, as I recall, because I was

          4        there and I did not support the veto myself personally,

          5        but I understood the reason.

          6             If the language had been to -- and also to protect

          7        the health of the mother, none of the business about

          8        mental and so on health but the health, he would not have

          9        vetoed it.

         10             Now the issue you have stated so eloquently is number

         11        one, the only time this should be done is when the life of

         12        the mother is imminently threatened.  Is that a fair

         13        statement of what this says?

         14             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I think so, although I think

         15        Ms. -- Commissioner Evans was of the view that there was a

         16        physical -- that where the mother's life was in danger or

         17        threatened, that that would address the health issues.

         18        Let me simply, if I may with respect to the health issue,

         19        tell you why historically those of us who have been

         20        advocates of the pro life position have opposed the

         21        so-called health exception and that is because on the same

         22        day that Roe vs. Wade was decided the case of Doe versus

         23        Bolton was decided.

         24             And that case construed the term "health" so broadly

         25        as to include psychological health, familial health, et


          1        cetera.  And the construction that has been given to that

          2        provision has been so broad that the practical effect of

          3        the ruling was that we permit abortion on demand for any

          4        reason or no reason at all through all nine months of the

          5        pregnancy.

          6             And so there has been sharp dispute about the scope

          7        of what health means and the concern that people such as

          8        myself have had is that when you create the so-called

          9        health exception, as construed by the Supreme Court in the

         10        case of Doe versus Bolton, there are no restrictions to

         11        abortion, period.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Morsani?

         13             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  Mr. Chairman, ladies and

         14        gentlemen, I was going to try to stay out of this, but as

         15        I listened I think I have to say something and it is

         16        personal.  So I'll say it.  I don't know how many of you

         17        were -- my wife and I were married when we were 18 years

         18        old.  Been married for 47 years about a week from now.

         19             And our first child was born and -- wasn't born.  As

         20        a matter of fact, my wife got the measles and she carried

         21        the baby to almost term and it was determined that it was

         22        a Downs' syndrome child and many, many, many -- all the

         23        problems you can possibly probably conjure up were going

         24        to be with this child.

         25             And we did not know what to do.  Obviously you are a


          1        kid, 21-years old, whatever we were at that time.  And so

          2        when she went to -- and she carried the baby almost to

          3        term and then we told the doctor, she told the doctor,

          4        what do you want to do, whether to terminate this, baby or

          5        have the baby.

          6             And we collectively made a decision, I don't know

          7        what the procedure was, whether the baby was, they said it

          8        was born dead, we accepted that, because I don't think we

          9        wanted to know and I would dare say that young people, you

         10        know, I was making $90 a month so I was really well off, I

         11        would say that we would make that same decision today.

         12        And that may not agree with some in this room.

         13             But I would, I still think that this is a very

         14        certain procedure, I guess there's probably other

         15        procedures that are just as bad, we just don't know what

         16        they are, I don't know anything about the medical

         17        profession.  I understand very little.  I understand what

         18        you have said here today.

         19             But I am afraid that this is the proverbial camel's

         20        nose under the tent situation.  I would discourage us from

         21        passing this legislation or proposing this because as I

         22        look back to young people in ourselves as I have

         23        explained, I think we made the right decision.  It was a

         24        very hard decision, very difficult decision, but I would

         25        make the same decision again.

                     DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS (850) 488-9675


          1             And I know my wife would and I think it is terrible,

          2        no question about that, meaning this partial birth as

          3        described hereby so eloquently by you presenters, but I

          4        think it was the right decision in our family and I think

          5        it might be the right decision for a lot of other families

          6        and I would urge you to vote against this proposal.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mathis?

          8             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  I think a lot of the issues

          9        have been discussed and since we are going to get

         10        personal, a little personal here, I wasn't alive during

         11        slavery.  I wasn't alive during the Holocaust.  And I

         12        didn't have much to do with Apartheid in South Africa.

         13        But I am here in this commission debating this issue about

         14        partial birth abortions.  And I remember reading about an

         15        argument that said, The government should not intervene

         16        between private property and its owner.  And it was part

         17        of an argument made in support of slavery.

         18             Now we have come as a society from that argument to

         19        maybe enlightenment, I don't know, the times bought us

         20        there.  But we are talking about, I think, a core value of

         21        our society, this particular procedure is heinous to say

         22        the very least.

         23             And I, as a person sitting here in light of what I

         24        know about history, and I am not a historian, could not

         25        support moving forward in this commission and voting

                     DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS (850) 488-9675


          1        against this proposal.  We are not voting this proposal up

          2        or down.  We are saying rather than us listening to polls,

          3        to presentations before legislative bodies, to lobbying

          4        groups before elected officials, we are saying let the

          5        people speak directly to this issue in putting it on the

          6        ballot.  And I for one fully support letting the people

          7        speak and letting them speak clearly on this issue.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any further discussion?  Ready to

          9        vote.  Okay.  I thought you had already closed but you can

         10        close if you like.

         11             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Will banning this procedure

         12        outlaw late-term abortions?  No, it won't.  There is

         13        another method that can be used.  Sure, the number of

         14        methods get more limited as the pregnancy proceeds, but

         15        there still are other methods and I have described the

         16        other method.

         17             On the federal level there was a caucus of over 300

         18        OB-GYNs who felt that they had stayed silent long enough

         19        on this medical issue.  And they came out in writing as

         20        well as in live testimony saying that there was no reason

         21        ever to use this procedure.  No OB-GYN who has an ongoing

         22        physician/patient relationship with a woman would do this

         23        procedure or at least none have admitted to it.  They will

         24        use another procedure.  Another procedure is available.

         25             Now addressing would you make the same decision today

                     DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS (850) 488-9675


          1        about not wanting to know the procedure, if you knew that

          2        this procedure would kill you, would you make that

          3        decision to use this procedure?  If you knew that this

          4        procedure would render you infertile, would you use this

          5        procedure?  If you knew that there was a different

          6        procedure that is much more commonly used, and you had to

          7        choose between the two, perhaps you would choose the less

          8        dangerous, it is not as if you could no longer have the

          9        choice in a crisis pregnancy.  It is simply, let's not

         10        allow such a dangerous procedure be inflicted upon

         11        unsuspecting women.

         12             As far as maintaining the doctor/patient

         13        relationship, I agree with that.  Let the doctor and his

         14        patient discuss it.  Let the doctor and his patient

         15        continue with follow-up visits.  We are not preventing

         16        that at all.  The problem here though is that there are

         17        doctors who perform this procedure who have no

         18        doctor/patient relationship beyond the woman coming in,

         19        getting the drug to induce labor over this three-day

         20        period.

         21             She finally goes into labor, she goes back into this

         22        total stranger, has the procedure, it is my understanding

         23        she has to be out within 50 minutes, otherwise it is not a

         24        clinic anymore, and there are different guidelines if you

         25        are not a clinic.


          1             So let's not get confused between the doctor/patient

          2        relationship and the relationship between a clinic and a

          3        woman.  So remember, we are not doing anything to hinder

          4        the doctor/patient relationship, an ongoing doctor/patient

          5        relationship with follow-up visits.

          6             So again, try not to muddy the waters with are we

          7        really outlawing late-term abortions, we are not.  Are we

          8        really interfering with the privacy of the doctor/patient

          9        relationship, we are not.  Thank you.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We're ready to vote.

         11        Open the machine.

         12             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Everybody voted?  Lock the

         14        machine.

         15             READING CLERK:  12 yeas, 16 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proposal fails.  We will move to

         17        the next proposal.  Let's take about a five-minute recess.

         18        I think everybody might be a little -- need a little

         19        emotional restoring there.  We don't need a motion on

         20        that.  We will come back in the room and gavel to order at

         21        4:25, all right?  Leave the chamber sealed, please, closed

         22        please.

         23             (Brief recess.)

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Come to order.  All right.  If

         25        everybody will take their seats, please.


          1             All right.  Commissioner Rundle, can you wait just a

          2        second or do you have something?  Wait a minute.  We're

          3        going to have to readjust your mike so we can hear you.

          4             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Mr. Chairman, there is a matter

          5        that is on the calendar for reconsideration, it is the

          6        Proposal No. 1 dealing with forfeiture and I would ask --

          7        I know that there are a lot of other issues we need to get

          8        to today, if we could set it over to tomorrow's calendar,

          9        I would ask that we be able to do that.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection, it

         11        will be done.  Now we will move on.  Do we need to ask for

         12        a quorum, put everybody here that's here?  Okay.  We have

         13        a quorum.  We'll proceed.  The next proposal by

         14        Commissioner Connor, Proposal 107, was disapproved by the

         15        committee on Declaration of Rights.  Would you read it,

         16        please?

         17             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, this is the

         18        proposal that I indicated to you earlier that I desire to

         19        temporarily pass and would so move.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  And you are going to

         21        temporarily pass it until it is rescheduled on special

         22        order tomorrow or the next day?

         23             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Yes.  Thank you.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection, it

         25        is temporarily passed.


          1             Committee substitute for Proposal 157 by Committee on

          2        Education and Commissioner Mills recommended as a

          3        committee substitute by the -- and approved by the

          4        Committee on Education.  Would you read that, please?

          5             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposal

          6        157, a proposal to revise Article IX, Section 1, Florida

          7        Constitution defining the term adequate provision as

          8        applicable to the system of public education.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills, you are

         10        recognized.

         11             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, thank you.  As you

         12        stated, this was a bill that came out of the education

         13        committee with a couple of amendments and was favorably

         14        reported.  The background to this concept is the Florida

         15        Constitution has a specific article on education which is

         16        something -- which is emblematic of how important the

         17        education concept is.  There are very few other public

         18        functions, even criminal justice, et cetera, doesn't have

         19        its own article.  Education is a major function of state

         20        government.

         21             As a matter of fact, the 1868 Constitution said

         22        education was the paramount function of state government

         23        and it was the obligation of the State to amply provide

         24        for education.

         25             Currently, Article IX says it is required that


          1        education be provided for adequately.  Now, there are a

          2        couple questions.  What does adequate mean?  As a matter

          3        of fact, there was a court case which attempted to define

          4        the term "adequacy."  The court was split.  As a matter of

          5        fact, it was split right down the middle.  Three of the

          6        members of the Court said, We find that Florida's

          7        educational system is inadequate.

          8             Three members of the Court said, We find it is too

          9        difficult to define adequacy and therefore it is a

         10        question for the Legislature.  The concurring justice,

         11        Justice Overton, said it is possible for it to be

         12        inadequate.  I do not have enough information before me at

         13        this point to determine if it is inadequate.  But it is

         14        possible for it to be an unconstitutional system.

