1 STATE OF FLORIDA
CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION
DATE: February 26, 1998
TIME: Commenced at 9:00 a.m.
11 Concluded at 11:45 a.m.
12 PLACE: The Senate Chamber
13 Tallahassee, Florida
14 REPORTED BY: KRISTEN L. BENTLEY
JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR
15 MONA L. WHIDDON
16 Division of Administrative Hearings
The DeSoto Building
17 1230 Apalachee Parkway
2 W. DEXTER DOUGLASS, CHAIRMAN
3 CARLOS ALFONSO
CLARENCE E. ANTHONY (EXCUSED)
4 ANTONIO L. ARGIZ (ABSENT)
JUDGE THOMAS H. BARKDULL, JR.
5 MARTHA WALTERS BARNETT
6 ROBERT M. BROCHIN
THE HONORABLE ROBERT A. BUTTERWORTH
7 KEN CONNOR
8 SENATOR ANDER CRENSHAW
9 MARILYN EVANS-JONES
BARBARA WILLIAMS FORD-COATES
10 ELLEN CATSMAN FREIDIN
PAUL HAWKES (ABSENT)
11 WILLIAM CLAY HENDERSON
THE HONORABLE TONI JENNINGS
12 THE HONORABLE GERALD KOGAN
DICK LANGLEY (ABSENT)
13 JOHN F. LOWNDES
STANLEY MARSHALL (EXCUSED)
14 JACINTA MATHIS (ABSENT)
JON LESTER MILLS
15 FRANK MORSANI
ROBERT LOWRY NABORS
16 CARLOS PLANAS (ABSENT)
JUDITH BYRNE RILEY
17 KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE
SENATOR JIM SCOTT (EXCUSED)
18 H. T. SMITH
ALAN C. SUNDBERG
19 JAMES HAROLD THOMPSON
PAUL WEST (EXCUSED)
20 JUDGE GERALD T. WETHERINGTON (ABSENT)
STEPHEN NEAL ZACK
IRA H. LEESFIELD (ABSENT)
22 LYRA BLIZZARD LOGAN (ABSENT)
2 (Quorum taken and recorded electronically.)
3 SECRETARY BLANTON: All unauthorized visitors, please
4 leave the chamber. All commissioners indicate your
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. If everybody could
7 take their seats, please.
8 SECRETARY BLANTON: Quorum present, Mr. Chairman.
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. I am informed that
10 Commissioner Jennings is receiving an award and will be
11 here as soon as she's awarded. I don't know. All right.
12 Would all commissioners and guests please rise for the
13 opening prayer given this morning by Reverend Gilbert
14 Crosby of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in
15 Tallahassee. Reverend Crosby.
16 REVEREND CROSBY: Let us pray. Most gracious God,
17 Creator of all things, you formed the human race and
18 blessed us with memory, reason and skill, setting us as
19 stewards over all of creation, and enjoining us to love,
20 care for, and protect one another. Guide those who have
21 been raised to positions of leadership as members of this
22 Constitutional Revision Commission as they consider the
23 issues before them this day. Grant them grace and wisdom
24 in the exercise of their duties, fill them with the love
25 of truth and of righteousness, keep them ever mindful of
1 their calling to be servants of the people.
2 Finally, we pray, teach our people to rely on your
3 strength and to accept and exercise their responsibilities
4 as citizens, that together we may serve you and honor your
5 name, for yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are
6 exalted as head over all. Amen.
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Thank you. This morning we have
8 with us students from the Crestview Independent School,
9 Danny Hamilton and James Hamilton, whose mother Linda sits
10 here in front of you every day, we are delighted to have
11 them, along with Virginia Tuyn, the sponsor, Carrie Ann
12 Ness, Shannon O'Donnell, Whitney Kaufman and Brittney
13 Jarvis. If you young people would come forward and lead
14 us in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
15 (Pledge of Allegiance.)
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Thank you. And we are delighted
17 to have you with us. We'll come to order and get under
19 Commissioner Barkdull. All right. As I understand
20 it, Commissioner Barkdull, you are -- the Committee on
21 Rules report is being distributed.
22 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: So if you want to proceed, you
24 can. You have the floor.
25 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Mr. Chairman, Members of the
1 Commission, the Committee on Rules and Administration met
2 yesterday evening upon adjournment and has come up with
3 the following recommendations for the public hearings that
4 will be held in Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg and the
5 TV forum that will be here in Tallahassee.
6 For the public hearings in Fort Lauderdale and St.
7 Petersburg, all proposals should be available at both
8 meetings for discussions by the public at that time.
9 Those are all of the proposals that have received at least
10 a majority vote in this body under the procedure that we
11 adopted Tuesday. The speakers will be called in the order
12 in which they have signed up. They will be taken on a
13 first come, first served basis.
14 Neither topics nor speakers will be grouped, although
15 I'm sure that the Chair will ask when there are a large
16 number of people from the same groups to have a spokesman.
17 There will be a time limit of three minutes.
18 We are modifying a little bit, because of some public
19 reaction we had at the other public hearings. In addition
20 to the card that they will sign to note their name and
21 address and what topics they wish to speak on, there will
22 be a place where they will have an opportunity to vote
23 whether they are for or against the major proposals or the
24 proposals that are up before the public.
25 There will also be an indication that they can turn
1 the card over and write what sentiments they would like to
2 express on the back of the card, with the assurance the
3 that their remarks will be brought to the attention of the
4 commissioners. Because that way it lets everybody be able
5 to express their views, even if they may not be able to be
6 reached. Because we are recommending that the time be
7 9:00 to 5:00 at both open forums in Fort Lauderdale and
8 St. Petersburg.
9 The Tallahassee hearing has a limited space. This is
10 a one hour TV statewide call-in program. And the
11 committee recommends that the participants -- and I
12 believe that eight is the maximum that they can have --
13 be, of course, the Chairman, Commissioner Mills as
14 Chairman of Style and Drafting, that the next priority of
15 those that will be available for the other six positions
16 would be committee chairmen. If committee chairmen are
17 unable to attend, then it would be extended to committee
18 vice chairmen. And we believe by then we would have
19 filled up the six seats.
20 I call your attention that these recommendations of
21 the committee are on your desk in written form. Also on
22 your desk is another chart that shows the public hearings.
23 And you will note that it's not in chronological order.
24 It opens with March 9th, which is a hearing up here and
25 then shows the hotels for the 6th and the 12th hearings.
1 I alert those that may be here to appear on the TV
2 thing on the 9th, if you cannot fly in that day and fly
3 out and you need to make reservations, the available
4 hotels or motels are listed under that March 9th column,
5 because the Legislature will be in session and it will be
6 difficult to get in -- I don't think that the Doubletree
7 is going to be available. It may be, but I doubt it.
8 I would move that the Rules and Administration report
9 as to the procedure to be followed at the public hearings
10 be adopted, Mr. Chairman.
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. There is a motion
12 that we adopt the report of the Rules Committee relating
13 to public hearings. Any discussion? If not, all in favor
14 say aye; opposed?
15 (Verbal vote taken.)
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It is adopted.
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Then turning to the calendar
18 for today, there's one change that needs to be made on it.
19 Late yesterday afternoon we waived the rules and took up
20 Proposition 59 or Proposal 59 in order to insert the
21 Lowndes amendment which related to an arbitration
22 proceeding being available for claims against the state or
23 the political subdivision in excess of $500,000. Under
24 the normal processes, that is now in the Style and
25 Drafting Committee.
1 With the concurrence of the Chairman of Style and
2 Drafting, I would like to move that that be withdrawn from
3 Style and Drafting and placed on this calendar today in
4 order that it can get in the same posture for the public
5 hearings as the other matters that we have considered the
6 last three days. And at this time I move that it be
7 removed from Style and Drafting and placed on the
8 calendar, at the end of the calendar for today.
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Zack.
10 COMMISSIONER ZACK: When there was a waiver
11 yesterday, wasn't that a waiver of all of those issues,
12 Mr. Chairman?
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I assume that it was, but his
14 motion is to withdraw it from Style and Drafting and place
15 it on the calendar.
16 COMMISSIONER ZACK: Does that require a new vote on
17 the matter?
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It requires a vote on the motion,
19 at this point. If you grant the motion, I guess it would
20 be back for reconsideration.
21 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It's never been on the
22 calendar on the program that we have been following on
23 those items that have been recommended out of Style and
24 Drafting, in which if they don't get a majority vote, they
25 are dead. If they get a majority vote, they go to public
1 hearings, come back with five hands and there can be a
2 re-vote. That's what we are trying to do is get it in
3 that posture.
4 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. It's my
5 understanding, if you vote for this, it'll be back on the
6 calendar and it'll be subject to a motion to reconsider.
7 (Off-the-record comment.)
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It doesn't have to be
9 reconsidered, okay. It'll be back on the calendar.
10 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It'll be on the calendar. We
11 are trying to get it in the same posture as the other
12 eight items that are on the calendar today.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. And any item that is
14 moved for reconsideration today from yesterday.
15 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Does everybody understand the
17 motion? If you vote for this motion, Proposal 59 will
18 come back to the calendar and be available for a vote and
19 debate today. Is that correct?
20 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir.
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Barkdull, that's
22 your motion?
23 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir.
24 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Everybody in favor of the motion,
25 say aye; opposed?
1 (Verbal vote taken.)
2 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Well, it was one to one.
3 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: No, I heard two.
4 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. I'm going to rule that the
5 motion passed and it will be placed on the calendar.
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: With that, Mr. Chairman, that
7 concludes the report of the Rules Committee, and we would
8 now be prepared to go into the special order.
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Barkdull, would you
10 take the chair for a moment so I can make a motion?
11 (Commissioner Barkdull assumes the Chair).
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: For what purpose does
13 Commissioner Douglass rise?
14 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I rise to make a motion to
15 reconsider Proposal No. 58, which we voted on yesterday.
16 And I would like to explain why I'm making that motion.
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: You are recognized.
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Earlier in the week, the people
19 who supported this that you will recall were the ones who
20 had lost their parents and could not bring suits, and this
21 was the age discrimination matter. It passed originally
22 when it had come before the body with a vote of something
23 like 20 to 7.
24 I assured them that they didn't need to spend their
25 money to stay here to lobby the group, because if it had a
1 20 to 7 vote, it was very, very unlikely that they would
2 not have a majority vote to be heard at the public
3 hearings and that they could then appear at the public
4 hearings and speak to them.
5 And then the vote was taken and I voted with the
6 prevailing side, so, realizing that I had somewhat misled
7 these people. And I felt very personally obligated to get
8 this back and attempt to get a majority vote so that what
9 I told them would happen, would happen. Now I recognize
10 that as chairman I may have been presumptive thinking
11 because it was 20 to 7 that it would get a majority vote.
12 For your information, I see a whole lot of people
13 that don't bother you-all because I suggest that they
14 don't. Some of them when I suggest they do continue to do
15 so, but at least I try to deflect you from some of the
16 things, because I spend full time, practically, here and
17 available to see whoever has a problem. So I'm asking for
18 reconsideration of this. And if it is reconsidered, a
19 majority vote so that it can go to public hearing.
20 I'm not asking you to do anything that would alter
21 your opportunity to vote on this on final passage. And I
22 will, if it should get on, assure you that I will join
23 with four others in moving reconsideration after the
24 public hearings in order to comply with the rules. So I
25 am a little bit afraid to say please do this because I
1 need to get out of the ditch, but that's about what it is.
2 And as I told Commissioner Evans-Jones, I woke up
3 this morning, about 4:30, which is about an hour earlier
4 than I usually wake up, and I've been awake ever since
5 worrying about this. And I was temporarily relieved of
6 that worry when three young men in a car before daylight
7 showed up driving down one of my back roads coming in my
8 farm, and me on my four wheeler. And we had a discussion,
9 which I was very polite, but I did convince them that they
10 had taken the wrong road and they left. So I had a little
11 problem to take care of there.
12 All this is to ask that this be reconsidered and to
13 tell you why that I ask it be reconsidered. And I will
14 ask you when it is to give it a majority vote so that we
15 can allow these people to appear at the public hearing on
16 this matter.
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anybody else like to be heard
18 on the motion to reconsider? Commissioner Zack.
19 COMMISSIONER ZACK: On behalf of the motion,
20 yesterday, late in the day, I believe we were all trying
21 to limit our remarks, which I did on this matter,
22 believing that with a 20 to 7 vote there was no need to
23 really spend an extensive amount of time discussing it.
24 I also spoke to Commissioner Morsani, for example,
25 this morning, who I guess because, again, being late in
1 the day and the type of arguments that were being made,
2 voted against it, when in fact he was in favor of it.
3 There are numerous arguments that need to be made,
4 that should be made, and at the very least these people
5 need to be given the opportunity to come and express
6 themselves again, not to get a cold shoulder, and to know
7 that we heard what they said. Whether it goes forward or
8 not in the analysis is another matter. And I will join
9 the Chairman as one of the people of the five who would
10 ask that it be reconsidered at the time of our next
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anyone else want to be heard
13 on the motion to reconsider? Commissioner Smith.
14 COMMISSIONER SMITH: I'm going to vote to reconsider
15 not because of the merits, but as a courtesy to the chair.
16 I've asked him several times for courtesies that he didn't
17 have to grant in the rules, he's extended them to me and
18 to others that I've asked him to extend them to so I'm
19 going to do it for that reason. But I'm voting with you
20 to reconsider, Mr. Chair.
21 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Nabors.
22 COMMISSIONER NABORS: I'm going to do the same thing
23 for the same reasons that Mr. Smith is.
24 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: We don't need everybody in
25 the chamber to do this. Anybody else want to be heard on
1 the merits of the motion? Hearing and seeing nobody else,
2 as many as favor the motion, say aye; opposed nay.
3 (Verbal vote taken.)
4 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: The ayes have it. The matter
5 has been reconsidered. Now Commissioner Riley.
6 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Mr. Chairman, I would like to
7 also ask for a reconsideration on Proposal No. 6.
8 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Were you on the prevailing
10 COMMISSIONER RILEY: I was.
11 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: All right. Well, that's up
12 for reconsideration.
13 COMMISSIONER RILEY: That is the sales tax issue.
14 Commissioner Nabors may want to speak to the reasons.
15 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: We recognize that's available
16 to be made. Chairman Douglass, to follow your
17 explanation, do you want to make a motion to have that
18 matter placed on the calendar today?
