State Seal Calendar

Meeting Proceedings for January 14, 1998


          1                          STATE OF FLORIDA
                             CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION



                                    COMMISSION MEETING



              DATE:                   January 14, 1998
              TIME:                   Commenced at  8:30 a.m.
         11                           Concluded at 12:15 p.m.

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

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









          1                             APPEARANCES


              CLARENCE E. ANTHONY
          4   ANTONIO L. ARGIZ
              ROBERT M. BROCHIN
              KEN CONNOR
          7   CHRIS CORR
          8   VALERIE EVANS
         10   PAUL HAWKES
         12   DICK LANGLEY
              JOHN F. LOWNDES
         13   STANLEY MARSHALL
              JACINTA MATHIS
         14   JON LESTER MILLS
              FRANK MORSANI
              CARLOS PLANAS
         16   JUDITH BYRNE RILEY
         17   SENATOR JIM SCOTT
              H. T. SMITH
         18   ALAN C. SUNDBERG  (EXCUSED)
         19   PAUL WEST
         20   STEPHEN NEAL ZACK
              PAT BARTON
              IRA H. LEESFIELD  c(ABSENT)





          1                             PROCEEDINGS

          2             (Roll taken and recorded electronically.)

          3             SECRETARY BLANTON:  All unauthorized visitors, please

          4        leave the chambers.  All commissioners indicate your

          5        presence.  (Pause.)  Commissioners, indicate your

          6        presence.  Quorum present, Mr. Chairman.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  If everyone will be seated

          8        please.  If everyone will please rise for the opening

          9        prayer given this morning by Reverend Larry Perry, pastor

         10        of the First Assembly of God Church in Tallahassee.

         11        Reverend Perry.

         12             REVEREND PERRY:  Romans Chapter 15, Verse 1 says:  We

         13        who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak

         14        and not to please ourselves.

         15             Each of us should please his neighbor for his good,

         16        to build him up.  For even Christ did not please himself,

         17        but, as it is written, the insults of those who insulted

         18        you have fallen on me.  For everything that was written in

         19        the past was written to teach us, so that through

         20        endurance and the encouragement of scripture we might have

         21        hope.  May the God who gives endurance and encouragement

         22        give you a spirit of unity among yourselves.

         23             Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day that you

         24        have given us, and I pray that you would help us to use it

         25        to the benefit not of our ownselves, Lord, but to those


          1        that we represent, those that you have called us to serve.

          2        Lord, I pray not for the work today of this committee, but

          3        for each and every individual in this place, that you by

          4        your grace would support, sustain and strengthen and give

          5        wisdom and instruction.

          6             Some may be suffering at home, Lord.  Some may need a

          7        special touch today.  And I ask you, Lord Jesus, to touch

          8        by your presence, by your Holy Spirit.  Bless this day.

          9        Bless this work, Lord.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett, would you

         11        please come forward and lead us in the pledge?

         12             (Pledge of allegiance.)

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We'll now proceed.  Commissioner

         14        Barkdull.

         15             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, members of the

         16        Commission, you have on your desk a calendar for today.

         17        We have, on the front page of it, you have the committee

         18        meetings that are scheduled for this afternoon.  Please

         19        note that two have been canceled -- or one has been

         20        canceled.  And there's one committee meeting that's not on

         21        Thursday's calendar, which is the Declaration of Rights,

         22        which is scheduled for 6:15 tomorrow afternoon -- tomorrow

         23        evening.

         24             You have on your desk the orange book which we have

         25        been using.  We will continue to use it for a short period


          1        today.  You have the blue book, which we will go into and

          2        use.  You will be distributed, as we reach those portions

          3        of the calendar, additional colored binders by the staff.

          4        They are going to distribute them now and there will be a

          5        yellow binder.  And then this goes for -- I guess that's

          6        gold, and this goes for garnet.  We have orange and blue,

          7        and gold and garnet.  I don't know how that happened, just

          8        that the staff has certain sentiments, apparently.

          9             The rules committee met yesterday and wanted to alert

         10        the Commission that on our next meeting, which commences

         11        on Monday the 26th at 1:00 o'clock, that it is scheduled

         12        to -- in your calendar, to adjourn at 1:00 p.m. on that

         13        Wednesday.  Because this is a very short meeting, we have

         14        decided to alert you that it'll probably go until 5:00 on

         15        Wednesday, not 1:00.

         16             We have had a lot of inquiry about this Friday.  And,

         17        very frankly, until we see what comes out of the

         18        committees this afternoon and what progress we make this

         19        morning and tomorrow morning, we cannot tell about the

         20        Friday calendar, but at the present time it is still

         21        scheduled.  For convenience, the lunch will be served both

         22        today and tomorrow in the lounge.

         23             Obviously, I do not anticipate that we will go until

         24        2:00 o'clock and commence committee meetings at

         25        2:00 o'clock.  There will be some break between the


          1        session and the scheduled committee meetings, although I

          2        know there are certain committee meetings that have

          3        witnesses that are coming from out of town and they are on

          4        tight plane schedules.  So I anticipate that we will break

          5        on time so that the committees can meet on time to

          6        accommodate the witnesses that they have requested to come

          7        in.  Other than that, Mr. Chairman, we are ready to move

          8        with the special order.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I have two inquiries.  Does

         10        anybody have any information, Commissioner Nabors, I

         11        understood you had made a call this morning to determine

         12        the status of Commissioner Sundberg's son?

         13             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  I have no information, I'm

         14        trying to make some calls now to see what I can find out.

         15        I'll keep trying to find out in the morning.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So you know, for those of you who

         17        were not here earlier in the week, Commissioner Sundberg's

         18        son is seriously ill with cancer, and he's been absent

         19        this week.  And we all give him prayers for that in our

         20        respective ways and continue to do so for Commissioner

         21        Sundberg and his family.

         22             Also, I understand that there are certain members of

         23        the Commission that are not in good physical condition

         24        this morning from having stayed up too late with the

         25        DoubleTree gang.  If anybody would like to report on that,


          1        we would be glad to hear it, but probably it would be

          2        better that it be done individually to us.  I think the

          3        leader of that group, or the two leaders were Commissioner

          4        Freiden and Commissioner Mills.  We welcome you this

          5        morning, but we will also understand any problems you

          6        might have.  I did leave out Commissioner Smith, correct.

          7        And if any of you want to join that group, I think they

          8        have open membership for members of the Commission.  Oh,

          9        no, they just closed it.  All right, so it's time to get

         10        going.  Yes, Commissioner Anthony.

         11             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I am not a member of that

         12        group, I was working and reading my documents last night.

         13        But I would like to rise and recognize one of our members

         14        that is celebrating his 40th birthday today, and that's

         15        Commissioner Scott.  And I would like for us to, with you

         16        in the lead, Mr. Chairman, to sing happy birthday to

         17        Commissioner Scott.

         18             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Can we make sure the cameras are

         19        on?

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We believe in proof in packaging

         21        here.  The 40 receives some skepticism, Commissioner

         22        Scott.  That meant you went to the Florida Senate when you

         23        were 12 years old, and we are all proud you are so well

         24        preserved; it works all right.  Close enough for

         25        government work he says.  Well, I'm not much at singing,


          1        you know, but I'm willing to do it.  Or we can wait and do

          2        it tonight when we are in a more jovial mood, whichever

          3        you prefer.

          4             All right, we have taken care of all of the pleasures

          5        now, I think.  Commissioner Barkdull, am I right that the

          6        matters on reconsideration are going to be taken up later

          7        in the day?

          8             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir, I move that they be

          9        deferred until later in the calendar at the call of the

         10        Chair.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, it is so

         12        ordered.  According to what I've been furnished, our first

         13        proposal for consideration today is 123 by Commissioner

         14        Barkdull, which is in the orange book; is that correct?

         15             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  That's what I've got on the

         16        calendar here.

         17             SECRETARY BLANTON:  That's on reconsideration.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's on reconsideration?

         19             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, special order starts on

         20        the next column.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Proposal 91 by

         22        Commissioner Hawkes, disapproved by the Committee on

         23        Bonding and Investments, and it's on special order.  Okay.

         24        Would you read it please?

         25             READING CLERK:  Proposal 91, proposal to revise


          1        Article VII, s.4, Florida Constitution; providing for

          2        certain pollution control devices to be classified by

          3        general law and assessed solely on the basis of character

          4        or use.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does anybody rise in

          6        support of that?  (No audible response.)  Anybody wants to

          7        speak in opposition?  (No audible response.)  If not,

          8        unlock the machine and we'll proceed to vote.  Lock the

          9        machine and count the vote, announce the vote.

         10             READING CLERK:  One yea, 22 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proposal fails.  Now, Proposal

         12        116 is the next one on special order and it's in the blue

         13        book, it's by Commissioner Corr.  And it was recommended

         14        as a committee substitute and disapproved by the Committee

         15        on Education.  Would you read it, please?

         16             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposal

         17        116, a proposal to revise Article IX, Florida

         18        Constitution, revising Section 6 to provide funding for an

         19        educational scholarship fund, adding Section 7 to

         20        authorize the creation of an educational scholarship fund.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Corr,

         22        you are recognized on this proposal, sir.

         23             COMMISSIONER CORR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  This is

         24        the proposal that expands the ability of the Legislature

         25        to allocate state school funds to an educational


          1        scholarship fund.  Currently, the Constitution limits the

          2        funds only to the support and maintenance of free public

          3        schools.  What this proposal will do is also add the

          4        words, And the educational scholarship fund.  I have

          5        finally found that in the blue book and it gives me some

          6        time to get organized here.

          7             So what this would allow, Mr. Chairman, is their

          8        state funds to go into an educational scholarship fund.

          9        The fund would be established by the Legislature.  The way

         10        the funds would be allocated out of that fund would also

         11        be established in general law by the Legislature as well.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Anybody have any

         13        questions of Commissioner Corr?  Any other proponents of

         14        this proposal?  Are there opponents that wish to be heard

         15        on this proposal?  If not, then we'll proceed to vote.

         16        Open the machine.  All right, lock the machines and

         17        announce the vote.

         18             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

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

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So, Proposal 116 fails.  The next

         21        proposal is Proposal 135 by Commissioner Henderson that's

         22        in the blue book, approved by the committee on finance and

         23        tax, and consideration was deferred until today.  Would

         24        you read the -- read it please?

         25             READING CLERK:  Proposal 135, proposal to revise


          1        Article VII, s.4, Florida Constitution; adding lands used

          2        for conservation purposes to those lands that may by law

          3        be assessed for tax purposes on the basis of their

          4        character or use.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

          6        Henderson.

          7             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, I am ready,

          8        but my only question is whether or not Mr. Mills is going

          9        to offer an amendment on his proposal.  And if we are

         10        still working on it, we'll TP it, otherwise we'll put it

         11        on the board.

         12             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, yesterday we

         13        discussed the definition of conservation and we had two --

         14        we have a lower assessment and we have an exemption both

         15        being considered.  And I know Senator Scott's staff is

         16        working on that.  I would suggest that maybe we TP it

         17        until we get that definition back because I think with

         18        what was raised --

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Scott,

         20        do you think your staff will have information ready for

         21        this afternoon?

         22             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Mr. Chairman, no, we won't,

         23        because what we are doing is we are having a meeting of

         24        finance and tax week after next at which we are going to

         25        take up this proposal as the one regarding the tax use has


          1        a major tax impact.  So, I don't think we are going to

          2        have a definition ready for today.  I think the point is

          3        the same words are used, the word conservation, and they

          4        want to have words consistent with both his proposal and

          5        Commissioner Mills' proposal.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Henderson.

          7             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Chairman, this is not a

          8        pressing issue.  Without objection, I would like to have

          9        it removed from the special order calendar, place it on

         10        the calendar, and we'll get all of the ducks in a row,

         11        come back from committee and ask that it be put on special

         12        order.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, that will be

         14        done.  It is done.  Okay, Proposal No. 119, by

         15        Commissioner Corr, disapproved by the committee on

         16        education.  Would you read it, please?

         17             READING CLERK:  Proposal 119, a proposal to revise

         18        Article 9, s.6, Florida Constitution; amending the

         19        eligibility requirements for receiving state school funds.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Corr.

         21             COMMISSIONER CORR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  This

         22        proposal would expand the way we can appropriate state

         23        school funds.  Again, currently, it is limited to the

         24        support and maintenance of free public schools.  This

         25        would allow the funds to also be allocated to any


          1        pre-kindergarten, kindergarten through grade 12, or any

          2        school that accepts public funding and meets certain

          3        standards of excellence that would be prescribed by the

          4        Legislature.

          5             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  All right.  Any proponents?

          6        Anybody from the committee want to respond?  If not, we'll

          7        proceed to vote.

          8             (Vote taken and recroded electronically.)

          9             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Has everybody voted?

         10        Announce the vote.

         11             READING CLERK:  Fourteen yeas, 14 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         12             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  It fails.  Move next to

         13        Proposal 107 by Commissioner Connor, which was disapproved

         14        by the Committee on Declaration of Rights.  Would you read

         15        it, please?

         16             READING CLERK:  Proposal 107, a proposal to revise

         17        Article I, Florida Constitution; providing that the State

         18        Constitution does not restrict the right of parents to

         19        consent to medical treatment for their minor children.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Evans, is this the

         21        proposal that you wanted to be heard in conjunction with a

         22        later proposal or following a later proposal?

         23             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Just that it be heard first.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  So, you are willing

         25        to proceed then?


          1             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  This is Commissioner Connor's,

          2        and I needed his to go first.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Connor, you are open

          4        to present the proposal.

          5             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

          6        Ladies and gentlemen, my wife and I have four children.

          7        Two are prone to get headaches and two are prone to give

          8        them.  Since we are on television, I won't tell you which

          9        ones do what, but if you are watching at home, you know

         10        who you are.

         11             But ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you that it has

         12        been a common occurrence for those kids who get headaches,

         13        for me to get a call at the office from the school nurse.

         14        And when I come on the line, a very nice lady will

         15        typically say, Mr. Connor, I'm sorry to disturb you at

         16        home, but so and so is in the clinic, and they are lying

         17        down with a headache, and I wonder if it would be all

         18        right for me to give them some Tylenol.

         19             Whenever my kids go off on a school field trip, my

         20        wife and I always have to sign a written consent

         21        authorizing them to go and to participate on that trip.

         22             Amazing though it may be, if a minor child wishes to

         23        obtain an abortion in the State of Florida, she does not

         24        need her parents' consent.  Indeed, there's not even a

         25        requirement in Florida that her parents be notified.


          1             But in the event that child suffers complications

          2        arising out of that abortion, before the hospital will

          3        treat that child, she has to receive her parents' consent.

          4        And of course, her parents are responsible for the bills.

          5             Ladies and gentlemen, common sense tells us that that

          6        ought not to be.  What this bill does -- what this

          7        proposal does, very simply, is to provide the

          8        constitutional footing for the Legislature of the State of

          9        Florida to pass parental consent legislation if it chooses

         10        to do so.

         11             Now, most ordinary folks would be surprised to learn

         12        that the Legislature does not have the requisite

         13        constitutional footing to pass such a law, but it does not

         14        because in 1989 the Florida Supreme Court ruled in the TW

         15        case, in the process of striking down a parental consent

         16        statute, that the State lacked a compelling interest

         17        sufficient to warrant the passage of parental consent

         18        legislation.

         19             And the hue and cry about parents' rights to consent

         20        to medical treatment for their child, particularly as it

         21        relates to abortion, has not died down in the decade that

         22        has followed, and understandably so.  Because most

         23        Floridians, in fact, back at the time that this bill was

         24        passed, about 78 percent of Floridians were shown to be in

         25        support of a parental consent bill.


          1             Most Floridians believed, the overwhelming majority,

          2        believed that the people who know their children best and

          3        love them most, the parents, ought to be permitted under

          4        the law to give their consent prior to the rendition of

          5        medical treatment for that child.  And you all heard the

          6        testimony, I thought very compelling testimony, of Dr.

          7        James down in Gainesville about the important role that

          8        parents play about providing medical history and other

          9        information with respect to the treatment of that child.

         10             Ladies and gentlemen, by today we have received over

         11        five -- we have heard from over 5,000 Floridians who have

         12        urged us to pass Proposal No. 107.  I'm not aware that we

         13        have heard from that many on any other single issue.  This

         14        is an issue that's very easily understood by the people of

         15        Florida, this is an issue that requires a constitutional

         16        fix in light of the ruling of TW, and this is a provision

         17        that reason and common sense dictate that we ought to

         18        pass.

         19             And ladies and gentlemen, I would submit to you that

         20        there is no, and ought to be, no more important priority

         21        before this body than taking the necessary steps to

         22        restore the rights of parents to make this important

         23        decision on behalf of their children.

         24             What this amendment does, very simply, is as follows:

         25        It creates a new Section 26, Article I, which reads as


          1        follows, Nothing in this Constitution shall be deemed to

          2        restrict a parents' right to consent to medical treatment,

          3        included but not limited to abortion for a minor child, as

          4        permitted by the United States Constitution.  This state

          5        has a compelling interest in protecting the rights of

          6        parents to make such decisions for their minor children.

          7             Ladies and gentlemen, this provision is not

          8        self-executing.  If you pass this proposal, it will not

          9        require parental consent before a minor can obtain an

         10        abortion in the State of Florida, but it will put the ball

         11        in the Legislature's court and we can have the public

         12        debate and we can hear the kind of testimony that we ought

         13        to hear and all of the various people that have interests

         14        in this legislation can come before the Legislature, let

         15        their voices be heard, the democratic process can operate

         16        and the Legislature can and will act in accordance with

         17        its wisdom having been duly instructed by the people on

         18        this issue.

         19             But because of the TW case, the hands of the

         20        Legislature are tied, and the Legislature simply lacks the

         21        constitutional foundation to go forward.  And so the hue

         22        and cry continues.

         23             Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday we talked about the

         24        partial birth abortion procedure.  I was interested in,

         25        Mr. Zack, to read last night in U.S. News and Report,


          1        commenting on nonmedical, late term, partial birth

          2        abortions that are carried out.  And one southern clinic

          3        stated, Our biggest group is 10 to 18-year olds in total

          4        denial.  In other words, these are young folks who just

          5        don't accept, can't accept, haven't accepted the fact that

          6        they are pregnant, find themselves at a late stage of

          7        pregnancy, and then without a parent's knowledge or

          8        consent, an abortionist can perform a late-term, partial

          9        birth abortion.

         10             I would submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, that

         11        that just doesn't make sense, plain and simple.  We in

         12        Florida are concerned about the breakup of families, we in

         13        Florida have expressed our concern about the affects of

         14        dysfunctional families and the impact on our society, and

         15        I would submit to you that government has contributed, in

         16        part, to the breakdown of the family.  And the TW decision

         17        is an example of how that occurs, even I would suggest,

         18        perhaps, with the best of motives on the part of our

         19        court.

         20             But when you strip away a parent's rights to make a

         21        decision of a medical nature on behalf of their child,

         22        then government has interposed itself into the family and

         23        come between the traditional parent/child relationship and

         24        significantly altered the family dynamics that

         25        historically and traditionally have taken place.


          1             Ladies and gentlemen, that ought not to be.  We ought

          2        to reestablish the traditional relationship that's existed

          3        from time out of mind in which parents make these kinds of

          4        important decisions for their children.  I think it's

          5        important for you to understand that under the

          6        constitutional regime of cases established by the United

          7        States Supreme Court, the United States Supreme Court has

          8        declared that states may enact parental consent

          9        legislation.

         10             And under the case of Bellotti versus Baird, the

         11        court has said, In order to pass Federal constitutional

         12        muster, any parental consent legislation must provide for

         13        what's known as a judicial bypass mechanism where a young

         14        girl can dispense, with the permission of the court, with

         15        her parents' consent to an abortion.  One of two things

         16        has to be established.  First of all, the Court has to

         17        find that the child is sufficiently mature to make her own

         18        decision in that regard, or secondly, in the alternative,

         19        that it is in the child's best interest that the abortion

         20        take place.

         21             Mr. Zack asked me earlier about instances where the

         22        child was fearful of retribution or violence and that sort

         23        of thing.  And the Bellotti case and its prodigy has said

         24        that this judicial bypass system is required to pass

         25        Federal constitutional muster.


          1             In the TW case, the Florida Supreme Court identified

          2        two additional requirements that would be necessary beyond

          3        what was provided in the statute that was at issue there,

          4        and that was that there be a record of the proceeding and

          5        that there be a provision for the appointment of counsel.

          6        Bellotti requires an expedited proceeding.  The Florida

          7        statute, as I recall, had a 24-hour period.  Perhaps it

          8        was 48 hours within which the hearing had to take place.

          9             Ladies and gentlemen, because we have an explicit

         10        privacy right, and because the Court concluded that since

         11        the parental consent statute burdens a minor's decision

         12        making -- even before the child is viable, that it was

         13        unconstitutional and the State did not have that

         14        compelling interest.

         15             I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, what more compelling

         16        interest could the State have than of protecting the

         17        rights of parents to make decisions for their minor

         18        children in this very, very important area of medical

         19        care.  We know that abortion is a surgical procedure, that

         20        it's fraught with risks, that there are physical and

         21        psychological consequences that may flow out of that

         22        procedure.

         23             We simply must do the right thing here.  And the

         24        right thing is to protect the rights of parents in making

         25        these decisions.  A minor child in 1988 when this bill was


          1        passed, believe it or not, a minor child would go into a

          2        clinic for an abortion, which from a regulatory standpoint

          3        did not have the health and sanitation requirements of a

          4        veterinary clinic in the State of Florida.  And the reason

          5        for that, very simply, is that almost all regulations that

          6        had been passed by the Legislature or the administrative

          7        bodies had been -- with respect to abortion clinics, had

          8        been enjoined from enforcement.

          9             Ladies and gentlemen, this just doesn't make sense.

         10        Parents are the people who know their children best and

         11        who love them most.  There is a provision in the rare case

         12        where parents are to -- where it's determined that parents

         13        couldn't be involved or shouldn't be involved or where

         14        it's in the best interest of the child to dispense with

         15        the consent of the parents or where she's deemed to be

         16        sufficiently mature to make that decision.

         17             Any bill the Florida Legislature passes in this

         18        regard must meet those requirements.  It must meet the

         19        other due process requirements that are set forth by our

         20        Florida Supreme Court, but it can do nothing unless we

         21        provide the constitutional foundation.

         22             Chairman Smith of the Declaration of Rights Committee

         23        has rightly posited a question on this floor and it's been

         24        posited over and over again in our Declaration of Rights

         25        Committee, about whether or not the Constitution is the


          1        appropriate vehicle to effect the change that is at issue.

          2        We are not a super Legislature and we shouldn't be

          3        carrying forth a legislative agenda.

          4             Ladies and gentlemen, a constitutional fix is

          5        required.  The people of Florida earnestly want it, they

          6        understand it, and we ought to do it.  Thank you.  Thank

          7        you, Mr. Chairman.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Freiden.

          9             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  Mr. Connor, Commissioner

         10        Connor, I agree with one thing that you said, we must do

         11        the right thing here.  I disagree with almost everything

         12        else that was just said.  And I rise at this moment to

         13        urge you all to vote against this proposal.  This proposal

         14        presents a drastic incursion into the right of privacy of

         15        girls in the State of Florida.  And I submit to you that

         16        it really does nothing to increase the rights of parents

         17        that already exist, because parents in our state do have

         18        presently the right to consent to medical treatment for

         19        their children.

         20             Now, what we need to start out with is, what are we

         21        talking about here?  We are not talking about parents

         22        being involved in decision-making of their children, what

         23        we are talking about, and I wrote down very carefully what

         24        has been said by the proponent of this measure.  What we

         25        are talking about is we want -- is whether parents have


          1        the right to make decisions for their children.  And what

          2        we are talking about here and what you are being asked to

          3        vote on is a provision that would give to parents the

          4        right to make a decision for a girl who may be about to

          5        bear a child that is going to be her daughter and her

          6        responsibility for the rest of her life, or who she is

          7        going to then have to give up for adoption and live with

          8        that trauma for the rest of her life.