         15             What this is an attempt to do is to define what

         16        adequate education should be in the state of Florida with

         17        common terms that are used in other Constitutions.

         18        Interesting, in 1868 Florida said education was the

         19        paramount duty of state government.  I don't know what's

         20        changed.  It seems to me that in 1998 we all understand

         21        what, just as Thomas Jefferson said, Democratic systems

         22        are based on an educated populous, it is important to make

         23        this state run as a democracy.  It is important to make

         24        this state successful as an economy.  There is no more

         25        important issue than you here businesses talk about than


          1        the educational system of the state of Florida.

          2             And thirdly, how about our individual kids who have

          3        to live here.  Those three issues are important enough to

          4        me.  Then the question is, is this a problem.  Well there

          5        was, if you happen to read the papers the other day or be

          6        a C-Span junkie, there was a report on the state of the

          7        state in terms of education.  Now these terms aren't

          8        defined exactly the same, but this is by -- this ranks the

          9        50 states.

         10             They used the term "adequacy," they didn't define it

         11        the same way, but they say adequacy in funding.  Florida

         12        is ranked 33rd.  And then they said -- then they have a

         13        ranking based on the amount spent on instruction.  Florida

         14        ranks 46th.  Then they have a rating based on equity, that

         15        is, do we have a fair funding formula.  Florida is 4th.

         16        So the good news is we have an equal system, the bad news

         17        is we are equally bad.

         18             I suggest to you that adequacy of education and

         19        providing a definition, which would give guidance to

         20        either the Legislature or the courts, is one of the most

         21        important things we can do.  I think the terms used here

         22        are understandable, they are derived as we discussed in

         23        committee, from other states that have a higher standard,

         24        and they give the Court and any future Legislature an

         25        opportunity to meet a standard of adequacy.


          1             And don't be confused that I think or I think even

          2        the most rabid education advocate, that just more money

          3        would make education work.  The term "efficiency" is in

          4        this list.  An education system can't be adequate just by

          5        being -- just by having more money.  And there isn't an

          6        attempt to suggest that that is the only answer.  I do

          7        suggest that we need to restate that Florida has a

          8        commitment to quality education, rather than a commitment

          9        to adequate education in which case it has already scored

         10        in the bottom third of the country, according to at least

         11        some folks.

         12             Again, this to me is one of the most important things

         13        we can do.  If you think education is important, this is a

         14        sensible approach, it sets a reasonable standard that is

         15        understandable to the Legislature and the courts and,

         16        Mr. Chairman, I'd be glad to try to address any questions.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull?

         18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Mills, as I read

         19        this, it means the provision of financial resources.  It

         20        occurs to me that this is going to boil down to a Court

         21        determining what is adequate and then a Court directing, I

         22        guess, how financial resources would be addressed and I am

         23        concerned about that situation of the courts trying to

         24        raise revenue.

         25             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, as you know, the courts


          1        can't raise revenue.  But if the question is -- there was

          2        a really, an excellent question in the committee that

          3        said, Commissioner Mills, do you think this will cause

          4        litigation and the answer to that is absolutely not.

          5        There is going to be litigation anyway.  What this will do

          6        is provide a standard by which to -- for a Court to judge.

          7             Now, in other words, you look at the Supreme Court

          8        opinion and this is an important thing to do.  There are

          9        four members of that Court that are prepared to declare

         10        the public school system of Florida inadequate, being

         11        provided with the right evidence.

         12             So that means, that means it is possible.  It doesn't

         13        mean it necessarily is, and then I guess I would turn to

         14        these list of definitions.  Do we not want a system that's

         15        thorough, efficient, which do we not want it to be?  Do we

         16        not want it to be safe and secure?  And actually -- I

         17        mean, the safe and secure part of this is one of the

         18        things that really bothers me.  I mean there are a lot of

         19        statistics on firearms in the schools, on health problems.

         20             So if you are concerned about litigation, whether

         21        this will generate litigation, I genuinely don't think so.

         22        I think there will be litigation irrespective of what we

         23        do.  Will it make that -- the resolution of that

         24        litigation more acceptable, probably.

         25             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Let me ask you this, sir.


          1        This requires, in effect, the Legislature to have a

          2        provision of financing for these items you have defined.

          3        Isn't it true, sir, that recently in the Midwest, I

          4        believe in Missouri, the Court took over and ordered

          5        revenues to be raised for a school system?

          6             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, as a matter of fact, in

          7        Ohio, in North Carolina and in, Ohio -- North Carolina --

          8        well, actually, Ohio is in the process of ordering for its

          9        school system.  North Carolina has remanded for a factual

         10        determination.  So the question would litigation possibly

         11        result in compelling expenditures, maybe, if it is

         12        inadequate.

         13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Well, my point that I'm

         14        trying to get to, sir, is if this is passed the courts

         15        will then take over or have the authority to direct the

         16        raising of revenue to support education directly.

         17             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  As I recall my experience in

         18        corrections, as I sat in my office as criminal justice

         19        chairman and a federal judge sent their magistrate in, the

         20        courts are capable of telling you you have to --

         21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Oh, sir, I don't doubt that.

         22        But all I want to do is point out that they have

         23        undertaken to do that at times and this will give them

         24        another vehicle to do that and I don't think the courts

         25        should be the ones that are raising revenues.


          1             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, you know, I absolutely

          2        agree with you.  I hope there is no litigation and I hope

          3        this is a great public school system, but whether we pass

          4        this or not, the courts are going to be a possible

          5        vehicle.  Whether we pass this or not is not going to

          6        determine whether or not there is litigation.  If you want

          7        to have something to say about the outcome, then you might

          8        want to say something about what you want to define as

          9        adequate.

         10             I meant to say that I think that the title of this

         11        says, Education is a fundamental right.  There was a

         12        sentence at the beginning of this that said that education

         13        was a fundamental right.  Some of the folks in the

         14        Education Committee were concerned about how that might

         15        create an additional opportunity for litigation as opposed

         16        to defining adequacy.

         17             I will say that Commissioner Brochin has a proposal I

         18        think will be coming along that includes fundamental right

         19        and some distinct properties from this proposal.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Butterworth?

         21             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         22        Commissioner Mills, I guess the sentence that gives me the

         23        most trouble, even though I agree with what you are

         24        attempting to do and I would love to have a safe school

         25        for everybody and a good school I think we all want that.


          1        Where it says, This section shall be self-executing,

          2        that's the way I read it in mine, This Section shall be

          3        self-executing.

          4             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Okay.  Well, you know, actually

          5        I understand your point.  And I think that --

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let us in on it.  It seems to

          7        me --

          8             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Do we have to?

          9             (Laughter.)

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It seems to me from what you just

         11        said, if it is self-executing, you go to court and as a

         12        matter of course if you don't have safety, they don't give

         13        enough financial stuff.

         14             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  And based on that interpretation

         15        and my interpretation, and a court that's willing to do

         16        it, then you are right, you wouldn't need it.  And to put

         17        in the fact that it's self-executing would be candidly a

         18        difficult thing to do.  Because it is not, you can't self

         19        execute.  So my colleague, Commissioner Brochin, I can see

         20        would like to leap up and write an amendment that would do

         21        that for me.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  On the other hand, self-executing

         23        here does not mean the same thing as suicide; is that

         24        correct?

         25             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  That is correct.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It may be close.

          2             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Some of the presentations I had

          3        this morning were fairly self-executing.  At least in --

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

          5        Evans-Jones?

          6             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  I had a question for

          7        Commissioner Mills.  I share your concern about the lack

          8        of proper education for all the citizens here in Florida.

          9        I don't know whether this is the way to do it or not but I

         10        do agree that something needs to be done and I guess one

         11        of the things that I have never understood is why the

         12        Legislature doesn't set true class size standards.

         13             Would this sort of thing be considered, would they be

         14        allowed to just throw more money in and then still give

         15        false numbers?  How can a teacher in the first grade or

         16        the second grade with 35 students and no help teach no

         17        matter how much money is in that school system?  And, you

         18        know, those are very specific, small things, but that

         19        certainly does need to be considered as well.

         20             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, Commissioner

         21        Evans-Jones, class size is a continuing issue under which

         22        Florida struggles and urban schools with 40 or 50

         23        students, and it's impossible to teach.  I know there are

         24        teachers in your family.  My mother and grandmother were

         25        both teachers.  I think they taught classes of 15


          1        probably.  I believe the specificity provided with these

          2        words would give an opportunity to hold all of us in the

          3        state, not blaming the Legislature, to a higher standard.

          4             If we can show that 40 people in a classroom is

          5        inadequate, in terms of the quality of the education and

          6        the results, then there should be an institutional system.

          7        We all prefer that it just be a better system.  But at the

          8        moment, there are questions.  If these standards are

          9        there, it would give us something against which to hold

         10        the Legislature.

         11             In the adequacy case, there was a discussion of the

         12        degree of specificity and the elevation of standards in

         13        state constitutions.  In 1868 Florida was the highest, it

         14        was the highest category.  In 1998, Florida is the lowest.

         15             This doesn't even return us to the top.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You mean in terms of the

         17        constitutional --

         18             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  In terms of the constitutional

         19        standards contained in state legislative provisions

         20        dealing with education.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  In 1868 we didn't have a public

         22        school, they just put in the Constitution.

         23             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well our standard was higher.

         24        And the reference being -- we have the amendment?

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The amendment is on the table.


          1             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Thank you.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Offered by Commissioner Brochin.

          3        Would you read it, please?

          4             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Brochin.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's an amendment.

          6             READING CLERK:  After the period on Line 23, strike

          7        the remaining language.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Do you want to

          9        explain it, Commissioner Brochin?

         10             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Yes.  This amendment strikes

         11        the last sentence or the second sentence in the proposal

         12        that says, This section shall be self-executing.  Strikes

         13        that from the proposal.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All in favor of the amendment say

         15        aye, opposed?

         16             (Verbal vote taken.)

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is adopted.  Now we proceed to

         18        the proposal as amended which strikes, The executed, is

         19        now executed.  And Commissioner Zack rises.

         20             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I am very much in favor of this

         21        concept and I was very much in favor of the concept of

         22        providing medical care to children, but withdrew that

         23        based on the obvious inability to fund such a mandate.  I

         24        have the same concerns when it comes to this proposal.  I

         25        note that and I think this was a very accurate summary at


          1        the bottom of Page 2, where it says, If adopted, this will

          2        shift from the Legislature to the courts the final

          3        authority of determining the adequacy of the public school

          4        system.  And the adequacy of access to postsecondary

          5        institutions.