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I move to place it on the
20 calendar today.
21 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Any further debate on that
22 motion? As many as favor the motion to place No. 59 on
23 the calendar today, say aye -- 58 instead of 59. Do you
24 need anything else on that, Madam Secretary? All right.
25 Commissioner Riley, do you have any more motions to
1 make on 6?
2 COMMISSIONER RILEY: I would like to move for
4 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I got that motion. That just
5 leaves it on the calendar.
6 COMMISSIONER RILEY: And to place it on the calendar
8 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Now that is the sales tax
9 sunset. Does everybody understand what this will do?
10 This will place this on the calendar for a vote again
11 today as to whether or not it goes to the public hearings.
12 Anybody want to be heard on the motion? Commissioner
14 COMMISSIONER NABORS: I would like to urge the body
15 to do this. I know that there are people who are opposed
16 to this. There are also people who think this is the most
17 fundamentally important thing that we can do. But the
18 ultimate concept that I would ask you to place in your
19 mind is that we do not really have a tax reform component
20 in what we're presenting to the people. We are going
21 through public hearing process, we have got another
22 opportunity where I and others who believe this have to
23 get 22 votes.
24 I would urge you that this isn't the appropriate time
25 to stop going forward on a fundamental proposal such as
1 this. I would urge you to reconsider and let's continue
2 through the public hearings.
3 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anybody else desire to be
4 heard? This constitutes a waiver of the rules, and with
5 the attendance that we have got today, it's going to take
6 a unanimous vote of this group to put it on today. Does
7 anybody else want to be heard on this matter?
8 All right. As many as favor the motion to place 58
9 on the calendar today --
10 (Off-the-record comment.)
11 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: 6 is the one.
12 (Off-the-record comment by Commissioner Nabors.)
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It puts it on the calendar,
14 but it wouldn't recur until we come back on the 17th. If
15 you want it on for today where it could be considered by
16 the public hearings, it is a waiver of the rules, which is
17 two-thirds of the entire body.
18 (Off-the-record comment.)
19 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, I don't want them both.
20 The motion right now is on 6. I thought the vote by
21 Commissioner Riley, the motion to reconsider was passed.
22 This is a motion to place it on the calendar today and
23 vote on it.
24 (Off-the-record comment.)
25 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: They voted on it, okay. The
1 Secretary tells me that we did not vote on the motion for
2 reconsideration. I apologize. The vote will be taken on
3 the motion to reconsider Proposition 6, the vote by which
4 it failed.
5 Let's get them one at a time. Anybody else want to
6 be heard on the motion to reconsider Proposition 6? If
7 nobody else wants to be heard, then all of those that
8 favor the motion to reconsider Proposition 6, say aye.
9 All of those opposed, nay.
10 (Verbal vote taken.)
11 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I think we're going to have
12 to go on the machine on it. I'm not as good as
13 Commissioner Jennings, I don't have as good an ear.
14 Please unlock the machine and take the vote.
15 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Lock the machine and announce
17 the vote.
18 READING CLERK: Eighteen yeas, 5 nays, Mr. Chairman.
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: The nays were a little loud. Now
20 it's in the posture where it will recur on the calendar
21 when we come back on the 17th, unless there is a motion to
22 place it on today, which will take a waiver of the rules.
23 (Pause.) Commissioner Riley.
24 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Mr. Chairman, I would like to
25 move that it be placed on the calendar today, with a
1 limited debate time wise.
2 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: That is a motion. Anybody
3 else want to be heard on the motion? Commissioner
5 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: I rise to speak in favor of
6 it. It is clearly the will of a significant majority of
7 this body to reconsider this matter. I ask -- but that
8 reconsideration will be much more meaningful, obviously,
9 if it can take place today and then you vote your
10 conscious. But let's please get the necessary votes to
11 let this matter be reconsidered, and if it's favorably
12 reconsidered, to go to public hearing.
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anybody else want to be
14 heard? Commissioner Brochin.
15 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: Yes, I would like to also urge
16 reconsideration. In the area of revising our
17 Constitution, as it affects tax and finance, we really
18 have no proposal of any meaning to go before the people
19 with. And even if we disagree with some of the components
20 of this particular proposal, if we could reconsider it,
21 vote it favorably out, and then let's at least talk
22 through it and revise it. If we can make it work better
23 in the intervening three to four weeks, it allows us the
25 The action we took yesterday, because of the posture
1 that we are in, effectively killed any tax reform package
2 that I think would be advisable for the Constitution.
3 This allows us at least procedurally, even if you don't
4 agree with the components of it today, for us to keep it
5 going and continue to work on it and hopefully come up
6 with something that we can all agree on.
7 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anybody else want to be heard
8 on the motion? If not, as many as favor the motion say
9 aye; those opposed, nay.
10 (Verbal vote taken.)
11 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It fails to get the necessary
12 vote to waive the rules. Commissioner Brochin.
13 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: I ask that you take a vote on
14 that, please.
15 (Off-the-record comment.)
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, it takes two-thirds of
17 the whole body and there's only 25 people here today, and
18 that's the vote, 25. Commissioner Brochin has raised a
19 point. Anybody else want a roll call vote? All right.
20 Open the machine.
21 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
22 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Everybody voted? Lock the
23 machine and announce the vote.
24 READING CLERK: Seventeen yeas, 7 nays, Mr. Chairman.
25 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: The motion fails.
1 Commissioner Brochin.
2 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: I would like to understand
3 then how we got Proposals 58 and 59 to consider today
4 without going through the same procedure.
5 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: The voice vote received no
6 negatives on 58 or 59. Now if -- Chairman Douglass.
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Would it be appropriate while I'm
8 on the floor to go ahead and move to take up 58? I'll be
9 happy to do it at the will of the body. And you're the
10 Rules Chairman so I'm asking you. I'll be glad to come
11 back and take the chair and bring it up --
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: If it's without objection,
13 we'll take it up now. If there's an objection, it's going
14 to the bottom of the calendar. Does anybody object to
15 taking 58 up now? Commissioner Sundberg.
16 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman, and
17 perhaps this is inappropriate, but I want to recur to
18 Proposition 6 and to get a clarification, if I may.
19 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: State the point.
20 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: My point is this: Would a
21 motion, recognizing that it is extraordinary, but would a
22 motion to permit -- we have already moved to reconsider,
23 but can't be reconsidered until the 17th on 6, all right.
24 Which means that the proposal is still alive.
25 What sort of vote would it take to permit it to go to
1 be an issue at the public hearings that we are going to
2 have, subject, of course, to it getting an appropriate
3 vote on reconsideration?
4 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It's going to take a waiver
5 of the rules, Commissioner Sundberg, and you are in the
6 same boat.
7 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: I was afraid that was the
8 answer. Hope springs eternal though.
9 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Riley.
10 COMMISSIONER RILEY: I would request a clarification,
11 if I may, on Proposition 6, then. It will be heard on the
12 17th on reconsideration?
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It will be on
14 reconsideration, and be subject to being called up on that
15 day. I don't know whether it will be heard or not.
16 COMMISSIONER RILEY: For a vote for reconsideration?
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: That's correct.
18 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Thank you. Which at that point
19 will take --
20 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It's in the normal posture at
21 that time. And you will be looking to get the 22 votes by
22 that date.
23 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Thank you.
24 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Does anybody have an
25 objection to taking up 58 now? All right, Commissioner
2 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
3 Commissioners, I think I expressed my reasons for wanting
4 to get this reconsidered to get a majority vote so it
5 could be heard at the public hearing. And I have been
6 assured by some members that they would vote, even though
7 they were ultimately going to not vote for this, that they
8 would vote to see that it got a majority vote today.
9 I ask you to do that and I do support it on the
10 merits. I realize that there are some that don't, but I
11 really think that this would be a real help in the overall
12 operation of our commission. And in the interest of
13 fairness, I ask that you vote for this to give it a
14 majority vote so it can be heard at the public hearing.
15 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anybody else want to be heard
16 on the proposition? Commissioner Zack.
17 COMMISSIONER ZACK: I don't want to take anything for
18 granted anymore, but I'll be very, very brief. It's said
19 that a society is judged by how they treat the very young
20 and the old. And by the law we have today, we are saying
21 to the young, you have no rights when it comes to the
22 death of your parent when you are over 25. And to the old
23 we are saying, you have no value to your children who are
24 over 25. That's just wrong. We should vote to allow this
25 matter to go forward.
1 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Connor.
2 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: I likewise affirm that
3 position, and would suggest to you, as a matter of public
4 policy, that the posture we are in now is that in the
5 context of medical care, with respect to an old person,
6 you are better off to kill that person than you are to
7 merely injure them. That is the wrong message to send to
8 the medical community with respect to the standard of care
9 in our state.
10 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anybody else desire to be
11 heard on the proposition? Opponent, proponent? Chairman
12 Douglass to close.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I think I have made my position
14 clear. I think that this is a matter that should be heard
15 at public hearing. I obviously agree with the comments of
16 Commissioner Connor, and I've stated them before. But I
17 would seek your vote on this matter to let it go to public
18 hearing to hear from the public on this and those people
19 that have worked so hard to bring it before us.
20 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: One thing before we vote, I'm
21 going to the reading clerk to read it.
22 READING CLERK: Proposal No. 58, a proposal to revise
23 Article I, Section 21, Florida Constitution; providing
24 that the right to recover in an action for personal injury
25 or death may not be denied because of age.
1 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Anything further from the
2 body? Open the machine and record the vote.
3 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
4 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Everybody voted? Lock the
5 machine and announce the vote.
6 READING CLERK: Nineteen yeas, 4 nays, Mr. Chairman.
7 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: You are vindicated,
8 Mr. Chairman.
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Before I take the chair, I
10 realize now that I'm certainly entitled to more courtesies
11 to each of you, except, perhaps, the four.
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: We will now revert to the
13 special order calendar. And we start up with education,
14 and recognize at this time we're under the same
15 procedures, same time restrictions. Commissioner Mills as
16 the Chairman of Style of Drafting.
17 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, just procedurally,
18 I would renew that motion yesterday to limit debate to ten
19 minutes, five per side, two minutes for closing.
20 (Chairman Douglass resumes the chair.)
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I thought I would tell you,
22 Commissioner Marshall is ill. This is his proposal. He
23 will not be here today. He's not having at all a very
24 successful week in relation to his health. He's got
25 serious problems. He did get here one day, but he was
1 very, very uncomfortable.
2 So I don't have any objection to taking it up today,
3 because we just about have to in order to keep it moving
4 forward, but I want to point that out to the body, that
5 this is his proposal that he feels very strongly about,
6 and has spoken on. Commissioner Smith.
7 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Excuse me, Mr. Chair. Whatever
8 the Chair rules is fine with me, I just want you to know
9 that we have some very strong opposition to it, very
10 strong, that I've expressed in the education committee.
11 The one time I was late was the time this was voted on so
12 I didn't get a chance to share with my colleagues my
13 strong feelings. So I just don't want the record to
14 reflect that I'm kind of going behind his back or
15 whatever. But I just want you to know this is not going
16 to be something that's going through smoothly.
17 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Do you recommend that we take it
18 up now? Is that the recommendation? I think there were a
19 lot of other people here that supported it that could
20 certainly -- and we can all recall Commissioner Marshall's
21 verve in this. I think it would be appropriate to go
22 ahead and take it up because he didn't ask to delay it.
23 He just let us know that he couldn't be here.
24 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, if I may, we could
25 proceed under the same process that we established
1 yesterday. And I would ask that you recognize
2 Commissioner Ford-Coates to explain.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: First we'll read the proposal.
4 We are on Proposal No. 40 by Commissioner Marshall. Would
5 you read it, please?
6 READING CLERK: Proposal No. 40, a proposal to revise
7 Article IX, Section 4, Florida Constitution; authorizing
8 certain counties to be divided into more than one school
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. The vote on this was 22 to
11 10. Commissioner Ford-Coates.
12 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Commissioners, before we
13 take the individual proposals, let me summarize for you
14 what we are dealing with relating to education.
15 We have four proposals which are in your blue packet.
16 The three proposals in your blue packet are Proposal 40,
17 which is Commissioner Marshall's proposal, which deals
18 with the division of school districts at the option of the
19 county in -- with student population of more than 75,000
21 The second proposal in your blue packet is the
22 Committee Substitute for Proposal 157 which defines
23 adequate provision of education, and I believe we have an
24 amendment on behalf of Style and Drafting in that
1 The third proposal is Proposal 181 which defines
2 education as a fundamental right, which is Commissioner
3 Brochin's proposal. And I believe he may have an
4 amendment on that.
5 And the final proposal has just been placed on your
6 desk, or will be shortly, which is a proposal by
7 Commissioner Riley dealing with the appointed state Board
8 of Education. This proposal is also in wording within the
9 Cabinet reform package, but is a separate proposal in
10 addition. So that is the order in which we will be taking
11 up all of those items.
12 With that sense, Proposal 40 has been read. Would
13 anyone like to act on behalf of Commissioner Marshall to
14 present the arguments in favor of Proposal 40?
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: She has asked for a proponent of
16 Proposal 40. I believe Commissioner Riley was Vice
17 Chairman of the Education Committee. Commissioner
18 Jennings, Commissioner Jennings, Commissioner Jennings,
19 Proposal 40 which is Commissioner Marshall's proposal, he
20 is not here to present this, and I was going to defer to
21 the Vice Chairman of the Education Committee to present it
22 for him and I didn't want to do that over your being
23 chairman. You might want to present it for him. Do you
24 believe that Commissioner Riley could do this?
25 Commissioner Jennings.
1 COMMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
2 would be glad to tell you what I know about the proposal
3 and maybe between Commissioner Riley and I, we can give
4 you some insight. I think we differ on our support of the
5 proposal, however, unless something has happened that I
6 didn't know about.
7 I do support it, I think there is an option there,
8 some school districts and people within those school
9 districts have pointed that out to us. So I'd be willing
10 to explain what I can.
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. I think Commissioner
12 Riley was up and if you need to make other comments,
13 Commissioner Jennings, I'll recognize you at the
14 appropriate time. Commissioner Riley, on Proposal 40.
15 COMMISSIONER RILEY: I will speak briefly, repeating
16 what Commissioner Marshall had said, and also remind you
17 of some of the changes that have been made from this
18 because there were some concerns. There were some
19 concerns -- the original proposal had a very low number of
20 population for giving, to give counties the option to
21 divide their school districts and that number was changed
22 to 75,000.