          9             So, we are not talking here about having parents --

         10        about requiring the parents be involved in a decision, we

         11        are talking about having parents be able to make a

         12        decision.

         13             Let's talk about what the law is at the present time.

         14        In the State of Florida, an abortion cannot be performed

         15        without the informed consent of the woman seeking the

         16        abortion.  Under Florida Statute 390.0111, a termination

         17        of pregnancy can't be performed unless there is an

         18        informed consent, a voluntary and informed written consent

         19        of the pregnant woman.  Or in the case of somebody who is

         20        not competent to consent, a court-appointed guardian.

         21             Now, of course, that could be a parent, and in the

         22        vast majority of cases, it is the parent that consents to

         23        the abortion.  Let's talk about those numbers.  You know,

         24        this is not a situation where this is -- this is something

         25        that we don't have any data on.  There is experience, we


          1        have experience in states like ours where informed consent

          2        is not required.  We have experience in states like ours,

          3        like other states, like Minnesota, like Massachusetts,

          4        where consent -- where parental consent is required.  And

          5        we know from that experience that, in both kinds of

          6        states, states that have parental consent law and states

          7        that don't have parental consent laws, that about

          8        60 percent of all abortions of girls under the age of 18

          9        are performed with parental involvement.

         10             Now, we say 60 percent.  Well, gee, what about the

         11        other 40?  The reality is, let's first talk about what the

         12        numbers are.  Your concern, I know, is about that 10, 11,

         13        12, 13-year old child.  Over 90 percent of those girls

         14        have parental involvement in their abortions, those girls.

         15        And it happens to be, by the way, a very small number of

         16        the abortions that are performed on very young girls.  In

         17        the under 16 years old, it's 75 percent.  So we are

         18        talking, again, about a very small percentage of the

         19        abortions that are performed.

         20             Now, let's talk about why the girls who don't get

         21        their parents involved don't get their parents involved.

         22        The reasons are clear, they are fearful, their parents are

         23        ill or alcoholic, or not there, they are afraid of hurting

         24        their parents, they are afraid of what their parents might

         25        do to them.  In one-third of the girls who don't involve


          1        their parents, there has been family violence inside their

          2        home, and they fear that that violence will be directed

          3        toward them.  And that fear is statistically borne out,

          4        because the statistics with regard to family violence

          5        establish that in -- that during times of pregnancy in a

          6        household violence increases dramatically; it is the most

          7        stressful time in a household.  So the likelihood of

          8        violence toward children in a household where there is

          9        violence increases dramatically in situations where the

         10        child is pregnant.

         11             The other thing that I found interesting as I was

         12        researching this and reading articles on it is that in

         13        more than 90 percent of the cases where girls don't

         14        involve their parents, they do involve some other

         15        responsible adult who is not a clinic -- a person from the

         16        clinic, not a clinic personnel.  So, again, we are talking

         17        about a very, very small percentage of the girls.

         18             Now, we have heard about the argument that we require

         19        consent for an aspirin in school, but we don't require

         20        consent for an abortion.  I submit to you that that's

         21        really not -- it is a false argument in the sense that --

         22        a child could go to the drugstore and buy aspirin, that's

         23        simply a liability issue.  And that really isn't -- it

         24        isn't an argument that you should be relying on.

         25             (Pause.)


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills.

          2             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I'm taking a deep breath, sir.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Excuse me, I was engaged in a

          4        conversation there.

          5             (Laughter.)

          6             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  We have heard that we should

          7        be concerned about the breakup of families in our state.

          8        I submit to you that our approval of this amendment to go

          9        on the ballot would have absolutely nothing to do with the

         10        breakup of families in this state and would not help one

         11        iota.  The numbers of girls who communicate with their

         12        parents are virtually identical in states that have

         13        parental consent laws and in states that don't have

         14        parental consent laws.  You cannot legislate, you cannot

         15        constitutionally require, nor can the Legislature

         16        legislate a -- that a daughter talk to her parents.  Girls

         17        that are inclined to talk to their parents are going to

         18        talk to their parents.  The ones that aren't inclined to

         19        talk to their parents are going to take matters into their

         20        own hands and handle it with -- to the best of their

         21        maturity and their ability.

         22             Now, how does that -- what do we know about what

         23        happens in other states?  We know that in the State of

         24        Massachusetts, in the first eight months of their parental

         25        consent law, that approximately 30 percent of the girls


          1        who had -- who became pregnant went out of state to get

          2        abortions.  In Massachusetts, that's easy, and in North

          3        Florida that's easy too.  We also know that when

          4        abortion -- when girls can't obtain legal abortions in

          5        clinics or from their physicians, we know from the history

          6        that we, I think all of us in this room have lived

          7        through, that they pop up all over the place, illegal ways

          8        of getting abortions.

          9             And we know that when those illegal abortions are

         10        available and the girls get them that they are fraught

         11        with danger, that they don't have the -- they were often

         12        performed by people who aren't even physicians.  And that

         13        puts our daughters at tremendous risk, physical risk, that

         14        they would not otherwise experience if they could go and

         15        have a legal abortion.

         16             We also know that if we require -- and we know this

         17        from the experience in the states that have it, that

         18        requiring parental consent causes girls to delay getting

         19        an abortion.  The medical evidence -- it is absolutely

         20        clear that the later the term, the later in the term, in

         21        the pregnancy that the abortion is performed, the more

         22        dangerous it is and the riskier it is to the girls who are

         23        getting the abortions.

         24             If a girl is required to go to court or to -- and

         25        needs to, and finds impediments to getting the abortion at


          1        an early stage, she runs the risk of being forced into a

          2        second trimester abortion, which then becomes quite

          3        dangerous.

          4             Now, what we are doing here, if we were to pass this,

          5        and then the Legislature -- and if the Legislature then

          6        would follow up with legislation, would be to put a court

          7        in a position where the Court could make the decision for

          8        a young woman to have an abortion, whether or not she

          9        could have the abortion.  The Court's decision would be

         10        based on the girl's maturity and whether it was in her

         11        best interest, but it would not require parental

         12        involvement.

         13             I don't see -- I cannot imagine what this has to do

         14        with how this would advance family relationships or

         15        parental rights because it would then be the Court that

         16        makes the decision.  What we are doing, simply, because we

         17        now have a situation where the doctor makes the decision

         18        about the maturity and the competency of the girl, and if

         19        she's not competent to consent, she obtains a -- she gets

         20        a legal guardian.  What we are doing is we are simply

         21        substituting a court's judgment for the judgment of the

         22        pregnant girl and her physician.  What that is is an

         23        intrusion into her rights of privacy.

         24             You have also heard about the risks of an abortion.

         25        The risk of an abortion is infinitesimal compared to the


          1        risk of a pregnancy.  The risk of an abortion is about

          2        half of the risk of getting a shot of penicillin or having

          3        your tonsils out.  It is not a particularly risky

          4        procedure.

          5             Now, we have heard that parents know their children

          6        best and they love them the most.  I could not agree more

          7        that that's true.  I guess there were two things that were

          8        said that I agree with.  But the parents who love their

          9        children the most and know them the best are not the

         10        parents that this is going to affect, because those

         11        parents are going to be in the 60 or 75 or 90 percent of

         12        the parents whose children do come to them, do involve

         13        them in the decision, do consult with them.

         14             The parents -- the children who are going to be very

         15        negatively impacted by this, the girls who are going to be

         16        very negatively impacted by this are the girls of parents

         17        who can't be consulted, either they are not around, the

         18        children are living with somebody that's not their parent,

         19        they are -- I think that this particular proposal is

         20        somewhat vague and would cause concern about, what if a

         21        child was living with one parent and the other parent --

         22        does the other parent then have the right to consent?

         23        What if the other parent isn't around, the child hasn't

         24        seen the other parent and the parent shows up and wants to

         25        consent?  It's fraught with all kinds of problems that


          1        would come up if we allow this to be on the ballot.

          2             I submit to all of you that we must do the right

          3        thing in this case.  The right thing in this case is to

          4        preserve the right to privacy of all of the women of this

          5        state and especially of the girls of this state, with

          6        regard to this proposal.  Thank you.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills.

          8             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, members of the

          9        Commission, slightly unlike Commissioner Freiden, I agreed

         10        with a great number of things that Commissioner Connor

         11        said.  I first agree that no group is better, no unit is

         12        better than the family to deal with the issues of the

         13        family, no one -- no possible advice could be better.

         14             I secondly agree that younger people, whether they be

         15        men or women, don't always make the best judgments.  I

         16        third agree that common sense should control how we act on

         17        issues of this import.  Fourth, I agree that government

         18        shouldn't be intervening in our private lives.  And I

         19        agree with those that say judicial intervention is not the

         20        answer to personal family issues.

         21             Let's first determine exactly what this proposal

         22        does.  It doesn't only authorize parental consent, if you

         23        look at the language, it says, Including but not limited

         24        to abortion.  I think, and I submit to you, this leaves an

         25        area of uncertain and undetermined consequences which we


          1        have to think about, even ones that might be totally

          2        opposite of those intended by the proponents.  What if a

          3        young girl, living apart from her parents, was pregnant

          4        and wanted to have a child and she needed medical

          5        procedures in order for her to have that child?  What if

          6        her parents didn't want her to have that child?  What if

          7        they didn't consent?  What if I, as a parent, sit down

          8        with a daughter who may be pregnant and say, I believe we

          9        should discuss this as a family thoroughly, however,

         10        ultimately it's your decision and I'll support you in

         11        whatever you do?

         12             Now, you are going to tell me that the government is

         13        going to tell me now I have to go and sign the consent

         14        form.  It seems to me, that's telling me that's how to run

         15        my family by the Constitution.  Let me give you a little

         16        bit of history how parental consent got here because I

         17        happen to know this one very well.  House Bill 1668,

         18        June 2nd, 1988, I was in the chair right down the hall

         19        here and an amendment was introduced, the very statute

         20        that we are considering, the word statute that in re TW

         21        considered, parental consent.  It was amended to abortion

         22        licensing provisions.

         23             There was a question as to whether that was in order.

         24        And I could have ruled it out of order.  I did not because

         25        it was in order.  There were a series of amendments that


          1        were offered to that particular proposal which would have

          2        basically weakened it or taken out the parental consent

          3        provision.  They all failed, the parental consent

          4        provision passed.  I ended up voting for the entire

          5        package.

          6             How else was I involved in this?  I have heard a lot

          7        about the history of privacy.  The privacy amendment,

          8        House Resolution 387, in 1978 was introduced.  I

          9        introduced it with the support of some very interesting

         10        people, including Dempsey Barron, including Curt Kiser,

         11        including Lee Moffitt, a fairly diverse group of people,

         12        all believing that individual privacy was something

         13        important enough to put in Florida's Constitution.

         14             The Supreme Court took that privacy provision, which

         15        by the way, was most of the discussion related to

         16        informational privacy?  Probably.  Was there any

         17        discussion that related to abortion?  Absolutely.

         18             Senator Dunn who pointed out several times, and I

         19        think ultimately voted against it, said this issue will

         20        deal with abortion.  Was the Court right when it said that

         21        the people of Florida wanted to have additional privacy

         22        protections?  I think so.  I think so.  And was its

         23        decisions correct?  I think so as well.

         24             So, that puts us in a position to be considering

         25        whether to overrule this history, both of the privacy


          1        amendment and of the Court's decision and interpretation.

          2        If it were logical to do so, maybe we should consider it.

          3        But what I have heard Commissioner Freiden say and what I

          4        also believe is the logic of telling a pregnant child that

          5        she has to communicate with her parents has little impact

          6        that she's not going to do it.  We can't look to the

          7        statute books to solve problems of our family, of our

          8        community and of our state.  It is illogical to think that

          9        our passing statute will change the conduct of a young

         10        girl.

         11             Our society has much higher responsibilities to do

         12        that, and maybe you did a good job with that when we

         13        talked about education yesterday.  So, what will she do?

         14        She'll do exactly what Commissioner Freiden suggested.  If

         15        she can't seek a legal abortion, she'll seek an illegal

         16        abortion.  And as shocked and horrified as I was yesterday

         17        to hear the details of partial birth abortion, I think we

         18        would be as shocked and horrified to hear the details of

         19        illegal abortions.

         20             So, we are condemning our young girls to face as bad

         21        as we heard yesterday.  I think it is the responsibility

         22        of this Commission to be logical, to stay out of

         23        intervening with the family, and to adhere to a principle

         24        I heard many of you articulate.  And that is, the

         25        Constitution is not a place for us to intervene in family


          1        life.

          2             I read -- I almost feel like Commissioner Brochin

          3        sometimes -- I didn't really read the whole thing.  These

          4        are the Bill of Rights.  They spent all of their time

          5        talking about how to protect people from government, not

          6        about how in the Constitution to tell people how to live

          7        in their private lives.  And it also seems to me the

          8        principle that you-all have talked about and we have

          9        shared, judicial intervention; what could be more judicial

         10        intervention than to have a bypass proceeding dealing with

         11        the personal life of a young girl?  That's judicial

         12        intervention.

         13             But lastly, if you really consider what the Bill of

         14        Rights is about and what the Declaration of Rights is

         15        about, it's about protecting those that need protection.

         16        It is not the 5,000 letters, it is not the polls, it is

         17        maybe those few girls, maybe it was TW, maybe it was the

         18        girl that we heard about in Gainesville who couldn't go to

         19        her parents because the parents, the father, the abusing

         20        father, was the cause of the pregnancy.

         21             Our duty is to protect them, our duty is to protect

         22        those that can't be protected.  And the only way that we

         23        can do that is maintain their right to privacy, not

         24        intervene in their personal lives and to defeat this

         25        amendment.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Langley.

          2             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  I would like to speak in favor

          3        of the amendment.  You know, Commissioner Mills, the

          4        problem is, that young woman, be her, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,

          5        isn't competent to make that decision.  And if she were,

          6        she probably wouldn't be in that problem to start with.

          7        And I would submit to you that she has a lot more problems

          8        than just that pregnancy, she has deep emotional problems,

          9        she has perhaps psychiatric problems.  It isn't going to

         10        be cured by that abortion.  And, you know, six months

         11        later she's going to be back in the same position.

         12             If she isn't competent under the proposal that

         13        Commissioner Connor is proffering, the judicial bypass is

         14        there.  If a parent, as in the Gainesville case, is so

         15        involved, and he in fact were the father, judicial bypass

         16        is there, and she would be advised of that.

         17             You know, this child can't make any other decision.

         18        She can't drive a car, she can't vote, she can't hold a

         19        license to fly an airplane or sell real estate or do

         20        anything else, she can't choose the public school that she

         21        attends, she can't choose her teachers, she can't even

         22        choose to take an aspirin at school if she wanted one.

         23        She can't choose her own physician for any other medical

         24        purpose, but for this, she can choose to do this.

         25             And the counseling, and, Commissioner Freiden,


          1        informed consent is a joke when the counselor is on the

          2        payroll of the doctor that is going to do the abortion,

          3        who has car payments, and mortgage payments, and overhead,

          4        and competition.  If many of those nurses turned away

          5        these children, there wouldn't be a business there and

          6        that nurse wouldn't last very long as counseling for

          7        informed consent.

          8             There's an interesting case that followed the TW case

          9        that some of you may not know about.  Both of these cases,

         10        ironically, originated in Lake County where I'm from, and

         11        both came out of the Circuit Court Judge Locket.  And

         12        Judge Locket made the original decision, had another case

         13        come before him where there were two 15-year old girls had

         14        run off for the weekend with two 19 or 20-year old boys,

         15        and they had cohabited over at Daytona Beach and had a

         16        good time, but when they got back, the parents of the

         17        girls did not think they should have had such a good time,

         18        and they brought statutory rape charges against the boys.

         19             Now, if you were Judge Locket, who rendered and had

         20        the Supreme Court render the TW decision, is it not only

         21        logical that, surely, if a 13-year old girl could choose

         22        to have an abortion under the right of privacy, she

         23        certainly could choose to have sex under the right of

         24        privacy without parental intervention or state

         25        intervention.  But somehow, this same court decided that,


          1        no, that's different, that she cannot choose to have sex

          2        at 15, but she can choose to have an abortion at 13.

          3             What was really at issue is the prevailing political

          4        currents of the right of choice.  But anyway, Commissioner

          5        Freiden, it's amazing that you can talk so casually about

          6        percentages.  Let me suggest to you, you say 10 percent of

          7        these children -- only 10 percent don't have parental

          8        consent anyway.  Let me suggest to you, if that child was

          9        your child, that statistic is 100 percent, and that is the

         10        child that suffers.

         11             You know, it may well be by requiring the parental

         12        consent, by requiring that youngster to either go to a

         13        judge or to go to her parents to have consent, this may be

         14        the crisis that brings that family back together, this may

         15        be parents who are so busy in their world that they don't

         16        realize their child has these problems.  They need to know

         17        that.  They need to have this confrontation.  And in most

         18        families, I would suggest to you, that there would be a

         19        reconciliation of that family and a working out of those

         20        problems.

         21             You know, the right of choice for an adult woman is

         22        something that's pretty much water over the dam.  And I

         23        don't really understand the adult woman fearing this as

         24        being an intrusion into that right.  I don't agree with

         25        that right, never have, but it's there and that's morally


          1        accepted.

          2             But, you know, there's -- Mr. Mills, Commissioner

          3        Mills, you talk about government intervention.  Clarence

          4        Thomas, I guess, talks a lot about the natural law.

          5        Government intervened when it said TW could have an

          6        abortion, that was the first government intervention,

          7        because the natural law says that that parent has the

          8        right to make those decisions for that child.  All we are

          9        trying to do is lessen that government intervention and

         10        give those rights back to the parents where they naturally

         11        belong.

         12             Commissioner Freiden, you use the word "adoption"

         13        like it is a bad word.  Let me tell you from the practice

         14        of law, that is one of the most joyous things a lawyer

         15        gets to do, is to have an adoption.  And there are

         16        thousands and thousands of families waiting right now,

         17        good, solid families who would give good homes to these

         18        children.

         19             When I first started practicing in the small town of

         20        Claremont, I would get six or seven of these unwanted

         21        pregnancies a year where I would come in and help place

         22        the children.  And, by the way, I do it without a fee.  I

         23        think it is a great thing, it is great for the kids, it is

         24        great for the parents who receive them.

         25             Now, I think I had one this last year, and before


          1        that, it's been years since I have had one because they

          2        are all going down to the clinic and disposing of them,

          3        and those families aren't getting those children and those

          4        children aren't getting life.

          5             Is it a constitutional issue, Commissioner Mills, it

          6        certainly is because it was the Constitution upon which

          7        the good Justice relied to say that TW could have the

          8        abortion.  So, definitely it is a constitutional issue.

          9        We are not passing that, we are just saying to the people

         10        of Florida, the same things you are going to hear a

         11        thousand times between now and May, let the people decide.

         12             This is an issue whereby the Constitution has been

         13        used as a groundwork to take away a natural right of

         14        parents, let's put the right in there, if the Legislature

         15        so chooses, to reverse that and give that natural right

         16        back to the parents.  Thank you.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Riley.

         18             Well, she has a question of Commissioner Langley.

         19             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Commissioner Langley, if a

         20        13-year old child has been impregnated by her stepfather,

         21        or by an adult male, is there any provision in the law

         22        that requires the abortion provider to turn that

         23        information in to the authorities?

         24             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  I don't know.  I know that if

         25        school authorities have that knowledge they have to turn


          1        it in.  I do not know whether or not the abortion clinics

          2        are so regulated.

          3             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  So if someone does not turn in

          4        this situation, then this is a protection against child

          5        abusers and statutory rape?

          6             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  I would think so.  And again,

          7        by requiring parental consent, if the child sought

          8        judicial intervention, which can be constitutionally met,

          9        then the facts would come out in front of the Judge and

         10        charges against that abusive parent would follow.

         11             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Thank you.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now Commissioner Riley.

         13             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Commissioners, this is not a

         14        problem in a perfect family because in a perfect family

         15        there are no pregnancies except those within that family.

         16        However, we all know that there are no prefect families,

         17        and that it doesn't matter how many bedrooms your house

         18        has and how many square feet it has, unwanted pregnancies

         19        happen everywhere.  And in a perfect family, no matter

         20        where that pregnancy happens, this is not an issue because

         21        in a perfect family, there is communication.  And in a

         22        perfect family, the child can go to her parents and say, I

         23        have got a problem and I need your help.

         24             And as Commissioner Freidin said, in children under

         25        16, 90 percent of those girls do that.  As you get into


          1        the 16 and 17-year olds, it is up to 80 percent do that.

          2        I fail to see how putting roadblocks in the way of a young

          3        girl who does not come from a family that can communicate,

          4        who does not come from a family that she has no fear that

          5        telling her parents about a pregnancy is not going to

          6        result in harm to her.  I don't understand how putting

          7        those roadblocks in the way of that young girl is going to

          8        make communication in that family any better.

          9             Commissioner Langley talks about adoption.  Adoption

         10        is a joyful, wonderful thing.  I have a nephew who is

         11        adopted, I know children who are adopted.  But it is

         12        joyful for the receiving end.  It is not a joyful

         13        experience for the child that has to bear that baby; that

         14        is not where the joy is.  I have read letters from young

         15        girls, letters were sent to me by a friend of mine who is

         16        executive director of a women's health clinic.  And they

         17        were written by the girls that we are talking about.

         18             And the young girls say, Thank God I had this option.

         19        I wanted to tell my parents, I could not tell my parents.

         20        My father was not there, my mother was not there, I was

         21        fearful that if anything -- if I were to tell my parents,

         22        they would kill me.  Now that could mean physical abuse

         23        and really hurting that child, or it could mean that they

         24        would have been so incredibly disappointed that they would

         25        be hurt.  But the child's perception was that they simply


          1        could not do that, and they were very glad that they had

          2        an option.

          3             There is nobody in this room that is not concerned

          4        with the family.  There is nobody in this room that

          5        doesn't believe that if your daughter, and I have five of

          6        them, if your daughter is pregnant they are going to come

          7        to you because you have that relationship with your

          8        daughter, you have a more perfect family than the other

          9        people that would be affected by this.  And those that are

         10        affected by this are not going to be helped by this

         11        proposal, they are not going to be helped by putting in

         12        the Constitution a requirement that says the government is

         13        going to tell you who you have to involve in your

         14        decision.

         15             I'm telling you, this is not the place in this

         16        Constitution to put communications in a better light and

         17        make better communications in the family.  That is not

         18        what this does, this makes it harder.  And I can't think

         19        of more pressure on a family, if you have already got a

         20        precarious situation, than for a young girl to come home

         21        and say, I'm pregnant.  That's not going to help anything,

         22        that's going to make it worse.  And I think we do, the

         23        children and the citizens of this state, a disservice if

         24        we were to put this on the ballot, and I strongly suggest

         25        that we do not.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Evans.

          2             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Another question.  Commissioner

          3        Riley.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  She yields for a question.

          5             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Would you believe that a mother

          6        giving up her child for adoption can indeed be a great

          7        joy?

          8             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Oh, I'm sure that's true.

          9             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Okay.

         10             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  But I can almost guarantee you

         11        that the majority of the young women that give their

         12        babies up for adoption are not joyful about that

         13        experience.

         14             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Okay.  Let me give you two

         15        specific cases that I know of.  One happened two years ago

         16        almost, this April, where the young girl in the hospital

         17        room handed her little baby girl over to the adoptive

         18        parents, good friends of mine, and with tears in her eyes

         19        she said, Please take good care of my little girl.  She

         20        was so happy that she had given life to her child and that

         21        she was giving her child a happy life.