          6             So the real -- and I think that absolutely is

          7        correct.  I will tell you as a trial lawyer that anybody

          8        who doesn't see this as litigation unlimited, I don't

          9        think has an accurate view of the number of definitions

         10        that can be generated from the language contained in this

         11        proposal.

         12             My reason for not voting for this is that I think it

         13        is the Legislature's responsibilities to decide these

         14        issues and I am hopeful and I guess as Chair and a great

         15        Chair of the House, you feel the Legislature is incapable

         16        of acting.  Well, you know, to me that is why they are

         17        elected.  And if they can't act, we ought to elect new

         18        legislators.

         19             I also believe that you have a situation where when

         20        the courts get involved in the school system and issues of

         21        public policy, you immediately have the kind of conflict

         22        that frankly we have enough of without this additional

         23        responsibility for the Court to make these decisions.  You

         24        know, as I see it, the state of Florida has many, many,

         25        needs and a finite amount of resources.


          1             And it is easy for us to say that all the needs

          2        should be met but we shouldn't discuss where the money

          3        comes from.  Because if you are suggesting that the courts

          4        should be required to impose a tax, whether a personal tax

          5        or some other kind of -- a personal income tax or some

          6        other kind of tax on the citizens, which would be a

          7        possible result of this kind of procedure, I think it

          8        would be the worst possible situation for the division of

          9        powers that have to exist between the Legislature and the

         10        executive and the judiciary.

         11             I just don't believe that you are putting this where

         12        it belongs.  And frankly, you know, any legislator who

         13        doesn't want to deal with this issue needs to look at why.

         14        But, you know, when we go to the different needs, at times

         15        it is prison overcrowding, at times it is crime, at times

         16        it is -- by the way, I think that education has for way

         17        too long been the stepchild of the concerns of the

         18        Legislature.

         19             So I believe, again, very strongly in what you are

         20        trying to do.  I just think you are misguided in how you

         21        are trying to do it.  And that's the reason I am going to

         22        vote against it.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Brochin, excuse me,

         24        Commissioner Nabors, I keep overlooking this left wing

         25        over here.


          1             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Let me --

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Evans, I take it

          3        back.  It is your right wing but it is my left wing.

          4             Commissioner Nabors?

          5             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Actually, probably Ms. Evans is

          6        the right wing and I'm the left wing.  We're both going to

          7        fly away any minute.  Commissioner Zack, let me respond to

          8        why I'm going to vote for this and having some of the same

          9        concerns that you have in terms of who shares the funding

         10        responsibility and what we do here in terms of impressing

         11        on that.

         12             In my mind, I can distinguish between temporarily

         13        passing an issue dealing with universal health care for

         14        children.  And the reason I can is because I don't think

         15        that we as a state with our resources have made that

         16        commitment as yet.  On the other hand, I think we as a

         17        society both constitutionally have made that commitment in

         18        education just as the other day, yesterday we voted in

         19        terms of public safety, providing a standard in the

         20        Constitution which would have an impact on state funding.

         21             As I see this provision, it just reinforces what is

         22        this fundamental provision that's been pervasive in our

         23        Constitution to basically say, we are going to say some

         24        definition, some flesh as to what adequate means.  I don't

         25        think that means the courts are going to jump in and take


          1        over the schools.  I think the courts will look at that

          2        standard and say, Yes, based upon this new meaning, either

          3        it is adequate or it was not adequate and the Legislature

          4        would have to respond.

          5             So I see a fundamental difference between trying to

          6        put some flesh in terms of the meaning of adequacy in

          7        education than I do in undertaking a new initiative which

          8        I may be sympathetic to but concerned about the resources.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Zack?

         10             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  If the Commissioner would yield

         11        for a question.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He yields.

         13             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Do you disagree with the summary

         14        that says if we adopt this it is going to shift from the

         15        Legislature to the courts the obligation to determine the

         16        adequacy of education in the state?

         17             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  I disagree with that stark

         18        statement.  I disagree with Commissioner Mills.  I read

         19        the coalition case and I've taught that case and that

         20        litigation is going to occur in any event.  So what I'm

         21        saying is, it doesn't bother me for us to attempt to put

         22        some meaning, let the people put some meaning, in terms of

         23        what the provision of adequacy is.

         24             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Do you disagree with the

         25        statement that if the Legislature did what it was supposed


          1        to do, there would be no need to have this provision?

          2             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well --

          3             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  And it presently has the power to

          4        adequately fund education and it just chooses not to.

          5             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well, what I think that we're

          6        talking about is constitutional principles.  Yes, I agree

          7        the Legislature could fund a world-class educational

          8        system if it wanted to.  It would have to have the

          9        resources to do that.  I don't think this amendment

         10        requires this.  It is an attempt to put some flesh and

         11        meaning to what is meant about the adequate system of free

         12        public school.

         13             (Commissioner Thompson assumes the Chair.)

         14             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Evans, for what

         15        purpose?

         16             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I rise in support.

         17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You are recognized.

         18             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I too have the concern about the

         19        tax increase.  I think a rose by any other name is still a

         20        rose as is a tax increase by any other name still a tax

         21        increase.  Nonetheless, I kind of like the word "thorough"

         22        in here where our children are provided a thorough

         23        education.  I have a concern and have had for a long time

         24        that our public education is rather one-sided.  The tenets

         25        of one religion are being taught regularly in our public


          1        education.  We do spend money to promote this religion.

          2        This religion has been found to be a religion by the U.S.

          3        Supreme Court and that is the religion of secular

          4        humanism.

          5             The biology of secular humanism is taught as fact.

          6        The biology of course is evolution which has no foundation

          7        whatsoever in scientifically proven fact.  It is a theory

          8        and it is taught as a fact and it promotes this religion.

          9             Sex education is taught in our public schools from --

         10        to promote the tenet of secular humanism and that is our

         11        children should have safe sex.  They should accept sex

         12        outside the confines of a monogamous marital relationship.

         13        They should accept sex with other people of different

         14        sexes, people of same sexes.  I don't know if they

         15        actually get into bestiality or not, but thorough should

         16        include that of course.

         17             Now ethics, they are taught situational ethics, that

         18        is there is no absolute right and no absolute wrong, the

         19        situation determines what -- how you will react.

         20        Something could be right in one situation and wrong in

         21        another because there are no guidelines, we have seen that

         22        here, situational ethics.

         23             Critical thinking, our teachers are taught to teach

         24        other children critical thinking versus logical thinking

         25        and that is you have the -- my mind just went blank.  You


          1        have the thesis, the antithesis and then what's the last

          2        word, the synthesis, right.  And things are always

          3        changing.  That goes back of course to the fact that there

          4        are no rights and wrongs.  You are always changing in this

          5        constant influx.

          6             So I would like to see our children get a thorough

          7        education.  I would like to see Judeo-Christian tenets be

          8        taught again in our public schools.  I would like to see

          9        the biology of creation science be taught.  I would like

         10        to see logical thinking be taught, that is, there are

         11        absolute rights and wrongs, and all logic flows from that.

         12             I would like to see the ethics that are involved in

         13        the logical thinking, the absolute rights and wrongs be

         14        taught again.  So I like this provision because it will

         15        allow our children to indeed have a thorough education

         16        again.  Thank you.

         17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Zack, for what

         18        purpose?

         19             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I rise to ask Commissioner Evans

         20        a question.

         21             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Does the lady yield?

         22             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I yield.

         23             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  You outlined, just from my quick

         24        count, about 20 things you would like to see taught as

         25        part of a thorough education.  Would you agree that there


          1        are probably people who would not like to see those same

          2        things taught or maybe see them taught in a different way

          3        and that each one of those issues would result in a

          4        lawsuit that would probably -- well, I guess it would have

          5        enough work for lawyers to do until definitely into the

          6        year 2020, sounds better by the minute to the lawyers in

          7        here.  This is, is it not, a litigation field day?

          8             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  You bet.

          9             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Thank you.

         10             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further debate?  Further

         11        debate?  Commissioner Connor and then Commissioner

         12        Douglass and then Commissioner Brochin.

         13             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, I believe that

         14        the staff analysis that the judicial branch will basically

         15        wind up taking charge of the schools is precisely correct.

         16        I believe that Commissioner Zack's observation in that

         17        regard is also eminently correct.

         18             Article II, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution

         19        states as follows:  The powers of the state government

         20        shall be divided into legislative, executive, and judicial

         21        branches.  No person belonging to one branch shall

         22        exercise any powers pertaining to either of the other

         23        branches unless expressly provided herein.

         24             The problem, as I see it, with the goal, which is

         25        certainly a laudable goal, ultimately it goes back to a


          1        common refrain we heard, who decides in a different

          2        context.  And in this case, I would submit to you, that

          3        who decides what it is is the judiciary.

          4             In my estimation, the judiciary is the least equipped

          5        of the three branches of government to take charge of the

          6        public school system.  The Florida Supreme Court is not

          7        elected, they are appointed.  And then they are retained

          8        or not through the process of merit retention.  And the

          9        net effect of adopting this proposal will be to assure, to

         10        guarantee, that the least accountable branch of government

         11        in Florida is the one who calls the shots with respect to

         12        this decision.

         13             Now, ladies and gentlemen, I would submit that that

         14        is bad public policy.  It is a laudable goal to seek to

         15        achieve what Commissioner Mills has proposed.  But the

         16        processes of our democratic republic, I would submit to

         17        you, in maintaining the integrity of those processes is

         18        every bit as important as maintaining the integrity of the

         19        product.

         20             Because if we allow the institutional limitations to

         21        erode, and we allow the lines to blur, then we are in

         22        danger of losing our form of government.  We have a

         23        constitutional republican form of government.  It was

         24        never intended by the citizens of the state of Florida

         25        under their constitution that the courts would direct


          1        public education in Florida.  Our chief justice, our

          2        justices on the Supreme Court are brilliant, able, and

          3        well equipped to do many things but they were not selected

          4        by the people of Florida to run the school system and to

          5        call those shots.

          6             The Legislature has a funding responsibility.  The

          7        executive has an executive responsibility.  Let's make the

          8        various branches of government, Commissioner Mills, pony

          9        up to their responsibilities.  We can hold the Governor

         10        accountable more easily than we can hold the members of

         11        the Supreme Court accountable.  We can hold the members of

         12        the Legislature accountable, more so than we can the

         13        members of the Supreme Court.  We don't know who we are

         14        going to get if we un-retain somebody.

         15             But when someone runs against a legislator, we have a

         16        choice.  When Buddy McKay and Jeb Bush square off and they

         17        have divergent views on education, we have a choice.

