State Seal CRCLogo

Meeting Proceedings for November 14, 1997







	DATE:		November 14, 1997
	TIME:		Commenced at 9:00 a.m.
11			at 1:05 p.m.

12	PLACE:	Senate Chamber
			The Capitol
13			Tallahassee, Florida

15				Court Reporters
				Division of Administrative Hearings
16				The DeSoto Building
				1230 Apalachee Parkway
17				Tallahassee, Florida










1                             APPEARANCES


     H. T. SMITH



1                             PROCEEDINGS

2             SECRETARY BLANTON:  All commissioners indicate your

3        presence.

4             (Quorum taken).

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  We do have a quorum,

6        although it's very sparse this morning.  I think everyone

7        is having trouble getting up this morning.  Will everyone

8        have a seat and we will go ahead and get started.  If

9        everybody will please take their seat.  Commissioner

10        Jennings, you have shrunk.  All right, if everybody would

11        be seated, please, I would like to call on Commissioner

12        Marshall to give the invocation, and would everybody

13        please rise.

14             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Let us pray.  O Lord, the

15        first step in any effort to better the human condition

16        must be to have the opportunity to serve, to confront the

17        circumstances and conditions that must be changed if we

18        are to make a difference.

19             We pray for your guidance, for the qualities that

20        allow women and men to serve and to lead, for wisdom,

21        patience, forbearance, and above all, the love and respect

22        for those with whom we serve.  You have given us these

23        opportunities, Lord, and for these, we thank you.  Now we

24        ask you for your guidance in these other matters.  Amen.

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I would like to call on

1        Commissioner Mills to lead the pledge of allegiance.

2             (Pledge of allegiance.)

3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Good morning and welcome, those

4        that have gotten up before noon to be here today, we

5        appreciate it.  If you haven't checked in on the -- that

6        you are here, please push your button.  Anybody that has

7        not recorded their presence, please push your button.

8             SECRETARY BLANTON:  He had closed it before you said

9        that, but we reopened it.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Let's push the button

11        again, everybody that's here.  If you haven't -- we have

12        lost.  We don't have a quorum.  Push your button to

13        designate that you are here.  We had 20 and we are down to

14        18 and two came in.  We ought to get our 20 back anyway.

15             We are trying to reestablish who is here.  If you

16        have not re-designated, please push your yes button.  Push

17        it again.  Is that it?

18             There's Commissioner Hawkes, you can wait until he

19        pushes the button.  Commissioner Ford-Coates is here, I

20        see her out in the hall.  Ask her if she would come in.

21        She's registered her presence, though, all right.  Do we

22        have a quorum, Madam Secretary?  We do have a quorum and

23        we will, therefore, open the meeting.

24             (Quorum taken electronically).

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I would like to call on

1        Commissioner Barkdull on rules.

2             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

3        Members of the Commission, you have on your desk several

4        items that relate to the day and December matters.  One is

5        the day's calendar with backup material prepared by the

6        staff, which is in the blue copy.

7             Number two, you have on your desk for your

8        information and for reflection on the deadline for

9        proposals, which is 5:00 p.m. on the 25th of November, a

10        list of all of the proposals that have been filed.  It is

11        a two-page document that says, "Constitution Revision

12        Commission proposals filed."  There are 101 in number.

13             Some of us have had a problem remembering what we

14        have filed or what we haven't filed or thought about.  The

15        staff has put this together so we can take a look at what

16        actually has been filed.  So, you can go through it and

17        see whether a proposition that you have been considering

18        putting in has gotten in.  And if not, you can contact

19        staff of bill drafting and it'll be prepared.

20             In connection with the December meeting I had several

21        members come to me after the meeting yesterday, and the

22        upshot of the discussions are, we will stay with the

23        December schedule the way it is.  We commence at 9:00 on

24        Tuesday, the 8th of December and will go through Friday.

25             For those committee chairmen, several of which have

1        indicated they might want to have committee meetings on

2        the Monday before I guess we start on the 9th, on Monday

3        the 8th.  Committee chairs can at any time call a

4        committee meeting, if satisfactory with their committee,

5        but they must meet in Tallahassee.  So, bear that in mind

6        if you decide to call a committee meeting before we take

7        in in December.