         22             The second example is my own situation.  The birth

         23        mother of my daughter Susan said, I love this child so

         24        much, the least that I can do for her is to give her a

         25        chance in life.


          1             I submit that adoption is joyful on both sides.  I

          2        don't know how much joy a young mother takes in knowing

          3        and living with that knowledge that she herself has killed

          4        that life, how much trauma she goes through.  But I know

          5        from personal experience, and I deal with a lot of

          6        adoptive families.  I must admit, I don't know about the

          7        families that have to live with abortion, necessarily,

          8        because they choose to live with that terror in silence

          9        for many years, but I do know -- and I would like you to

         10        believe that.

         11             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I do believe that.  And the

         12        beauty of that is that those women who had those children

         13        were able to have those children, were able to give those

         14        babies up for adoption, and at the beginning of their

         15        pregnancy they had a choice.  That's what's beautiful

         16        about that.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Connor,

         18        do you want to close?  Excuse me, Commissioner West wants

         19        to be recognized.

         20             COMMISSIONER WEST:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  You

         21        know, 7 months ago I was sworn in as a Commissioner and

         22        you got -- you know, especially this past week I have

         23        looked over bills, I am kind of a layman at this.  And I

         24        see a lot of expertise in so many different areas.  Areas

         25        that have to do with the state attorneys, areas that have


          1        to do with the judiciary, water management districts,

          2        things that I'm just, you know, I'm just an average,

          3        everyday guy.  And I'll tell you, what I had to do,

          4        Commissioner Anthony, is I had to go back and look at the

          5        bill and rely very heavily on, you know, what the staff

          6        said would be the effects of the changes.

          7             There is not a lot of this that I really have a lot

          8        of expert, you know, feelings about.  I'm going to tell

          9        you something about a dad.  See, I disagree in an area

         10        with some of the comments that were made because, to me,

         11        this is not an issue of abortion.  What this is is the

         12        issue of a parent's right, you know.  And the State

         13        Supreme Court has ruled that a minor child can have a

         14        medical procedure without parental consent.

         15             What if you had a minor son -- let's forget about

         16        abortion, let's talk about a minor son.  You have a son

         17        that's maybe 12 or 13-years old and he is sexually active.

         18        And his buddy at school says, Hey, go get a vasectomy, you

         19        get a vasectomy you don't have to worry about getting

         20        anybody pregnant.  In real life, I can picture that

         21        happening.  Does that young man get to go and get this

         22        vasectomy without parental consent?

         23             The United States Supreme Court has set out the

         24        guidelines.  It is not as if what we are trying to do is

         25        real radical or anything.  The U.S. Supreme Court has


          1        said, If these two provisions -- if I'm correct,

          2        Commissioner Connor -- if these two provisions are in --

          3        or these two things are provided for then it would pass

          4        constitutional muster.  And this is with the present day

          5        United States Supreme Court.

          6             I'm going to tell you something.  I don't know

          7        exactly how this body is going to vote, but I'll guarantee

          8        you how it will fare in the marketplace.  Because I'm

          9        telling you, for 15 years I have worked -- I have worked

         10        with children in children's ministries, outreach

         11        ministries, that cover a wide gamut of children.  These

         12        aren't just children from functional families, the

         13        majority are children from dysfunctional families.

         14             And I'll tell you what, the issue of parental

         15        consent, and that to me is what this issue is.  The issue

         16        is not abortion.  It affects abortion, it affects many

         17        other medical procedures, but basically what it involves

         18        is parental consent.

         19             If you vote today -- really, I'm really glad about

         20        the debate because you have made it very clear, there are

         21        two schools of thought here.  There is one school of

         22        thought that says that kids are the responsibility of the

         23        parent and there is another school of thought that says

         24        that they are the responsibility of the State.

         25             And I'll tell you what, I want to apologize to all of


          1        the parents that I have worked with over the past 15 years

          2        for being unable to be eloquent like many of you guys are,

          3        but I'll tell you what, today when you place your vote,

          4        you are placing it for parental consent.  You are not

          5        placing it for abortion, against abortion.  Basically what

          6        you are saying is that, you know, Paul West, and the rest

          7        of you, you have -- you are the ones that we are going to

          8        charge to be responsible for the upkeep of your kids and

          9        you have the right to discuss any medical procedure that

         10        has such severe consequences.

         11             Now I urge you, I urge you to vote on the side of the

         12        parents and not on the side of the State.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mathis.  I don't

         14        want to cut debate off, but if we could hold our remarks.

         15        And that was a very appropriate argument.  If we could

         16        hold our remarks to two, three, four minutes it would be

         17        helpful.  Commissioner Mathis.

         18             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  And, Mr. Chairman, I have only

         19        looked at if there was a new point to be made in the

         20        debate to make that.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I understand that.

         22             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  And the point that I want to

         23        make is who decides what's appropriate for a family and

         24        what's not?  Right now, we have a counselor in a school

         25        who can decide what's a perfect family and what's not and


          1        facilitate a young girl going to get an abortion,

          2        subverting parental responsibility and authority.  But let

          3        her have a complication from that procedure and it would

          4        be the parents' responsibility to handle that procedure,

          5        to take care of that young girl, physically, to provide

          6        her medical attention, physically.  It is the parents'

          7        responsibility then.

          8             And I'm saying government has intervened all too

          9        often.  I have a daughter, and I don't want a counselor

         10        deciding because my daughter is scared that I might punish

         11        her, that she somehow can take her off and do -- and

         12        facilitate getting her an abortion and bringing her back

         13        to me to deal with the trauma, to deal with the

         14        psychological effects, to deal with the long-term

         15        consequences of that issue.

         16             I am a parent and I think we ought to give the

         17        parents a foundation upon which to deal with individual

         18        issues.  Not just parents, it is not just parents that are

         19        affected when a young girl is pregnant, grandparents,

         20        aunts and uncles, are all affected.  And when you take

         21        that out, when you take out that information flow from the

         22        family to be able to deal with the true issues of the

         23        minor children, you are allowing government to intervene

         24        when government will not be able -- will not continue to

         25        deal with all of the issues, but you are allowing them to


          1        intervene and jump out.  And I'm saying a parent should be

          2        there whether the young girl is pregnant, whether she gets

          3        an abortion, whether she has complications for the medical

          4        issues.

          5             Let's let them and allow them to be there when

          6        decisions -- the decisions are made in the forefront.  And

          7        so I would vote, and I would urge you to vote in favor of

          8        this.  The other point I want to make again is we are not

          9        voting up or down on an absolute.  We are saying, this

         10        issue is important; let the people of Florida decide if

         11        parents should have constitutional authority to consent to

         12        medical treatment for their children.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Zack.  And you are

         14        next, Commissioner Rundle.

         15             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  If Commissioner Freidin will

         16        yield to a question.

         17             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  Of course.

         18             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  What is the experience in states

         19        that have this legislation when minors went to court?  Do

         20        you have any statistics as to tell us what the courts did

         21        in those cases?

         22             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I have information from

         23        Massachusetts and Minnesota, that in 12,000 court

         24        petitions, 21 were denied and 10 of the denials were

         25        overturned on appeal.


          1             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  In other words, only 21 times did

          2        it come to court?

          3             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  No, 12,000 petitions.

          4             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  12,000 and only 21 had been

          5        denied.

          6             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  That's the information I have.

          7             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  So 10 total?

          8             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  More or less.

          9             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  And of those 10 cases, what

         10        happened in those cases is that the child wanted an

         11        abortion and the parents said, You can't have an abortion,

         12        and the child was in fact forced to carry?

         13             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  No, I don't think so, because

         14        I don't know the details of those 10 cases.  But what I

         15        understand to be the case is the parents aren't involved

         16        in these judicial interventions.

         17             See, this doesn't -- that's the thing that's

         18        important about this is that the Supreme Court of the

         19        United States has held that if you are going to have one

         20        of these laws, you have got to allow a judicial bypass

         21        bypassing the parent.  That's why it is called judicial

         22        bypass.

         23             So what you are doing here is you are taking whatever

         24        percentage of girls don't want to talk to their parents

         25        and you are providing them a means where they don't have


          1        to talk to their parents.  And this really isn't about

          2        what I said earlier, it is not about fostering

          3        communication with families.

          4             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  I'm trying to understand what

          5        happened to those 10 cases.  In effect, the Court told a

          6        child that went to court without notifying the family

          7        that -- and the Court said, You cannot have an abortion,

          8        you have to carry this child.  And in those cases I don't

          9        know if there was any follow-up as to whether the child

         10        ultimately had conversations with the parents and decided

         11        what to do that was different than the court decision, or

         12        is there any information whatsoever regarding what

         13        actually happened in those cases?

         14             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I don't have any information.

         15             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  But if we pass this, a child

         16        would be required to carry, a minor would be required to

         17        give birth even if the minor, a 17-year old, chose that

         18        they did not want to?  If you have a parental consent law

         19        to abortion, that's what I'm trying to be very clear

         20        about -- and that would apply to everyone under 18?

         21             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  Yes.

         22             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  And you have a 17-year-old who

         23        gets pregnant and goes to -- and wants an abortion and the

         24        parents say, No, you can't have one, that 17-year-old has

         25        to have the child, if we pass this; is that correct?


          1             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  That is correct.

          2             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  That's what I'm trying to

          3        understand.  I hear no and I hear yes.  I would like to

          4        understand this before I vote on a very important

          5        question.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Zack has the floor

          7        and he yielded to Commissioner Freidin.  Do you want to

          8        speak, be recognized?  Commissioner Kogan.

          9             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Let me just answer your question

         10        as to what happened under the old Florida law that was

         11        declared unconstitutional.  It did not require the girl to

         12        go to the parent at all and said that if the girl was

         13        afraid to go to the parent and didn't want the parent to

         14        know about this, that she could go directly to the Court

         15        and then the Court could give the permission or deny the

         16        permission.  So the parents were not involved at all.

         17        That's the way the old law worked.

         18             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Are there states that have

         19        parental notification as opposed to parental consent?

         20             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  Yes.

         21             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  How many states have parental

         22        notification?

         23             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I don't know the answer to

         24        that, but it is a handful.

         25             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Mr. Chairman, I'd like to speak


          1        to this issue.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You have the floor.

          3             COMMISSIONER ZACK:  Frankly, I was not going to say

          4        anything.  I know that -- but when Mr. West made his

          5        comments, I really feel necessary to rise to state my

          6        position as it relates to this issue.

          7             I know a lot of people didn't sleep for various

          8        reasons last night but I will tell you that I didn't sleep

          9        myself very much because of this particular issue.  I

         10        personally find this to be the most difficult issue that I

         11        have had to deal with during the course of what have been

         12        many, many very difficult questions, important questions

         13        for our state.

         14             And I have two children, now adult children, but I

         15        know from my experience, and I think all parents

         16        understand that it is not easy to raise children.  And

         17        sometimes communication with children leaves a lot to be

         18        desired, no matter how hard a parent tries.  But I do

         19        believe parents have to earn parental rights everyday that

         20        they are a parent, whether they have minor children or

         21        adult children.

         22             I also strongly believe in the Ten Commandment's

         23        admonition to honor your parents, and I believe in

         24        parental rights.  And for that reason, my vote on this

         25        issue has been of great concern to me.


          1             I have listened and I have walked in today and I have

          2        had a number of people ask me what I was going to do.  And

          3        I said I didn't know.  And as I walked in here today I did

          4        not know.  The one thing that I have been incredibly

          5        impressed by during my service on this committee is the

          6        quality and genuineness of the debate.

          7             In many organizations, that we all have been part of,

          8        people basically prepare their cross examination and come

          9        into a room knowing and know precisely how they are going

         10        to vote.  But here I do believe that one person's opinion,

         11        one person's comments can actually change the course of

         12        this debate because I believe we come in here without an

         13        agenda, and trying to do what is best for the people of

         14        this state as we understand it.

         15             In light of that background, I do not agree,

         16        Commissioner West, with your statement that there are two

         17        kinds of people, those who vote for this believe the State

         18        should be responsible for children, rather than those who

         19        oppose it and those who vote for it believe that the

         20        parents are responsible.  I believe that the parents are

         21        always responsible for their children.

         22             And, as I said, I believe that the parental rights

         23        that we have and that we enjoy we have to earn, the State

         24        doesn't give that to us.  And I don't believe anything we

         25        do here today is going to give us the respect of our


          1        children.  What I do believe is we have to educate our

          2        children and communicate with our children and respect our

          3        children and come to a mutual decision that the State does

          4        not interfere with, and that this matter should not be in

          5        the Constitution of the State of Florida, it should be in

          6        our homes and should remain in our homes.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Rundle had asked to

          8        be recognized before you, Commissioner Langley.

          9             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  I have a question of

         10        Commissioner Freidin.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Rundle.

         12             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Commissioners, I want to

         13        address a population with you that I am concerned about

         14        and we haven't really discussed this morning, and that has

         15        to do with a group of young girls that are really somewhat

         16        disenfranchised from families, from communities, who don't

         17        feel empowered, who are abused in their homes.

         18             Now I am sure that I felt like all of you when you

         19        listened to those parents, and I'm a parent and surrounded

         20        by teenagers.  I think we are all very blessed and I think

         21        our children are very blessed.  And I would like to think

         22        that my children would come to me when they have to make

         23        very serious decisions like this one that we are talking

         24        about, and I do believe they would.

         25             But my concern deals with the population that I see


          1        as a state attorney.  So, trying for a moment not to

          2        relate to our own personal lives, putting aside what we

          3        are concerned about with our own children.  I know that's

          4        very hard to do because we immediately think about our own

          5        personal relationships.  I'd like for you to just think

          6        about the girls that we see that come in and out of our

          7        office who live nightmares; who have stepfathers, fathers,

          8        grandfathers, who rape and abuse them regularly.

          9        Sometimes this results in a pregnancy.

         10             These women, these girls, don't always go to the

         11        police, they stay there for a long time.  Not all, but

         12        many.  They don't feel they can go anywhere.  They are

         13        afraid to go to their mothers for a whole variety of

         14        reasons.  Sometimes they come into the system and we see

         15        them because a friend, an aunt, a teacher, someone has

         16        spotted it, reported it, and it does trigger a system, but

         17        it usually is not the girls coming in on their own.

         18             So what I ask you to think about is do you really in

         19        your heart of hearts think that these girls are going to

         20        go into the downtown courthouse on Flagler Street where

         21        there are thousands of people -- most people who are

         22        empowered can't get to the courthouse, don't feel they

         23        have access -- they are going to file something with the

         24        clerk's office and then go ask a judge for some kind of

         25        bypass?  They are not going to do it.  Not the girls that


          1        I see coming and going.  These girls need a support

          2        system, and this, my concern is, that you are going to

          3        drive these girls into illegal activities.

          4             They are either going to lie about their ages --

          5        those that have money are going to leave, they are going

          6        to go somewhere else where they don't need parental

          7        consent, where they don't need to go to mom, whose

          8        boyfriend or new husband -- and tell her what's happened

          9        to her and face the embarrassment, or maybe be kicked out

         10        of her house or may be beaten up by this guy.

         11             She is going to go find some other way to do it.  If

         12        they have money, they will leave the state like they did

         13        in the '70s.  What about the girls that don't have any

         14        money?  Where are they going to go?  They are going to go

         15        to the street, they are going to find somebody who is

         16        illegally going to perform this procedure.  They have no

         17        other option.  And that's the population I just want you

         18        to think about for a moment as you vote on this.

         19             Try to put aside your own daughters and I know a lot

         20        of you have daughters, but just think about this other

         21        population of young girls that maybe none of you ever see

         22        and how this will impact their lives and their children's

         23        lives.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Langley.

         25             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  If Commissioner Freidin would


          1        rise to answer a question.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Freidin.

          3             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  On your statistics from the

          4        State of Massachusetts I think you said there were 12,000

          5        appeals or requests for judicial intervention and only 12

          6        of those were turned down, and 10 of those 12 were

          7        overturned; is that not correct?

          8             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  That's not correct.  It is

          9        kind of correct.  It was Massachusetts and Minnesota, it

         10        was in the course of a very long period of time, I think

         11        it was over a decade.  And of the 12,000, 21 were denied

         12        and 10 were overturned, 10 of the denials were overturned

         13        on appeal.

         14             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  So there were only 11 out of

         15        12,000 where the child actually was not allowed to get the

         16        abortion with this procedure in place?

         17             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  Correct.

         18             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  So all these horribles that

         19        were paraded by Commissioner Rundle and yourself were only

         20        to that 11,000, and you have no statistics on how many

         21        families got together and how many abortions were dealt

         22        with within the family that never reached those

         23        statistics?

         24             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  That is not correct.  First of

         25        all, the cases that Commissioner Rundle was talking about


          1        are cases of young girls who are, as she said,

          2        disenfranchised, who do not feel empowered, who do not

          3        understand the system, who do not know how to work their

          4        way through the system and would not feel comfortable

          5        going to the courthouse.  Who would not feel -- they can't

          6        trust anybody in their lives because they have been

          7        brought up in abusive, untrustworthy homes.  They are

          8        often abandoned, and if they are not abandoned they are

          9        treated poorly.  They aren't going to go trust some judge.

         10        So that's not the group we are talking about here.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mathis, you have

         12        been recognized once.  Do you rise for a question?  Who is

         13        it addressed to?

         14             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  Would Commissioner Rundle yield

         15        for a question?

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Rundle.

         17             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  Does allowing these young girls

         18        to get an abortion without parents' knowledge address the

         19        issue of their abuse?

         20             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  I think that what happens, what

         21        you have to look at is the continuing victimization of

         22        this person.  It obviously doesn't obviate what's happened

         23        to her in terms of the abuse, but for many of these girls

         24        it would be further abuse, it would be aggravating and

         25        continuing and invigorating their victimization by


          1        requiring them to go back to the source of this abuse.

          2             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  The judicial bypass for those

          3        young girls who feel like, that she couldn't get parental

          4        consent or are abused, or are in these just horrendous

          5        situations, having them go before a judge and speak to a

          6        judge on that, wouldn't that get them help, not only for

          7        one medical procedure, but for the underlying cause, the

          8        underlying horrendous issues that they are dealing with?

          9             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  No doubt, and that's what you

         10        and I would hope and all of us would hope that.  We would

         11        hope that these girls would have available to them a whole

         12        host of support services, physical, emotional, financial,

         13        all of those services.  But the question is, how does she

         14        get to that point?  And how do we encourage her to do

         15        that?  We would encourage her to do that, but the reality

         16        is many will not.

         17             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  The other issue about the

         18        disenfranchised.  Disenfranchised young ladies who are

         19        poor and cannot afford abortion are still forced to deal

         20        with the pregnancy full term, correct?  There are no state

         21        funds that allow for those of lower economic means to get

         22        abortions?

         23             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  I'm not as familiar with that

         24        and what the availability is and what the costs are, but

         25        my sense of that would be that there are a number of


          1        clinics that would access these women and where they would

          2        feel comfortable going to on a private basis.

          3             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  My point here is that this

          4        pregnancy is not the full-blown issue with these young

          5        ladies that you spoke of.  There are more -- there are

          6        other issues that if their family is not dealing with,

          7        then a judicial bypass would allow the government to

          8        intervene even further.  But if the family is positioned

          9        to deal with this, with the information of having to get a

         10        consent, in fact that might encourage a healing and would

         11        provide support that a medical procedure does not take

         12        into issue.

         13             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  The problem with that thinking

         14        is that there is a big if in there.  And you know, I will

         15        share with you that in our office we have one unit that's

         16        called, we call it the sexual battery unit, which is the

         17        legal phrase for rape cases.  And that unit does nothing

         18        but rapes against young people.  Our adult, most of our

         19        adult rape cases, are handled by other divisions.  And I

         20        would dare to say that about 80 percent of those rape

         21        cases on young people are incest cases.

         22             And we see these girls all the time.  Most of them

         23        are girls.  And they will tell you, I didn't know where to

         24        go, I didn't want to go talk to anybody, and it is just by

         25        happenstance, by the blessings, that we got these girls.


          1        We don't even know the number of girls we don't get.  I do

          2        not believe they would go to a court on their own.

          3             (Commissioner Thompson assumes the chair.)

          4             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  For what purpose,

          5        Commissioner Mills?

          6             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Will Commissioner Rundle yield

          7        for a question?

          8             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  She yields.

          9             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  The question is, in your

         10        judgment you said you didn't believe the girls that you

         11        encountered would go to court?

         12             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  I do not believe that they

         13        will.

         14             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  And I guess that's what we said,

         15        there are 12,000 cases of courts making this decision

         16        rather than parents, at least -- but your, what is your

         17        judgment as to, if they don't have a legal option; do you

         18        really believe that that 90 percent of the people you are

         19        talking about will seek the illegal option since they

         20        can't afford it and they won't go to court?

         21             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  I really do because I can't see

         22        any other way out for them.  I mean, I really believe that

         23        they will not go to a circuit court in their own downtown.

         24        Many of these girls can barely survive day-to-day with

         25        what they are already handling.


          1             Secondly, where else can they go?  They are going to

          2        have to either go somewhere where it is legal and not

          3        required, and if they don't have the money to do that,

          4        what other options are there?  I mean, in my mind I come

          5        to this conclusion simply because I can't think of any

          6        other options for them.

          7             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Commissioner Evans, for what

          8        purpose?

          9             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Question for Commissioner

         10        Rundle.

         11             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Will you yield to a question

         12        from Commissioner Evans?  She yields.

         13             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Commissioner Rundle, what

         14        percentage of cases that you prosecute where you have

         15        incest on a minor child and there is absolutely no

         16        physical evidence of that incest, it's a matter of

         17        believing somebody's word over somebody else's words, what

         18        percentage of those cases do you win, do you get a

         19        conviction?

         20             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  I don't know, Commissioner

         21        Evans, I have never really looked at it that way.  I know

         22        that clearly there are a lot of cases where we do try to

         23        work within the family if it is workable.  Oftentimes it

         24        is not.

         25             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Would you believe that my


          1        husband has sat on the criminal bench and that the

          2        percentage of cases that have come before him when there

          3        is no physical evidence, that the percentage of conviction

          4        is zero percent?

          5             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  You are right, I would find

          6        zero hard to believe, but I would believe --

          7             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Would you believe that what I am

          8        saying is true in this case?

          9             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Oh, I absolutely -- there is no

         10        doubt in my mind that you believe that and that may be

         11        occurring in your jurisdiction, but it is true --

         12             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  But the point is --

         13             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Wait, you asked me a question,

         14        if I may.  It is true that the successful prosecution,

         15        whatever that really means, is lower in cases of that

         16        nature in almost all kinds of what we call one-on-one

         17        cases; they are extremely difficult.  And oftentimes what

         18        you are really seeking is some kind of sexual offender

         19        treatment program for the offending party, and if you can

         20        resolve the case in that way, I consider that a success.

         21        I don't know what your definition of success may be.

         22             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  We are talking about the

         23        defendant goes to trial and he is found not guilty by a

         24        jury verdict.

         25             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  And your point is, I'm sorry?


          1             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  The point is, wouldn't your case

          2        against child abusers be much more powerful if you had

          3        physical evidence, and would not a live baby provide a

          4        basis for physical evidence?  We are talking about trying

          5        to get rid of child abusers.

          6             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  First of all, you are assuming

          7        that we have them in the system.

          8             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  That we have child abusers in

          9        the system?

         10             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  No, we are assuming that we

         11        have been able to intervene in an abusive situation and we

         12        now have a case against the abuser.  One of the toughest

         13        decisions that prosecutors have to make is to put a child

         14        through greater victimization through the process.  And I

         15        will share with you when we interview lawyers for the job,

         16        we actually do a hypothetical, What if you knew you had a

         17        person who is abusing a child but everybody tells you if

         18        you use that child as a witness, you will further the

         19        victimization.