         18        Please do not be sucked into the naive assumption that by

         19        adopting this laudable goal we will achieve the desired

         20        result.  I will submit to you that education in Florida

         21        will become the biggest morass you have ever seen and that

         22        we will not accomplish the goal however desirable and

         23        however laudable, and it is laudable, it may be.

         24             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Douglass, for

         25        what purpose?


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I rise to make a suggestion to

          2        the sponsor.  If he would rise.  It seems to me that you

          3        could meet all these objections and still achieve the

          4        major goal that you seek which is, I think, what we want

          5        to put in the Constitution is matters of public policies

          6        or statements of public policy for the most part and allow

          7        the implementation to be done by the branches of

          8        government that are properly charged with that, the

          9        executive as well as the legislative and the judicial

         10        branches, then we don't have to deal, I don't think, with

         11        the idea of a court system running the school system or

         12        the Legislature micro-managing the school system.

         13             We have before us, if we have a statement of policy

         14        as opposed to anything quite so specific, and I would

         15        propose that you consider amending this or making this

         16        read something like this:  As used in this section, the

         17        term "adequate" provision means an efficient, safe, and

         18        secure system of public education in all public schools to

         19        achieve the highest educational level possible and access

         20        to public institutions of higher learning under reasonable

         21        rules.

         22             It is not quite worded right, but it would be an

         23        access to attend under reasonable rules public

         24        institutions of higher learning or education, period.

         25        Then that would give the result you achieve as public


          1        policy and would direct, as the Constitution does in many

          2        instances, which are not carried out, they are not

          3        self-executing but they are directed as are the courts and

          4        the executive, to at least work to achieve those high and

          5        lofty goals.

          6             I think that if you could craft your proposal, as I

          7        have tried to do it very rapidly here, that the objections

          8        raised certainly by Commissioner Connor would evaporate

          9        because he's concerned with the courts, and most of us

         10        are, we don't want the courts running the school system

         11        and the courts don't want to run the school system either.

         12             But we do want to let the Legislature know -- to let

         13        the public let the Legislature know that we need to do

         14        something to upgrade our schools and that this is what

         15        adequate really means and that's what you are trying to

         16        say.

         17             And I think with that tool, that those people who all

         18        want to reach the same goal, we may have different ideas

         19        about how to get there, but we are not trying to tell them

         20        how to run the school system, what they can teach and what

         21        they can't teach, we are not trying to tell them anything

         22        other than, get it together and get our school system

         23        straightened out.

         24             We all know that it is far down the list from where

         25        we want it and despite the fact that we produced some


          1        well-educated and brilliant students that go forward to do

          2        great things including astronauts, even United States

          3        Senators and Governors and members of the Supreme Court,

          4        we need to do better and get better members of the Supreme

          5        Court, Governors and astronauts, educated in this state

          6        for the future.

          7             And I think we have people in here on this commission

          8        and one I can point to that spent his entire life working

          9        for this goal, Commissioner Marshall, who started in the

         10        educational process at probably the lowest levels and

         11        built him up to the point where you became president of a

         12        university.  And I know that these were goals that he

         13        sought and did achieve within the framework of what was

         14        there.

         15             Let's give them a statement that we can all go

         16        forward to the people with without having to argue about

         17        secular humanism and whether or not we are teaching

         18        religion and whether or not the courts -- we are turning

         19        it over to the courts.  And if you can do that, I suggest

         20        that we can almost unanimously support it.

         21             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Mills to

         22        respond.

         23             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, as I understood

         24        that suggestion, fundamentally what we are looking for is

         25        a statement of principle.  A statement of principle about


          1        education in Florida and really that's what the older

          2        constitutions that we refer to have.  And if the inclusion

          3        of references to financial resources is confusing, which I

          4        think it clearly is, then we should remove that.  And if

          5        your wording is prepared, we have lots of good people

          6        who --

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll have to get somebody to

          8        prepare it.  I mean to get it so we can --

          9             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  We could temporarily pass

         10        this measure and let you-all work on it.

         11             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  That will be fine.  That will be

         12        fine.

         13             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Brochin, you are

         14        working on this, okay.  Take up and read the next

         15        proposal.

         16             READING CLERK:  Proposal 63, a proposal to revise

         17        Article II, Section 8, Florida Constitution, strengthening

         18        the powers of the Florida Commission on Ethics.

         19             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Whose proposal is

         20        this?  Commissioner Connor, you are recognized.

         21             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Ladies and gentlemen, I was

         22        privileged along with Commissioner Zack and Commissioner

         23        Barnett and perhaps others to serve for a period of time

         24        on the state of Florida Commission on Ethics and felt that

         25        I was enriched and benefited by the opportunity of that


          1        experience.

          2             One of the things I discovered as a member of the

          3        commission was to my frustration and that of my colleagues

          4        on the commission was that when we would read about

          5        conduct in the paper that was -- by public officials or

          6        public officers -- that was questionable in nature about

          7        whether or not it involved a violation of the ethics laws,

          8        we were powerless to investigate the possibility of a

          9        violation or do anything about it in the absence of a

         10        complaint having been filed.

         11             Now the Ethics Commission was an outgrowth of the

         12        post-Watergate mentality.  And the aftermath of the

         13        problems that were experienced and that came to light

         14        during the Watergate period, the people of Florida

         15        determined in their Constitution to include provisions for

         16        a state Ethics Commission.

         17             There are many, and I myself am one, who feel that

         18        the Commission on Ethics in many respects is a toothless

         19        tiger and was intended to be from the outset.  And one of

         20        the examples of its teeth having been pulled was the

         21        failure to include the power to initiate investigations.

         22             We have all read at great length in recent weeks

         23        about conduct of questionable -- of a questionable nature

         24        on the part of public officials with respect to their

         25        activities while members of public office.  And yet the


          1        Ethics Commission was and has been powerless to conduct

          2        any sort of investigation of its own, to initiate any sort

          3        of investigation on its own.  And would remain powerless

          4        to do so in the absence of someone filing a complaint.

          5             I will submit to you that it is time to empower the

          6        commission to do the job that the people of Florida

          7        believed was being conferred upon that commission when

          8        this commission was given constitutional standing within

          9        the state of Florida.  You may recall that Commissioner

         10        Rundle withdrew this proposal and made the statement that

         11        it was her understanding that neither the chairman nor the

         12        executive director of the commission was desirous of

         13        seeing that go forward.

         14             I was surprised at that and I talked to the -- and

         15        I -- frankly, that was a statement made in error at least

         16        from my perspective having talked with the executive

         17        director of the state of Florida Commission on Ethics who

         18        assured me that as executive director she favored and she

         19        was confident that the commission favored this grant of

         20        power.

         21             I believe that we ought to give this grant of power

         22        to the commission so as to enable it to do its job.  Now I

         23        will tell you that the Legislature likely would not give

         24        this grant of power and historically, frankly, our

         25        legislators have had a dynamic tension with the Ethics


          1        Commission and the Ethics Commission has been viewed as,

          2        frankly, a pain in the neck because of its

          3        responsibilities.  And because of the accountability

          4        associated with that.

          5             So all this proposal does is simply, at Page 91 of

          6        your packets, all it does is add the language "initiate

          7        and"; in other words, the language presently reads:  There

          8        shall be an independent commission to conduct

          9        investigations.  It says, There shall be an independent

         10        commission to initiate and conduct investigations.

         11             I will submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, if you

         12        want to empower the appropriately charged commission who

         13        has the responsibility for the investigation and

         14        enforcement of our ethics laws, that this amendment should

         15        be adopted by this body and be put forth to the people of

         16        Florida.  Thank you.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Debate?  Commissioner Zack, for

         18        what purpose?

         19             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I rise to support the motion.

         20             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You are recognized.

         21             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  The hour is late and I am not

         22        going to reiterate what Mr. Connor has said in any

         23        particular way other than to join with him in his

         24        comments.  I agree with each and every one of the

         25        statements he made.  I would like to remind us that


          1        originally there were criminal charges that can be brought

          2        on these ethical violations and that was -- we

          3        decriminalized the ethical process and put it into the

          4        Ethics Commission and then made the ethics commission

          5        totally impotent.

          6             We sat there having a wonderful experience; however,

          7        as wonderful as it was, it was often extremely frustrating

          8        to be in a situation where we could do nothing regarding

          9        matters that were on the front pages of many newspapers.

         10             When I was president of the Florida Bar, we had the

         11        same procedure where we couldn't comment for many years on

         12        investigations that were going on and it just made us look

         13        horrible.  And fortunately, we were able to change that.

         14        We need to regain whatever modest respect we can regain

         15        from the public as to the ethical propriety of what

         16        government is doing.

         17             And the only way we can do it is by having this

         18        amendment go forward.  I would also remind you that

         19        because of separation of powers issues, when the Ethics

         20        Commission finds that a legislator did something wrong,

         21        violated an ethical rule, and then finds that individual

         22        in some particular way with either a fine or some other

         23        kind of punishment, that it is not self-executed.  It goes

         24        back to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the

         25        House because it is within their purview to reprimand


          1        their members.

          2             So there are a lot of protections that the

          3        legislators have anytime that the public has some

          4        protections that this will begin to provide them.

          5             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commission Barkdull, for what

          6        purpose?

          7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  To ask Commissioner Zack a

          8        question.

          9             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Does the gentlemen yield?  He

         10        yields.

         11             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Zack, how are

         12        the members of this commission appointed?

         13             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Well, I believe last time I

         14        looked, there were several who were named specifically by

         15        the statute.  And then the Governor, of course, the

         16        Speaker, and the President name other members.

         17             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  They are all appointed

         18        people?

         19             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  All appointed.

         20             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  At the present time, for them

         21        to make an investigation it takes, as I understand it, a

         22        sworn complaint; is that correct?

         23             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That is correct.

         24             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  And therefore somebody that a

         25        complaint is made against knows who the individual was


          1        that started the proceeding.

          2             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That is also correct.

          3             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Under this proposal, I assume

          4        that a majority of the commission or maybe less, I don't

          5        know, it would depend on the rules, they could investigate

          6        anything that he wanted to.

          7             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That is correct.

          8             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Thank you.

          9             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Barnett, for

         10        what purpose?

         11             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  To speak in opposition to this

         12        proposal.

         13             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You are recognized.

         14             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  As Commissioner Connor

         15        indicated, I had the privilege of serving on the

         16        commission and, in fact, chaired the commission during my

         17        tenure and found it to be a challenging and rewarding

         18        experience and I do not want my comments opposing this

         19        proposal to in any way be a reflection on what I think is

         20        one of the more valuable commissions in the state nor the

         21        dedication of the staff or the people who serve on the

         22        commission because I think that perhaps that staff,

         23        executive director and the staff, they are long-standing

         24        public employees and servants and they have done a

         25        marvelous job.