23 Commissioner Marshall's concerns are some that we all
24 have concerning the educational system in the state of
25 Florida. And he feels very strongly that this proposal
1 would give parents and students in that school district a
2 closer tie to their school boards and with that, they
3 could have more involvement in their school system, and
4 with that the school system within that school district
5 would improve.
6 So I say those words for Commissioner Marshall who is
7 not here. And I'll turn it over to Commissioner Jennings.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Jennings as a
9 proponent of Proposal 40.
10 COMMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Commissioners, I think we
11 have discussed this several times. I know I could speak
12 for Commissioner Marshall in the fact that his belief, and
13 there is some scientific evidence to say, that smaller is
14 better. I think we all believe that smaller classrooms
15 are better.
16 Smaller school districts, whether they are broken up
17 into individual districts or whether they are divided into
18 one district with satellites, for lack of a better term,
19 have oftentimes been deemed better because they are more
20 manageable, people will know -- a superintendent will know
21 every principal within the district, things of that
22 nature. I think that's where all of this comes from.
23 The Legislature dealt with it at one level this year.
24 We did not go forward with the entire proposal because in
25 fact we found that there were some obstructions to it
1 right there in the Constitution. There wasn't much we
2 could do.
3 I think Commissioner Marshall has narrowed this as
4 finely as he could to satisfy those concerns that I know
5 Commissioner Smith and others have about the fact that you
6 would have rich districts and poor districts, that you
7 could, in one way or another, draw the line such that it
8 would be a return to those kinds of school districts of
9 the '50s and '60s that we tried to get away from,
10 Commissioner Smith, and that I know you are so concerned
12 Truly, and all of us know Commissioner Marshall is
13 not of that kind of person -- is not of that kind of
14 person, that's a real poor English sentence; isn't it --
15 is not that kind of person and that is not his goal. His
16 goal is to get education into a manageable size that in
17 fact the parents, those involved in the school system can
18 have and feel true interaction with that school system.
19 And often cases, larger is not better as we look at our
20 school districts.
21 I feel that I am not eloquently enough nor adequately
22 enough articulating his proposal, but I do know how
23 strongly he feels. And after looking at it closely,
24 knowing that our 67 existing school systems do not support
25 this in any way, shape, or form I intended to support
1 Commissioner Marshall. Thank you.
2 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Are you an opponent
3 or proponent? Opponent, Commissioner Freidin.
4 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: Commissioners, when I first
5 heard about this proposal at one of our, I think our Fort
6 Lauderdale public hearing I turned to whoever it was that
7 was sitting next to me, and I don't know who it was but if
8 you are here you will remember, and I said, this sounds to
9 me like a return to separate but equal.
10 And I have thought about this proposal, I have
11 considered it ever since then because it is something that
12 has challenged me and troubled me because I recognize that
13 we do need to make some fundamental changes in education.
14 I am not going to spend much time talking to you about my
15 concerns about the separate but equal and the poor
16 districts and the racial divisions because I know that
17 there are others in the chamber who will talk to you about
18 that, but I wanted to talk to you about something else.
19 You will recall, some of you will recall that towards
20 in early September I mailed out to all of you an article
21 that I had seen in the New York Times Magazine about the
22 New York School System and how the New York School System
23 had been divided by statute actually into small districts
24 and there were actually very small school districts,
25 probably approaching the size that we are talking about
1 here that had been set up in, all through the city of New
3 And the article was about the new superintendent of
4 schools in New York who had been, who had come in, had
5 seen the terrible problems that had resulted as a result
6 of, that had resulted from this division and actually had
7 gone to the Legislature and asked the Legislature to
8 revise the statutes so that there could be one school
9 district in New York.
10 And without going into all of the details of that, if
11 any of you would like to see that article again I'll be
12 happy to provide it to you, but I assure you that the
13 problems that come from small districts are, might be
14 different than the problems that come in a big district
15 but there are still serious problems.
16 The thing that has convinced me the most on this,
17 though, is that in school districts as presently
18 constituted, the school superintendent and the school
19 board can delegate, they can divide into smaller areas.
20 They can delegate functions to very small, you know,
21 subdistricts or divisions or whatever they want to call it
22 and they can decentralize as much as they want to.
23 And if this is the will of the people of a particular
24 school district now, let them go to their school board,
25 let them go to their school superintendent and let them
1 get it done that way, but let's not monkey with the
2 Constitution in this regard.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. We need a proponent,
4 Commissioner Butterworth.
5 COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH: Mr. Chairman, thank you.
6 Next Friday we will be meeting in Broward County for a
7 public hearing. There is only about six or seven counties
8 that are affected by this particular proposal as it now
9 stands. One of those counties is Broward County, another
10 county is Palm Beach County. This is where we heard it in
11 our public hearings. The vote was at 22 to 10 last time.
12 I believe a number of people are expecting to address
13 this issue next Friday. And I believe we should allow it
14 to go forward. I personally believe that breaking down to
15 15,000 students is a number entirely too low and I plan on
16 making a change in that later if this goes any further,
17 but I think we do owe it to the people in those
18 communities to allow them to address us publicly because
19 of the strong support this has received and thereby they
20 are expecting it to be up next week. Thank you.
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right, opponent?
22 Commissioner Smith.
23 COMMISSIONER SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First
24 of all, let me acknowledge publicly that Commissioner
25 Marshall has forgotten more about education than I will
1 ever know and I respect him for that. And I know that
2 Commissioner Marshall, who has been the floor manager for
3 the proposal that came from someone from the public,
4 definitely is moving forward what he thinks is best for
5 the school system.
6 But one thing I do know is that 100 years ago this
7 doctrine of separate but equal was constitutionalized by
8 the United states Supreme Court and that case of Plessy
9 versus Ferguson now lives in infamy. And let me tell you,
10 I lived the Dade County experience, and that's one of the
11 67 counties. And I can tell you in Dade County when we
12 decided to begin to break up the county, to allow the
13 county to allow various individual groups to form their
14 own cities, what we got was Key Biscayne, Aventura,
15 Pinecrest and now the area I just moved into, which is
16 predominantly white, Palmetto Bay are breaking away.
17 Dade County under this proposal will have 23 school
18 districts, 23 school boards -- could possibly have 23
19 school districts, 23 school boards, 23 administrations.
20 Now what we know does work is smaller schools and
21 smaller school sizes. There is nothing to prevent school
22 systems from implementing whatever they need to make the
23 schools, classes smaller, or make the schools themselves
24 smaller. But if we do this, unwittingly, unwittingly,
25 because of the way the housing patterns are segregated,
1 Little Haiti, Little Havana, Overton, et cetera, we will
2 inherently be adopting schools that will be rich and poor,
3 black and white.
4 And I think if we do this and we look back, this will
5 not be something that we will be proud of. And so I stand
6 and just want to -- you know, vote however you want to
7 vote, but I think history tells us and politics tells us
8 that the strong will prevail. And Coral Gables will get a
9 school district and Key Biscayne will get a school
10 district. The inner city will get a school district.
11 And personally it is not going to affect me,
12 negatively, but it is going to affect the future of
13 Florida negatively. And I think we should think about
14 this very, very carefully before we do it. And I ask you
15 to vote no.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. The time has expired
17 on opponents and there is one minute left for proponents.
18 Certainly that can be changed. Commissioner Connor, are
19 you a proponent?
20 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Yes, sir.
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: You have one minute and
22 Commissioner Riley or Jennings can close.
23 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Pardon me, folks but I think
24 our schizophrenia is showing. We indicated with regard to
25 the advantages of the local circuit option that we trusted
1 the people and we thought this should be decided at the
2 local level. With respect to the gun shows we said, we
3 trust the people, we think this should be decided at the
4 local level. With respect to affirmative action we have
5 said, we trust the people, we want them to decide.
6 I would submit to you that when it comes to
7 government, typically smaller is better than bigger and
8 you get more with less. There are plenty of safeguards in
9 here, I think, to avoid the very problems that
10 Commissioner Smith is legitimately and understandably
11 concerned about.
12 First of all, there has to be an approval of the
13 electors in the county involved. The initiation is made
14 by a commission of the residents in the county involved.
15 There is judicial review to ensure compliance with state
16 and federal law and to ensure racial and ethnic balance.
17 We -- our educational system has broken.
18 Commissioner Marshall is suggesting that the people at the
19 local level have an opportunity to fix it, let's follow
20 through on what we said, that we trust the people and that
21 government which is closest to the people is in the best
22 position to decide.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. To close, either
24 Commissioner Riley or Commissioner Jennings. They are
25 both pointing to each other.
1 COMMISSIONER RILEY: On behalf of Commissioner
2 Marshall, since I don't support this, I would suggest that
3 Commissioner Jennings close.
4 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Jennings, you have
5 two minutes.
6 COMMMISSIONER JENNINGS: Actually I think
7 Commissioner Connor did our close for us. If we talk
8 about allowing the people to decide on issues such as
9 this, this proposal includes in it a referendum and the
10 people of that county, if they have concerns about their
11 school district, can decide one way or another. I think
12 that probably is the ultimate decision making. If we say
13 that we have trust in what the people will say if we, if
14 in fact the people control our government, then let us let
15 them vote on it. Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. We will now vote on
17 Proposal No. 40. Unlock the machine and vote.
18 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine and announce the
21 READING CLERK: Seventeen yeas, 10 nays,
22 Mr. Chairman.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. We will proceed to
24 Proposal No. 157. Commissioner Ford-Coates.
25 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Commissioners, Committee
1 Substitute for Proposal 157 is that which defines adequate
2 provision, which already appears in the Constitution,
3 gives it a little more fleshing out of what that means.
4 In looking at this, the Committee on Style and
5 Drafting felt that we needed to propose an amendment. The
6 original proposal as you have in your blue packet placed
7 the definition in paragraph B. You will see in the
8 amendment which should be being placed on your, should be
9 on your desk now or will be shortly, actually replaces
10 subparagraph A under Section 1, makes it clear that the
11 definition of adequate is applicable to the public school
12 system, the secondary school system, and not also
13 applicable to the institutions of higher learning.
14 There was some question as to whether or not the way
15 we had it worded before, it also defined adequate when it
16 came to the university and community college system.
17 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. There is an
19 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: We didn't read the
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We are going to read the proposal
22 and then we have an amendment on the table which we will
23 read. Read the proposal, please.
24 READING CLERK: Committee Substitute for Proposal No.
25 157, a proposal to revise Article IX, Section 1, Florida
1 Constitution; defining the term "adequate provision" as
2 applicable to the system of public education.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Now read the amendment by
4 Commissioner Ford-Coates on behalf of the Style and
5 Drafting Committee.
6 READING CLERK: By the Committee on Style and
7 Drafting, on Page 1 delete Lines 13 and 21 and insert
8 Section 1, public education: Adequate provision shall be
9 made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure and
10 high-quality system of free public schools that provides
11 students the opportunity to obtain a quality education and
12 prepare them to attend, under reasonable policies, public
13 institutions of higher learning. Adequate provision shall
14 be made for the establishment, maintenance and operation
15 of institutions of higher learning and other public
16 education programs that the needs of the people may
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. To explain the
19 amendment further, Commissioner Ford-Coates.
20 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: I would yield to
21 Commissioner Mills.
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Mills, Chairman of
23 Style and Drafting, will explain the amendment.
24 Commissioner Mills.
25 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, from the point of
1 view of the Style and Drafting amendment, this doesn't
2 change the intent of the proposal. It also happens to be
3 my proposal, so I mean --
4 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: So you rise to support the
5 amendment at this time and you will open on the proposal
6 when we get there; is that correct?
7 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Yes, sir. This is not
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Does anybody want to be heard in
10 opposition to the amendment? All right. Commissioner
11 Barkdull. Did you want to address it to --
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I'll address it to
13 Commissioner Mills.
14 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: He yields.
15 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Mills, it
16 appears to me, and today is the first glance I have had at
17 this, but in first reading it, it says the state will
18 provide an efficient, safe, secure and high-quality system
19 of free public schools. Then it goes on to identify,
20 obtain a quality education and prepare them to attend,
21 under reasonable policies, public institutions of higher
22 learning. Now I want to know whether that is going to
23 include free college.
24 COMMISSIONER MILLS: That's actually precisely what
25 Commissioner Ford-Coates was saying she wanted to clear
1 up. No, if you read the words, it prepares them to
2 attend. It doesn't entitle them to attend.
3 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It has got them all lumped
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Are you on the amendment?
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Yes, sir.
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Are you reading it in connection
8 with the proposal?
9 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well I'm reading what they
10 have handed me as the amendment. It is really a
11 substitute amendment. And in looking at it --
12 COMMISSIONER MILLS: The subject of the sentence is
13 public schools. And it is the duty of the public schools
14 to prepare the students to be able to attend.
15 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well they're going to get a
16 quality education --
17 COMMISSIONER MILLS: That will prepare them to
19 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well I know we have had
20 litigation over this proposition in recent years and I
21 know there is a sentiment, and if the state can afford it,
22 I think that's fine. But I want to be sure that we are
23 not doing something unintentionally here, and that is,
24 creating a free higher -- public institution of higher
1 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Well as much as I enjoy going to
2 the University of Florida it certainly is not our
3 intention to make it free.
4 I believe, and as a matter of fact the language was
5 intended to clear that up. If there is any, if anybody
6 has any doubt about that or suggests a different language,
7 it is clearly not the intention of the committee. Style
8 and Drafting, we spent some time talking about this. As
9 you may recall this on the floor was an amendment by
10 Commissioner Douglass. And I asked the staff to go see
11 Commissioner Douglass, I asked the staff three or four
12 times to look at this and make sure it complied with the
13 intent of the body.
14 And as we have done over and over again, Style and
15 Drafting does not change substance.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Barkdull, I just got
17 this, but on footnote three, I think explains the position
18 of Style and Drafting. That's what I'm telling you.
19 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Mr. Chairman, one of the
20 reasons I wanted this dialogue was to be sure we had it in
21 the record in hopes that if it gets into controversy, the
22 courts will look at it.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: As I look at footnote three, it
24 says, separated Proposal 157's definition of adequate
25 provision, which applies only to primary and secondary
1 years of education, from the current constitutional
2 requirement that adequate provision shall be made, and so
4 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I have got the footnotes in
5 front of me, but they don't appear in the Constitution.