         20             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I'm not talking about --

         21             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  But I am.

         22             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  -- talking about DNA testing.

         23             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  But I think that -- your

         24        thought process, to force her -- to produce a child for

         25        evidence in a criminal trial is abusive of itself.  It is


          1        further victimization.  And so everyday we confront that

          2        issue about minimizing her victimization.  And so I think

          3        my answer to you would be I think that would be furthering

          4        it.

          5             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Okay.  So we are talking about a

          6        situation where the child, the minor child, has -- who is

          7        pregnant or who has been pregnant and has delivered a live

          8        baby, we are talking about a minor child who has chosen to

          9        come forward, who has decided to go to a trial, we are

         10        talking about a trial situation, we are not talking about

         11        any kind of putting a baby on a witness stand, I'm just

         12        talking about DNA testing that we do to determine

         13        paternity.  And you view paternity testing as being

         14        traumatically abusive of the child?

         15             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  When it exists we do use it.

         16        In fact, we have cases pending now.  One was recently in

         17        the news, and of course we are going to utilize whatever

         18        evidence is available to us, but again, our goal is to

         19        continuously reduce the victimization of this victim.

         20             Now you also say she has come forward.  It isn't

         21        always that way, you know, it isn't that she necessarily

         22        came -- went to the police and triggered the process.

         23        Oftentimes it happens incidental and she becomes almost a

         24        forced witness, if you like, in a case.

         25             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  The basic question then is, in


          1        trial, would you prefer to have DNA evidence or not?

          2             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  I can have DNA evidence

          3        without --

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I am going to rule this

          5        discussion is out of order.  We are not talking about DNA

          6        evidence.  Are you rising to a question, Commissioner

          7        Smith, to Commissioner Rundle who still has the floor?

          8             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  I'm rising to speak when you

          9        recognize me.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized, she is

         11        through.

         12             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chair.  I had not

         13        intended to speak on this issue, I'm going to watch the

         14        clock to make sure I stay under two minutes.  The first

         15        issue I want to bring to the attention of the body, which

         16        you probably know, but it needs to be in the record, is

         17        that one of the greatest problems that we have in the

         18        African-American community are little black babies who are

         19        waiting to be adopted.  I served as president of the

         20        National Bar Association and one of my number one

         21        initiatives was to coordinate with the associations of

         22        social workers to organize an adoption program, and I'm

         23        proud to tell you that over a three-year period we were

         24        able to secure about 40 -- I'm sorry, 14,000 new parents

         25        for adoption.


          1             So I don't know what's happening in other parts of

          2        America and other parts of Florida, but I can tell you in

          3        terms of just handing over a little black baby to be

          4        adopted, that's not happening.  There are not people

          5        standing in the delivery room, fortunately like your

          6        situations, saying, give me your little baby because I

          7        want to give it a home.  There is a tremendous backlog,

          8        number one.

          9             Number two, the number one fundamental principle of

         10        natural law is that natural persons have control of their

         11        natural bodies, and so natural law does not support this

         12        proposal.

         13             Thirdly, this is not a debate over good and evil and

         14        neither side should take the position that this is so

         15        clear cut that anybody who disagrees with my position has

         16        got to be off the wall.  This is one of the toughest

         17        decisions that we have to make.

         18             I represent the people that Kathy Rundle's office

         19        sees, the least, the last, the left out, the looked over,

         20        the down and out, people who are getting beat and raped

         21        and just the most unspeakable kinds of things we can think

         22        of.  And if anybody really believes that these people even

         23        know about, would even know about bypass or will subject

         24        themselves to that kind of scrutiny, honestly, you are not

         25        living in the real world.


          1             The position that the proponents are trying to

          2        advance is a position that we all should understand and

          3        believe in.  The problem is that, one, I don't want the

          4        courts involved in this decision.  And number two,

          5        Commissioner Langley, I was so happy you asked the

          6        question of Commissioner Freidin, and your question was

          7        21,000 times, young kids went and asked for abortions and

          8        only 12 of them they said no.  I don't want 21,000 judges

          9        making these decisions, I want what you want, I want the

         10        families to do it.  And the reason why I can't support

         11        this is because I don't want to change the decision over

         12        to some change like Judge Locket.  That's why I vote no.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Do you rise for a question?

         14             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Yes, Mr. Chair.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Smith, do you yield?

         16             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Of course.

         17             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Smith, I ask you this

         18        question as an adoptive parent myself and member of the

         19        governor's partnership for abortion and one who does pro

         20        bono adoptions and has encouraged adoption as a loving

         21        alternative to abortion.  You talk about the numerous

         22        black children in this state who are waiting for adoption

         23        and who at least have a chance for the future because of

         24        the hope of life.

         25             Do you intend to advocate that they would have been


          1        better off to be extinguished in the mother's womb and

          2        never given this chance?

          3             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Absolutely not.  First of all,

          4        let me commend you as an adoptive parent.  I have two

          5        daughters.  My point was, I just wanted to make sure the

          6        record was clear that although we have wonderful

          7        situations like Commissioner Evans expressed with a

          8        loving, adoptive parent in the room taking the child as

          9        soon as the child is born to provide that kind of loving

         10        environment, and we have the Connors family out there

         11        taking on these children, I want the record to reflect

         12        that there are hundreds, not tens, hundreds of thousands

         13        of little children who are not being adopted, yes, and we

         14        should step forward.

         15             All I am saying is, this proposal is not going to

         16        help those little children get adopted.  I am looking for

         17        solutions, and I see a solution -- a situation where

         18        parents, with parental consent we are going to have

         19        parents in situations where they are preventing, even as

         20        Commissioner Mills says, children from getting adopted

         21        because if a child needs a medical procedure and the

         22        parent doesn't want them to have a child because it is

         23        embarrassing to the parents' status in life, the parents

         24        say, I am not going to approve of that medical procedure

         25        now, you have to have the abortion.


          1             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Brief follow-up question,

          2        Mr. Chairman.  You would agree then, would you not,

          3        Commissioner Smith, that death ought not to be an

          4        acceptable social solution to a compelling social problem?

          5             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Absolutely.

          6             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you.

          7             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  And if this proposal prevented

          8        that I would be the first to support it.  What I am

          9        concerned about is reintroducing the coat hanger to the

         10        death process.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Morsani.

         12             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I am ready to vote.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Oh, you are ready to vote.  Is

         14        everybody ready to vote?  Commissioner Connor to close.

         15             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you.  Mr. Zack, as

         16        sympathetic as I am to the difficulty you had sleeping

         17        last night, I take heart by the fact that you were

         18        grappling with this issue.

         19             Ladies and gentlemen, I know that this is a difficult

         20        issue and I take heart that each of you are, in your heart

         21        of hearts and in your consciences wrestling with this

         22        issue.  I thank the Lord for it.

         23             And I can tell you that for a long time in our

         24        Legislature, legislators did not have to grapple with

         25        these issues.  You know why Mr. Mills indicated that he


          1        had to rule on a point of order about whether or not that

          2        parental consent bill was germane to a clinic regulations

          3        bill?  Because for years this kind of discussion and

          4        debate was stifled by the committee process of the

          5        Legislature, where these kinds of proposals were killed

          6        year after year after year.

          7             And so I commend this body on its wisdom in a

          8        committee process that doesn't permit us to kill these

          9        kinds of proposals.  These are gut-wrenching issues.  And

         10        I am not comfortable in having necessarily to be the

         11        person who puts it forward.  But shouldn't we struggle

         12        with these issues?  Shouldn't we struggle with who makes

         13        the choices in the case of a minor child?

         14             Ladies and gentlemen, I would submit to you that

         15        children do not make decisions in the same way that adults

         16        do.  There is a great body of sociological evidence that

         17        affirms that.  Children are much more short term in their

         18        thinking.  They tend to ratchet matters up to crisis

         19        proportions much more readily than adults would do.  They

         20        tend to have unreasonable fears about the consequences of

         21        what may happen in their lives.  They tend to fail to take

         22        into account long-term consequences that may flow out of

         23        their decisions.  They are much more amenable to a

         24        short-term solution to cure an immediate problem without

         25        taking into account the long-term effect.


          1             Our Governor and our state Legislature have

          2        recognized the incapacity of minors to make decisions for

          3        themselves as it bears on their condition of health by

          4        outlawing the -- by criminalizing the sell of tobacco

          5        products to minor children.  Now I ask you, which do you

          6        think poses a greater risk to a minor child, smoking one

          7        cigarette or undergoing one abortion?

          8             And I don't recall about the hue and cry, about the

          9        Legislature being paternalistic in making this decision

         10        for underage minor girls and boys.  I haven't, I didn't

         11        hear Ms. Freidin or the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers

         12        or anybody else say, Oh, my goodness, you are encroaching

         13        on a private decision to be made by a child.  No, we have

         14        made Joe Camel into the biggest bugaboo in the state.

         15             Now ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that we

         16        need some kind of sense of proportionality.  We have all

         17        heard the adage and we know as lawyers that hard cases

         18        make bad law.  Over and over in this body and in the

         19        Legislature we hear about the hard cases, the difficult

         20        cases.  I would submit, in response to Ms. Rundle's

         21        observations, that a pattern of abuse, abortion, abuse,

         22        abortion, abuse, abortion is not a cycle that we want to

         23        perpetuate in the dysfunctional family where some

         24        God-Awful father is abusing his child.

         25             And indeed I would submit that at least the


          1        opportunity to break that cycle, Commissioner Rundle,

          2        arises when that child presents herself before a judge.

          3        Certainly she has found her way to Flagler Street or

          4        somewhere, wherever your office is, we know that she is in

          5        the system, that's why you are dealing with her.  At least

          6        when and if that child comes before a judge, he may well

          7        determine that it is in that child's best interest to be

          8        permitted to make that abortion.  There can be a follow-up

          9        of a responsible person in authority to break that

         10        pattern.

         11             I don't like to deal with polls.  And I don't like to

         12        deal with statistics.  I don't think we ought to base our

         13        decision based on polling data and necessarily the

         14        majoritarian view.  There are some issues that we put

         15        beyond the ken of public debate.  In days gone by there

         16        would have been a period of time where Commissioner Smith

         17        and Commissioner Mathis would not be on the floor of this

         18        body, they would be in the balcony maybe, probably in a

         19        segregated section, because this was the majoritarian

         20        view.  We should not act on the basis of just what the

         21        majority wants.

         22             There are some matters that ought to be beyond debate

         23        and that we ought to decide on the basis of right and

         24        wrong.  But without a doubt, as H.T. Smith has indicated,

         25        reasonable people can disagree and reasonable people do


          1        disagree on controversial issues.

          2             And we have a disagreement and what we are trying to

          3        fashion though here is a Constitution, and we are trying

          4        to do the right thing.  And what I would submit to you is

          5        that within our democratic processes, that the affect of

          6        the TW decision has been to take this issue off the table

          7        from the democratic process.

          8             And so part of the reason this issue continues to

          9        boil and we have such a fulmination of emotion and

         10        frustration is because people are not able to come

         11        together in the process and work out a balanced solution.

         12             I don't know if Commissioner Freidin or Commissioner

         13        Mills is aware or recalls, but the Florida Legislature

         14        didn't require the consent of both parents in the statute

         15        that was stricken, the Florida Statute required the

         16        consent of a parent or a legal guardian.

         17             And those are the kinds of issues that -- what if,

         18        should both parents be required to consent or only one?

         19        Well, you wrestle and grapple with those issues in the

         20        democratic process if you have the opportunity, but

         21        because of the Court's ruling in TW, you don't have the

         22        opportunity, the Legislature does not have the

         23        opportunity.

         24             And what I am saying, ladies and gentlemen, very

         25        simply is, let's give the democratic process an


          1        opportunity to work.  Let's give constitutional footing to

          2        the Legislature so it can evaluate what kind of foundation

          3        it wants to build, how it wants Florida's family to order

          4        their lives.  Do we want the big, fat nose of the Florida

          5        Supreme Court interposed between parent and child and have

          6        the Court say to the child, Go and do as you choose, you

          7        be quiet, you don't have the right to know, you can't

          8        participate?  Oh, but by the way, honey, if you get in

          9        trouble and there is a problem, Mr. Husband, Mr. Wife, Mom

         10        and Dad, you are going to be responsible for it, you know.

         11        My advice to them, send the bill to the Florida Supreme

         12        Court.

         13             Please, please, please let's restore the democratic

         14        process.  This proposal does not require parental consent.

         15        This proposal simply gives the opportunity for the people

         16        of Florida, through their representative elected

         17        officials, to take this debate and carry it forward and

         18        address the issue in the venue where it ought to be

         19        addressed.  I encourage you to provide that opportunity.

         20        Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Further debate?  If

         22        not, unlock the machine and we will vote.

         23             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Announce

         25        the vote.


          1             READING CLERK:  Twelve yeas and 18 nays,

          2        Mr. Chairman.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It fails.

          4             Okay.  I have a couple of announcements before I

          5        proceed with the next item.  I've been informed that we

          6        have been in touch, in the president's office, with

          7        Commissioner Sundberg.  And his family faces a very grave

          8        situation that does not appear hopeful.  He is going to

          9        try to be here tomorrow for a while and then he has to go

         10        to Orlando I think to make some arrangements there.  And I

         11        just want all of you to know that we all, and I'm sure we

         12        all join in this, pray for his and his family's well-being

         13        during this period of a very difficult time.

         14             Also, a more pleasant and yet sad thing to tell you

         15        is that Commissioner Sullivan, because of his duties, has

         16        resigned from the Commission and is unable to continue to

         17        serve.  And when Commissioner Jennings arrives this

         18        morning, I'm going to appoint a committee, and you can be

         19        prepared.  I haven't told you that you are on the

         20        committee yet, all of you, to escort our new Commissioner

         21        who has been with us all of the time anyway, she just

         22        couldn't vote.  But Commissioner Marshall, Commissioner

         23        Ford-Coates and Commissioner Evans-Jones, when

         24        Commissioner Jennings does arrive and can introduce our

         25        new Commissioner, you can introduce her as well.


          1             And our own Commissioner Kogan who is an expert at

          2        issuing and giving an oath will administer the oath.  And

          3        you will be able to vote after that, Commissioner.

          4             All right, we need to move on.  Commissioner Langley,

          5        for what purpose do you rise?

          6             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Welfare of the House.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Good, we need some welfare.

          8             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Commissioner Connor talked

          9        about sending a bill to the Supreme Court.  I would like

         10        to know where to send my fax paper bill to Ms. Rundle for

         11        Article 167 faxes.  I came in Monday morning and I was

         12        literally out of fax paper and it's like this (indicating)

         13        and I just want to know who to send the bill to for those.

         14             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  I suggest that you send the bill

         15        to the NRA.

         16             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  They didn't generate the

         17        problem.

         18             (Laughter.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, that's debatable and we are

         20        not going to get into that one yet.  I think you will get

         21        your opportunity to explain your membership to the NRA,

         22        Commissioner Langley, so we'll get there sooner or later.

         23             All right.  The next item on special order is

         24        Proposal 23 by Commissioner Rundle.  If I'm right, it is

         25        in the yellow book.  Would you read it, please?


          1             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, I think

          2        I can save time.  I believe this proposal was withdrawn on

          3        an earlier date.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It was not noted.  If you want to

          5        withdraw it.

          6             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  I do.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.

          8             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  Thank you.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Without objection,

         10        Proposal 23 is withdrawn.  The next one is Proposal 50 by

         11        Commissioner Anthony.  I thought you withdrew that, too.

         12             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Yes, I did.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Isn't that correct?  It's been

         14        withdrawn.  It doesn't reflect that, but if not, without

         15        objection, it is withdrawn.  We'll just withdraw it again.

         16             The next provision, and the Chairman is not here, but

         17        it's committee substitute for Proposal 69 by the committee

         18        on executive and commission --

         19             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, in the absence

         20        of the Chairman, I think it would be appropriate that this

         21        be temporarily passed until we reach the Cabinet matter

         22        which is in the process of being prepared to arrive here.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, it'll be

         24        temporary passed.  The next proposal is 72 by Commissioner

         25        Mills, disproved by the committee on general provisions.


          1        Commissioner Barkdull.

          2             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I would recommend the same

          3        thing as to this until we get constitutional initiative

          4        before us, which will also be heard by committee this

          5        afternoon and we anticipate will be available tomorrow.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By unanimous consent, Proposal 72

          7        is temporarily passed.  Then we get to Proposal 118 by

          8        Commissioner Corr, which was approved by the committee on

          9        education.  Commissioner Corr is here.  Would you read the

         10        title, please?  Read the bill.

         11             READING CLERK:  Proposal 118, proposal to revise

         12        Article X, s.15, Florida Constitution; providing that

         13        lotteries may be operated by the State for the sole

         14        purpose of raising proceeds to enhance funding for public

         15        education programs; providing that proceeds be

         16        appropriated directly to school advisory councils for the

         17        sole purpose of enhancing school programs.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Corr, you are

         19        recognized to present the proposal.

         20             COMMISSIONER CORR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Not to

         21        break our pattern. I have been requested by some of the

         22        other commissioners and some of the members of the

         23        committee of education to temporarily pass this.  There

         24        are some other proposals on the Lottery and we are trying

         25        to sort of combine forcing and see if we can get one


          1        substitute.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'm going to ask, for the future,

          3        that the rules committee try to group these if you can.  I

          4        realize it is a difficult job, but it might be helpful

          5        rather than having to go through them and TP them.

          6        Commissioner Riley.

          7             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Just to reiterate what

          8        Commissioner Corr was saying, there are four proposals on

          9        Lottery funds, and the intent of the committee is to pull

         10        them all together and come to an agreement on all four of

         11        them and bring forward one as a committee substitute.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is that meeting this afternoon?

         13        Yes, it is.

         14             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Yes, it is.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So, you will have those ready,

         16        you believe then, for tomorrow?

         17             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Hopefully.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proposal 161 by Commissioner

         19        Brochin, was disapproved by the committee on the

         20        legislative article.  Would you read it, please?

         21             READING CLERK:  Proposal 161, proposal to revise

         22        Article III, s.4, Florida Constitution, deleting the

         23        authority of each house of the Legislature to be the sole

         24        judge for the interpretation, implementation, and

         25        enforcement of section 4 of Article III of the


          1        Constitution.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Brochin, you are

          3        recognized to present the proposal.

          4             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  This was a public proposal

          5        from one of our hearings.  Essentially it's got two

          6        aspects to it dealing with Article III of the Legislature.

          7        The Florida Constitution and statute requires government

          8        in the Sunshine, and that, in the executive branch has

          9        been a fairly uniform application.

         10             What this proposal does is twofold.  One, it strikes

         11        the last sentence from Subsection E, which delegates to

         12        that legislature itself the ability to be the sole judge

         13        as to whether or not there's been a violation and places

         14        the Legislature on equal footing with the other two

         15        branches of government, in terms of interpretation,

         16        violations of government in the Sunshine.

         17             The second facet of the proposal is that it strikes

         18        words that deal with prearranged gatherings and would make

         19        those subject to meetings in the Sunshine to any

         20        gatherings.  I would note though, it's gatherings that

         21        deal with action to be taken by the Legislature at a

         22        subsequent time.

         23             So if the legislators meet and discuss anything other

         24        than the action of the Legislature, it would not come

         25        under the ambit of this particular constitutional


          1        provision.  It also strikes the words, Formal from

          2        legislative action.  That is, if there's going to be

          3        meetings to discuss legislative action, the fact that

          4        it's, quote, formal or not would no longer enter into the

          5        equation.  So, that's essentially what this proposal does

          6        in striking those particular terms.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does anyone want to

          8        speak on this proposal?  Commissioner Thompson.

          9             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, as chairman of the

         10        legislative committee, maybe I should say a little bit

         11        about our concern about that, this, and that is that it

         12        just seemed to violate the separation of powers.  And, you

         13        know, rules of the Legislature are just that, they are

         14        just rules within and they have got to be interpreted, I

         15        think, by the people that make them.

         16             We used to have a saying in the Legislature when I

         17        was there that democracy got us here.  But once you get

         18        there, you have got to have some kind of organization, set

         19        of rules or administration or nothing would ever happen.

         20        Now you say, Well, this situation that we are in here with

         21        the Constitution Revision Commission seems to be working

         22        very well and, you know, we are pretty well interpreting,

         23        making and interpreting our own rules, so I think the

         24        Legislature works pretty well that way too without a lot

         25        of outside influences.  But they have a job to do that we


          1        don't.

          2             In other words, if we don't do anything in this

          3        20-year cycle, really there's no harm done.  I guess

          4        that's debatable to some extent, but we don't have to pass

          5        a budget, we don't have school systems and others

          6        depending on that kind of thing.  So, the Legislature has

          7        to, I think, have the responsibility for making its own

          8        rules and for carrying them out and enforcing them.

          9             And I think that they should be allowed to continue

         10        to do that based on our -- all of our concepts of the

         11        separation of the branches of government.  The other

         12        aspect of this about the meetings, I don't remember too

         13        much about the debate about that.  Some of those of you

         14        that are current in the Legislature know more about that.

         15        That wasn't a rule or a constitutional provision when I

         16        was there.  I always had the attitude that anybody could

         17        sit in on any of my meetings if they could catch me.

         18             But I think that this Constitution Revision

         19        Commission requires that these folks, if they have

         20        prearranged gatherings where they are going to talk about

         21        what's going on, would certainly be submitted to public

         22        scrutiny.  You have got to remember, there are 160 members

         23        of the Legislature, so they are liable to be together

         24        like -- we may have a couple here today later on.  So they

         25        do bump into one another in ways that are not necessarily


          1        formal or prearranged, so for those reasons I think the

          2        committee reported this measure unfavorably.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Hawkes.

          4             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

          5        guess this is one of those proposals that in part sounds

          6        good and then in reality operates with much more

          7        difficulties.  And what I want to talk about is when two

          8        or more legislators get together to talk about

          9        legislation.  Maybe I feel a proposal to make it so that

         10        local governments can regulate handguns.  I think that is

         11        a really good idea and I want to share my views with

         12        perhaps a legislator from the next county over and he's

         13        going to give me a ride up to Tallahassee and I just try

         14        to explain the bill to him and I ask him if he will

         15        cosponsor that bill so that I have more support and I am

         16        building a bigger coalition to move it forward.

         17             Well, if this is going to become the meeting's

         18        requirement, of course, we would have to tell the press

         19        ahead of time that we were going to do this, we were going

         20        to discuss it, and obviously it becomes very impractical

         21        for the legislative process to work.  Also I might go to a

         22        legislator on the floor and say, You know, four bills from

         23        now my bill is coming up and I know I heard you say

         24        something before that might give you a concern about my

         25        bill, and I wanted to explain why what you said doesn't


          1        apply to my bill.

          2             And so I just think that this is really impractical

          3        when it comes to the Legislature because of what

          4        Commissioner Thompson mentions, the sheer size of the

          5        Legislature.  So I would ask you to, with all of that

          6        said, I would ask you to vote against the proposal.  Thank

          7        you.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Anthony.

          9             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Commissioner Hawkes to yield

         10        for a question.  Do you think that -- do you agree that

         11        this type of requirement is good for local government?

         12             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Truthfully, I don't.  I think

         13        that it has caused a lot of problems with local

         14        government, but it is a little more workable because you

         15        are dealing with five or seven members, but it's had an

         16        awful lot of problems even in that size context.  And the

         17        ill that was trying to be addressed, obviously it was

         18        addressed in requiring local governments to do that.  And

         19        if there was a less restrictive way to avoid that ill I

         20        would certainly support that.