          1             But I always felt that the commission did its job

          2        appropriately and responded appropriately.  I think the

          3        scope of authority that has been granted to the commission

          4        is an appropriate scope of authority under the

          5        circumstances.  And that is as Commissioner Barkdull just

          6        said, to investigate and respond to sworn complaints

          7        against -- about a possible misconduct or a violation of

          8        the public trust by a public official.

          9             I have always been concerned, this has been an issue,

         10        this issue about giving the commission the authority to

         11        initiate complaints, has been around for a long time, it

         12        has been a legislative proposal.  And for whatever reason,

         13        I think for the right reasons, the Legislature has chosen

         14        not to expand the authority of the commission.  And I

         15        think that it is problematic to constitutionally empower a

         16        commission to begin to investigate public officials based

         17        on something like a newspaper article or a story that

         18        appears in the press or a tip that comes across the

         19        telephone.

         20             I do think when you are going to have

         21        investigation -- and these are not casual investigations.

         22        You need to understand these are full-blown investigations

         23        with investigators, into conduct, alleged conduct by

         24        public officials.  There needs to be more than simply, I

         25        read an article, I heard about something, it appears there


          1        is a problem here.  I think when we have a private body,

          2        really a semi-private body of citizens, a commission

          3        looking into public officials there needs to be the

          4        protections and sworn complaint.

          5             So while I respect and admire the commission's work

          6        and think it is a critical component, I think its

          7        authority jurisdiction and authority has been

          8        appropriately defined and I have some concern about

          9        expanding that ability to initiate complaints against

         10        citizens.

         11             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further debate?  Further

         12        debate?  Commissioner Smith?

         13             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you.  I rise to ask a

         14        question of the sponsor --

         15             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Does the lady yield --

         16             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  No, the sponsor.

         17             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Oh, the sponsor.  Let's do

         18        this.  Let's wait until he closes and then you ask it,

         19        he'll have the floor then; is that all right?

         20             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Be happy to, yes, sir.

         21             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Is there further debate

         22        before Commissioner Connor takes the floor?

         23             Commissioner Morsani, for what purpose?

         24             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I'm not sure.  As a citizen.

         25        I say that in this context.  I'd like to ask


          1        Ms. Barnett -- Commissioner Barnett.

          2             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Does the lady yield?  A

          3        question by Commissioner Morsani.  She yields.

          4             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Can I wait until I hear the

          5        question?

          6             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  No.

          7             (Laughter.)

          8             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  How do we address -- in our

          9        public hearings around the state we had a couple of major

         10        areas of concern by citizenry and I think this is one of

         11        them in ethics.  I have a problem and I don't understand

         12        it obviously.  But why shouldn't something be initiated by

         13        the Ethics Commission?

         14             It appears we talk about perception out here by the

         15        public.  I think there is a perception that they don't

         16        investigate themselves.  That the Ethics Commission, in

         17        the public's eye, is a paper tiger.  If it's even -- it's

         18        not really articulated to the public and yet when -- and

         19        so maybe no one has done a good job of selling the Ethics

         20        Commission to the 14 million people of our state.  But we

         21        heard this continuously in our 13 meetings around the

         22        state.

         23             So I really think the public is looking for more

         24        teeth in this tiger to tell them what's going on.  I

         25        certainly agree with you we shouldn't take a telephone


          1        call or a newspaper because all of us can get tarred with

          2        that brush and that doesn't accomplish anything.  But I

          3        would hope that from the stature of the people that serve

          4        on this Ethics Commission that that would never be a part

          5        of the criteria for an investigation.

          6             But how do you address the public that they're

          7        wanting more emphasis and have initiatives and not make it

          8        available to them?

          9             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  The way I perceive the public

         10        testimony that I heard, it reflects the general

         11        frustration that our citizens at large have with people

         12        in -- elected public officials.  I think there is a large

         13        dissatisfaction and trust of people based largely upon --

         14        isolated in instances that don't reflect, I believe, the

         15        contribution elected officers make to this country.  But

         16        there is, everybody knows, a high level of concern about

         17        elected officials.

         18             And I think it reflects more that frustration than

         19        just the Ethics Commission per se and the Ethics

         20        Commission's inability to initiate investigations, that

         21        somehow people in public life, you know, hold themselves

         22        above or outside of the rules that apply to the other

         23        citizens.

         24             I do not think that the right of this commission to

         25        investigate would solely be based -- I mean to initiate


          1        investigations, would solely be based on information that

          2        came in a casual way such as newspaper article or an

          3        unanonymous tip.  But clearly the people that propose it

          4        and certainly the frustration Commissioner Connor talks

          5        about is you do read the newspaper, you do hear about

          6        things, you are frustrated that you can't get to it.

          7             But, you know, there are citizens who could propose

          8        that -- who have that ability to file that complaint if

          9        they read that and they have information, a sworn

         10        complaint with information.  So there is a frustration, no

         11        doubt.  But I don't think it is appropriate to -- and I

         12        hesitate to use this world -- but it may capture a little

         13        bit that my concern is to give the people the right to do

         14        witch hunts, to give a commission the right to go initiate

         15        an investigation.

         16             Certainly that wouldn't happen or I would hope it

         17        wouldn't, that there would be a legislative structure set

         18        up to define how you initiate it.  But I have a concern

         19        about that.  I think the original Constitution intent

         20        adopted by the people -- maybe it was an initiative

         21        process -- was to respond to complaints and then to

         22        investigate them.  This goes beyond the initial intent of

         23        what the people adopted and now empowers the commission in

         24        a way at that time that was not before the commission.

         25        For me, that's an expansion that I think is too broad.  It


          1        may not be for others, but for me it is.

          2             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Mr. Anthony, what purpose?

          3             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Mr. Chair, I rise in

          4        opposition of this proposal.

          5             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You're recognized.

          6             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Hesitantly I do because many

          7        members of the commission would probably say that every

          8        public official, elected official, would be in opposition

          9        to this proposal.  But that's really not the reason.

         10             I agree with Commissioner Barnett in that this does

         11        cause a lot of concern when members who are appointed, not

         12        elected, have the ability, as Commissioner Zack noted,

         13        that he could be in Miami, Florida, Tampa, Florida,

         14        anywhere in the state of Florida, and see an article that

         15        alleged some misbehavior and then in his role as an Ethics

         16        Commission member, then go back to the next meeting and

         17        start an investigation based upon something that he heard

         18        or read in a local newspaper.  Or heard at some meeting of

         19        the Constitution Revision Commission or perhaps he heard

         20        at some Florida Bar meeting, or better yet, perhaps he

         21        heard it on his way walking to an establishment such as

         22        Clyde's, perhaps he heard something and then as a member

         23        of the Ethics Commission I think that I'm going to be

         24        aggressive and I think I'm going to save Florida from this

         25        person that I heard a rumor about on my way to South Beach


          1        in my convertible as I was at the red light and heard two

          2        people walking by talking.

          3             Those examples may seem extreme but, in fact, that's

          4        what we will be giving a commission appointed holier than

          5        thou, that those elected officials, that the citizens of

          6        that community has so elected.  I say to you that the

          7        greatest concern of the number of you from running for

          8        office that stops you from running for office are those

          9        allegations that can destroy not only your personal life,

         10        allegations that cannot only destroy your personal life,

         11        but can also destroy your professional life and your

         12        family, allegations that are not accurate that end up

         13        being witch hunts on folk's professional and personal

         14        lives.

         15             That would stop a number of you from even running for

         16        office.  And now we're going to give you more opportunity

         17        by giving some appointed body that may perhaps again may

         18        hear a rumor on its way to some meeting.  It concerns me,

         19        members of the commission.  This really does concern me.

         20             The voters in the local community have an opportunity

         21        by way of election and through the safeguards of the press

         22        and through the safeguards of the existing Ethics

         23        Commission to gauge the behavior of those elected persons.

         24        And I think we do have the safeguards right now in our

         25        present system and I don't think that we should give some


          1        group who is an appointed group the authority to go on

          2        witch hunts based upon a phone call that they may get

          3        based upon some rumor that they may hear.

          4             And I'm very concerned that we in this room we're not

          5        looking at the factual and realistic implementation of a

          6        commission that does not have truly the right and ability

          7        to judge the elected body and persons of this state.

          8             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Barkdull, for

          9        what purpose?

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  To ask the gentleman a

         11        question.

         12             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Does the gentleman yield?  He

         13        yields.

         14             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Anthony, would

         15        you believe me that if this would pass, this would permit

         16        the Ethics Commission to be both the investigative body

         17        and the adjudicatory body as to whether somebody had

         18        violated the Code of Ethics?

         19             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  If this passed?

         20             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes.

         21             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Yes.

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Thank you.

         23             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Zack, for what

         24        purpose?

         25             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Ask the commissioner a question.


          1             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Gentleman yield?  He yields.

          2             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Would you be in favor of

          3        abolishing the Ethics Commission so that the state

          4        attorney could do the investigation as the state attorney

          5        used to investigate claims without requiring someone to

          6        file an affidavit, is my first question.  Or do you like

          7        the fact that it is not a criminal charge now that -- for

          8        a public official to be charged with an ethics complaint?

          9             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I don't have a problem with

         10        the existing system that we have.  What I have a problem

         11        with, Commissioner Zack, is an appointed body, at least

         12        the state attorney is an elected body.  But an appointed

         13        body to aggressively go out and seek investigations of

         14        people who are elected or appointed to office --

         15             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  But that wasn't my question.

         16        Would you be in favor of abolishing the Ethics Commission

         17        and having the state attorney conduct the investigation as

         18        was previously the case?

         19             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  No.

         20             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  And how long do you think an

         21        investigation would last if there were no witnesses who

         22        came forward to substantiate any charge that the

         23        commission was investigating?

         24             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  If there are no witnesses and

         25        if I made an allegation based on you, if I heard something


          1        or saw something, how long would it last?  How long should

          2        it last?

          3             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Right.  If someone whispered in

          4        your ear that someone else had done something wrong but

          5        there were no witnesses to it, do you think that

          6        investigation would be of short order?

          7             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Mr. Zack, it should be of

          8        short order.  But the problem is right now we have people

          9        in our communities and there have been cases right before

         10        the Ethics Commission out of Palm Beach County, out of

         11        Lauderhill, Florida that citizens or individuals have

         12        gotten mad at county commissioners or mayors and made

         13        allegations, those allegations have made it to the paper

         14        and they have been found with no cause to proceed and yet

         15        those peoples' lives were almost disrupted and destroyed.