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Do you want to put them there?
7 Commissioner Ford-Coates.
8 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Mr. Chairman, I might also
9 point out that what Style and Drafting has done is
10 separate what was originally one proposal into two
11 sentences. It was one long, run-on sentence. And the
12 second sentence clearly says, adequate provision shall be
13 made for the establishment, maintenance and operation of
14 institutions of higher learning. Our intent was to
15 obviously separate that out from the previous school
16 system. So we felt that that's exactly what this
17 amendment does.
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Mills.
19 COMMISSIONER MILLS: We clearly need to separate the
20 two because they have vastly different purposes. You
21 can't have a uniform system of higher education. That
22 isn't the goal of higher education. It is, as we have
23 discussed before, the goal of K through 12.
24 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. On the amendment,
25 Commissioner Freidin, are you an opponent or proponent? A
1 question from Commissioner Freidin to Commissioner Mills.
2 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: Commissioner Mills, towards
3 the end of the first sentence, what is "under reasonable
4 policies?" I'm not sure what it modifies and I'm not sure
5 what it means. Could you explain it, please?
6 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Well "under reasonable policies"
7 is part of the original amendment. And I think the
8 original intent was to put that in there so there didn't
9 appear to be any guarantee that someone who attended
10 public schools would automatically be accepted to an
11 institution of higher learning.
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: My recollection of the debate
13 was, on that, was that that was inserted. And I think I
14 put it in there for that reason, to make sure that they
15 could select students based on the particular
16 institution's requirements. So that a person that had a
17 300 SAT and a .2 grade point average would not have an
18 immediate right to be entered into the university. I
19 think that was the purpose of that, and I think that's
20 what it does, I believe.
21 Commissioner Ford-Coates, do you want to answer that?
22 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: Mr. Chairman, I think that
23 what we are starting to do is get to the heart of the
24 matter and perhaps we should adopt the amendment and then
25 get to debate.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: This is on the amendment only,
2 because you haven't referred to the original proposal.
3 COMMISSIONER MILLS: If it is not clear, I'd be glad
4 to talk about it because as far as I'm concerned, you can
5 defeat the amendment because the original proposal is fine
6 with me. This was only done by Style and Drafting to try
7 to clarify.
8 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: I want to continue with my
9 question because I am not, what I'm hearing here, and
10 correct me if I'm wrong because maybe I haven't been
11 listening well enough, but what I am hearing is that this
12 is not intended to create a right to enter a public
13 institution or to be provided with a public education for
14 free. So I am not sure why you need that "under
15 reasonable policies" in there if it read, and prepare
16 them -- and prepare them to attend public institutions of
17 higher learning.
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: That's in the original proposal.
19 And we are on the amendment which just keeps that in it.
20 I know, but that's in the original proposal. You defeat
21 the amendment, you are going to be arguing that again.
22 COMMISSIONER MILLS: May I respond?
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Yes.
24 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Actually, as I read this
25 sentence, the way it is stated now it doesn't make any
1 difference, if that's what Commissioner Freidin is saying.
2 You are saying that with or without that clause it means
3 the same thing, editorially?
4 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: No, actually I'm thinking that
5 that clause makes this confusing. I must admit I haven't
6 compared this to the original, but what I'm looking at
7 here, if it read, prepare them to attend public
8 institutions of higher learning, I don't think that's
9 ambiguous. But I think "under reasonable policies", I'm
10 not sure whether reasonable policies are for the
11 preparation or for the admission or for the attending, I'm
12 not sure.
13 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Okay. Here is the original,
14 this is ambiguous. The intent is not ambiguous and I
15 don't think the language is ambiguous. The original
16 statement was, defining -- adequate provision means,
17 efficient, safe, secure and high-quality system of public
18 education. All public schools -- for the purpose of
19 allowing students the opportunity to achieve a
20 high-quality educational level, and for providing access
21 to attend, under reasonable policies, public institutions
22 of higher education.
23 Now if the goal here is to talk about public schools,
24 under reasonable policies may or may not have a major
25 impact, if that's what you are saying. It seems to me
1 there is no implication, because the sentences are
2 separated, that this guarantees access to higher
3 education. If you wish to, you know, introduce an
4 amendment to that, it's fine. I don't have a problem with
6 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: May I respond to that?
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I think we need to move on, but
8 you can keep responding. You get a chance to argue this,
9 which you are now arguing it, I think.
10 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: Let me do that and I am going
11 to sit down. I think that under the original provision --
12 and I will offer an amendment if we, if I could, if they
13 can give me a minute -- but under the original provision,
14 you needed the "under reasonable policies" language
15 because you were talking about providing access. And I
16 think that now you are talking about preparing students to
17 attend and I don't think you need the "under reasonable
18 policies" language. So I will offer that as an amendment.
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: If that's the case, then you
20 would be arguing to defeat the amendment, Commissioner
21 Freidin, and go back to the original proposal; is that
23 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: No, not at all. I would be
24 offering an amendment to the amendment that would delete
25 the words "under reasonable policies."
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Now we have got to
2 finish this morning and if we are going to get tied up
3 like this on amendments without them being prepared, then
4 I'm prepared to do it. But you should have your
5 amendments ready on these items. They have been on the
6 special calendar, they have been considered by Style and
7 Drafting and this is strictly a language problem.
8 Commissioner Morsani has been up for a long, long
9 time, I presume to ask a question on the amendment; is
10 that right or to address the amendment?
11 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: I had a question. If we are
12 going to take those words out, this is going to fail. And
13 she might as well know that now, Commissioner Freidin.
14 I'll get my debate ready. We are not going to dance, we
15 are not going to dance and take out unreasonable policies
16 in our institutions, not in my lifetime.
17 And so adopt the amendment and then we will argue it,
18 but if you are going to take those words out, you have got
19 a fight. And it won't end today.
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Do you want to answer the
22 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, I want to simplify
23 the process.
24 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Do that.
25 COMMISSIONER MILLS: And I'm going to simplify the
1 process by saying I think everybody understood the
2 original provision better. I had four people say that.
3 So if -- which passed 23 to 1. And if anybody has any
4 fine editorial remarks, they can do it but I think the
5 intention is clear. If anybody is confused about the
6 intention, I would just as soon, if that's consistent with
7 the wishes, I would just withdraw the amendment and go
8 with the original. I think it may have caused more
9 confusion than it was intended to.
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. The amendment is
11 withdrawn and we revert to the proposal. And you have
12 read the language of the proposal. Commissioner Morsani,
13 they are back to the original proposal, which you
14 supported and support. And Commissioner Connor wants to
15 be heard on the -- it is withdrawn without objection.
16 Commissioner Connor.
17 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: I'd like to be heard in
18 opposition at the appropriate time.
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Well it is getting to be
20 appropriate as soon as he makes his comments.
21 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Well what we have here is an
22 opportunity to define adequate provision for education in
23 our Constitution. This, of course, as I think we know, is
24 probably the most important thing we do as a state
25 government. It is important because of business. It
1 brings business to this state if we do a good job in
2 education. It is important to the economy of this state,
3 and most important, it is important to our kids.
4 We have had lots of conversations about criminal
5 justice problems, social opportunity, it all is focused in
6 education. And the public, and the public cares more
7 about education than any other issue, year in and year
8 out. Florida has a constitutional provision which places
9 at the bottom of the scale of defining what we care about
10 in terms of quality. This merely moves us towards the
12 It doesn't do anything about requiring a uniform
13 system of higher education. What it does is define
14 adequacy. And I would just wish to respond to any
15 questions about that now that I think we have it in a
16 reasonably cogent posture.
17 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right.
18 (Off-the-record comment by Commissioner Connor.)
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: You are now ready to roll. Okay.
20 Anybody that wants to speak in opposition to the
21 amendment, to the proposal, excuse me? The amendment has
22 been withdrawn without objection, we are now on the
23 original proposal that passed 23 to 1. Does anybody want
24 to address that as an opponent? We have had a proponent.
25 Commissioner Evans.
1 COMMISSIONER EVANS: I have a question.
2 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We have a question, Commissioner
4 COMMISSIONER CORR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Are we
5 still in that posture where I can ask a question? And
6 bear with me because I think you probably answered this in
7 previous discussion of this proposal but I missed it. I'm
8 sure somebody brought it up.
9 But I'm wondering, what's the recourse to a parent or
10 a student if they feel like they did not get what is
11 defined as adequate here. For example, if adequate is a
12 safe school, but like happened where I lived before, a
13 child brings a gun to school and something terrible
14 happens, what happens when the parent then comes back with
15 a claim against the state and said, gee whiz, if we had
16 adequate schools, this school would have been safe and
17 that would have never happened.
18 In terms of security, what happens when the pedophile
19 gets on to the school grounds and then claims it should
20 have been secure?
21 We can do this in every one of them. In high
22 quality, if my child can't get into Harvard, can I come
23 back and say, gee, it should have been, or University of
24 Florida may be a better example. If it was high quality,
25 they would have gotten into that school. What is the
2 COMMISSIONER MILLS: This doesn't create any
3 individual cause of action because it deals with the
4 system. In other words, this creates an obligation and a
5 definition that we hope the Legislature adheres to. It
6 wouldn't allow you to sue your school system, as an
8 You could sue the entire state if you could prove
9 that it was not uniform and inadequate. And in fact there
10 have been lawsuits in the past on uniformity in both this
11 state and other states. But you would be suing on the
12 system as it applies to you.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Didn't this arise because of a
14 lawsuit and the Supreme Court, on the issue that he raises
15 in effect saying, can they force the Legislature to
16 provide this, that and the other, and the court was not
17 altogether unanimous, it was a 4-3 decision in which they
18 didn't take any action. As I recall this came out in the
19 previous debate. This would strengthen the position of
20 the state vis-a-vis that lawsuit, was my understanding.
21 COMMISSIONER MILLS: It would strengthen the position
22 vis-a-vis the system. In other words, the issue is, at
23 least as I understand it, if one individual has a bad
24 result, that's not enough to create an action. But if the
25 system is inadequate or un-uniform, and that can be shown,
1 then it is possible for a system to be declared
3 And the case you referred to there with adequate
4 provision, the court was saying, four of the members --
5 three members of the court said we currently have an
6 inadequate system. Justice Overton said, under certain
7 circumstances I would find an inadequate system. And
8 three said, we don't find it inadequate. So it was four
9 to three to leave it as it is.
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Barkdull, did I
11 state the law?
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I'm not going to try to state
13 what the law is.
14 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I meant the Supreme Court's
15 version of the law.
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I'm not going to try to state
17 that either. I just want to ask Commissioner Mills a
18 question. Commissioner Mills, is the purpose of this to
19 permit additional litigation on this subject?
20 COMMISSIONER MILLS: No.
21 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: What's the purpose of this
23 COMMISSIONER MILLS: The purpose of this is to bring
24 the Florida Constitution in line with a lot of the rest of
25 the Constitutions in the country, which attempt to say
1 that we want to have some definition of what the
2 obligation of the state is. Numerous states say that
3 their system should be efficient, high quality, safe,
4 secure. This is not unusual. As a matter of fact,
5 Florida right now is at the bottom of the totem pole on
7 And we have an opportunity to define in the
8 Constitution our aspirations for our public school system.
9 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: So it is an aspirational
10 statement. Another one of those.
11 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Well I'm not going to mislead
12 you and say that it couldn't result in litigation. I
13 personally believe that there is probably going to be
14 litigation no matter what you do. I'm not going to
15 mislead you on that. It does provide a definition.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Commissioner
17 Connor -- excuse me, Commissioner Evans. I haven't been
18 keeping time because these have been questions, quote,
19 unquote. Commissioner Evans.
20 COMMISSIONER EVANS: My point is exactly the one that
21 several of you have just raised. I think that this is
22 indeed an answer to the lawsuit, and it is indeed
23 intended, or if not consciously intended it will have that
24 effect, of putting this right back into the lap of the
25 Supreme Court.
1 And the Supreme Court, it is my understanding, chose
2 not to get involved in it and now it will be allowed to
3 get involved in it. It will be allowed to flesh out the
4 meanings of these words, efficient, safe, secure and
5 high-quality. And in effect will allow the Supreme Court
6 to become the state Board of Education and to define what
7 is going to be taught in what manner and how much money.
8 It will take away from the Legislature the budgetary
9 process there as well as taking away the goals of
10 education. We have seen it happen in other states and we
11 now will have the foundation to do the same thing in
13 And going to the high quality, I would like to think
14 that the Supreme Court could, although I don't know that
15 it would, but I would like to think that the Supreme Court
16 could go back to our founding fathers, all approximately
17 250 of them who wrote the Declaration of Independence, the
18 Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Northwest
19 Ordinance, who were with the exception of maybe about 12
20 of them extremely strong Christian.
21 Thomas Jefferson, who wrote three plans of education,
22 and himself was perhaps not Christian but who did require
23 the teaching of the Bible in all three plans of education.
24 I would like to think that you could not have a
25 high-quality education without having the fundamental book
1 that was the basis for the foundation of this country in
2 it. So I would like to think that our original intent,
3 the original lives of our fathers, their original writings
4 would go into it.
5 Now last time I did manage to delete the word
6 "thorough" with a tongue in cheek presentation which you
7 did accept and we got rid of the word thorough. I am very
8 sincere in thinking though that we need high quality. Our
9 founding fathers attended university at age 13. The
10 requirements of Harvard were to be able to be proficient
11 in Latin, Greek and English. Their freshman project was
12 to translate in their own hand the Greek New Testament
13 into English. That's what high quality is, people.
14 And in that respect, I would support this amendment,
15 but I think you are talking about having the Supreme Court
16 being substituted as the state Board of Education. And in
17 that aspect, I think that there is a separation of powers
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. How much time is
20 left? We are going to have to put a time limit on
21 question time, too, Commissioner Barkdull. We are going
22 to have to put a time limit on question time because we
23 have taken 30 minutes on this. Commissioner Connor, you
24 are recognized.
25 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do
1 have questions, and will affirm that the last thing that I
2 want to see is the state Supreme Court become the state
3 Board of Education. But I would like to ask you some
5 Is one of the advantages of providing a
6 constitutional definition of the term "adequate provision"
7 that it limits the discretion of the court to define it in
8 any way it sees fit without guidance in the Constitution?
9 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Yes, that's exactly right.