         21             But I think that your mentioning it in local

         22        government certainly pointed out the problems.  And if you

         23        magnify that to, you know, to 160 members, two different

         24        bodies, legislative comings and goings, amendments, it

         25        just -- you know, if you have a delegation hearing and all


          1        of a sudden you are with these three members and then you

          2        have another delegation meeting a few days later in

          3        another county and you are with different legislative

          4        members, it just -- I don't believe it would work.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott.  Commissioner

          6        Rundle, you are next.  Commissioner Barkdull, you are

          7        behind Commissioner Rundle.  Commissioner Scott.

          8             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, the

          9        two issues here, the first one, the issues of the

         10        Sunshine, a number of years ago, I think Bob Crawford was

         11        president of the Senate and I was his rules chairman, we

         12        pushed through, and some of my fellow Senators will

         13        remember a lot of debate about this.  Senator Langley was

         14        here.  The idea of having legislative gatherings and

         15        whatever, if they are prearranged, that they be in the

         16        Sunshine.  And we passed a rule to do that in the Senate.

         17             Subsequently, a year or two later, it was put on the

         18        ballot, I think, when Senator Margolis was president of

         19        the Senate to require that.

         20             What happens up here is, you are walking to wherever

         21        and you run into -- a House member says, Please -- or

         22        another Senator says, Will you support so and so, or let

         23        me tell you about my bill coming from the committee this

         24        afternoon.  And it might be in the cafeteria, or it might

         25        be in some restaurant, or it might be in Clyde's, or it


          1        might be wherever.  To say that they couldn't discuss that

          2        would just put a total monkey wrench in everything; we

          3        just don't have enough time up here.

          4             Now, if they come in the times when I was president

          5        of the Senate, I don't think the press corps will

          6        necessarily -- you don't hear them clamoring because they

          7        are happy with what we are doing up here because now what

          8        we do, when we are discussing the budget, we give them

          9        notice.

         10             When the subcommittee chairman of education in the

         11        Senate is talking to the subcommittee chairman in the

         12        House, they get noticed.  If they walk in in the Senate

         13        side, at least, and I believe it is this way in the House,

         14        they are free to walk in and free to walk up.  It's like

         15        Representative Thompson, the former Speaker Thompson said,

         16        If they could catch them, they could listen.  And so I

         17        think everything is going pretty well on that, and I would

         18        hope that you wouldn't -- would eliminate the word

         19        prearranged, because that would mean that we couldn't talk

         20        about anything where the press was not present.

         21             Now, as far as the other, this is very important.

         22        Unlike local government, and I have a lot of sympathy for

         23        this problem that one member of a council or a commission

         24        can't talk to another one or so forth, and what they do is

         25        they talk to the staff and the staff talks.  It is a


          1        little bit, perhaps, ridiculous at times.

          2             But the Legislature is the sole control.  And there

          3        are three branches of government of the purse strings of

          4        this state and you need to leave the Legislature to judge

          5        its own qualifications.  We sat the budget on the

          6        judiciary.  So, we are going to let the judiciary, you

          7        know, judge our qualifications.  I mean, that's just one

          8        example.  And while I would have no hesitancy about the

          9        current members over there, I don't think my colleagues

         10        would appreciate that, you know, if they asked for

         11        100 percent in their budget and we said no, that they are

         12        the ones that would be judging whether we could hold

         13        office or whether we have done something that would

         14        require our removal.

         15             So, I think the ideas are good that Commissioner

         16        Brochin has raised, the principles of them, but I would

         17        urge you not to adopt them because I think it would be a

         18        detriment to the independence of the Legislature and to

         19        the operations.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott, would you

         21        believe that we don't have the Capitol Press Corps

         22        covering us very much?  Associated Press covered us

         23        exclusively this morning, and that's good.  And the Miami

         24        Herald just walked in because the publisher is coming

         25        today to appear before the education committee.


          1        Unfortunately or fortunately, our Sunshine is somewhat

          2        limited by what people will use from Associated Press.

          3        So, you know, it doesn't really -- the same doesn't apply

          4        to us, there's no commercial television coverage and this

          5        sort of thing, so it's not quite like the Legislature that

          6        we are serving in.  Commissioner Rundle.

          7             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  I really wanted to ask

          8        Commissioner Brochin a question with respect to, to whom

          9        does this law apply as it presently exists?  And is part

         10        of your goal to achieve some kind of equity for all

         11        legislative bodies around the state?

         12             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Actually, I think that is the

         13        source of the idea in the sense that government in the

         14        Sunshine, as Commissioner Anthony I think has alluded to,

         15        applies to everybody else but the Legislature.  And there

         16        are legislative bodies on a local level, on a county

         17        level, who all have to comply with the government and the

         18        Sunshine.  So the only, to my knowledge, branch that has

         19        that exception, I believe, is the legislative branch.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Doesn't the judicial branch have

         21        it?

         22             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  To some extent, yes.

         23             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  Just an observation, because

         24        again, violating the Sunshine Law results in criminal

         25        charges or civil action, and oftentimes our office is


          1        called upon to investigate those.  In the experience, at

          2        least that I've had with it, at distance, down in Dade

          3        County, it applies to a lot more, for those of you that

          4        don't know, it applies to a lot more than legislative

          5        bodies, it also applies to boards that are a part of

          6        legislative bodies.

          7             And so I've heard, I guess, the argument that size

          8        was the reason that the Legislature legislated this and

          9        mandated it for everyone else but themselves was based on

         10        size.  In Dade County, we have boards, a criminal justice

         11        coordinating council, we have juvenile assessment center

         12        boards, we have a children's services council, domestic

         13        violence oversight boards, all kinds of boards.  And I

         14        happen to sit on a majority of those boards, made up of

         15        40, 50, 60 people who are also governed by this particular

         16        law.

         17             So, I'm glad that you answered that question for me.

         18        And it is interesting to note that this is a law the

         19        Legislature passed for everybody else but itself.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Further debate,

         21        Commissioner Barkdull.

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, members of the

         23        Commission, I think it is a very dangerous proposal in two

         24        instances.  First, what you were to do if you were to

         25        adopt the first part of it where it talks about


          1        prearrangement, what you are going to do then is to drive

          2        the communication into the control of people who are not

          3        in the Legislature that can communicate with a legislator,

          4        be it Commissioner Thompson if he's serving, and then

          5        convey whatever that conversation is or whatever that

          6        commitment may be on a particular bill to Senator Scott,

          7        but they can't talk to each other.  The lobbyists are

          8        going to love it.  And in the interpretation of the rules,

          9        what you are going to do is to take one branch of

         10        government and make it subservient to the judiciary,

         11        because that's where it would turn.  And I think both of

         12        these are very bad proposals.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Evans-Jones.

         14             COMMISSIONER EVANS-JONES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         15        Commissioner Rundle I think made an excellent point, that

         16        the Legislature in its wisdom made all of these laws for

         17        everybody but themselves.  And in a way I kind of feel

         18        like, Well, it would serve them right if we passed this,

         19        but in reality it is not a good thing for us to do, I

         20        think it is an impractical thing for us at this point in

         21        time.  But I would hope that maybe the Legislature would

         22        think about the problems with local government, that it

         23        really is a problem and that you might need to readdress

         24        some of these issues that create problems on the boards

         25        that Commissioner Rundle and many of us serve on.


          1             It is a pain in the neck, I want you to know.  And I

          2        would hope that maybe some of the members in here who are

          3        in the Legislature and who have influence would really

          4        consider relooking at some of these things and talking to

          5        the people on these boards at local government.  So I will

          6        vote no and hope that the Legislature will address these

          7        problems.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Smith.

          9             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  I rise for a question of

         10        Commissioner Anthony.  Commissioner Anthony, would it be

         11        of benefit to local government if we prepared an amendment

         12        to add local government to this, and then vote it down and

         13        have an expression or desire that this should be equally

         14        applied to local government as well as to the Legislature

         15        that made the law and exempted itself?

         16             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  That is a difficult question

         17        because I think open government is good government and I

         18        think that government in the Sunshine laws were developed

         19        because there were private, quote, unquote, meetings in

         20        places that were not noticed for the normal citizen to be

         21        able to go to; and therefore, I think there needs to be a

         22        Sunshine law and there needs to be open government.

         23             I don't support this proposal, because I'm living

         24        this proposal.  This proposal would make it very difficult

         25        to carry out public policy effectively and efficiently.


          1        Would I change what local government has in place?  I'm

          2        sitting here or standing here saying, I don't know the

          3        answer to that question right now.  And I don't know which

          4        way I would vote on that.  Because I do think that we

          5        should have an open process as much as possible.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any further debate?  Would you

          7        like a close, Commissioner Brochin?

          8             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  I would.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proceed.

         10             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Florida distinguishes itself

         11        because of its government in the Sunshine.  And yes,

         12        Commissioner Hawkes, it does sound good, and yes, it is

         13        very difficult and unpractical at times to have our

         14        government in the Sunshine.  A lot of us have been

         15        subjected to it.  But because it's difficult, it doesn't

         16        make it a bad idea.  Because it has certain

         17        impracticalities to it, like you have to eat lunch with

         18        the press watching you, doesn't make it a bad idea.  What

         19        makes it a good idea is that -- it's not that you can't

         20        talk to each other, sure you can.  And it's not that you

         21        can't discuss legislative action with each other, sure you

         22        can.

         23             The idea is that you have to do it where the public

         24        can watch you, and listen to you, and judge you on those

         25        discussions so when you vote and do the people's work,


          1        they know how it came to be.

          2             That is the purpose of this proposal.  That is the

          3        purpose of government in the Sunshine.  And I do agree

          4        that it has significant impracticalities on all of us, and

          5        on all levels it ought to be addressed into a practical

          6        way to do it so that we do operate government in the

          7        Sunshine.

          8             But to have a policy that suggests that it's good for

          9        everyone but the people who make our laws is an inherent

         10        inconsistency that needs to be fixed.  And that's what

         11        this proposal will do, and that's why I brought it

         12        forward.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  No further discussion or debate,

         14        we'll unlock the machine and vote.  (Pause.)  Well,

         15        everybody hasn't voted.  We are still a few short.

         16             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Lock the machine and announce the

         18        vote.

         19             READING CLERK:  Eight yeas and 16 nays, Mr. Chairman.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right, so it fails.  We'll

         21        now move to Proposal No. 169 by Commissioner Hawkes that

         22        was referred to the Committee on Judicial Article and was

         23        withdrawn January 12th to come to the floor.  Commissioner

         24        Hawkes.  Wait a minute, read it please.  This is long so

         25        you might as well pay attention to this one.


          1             READING CLERK:  Proposal 169; proposal to revise

          2        Article V, ss. 1 and 4, Florida Constitution; establishing

          3        courts of criminal appeals; providing for a court of

          4        appeals to be located in each of three regional divisions;

          5        providing for justices of the courts of criminal appeals

          6        to be appointed by the Governor and be subject to

          7        confirmation by the Senate; providing for compensation of

          8        the justices; providing for terms of office; providing for

          9        the courts to final appellate jurisdiction of criminal

         10        appeals, appeals of capital cases, and appeals based on

         11        habeas corpus or other post-conviction claims; providing

         12        for the courts to convene an en banc panel to hear capital

         13        cases and to resolve conflicting rulings; authorizing the

         14        courts to issue specified writs; providing for the

         15        appointment of clerks for the courts; providing

         16        applicability of rules.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Hawkes.

         18             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Kogan.

         20             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  My copy is missing Page 3, and I

         21        know Commissioner Barnett's copy is missing Page 3 also.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is everybody missing Page 3?

         23             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  I guess so, looking around the

         24        room.  If we could have Page 3?

         25             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  That's where all of the good


          1        stuff is.

          2             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  I gathered that.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  No, we can proceed with the

          4        presentation and we will get your Page 3 for everybody.

          5        Thank you, Commissioner Kogan.

          6             Commissioner Hawkes, I think you can explain this

          7        without Page 3.  Proceed.

          8             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

          9        guess I'll start off with explaining why it was pulled

         10        from the judiciary committee.  It was scheduled for the

         11        judiciary committee and the judiciary committee this week,

         12        because of various absences, was not going to have a

         13        quorum, which would have continued it over, and I thought

         14        this proposal was going to be called up next time we met,

         15        which would have allowed an opportunity for those people

         16        who wish to testify before the committee to provide

         17        letters so that you would at least have some letters

         18        available to you.

         19             What this does, in essence, is separates Florida's

         20        appellate jurisdiction between civil and criminal.  And I

         21        think there's several reasons or benefits in doing that.

         22        One I think is time management.  Obviously we have all

         23        been read the Chief Justice's comments about how much time

         24        it takes, the District Courts of Appeal are also under a

         25        tremendous workload, as that is the primary appellate


          1        jurisdiction for criminal cases.

          2             And I think that also, besides the workload though,

          3        the benefit that we achieve is that we have justices who

          4        have applied for a position, obviously, to be nominated,

          5        which means that they have an interest in serving in that

          6        area.

          7             Also, I would assume that if the Governor is going to

          8        nominate them, they also have some skill and expertise in

          9        that area so you have judges who are not only experienced

         10        in and interested in criminal law, serving on your

         11        criminal bench, then you have a judge who is more

         12        qualified.  I know there are Supreme Court opinions or

         13        viewpoints from the Court stressing the importance of

         14        judges who are going to handle capital cases and those

         15        kinds of things to have some experience and training.

         16             Also, I think that you have a much more accountable

         17        court.  And I think accountability in all aspects of

         18        public service is good.  The Court is accountable because

         19        it is nominated by the Governor and subject to

         20        reappointment.  It is the system, in fact, used by other

         21        states.

         22             Texas has a criminal court of appeals, Oklahoma has a

         23        criminal court of appeals, and because of that their

         24        systems have worked better.  And we go back to

         25        accountability.  They have more of a public trust.  And I


          1        think that we have lost some of the public trust in our

          2        court system.

          3             And I would submit that that public trust is the most

          4        critical element of a court's system.  No matter how well

          5        it's working or how good of a job it's doing, if it

          6        doesn't have public confidence, then we have failed.  And

          7        this is the step, if the people of the State of Florida

          8        decide they want to do it this way, this is a step to move

          9        us toward that kind of accountability system.  And I would

         10        ask for your favorable consideration and I would certainly

         11        answer any questions, Mr. Chairman.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Butterworth.

         13             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Thank you very much,

         14        Mr. Chairman.  Commissioner Hawkes, I'm not opposed to

         15        what you are trying to do, I'm just concerned about it.  I

         16        mean, is it possible for us to accomplish what you are

         17        attempting to accomplish within the structure that we have

         18        now?

         19             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I don't believe so unless I am

         20        missing something.  I mean, this is a separate court and

         21        the Constitution defines the court.  So I think it has to

         22        be a constitutional amendment for the Legislature to be

         23        able to add a court.

         24             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Well, let's say, before

         25        you add a court, is there anyway to accomplish what you


          1        are attempting to do within the system; such as, within

          2        the appellate districts is there anyway that we could

          3        maybe have criminal panels and have judges designated to

          4        the criminal panels so you don't have to build three

          5        additional courthouses and have three additional courts

          6        and staff?

          7             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I think that would be a partial

          8        achievement of the positive that this does.  Of course,

          9        the reality is, is that the Florida Supreme Court right

         10        now is seven justices who have indicated that this is

         11        taking up a tremendous amount of their time and keeping

         12        them from doing other things that they need to be doing.

         13        So what this also does is it has the death penalty appeals

         14        going to this criminal court of appeals as well.

         15             So, although we could maybe partially achieve some of

         16        the goals by dividing the DCAs, we still don't achieve the

         17        goal of dividing the court.  And the other aspect of this

         18        court is uniformity.  And I think that that's achieved

         19        because we, in essence, have one court sitting in three

         20        regions, we don't have three separate courts, or five

         21        separate courts.  This is one court, three regions, with

         22        those justices selecting their en blanc panel to decide

         23        their conflicts.  So I think cases would move faster,

         24        conflicts would resolve quicker and I think that there

         25        would be uniformity of opinion.


          1             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Let me, if I could

          2        continue, Mr. Chairman, with one additional question.  On

          3        capital cases, would there be a way under present law to

          4        have those capital cases heard either by the appellate

          5        courts or just one appellate court in this state such as

          6        we do worker's comp in here in Tallahassee administrative

          7        cases?

          8             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I believe that the Supreme

          9        Court opinions -- the U.S. Supreme Court opinions dictate

         10        that the chief court, or the highest court in a criminal

         11        jurisdiction, resolve those.  And I thought that that's

         12        why we had all capital cases appealed immediately to the

         13        Florida Supreme Court versus going through the DCAs and

         14        then to the Supreme Court.

         15             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Well, could, my question

         16        again would be, is there a way under the present

         17        Constitution, or making minor changes to the Constitution,

         18        which would allow the Supreme Court to have even a segment

         19        of the Supreme Court handle it or add additional justices

         20        as opposed to doing a whole new additional court system?

         21             That's my only concern is that, I'm not opposed to

         22        where you are attempting to go and I totally agree with

         23        that, I just wonder whether or not this is the most -- it

         24        is the easiest, most efficient way.

         25             I think we both agree, justice delayed is justice


          1        denied.  And this will, I think, not delay justice and

          2        it'll give us a specialty whereby hopefully it will not

          3        take as long to get the final answers.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  We don't have a quorum.

          5             COMMISSION SECRETARY:  Quorum call.  Quorum call.

          6        All Commissioners report to the chamber.  All

          7        commissioners report to the chamber.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think we have 18 now, maybe 19.

          9        Look at the board and let's see if we have got them.

         10             COMMISSION SECRETARY:  Quorum, this is a quorum.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Quorum call.  We were running

         12        short.  We need one more.  We do not have a quorum.  Wait

         13        a minute, there's Commissioner Mills hiding in the back;

         14        we can count him.  Now we have a quorum.

         15             (Quorum taken and recorded electronically.)

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right, Commissioner Rundle

         17        was up first, I think.  Do you want to ask a question?

         18             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  Sir, I will yield to

         19        Commissioner Barkdull.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.

         21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Hawkes, in light

         22        of information for the body, I would like to pose these

         23        questions.  Do you realize, sir, that there's a provision

         24        in the Constitution that all capital cases must go to the

         25        Supreme Court?


          1             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Well, this obviously is the

          2        Supreme Court for capital cases, and if we need to change

          3        the -- style and drafting can cure that.

          4             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  No, I'm talking about the

          5        present Constitution.  In other words, there was some

          6        questioning about whether we could, within the present

          7        framework, move capital cases.  And my question is, sir,

          8        that there is a provision that all capital cases must go

          9        to the Supreme Court, and it appeared to me that we would

         10        have to amend that to move it to any of the districts.  Do

         11        you agree with me, sir?

         12             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I would agree with you, yes.

         13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  All right.  Do you also agree

         14        that there's a provision in the Constitution that says

         15        that the Supreme Court cannot sit in divisions?

         16             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I would accept that as well.

         17             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yeah.  I wanted to point that

         18        out for the clarification of the body.  Do you agree with

         19        me, sir, that if a criminal court of appeals was created,

         20        that they could utilize the facilities of the district

         21        courts of appeal that are geographically spread out

         22        throughout the state to hold their hearings?

         23             If they were to, say, build it within Tallahassee and

         24        there were three districts, or however you want to set it

         25        up, that they would not necessarily have to have new


          1        facilities in the outlaying areas; they would obviously

          2        have to have a headquarters in the capitol, but as they

          3        went about considering the business of the court in the

          4        several areas, that they could utilize the hearing

          5        facilities of the DCAs?

          6             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I had not realized that, but I

          7        think that that is an excellent point.

          8             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Thank you.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now, Commissioner Rundle.

         10             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

         11        wonder, Commissioner Hawkes, if you would consider TP'ing

         12        this for a while for those of us that think that there's a

         13        lot of merit to where you are trying to get.  I think that

         14        I share the same thoughts as General Butterworth, that

         15        there's some good concepts here and very good benefits to

         16        be gained.  I think that all of us who work in the

         17        criminal justice field recognize that the number of

         18        appeals in the criminal area are increasing in staggering

         19        amounts and that specialization is becoming a greater need

         20        for the courts.

         21             I'm just not really informed enough on this, and I

         22        should be, to be able to really take a position.  And so

         23        what I would suggest to you, if you would agree that we TP

         24        this, and maybe Judge Barkdull and a number of us can work

         25        on this and see if there's a way to accomplish this, if


          1        that's what we all desire to do.  But I think it's going

          2        to take some time.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, first of all, let me tell

          4        you, the issue here is not the structure, as I understand

          5        it, is what is going to be the determining vote; it's

          6        whether or not we create a whole new court with 27

          7        justices.  And I don't think TP'ing it is going to help

          8        that one way or the other.

          9             It would be my suggestion, if we are going to move,

         10        to quit TP'ing things that we don't have to.  And this one

         11        can be voted on, I think.  Now, that is my view.  And

         12        without a better reason, I certainly would suggest that

         13        you not TP it.  He's already presented it, presented it

         14        very well and the issue is pretty clear.  Commissioner

         15        Hawkes.

         16             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Mr. Chair, I hate to go against

         17        the Chair's recommendation but --

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  No, that's fine, I am just saying

         19        my job is to move this, and if you want to be here all day

         20        Friday, that's fine.

         21             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Well, Mr. Chairman, I did

         22        believe that it was going to come up, not this week when

         23        the judiciary committee couldn't meet, but that it would

         24        come up two weeks hence, which would give both the public

         25        opportunity to provide information to the body and for the


          1        body to have -- normally the process takes place in the

          2        committee meeting.  And I was a little surprised to see it

          3        on today's docket.  And I know that, obviously,

          4        Commissioner Rundle is in a unique position to evaluate

          5        the proposal, as is Judge Barkdull, and the Attorney

          6        General.

          7             And I certainly -- and truthfully, Mr. Chairman, if

          8        people have questions, they tend to vote no.  If I can

          9        resolve their questions, then there is a better chance

         10        that they will vote yes.  And if they vote no because all

         11        of their questions have been answered, at least the

         12        process has worked better.  And I really wouldn't object

         13        if it was TP'd until next time we met.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let me tell you, the process

         15        would work better if everybody was here at every meeting

         16        all of the time.  And I think if we start TP'ing and we

         17        have people that are absent that are not absent now, for

         18        this type reason, that we won't finish.  And that's my

         19        statement from the Chair.  Now, if it's the will of the

         20        body, we'll TP it.  Commissioner Barkdull, you might want

         21        to comment on this.

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Well, obviously, we have got

         23        to stop TP'ing items because we are running out of time.

         24        And I think that it might be wise, I might offer maybe an

         25        intermediate situation, to test the sentiment of the body


          1        as to whether there was a sentiment to go forward with

          2        this proposition or not.  If the sentiment was to go

          3        forward, then I think we should consider TP'ing it.  But

          4        if the sentiment is not to go forward, then I think we

          5        should take a vote on the merits.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Then I take that as a

          7        motion that we vote on whether or not we go forward, if

          8        you think it's necessary.  Commissioner Butterworth.

          9             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Question of the Chair?

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes.

         11             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  I may very well be very

         12        much in favor of what Commissioner Hawkes is attempting to

         13        do.  I may not agree that it should be done through a new

         14        court system, but I believe that something has to be done.

         15        By voting for this concept, it'll go forward, we will

         16        still be able to change it to be, maybe, not a third or

         17        fourth court system, but to effectuate the result but by a

         18        different way?

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So you are voting to go forward

         20        but not to make it part of the constitutional court system

         21        as chief judges?

         22             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  I am voting to go forward

         23        to see if we could present something to this body which

         24        will resolve, I believe, to be a very gray issue in the

         25        State of Florida.  By not going forward the issue will be


          1        dead and I am very concerned about that.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think we are going to wind up

          3        doing that, so if you want to TP it, let me have a motion.

          4             COMMISIONER RUNDLE:  Mr. Chairman, I move that we TP

          5        Proposal 169.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  All in favor, say aye.

          7        Opposed, no.

          8             (Verbal vote taken.)

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It'll be TP'd and it'll be on

         10        special order tomorrow.  It'll be on special order Friday.