         16        Their political career was almost destroyed.  And I think

         17        that that is wrong.

         18             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I agree with you.  And are you

         19        aware of the fact that the Ethics Commission -- I know --

         20        well, I was there and I believe Commissioner Connor was

         21        there, I'm not sure during Commissioner Barnett's term,

         22        has actually chastised people for filing complaints that

         23        were of a political nature where they attempted to use and

         24        misuse the Ethics Commission and were, in fact, fixed and

         25        fees were recovered from those individuals for a misuse of


          1        the Ethics Commission?

          2             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I am familiar with that.  But

          3        the allegation that was made, made the front page of the

          4        Palm Beach Post.  But yet, the fact that you did all of

          5        the -- the making of payback, the attorneys' fees, that

          6        made the what's-about-town section and that's the problem.

          7        That is the problem, Commissioner Zack.

          8             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  And are you aware that voting in

          9        opposition to this would not change that at all?  The only

         10        thing that would change that is to abolish the Ethics

         11        Commission --

         12             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Mr. Chairman, I will not yield

         13        to any more questions by Commissioner Zack.

         14             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner -- point of

         15        order.  Why don't you-all just lean over and whisper to

         16        one another like the rest of us do?

         17             (Laughter.)

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I want you to know, you stated it

         19        much better than I was going to.  But I think we went

         20        beyond the bounds of this afternoon here.  It's getting

         21        late.

         22             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Smith, for what

         23        purpose?

         24             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  I rise to ask a question.  And I

         25        want to get my question in now because I have to make a


          1        telephone call home.  Instead of asking the question of

          2        Commissioner Connor because we're out of time, I want to

          3        ask a question of Commissioner Zack.

          4             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Let's try it for a few minutes

          5        and see how it works out.

          6             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Commissioner Zack, how many

          7        members make up the Ethics Commission?

          8             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Nine.

          9             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Okay.  Is it possible for their

         10        to be five persons of one political party and four of

         11        another political party?

         12             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That's always possible.

         13             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Under this procedure, is it

         14        possible, let's say maybe ten days before an election of

         15        November of 1998, for the five of a dominant party,

         16        whatever that may be, to be based upon political

         17        motivation, ten days before the November 1998 election to

         18        initiate a politically-inspired investigation for the

         19        purpose of the public just learning that there's an

         20        investigation of a lieutenant governor or gubernatorial

         21        candidate not caring what the outcome will be because in

         22        the ten days, it will be too late to respond, the election

         23        will be over.  Is that possible?

         24             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I can only tell you in the six

         25        years that I served there I had no idea what the political


          1        affiliation was of any person who served on that

          2        commission, number one.  And, number two, that is possible

          3        by, and is done, and the Ethics Commission is used and

          4        misused, by political operatives regularly and that could

          5        be done regardless of this being passed or not passed.

          6             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  But if this -- isn't it true

          7        that if this is passed, it is done under the guise of

          8        anonymity because no one is the single initiator because

          9        it's by a majority vote, that's number one, and no one

         10        does it under penalty of perjury by swearing to it; isn't

         11        that a fact?

         12             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That is a fact and I go forward

         13        with the assumption that every person as appointed to that

         14        position has acted properly and in good faith and I have

         15        no reason to have ever seen it to the contrary.  And you

         16        can suggest bad motives was to any person at any time for

         17        any reason.  But you have to start off with the assumption

         18        that these individuals are going to act in the best

         19        interest of the state and that's why they are appointed.

         20             And from my experience, and I think Commissioner

         21        Connor and Commissioner Barnett would agree, in our

         22        experience on that board, I've never seen the commission

         23        act in any other way.

         24             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  And a final question.  With an

         25        understanding that is reasonable to impute honorable


          1        motives to those who serve, you would agree that sometimes

          2        there's a fine line that's difficult to be able to

          3        identify between political motivation and honorable

          4        service; would you not agree with that?

          5             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  There is no question that is the

          6        case.  But the alternative to not passing this is to do

          7        absolutely nothing and to allow people who have violated

          8        the ethics of the state of Florida and who common citizens

          9        are in fear of because they do not want to tackle powerful

         10        people head on, allow those unethical acts to go without

         11        any form of remedial action.  And that is what we have

         12        now.  And by voting against this, you would just allow

         13        that situation to continue.

         14             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Okay.  Honestly, this is the

         15        last question.

         16             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  One final, final question.

         17             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  One final, final question.  And

         18        I'm glad a lawyer is chairing because you understand that.

         19             Isn't it a fact that whether we're talking about

         20        crimes that are committed or ethical violations, there

         21        will always be some crimes that people will not come

         22        forward to press charges on and there will always be some

         23        ethical violations that people will not come forward to

         24        press on and so we will never ever be able to have a

         25        situation where every ethical violation is investigated


          1        and punished nor every crime investigated and punished.

          2             And in the balance of things, we at least want public

          3        officials to be able to know their accuser, face their

          4        accuser and be able to fairly defend themselves; isn't

          5        that a fact?

          6             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  If every commissioner in this

          7        room voted in favor of this proposal, it is true we would

          8        not live in a perfect world.

          9             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner West, for what

         10        purpose?

         11             COMMISSIONER WEST:  I rise to speak against the

         12        proposal.

         13             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You're recognized.

         14             COMMISSIONER WEST:  It came to -- this proposal came

         15        to our committee and we heard extensive testimony.  We

         16        heard testimony from staff who was well respected by

         17        everybody that was there.  And I think some of the

         18        concerns that Commissioner Anthony brought up were of

         19        paramount importance.  And we as a committee looked at all

         20        of it, we listened to testimony.  We listened to testimony

         21        from the staff of the Ethics Commission and we voted to

         22        present this proposal with a disfavorable recommendation.

         23        And would urge every commissioner to oppose it.

         24             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further debate?

         25             Commissioner Barton, for what purpose?


          1             COMMISSIONER BARTON:  I rise in opposition to the

          2        proposal.

          3             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You're recognized.

          4             COMMISSIONER BARTON:  In committee when we discussed

          5        this, I had a concern that I still have and that is if the

          6        committee itself was to be able to initiate

          7        investigations, then people in communities, et cetera,

          8        would -- all they would have to do is to call the

          9        committee to complain, to send things to the committee so

         10        that the committee would initiate rather than them having

         11        to make the complaint.  And I liken it to something like

         12        the child abuse hotline.  I can just see all sorts of

         13        calls and requests for investigations to be initiated

         14        coming in and a real difficulty imposed upon the

         15        committee.  I have that concern.

         16             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Crenshaw, for

         17        what purpose?

         18             COMMISSIONER CRENSHAW:  Mr. Chairman, members, I just

         19        thought I'd stand up and admit that I was on the Ethics

         20        Commission too and I think it's a bad idea, so now it's

         21        two to two against former Ethics Commission members.  But

         22        I think if you look at this, and I just started reading

         23        the constitutional provision, and that's -- I think this

         24        is part of that Sunshine Amendment that was passed through

         25        a petition drive that Governor Askew started back in 1976


          1        and it has financial disclosure and all those kinds of

          2        things and it set up an Ethics Commission.  It said it

          3        would, you know, if somebody filed a complaint, they would

          4        investigate it.  And it's all worked pretty well.

          5             I'm kind of interested in the fact that the committee

          6        voted against it.  The sponsor withdrew it because she

          7        said that the Ethics Commission itself didn't see any

          8        great need -- I can't remember what Commissioner Connor

          9        said about whether they came back and said, we really do

         10        think we need this, whatever, I'd like to hear a little

         11        more about that.

         12             But I think it's been adequately debated.  But I just

         13        clearly think that my experience on the commission was an

         14        awful lot of people walked down and filed complaints.  If

         15        there's a lot of things in the newspapers that never found

         16        their way to the Ethics Commission, then what does that

         17        say about the people we're trying to help and protect?  If

         18        they read something bad in the newspaper and they don't

         19        care enough to go down and file a complaint or whatever,

         20        something is wrong.  I think we're trying to protect from

         21        sales.  It's another bureaucracy to make it a little

         22        bigger.  And I think it's a bad idea.

         23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Connor to close.

         24             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I think the real issue here is

         25        whether we're going to be serious about enforcing ethics


          1        laws or not in this state.  And I will tell you from

          2        having served as chairman of the Ethics Commission the

          3        commission has been largely emasculated in its

          4        responsibility and in many respects it is little more than

          5        eyewash and all show and no-go with respect to the

          6        enforcement of ethics laws in the state of Florida.

          7             Now how many people do you think would swallow hard

          8        and think twice before filing a complaint against the

          9        Governor of the state of Florida or against the Attorney

         10        General of the state of Florida particularly in a climate

         11        when we've recognized and learned most recently that

         12        people have had the temerity to oppose certain nominations

         13        while the inspector general of the state has conducted

         14        background investigations on these people?

         15             Do you think that has a chilling effect on the

         16        willingness of the public to file complaints against

         17        powerful people in the government?  Of course it does.

         18             Let me tell you, Mr. Anthony, about the abuse of the

         19        commission.  The principal abuse of the commission comes

         20        from political malcontents who did not like the outcome of

         21        election and then who seek to use the commission as a

         22        vehicle for meeting out punishment on their opponent.

         23        That happens every day.  The business of the commission is

         24        filled with those kinds of trivial nanny, nanny, boo, boo,

         25        I found a way to get you, embarrass you.


          1             I would submit to you that the weightiness of the

          2        matters investigated by the commission will go up

          3        significantly if the commission is granted power to

          4        initiate investigations.  I dare say the business of the

          5        Ethics Commission will not be as trivial as it is in many

          6        respects.  And the commission will be empowered and the

          7        commissioners will use their judgment in making these

          8        kinds of decisions.

          9             Now, Commissioner Smith has apparently departed the

         10        area, but let's be under no illusion, ladies and

         11        gentlemen, due process still applies to those who were

         12        charged before the Ethics Commission.  We don't throw our

         13        constitutional protections out the window because the

         14        investigation now reposes in the Ethics Commission.

         15             The biggest abuses occur in the complaint process.

         16        You can mark it down.  I dare say that anybody who served

         17        on this commission would affirm that to be the case.  But

         18        it is -- it makes the commission a laughingstock when

         19        information is in the public domain and everybody knows it

         20        and everybody is aware of what's going on but nobody can

         21        do anything about it on the commission because people did

         22        not have the temerity to file a complaint against a

         23        powerful figure in government.

         24             I dare say that you'll reduce the abuses but you'll

         25        increase the gravitas of the matters that are investigated


          1        by the commission and you will have a salutary impact on

          2        the enforcement of the ethics laws in the state of Florida

          3        if you adopt this proposal.  Thank you.