10 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: And so in a very real sense
11 would we be circumscribing the discretion of the court by
12 virtue of the definition that's provided?
13 COMMISSIONER MILLS: That's correct.
14 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: And would you expect that by
15 virtue of providing the definition, that the inclusion of
16 certain language which is used to define "adequate" would
17 be deemed to be to the exclusion of other elements which
18 weren't included?
19 COMMISSIONER MILLS: I think it would.
20 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Now, would you agree that the
21 definition of "adequate provision" modifies system and not
22 a particular school?
23 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Yes.
24 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: And so if you had a particular
25 school which was neither efficient or deficient in terms
1 of safety or security or in the quality of education that
2 it provided, would that necessarily mean that the system
3 as a whole failed to meet the standard?
4 COMMISSIONER MILLS: No, it wouldn't. There is a
5 good example of this in Justice Overton's opinion where he
6 said, and I think this would be sort of the threshold. He
7 said, if the entire school system, that is the school
8 board, had a 40 percent literacy rate, that would be
9 emblematic of an entire system that was broken.
10 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Then in response to
11 Commissioner Corr's question about litigation by parents
12 on behalf of their child in a given school, for instance
13 where it may have been deemed by them that adequate
14 provision was not being made, would they be perhaps less
15 likely to prevail than otherwise because the adequate
16 provision refers to the system as a whole as opposed to
17 the individuals?
18 COMMISSIONER MILLS: The adequate provision does
19 refer to the system any particular school of course would
20 be evidence of that.
21 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: I do have a concern and a
22 question about the term "efficient", which I certainly
23 would aspire to and would abdicate that we have an
24 efficient school system. But is that a term, frankly,
25 that could cause this whole thing to stumble?
1 In other words, efficient could mean a lot of things
2 in a lot of different contexts. It has to do with getting
3 the most bang for the buck, it has to do with maybe
4 eliminating or reducing bureaucracy. It has to do with
5 the way we deliver services.
6 While advocating, certainly, an efficient school
7 system, the question that I have is by including this in
8 the language, do you potentially produce ambiguity that
9 may be a stumbling block to the success of what you are
10 trying to achieve?
11 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Thank you, Commissioner Connor.
12 I think that actually efficient is in a number of other
13 systems. And one of the reasons that I think we included
14 efficient is I did not want the implication of this to be
15 simply money. In other words, a system could be judged to
16 be inadequate and not require any more money to fix it.
17 What we need to do is develop an adequate system.
18 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: On that very question, do you
19 think, based on your review of the cases and based on the
20 separation of powers, would you expect that the court
21 would accord deference to the Legislature and executive
22 branches of government in terms of determining what's
23 efficient and what these other provisos mean in the
24 context of the school system?
25 COMMISSIONER MILLS: They would most certainly accord
1 deference to the Legislature, in a major way. But that
2 doesn't mean that the court would have to conclude simply
3 because the Legislature concluded that it was adequate
4 that it would be adequate.
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Barkdull.
6 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I move that we close debate
7 and vote.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Without objection,
9 debate is closed. All right. If you are ready, open the
10 machine and let's vote.
11 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine and announce the
14 READING CLERK: Twenty-six yeas, 1 nay, Mr. Chairman.
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Now that's indicative
16 of our problem. We had a 30 minute or more thing there
17 now. Let's try to have a little more discipline in these.
18 And I would like some limit on the time. Commissioner
19 Barkdull, I would like some motion to limit the total
20 time, if we are going to allow questions to be asked, so
21 that we can get this done.
22 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well, as I understand the
23 present procedure that we are operating on, ten minutes on
24 the subject matter, and five minutes for the proponent of
25 the proposal to close.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Let's change that and have ten
2 minutes for the total debate and five minutes for
3 questions, if that's agreeable to you.
4 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I would make that a motion.
5 But I want the time to be kept by one of the young ladies
6 in the front.
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It is and she informs me. I
8 don't rely on Commissioner Mills, because he's like me, he
9 forgets it.
10 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Okay. Then the total time
11 will be ten minutes for presentation and questions.
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. I was going to say ten
13 minutes for presentation and close, and a maximum of five
14 minutes for questions.
15 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Then a total of 15 minutes
17 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Absolutely.
18 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I so move.
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. All in favor, say aye;
21 (Verbal vote taken.)
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Open the machine and vote.
23 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
24 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It fails 14 to 12. You have
25 unlimited time for questions, you have ten minutes for
1 debate and five minutes to close. Commissioner Kogan.
2 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: It's Commissioner Kogan, right.
3 You said Mr. Kogan.
4 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I said Commissioner Kogan.
5 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I didn't say Justice Kogan --
7 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: No, no, no.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: -- I didn't say Judge Kogan, I
9 didn't say Jerry Kogan.
10 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: I thought you said Mr. Kogan. I
11 didn't want you to, you know, disappoint us and not use
13 I think that the Chair is misinterpreting this last
14 vote. I voted no not because I wanted unlimited, I wanted
15 less than the total 15 minutes.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Make your motion.
17 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: I will go ahead and I will move
18 that we limit all discussion to ten minutes, including
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. There is a motion on
21 the floor.
22 COMMISSIONER KOGAN: And the reason I do that --
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. There's a motion on the
24 floor to limit total debate and questions to ten minutes.
25 Now, let's not debate this for ten minutes. Commissioner
2 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: In support of the motion, we
3 have got people over here that are getting ready to leave,
4 the time is running out. If we don't limit the debate and
5 get on with it, there will be proposals here that don't
6 have any chance of getting 22 votes.
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It takes two-thirds of those
8 present and voting under the rules to limit debate. We
9 have already got a limit on it, but what the motion does
10 is change that, but it'll take a two-thirds vote.
11 Everybody understand that? Unlock the machine and take a
12 vote on the motion, which is to limit total debate to ten
14 READING CLERK: Thirteen yeas, 11 nays, Mr. Chairman.
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It fails. Proceed with the
16 next -- okay, we haven't voted on this, have we? Yes,
18 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: To whose side will questions be
19 credited, the proponents or opponents?
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Well right now we are right back
21 where we were. It failed. Now let's proceed. Are we on
22 the -- five minutes each side, two minutes to close was
23 the original motion. All right. Now we voted on this, we
24 move to the next item.
25 The next item is by Commissioner Brochin, Proposal
1 No. 181. Commissioner Brochin, you are recognized or do
2 you want -- anything from Style and Drafting? No. Okay,
3 you are recognized. I have got to read it first.
4 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: I have an amendment.
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Read the proposal.
6 READING CLERK: Proposal No. 181, a proposal to
7 revise Article IX, Section 1, Florida Constitution;
8 providing public rights to, and state duties to provide,
9 complete and adequate public education.
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. There's an amendment
11 on the table. Would you read the amendment by
12 Commissioner Brochin?
13 READING CLERK: Commissioner Brochin offers the
14 following amendment: On Page 1, Lines 13 and 17, delete,
15 "each child in this state has a fundamental right to a
16 public education during the primary and secondary years of
17 study and it is the paramount duty of the state to ensure
18 that each education is complete and adequate", and assert,
19 "the education of its children is a fundamental value of
20 the people of the state of Florida. It is, therefore, the
21 paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for
22 the proper education of all children residing within its
24 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. Commissioner Brochin, on
25 the amendment, this is in your blue book, it is the
1 fundamental right proposal.
2 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: The amendment is on the desk
3 and should have been circulated. The amendment in the
4 book doesn't count. I'm offering a different amendment
5 and this is the one.
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: The amendment has been circulated
7 as to Proposal 181 by Commissioner Brochin. Go ahead.
8 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: What we passed out last time
9 by a vote of 14 to 9 was the fundamental step, actually,
10 that each child in this state would have a fundamental
11 right to an education.
12 I sensed a concern, and on further reading and
13 discussion of the subject was concerned that it would
14 create perhaps litigation in the area of special needs by
15 people coming forward, as Commissioner Corr alluded to
16 earlier, and claiming individual rights fundamentally had
17 been violated, and therefore, people with special needs
18 and juveniles, perhaps in juvenile detention centers,
19 would bring forth claims that their fundamental right to
20 an education had been violated.
21 That was not the intent, initially, and that is not
22 the intent today. So what I've done, and I've got --
23 actually went back and wrote ten different versions of
24 this and came up with this, with a little bit of help from
25 Commissioner Wetherington, is an approach that I think the
1 state of Florida needs to make and needs to make now. And
2 I want to explain it to you this way.
3 We do not talk about education in our Constitution in
4 any meaningful way. What this amendment does is two
5 things: One, it says that the fundamental value, not
6 fundamental right, and there's a difference there, the
7 fundamental value of the people of this state is the
8 education of its children. And, Commissioners, that is
9 aspirational. There is no better place for an
10 aspirational statement than the Constitution.
11 If we are going to lay out for the people and the
12 people's direction to its government as to what is
13 important and what we value as a people and as a society,
14 the Constitution is the place to put it in. And this says
15 clearly, and unequivocally, to all people in our
16 government, that we value, fundamentally, the education of
17 our children.
18 Second, it says that the paramount duty of the state
19 is to ensure that that education is proper for all
20 children residing within its borders, all, all children
21 residing within its borders. These are not my words,
22 these are the words of Florida's 1868 Constitution. And
23 it is very important as we move forward and we talk about
24 education and where we are going with education, that when
25 we go forward with education, none of Florida's children
1 get left behind. And that's why it's critical we have
2 this in there.
3 Now, I have looked at this Constitution carefully,
4 and I see a lot of people with a lot of rights. We have
5 rights for the men and women now, we have the rights for
6 people of national origin, we have rights for people with
7 physical handicap or physical disability, we have rights
8 for people of different race, we have rights for people of
9 different religions, we have fundamental rights to seek
10 documents, we have fundamental rights to seek habeas
11 corpus, we have fundamental rights to own property, we
12 have fundamental rights to due process.
13 Read the Constitution and tell me where the word
14 "children" comes in. It comes in Article I, Section 15
15 when we talk about prosecuting them for crimes. That's
16 where this Constitution talks about children. And I think
17 the time has come now for us to put the education of our
18 children squarely in the center of the Constitution with a
19 statement that says to them, we value the education of our
20 children and it will become the paramount duty of this
21 state, legislative, executive, judicial, to ensure that
22 that education is adequate as we have just defined through
23 Commissioner Mills' proposal.
24 That is the intent, that is the purpose. It is a
25 collective purpose, it is not an individual purpose, it's
1 not there to allow individual students to claim
2 reparations, it's not there to allow individual or
3 potential students to claim that their rights have been
4 deprived. It is there to put the burden on our government
5 to take education to where it's been to a much higher
6 constitutional level.
7 And you cannot avail yourselves to the argument that
8 the Legislature can do this. The Legislature cannot do
9 this, this is a constitutional provision. In a
10 constitutional law sense, it's taken what I discussed
11 before, Florida's current constitutional language of a
12 category one or category two and putting it where it
13 rightfully belongs as a category four, the highest
14 category, meaning it demands the highest responsibility of
15 this state to provide the education for all of our
17 People, you want to think of a proposal that's going
18 to pass, if our standard is what the people want, as
19 Commissioner Scott told us that was the standard when he
20 was talking about the 85 percent for all prisoners,
21 because the people want it, this is something the people
22 of the state of Florida want to speak out on and want to
23 speak out now. And there's no better place than through
24 its Constitution.
25 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: You have used seven minutes and
1 there's no more time to debate the proposal, unless -- I
2 mean, to oppose it. I guess, an amendment or something.
3 But seven minutes on an amendment is too long, and we
4 don't have anything in the rule that covers this.
5 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: I apologize. I'm used to a
6 red light going on.
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Connor, I know you
8 wanted to be heard on this amendment and you wanted to
9 oppose it. And you haven't had any time to oppose it so
10 you're recognized.
11 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is
12 certainly important, in my estimation, that we provide
13 adequate education for our children, but I would suggest
14 to you that it is not the paramount duty of the state to
15 provide for the education of the children. I don't mean
16 to quibble about words, but words are the stuff of which
17 Constitutions are made. And the definition of the term
18 "paramount", I just looked it up in the American Heritage
19 Dictionary, is supreme in rank, power or authority,
21 Now I would suggest to you that there are some other
22 duties of the state that take precedence over the
23 education of our children; the protection of innocent
24 life, the preservation of order, the enforcement of the
25 laws, the punishment of the guilty. All of those, I would
1 submit to you, are very high-ranking, important duties of
2 the state.
3 If we make the education of our children the, and
4 that's what it says, the paramount duty of our state, it
5 takes precedence over anything else. With all due
6 respect, while it is of critical importance that we
7 provide an adequate education for our children, it is a
8 mistake, I would submit to you, to rank it the paramount
9 duty. This will have all kinds of implications in terms
10 of budgetary resources and how we allocate resources and
11 materials in this state. While it's very important, I
12 think it is a mistake.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. On the amendment?
14 Now, the proponent of the amendment has had his opening
15 and closed, he has used seven minutes. Commissioner Corr,
17 COMMISSIONER CORR: Question. I figured out a way to
18 talk as long as I want. A question of Commissioner
19 Brochin. What I'm wondering is why, Commissioner Brochin,
20 we are using the word "proper" education here when we just
21 defined adequate education and sort of the previous
22 section also uses the word "adequate". Is there a reason
23 to shift to the "proper?"
24 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: That is a good question. And
25 I do believe that the word "proper" may not be necessary
1 in light of the fact that we have now passed the adequate
2 provision. That is something that I think can probably be
3 removed because it's not necessary. But proper is
4 supposed to reflect what adequate is.
5 COMMISSIONER CORR: To test the patience of the body
6 here, would we be willing to take the time to amend this
7 amendment to put the word "adequate" where it says
8 "proper", since we just defined it, and then take the word
9 "the" out from in front of paramount duty, as Commissioner
10 Conner suggested, and put the word "a?"
11 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: The answer to both of your
12 questions, Commissioner Corr, is yes. I think we should
13 put the order word "a" paramount duty so now Commissioner
14 Connor can support this. And I'll be glad to strike the
15 word "proper" because of the fact that we have now defined
16 adequate provision and "proper" I don't think is
17 necessary. The problem is you don't know what adequate is
18 going to be. I didn't know if that was a Style and
19 Drafting issue, but, yes.
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Rundle and then
21 Commissioner Morsani.
22 COMMISIONER RUNDLE: I just wanted to know if
23 Commissioner Brochin will accept a friendly amendment to
24 strike "the" and insert "a."