         11        Commissioner Kogan.

         12             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Mr. Chairman, let me say this:

         13        Many years ago, I was one of the original persons who

         14        advocated setting up this kind of a court.  Now that's

         15        many years ago.  There are only two states in the United

         16        States, Texas and Oklahoma, that now have the concept and

         17        actually have a criminal court of appeal.  You can't rush

         18        ahead with this, you are going to have to study what

         19        happened out in Texas and Oklahoma.  There are great

         20        problems that are involved in this thing, and I'm just

         21        throwing this out for information for everybody; it's not

         22        an easy issue.

         23             There's a major issue involved, for example, there

         24        are two particular lines of law.  In other words, if you

         25        are interpreting, for example, hearsay testimony, if you


          1        are on the civil side, you kind of have one definition, if

          2        you are on the criminal side, you may have something

          3        entirely different.  Rules of evidence can be very, very

          4        different as far as the Court's interpretation.

          5             This is not an easy issue, this is something that

          6        requires a great deal of study.  So you can't put it on

          7        for Friday because they will never get --

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Then I will ask that

          9        the judiciary committee be authorized to meet because this

         10        should have been considered in committee, all of this

         11        should have been done, and it has not been done.  And

         12        that's why I'm frustrated, because all of the other issues

         13        that come here don't come directly to the calendar, and we

         14        shouldn't have to do what the committees do, and that's

         15        why I'm really concerned with this type of situation.  I

         16        think the rules committee should reauthorize the judiciary

         17        committee to meet.

         18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Sure, you can commit this to

         19        the judiciary committee and ask them to take it up and

         20        report back within a time certain.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right, I'll do that.  This

         22        will be committed, with the approval of the body, to the

         23        judiciary committee to come back before us either at the

         24        next weekly meeting at some point which -- or at --

         25             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Or not later than the first


          1        February meeting.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Correct, no later than the first

          3        February meeting.  That can be changed if they don't

          4        complete their work.  Without objection, it'll be

          5        committed to the judiciary committee and they will now

          6        consider it.  And I think any other thing that we have

          7        like that, we should be very careful not to have to deal

          8        with it on the floor.  The type questions that are being

          9        asked are not floor questions, the committee should have

         10        dealt with them before we got here.

         11             We'll move to the next one on special order, which is

         12        committee substitute for Proposal 64.  Did you withdraw

         13        that, Commissioner Nabors?  Where's he?  Did you withdraw

         14        committee substitute for Proposal 64?

         15             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  No, we tabled that --

         16        Mr. Chairman, we tabled that to the calendar until such

         17        time as the provisions dealing with the Lottery funds are

         18        going to be dealt with.

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That will be tomorrow, so then

         20        you move to --

         21             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well, we don't know when

         22        that -- we talked to rules about that.  We have some

         23        problems with that because Mr. Sundberg has issues dealing

         24        with the Lottery.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's on special order.  All I


          1        want you to do is say TP it until tomorrow.

          2             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  I thought we had already done

          3        that yesterday.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, it'll be TP'd.

          5        All right.  Oh, by the way, we have a pleasant thing to

          6        do, other than TP'ing something at the moment.

          7             Commissioner Jennings, you are here.

          8             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Present and accounted for.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We would like for you to come

         10        forward, please, and present and tell us who your new

         11        appointee is to the Commission so we can have her

         12        installed.  We have a committee that's going to escort

         13        her, but I think first you should have the opportunity to

         14        present her.

         15             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Where would you like us to

         16        go?

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Wherever you would like, this is

         18        your house.  You can come right here, if you would like.

         19        Okay, you have the permission, you can use the mike, if

         20        you would.

         21             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Commissioners, you may or may

         22        not be aware, Commissioner Sullivan, due to a number of

         23        business obligations, has had to regrettably resign.  He

         24        truly was regretful in the fact that he could not

         25        continue.  He said this has been a most stimulating and


          1        interesting time to serve.

          2             And based on that, of course, I had included in our

          3        group of appointees, an alternate, and Pat Barton, as you

          4        all know, has been at most of our -- all of our meetings,

          5        most of our public hearings.  The only thing she missed

          6        was our opening session, as a matter of fact, because she

          7        had just had some surgery, so she was not with us that

          8        day, but she was, of course, with us soon after that.

          9             So, based after -- I haven't talked from this mike in

         10        a while, they put that sucker back in there.  Based on

         11        whatever authority I have or you have, might I then

         12        recommend that I have a resignation from Commissioner

         13        Sullivan that we will accept with regret, and I would

         14        like, pursuant to Article XI, Section 2, of the

         15        Constitution, appoint our alternate, Pat Barton, in

         16        Mr. Sullivan's place?

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, the

         18        resignation is accepted.  And I would ask Commissioners

         19        Marshall, Ford-Coates and Evans-Jones to escort our

         20        newest, full-pledged voting member to be sworn in by the

         21        Chief Justice, who is our own Commissioner Kogan.

         22             (Applause.)

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Hawkes moves to

         24        temporarily pass this.

         25             (Laughter.)


          1             (Commissioner Barton sworn by Commissioner Kogan.)

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We are going to have

          3        lunch in a little bit and it's back in the back and we can

          4        all congratulate her at that point.  I'm at your pleasure

          5        here.  If you want to break for lunch now, we will come

          6        back at 12:45.  Is that what you want to do, or go another

          7        30 minutes?  Mr. Smith.

          8             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Mr. Chairman, I was rising for a

          9        personal point of privilege.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, you can.  But let me get

         11        order before you do.  Please come to order and take a seat

         12        as soon as you can.

         13             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  As chairman of the declaration

         14        of rights committee, let me tell you, I am a little

         15        surprised because Pat Barton has been so diligent in her

         16        attendance and her service, I thought she was already a

         17        full-fledged member, so I have no doubt that her service

         18        will be tremendous.  Because with regard to the

         19        declaration of rights committee, she has been fully

         20        engaged, and I'm sure now she's very happy that she gets a

         21        chance to vote.  So I'm very happy to say welcome.

         22             COMMISSIONER BARTON:  Thank you.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Very well.  We'll move her to the

         24        front row at the recess and put her up here to keep tabs

         25        on -- that's why we want you on the front row, keep you up


          1        here so you can keep up with Commissioners Nabors, Evans

          2        and Freiden, and occasionally, Commissioner Jennings, you

          3        can watch her too.  Commissioner Barnett.

          4             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I would like to move for

          5        reconsideration of a matter, please.  Proposal 91, I was

          6        on the prevailing side.  This was the proposal that had

          7        been filed by Commissioner Hawkes and that was taken up

          8        during, I think, the first minute or two of our session.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  I got you.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  He simply was not here for

         11        debate, and I would like to move for reconsideration.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  You were on the prevailing

         13        side because the vote was 22 to 1, I recall.

         14             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  And I was not that 1.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's right, you were in the 22.

         16        It's been moved that Proposal No. 91 be reconsidered on

         17        reconsideration.  Do you want to go forward with it, to

         18        vote on it now?

         19             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I thought I would move it and

         20        leave it pending, however I will not be able to be here

         21        tomorrow, so if we need to do this today --

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We don't have to, but I was

         23        thinking, we have done it, we took it up this morning;

         24        everybody knows what it is.  We could just put it on

         25        reconsideration, let Commissioner Hawkes have his


          1        presentation, and vote again.  Okay.  Commissioner Scott.

          2             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Mr. Chairman, I know those of us

          3        that have been around are aware of it, but reconsideration

          4        for members that might not have served -- since we are

          5        using the Senate rules as a base here, unless you waive

          6        the rules, when you make a motion to reconsider, then it

          7        becomes an order -- a continuing order of business for the

          8        following meeting, and then anybody can then bring it up

          9        at some time during that meeting.  But to do otherwise

         10        would require a waiver of the rules.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  A waiver of the rules.  I was

         12        going to do it without objection or we weren't going to do

         13        it.

         14             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  One thing that can happen is,

         15        especially in committee is, someone thinks something is

         16        going to be reconsidered, and then they leave the room and

         17        then all of a sudden the votes change of who is present.

         18        So you need to know, you know, that it would be brought up

         19        at a regular time, which would be tomorrow.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Right.  What I was going to do is

         21        say without objection we were going to do it, which would

         22        be a waiver of the rules, and then it could be dealt with

         23        now before lunch.  And if there's objections to proceeding

         24        with it now, then obviously it wouldn't be a waiver of the

         25        rules.


          1             He does not object and he's ready to proceed.

          2        Without objection, we'll proceed on the reconsideration.

          3        All of those in favor of reconsidering this, signify by

          4        saying aye.  Opposed like sign.

          5             (Verbal vote taken.)

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  We move, by waiver of the

          7        rules, to reconsider the vote by which Proposal No. 91

          8        failed.  And I'll recognize Commissioner Hawkes.

          9             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  It is in the first book we were

         10        using.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It is in the orange book, and

         12        it's Proposal 91, disapproved by the committee on bonding

         13        and investments.  We need to read it again.  Read it,

         14        please.

         15             READING CLERK:  Proposal 91; a proposal to revise

         16        Article VII, s.4, Florida Constitution; providing for

         17        certain pollution control devices to be classified by

         18        general law and assessed solely on the basis of character

         19        or use.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's on Page 138 of the orange

         21        book.  Commissioner Hawkes.

         22             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  And I

         23        find myself in an uncomfortable position to disagree with

         24        you yet a second time.  But that's the only two times I

         25        ever have, Mr. Chairman, and that is that --


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's great.

          2             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  -- is that the members already

          3        understand the issue.  Because I would submit that if you

          4        understood the issue you would vote for it.  At least

          5        that's my position.  And if you can allow me to support

          6        that position, I would proceed to do so now.

          7             First of all, some of you may have gotten Mr.

          8        Shebel's letter from Associated Industries of Florida.

          9        And I would submit that, contrary to what the letter says,

         10        Mr. Shebel and I agree.  Maybe that's not as often as I

         11        agree with the Chairman, but certainly we agree in his

         12        outline in his letter.

         13             In his letter, he says that it has been the public

         14        policy to move to encourage people to install and utilize

         15        pollution control equipment.  In his letter he points out

         16        that pollution control equipment, and I will quote,

         17        "renders no financial gain to the company installing the

         18        same."

         19             In other words, if you put a scrubber on a

         20        smokestack, it doesn't make your plant more productive, it

         21        doesn't mean that you can charge more money for your paper

         22        towels or whatever you are producing, it merely means that

         23        the air that comes out of the smokestack is a little more

         24        breathable and a little bit better for our environment.

         25             Now, the reason that I have this constitutional


          1        amendment proposal is because there is currently no

          2        authorization under the Florida Constitution to allow the

          3        assessment or evaluation of pollution control equipment

          4        any differently than what they value your house, or what

          5        they value your company, or what they put any property on

          6        the tax roll for because as, if you will read in the first

          7        page of your committee analysis, Article VII, s.4 of the

          8        Florida Constitution, provides that all property must be

          9        assessed at just value.  And the Legislature is supposed

         10        to come up with rules to result in the just --

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Hawkes, those of you

         12        that are standing with your backs to the speaker and

         13        blocking the view of others, it would be appreciated if

         14        you could take your seat.  Commissioner Hawkes has the

         15        floor, and it would be appropriate that he and I agree

         16        that you should give him attention.  Commissioner Hawkes,

         17        you may proceed.

         18             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  That all property be assessed

         19        at just value, and the Supreme Court and the District

         20        Courts of Appeal have repeatedly said, and I think they

         21        even cite some cases in the committee analysis, that just

         22        value, in essence, is the same as market value; that if

         23        you have market value, you have just value, and vice

         24        versa.

         25             And, for instance, they point out that in the


          1        Constitution there's some exceptions, and those exceptions

          2        are agricultural land, in other words, the Green Belt;

          3        high-water recharge; noncommercial recreational land;

          4        homestead; property held for sale as stock in trade or

          5        inventory, and in fact, I think Commissioner Henderson

          6        even has a proposal that would add yet another category of

          7        property that could be appraised at something else other

          8        than just value.

          9             And to support my position, I have a Supreme Court

         10        opinion that I think explains it a little clearer, if I

         11        can find it.  It is a 1977 Supreme Court opinion Enwach

         12        (phonetic) in the states where the Court -- basically

         13        there was a -- the Legislature passed a law that said if

         14        you have not sold 60 percent of your lots in a plotted

         15        subdivision, all of the lots will be assessed at the -- at

         16        basically the vacant land value and not for just value,

         17        and this was the Legislature trying to, I would imagine,

         18        encourage a development, and those kinds of things;

         19        probably good public policy, and the Court said, No, you

         20        can't do that because the Constitution says just value and

         21        anything else is not just value.

         22             I wish Justice Sundberg was here today, or former

         23        Justice Sundberg, Commissioner Sundberg, was here because

         24        he wrote an opinion that basically declared

         25        unconstitutional something that we used to have in Florida


          1        called Polk's Law, and what that did was it allowed a

          2        different way to determine just value.  In other words, if

          3        the property appraiser put your house on the tax rolls at

          4        a certain dollar amount and you didn't believe that that

          5        was appropriate, you could have him do an auction and if

          6        no one bid higher than what you said, then your value

          7        would prevail.

          8             And Justice Sundberg pointed out that that was not

          9        just value of market value because market value is always

         10        defined as what a willing buyer would pay a willing

         11        seller, neither under coercion to sell or to buy.  And he

         12        said, obviously, that is a make-believe sale, different

         13        pressures come to bear, and so that would not be just

         14        value, and therefore it would be unconstitutional.

         15             So, the bottom line is that if we want to allow the

         16        assessment of pollution control equipment, and we

         17        currently do in Florida under a statute, we have to have a

         18        Constitution to enable that.  If we don't pass this and

         19        the Court reviews this issue, I believe under the case law

         20        and clear understanding of the Florida Constitution, it

         21        would be declared unconstitutional.

         22             Now, if we put this on the November ballot and the

         23        people of the State of Florida decide that they wish to do

         24        this, then nobody loses anything because our assessment

         25        date is January 1st.  And this January I believe that


          1        virtually all of the industry in Florida has in fact

          2        received their pollution control assessment, but now the

          3        property appraisers are talking about it, they understand

          4        that in fact they may not be allowed, in keeping their

          5        constitutional oath, to follow their obligations.  They

          6        may not be allowed to put it on the tax roll next year.

          7             If the Court rules it unconstitutional then,

          8        obviously, next January nobody gets it.  And depending on

          9        what part of the cycle we are in, the Legislature won't be

         10        able to put it on the ballot, if it comes to a vote, after

         11        '98 until 2000.

         12             So, industries could go two years without being able

         13        to get the break that at least I believe, and I would

         14        think that most people believe is good public policy, and

         15        that is to allow them something for that which they

         16        install which does not increase productivity or add to

         17        their bottom line.

         18             Mr. Chairman, that is kind of the proposal in a

         19        nutshell.  I would ask for your favorable consideration

         20        and I would be happy to answer any questions.  Thank you.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.  You yield

         22        for a question, Commissioner Hawkes.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Hawkes, I'm not

         24        familiar, of course, with all of the types of pollution

         25        controls that might be adapted for a factory of such, but


          1        what concerns me, some of the pollution control devices I

          2        would believe would become permanent fixtures to the real

          3        estate, and my question is, how would you segregate or

          4        expect the tax assessors to segregate that out as an

          5        exemption?

          6             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  What currently happens in

          7        Florida is, let's say that you are installing a scrubber.

          8        I don't know a lot of pollution control devices, but I do

          9        know that there's this thing that you put on smokestacks

         10        to keep emissions down.  And that scrubber is now -- it

         11        costs you a certain amount of money to buy it, it costs

         12        you a certain amount of money to install it.  That

         13        installed cost would be the cost that the tax appraiser or

         14        the property appraiser would look at in determining what

         15        to put on the tax roll in a normal course of events.

         16             But however, the Florida Legislature has said, if

         17        it's pollution control, what they would like to do is have

         18        it assessed at salvage value, so in other words, if that

         19        scrubber costs you a million dollars to put in but was

         20        only going to be worth 100,000 at the end of its useful

         21        life, then you would only be taxed on that value which you

         22        would be able to recover at the end of its useful life,

         23        that is, 100,000.  That is the character of use language

         24        that is put on the end.

         25             So, they currently are able to segregate it.  They


          1        would be allowed to continue to segregate it.  And what we

          2        are talking about, obviously, are the improvements to real

          3        property, not the real property.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Connor, do you rise

          5        to question?

          6             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Yes.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He yields.

          8             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Thank you.  Commissioner

          9        Hawkes, I can envision that there are any number of

         10        expenditures that a business has to make which is mandated

         11        because of health and safety considerations, and for which

         12        businesses, arguably, under this logic, ought to get the

         13        benefit of some kind of tax break.  My question is whether

         14        or not this proposal, which is obviously very narrow in

         15        scope, is really appropriate for inclusion in the

         16        Constitution as opposed to legislative -- the legislative

         17        body, number one.

         18             Number two, whether or not this narrow cast exception

         19        wouldn't be sort of a classic example of the special

         20        interest exemption that so many of us are concerned about

         21        and I know Commissioner Nabors is concerned about in our

         22        system today.  So, do we -- would you respond to that for

         23        me?

         24             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Yes.  First of all, the purpose

         25        of this proposal is to enable the current statute that


          1        exists to continue to function.  Up until a little while

          2        ago, no one recognized the fact that this exemption exists

          3        in Florida law right now, and the procedure that's used is

          4        basically, if you are a company, you make application to

          5        the Department of Environmental Regulation and say, I've

          6        installed this for pollution control, they certify that,

          7        they do whatever they need to do.  They report it to the

          8        Department of DOR.  Department of Revenue then reports it

          9        to the local property appraiser, and that's how it's

         10        determined to be pollution control.  It's just not your

         11        say-so or it's not the property appraiser who is required

         12        to determine if it's pollution control; he receives a

         13        certification from the State.

         14             What will happen, if you read in your committee

         15        analysis, is, I forget how much money, but it is a fairly

         16        large amount of money that currently is off of the tax

         17        rolls because of pollution control.  The reason it has to

         18        be in the Constitution is because we cannot, under our

         19        current Constitution, have any classification of property

         20        that is different than just value except for those that

         21        are specifically enumerated in the Constitution.  And

         22        that's what the Supreme Court said in Interlocken Estates

         23        versus Snyder, and that was 304, So.2d 433.

         24             Justice Irwin at the time wrote that Article IV --

         25        Article VII, s.4 of the 1968 Constitution requires that,


          1        by general law regulation shall be prescribed which

          2        secures just evaluation of all, and all is capitalized in

          3        the opinion, property for ad valorem tax provided, and

          4        then it has the exceptions, agricultural land or land used

          5        exclusively for noncommercial, recreational purposes.

          6             Now, if you look at the committee analysis you will

          7        notice that our current Constitution does not read exactly

          8        as it did when this opinion was written, and that's

          9        because we have added high-water recharge areas.  And I

         10        think we did that in 1980 or somewhere thereabouts, we

         11        recognized the value of that and we wanted to create a tax

         12        exemption, so to create that good public policy, we had no

         13        alternative but to put it in the Constitution.

         14             And of course, they also talked about the property in

         15        the state.  And then the Court goes on to say that r the

         16        1985 Constitution, we had held that the legislature could

         17        tax different classes of property on a different basis as

         18        long as the classification was reasonable.  The people in

         19        the state, however, by enumerating in their new

         20        Constitution which classifications they want have removed

         21        from the Legislature the power to make others.

         22             It's true the Constitution revision allows the

         23        Legislature to prescribe regulation for the purpose of

         24        securing the just value of all property, but such

         25        regulations must apply to all property and not to any one


          1        particular class.  The regulations contemplated by the

          2        Constitution are those which establish the criteria for

          3        valuing property.  And all property in those four classes,

          4        and now I think it's up to six or something, specifically

          5        enumerate in the Constitution must be measured under the

          6        same criteria.  The statute was examining ways of

          7        classification for taxation purposes, and therefore, it is

          8        unconstitutional.

          9             And so, if we want to continue to allow this, then it

         10        has to be in the Constitution to do so.  And that's why I

         11        really viewed this proposal from the beginning as a

         12        technical one.  And then I think some people misunderstood

         13        my intentions.  And Mr. Shebel is writing the same thing I

         14        am saying in telling you to vote no, when I think that if

         15        you read what he is saying, he should have encouraged you

         16        to vote yes.

         17             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Mr. Hawkes, I am trying

         18        to -- I think I've got it, but you would agree that this

         19        is consistent with Article II, s.7, of the Florida

         20        Constitution which says a policy of the state to abate air

         21        and water pollution.

         22             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I think it helps fulfill that

         23        policy, yes.

         24             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I agree with that.  Now,

         25        help me with this because I'm not sure about this.  Are we


          1        talking about evaluation of the real property, or are we

          2        talking about tangible personal property?

          3             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Well, when we talk about ad

          4        valorem taxes we are talking about all property that is

          5        subject to ad valorem taxation.  And although I suppose

          6        technically you could have a piece of real property that

          7        somehow serves as pollution control, I'm not aware of any.

          8        I mean, normally what we are talking about is either

          9        tangible personal property or it becomes part of the real

         10        because it is permanently affixed to a structure that's

         11        built on the real property, so it would appear on the real

         12        property tax roll.

         13             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Okay.  And right now they're

         14        being assessed at salvage value or at just value?

         15             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  They are being -- right now,

         16        what's currently happening in Florida is it was assessed

         17        at just value.  Just to give you a little more history,

         18        what happened is this statute came about in 1967.  When

         19        this statute came about, allowing the assessment of

         20        pollution control equipment, the Legislature went to great

         21        lengths to say -- and they defined pollution control

         22        equipment and everything.  And it happened in 1967 when

         23        the same body as we are in now was meeting to discuss and

         24        decided to do a new Constitution, the 1968 Constitution.

         25             And they are both going down the road at the same


          1        time, and the '68 Constitution was adopted, but the new

          2        statute, 1967 statute, becomes inoperative, technically,

          3        because of the new Constitution.

          4             So the public policy was frustrated but no one

          5        recognized that until just recently.  And I believe you

          6        have already had some property appraisers do it, and I

          7        think there will be more next year because they obviously

          8        took an oath to uphold the Constitution and if they think

          9        the Constitution doesn't allow them to do it, even if it

         10        would be good to do it, they obviously don't have the

         11        authority to do it.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Thompson

         13        and then Commissioner Barkdull, do you have a question?

         14             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Just a question, yes.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay, go ahead.

         16             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Just a question.  I think

         17        several of us don't quite understand.  I'm trying to get

         18        it into terms that even I can understand.  And what I

         19        don't understand is why we need to separate it out.  So I

         20        want you to follow this and see if my thought process is

         21        correct or incorrect.

         22             Right now if you are a utility and you have pollution

         23        control equipment on your plant and your plant is worth

         24        $10 million and you put this pollution control equipment

         25        on it, in your evaluation for ad valorem tax purposes your


          1        plant is still worth $10 million.

          2             Now if your amendment passes and you have got a

          3        $10 million plant and you put $1 million worth of

          4        equipment on it, then what's going to happen?

          5             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Then, well, obviously the

          6        Legislature, in adopting the regulations to secure just

          7        value, have required the property appraisers to look at

          8        three different approaches to value.  One would be the

          9        market approach, which is what you discussed.  Two would

         10        be the replacement cost.  And three would be the income

         11        approach.

         12             If the property produces so much income, it is worth

         13        X number of dollars, or if it is going to cost X number of

         14        dollars to build, that's how much it's worth, or whatever

         15        a willing buyer will pay.

         16             Some forms of property are very appropriate to value

         17        by market approach, perhaps your home.  We have a lot of

         18        homes and we can say people are paying so much for

         19        three-bedroom homes, so that's usually the best value for

         20        a home.