          4             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  And so the question recurs on

          5        approval of Proposal No. 63.  The clerk will unlock the

          6        machine and the members will proceed to vote.  Have all

          7        members voted?  All members voting.

          8             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

          9             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The clerk will lock the

         10        machine and announce the vote.

         11             READING CLERK:  7 yeas, 17 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And so Proposal 63 is not

         13        approved.

         14             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Douglass, for

         15        what purpose?

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll waited till after the vote,

         17        but I did want to rise to appoint a personal privilege,

         18        the reference to the inspector general that was made, was

         19        made in one of my very good friends, about one of my very

         20        good friends, who I stand here to tell you that what you

         21        said is a rumor.  And I find that to be something that we

         22        should not be talking about.  What you read in the paper

         23        may or may not be true.  But there has been no sworn

         24        allegations of any kind concerning this gentleman.  And in

         25        defense of him, who is my friend, and his family, his


          1        children and his wife, I impose this as a point of

          2        personal privilege.

          3             I don't condemn you for saying it in the heat of

          4        debate.  But I wanted you to know that one of the points

          5        we were talking about were rumors and unsubstantiated

          6        allegations and I don't think that those are appropriate

          7        even though I know you didn't intend to do anything to

          8        harm anyone but I rise to defend my friend.

          9             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Take up and read the next

         10        proposal.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Could we revert to the proposal

         12        we were on, the education matter?

         13             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  I think that's proposal

         14        No. 157.  Commissioner Mills, are you ready for that?

         15             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Commissioner Brochin or Douglass

         16        offers the amendment.

         17             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  All right.  We're on Proposal

         18        No. 157.  There's an amendment on the desk sponsored by

         19        Commissioner Barkdull?

         20             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  No, sir.  Brochin.

         21             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Brochin, okay.

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman --

         23             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Excuse me.

         24             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, may I make a

         25        housekeeping motion?


          1             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Yes.

          2             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I move so that we extend the

          3        time of adjournment until we have concluded debate on

          4        this.  And also taken up the next item on the calendar

          5        which I understand the sponsor is going to move to

          6        temporarily pass and that we conclude with a time for

          7        motions for withdraw, motion for further committee

          8        assignments and announcements.

          9             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Is there an objection to the

         10        motion by the rules chairman?  Hearing none, show it

         11        adopted now.  We are on 157, the amendment by Commissioner

         12        Brochin.

         13             Commissioner Brochin, just explain your amendment.

         14        Read amendment.

         15             READING CLERK:  On Page 1, Lines 19 to 24, delete

         16        those lines and insert, As used in this section, the term

         17        adequate provision means an efficient, safe, secure and

         18        high quality system of public education and all public

         19        schools for the purpose of allowing students to achieve

         20        the highest possible educational level and for providing

         21        access to attend, under reasonable policies, public

         22        institutions of higher learning or education.

         23             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Brochin is

         24        recognized to explain the amendment.

         25             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  The amendment strikes the term


          1        that was in the initial proposal.  Strikes the -- means

          2        the provision of financial resources.  And it says, it

          3        gives the definition to mean simply an efficient, safe,

          4        secure and high quality system of public education.  We

          5        would probably ask that where it reads "in all public

          6        schools for the purpose of allowing students the

          7        opportunity," which is not in there, but the opportunity

          8        to achieve the highest possible educational level and for

          9        providing access to attend, under reasonable policies,

         10        public institutions of higher learning for education.

         11             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further debate on the

         12        amendment as offered by Commissioner Brochin?  Further

         13        debate?  Commissioner Marshall, for what purpose?

         14             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Mr. Chairman, to speak as a

         15        proponent, I think.

         16             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You're recognized.

         17             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  It's a question -- well, I

         18        speak as a person who would have been a reluctant opponent

         19        of a reasonable measure for reasons well, well presented

         20        by other speakers.  I was fearful of the greater intrusion

         21        of the courts into matters of education which I think

         22        would have been very unfortunate.  Commissioner Barkdull

         23        made a reference to the situation in Kansas City where the

         24        federal courts have really taken over the school system to

         25        the detriment of the students, the teachers and everybody.


          1             So having taken out of this earlier statement,

          2        earlier -- the proposal, the reference to adequate

          3        financial resources, I'm considerably more comfortable.

          4        But if I'm a legislator, let me ask either Commissioner

          5        Brochin or Mills or maybe Commissioner Douglass who's the

          6        father of this idea, what I will do about this.  What is

          7        the message to me as a legislator who has the

          8        responsibility for legislating, for enacting legislation

          9        to ensure the quality, high quality, of our schools.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, of course, you never know

         11        what the message -- how it will be received.  But the

         12        message would be that if it's passed by the public, that

         13        the high priority of the public for the Legislature to

         14        deal with and obtain are these purposes, and it's like

         15        other provisions in the Constitution, it's there to state

         16        the public policy.

         17             And if the people of the state state this is their

         18        public policy, every legislator, when he takes the oath of

         19        office to uphold and defend the Constitution, has, in

         20        effect, undertaken a contract to do his best to achieve

         21        these purposes.

         22             Now, I can't tell you how each one of them will

         23        respond to individual matters because they have many other

         24        things to consider as well.  But I think it would elevate

         25        education to the level where it should be in the


          1        Constitution and tell all of our people, including the

          2        Legislature, that we want this to be done if it can

          3        possibly be done by them and put this on the front burner

          4        for action.

          5             I know a lot of members of the Legislature.  I do

          6        know, including probably those serving on this body, would

          7        feel very comfortable being armed with this to make their

          8        arguments that they all support it, which is to do what

          9        we're asking to be done here.  And so I think from that

         10        standpoint, this would be a very, very strong tool and

         11        statement of public policy which would result in a more

         12        responsive thing on the part of the Legislature, that's my

         13        hope.

         14             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Riley, for what

         15        purpose?

         16             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  To speak in favor.

         17             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You're recognized.

         18             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I strongly support the idea, the

         19        concept, the words.  In fact, I am very pleased to see the

         20        word "high" reintroduced in front of the word "quality,"

         21        which we eliminated at committee level because of what

         22        outcomes that might have in the courts.

         23             So if we have eliminated that outcome of the problem

         24        with the courts, I'm very pleased with that and I support

         25        this.  My only question is, I'm uncomfortable with the


          1        term "reasonable" in front of policies.  As a landlord in

          2        leases, I don't like the term "reasonable" at all.  It

          3        makes me very nervous because anybody can define it.

          4             And I'm wondering if legally or legislatively there

          5        is an intent in this that is clear because the point of

          6        this, as I understand it, is to take a previous term of

          7        "adequate" and define it.  Are we then opening up

          8        something else by putting in the term "reasonable"?  So

          9        perhaps that's a question to the maker of the amendment.

         10             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Further debate on the

         11        amendment?  Further debate on the amendment?  Commissioner

         12        Brochin, you're recognized to close on your amendment.

         13        And in doing so, you might respond to the questions that

         14        have been raised by Commissioner Riley.

         15             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  I, first of all, reject this

         16        notion that this amendment of this proposal shifts

         17        responsibility from the Legislature to the courts.  Under

         18        our system of government, all three branches have an

         19        obligation to follow the dictates and the mandate of the

         20        Constitution, whether you're in the legislative branch,

         21        the judicial branch or the executive branch because the

         22        Constitution is supposed to be the document for the people

         23        and the policy set by the people of this state.

         24             And what this proposal does is, it tell us all three

         25        branches of government, not just the judicial and not just


          1        the legislative, but all three that this is the minimum

          2        level of education that the people of this state demand

          3        from its government.  And if you're going to provide us

          4        with an educational system, this is the sort of quality

          5        and minimum level of education we have.  And if the

          6        legislative branch fails to do so, then the judicial

          7        branch, as it's done in all so many other cases, will

          8        enforce it until the Legislature complies.  If the

          9        Legislature does not meet -- it does meet the minimum

         10        standards set out by this proposal, then the judiciary

         11        will never get involved.

         12             So I think it's a little convenient to suggest that

         13        this is simply a shifting of responsibility from the

         14        Legislature to the courts.  I also find it a little bit

         15        disturbing that the fear of litigation is a reason we will

         16        not support this.  We are talking about the education of

         17        our children.  And I do not want to go back and tell them

         18        that the education of their children was not raised

         19        because we feared extensive litigation.

         20             In a constitutional sense, there are four categories

         21        that Commissioner Mills referred to.  We, the state of

         22        Florida, is at the lowest level of those categories.  I

         23        happened to read every state Constitution and what it says

         24        in the United States and each and every state about

         25        education.  And ours is willfully inadequate.  In every


          1        state, almost universally, has stronger language about its

          2        fundamental value of education.  And as I read the staff

          3        analysis, which I do disagree shifts the responsibility,

          4        it points out all of the explicit fundamental rights in

          5        this state.

          6             You have a fundamental right to work, you have a

          7        fundamental right to complain to your government.  You

          8        have a fundamental right to unreasonable search and

          9        seizures.  You have a fundamental right to not have

         10        compulsory process unreasonably.  You have a fundamental

         11        right to bear arms.  You have a fundamental right for

         12        self-defense.  You ought to have a fundamental right to

         13        education.

         14             Now, that's not what this says.  But what this does

         15        do is raise the bar constitutionally for our children.

         16        And the Legislature will comply, and if they don't, the

         17        judiciary will enforce it.  And I think that's the purpose

         18        of this amendment.  And I think that's what the intent of

         19        Commissioner Mills' proposal was.

         20             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Brochin having

         21        closed, the question recurs on the adoption of his

         22        amendment.  All those in favor of the amendment say aye.

         23        Those opposed, say no.

         24             (Verbal vote taken.)

         25             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The amendment is adopted.  Now


          1        we're on the bill.  Any further amendments on the desk?

          2        No further amendments on the desk.  Is there further

          3        debate?  Do you have an amendment?  You better get it on

          4        the desk.  Is it on the desk so she can read it?  Let's

          5        put it on the desk and let it be read.

          6             Commissioner Douglass, for what purpose?

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think you can perceive of this

          8        orally because what he is proposing, he just showed me, is

          9        on Line -- 1, 2, 3 -- 4, to change the "highest possible"

         10        to a "quality."  And so it would read, "to achieve a

         11        quality educational level" is what he's offering.

         12             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Why don't we at least

         13        have it up here?

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think if he'd write it down,

         15        we'd have it.