25 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: Yes.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Morsani.
2 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: I really want to speak to the
3 whole thing whenever we go on the motion, I guess. This
4 dadgum amendment stuff has got me confused. Commissioner
5 Brochin, this really isn't an amendment, it is a
6 substitute proposal.
7 COMMISSIONER BROCHIN: Yes.
8 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: Can we pass on the proposal
9 and then I would like to speak very shortly in favor.
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: You mean, the amendment?
11 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: Well, the amendment becomes
12 the proposal, I understand.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: If we pass it.
14 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: Yeah, if we pass it.
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Now we have got people running
16 around preparing amendments to the amendment, Commissioner
17 Morsani. I suggest we TP it and let everybody do whatever
18 they want to do with this. Commissioner Barkdull, it's
19 been moved that we TP this until they got their stuff
20 together and we'll move on to the next proposal. Anybody
21 opposed? If not, without objection, we move on to
22 Committee Substitute for Proposal 166, by the Committee on
23 Executive, Commissioner Riley. Read it, please.
24 READING CLERK: Committee Substitute for Proposal
25 No. 166, a proposal to revise Article IX, Section 2,
1 Florida Constitution; providing for the appointment of a
2 state Board of Education by the Governor and the
3 appointment of the Commissioner of Education by the state
4 Board of Education.
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Before we start the debate, I
6 commend you all to read the clips about one of our
7 distinguished members who is described as sweet as sugar
8 and tough as nails, Commissioner Evans-Jones. It is a
9 very fine article and I think we would all second that
10 motion. All right, Commissioner Riley.
11 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
12 Proposal 166 sets up a state Board of Education and moves
13 the function of the state Board of Education from the
14 Cabinet to an appointed board of seven appointed by the
15 Governor. That board then selects the Commissioner of
17 This is not a Cabinet reform bill, my friends, this
18 is not a Cabinet reform bill. This is an educational
19 proposal. And it speaks to the same question that all of
20 these educational proposals speak to, including
21 Commissioner Marshall. And what it speaks to are in fact
22 the, the charts that Commissioner Marshall gave to us, we
23 got the overheads at committee, and he passed those out
24 and shared them with us here on the floor a few weeks ago.
25 And it shows Florida in all of these different charts
1 and all of the scores and all of the graduation rates and
2 it shows Florida in the bottom quarter of every single one
3 of them. And in one, in terms of graduation rates, it was
4 in fact, last.
5 I see this as a proposal that allows us to put on the
6 ballot the option to have true systemic change in
7 education, and to move the responsibility of the oversight
8 of the educational system in the state of Florida from the
9 Cabinet, who are elected to handle insurance, to handle
10 agriculture and other things that don't have anything to
11 do with education.
12 And it puts instead education oversight under the
13 purview of a group of people who bring to that board
14 diversity, experience, business background, a look at
15 education and a -- a commitment to education; education,
16 not just insurance, sub education, not just agriculture,
17 sub education, but education. And a lot of us have sat on
18 state boards and you understand the experience and the
19 passion that these people can bring to education and give
20 this state an opportunity to do something that really can
21 make a difference.
22 This proposal has been recommended again and again by
23 the people who have looked at education in the state of
24 Florida. And they have said to them, as their goal, the
25 Commission on Education, for example, how, if you did
1 everything, if you could do anything you wanted to in
2 education to make it better in the state of Florida, what
3 are some of the things that you would do? This is one of
4 the main things they have suggested that we do. They have
5 recommended it for years.
6 Council of 100, another group of highly-respected
7 business people, they looked at education and they said
8 the same thing. What are some major things that we could
9 do in the state of Florida that would really, really make
10 a difference, and get us out of the bottom quarter of
11 those lists and move us up. And they also have said, if
12 you really want to make a difference, this is something
13 you can do.
14 I would urge us to take education in hand, to give
15 our voters an option to really make a difference, we all
16 want to do that, we all see education in the state of
17 Florida as -- whether we agree with the past proposal --
18 is of paramount importance. And I ask your support on
19 this proposal and ask you to vote for 166.
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: There is an amendment on the
21 table. Is that by the Style and Drafting? It doesn't say
22 who it is by.
23 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: I apologize, yes, we did,
24 a minor amendment to change, would you like to read the
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Read the amendment, please.
2 READING CLERK: By the Committee on Style and
3 Drafting, on Page 1, Line 17, delete, "and have such
4 supervision", and insert "child supervise"; on Page 1,
5 line 18, delete "is."
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. To explain the
7 amendment for Style and Drafting.
8 COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES: I apologize,
9 Commissioners, it just merely clarifies the supervise --
10 it is a grammatical change.
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Grammatical change. All of those
12 in favor of the amendment, say aye; opposed?
13 (Verbal vote taken.)
14 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It is grammatically changed. We
15 are now on the proposal, as amended, by Commissioner
16 Riley. Is there any further debate? Commissioner
18 COMMISSIONER LOWNDES: I just have a question for
19 Commissioner Riley. If this amendment were to pass and
20 the Cabinet reform amendment were to fail, would the
21 appointed secretary of education, if that's what he's
22 called at the time, be a member of the Cabinet?
23 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Yes, as I read this, and as I
24 understand it, and Style and Drafting I assume has looked
25 at that also, and yes, the person would.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Question. Isn't there a
2 provision in the Cabinet reform creating the Board of
3 Education, or saying the Legislature can create it, isn't
5 COMMISSIONER RILEY: Mr. Chairman, this proposal also
6 is part of the Cabinet reform bill and that's why I
7 started off my remarks by reminding everybody that this
8 could happen separate from the Cabinet reform proposal
9 passing. This can happen on its own. It would affect the
10 Cabinet in that it would affect that person as an elected
11 Commissioner of Education.
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Barkdull.
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: My inquiry was whether there
14 was something in the schedule offering or something to
15 straighten this out in the event that Cabinet
16 reorganization does not pass and this does pass.
17 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: That's the reason for my
18 question. I don't think it's clear. And you would have
19 to have some sort of determination made, unless there's a
20 schedule that says, this is effective in the event the
21 proposal to reform the Cabinet should not receive the
22 majority vote.
23 COMMISSIONER RILEY: I would agree with that, but I
24 would ask perhaps that Style and Drafting might have
25 better expertise on that. And that they could then add
1 that after this gets the 22-plus votes today when we vote
2 on it for the last time.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Mills, Style and
5 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, we originally had
6 this in the executive article, and it was left out in the
7 process. And the Rules Chairman suggested that we put it
8 in here.
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: That is correct. Because it was
10 considered that way by that committee. Now, there is no
11 amendment on the table to create a schedule dealing with
12 the issue that's been raised. Do you want to do that or
13 not, or do we want to proceed to just vote on the
14 amendment? And then it would stand up or down with the
15 Cabinet reform. Commissioner Mills.
16 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, I presume after we
17 go to public hearings and you have these two proposals
18 coming back separately, they would have to be conformed,
19 if they both survive on the 17th. I mean, we would have
20 to conform them.
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. So we don't need to worry
22 about that now, we are just on that single issue that
23 would survive on its own perhaps, or not, depending on
24 what we do after public hearing. Okay. Does everybody
25 understand that? Commissioner Freidin, you want to speak?
1 You are recognized.
2 COMMISSIONER FREIDIN: I would like to speak in favor
3 of this proposal. And I would like each of you to think
4 about your service here on the Constitution Revision
5 Commission. Each of us have come to this service with
6 expertise in whatever limited area of life that we have
7 developed expertise. Some of us have none, I suppose.
8 But the point is that it makes an awful lot of sense
9 to me to have a group of people deciding policy for an
10 issue that is, as we have now determined, fundamental and
11 important and paramount as education. It does not make
12 sense to me to have a group of people who are experts in
13 various different fields to be acting as a Board of
15 Let this proposal go through and let the voters say,
16 as they should, that they want to have a group of people
17 who have expertise in an area making decisions about this
18 very important subject.
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. The proponents have used
20 six minutes and their time is up. And that's excluding
21 the time spent on questions and the amendment. Any
22 opponents want to speak? If not, we'll proceed to vote.
23 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
24 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine and announce the
1 READING CLERK: Twenty-two yeas, 3 nays,
2 Mr. Chairman.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: By your vote you have passed
4 Proposal 166.
5 Are you ready to return to the other one or not? If
6 you are not, we have got plenty to do. All right. We are
7 going back now to Proposal No. 181 in which we broke for
8 amendments. The proponents have used all of their time
9 and some more. The opponents have not. I think the
10 opponents still have 2« minutes left. All right. We are
11 now on an amendment, however, which is on the table by
12 Commissioner Corr. Would you please read it?
13 READING CLERK: Substitute amendment by Commissioner
14 Corr, on Page 1, Lines 13-17, delete those lines and
15 insert: "Section 1. Public education. The education of
16 its children is a fundamental value of the people of the
17 state of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of
18 the state to provide for the adequate education of all
19 children residing within its borders. Adequate provision
20 shall be made by".
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Corr, on your
23 COMMISSIONER CORR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This
24 responds to the previous questions. It removes the word
25 "the" paramount and replaces it with "a", and adds the
1 word "adequate" in front of education rather than
2 "proper", since we just defined adequate in the previous
3 proposal that we adopted by Commissioner Mills.
4 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: This is on the amendment.
5 Commissioner Connor.
6 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: In opposition, respectfully,
7 because I think it's well intentioned. When the state has
8 a paramount duty to provide for the education of all
9 children, then I would suggest to you that there's likely
10 a cause of action on behalf of every child to whom the
11 state does not discharge that duty. And this ultimately
12 sort of goes back to what Commissioner Sundberg talked
13 about with respect to sovereign immunity and whether or
14 not it was a tort to govern.
15 And I don't mean to suggest that Commissioner
16 Sundberg endorses my view on this issue, but frankly, I
17 think this opens a potential Pandora's box. All means
18 all. Does that mean children who are uneducable? Does
19 that mean children who, you know -- do we really mean all
20 children? Do we really intend to confer this kind of a
21 potential cause of action against the state or school
22 districts or schools for failure to -- I think it is a
23 mistake. I think having passed the previous proposal,
24 this is unnecessary, and I think puts us frankly on a very
25 precarious course.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Other opponents or proponents to
2 the amendment? If not, we'll vote on the amendment. All
3 in favor of the amendment say aye; opposed?
4 (Verbal vote taken.)
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Open the machine and let's vote.
6 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine and announce the
9 READING CLERK: Nineteen yeas, 5 nays, Mr. Chairman.
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: By your vote you have adopted the
11 amendment, now we are on the proposal by Commissioner
12 Brochin as amended as amended. We never adopted his first
13 amendment, did we? This is a substitute amendment, all
14 right. So we are now on the proposal as amended by the
15 substitute amendment.
16 Now, the opponents have some time left on this, the
17 proponents don't. If anybody is an opponent that wants to
18 speak, you have 2« minutes. All right. If not, we'll
19 proceed. Commissioner Brochin, your time for close has
20 been used as well. You used eight minutes, that's all
21 plus one. There's only time left for the opponents. Do
22 you -- are you ready to vote? If you are, we'll open the
23 machine and vote.
24 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
25 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Lock the machine and
1 announce the vote.
2 READING CLERK: Nineteen yeas, 5 nays, Mr. Chairman.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. We now move to the
4 next proposal. Commissioner Lowndes.
5 COMMISSIONER LOWNDES: Yes, sir. I do this with some
6 trepidation, knowing that everybody has concerns and
7 problems, but I've been advised that some of the support
8 for Proposal 59 is about ready to leave the chamber, and I
9 would like to move that we waive the rules and take up 59
10 that we voted on yesterday, which passed with a majority
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: There is a motion that we take up
13 59 because somebody is going to leave that's for it. All
14 in favor, say aye; opposed?
15 (Verbal vote taken.)
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Well, they want you to leave.
17 Open the machine and let's vote.
18 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: It takes a majority vote, which
20 it didn't get. Lock the machine and announce the vote.
21 READING CLERK: Fifteen yeas, 4 nays, Mr. Chairman.
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I'm wrong, it passed. So we'll
23 take it up. All right. Commissioner Lowndes, you are
24 recognized on Proposal No. 59.
25 COMMISSIONER LOWNDES: You will recall the reason
1 that we are voting on this again after having the long
2 debate yesterday is just to get it in the same posture as
3 the other provisions going to public hearing and then
4 being subject to being reconsidered or revoted on on the
6 But in any event, you recall this is the sovereign
7 immunity proposal that it is designed to fix two problems
8 which we have heard of. One of them is the low caps that
9 the Legislature has not changed since 1981, and the other
10 is the claims bill problem, which is a problematic thing
11 for litigants.
12 This proposal, I think everybody understands it, I'm
13 not going to take a long time. I think it is a good idea
14 in the sense that it has the propensity to provide people
15 to be able to recover for legitimate damages without the
16 concern that because of the arbitration provision without
17 the concern of runaway juries raiding the treasuries of
18 state institutions. So I would urge you all to vote for
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. There's an amendment
21 on the table; is that right? Well, I know we have got to
22 read the proposal, so let's read it.
23 READING CLERK: Proposal No. 59, a proposal to revise
24 Article X, Section 13, Florida Constitution; relating to
25 suits against the state, providing for arbitration of
1 certain tort claims, providing a limit on the waiver of
2 sovereign immunity for claims submitted to arbitration.
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Commissioner Barnett.
4 COMMISSIONER BARNETT: Just a question on a point of
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Certainly.
7 COMMISSIONER BARNETT: When I read the journal, it
8 looks to me like we took up Proposal 59 yesterday, passed
9 it, it was ordered engrossed and referred to Style and
10 Drafting. So I am a little confused as to why we are
11 taking it up again today.
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: The reason this was done in your
13 absence, before you arrived, is in order to have it
14 available and not heard on reconsideration after we come
15 back, it had to be brought up today. Isn't that right,
16 Commissioner Barkdull?
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Same posture as the other
18 items that come out of Style and Drafting.
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: You just vote the same way you
20 did yesterday and then it's in the posture that you think
21 it's in now.
22 COMMISSIONER BARNETT: I don't understand that.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Does everybody understand? What
24 we did is we passed this with a majority. All right. It
25 had to be brought back for reconsideration, right?