         21             Other properties, the income approach is more

         22        appropriate.  When we get into industrial plants though,

         23        the typical methodology, and obviously one property that

         24        the property appraiser is required to look at is the

         25        replacement cost.  And if it cost X number of dollars to


          1        put that scrubber on your smokestack and that makes it so

          2        that you can continue to operate in business, obviously

          3        that smokestack is a real cost and adds real value to the

          4        plant.  But instead of assessing you, this allows the

          5        property appraiser to say, What's it worth when you are

          6        done with it; what is the salvage value, because that's

          7        what the Legislature decided was the best way to approach

          8        it.

          9             So I would answer your question by saying, Yes, I do

         10        think this is necessary, that's why the Legislature passed

         11        the statute in '67 before our Constitution required what

         12        it requires now, and that's why I would ask for -- this

         13        amendment does nothing but to allow the status quo to

         14        continue.

         15             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  So follow-up question, are

         16        the taxes of those utility plants or industrial plants

         17        going to go up or down as a result of this amendment?

         18             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  If this amendment passes, I

         19        would submit that those industrial plants, those paper

         20        companies and things, you know, their assessment would

         21        stay the same.  It would not go up or down because of

         22        this.  But what might happen if we don't do this, if this

         23        issue comes before the court, and I'll tell you there are

         24        a couple cases pending in the state of Florida right now,

         25        so it is going to come before the court I think it is


          1        reasonable to say, and the court says, Yes, in fact, the

          2        Constitution doesn't allow it because the court isn't

          3        allowed to say, Well, this is good public policy or bad

          4        public policy, they have to say, This is what the

          5        Constitution says or this isn't what it says.

          6             And so if they were to rule, and let's say that they

          7        were to rule in December of this year, that the

          8        Constitution requires, and it clearly does, then what

          9        happens is on January 1 when property appraisers go out to

         10        make the assessment, they have to put that number that's

         11        in the committee analysis, and the committee analysis is

         12        listed at, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,

         13        nine -- I guess it is like 3 billion; is that right?  A

         14        lot of them.

         15             They would have to put that back on the tax roll.

         16        And then the Legislature, obviously, would be concerned

         17        because that hurts industry, so they would, I would

         18        imagine, propose a constitutional amendment in their next

         19        legislative session, but that wouldn't go on the ballot

         20        until November of 2000, so the best case scenario wouldn't

         21        be until 2001 until these companies could again have the

         22        tax break for installing the pollution control equipment,

         23        so this avoids serious future problems.  And it does not

         24        change the status quo.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson.


          1             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Now, did the taxes go up or

          2        down as a result of this?  I mean, is that as simple as

          3        you can explain it?

          4             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  This is real simple.

          5             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Let me ask you this.  There

          6        are court cases going on today on this issue; is that

          7        correct?

          8             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Yes.

          9             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  All right.  Have decisions

         10        been made by lower courts at this point?

         11             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  No.

         12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  So, it is in the state of

         13        question, at least?

         14             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I'm saying, let's remove this

         15        question from the table, let's not have this question on

         16        the table because even if the court were to decide it was

         17        unconstitutional on January 1 of this year, it is not

         18        going to affect it because that's the date and everybody

         19        that got it is going to continue to get it.  So, to answer

         20        your question, do they go up or down, no, they don't go,

         21        they don't go down, we protect them.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills, you may ask a

         23        question.

         24             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  This is a question.  Did I

         25        understand, if I understood you, were you saying that it


          1        would, in the absence of this, the taxes might go up?

          2             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Yes.

          3             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  And that in the presence of this

          4        they would not?

          5             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Yes.

          6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Ford-Coates.

          7             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Commissioner Hawkes, I

          8        have two questions.  I see that this was disapproved by

          9        the committee on bonding and investments.  I would be very

         10        interested to hear the discussion from those people on

         11        that committee as to why they voted to disapprove.

         12             And in addition, did any property appraisers testify

         13        on this issue, as to the administration, is this an

         14        efficient method, what are the objections?  I guess I'm

         15        kind of surprised it didn't come before finance and tax

         16        since it does affect Article VII, and I'm confused at this

         17        point.

         18             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Well, to answer one of your

         19        questions, no property appraisers came to testify.  To

         20        answer the second part of that question, would it be easy

         21        to administer, yes, it would be exactly what they are

         22        doing right now, but what they won't be able to do in the

         23        future if we don't fix it.

         24             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  But I'd like to know what

         25        the other members of the committee that voted to


          1        disapprove it, why they voted to disapprove.  I have heard

          2        explanations, but I still have not yet heard the other

          3        side of the issue and I'd appreciate those committee

          4        members speaking up.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Hawkes was on that

          6        committee.  You can tell them why it was voted down.

          7             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Well, you know, at that

          8        committee basically business came and said, Well, gosh, we

          9        think everything is working fine right now, we don't want

         10        to upset the applecart.  But truthfully, in my own lax

         11        preparation, I haven't done the research to actually find

         12        the case law that very clearly says that you cannot

         13        classify property to allow a separate taxation unless it

         14        is in the Constitution.

         15             And I'll be happy to show you the case, but there are

         16        other ones as well.  And that's why I wish Justice

         17        Sundberg was here because he actually ruled on one of

         18        those and said, No, that's not just value, therefore it

         19        can't be.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right, anybody else?

         21        Commissioner Corr.

         22             COMMISSIONER CORR:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         23        Commissioner Thompson helped me an awful lot, and he

         24        almost got me there.  And I'm going to continue because

         25        I'm a little slower yet, but if you would, please,


          1        Commissioner Hawkes, just nod yes or no because when you

          2        talk I get more confused, so just -- let me try to walk

          3        through this, okay?  And that's, again, because I just

          4        can't understand.

          5             The way it works now is the Legislature is using

          6        salvage value as an valuation method in order to provide

          7        sort of a special interest, not really an exemption but an

          8        encouragement to the installation of these pollution

          9        control devices; so that's correct?

         10             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Yes.

         11             COMMISSIONER CORR:  Nice job.  So, if we put this in

         12        the Constitution, it is going to protect that sort of

         13        special interest, good special interest exemption, which

         14        isn't really an exemption and allow us to continue to

         15        encourage the installation of pollution control devices

         16        and so an appraiser or whoever, some court later on can

         17        come back and sort of turn the Legislature's opinion

         18        around and require the real value to be assessed, and

         19        thus, when you would have pollution control devices, they

         20        would be discouraged from being installed by those

         21        industries.

         22             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Yes.

         23             COMMISSIONER CORR:  So, if we do this, we protect

         24        that?

         25             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  We need that, yes.


          1             COMMISSIONER CORR:  I think I've got it.  Okay.

          2        Close the debate.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Anybody else?  Anybody want to be

          4        heard?  All right, do you consider you have closed or do

          5        you want to --

          6             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Based on what Representative

          7        Corr said, Mr. Chairman, I have closed.

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  All right, we will proceed

          9        to vote again on reconsideration of No. 91.

         10             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  All right.

         12        Announce the vote.

         13             READING CLERK:  Sixteen yeas and 11 nays,

         14        Mr. Chairman.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  We are now going to go to

         16        lunch and come back at 12:45 and conclude at approximately

         17        2:00 after we come back.  Lunch is in the back right back

         18        here so you won't need to take any time.  We will keep the

         19        room secure so you can leave anything you want to leave in

         20        here.

         21             (Lunch recess at 12:50 p.m.)

         22             SECRETARY BLANTON:  All unauthorized visitors please

         23        leave the chamber.  All commissioners indicate your

         24        presence.  All commissioners indicate your presence.

         25             (Quorum taken and recorded electronically.)


          1             SECRETARY BLANTON:  Quorum present, Mr. Chairman.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We will come to order.  Could

          3        everybody take their seats, please?  We are not doing too

          4        good.  Call them.  Mr. Sergeant, can you go seat them?

          5        Commissioner Kogan and Commissioner Connor, you are under

          6        arrest.

          7             (Laughter.)

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  But not for Connor, right, not

          9        for Connor.  All right.  We will come to order, please.

         10        The secretary tells me that we have a camera here and we

         11        want to recreate the swearing in of our newest member, so

         12        we will do it all over again.  And we will ask

         13        Commissioner Jennings to -- well you can stand there.

         14             And then we will ask for Commissioner Marshall,

         15        Ford-Coates and Commissioner Evans-Jones to -- and, yes,

         16        and Commissioner Kogan, we are going to recreate this for

         17        the camera, the swearing in.

         18             (Commissioner Barton re-sworn by Commissioner Kogan.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Mathis,

         20        I think you wanted to be recognized; is that correct?

         21        Somebody told me you wanted to withdraw something?

         22             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  Oh, yes.

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Everybody that sits next to

         24        Commissioner Anthony gets confused and forgets what it was

         25        they were going to do.  He is very persuasive, you have to


          1        be careful.  Commissioner Mathis.

          2             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  I would like to propose the

          3        withdrawal of Proposal No. 42, which dealt with the recall

          4        of elected officials and judges.

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection,

          6        Proposal 42 is withdrawn.  Please come to order, lunch is

          7        over.

          8             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  I would also like to propose

          9        the withdrawal of Proposal No. 139 that prohibited

         10        county-wide election of school board members.  That also

         11        is a public proposal.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, Proposal No.

         13        139 is withdrawn.

         14             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  And in light of our

         15        comprehensive adoption of the proposal yesterday dealing

         16        with education, I would like to withdraw Proposal No. 140

         17        that dealt with free public schools and universities.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, Proposal 140

         19        is withdrawn.

         20             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  Thank you.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We will now proceed

         22        to the special order.  And I believe the next item on

         23        special order is in your red book and it's committee

         24        substitute for Proposal 51 by the committee on finance and

         25        taxation by Commissioner Anthony, and it was recommended


          1        as a committee substitute and approved by the committee on

          2        finance and taxation.

          3             Just a moment, before we get to that, one of our more

          4        important members has returned to us who keeps one of our

          5        other members straight and informed, Rita Lowndes is back,

          6        we are delighted to have her back.  John, you can leave

          7        now.  Commissioner Scott, I have been informed you want to

          8        be recognized before we consider Proposal 51.

          9             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  We have the matter on

         10        reconsideration that's Judge Barkdull's bill and I was

         11        going to move to take up that motion for reconsideration

         12        at this time.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Judge Barkdull,

         14        that's 123?

         15             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  123 on the -- by original

         16        proposal to abolish the budget and tax commission.  I

         17        agree with Commissioner Scott, I would like to see a

         18        motion for reconsideration decided now.  And if the motion

         19        should prevail, I think we will move to leave it pending.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott.

         21             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Right.  Mr. Chairman --

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We don't want to debate this, but

         23        you can explain it.

         24             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well, that is debatable, whether

         25        it is debatable.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You can explain it.

          2             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I think if the original matter

          3        was debatable, you can debate a motion to reconsider.  But

          4        regardless of that, some of us who voted for this are

          5        having some second thoughts about the whole issue of this

          6        budget and tax commission, which we have been, for

          7        example, working real hard on a lot of the -- on the same

          8        identical issues in our committee for the past several

          9        months, so they would meet again in two or three years.

         10        So the whole issue we think we ought to rethink it.

         11             So if we could move to -- the Commission would adopt

         12        the motion to reconsider it, then he would temporarily

         13        pass it and it would come back before us, probably, I

         14        assume, in a couple meetings.

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  It has been moved

         16        that this be reconsidered.  All in favor of

         17        reconsideration, say aye.  Opposed?

         18             (Verbal vote taken.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries.  It is on

         20        reconsideration.  Commissioner Barkdull, you are

         21        recognized.

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I now move that it be

         23        temporarily passed to be considered at a later date.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All in favor, say aye.  Opposed,

         25        no.


          1             (Verbal vote taken.)

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It passes.  It will be considered

          3        at a later date.  All right.  We will now proceed to

          4        Proposal 51 which we have already talked about.  Would you

          5        read it, please?  It is in your red book.

          6             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposal No.

          7        51; proposal to revise Article VII, s. 4, Florida

          8        Constitution, regarding the assessment of improvements to

          9        real property which occur between assessment dates.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Anthony,

         11        you are recognized.

         12             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  This

         13        Proposal 51 is related to partial-year assessment of real

         14        property.  As the members of the commission know, ad

         15        valorem taxes are specifically reserved in the

         16        Constitution for local government.  They are reserved

         17        specifically for us as local governments to carry out the

         18        responsibility that we have as local government officials.

         19        That is to provide law enforcement, that is to provide in

         20        some form or fashion, if it is a county government, health

         21        and social services, to provide all types of services that

         22        the local government is charged with providing.

         23             This primary source, in many ways, has been cut in

         24        half in terms of the revenue generated oftentimes by

         25        partial-year assessment or lack thereof of a process of


          1        partial-year assessment.

          2             It is costing local government some $121 million

          3        statewide of revenue because we are not able to get the

          4        funds or get the revenue for construction of properties,

          5        not, quote, unquote, substantially complete by January

          6        1st.  There being development houses, whether it is

          7        housing or commercial development that receives services

          8        from the local government without paying any revenue to

          9        that local government.

         10             At the finance and taxation committee meetings, this

         11        proposal, Proposal 51, was approved by this committee with

         12        an amendment that I'll ask Commissioner Nabors to share

         13        with you.  But the bedrock of local government in carrying

         14        out our responsibilities lies in this proposal, and I

         15        would urge, really urge you to consider supporting this

         16        proposal, and again allowing the voters to recapture and

         17        not allow the loophole that we have in our present law as

         18        it relates to partial-year assessments.

         19             Commissioner Nabors, did you want to talk about your

         20        amendment?

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull has a

         22        question for you.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Anthony.

         24             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I yield.

         25             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Let me see if I understand


          1        the situation.  If you have a lot that's vacant on

          2        January 1, and somebody commences a house on January 10th

          3        and it should be completed on September 30th, how would it

          4        be assessed?

          5             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  It will be assessed the

          6        following year.

          7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  The following year because it

          8        is a completed house?

          9             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  That is correct.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  But during the year of

         11        construction it would not be assessed?

         12             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  That is correct.

         13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  At the present time, if there

         14        is a house under construction on January 1 --

         15             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Commissioner Barnett was

         16        assisting me on this matter.  Am I correct?

         17             (Off-the-record discussion.)

         18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  If you have a house that's

         19        under construction on January 1 and it is substantially

         20        completed, I believe is the language now, it then goes on

         21        the tax roll; is that correct?

         22             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  That's correct.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Now, how would your proposal

         24        alter -- and what I'm really concerned about is what date

         25        do you pick for placing it on a tax roll, a partially


          1        completed residence for sell?

          2             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Commissioner Nabors, your

          3        amendment may speak to that.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Nabors.

          5             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Let me address that specific

          6        question, Commissioner Barkdull.  And then I'm going to

          7        talk about the amendment and then maybe the merits to it.

          8        As you know, just to summarize generally, what the current

          9        status of the law is, is that on real property, the

         10        property has to be substantially completed prior to

         11        January the 1st in order to be valued for the ensuing,

         12        really, budget year.

         13             In other words, if the property is substantially

         14        completed on January the 1st, then those improvements can

         15        be valued in the assessed value of that property to take

         16        into consideration the millage that's levied until the

         17        next October the 1st.  There is always a lag because our

         18        property taxes relate to the substantial completion to the

         19        prior January the 1st.

         20             What this amendment does, it allows the Legislature

         21        to deal with this problem with no prejudgment of how they

         22        would do that; that they will have the ability on a

         23        partial-year basis to come up with a partial-year roll by

         24        legislation by general law.  There have been a lot of

         25        proposals to deal with that that will work out the


          1        mechanics, but they run into some problems for reasons

          2        which I can explain in more detail.

          3             What this would allow is, would go into the

          4        Constitution to allow either on a uniform statewide basis,

          5        or on a county basis, for the Legislature by general law

          6        to take into consideration the value of improvements on a

          7        partial-year basis rather than -- it wouldn't have to be

          8        on January the 1st, the way it is now.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.

         10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I'm sorry, sir, I don't --

         11        I'm not as informed of this to be able to ask questions,

         12        but what worries me is whether you are going to have 364

         13        days to pick a date to evaluate partial completion.

         14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Well, let me

         15        suggest -- your question suggests another problem.  What

         16        is a partially completed house worth on January the 1st?

         17        It is worth zero in many instances because you can't live

         18        in it.

         19             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Mr. Chairman, let me go through

         20        a further explanation of what the proposal says and then

         21        maybe it will answer some of the questions.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is this dealt with by law now or

         23        is it dealt with in the Constitution?

         24             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  The reason why you need the

         25        amendment is there have been numerous proposals over the


          1        years to deal with the partial assessment of improvements

          2        so that you don't have to use the value of January the

          3        1st.  Many proposals --

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You mean statutory proposals?

          5             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Statutory proposals.  The

          6        problem with it is it runs into two problems.  In the

          7        Legislature, statutorily, one problem is most people feel,

          8        constitutionally, you can't have a distinction between

          9        tangible, personal property and real property.  That's one

         10        problem.

         11             The second problem is, in many small counties -- in

         12        many small counties it would cost more to implement a

         13        partial-year roll than it would yield revenue, so there is

         14        a problem with small county property appraisers objecting

         15        to this.

         16             So, what's happened is it passes various processes

         17        during the process but always ends up unable to control

         18        those two issues.  What this proposal is intending to do

         19        is, in language that is fairly clear, it authorizes the

         20        Legislature -- the Legislature may authorize -- it doesn't

         21        mandate anything -- may authorize taxation improvements of

         22        real property, real property, so it allows it to be done

         23        to real property not to any personal property, solves the

         24        one problem.

         25             Between assessment dates, uniformly, all of the local


          1        county options -- so it really, constitutionally, it

          2        empowers the Legislature, if they want to, to deal with

          3        this issue.  Now, as to whether or not they would use the

          4        still substantially complete concept and just move the

          5        date or whether they will have some other process to deal

          6        with that, I'm not familiar with all the details of

          7        various proposals that have been made statutorily.  So

          8        what this does is it puts in a constitutional framework

          9        the ability of the Legislature, if it wants to, to deal

         10        with this issue.

         11             Second issue is, why would you want to do this?  Why

         12        would you want to do this?  And I would argue that the

         13        arguments that are made is that there is always a lag.

         14             First let me argue why you would want to do it just

         15        to real property and not tangible personal property.  The

         16        argument I would make there is it is the improvements to

         17        real property which create the demand for services --

         18        which creates the demand for services.  The existence of

         19        valued tangible personal property doesn't necessarily

         20        create the demand for services like improvements that

         21        occur to new homes or new commercial establishments.  It

         22        could create the demand for new schools, potentially,

         23        create the demand for police, law, the other general

         24        government functions.  So it is the real property

         25        improvements which create that demand.


          1             The problem is for those who advocate partial-year,

          2        which will be a debate in the Legislature, is there is

          3        always a lag between the value of those improvements going

          4        on the roll, and therefore the creation of demand for

          5        those services and the ability of the government to pay

          6        for it.

          7             If the improvement is substantially completed on

          8        February the 1st for a new house which creates five new

          9        kids in school, which creates, you know, additional demand

         10        for services, it doesn't appear -- the value of that on a

         11        uniform millage doesn't appear until the subsequent

         12        October the 1st.  There is always a lag.

         13             So the thought is that by limiting it to real

         14        property, it is fundamentally fair; it solves the problem

         15        in the Legislature, plus it surgically deals with issues

         16        as to what improvements on a partial-year basis creates a

         17        demand for the services.

         18             The argument made against, politically it's made, and

         19        from a policy standpoint in the Legislature, against

         20        partial year, is the fact, Well development already pays

         21        high impact fees.  Which is true.  That varies by

         22        different areas of the state.  So, the question is that in

         23        some urban areas of the state there are very high impact

         24        fees which the government has to pay.  The argument

         25        against that is, which I think the Legislature ought to be


          1        able to deal with, is impact fees, goes to infrastructure,

          2        capital improvements, that the creation of the growth

          3        requires.

          4             Impact fees cannot be used for general governmental

          5        services, whereas property taxes can.  So this allows you

          6        the ability to get some relief to the existing property

          7        payers in terms of the demand for services.  The other

          8        reason on impact fees is the reason a lot of development

          9        communities hate impact fees.

         10             In fact, it's paid usually at the time of a building

         11        permit of CO, certificate of occupancy, whereas this would

         12        just be a part of the value of individual properties which

         13        would be in the property tax rolls and appear the next

         14        year, it wouldn't be a charge paid any different than the

         15        other charges.

         16             What would happen if you assume that the county or a

         17        city would have the same budget for a particular fiscal

         18        year, would have the same millage, what this would mean is

         19        that certain properties would pay greater contributions on

         20        the same millage because of the value of the improvements

         21        and others would pay less.  It really is an equity issue

         22        which allows the legislature the flexibility to deal with

         23        the issue of partial year.  Without this, without this, if

         24        you have got to try to do a partial year on tangible as

         25        well as real property, you lose your policy underpinning


          1        for doing that and you create political problems with

          2        utilities and other people, substantial earnings of

          3        tangible, personal property.

          4             And also you have got to be able to do it on a local

          5        option basis, none of which you can do under the current

          6        Constitution.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let me ask you this.  One of the

          8        unspoken things you have said is if you adopt this you

          9        will increase the amount of taxes that are paid for ad

         10        valorem taxes on real property in the county, correct,

         11        assuming the Legislature does it?

         12             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Absolutely not.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Why not?  If these aren't on the

         14        rolls, if you are not raising the taxes, why put them on

         15        the roll?

         16             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  We can debate that,

         17        Mr. Chairman.  What I am telling you would happen is if

         18        you assumed that a county X has a budget of $5 million

         19        then that equates into a -- that $5 million then is

         20        divided among all the assessed value, that's converted

         21        into a millage rate.  As certain properties' values

         22        increase, then that means the overall millage goes down.

         23        It affects different taxpayers, but it doesn't create,

         24        necessarily, new dollars to the local government.  It is

         25        more of an equity issue than it is an issue of new funds.


          1             In other words, you always, when property values go

          2        up, there is always, the millage then goes down -- when

          3        property values go up in the aggregate, the millage goes

          4        down, but the different property appraisers feel burdened

          5        based upon whether theirs went up or whether theirs stayed

          6        the same.

          7             So, it doesn't mean it creates new revenues for local

          8        government, it is an equity issue primarily.

          9             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  As I understand -- will the

         10        gentleman yield for a question?

         11             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Yes.

         12             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Nabors, then

         13        with the explanation you have given, it looks to me like

         14        still we can have 67 counties having different days of

         15        deciding whenever they are going to determine the value of

         16        a piece of real estate, and I don't know, we have got

         17        300-and-some-odd cities, although I think many of them use

         18        the county appraisals, but we are going to have no --

         19        rather than to have one particular day we know that that's

         20        the evaluations that are going to be used, it looks to me

         21        like you are going to have a diverse number of days to fix

         22        the total evaluation within the counties.

         23             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Yes.  I mean, we would have to

         24        assume that nothing in this proposal dictates that, it

         25        just authorizes the Legislature to allow a mechanism for


          1        partial -- for considerations of value of improvements

          2        other than on a January the 1st date.  We have to assume

          3        the Legislature, by general law, would operate statewide;

          4        even though it might be a local option, we would have to

          5        assume that the Legislature would be wise in this area,

          6        which all the proposals in the past have done, to have the

          7        system operate uniformly statewide except as on a local

          8        option basis.

          9             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  One last question, does the

         10        Statewide Property Appraisers Association have a position

         11        on this?

         12             COMMISSIONER NABORS:  Well, I think it varies.  Most

         13        of them -- some like it, some don't.  I mean, I don't know

         14        the property appraisers in the state have ever agreed on

         15        anything as a unanimous position.  I think generally what

         16        you will find is the urban property -- some of the urban

         17        property appraisers like it, all of the small ones hate

         18        it.  And that's why we really have to do a local -- and

         19        the reason -- there is a lot of debate among property

         20        appraisers, even those that like it, whether they want to

         21        do it or not.