8             A housekeeping matter, I want to announce that some

9        of you received on your desk during the session yesterday

10        some lobbying material.  That was distributed by accident.

11        We have instructed the staff that there will be no more

12        lobbying materials distributed in the chamber at any time.

13        Mr. Chairman, that concludes.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The secretary reminds me that if

15        anybody wants to pass out anything, including us, that it

16        should be handed to the Secretary, who then will review it

17        and review it with you and maybe the rules committee or

18        with me or somebody before it's distributed to make sure

19        that it's properly done.  So, if everybody will keep that

20        in mind, we'll continue to operate that way.

21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  All right.  Now, I'm about to

22        conclude my remarks, but I would just like to say one

23        thing.  It's now 9:15 and it took us about 15 minutes to

24        get organized.  You know, there are 37 people on this

25        commission, and there are a lot of staff that you see here

1        that work, and everybody is here.  And I think that

2        everybody should try to get here in time for us to start

3        on time because when we don't, it's an inconvenience to a

4        number of people.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  You have distributed

6        the special order for the day?

7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.

8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And everybody has that on their

9        desk, and we'll be getting to that in just a moment.  I

10        see some -- for what purpose do you rise, Commissioner

11        Ford-Coates?

12             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  To ask a question.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes.

14             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  The deadline for filing is

15        5:00, November 25th.  I just want to make sure I

16        understand what filing means.  Does that mean that the

17        jacket has been signed or does that mean that the idea is

18        in the hopper?

19             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  It mean the jacket has been

20        signed a it's been assigned a number and it's ready to go.

21             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  So, if anyone were going

22        to meet that deadline, they need to be starting long

23        before the -- I mean, it can't happen the morning of the

24        25th unless the faxes go back and forth pretty quickly or

25        the exact wording is set up.

1             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  You have got to have it in by

2        5:00 on the 25th.  If the exact wording is not the way you

3        want it at that time, I would suggest let it go because

4        you have a vehicle, you can amend it when it gets here.

5             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  But we have to get that

6        final document from bill drafting?

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes.

8             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Thank you.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, it doesn't really have to

10        go to bill drafting if you want to draft it yourself and

11        you have got a jacket and can sign it.  Then we'll send it

12        to bill drafting and see if they approve it.  It'll go to

13        bill drafting.

14             That is important to remember, the 25th at 5:00 p.m.,

15        anything that a member wants to file has to be filed.

16        That's under the rules, and then it would take a 2/3's

17        vote to file something after that, waiver of the rules.

18        Am I right, Commissioner Barkdull?

19             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  That's correct.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  I do want to compliment

21        the commission on this meeting.  The few people that have

22        been in the gallery that are experts at this thing have

23        come up to me and said how pleased they were with the

24        quality of the decorum of this group and the way they

25        debated and the intelligence of the debate.  And I think

1        that you are to be complimented for that, and it is a

2        great reflection on your ability and your dedication to

3        doing the right thing.  And I'm very proud to be involved

4        with you, as I'm sure we all are with each other.

5             We will proceed now with the special order.  And the

6        first proposal is No. 45 by the Commission on Executive

7        and Commissioner Henderson.  And I would like to ask the

8        clerk to read the title.

9             READING CLERK:  We have proposal 31.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Beg your pardon?

11             READING CLERK:  We have proposal 31.

12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Oh, okay, excuse me, the first

13        one on special order -- I was trying to get to

14        Commissioner Henderson because he's been very quiet.  I

15        wanted him to speak and tell us it is a miracle again.

16        I'm looking forward to that.  It is Proposals 31 and 55,

17        which is a committee substitute for those, and would you

18        read the title please?