1 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: No, the first time. It is
2 the first time that it's gone to Style and Drafting,
3 that's why we had to pull it back this morning and put it
4 on the calendar.
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Now, I wish everybody had been
6 here when we did this because I thought we understood
7 that. If you vote the same way you did last time, then
8 it's right where Commissioner Barnett thinks it is. And
9 there really shouldn't be much need for debate unless the
10 audience has changed so significantly you can't get a
11 majority vote.
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Mr. Chairman?
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Yes.
14 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I would like to be heard as
15 an opponent.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right.
17 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: The purpose of this, as I
18 understand it from reading it and Commissioner Lowndes'
19 explanation, is to alleviate some of the problems with
20 claims bills. That may be a very laudable purpose. My
21 only comment is the Legislature can do this by statute and
22 I think we ought to leave it there.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Let me suggest to you there are
24 only 22 people left here. I'm willing to go forward with
25 this, I'm also willing to let it be withdrawn from the
1 calendar and let it be heard on rehearing when we get
2 back, which is what would happen.
3 I think it may be a little bit, as we have lost
4 people, to get to where we can't even waive the rules. We
5 don't have enough people present if somebody votes one
6 way, one vote, we can't waive the rules. So I don't know
7 whether you really want to bring this up or not.
8 Commissioner Barkdull. It is not you that's bringing it
10 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Excuse me?
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I know it is not you that's
12 bringing it up.
13 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: No, sir, but it's here on the
14 floor and that's why I made my comments and we are ready
15 to vote, and I don't hear anybody withdrawing it.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Commissioner
18 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Commissioner Barkdull will be
19 fine if he will yield to a question or two.
20 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: It is not my proposal,
21 Commissioner Thompson.
22 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Is it my understanding that
23 under this proposal a plaintiff can elect to submit the
24 claim to arbitration but the city or the county or the
25 school board cannot?
1 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well it seems to be
3 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Can you explain to us what
4 arbitration means?
5 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I know what my personal
6 definition is. I don't know what it means in this
8 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Can you tell from this
9 proposal whether or not the people who are arbitrators,
10 however many there are, will have to be members of the Bar
11 as we require for other litigation in the state?
12 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: No, sir, it does not require
14 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: Can you tell from this
15 language whether or not it is a requirement that the
16 people who represent plaintiffs, or defendants in this
17 situation will have to be attorneys or whether or not they
18 can be lobbyists who are working on a contingent fee
20 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I don't know because I don't
21 know where the claim is presented. It originally had the
22 claim being presented -- I guess it would have to be a
23 lawyer because it is a tort suit and unless an individual
24 is filing on their own behalf, they would have to be
25 represented by a lawyer I would assume.
1 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: From the language of this,
2 does it appear to you that the plaintiff can allege an
3 amount in excess of the limited waiver of sovereign
4 immunity, whatever that is, and however that is defined,
5 and the city or the county or the school board or the
6 state would have no control over that, that automatically
7 allows them to make the election?
8 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Well that is true to some
9 extent now. The claimants pick what court forum they are
10 going into by the amount they claim. So it would be
11 somewhat consistent with that I would assume.
12 COMMISSIONER THOMPSON: That's all I have, thank you.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Zack.
14 COMMISSIONER ZACK: I guess it hasn't been, what, 12
15 hours since we voted on this? There hasn't been a single
16 new fact that has been presented. We have heard the same
17 argument by the opponents. We have heard the same
18 discussion. It is -- this passed 19, by 19 yeas
19 yesterday. I don't know why we should be debating it
20 between yesterday and today, but again having learned my
21 lesson once before, I felt it incumbent upon me to stand
22 up and say something about it.
23 This has been hotly debated, it has been discussed
24 over and over again. It is to fix a problem that exists,
25 it is to bring fairness and justice to a system that has
1 been admittedly corrupt and unjust in the way that it has
2 dealt with people who have had claims over $100,000.
3 All this does is give us an opportunity to answer
4 questions that have been raised as well by various people
5 as to the cost involved and the effects on various
6 governmental entities. I have no problem being one of
7 five people who would vote to reconsider this after the
8 public hearings. This is a matter that, again, should go
9 forward and I just frankly do not understand how there is
10 any question about it going forward at this time
11 regardless of the number of people in this chamber.
12 If we are going to do justice to what we have done
13 yesterday, and in all fairness along with Commissioner
14 Barnett, I did not understand, I do understand now after
15 the explanation of the chair, and the Rules Chairman's
16 discussion as to why we have to vote on it again. I
17 thought we had voted on it yesterday and I thought the
18 matter was resolved, but I do understand why we have to do
20 And even those of you who may not be in favor of this
21 ultimately in order not to manipulate the system based on
22 who is here and who is not here at a given moment in time,
23 I urge you to vote in favor of this at this time, subject
24 to revisiting it after the public hearings.
25 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Ready to vote? Open
1 the machine and let's vote.
2 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine and announce the
5 READING CLERK: Seventeen yeas, 4 nays, Mr. Chairman.
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: By your vote you have submitted
7 this now for the public hearing, subject to the rules we
8 adopted on public hearings.
9 Now are we ready to come -- go now with Commissioner
10 Alfonso, we haven't heard from you this morning. You are
11 recognized, sir.
12 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: Commissioner Mills, do you
13 want to start off the session? This is the packet on
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Then we will move, in your pink
16 book it is Proposals 36 and 38 by the Committee on General
17 Provisions. Would you read it, please? By Commissioners
18 Henderson and Mills.
19 READING CLERK: Committee substitute for Proposal
20 Nos. 36 and 38, a proposal to revise Article II, Section
21 7, Florida Constitution; providing that it is the policy
22 of the state to conserve natural resources and scenic
23 beauty for the health and welfare of its citizens and
24 future generations, providing for provision to be made by
25 law to protect future generations.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: There is an amendment on the
2 table by Style and Drafting, which, Commissioner Alfonso,
3 you are recognized to explain.
4 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This
5 amendment adds the word "protection" and that's so that we
6 can make this sentence --
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I had better read it, I'm sorry.
8 READING CLERK: By the Committee on Style and
9 Drafting, on Page 1, Lines 20 to 21, delete the underlined
10 language and insert the following: "And for the
11 conservation and protection of natural resources for
12 future generations."
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Now, Commissioner Alfonso.
14 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: This amendment adds the word
15 "conservation" which makes this sentence parallel with the
16 first sentence of this section, which states that it is
17 the policy of the state to both conserve and protect.
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Everybody understand
19 the amendment? All in favor of the amendment say aye.
20 (Verbal vote taken.)
21 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: The amendment carries. And now
22 on the proposal. Commissioner Alfonso, are you going to
23 present the proposal?
24 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: I will explain the proposal.
25 It is pretty simple, I can yield to Commissioner Mills.
1 But really this proposal strengthens Article II, Section
2 7, by mandating the Legislature to make provisions for
3 natural resources, conservation and protection.
4 The Legislature is constitutionally required to
5 provide for the abatement of air and water pollution and
6 excessive and unnecessary noise. It is not similarly
7 mandated to enact laws for conservation and protection of
8 natural resources, although it is an express policy of the
9 state to conserve and protect natural resources.
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Does everybody understand the
11 proposal? Any proponents wish to speak? Of course, all
12 of these we have dealt with before, but you certainly have
13 the opportunity to address the proposal. Any proponents
14 first? One opponent? Commissioner Corr. Two opponents,
15 okay. Commissioner Corr is first. In the meantime if you
16 have got a proponent, you can go next.
17 COMMISSIONER CORR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My
18 opposition to this is just strictly the basis that it is
19 just not needed. We already have in our Constitution, in
20 the first line of this section it says, it shall be the
21 policy of the state to conserve and protect its natural
22 resources and scenic beauty. No one would ever debate
23 that, no one would ever oppose that and it's already been
24 in our Constitution, it's been the policy of the state for
1 To add this is just going to potentially go after
2 eroding private property rights, potentially the rights
3 that have been eroded more than any other in our state in
4 the form of taxation and land use restrictions and zoning
5 and all others. I just think it is totally unneeded,
6 while well intended. I would ask you to vote in
7 opposition to this.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Mills, proponent.
9 COMMISSIONER MILLS: Mr. Chairman, this is actually
10 very simple. This started out as a fairly convoluted,
11 though well intended, bill of rights. What it is now is a
12 simple sentence that states the policy of the state that
13 the Legislature will interpret. This has no impact on
14 personal property rights, other than what the Legislature
15 may or may not choose to do.
16 It is a constitutional statement of, frankly,
17 summarizing what we are doing here. It goes in the
18 direction of conservation and protection, which is
19 acquisition, which is anti-regulation. In other words,
20 this is the new direction of environmental law, that is,
21 not to intrude on property rights, but to provide
22 incentives like conservation easements, which we have done
23 here, to provide land acquisition, like we have done here.
24 This simply makes that statement in the Constitution.
25 It is prospective, it is one of the least intrusive issues
1 that we have dealt with. I can't imagine why anyone would
2 truly want to oppose this. And it does fit well with the
3 rest of the environmental package.
4 For example, what it says is we shall conserve and
5 protect our natural resources for future generations. I
6 was thinking just to provide a counterpoint, why wouldn't
7 I introduce an amendment that says, we shall consume and
8 abuse our resources for this generation.
9 Gee, maybe that's what we have been doing. So it
10 seems to me this is a simple statement to allow us to care
11 for the resources for future generations. I promise you,
12 this does what it seems to do on its face.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Commissioner Morsani
14 wants to explain to you why he is against it.
15 COMMISSIONER MORSANI: Well I thought Commissioner
16 Corr handled it extremely well. All the other
17 environmental issues that are on this, we have pretty much
18 determined that they are noncontroversial. I think that
19 this is a real -- I know what this is. Let's not kid
20 ourselves, Mr. Mills. This is the same doggone thing
21 that's the nose under -- the camel's nose under the tent.
22 And it is dangerous for this body, it's dangerous for this
23 state for long term. I know you are shaking your head,
24 but I just don't trust it.
25 And I tried to be good with you fellows, but I don't
1 trust this and where you could go with it. And you and
2 your dear friend on the right down there in the
3 Everglades, Mr. Smith, might say, hey, I have got a new
4 opening. And some of those fellows aren't in jail yet,
5 but you have got some other ideas for them.
6 I think this is bad, this is too much. You know, it
7 is too much aspirational. We should defeat this, we don't
8 need this. The others I'm all in favor of, but this we
9 don't need. It is not in our best interest and I
10 encourage you to vote against it.
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Any other proponents? Another
12 proponent, Commissioner Connor.
13 COMMISSIONER CONNOR: A agree with Commissioner Corr
14 that this is not necessary. But what disturbs me more
15 than anything else is that this body, while laudably
16 seeking to protect the environment for future generations,
17 has been absolutely unwilling to protect those future
18 generations. I think that's wrong, I think it is a
19 mistake and I think it is just a sad note.
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Henderson as a
22 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: To close. I understand
23 there is an opponent, I want to be recognized to close.
24 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Oh, you have one
25 minute. Question, of whom? Commissioner Mills, do you
1 yield to a question? Commissioner Evans, you are
2 recognized for a question.
3 COMMISSIONER EVANS: It says, it shall be the policy
4 of the state to conserve and protect its natural resources
5 and scenic beauty. My question is, for whom? Who is the
6 first sentence addressed to?
7 COMMISSIONER MILLS: For the citizens of the state.
8 COMMISSIONER EVANS: The amendment is exactly the
9 same wording and it is addressed to future generations.
10 For whom, for all the years that this has been in the
11 Constitution, has it been addressed to, the personance?
12 COMMISSIONER MILLS: As Commissioner Alfonso said,
13 this is in the directive language asking the Legislature
14 or telling the Legislature to deal with I think water
15 quality, pollution and protection. So it is merely a
16 parallel sentence.
17 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Ready to vote? Okay. Open the
18 machine and let's vote.
19 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine and announce the
22 READING CLERK: Seventeen yeas, 5 nays, Mr. Chairman.
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We will proceed to the next
24 proposal, No. 39, by Commissioner Henderson. Anything
25 from Style and Drafting? Commissioner Alfonso for Style
1 and Drafting.
2 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: I wonder if I could waive the
3 rules and go to proposal No. 45 before -- we may lose one
4 or two people and that's really the core of this whole
5 proposal. That's what I was trying to start with. That's
6 the unification.
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Henderson.
8 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Mr. Chairman, I ask
9 unanimous consent to withdraw No. 39 to accomplish that.
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Unanimous consent to withdraw
11 No. 39. We haven't read it, but read it and then we will
12 withdraw it.
13 READING CLERK: Proposal No. 39, a proposal to revise
14 Article VII, Section 11, Florida Constitution; providing
15 for state bonds pledges all or part of a dedicated state
16 tax revenue or the full faith and credit of the state for
17 certain uses as provided by general law.
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. There has been a
19 motion to withdraw it, we need unanimous consent. Without
20 objection it is withdrawn by the sponsor with the consent
21 of Style and Drafting. All right, it is withdrawn.
22 We now move to proposal number -- you wanted to move
23 which one?
24 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: That's fine, 45 is up next.
25 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We will move to Proposal No. 45
1 by the Committees on Executive and Legislative and
2 Commissioner Henderson. Read it, please.
3 READING CLERK: Committee Substitute for Committee
4 Substitute for Proposal No. 45, a proposal to revise
5 Article IV, Section 9, Florida Constitution; creating the
6 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to be composed
7 initially of the existing members of the Game and Fresh
8 Water Fish Commission and the Marine Fisheries Commission
9 and providing for the powers and duties of the commission.
10 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: There is an amendment on the
11 table. Would you read it? This is by the Committee on
12 Style and Drafting by Commissioner Alfonso.
13 READING CLERK: By the Committee on Style and
14 Drafting, on Page 1, Line 16, to Page 3, Line 16, delete
15 underlined language and insert lengthy amendment.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Alfonso on the
18 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd
19 like to remind the commission, too, that this amendment
20 supersedes what's in the packet and to refer to that as we
21 go through this.