         22             But I would argue that it makes good sense in public

         23        policy that the property appraiser is charged with the

         24        duty of valuing property, and that's a debate that ought

         25        to be happening in the Legislature.


          1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Now I am going in

          2        this order.  Commissioner Connor was first, then

          3        Commissioner Langley is next, and Commissioner Ford-Coates

          4        is third.  And you are recognized, Commissioner Connor.

          5             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, I think some of

          6        the logic that we have heard may be described as Alice in

          7        Wonderland logic.  My objection is more fundamental than

          8        the explanation that we have had.  I have not had one

          9        person write me, call me, fax me or E-mail me to tell me

         10        that they were not paying enough in taxes to any

         11        governmental entity.

         12             The fact of the matter is that we know that

         13        government has an insatiable appetite for money.  We know

         14        that government grows directly in proportion to the amount

         15        of money available to it.  And we know that there is an

         16        inverse relationship between the size of government and

         17        the amount of freedom and individual liberty that people

         18        enjoy.

         19             In my estimation, when a person, a young couple is

         20        building their first house and it is substantially

         21        complete but they cannot get a certificate of occupancy to

         22        occupy it, they are likely in one of the most strained

         23        financial positions they have ever been in because they

         24        are trying to take care of the rent or the mortgage

         25        payment on the building that they occupy, they have got


          1        expenses associated with the construction of this new

          2        property, and while there may be a theoretical increase in

          3        value to it, in fact they have never been in a greater

          4        financial strain ever.

          5             And now, under this proposal, we will let government

          6        place an even greater burden on them, make the strain all

          7        the greater.  Why?  Because the local government needs

          8        more money to offset the services associated with that.

          9        I'm sorry, I disagree with that and I'm going to take my

         10        stand on behalf of the taxpayer rather than the tax

         11        collector in this instance.

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now, Commissioner Langley.

         13             COMMISSIONER LANGLEY:  Sort of a question and also a

         14        comment on it.  How is this going to fit in, if you-all

         15        are familiar with the trim bill and its notice

         16        requirements; how does it fit in with the value adjustment

         17        board that meets when you contest the appraisers?  And

         18        they only meet once a year.  They are under -- in fact,

         19        the backup date here is getting these tax notices out.

         20        Before then you have got to have it affirmed -- confirmed,

         21        and before then you have got to have your DAV board meet

         22        on it to confirm those that are contested.  Before then

         23        you have got all of your trim notices.

         24             All of this is a pretty tightly packed schedule right

         25        now.  How does staggering, if that's what you are going to


          1        do, these assessment dates, how in the world is all of

          2        that going to work within those counties?

          3             And secondly, picking up Commissioner Connor's

          4        couple, or anyone else, that house that I can't live in in

          5        January 1st is absolutely of no value to me.  I don't care

          6        how much I have got in it, it is of no value to me because

          7        I am in a rented house or somewhere waiting to move in my

          8        home.  That house is of no value.  And why should it be

          9        taxed?  And what is the equity if I started a month before

         10        the January 1st and they come in and tax and my neighbor

         11        waits until January the 2nd to start his house and he pays

         12        nothing at all?

         13             I'll tell you, it is Pandora's box, you really don't

         14        want to open it.  And, yes, there is a variation in the

         15        property appraiser's opinion, it runs from terrible to

         16        horrible.  That's about the only variation.

         17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

         18        Ford-Coates.

         19             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  I rise with great

         20        trepidation to discuss this issue because it affects two

         21        areas of local government with which I work on a daily

         22        basis, one is the county commission and the other is the

         23        property appraiser.

         24             So let me share with you what I believe their

         25        positions are.  The Florida Association of County


          1        Commissioners considers this a prime issue as being

          2        important to county commissions around the state.  In most

          3        cases, as Commissioner Nabors said, it would not raise

          4        more revenue because the budget is adopted; that budget is

          5        compared against the assessed value, the taxable value;

          6        that's how the millage rate is determined.  So if the

          7        taxable value goes up, the budget is still over here;

          8        there would be basically no change.

          9             In small counties that have reached the ten mill cap,

         10        however, it might have an affect on the amount of money

         11        that they can raise in those counties because they are

         12        dealing with very significant problems of revenue, in

         13        dealing with that ten mill cap, the number of properties

         14        that are exempt in many of those rural counties.  So this

         15        is an issue that county commissioners across the state

         16        support with great enthusiasm.

         17             On the other side, I would echo what Commissioner

         18        Langley said.  I have yet to meet a property appraiser

         19        that thinks that this is workable in any format.  And I

         20        must tell you that my colleagues, the tax collectors, have

         21        similar concerns.

         22             The administration of a change, a move to

         23        partial-year assessments is very difficult according to

         24        the proposals that we have seen introduced in the

         25        Legislature over the last several years.  Some of those


          1        problems have been delineated, what day are we going to

          2        assess?  Will there be two tax bills instead of one?  Will

          3        there be a second tax roll?  Will we assess it on the next

          4        year's tax roll?  How do you do notice?  How do you do

          5        value adjustment board, et cetera?

          6             I can share with you that my property appraiser and

          7        several others' property appraisers have said to me that

          8        if the words "substantially complete" were deleted from

          9        the current statute, which does again raise the question

         10        of can you deal with real property separate from tangible,

         11        that that would solve the problem.  Back in the, I want to

         12        say, the '60s, properties in Florida did not have to be

         13        substantially complete.

         14             They were valued on January 1 as to whatever value

         15        that had.  And for instance, in our county we have a large

         16        condominium being built.  It has gone through its second

         17        January 1st with no assessment on the roll.  According to

         18        the way this is being proposed, it would still not be on

         19        the roll on January 1 because it is still not

         20        substantially complete.

         21             So, it is a bigger issue.  I can't tell you right now

         22        which way I'm going to vote, I'll tell you when I push my

         23        button because I'm not sure, I have great concerns about

         24        it, but on the other side it is very important to the

         25        counties and to the state of Florida.


          1             So I'm glad I added so much to the confusion on the

          2        issue, but I needed to share my concerns.

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We had, in the '78 Commission, we

          4        had a commissioner who would get up and say, Well I'm

          5        51 percent for this but I'm 49 percent against it; and you

          6        haven't decided which one is which, is that correct?

          7             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  (Nods affirmatively.)

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any other discussion?

          9        Commissioner Evans.

         10             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  A question of Commissioner

         11        Ford-Coates.  The staff analysis said, says, if this

         12        proposal had been fully implemented statewide in fiscal

         13        year 1997, it would have generated approximately

         14        $121.7 million in local revenue.  Does that mean that

         15        it -- is this new revenue or is it -- the 121.7 would

         16        already have been there, just somebody else is paying it?

         17        I don't understand how this is not a tax increase.

         18             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  I would assume that what

         19        they are doing is basing that upon the millage rate if the

         20        assessed value, taxable value, increased across the state

         21        and the millage rate was not lowered, then that would

         22        increase -- that would generate that much revenue.  But as

         23        Commissioner Nabors said, that's not how taxing bodies

         24        determine their budget.  They do their budget and they do

         25        their -- compare that to the taxable value.  It is not


          1        quite as simple as it sounds, so they might not even

          2        choose to raise that additional revenue.

          3             There have been a great deal of studies; there have

          4        been task forces put together; a report was done back in

          5        1995 from the Advisory Council on Intergovernmental

          6        Relations.  They did not comment, as I read it, to a

          7        specific conclusion.

          8             Again, sincere problems, sincere benefits.  Good

          9        luck.

         10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Anything further,

         11        Commissioner Anthony, to close?

         12             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Mr. Chairman, as I close on

         13        this matter, let me tell you a story, if you will.  I got

         14        a call from, and the name had been changed to protect the

         15        innocent, I got a call from a Mr. Rundle.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Mr. who?

         17             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Mr. Rundle at my house one

         18        night as I was looking at a football game.  I think it was

         19        either the game that University of Florida beat Florida

         20        State, I think that was the game I was looking at that

         21        night.  And Mr. Rundle said to me, Mayor Anthony, could

         22        you please help me with this immigration law because it is

         23        really hurting our community.  You need to do something

         24        about that at City Hall.

         25             And I said to Mr. Rundle, I said, Mr. Rundle, I am a


          1        mayor, Congress people deal with immigration laws, you

          2        should call your Congress person.  And Mr. Rundle says to

          3        me, in a very sincere fashion, You mean, I have got to

          4        call my Congressman; I thought I would just start at the

          5        top.  I thought I would just start at the top.  I thought

          6        I would just start at the top.  Well, that's the

          7        expectation that our citizens have of local government.

          8             They also have an expectation, Commissioner Connor,

          9        that we are going to run our cities like the private

         10        sector.  And that is oftentimes what we say in local

         11        government, we should have more efficiency, more

         12        accountability, and more responsibility to our citizenry.

         13             The demands of local government every week increases,

         14        increases over and over again.  The services that we are

         15        expected to provide also have that same level of increase

         16        and expectation by the citizens.  If this body expects, as

         17        many of us do in our own business, our own corporations,

         18        the same level and quality of service, local government

         19        must have the revenue to carry out that business function

         20        and responsibility and quality of service.

         21             If a house is empty and it is being constructed,

         22        believe me, it does require local government service.  An

         23        example, if an empty house is sitting there in most of our

         24        communities in which we live, it will require police

         25        protection and police service.  And if you don't think


          1        that that is accurate, you start a home in any of our

          2        communities and just leave it there for six months,

          3        everyday, and don't let one police officer go by.  I will

          4        tell you that vandalism perhaps most likely would occur to

          5        that house.

          6             The day in which that construction starts drives a

          7        demand on service from your local government.  Give this

          8        business, if you will, the tools to carry out the

          9        responsibility that you charge us as corporate leaders,

         10        because local government is a business, like it or not, it

         11        is a business.  I run South Bay, my administrators are

         12        expected to make recommendations to that policy board that

         13        have business principles within it.

         14             Give local government the tools to run that

         15        corporation like you would like the tools and resources to

         16        run your organization.  And allow Mr. Rundle, if you will,

         17        the opportunity to know that that mayor can truly respond

         18        to him about immigration issues, as well as those service

         19        issues.

         20             That $121 million that you talked about, Commissioner

         21        Evans, is needed in order to run and provide quality

         22        services in Orlando.  It is needed, Commissioner Connor,

         23        here in Tallahassee to provide you the services that you

         24        need.  And if we want to give the voters the opportunity

         25        to provide us with those tools, let's support this


          1        proposal.  Thank you.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Rundle, doesn't

          3        Mr. Rundle have a green card; he wouldn't need to call

          4        about that, would he?  That was a hypothetical, I presume?

          5             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  There is no Mr. Rundle except

          6        her father, of course.  Is that correct, Commissioner

          7        Rundle?

          8             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  (Nods in the affirmative.)

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Having closed, we will proceed to

         10        vote on the proposal.  Open the machine.

         11             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Close the

         13        machine and announce the vote.

         14             READING CLERK:  Thirteen yeas and 14 nays,

         15        Mr. Chairman.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It fails.  We will move to the

         17        next proposal.

         18             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  I spotted Commissioner

         19        Sundberg's name with a vote on it and he is not here.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well there was nobody by his

         21        desk.  They have moved them.  Just a moment, they have

         22        moved the names to put Commissioner Barton's name up so

         23        they -- and Thompson is locked out and now he is Sundberg.

         24             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Oh, is that how it is?

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You can get away with a lot of


          1        votes today, Commissioner Thompson, and blame them on

          2        Commissioner Sundberg.  That is correct, isn't it?  Well I

          3        know he didn't vote, but he appeared on the --

          4             Would you explain, Madam Secretary, to the body what

          5        happened?  Why it shows on the board as Sundberg when it

          6        is actually Thompson that's voting.

          7             (Off-the-record discussion.)

          8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The recorded vote does not have

          9        Sundberg voting, it has Thompson voting.  And that is the

         10        correct way that it was.  And they will correct the board

         11        so it will reflect what is showing on the machine.

         12             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I'm from a small town, so I am

         13        kind of confused.  Could I ask for a revote on that matter

         14        based upon that confusion that I may have on this matter?

         15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You can ask for it.

         16             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  I am requesting a revote,

         17        verification of the vote.

         18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Verification is what you want.

         19             COMMISSIONER ANTHONY:  Okay.

         20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll tell you what we will do, we

         21        will have a roll call.  Call the roll.  That's the only

         22        way we can verify it.

         23             I think the Secretary has tried to assure you that

         24        the vote is accurate, but if you want to do it, we have to

         25        verify it with a roll call because they haven't changed


          1        the names up there yet.

          2             (Roll call taken and vote recorded electronically.)

          3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are going backwards.

          4        Announce the vote.

          5             SECRETARY BLANTON:  Thirteen yeas, 15 nays,

          6        Mr. Chairman.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Just to test this,

          8        Mr. Thompson, push your button, please.  Open the machine

          9        and let Mr. Thompson push his button.

         10             See, he is Sundberg.  Now, Barton, would you push

         11        your button, Commissioner Barton?  She is Commissioner

         12        Barton.  So until they change the thing, Thompson's vote

         13        is being recorded on Sundberg's name.  But it is being

         14        recorded on the machine.

         15             All right, we are going to move on.  The next

         16        proposal is 170 by the committee on executive.  And,

         17        Commissioner Mills, it was disapproved by the committee on

         18        executive.  And would you read it, please?

         19             Oh, Commissioner Mills, you are recognized.

         20             (Inaudible.)

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are recognized, but you are

         22        coming through silently.

         23             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I know.  Mr. Chairman, I have

         24        spoken with the rules committee chairman.  The provision

         25        that you have in your packet, the committee amended it,


          1        and that provision is not in there.  And so I would

          2        request to temporarily pass this until the proper

          3        provision was accurately in the packet.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  It will be

          5        temporarily passed pending giving you the right thing in

          6        your packet.

          7             We will move on to Commissioner -- well, Commissioner

          8        Sundberg is not here.  I would suggest that we temporarily

          9        pass it since he is going to be here tomorrow.  Without

         10        objection we will do so.  Or he plans to be here, you

         11        know, that doesn't mean he will be.

         12             Then we will move to committee substitute for

         13        Proposals 112 and 124 by the Committee on Finance and

         14        Taxation, Article VII.  And Commissioner Mills and

         15        Ford-Coates -- was recommended as a committee substitute

         16        and approved by the Committee on Finance and Taxation.

         17        Please read it.

         18             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposal

         19        Nos. 112 and 124; proposal to revise Article VII, s.3,

         20        Florida Constitution; providing for an exemption from ad

         21        valorem taxation for certain tangible personal property.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We have two of you up

         23        that are both joint.  All right, who wants to go first?

         24        Commissioner Mills, all right.

         25             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I'll just introduce this


          1        concept.  This comes from testimony we heard from the

          2        public suggesting that tangible personal property tax

          3        below a certain level was actually from the point of view

          4        of appraisers and collectors almost just a nuisance rather

          5        than an actual, positive cash flow.  And the committee,

          6        and particularly Commissioner Ford-Coates, spent a good

          7        bit of time drafting an approach that would provide local

          8        option, give legislative discretion, and I would ask, Mr.

          9        Chairman, if you will recognize Commissioner Ford-Coates

         10        to further explain it.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Ford-Coates.

         12             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Gee, I hesitate to speak

         13        on the same issue of ad valorem taxes after the last

         14        moments.  But we do have in Florida a very efficient

         15        method of levying and collecting ad valorem taxes.  You

         16        are all probably aware of it, but let me just reiterate

         17        the property appraisers, one in each of the 67 counties,

         18        according to state guidelines, assesses all property,

         19        certifies that information, plus the millage rates that

         20        are certified to him or her, as the tax roll to the tax

         21        collector, that the tax collectors then, in all of the

         22        counties, mail out one bill representing taxes for the

         23        county, the cities, the school boards, special districts,

         24        hospital boards, water management districts, et cetera.

         25        So it appears to the taxpayers as one simple bill once a


          1        year.  Mr. Chairman, do we have a quorum on the floor?

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes.

          3             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  In the area of tangible

          4        personal property there are --

          5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  They are not paying attention,

          6        but they are all on the floor, that's correct.

          7             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Then I assume they are all

          8        going to vote for this anyway.

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Either that or they are all going

         10        to vote against it, we don't know yet.

         11             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  There are three kinds of

         12        tangible personal property.  There are those levied on

         13        business equipment and furnishings, those on attachments

         14        to mobile homes which are the carports, the screened rooms

         15        and the Florida rooms attached to mobile homes.  And on

         16        rental furnishings of properties, condominiums and houses

         17        that are let out for rents.

         18             Two of these areas, mobile home attachments and

         19        rental furnishings, basically brings in in most counties

         20        very little revenue, in some cases less revenue is coming

         21        in than it is costing to assess and collect that

         22        individual tax bill.  What we have done is we have got a

         23        proposal before you and it is required that it is done in

         24        the Constitution, this cannot be done by the Legislature,

         25        provides that mobile home attachments and rental property


          1        furnishings for rental units of 10 or less will be exempt

          2        at the county's option.

          3             Therefore, if there is a county that for some reason

          4        is managing to collect this tax and actually generate

          5        revenue, they can choose to keep on taxing at that rate.

          6             The figures that we got from the Department of

          7        Revenue showed that in most cases most counties would opt

          8        not to be taxing in this area; many counties have none of

          9        these accounts on rental furnishings and other taxes.

         10             This is a subject that has driven me crazy for my 20

         11        some years working in the tax collector's office because I

         12        can't imagine, and I'm sure you would agree with me,

         13        anything more frustrating than mailing out a bill to

         14        someone, getting their money back in, and knowing it is a

         15        wash.  It makes no sense whatsoever to tax someone just

         16        for the sake of taxing.

         17             And in this day and age where we hear that we want to

         18        see government reinvented, we want to see government work

         19        smarter, we want to see government work more like a

         20        business, I submit to you there is no profit margin in

         21        these kinds of tangible taxes, and it is time to make

         22        government work more like a business, and I urge your

         23        support of this good proposal.

         24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Scott.

         25             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Just briefly.  The finance and


          1        tax committee passed this I think unanimously; it is a

          2        great idea.  It will help cut down on some unnecessary

          3        processing and government expense.

          4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott, this might be

          5        something that would be included on the ballot along with

          6        others that were noncontroversial; is that substantially

          7        true?

          8             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well, that would be up to --

          9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I know, but I'm just asking your

         10        opinion, is it noncontroversial in that sense?

         11             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well, there wasn't any

         12        controversy or opposition that we know of.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.

         14             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  But I don't know whether it

         15        would be included.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are you ready to vote?  So we

         17        will vote.  Open.

         18             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

         19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I told you we had a quorum, just

         20        barely.  Commissioner Thompson is walking around pushing

         21        buttons.

         22             (Laughter.)

         23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Close the machine and announce

         24        the vote.

         25             READING CLERK:  Twenty-six yeas and zero nays,


          1        Mr. Chairman.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.

          3             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chair, Members of the

          4        Commission, I suggest that we conclude the special order

          5        at this time and go into announcements and withdrawals and

          6        so forth.

          7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  After this is adjourned, we go to

          8        committee meetings, as most of you know.  But the next

          9        item on the special order would have been, if we go

         10        forward with the proposal relating to equal opportunity to

         11        employment, housing, public accommodation and public

         12        education, et cetera, which would probably carry us well

         13        into the afternoon in debate.

         14             And following that one, providing persons may not be

         15        deprived of their rights because of gender, so those are

         16        two items that we will start with fresh in the morning,

         17        assuming that Commissioner Barkdull's suggestion is taken.

         18        And without objection, it shall be.  And, Commissioner

         19        Rundle, do you rise for some specific question or purpose?

         20             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Mr. Chairman, it appears again

         21        we have run out of time, we have had a busy day.  I would

         22        like to make sure that the reconsideration of the

         23        proposal, the one dealing with forfeitures is carried over

         24        until tomorrow.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Without objection, it is


          1        carried over.  We have waived the rules.  We have waived

          2        the rules, without objection, we have waived the rules.

          3        Commissioner Kogan.

          4             COMMISSIONER KOGAN:  Mr. Chairman, I'd like to remind

          5        the following Commissioners that they do have proposals

          6        pending in front of ethics and elections.  And they are,

          7        Mr. Chairman, public financing of election campaigns.

          8        Let's see -- well I don't know if Commissioner Langley is

          9        still here, he has got election of judges.  Of course,

         10        Commissioner Sundberg has something.  Commissioner

         11        Thompson has limiting political contributions.

         12        Commissioner Riley has nonpartisan county elections.

         13        Commissioner Connor has electoral participation.  And

         14        Commissioner Mills has improper conduct in connection with

         15        elections.

         16             Now, to all the Commissioners, we are meeting in Room

         17        C in the Senate Office Building.  And that is, go to the

         18        ground floor and go on down one.  Now, if we get all of

         19        you there, we can dispose of all of these things and my

         20        committee will be very, very happy that they won't have to

         21        meet again.  Thank you.

         22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.

         23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, I have been in

         24        discussion with Commissioner Mills and I think he may have

         25        an announcement in reference to the Article V select


          1        committee on costs.

          2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes, Commissioner Mills.

          3             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, in discussions of

          4        this issue with those on our committee and others

          5        involved, it would seem to make sense to call a meeting of

          6        Article V select committee tomorrow afternoon upon

          7        adjournment to get a status report.  We hope Commissioner

          8        Sundberg will be here at that time.  And furthermore, we

          9        have had staff, Mr. Buzzett and others, have been working

         10        on some ideas, so we can get an update of where we are.

         11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Do you have any estimate about

         12        how you are coming?  Are you going to have this ready for

         13        the next meeting?

         14             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I don't think we will know that

         15        until we have that meeting.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  We need to probably try to

         17        expedite it if we can, maybe have another meeting before

         18        the next meeting if you need it.

         19             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  The morning of the 26th if

         20        they have to.

         21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Correct.

         22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I think having a meeting

         23        tomorrow afternoon to find out where they are going would

         24        be a pretty good idea.

         25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He is doing that.  Is there


          1        anything else?  Commissioner Barkdull.

          2             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I want to remind the members

          3        of the Commission that we waived the rules in permitting

          4        Commissioner Connor to introduce Proposition No. 187 which

          5        has been referred to the declaration of rights committee,

          6        and the declaration of rights committee is scheduled to

          7        meet tomorrow afternoon at 6:15 or upon adjournment.  Does

          8        anybody else have any matters that they would like to

          9        withdraw?

         10             There will be no rules committee meeting this

         11        afternoon.  And I now move that we recess until the hour

         12        of 8:30 tomorrow morning.

         13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection, we

         14        will recess until, what time, 8:30?

         15             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  8:30.

         16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.

         17             (Session recessed at 1:50 p.m., to be continued at

         18        8:30 a.m., on January 15, 1998.)









          1                             CERTIFICATE

          2   STATE OF FLORIDA:

          3   COUNTY OF LEON:

          4             I, JULIE L. DOHERTY, MONA L. WHIDDON, and KRISTEN
              L. BENTLEY, Court Reporters, certify that I was authorized
          5   to and did stenographically report the foregoing proceedings
              and that the transcript is a true and complete
          6   record of my stenographic notes.

          7             DATED this ______ day of ____________, 1998.


          9                      ___________________________________
                                 JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR

         12                      MONA L. WHIDDON


         14                      ___________________________________
                                 KRISTEN L. BENTLEY
         15                      Court Reporters
                                 Division of Administrative Hearings
         16                      The DeSoto Building
                                 1230 Apalachee Parkway
         17                      Tallahassee, Florida  32399-3060
                                 (850) 488-9675   Suncom 278-9675
         18                      Fax Filing (850) 921-6847