19             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposals 31

20        and 55, a proposal to revise Article V, s. 14, Florida

21        Constitution, and create Article V, s. 21, Florida

22        Constitution, providing for salaries, costs, and expenses

23        of the judiciary, state attorneys, public defenders, and

24        clerks of the circuit court, and their appropriate staff,

25        to be funded from state revenues appropriated by general

1        law.

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

3        Sundberg, I believe you were designated by the committee

4        to present this, and you had one of the two proposals that

5        were combined; therefore, I recognize you to proceed on

6        this proposal.

7             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  There is an amendment on the

9        table.

10             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I would like to --

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Sundberg, there is

12        an amendment on the table.

13             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  By me.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  By you?  I would like to ask that

15        that be read.

16             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Sundberg, on Page 2,

17        Lines 3 and 9, delete "judiciary" and insert "state court

18        system."

19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Proceed.

20             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Let me first address the

21        amendment because I really believe it's noncontroversial

22        and I would like to have that issue addressed and the

23        proposal amended before we commence presentation today on

24        the principle of the proposition.

25             The amendment, as has been read, if you look at the

1        Proposals 31 and 35, when referring to the costs of the

2        state court system that is to be assumed by the State, it

3        says, all of the salaries, costs and expenses of the

4        judiciary, comma, state attorneys, public defenders, et

5        cetera.  This amendment simply substitutes for the word

6        "judiciary" in Line 3 and in Line 9, the phrase, "state

7        court system."

8             I do that because I think that it's more consistent

9        with definitions that have heretofore been used.  For

10        example, that is a defined term in Section 25.382, Florida

11        Statutes, which is Title V dealing with the judicial

12        branch of government.

13             So, this is, I believe, accurately, simply, the

14        technical amendment to have this more clearly define what

15        we mean.  And that definition in the statutes, as it is

16        here, is intended to refer to the Supreme Court, the

17        District Courts of Appeal, the circuit courts, and the

18        county courts.

19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Sundberg

20        has moved the amendment to committee substitute for

21        Proposals 31 and 55.  Commissioner Scott.

22             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Mr. Chairman --

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  On the amendment?

24             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Well, yes, because I think

25        before we start deciding what to do about amendments,

1        there is a point that we need to make here.  Our staff

2        analysis here, which is -- there's no requirement that it

3        be done like we have in the Legislature, but it doesn't

4        indicate the financial cost of this.

5             But it's my understanding from this having come up

6        with a senator who has introduced this issue before, our

7        staff analysis in the Legislature showed that it costs

8        $560 million a year to mandate that the State take up this

9        cost.

10             And I just want to make the point that this is a very

11        serious matter and we would -- not only would we be

12        considering that amount of money, but we would also be

13        saying, you shall fund whatever it costs, and then the

14        Legislature, who is elected to represent all of the people

15        and the taxpayers wouldn't really have that much choice.

16             So I'm not talking against it.  I'm for the idea of

17        the State picking up more of these costs, but I do think

18        that we should not proceed to adopt this measure until we

19        have a substantial chance for more study and input.  So I

20        just wanted to make that point.  So, to me, before you

21        start doing a lot of amending on it, you know, maybe we

22        ought to address that issue.

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are you opposing the amendment?

24             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  In all candor, I don't know what

25        the amendment does.  I am just --

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  What the amendment does, he has

2        just explained it, defines, instead of using the word

3        "judiciary," he used the word "courts."  And he explained

4        the reason for it, it's already defined, "the courts"

5        word, and "judiciary" is a much broader word that

6        shouldn't be used in the constitutional effort.  So it's

7        merely a housecleaning -- housekeeping amendment, as I

8        understand it.  Is that correct, Commissioner Sundberg?

9             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Absolutely.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Is everybody prepared

11        to vote on the amendment, not on the proposal?  Please

12        vote.

13             (Whereupon, an electronic vote was taken.)

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  It's recorded.

15             READING CLERK:  24 nays and zero yeas, Mr. Chairman.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proceed, Commissioner Sundberg,

17        you have a quorum.