22 This amendment makes a series of changes and notably
23 the prohibition on regulation on matters of, relating to
24 excessive and unnecessary noise was deleted. The
25 subsection B schedule needed clarification regarding the
1 new commission's jurisdiction with respect to marine life
2 and this amendment clarifies that jurisdiction over marine
3 life and is limited to the current jurisdiction of the
4 Marine Fisheries Commission.
5 The amendment changes on the effective date of this
6 amendment to a date certain and that's to keep the
7 Legislature from passing laws before we actually get to
8 the ballot. So it is a date certain I believe of March 1,
10 And the Article XII, Section 22B changes authority to
11 jurisdiction. This was done to avoid the possibility that
12 rules relating to marine life would be subject to
13 ratification by the Government and the Cabinet. And this
14 is currently the case with Marine Fisheries Commission
16 And the last sentence of subsection B was rewritten
17 to make all rules relating to marine life automatically
18 rules of the new commission rather than requiring it to
19 formally adopt them. So it just makes it a little easier.
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Style and Drafting has redrafted
21 to accomplish the purposes of the original proposal; is
22 that correct, Commissioner Henderson?
23 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Yes, Mr. Chairman, just very
24 briefly. These are all purely technical issues. And we
25 had all the interests, all the business interests and all
1 the fishing interests at Style and Drafting the other day.
2 I want you to see the evidence. This is the handwritten
3 amendment that all of the various interests have signed
4 here at the bottom and it is going to be framed for future
5 reference when all this is over with.
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Henderson, I didn't
7 sign it. I'm an interest.
8 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: We need your vote, however.
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: That's right. I'm going to get a
10 chance, right? Everybody in favor of the amendment, say
12 (Verbal vote taken.)
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Okay. We will move to the
14 proposal. This is a unification proposal. It has been
15 read and it is as amended. Commissioner Alfonso to close,
16 unless Commissioner Henderson wants to close.
17 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: I'll keep it brief. We have
18 been through this before. This proposal places the
19 regulation of marine life under the jurisdiction of the
20 Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.
21 As Commissioner Henderson stated, there is over 200
22 conservation, environmental, hunting, fishing and animal
23 welfare organizations that have signed on to this. It has
24 been editorialized in most of the major papers in the
25 state as being a good idea and endorsed. And I just --
1 over 80,000 people have signed petitions requesting this
2 proposal be placed on the ballot.
3 So with this language which has been worked out I
4 just urge your positive vote on this proposal. Thank you.
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Henderson as a
6 proponent? Do we have an opponent.
7 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Frank is ready to vote on
8 this, I don't want to stop him. You-all met my son in
9 here Monday. When we left he asked if we could go
10 fishing. I told him we couldn't go fishing until we did
11 this, so please vote for this.
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Anybody else want to be heard?
13 If not, we will proceed to vote. Open the machine.
14 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine.
16 READING CLERK: Twenty-three yeas and zero nays,
17 Mr. Chairman.
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I wanted you to know the reason I
19 said about this all interests signing on, that's
20 legislative talk, it doesn't apply in this group. We are
21 not dealing with interests. What you should have said,
22 all issues have been resolved. You have done a great job
23 and we are all indebted to you for carrying this forward
24 in the manner you have.
25 Now we are moving into Proposal No. 64. Would you
1 read it, please?
2 READING CLERK: Committee Substitute for Proposal
3 No. 64, a proposal to revise Article VII, Section 11,
4 Florida Constitution; providing for state bonds pledging
5 all or part of a dedicated state tax revenue or the full
6 faith and credit of the state for certain uses as provided
7 by the general law.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Alfonso.
9 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: Mr. Chairman, this amendment
10 contains a number of technical changes from Style and
12 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Let me read the amendment. Read
13 the amendment, please.
14 READING CLERK: By the Committee on Style and
15 Drafting, on Page 2, Lines 10 to 16, delete underlined
16 language and insert: "Bonds pledging all or part of a
17 dedicated state tax revenue may be issued by the state in
18 a manner provided by general law to finance or refinance
19 the acquisition and improvement of land, water areas, and
20 related property interests and resources for the purposes
21 of conservation, outdoor recreation, water resource
22 development, restoration of natural systems and historic
24 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Has the amendment been passed
25 out? It's in the book. Okay. That's why I couldn't find
1 it. All right. Commissioner Alfonso, you are recognized
2 on the amendment.
3 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: Well simply this amendment
4 contains a number of technical changes. And notably the
5 state bonds, the word "state bonds" is changed to "bonds."
6 The word "natural" is deleted from natural land as
7 unnecessary and potentially confusing.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Question, is this a proposal that
9 just extends P-2000 indefinitely and that's all it does?
10 It doesn't change bonding or any of those things; is that
12 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: That's correct.
13 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Is that the understanding? Okay.
14 I thought this is the one we heard so much about in public
15 hearing. Yes, Commissioner Henderson.
16 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: I am getting blank stares
17 out here when I moved to withdraw No. 39. The reason why
18 39 was withdrawn is that this is the proper vehicle to
19 achieve the extension of P-2000.
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Yeah, I recall that when we dealt
21 with this before. You said you were going to do that and
22 that's what he has done.
23 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: The difference, Mr. Chairman,
24 is that 39 does not authorize full faith and credit bonds.
25 So that was the difference.
1 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Correct. Okay. Now, does
2 everybody understand the amendment? All in favor of the
3 amendment say aye; opposed?
4 (Verbal vote taken.)
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: The amendment is adopted. We are
6 now on the proposal. One of you may close. Unless, wait,
7 do we have an opponent? All right. You may close.
8 Commissioner Henderson, you are recognized to close.
9 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
10 very briefly. This is maybe one of the most lasting
11 things that we will do in these chambers. Preservation
12 2000 is arguably the most successful program in the
13 history of the state of Florida, having allowed us to
14 achieve, to acquire and protect a million acres of the
15 best of Florida before it is too late.
16 The program will end because of a footnote at the end
17 of the Constitution. This will provide for the
18 Legislature to be able to continue with a new program.
19 And some of you already know, we are already calling the
20 program Forever Florida. Some of us have talked about
21 this, you will be hearing this, this will be the first
22 campaign speech so I'll cut it brief with this. This will
23 be Forever Florida, the new program to be able to continue
24 to achieve conservation in the future.
25 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Open the machine and
1 let's vote.
2 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
3 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine and announce the
5 READING CLERK: Twenty-four yeas, one nay,
6 Mr. Chairman.
7 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. We will move to
8 Proposal No. 102, committee substitute for, by the
9 Committee on General Provisions and Commissioner
10 Henderson. Would you read it, please?
11 READING CLERK: Committee Substitute for Proposal
12 No. 102, a proposal to revise Article X, Florida
13 Constitution, adding Section 18 to provide restrictions on
14 disposition of conservation and recreation lands.
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Alfonso.
16 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: There is an amendment that's
17 being passed out.
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Amendment on the table --
19 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: And I would urge you --
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: -- and it is being passed out
21 now. Would you read the amendment, please?
22 READING CLERK: By the Committee on Style and
23 Drafting, on Page 1, Lines 13 to 22, delete underlined
24 language and insert: Section 18. Disposition of
25 conservation lands. No interest in real property acquired
1 or held by the state for natural resources conservation
2 purposes may be disposed of except by a vote of two-thirds
3 of the members of the governing board of the entity
4 holding title after a determination that the interest is
5 not required for such purposes.
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Commissioner Alfonso,
7 this is a Style and Drafting amendment. And on the pass
8 out, would you go over that with us because on it you have
9 the reasons for it by the Style and Drafting. You are
11 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: To make it easier, but notably
12 I can go through it very quickly. "Lands acquired" was
13 changed to "interest in real property." And that includes
14 not only interest acquired for conservation but also those
15 held for conservation. Some lands may have not been
16 acquired under a conservation program but are deserving of
17 this protection because they have come to be used for
18 these purposes. We discussed that last time.
19 It makes a reference to the Board of Trustees in the
20 Water Management District -- no, the reference was omitted
21 to the Board of Trustees of the Water Management
22 Districts. Those entities are not constitutionally
24 Also, other entities hold title to conservation lands
25 such as the Game and Fresh Water Fish and the Department
1 of Agriculture. This amendment substitutes the phrase
2 "entity holding title."
3 Another point is "natural resource conservation
4 purposes" replaces "conservation and recreation purposes."
5 This latter term could be interpreted as applying only to
6 conservation and recreation lands. Recreation land
7 acquisition program, the CARL Program.
8 Then Style and Drafting also recommends that the
9 clause "by sale or lease" be deleted. The amendment in
10 the packet does not include this. So this is a new one.
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: What was the reason for that?
12 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: Disposition includes both sale
13 and lease. And the end note in the packet erroneously
14 stated that a land exchange would be prohibited if those
15 terms were omitted.
16 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Everyone understand the
18 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I'd like to ask a question,
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Question to --
21 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Alfonso.
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: -- Style and Drafting.
23 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Commissioner Alfonso, the
24 footnote six, except by a vote of two-thirds of the
25 governing board of entity holding title, and then you
1 indicate that the state board of forestry -- the
2 Department of Agriculture holds title to some land and it
3 is only headed by one commissioner at this time, if we
4 don't make some changes. And I don't know how you are
5 going to get two-thirds of one.
6 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: At this point it would be all
7 of one, all of that person.
8 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Commissioner Henderson wants to
9 answer that, too.
10 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Yes, Mr. Chairman.
11 Commissioner Barkdull, this is a very limited application.
12 Evidently there are a few old lands that are out there
13 that the Department of Agriculture holds. And the
14 important thing would be the determination and that would
15 be --
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I'm not disputing the point.
17 My only -- I understand what you are trying to do, but I'm
18 wondering if --
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: The answer Commissioner Alfonso
20 gave is if it is one and he votes, you have got a
21 two-thirds vote of the entity. It may be so simple he is
23 Commissioner Sundberg.
24 COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG: Two-thirds of one is one.
25 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: We could get the Supreme Court to
1 hold that, couldn't we, Justice Kogan? No? All right,
2 Commissioner Alfonso to close, whoever wants to close.
3 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: Commissioner Henderson, why
4 don't you close on this.
5 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Briefly. This is something
6 we need to do to establish the standard and the procedure.
7 Right now there is uncertainty about the standard and the
8 procedure. It has caused litigation. And this will allow
9 us to be able to protect these lands for future
11 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Everybody ready to
12 vote? Unlock the machine and let's vote.
13 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
14 (Off-the-record comment.)
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: The amendment having been
16 adopted, the proposal -- lock the machine and announce the
18 READING CLERK: Eighteen yeas, 4 nays, Mr. Chairman.
19 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. The proposal as
20 amended is adopted by 18 to 4 vote.
21 Now Proposal No. 135 by Commissioner Henderson.
22 Commissioner Alfonso, from Style and Drafting, do you have
23 an amendment on the table? All right. Well let's read
24 the proposal.
25 READING CLERK: Proposal No. 135, a proposal to
1 revise Article VII, Section 3, Florida Constitution;
2 allowing a local option tax exemption for owners of land
3 used for conservation purposes, providing for
4 authorization by general law.
5 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Do you want Mr. Henderson to open
6 or to explain this, Commissioner Alfonso? All right,
7 Commissioner Henderson, you are recognized.
8 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
9 This is something, again, that can only be taken care of
10 in the Constitution. I will share with you a secret that
11 many of you do not know, that there is already one measure
12 that's going to be on the ballot next year, Proposition 1.
13 And that is one that is very similar to this that would
14 allow a tax exemption for historic preservation. So this
15 one will go very much along the line of that.
16 This came out of our work with property owners across
17 the state. And a similar provision, you will find this
18 interesting, a similar provision in Texas last year passed
19 by an 84 percent vote. So this is what we need to, as
20 Commissioner Corr would say, protect property rights, work
21 with property owners, to try to reward them for good
23 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Any debate or discussion on the
24 proposal? Commissioner Alfonso.
25 COMMISSIONER ALFONSO: I would just like to close. I
1 would just like to say that this is actually a property
2 owners benefit here. And as a developer I really endorse
3 this proposal.
4 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: You may have lost some votes.
6 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. Open the machine and
7 let's vote.
8 (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)
9 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Lock the machine and announce the
11 READING CLERK: Twenty-three yeas, zero nays,
12 Mr. Chairman.
13 COMMISSIONER HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and
15 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Let me say now, Commissioner
16 Barkdull, we have ended the special order calendar for the
17 day. Is there anything else to come up?
18 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: Any announcements by any
19 member of the commission?
20 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: Just a minute.
21 (Off-the-record discussion.)
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: I don't think so. Let me say
23 this, if you give me your attention. This has been,
24 everybody is in a bad mood today. You don't know how you
25 can feel it up here, you know, but we got through these
1 matters very well and we are now moving to public hearing.
2 And I would like to say as chairman of this group,
3 even with this small number here, that even Commissioner
4 Rundle who walks around and talks a lot when she is here,
5 but she is always interrupted by Commissioner Sundberg,
6 that you-all really have been a great group. And it has
7 been a real pleasure and I want to compliment the
8 appointing authorities for their appointments and the way
9 they have participated, particularly Commissioner Jennings
10 and Kogan and Butterworth, I keep forgetting he is
11 appointed himself.
12 And so thank you. And as your chairman, I appreciate
13 it. This will end our phase and now we go to public
14 hearings. When we come back we will be voting for 22
15 votes for real. Okay. Commissioner Barkdull.
16 COMMISSIONER BARKDULL: I move we recess until the
17 hour of 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday the 17th of March.
18 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: All right. We are in recess.
19 Remember the public hearing dates in Fort Lauderdale next
20 week and then in Tallahassee and so on.
22 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: While you are doing that,
23 recognize our staff, recognize our staff.
25 CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS: And that particularly,
1 particularly includes the Senate staff and our wonderful
2 Secretary and her people as well as the Sergeant-at-Arms
3 people. You just have been great and we couldn't ask for
4 any better service than you have given. Thank you very
5 much, we will all go home.
6 (Session adjourned at 11:45 a.m.)
3 STATE OF FLORIDA:
4 COUNTY OF LEON:
WE, JULIE L. DOHERTY, KRISTEN L. BENTLEY and
6 MONA L. WHIDDON, Court Reporters, certify that we were
authorized to and did stenographically report the foregoing
7 proceedings and that the transcript is a true and complete
record of our stenographic notes.
9 DATED this ______ day of ____________, 1998.
12 JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR
KRISTEN L. BENTLEY
17 MONA L. WHIDDON
18 Division of Administrative Hearings
1230 Apalachee Parkway
19 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3060
(850) 488-9675 Suncom 278-9675
20 Fax Filing (850) 921-6847