         16             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  We don't have it on the

         17        desk at this point.  So we want to make sure everybody is

         18        comfortable and knows what the amendment does.  So what

         19        we'll do now, we have in our possession, let's ask it to

         20        be read, please.  Okay.  Now, let's pay attention.  She's

         21        going to read it.

         22             READING CLERK:  On Line 16 after the word "secured"

         23        strike "and high quality."  On Line 18, after the word

         24        "achieve," add "a high quality."

         25             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Now we're on the


          1        amendment as offered by Commissioner Zack.  Commissioner

          2        Zack, you're recognized.

          3             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  What that does is, you know, the

          4        highest possible, does that mean that every student has to

          5        go to Harvard, does it mean that every professor, teacher

          6        in high school has to have a doctorate?  This is a

          7        language that is reasonable, that is subject to reasonable

          8        interpretation and it states the purpose that we're all

          9        trying to achieve here and a statement as to our desire

         10        that the students have a high quality education in our

         11        state.

         12             But the highest possible terminology is one that is

         13        not able to be achieved under any circumstances.  And,

         14        again, the fact that you litigate something doesn't mean

         15        you shouldn't do it.  But I think to provide additional

         16        further grounds for litigation where we can avoid it makes

         17        a lot of sense.

         18             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Mills, for what

         19        purpose?

         20             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  To ask a question.

         21             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Does the gentleman yield?  He

         22        yields.

         23             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Now, as I understand it, the

         24        only part you've changed is highest possible educational

         25        level?


          1             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  And I struck, just for drafting

          2        purposes, a couple of words above it so that it made

          3        sense.

          4             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, not exactly.

          5             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  If you read it, it will say

          6        exactly that.

          7             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Did you strike "high quality" on

          8        Line 16?

          9             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Yeah, because we put in "high

         10        quality" below.  It's redundant by having it in both

         11        places.

         12             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  No, it's not.  One is "high

         13        quality" system and one is "high quality" --

         14             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I have no objection to it if you

         15        want to have them both.  I thought that they were

         16        redundant.

         17             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I don't think they are.

         18             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  What do you say --

         19             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I'll change it to adopt your

         20        language, I have no problem with that whatsoever.

         21             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, I tell you, I think

         22        before the members out here vote on something, we ought to

         23        have it as correct as we can get it, which, no more words

         24        than we're dealing with here, it shouldn't take too long.

         25        So if y'all got a deal, you better walk up here and start


          1        doing that while I recognize somebody else or we're going

          2        to move on.

          3             Commissioner Douglass and then Commissioner Scott.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All I was going to say is that I

          5        think that what this will do is improve what we did as

          6        long as he leaves the first "high quality" in there which

          7        he's now doing and changing the "highest possible" to a

          8        "quality" would cut down on the probability of unending

          9        litigation and he raised that point and he's correct.

         10             It does mean in that sense reasonable and I think the

         11        Legislature would be able to operate within this without

         12        undo restrictions on their powers for which they are

         13        elected which includes appropriating funds.  I think this

         14        would make it a better proposal and I would urge that we

         15        go forward with it.

         16             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Scott?

         17             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Mr. Chairman, commissioners, I

         18        haven't said anything, it's getting better and better,

         19        this proposal.  I had some concerns originally about it.

         20        Not only just from the litigation aspect, but mandating

         21        the finances and all the arguments you've heard here.  But

         22        I am more concerned now that we're redrafting and here

         23        it's 6:05, changing words and whatever.  I mean, we're

         24        going to be here tomorrow.  I'm wondering if we couldn't

         25        maybe get it in front of us and finish it up tomorrow


          1        rather than trying to --

          2             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  The clerk is insisting on

          3        something that's absolutely reasonable and that is maybe

          4        you-all would want to see a copy of it.  Commissioner

          5        Douglass?

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think that can be handled by

          7        you voting with a majority and then making a motion to

          8        reconsider if you don't like it.

          9             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Zack?

         10             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I think we have a consensus on

         11        the wording.  There's not many changes, we're just trying

         12        to fine-tune it slightly.  If there was any major change,

         13        I would agree with putting it over to tomorrow.  But I

         14        think we can deal with this now.  If anybody wants to wait

         15        until tomorrow, I have no objection to that obviously.

         16             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, let me ask you this.  Is

         17        the version that you-all want us to vote on on the desk

         18        now?

         19             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I understand it's being copied

         20        right now.

         21             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman?

         22             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Mills.

         23             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Let me just discuss it while

         24        you're getting it on the desk.  I mean, if people aren't

         25        comfortable with it, we won't do it.  I'm with


          1        Commissioner Zack and Commissioner Douglass.  But if you

          2        have in front of you the version proposed by Brochin and

          3        Douglass then I have probably talked long enough to get

          4        this done.

          5             The only change that Commissioner Zack has proposed,

          6        which is a good change, says on Line 18, if you look at

          7        Line 18 on your version, it says, Allowing students to

          8        achieve a high quality, rather than the highest possible,

          9        the opportunity to achieve, I'm sorry.  Inserting the

         10        opportunity to achieve a high quality educational level.

         11        And Commissioner Zack makes a good point.  Highest

         12        possible, is -- who knows.  So high quality is a

         13        reasonable definition and it's a good suggestion and I

         14        would certainly endorse it.

         15             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Technically, here's

         16        where we are.  We need Commissioner Zack to move, without

         17        objection, to withdraw his previous amendment because it

         18        was read into the record.  Is there objection to that

         19        motion?  Hearing none, show that motion adopted.

         20             Now Commissioner Zack is offering the amendment and

         21        I'm going to ask her to read this one into the record and

         22        that's what we'll be voting on.  Okay.  Read the

         23        amendment, please.

         24             READING CLERK:  On Line 18, after the word

         25        "students," insert "the opportunity."  After the word


          1        "achieved," strike the "highest possible" and insert "a

          2        high quality."

          3             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Everybody have that

          4        amendment in front of them now?  Okay.  Is there further

          5        debate on the Zack amendment?  Commissioner Zack to close.

          6             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  No further comments.

          7             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  No further comments.

          8        Then all those in favor of the Zack amendment say aye.

          9        Those who oppose it say no.

         10             (Verbal vote taken.)

         11             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  That amendment is

         12        adopted.  Now we're on the proposal as amended.  Are there

         13        further amendments on the desk?  None on the desk, okay.

         14        Is there further debate on the proposal as amended?

         15        Commissioner Mills, do you wish to close?

         16             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  No.  I think the amendatory

         17        process has worked very well and we achieved the purposes

         18        and improved the quality of the bill.  Thank you, Mr.

         19        Chairman.

         20             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Mills moves final

         21        adoption of Proposal No. 157.  The clerk will unlock the

         22        machine and the members will proceed to vote.

         23             Have all members voted?  Have all members voted?  The

         24        clerk will lock the machine and announce the vote.

         25             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)


          1             READING CLERK:  23 yeas, 1 nay, Mr. Chairman.

          2             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  And so Proposal No. 157

          3        is approved.  Now Commissioner Barkdull is the next -- do

          4        you want to take up -- oh, No. 64 was TP'd.

          5             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  No. 64 by Commissioner

          6        Nabors -- he's got a motion I believe he wants to make in

          7        reference to it.

          8             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Nabors, you're

          9        recognized.

         10             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Mr. Chairman, I would like,

         11        after conferring with the rules chairman, TP this proposal

         12        until such time as is placed on the calendar, proposals

         13        dealing with the use of Lottery proceeds.  The reason for

         14        that is the first part of this proposal has been rendered

         15        moot on the bonding because of the Preservation 2000.

         16        There mainly was some language dealing with the funding of

         17        schools which we may or may not need when we get to the

         18        excess Lottery uses.

         19             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  Without objection, show

         20        that matter deferred on the motion of its proposer.

         21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman?

         22             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Barkdull.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  At the request of the

         24        chairman of the finance and tax committee, I would like to

         25        extend the time for them to consider the matters before


          1        them until the conclusion of the next meeting of the

          2        commission, the 27th through the 29th of January.

          3             COMISSIONER THOMPSON:  You heard the motion.  Is

          4        there objection?  Hearing none, show it adopted.

          5             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I wanted to alert all members

          6        to be sure and save your orange and blue books that have

          7        proposals in them because some of these that have been

          8        temporarily passed are going to recur on the special order

          9        throughout the balance of this week and you will need them

         10        to look at.

         11             Immediately following adjournment, the Rules

         12        Committee is going to meet in Room 309 which is down one

         13        floor and right behind where the chamber would be.  Some

         14        of you mentioned to me that you had items that you wanted

         15        to withdraw.  If you have not already done that, I would

         16        suggest you do.  Some others of you have suggested that

         17        you wanted to make motions to reconsider.  If you've not

         18        already done that, I suggest you do it.  Otherwise, I'm

         19        prepared to make a motion to recess until tomorrow.

         20             (Chairman Douglass resumes the Chair.)

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  First I want to recognize

         22        Commissioner Scott.  Commissioner Scott, you're

         23        recognized.

         24             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I move to reconsider Proposal

         25        123 that was adopted yesterday, relating to the Budget and


          1        Tax Commission.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  123.  That's the Tax and Budget

          3        Commission proposal, Commissioner Scott?

          4             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Yes.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  I presume you voted with

          6        the majority.

          7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Everybody did.

          8             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Judge Barkdull voted against his

          9        own proposal so I'm helping him out here.  I voted on the

         10        prevailing side, yes, sir.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Barkdull

         12        do you have anything further -- oh, Commissioner

         13        Evans-Jones, excuse me.

         14             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  I'd like to withdraw

         15        Proposal 101 pertaining to cabinet reform and Proposal

         16        113, duties of the lieutenant governor.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, they are

         18        withdrawn.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Anybody else?  Anything else,

         20        Commissioner Barkdull?

         21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I move we recess until 8:30

         22        tomorrow morning.  We have a full morning session and

         23        committee meetings tomorrow afternoon.

         24             (Session adjourned at 6:15 p.m., to be continued on

         25        January 14th, 1998.)


          1                             CERTIFICATE


          3   STATE OF FLORIDA:

          4   COUNTY OF LEON:

                        WE, JULIE L. DOHERTY, KRISTEN L. BENTLEY and
          6   MONA L. WHIDDON, Court Reporters, certify that we were
              authorized to and did stenographically report the foregoing
          7   proceedings and that the transcript is a true and complete
              record of our stenographic notes.

          9             DATED this ______ day of ____________, 1998.


         12                      JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR


         14                      _________________________________
                                 KRISTEN L. BENTLEY

         17                      MONA L. WHIDDON
                                 COURT REPORTERS
         18                      DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
                                 1230 APALACHEE PARKWAY
         19                      TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA  32399-3060
                                 (850) 488-9675