18             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Mr. Chairman, I want to

19        assure Commissioner Scott that I recognize the seriousness

20        of this proposal.  I don't for a moment perceive it to be

21        frivolous.  It has been a serious proposal since 1972 when

22        the judicial article was placed -- or the revised judicial

23        article was placed in our Constitution.  The state of

24        affairs prior to 1972 in the State of Florida insofar as

25        its judiciary --

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Sundberg, just a

2        minute.  Would the commissioners and people who are not

3        commissioners that are standing around please take their

4        seats.  And anybody that's not a commissioner, please do

5        not walk the floor while debate is going on.  Thank you.

6        Proceed.

7             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  As

8        I was saying, the state of affairs with regard to the

9        judicial system in this state I think could be fairly

10        characterized as a mess.

11             We had some 13 or 14 different kinds of courts from

12        place to place in this state.  We had justices of the

13        Peace, we had civil courts of record, we have got criminal

14        courts of record, we have got felony courts, we have

15        misdemeanor courts, we have county judges' courts, we have

16        county courts.  In 1972, however, under the leadership of

17        then judiciary -- House Judiciary Chairman D'Alemberte and

18        his able staff director, Janet Reno, the judicial article

19        was moved forward and adopted by the people.

20             In connection with the adoption of that court reform,

21        and it was a significant court reform, because all of

22        those different courts, and including municipal courts,

23        which were clearly -- I say clearly, in many venues were

24        nothing more than cash registers for local government, and

25        the amount of fines and forfeitures were built into the

1        municipality's budget as a means of collecting revenue.

2             In any event, in connection with this substantial

3        court reform, it was represented to the people of this

4        state that in exchange for taking away or eliminating

5        these local courts with all sorts of local jurisdiction,

6        that it would be replaced by a uniform state court system.

7        And that system is essentially as we know it today.  It is

8        a two-tier trial system made up of county courts and

9        circuit courts with a level of intermediate Courts of

10        Appeal, the District Courts of Appeal, with the Supreme

11        Court.  And as our Constitution states, that's all of the

12        courts that may exist in this state.

13             It clearly was a uniform system of courts.  It was a

14        model in these United States for court reform.  But in

15        order to induce the people to support this uniform

16        statewide system, the representation was made, you are

17        going to lose these local courts, and in many instances,

18        the fines and forfeitures that are generated, but in

19        exchange for that, this, because it's going to be a

20        statewide system, that the cost of that system will now be

21        borne by the State.  That was the promise.  I can quote a

22        number of editorials.  I can quote many instances in which

23        those representations were made to the people.

24             However, that promise never came true because the

25        only cost of this uniform statewide judicial system that

1        was assumed by the State turned out to be, and in the

2        literal terms of the Constitution, that was accurate,

3        simply the cost of the justices and judges and their staff

4        which make up the state court system.

5             You say, well, what other kinds of costs are we

6        talking about?  Justices and judges, that must be the

7        system.  The answer to that is, no, that's not the system.

8        The cost of the system is made up of a number of elements.

9             It is made up of witness fees that have to be paid in

10        all criminal cases to witnesses.  It's made up of the

11        costs of court reporters, which is a significant cost.  It

12        is, in many of our jurisdictions now, court interpreters,

13        it's overhead costs for judges, states attorneys and

14        public defenders.  So that local government, the counties

15        have continued to be responsible, in addition to the

16        facilities' costs; and that is the courthouses, the space

17        and security for the court proper, the states attorneys,

18        and public defenders have all continued to be a cost to

19        local government.

20             We have found another cost that has become very, very

21        significant, and that is the cost of appointed counsel,

22        not only when the public defender has a conflict.  And the

23        statute provides for that, that when a public defender has

24        a conflict -- say they are codefendants, the public

25        defender can defend one but can't defend both of them,

1        then the court appoints counsel who act like a public

2        defender for the codefendant.  Our Constitution requires

3        that.

4             It also requires that indigents, and we are talking

5        about indigents here, that indigents who are entitled to

6        an appeal of their conviction are entitled to counsel.

7        The Federal Constitution mandates that.  We had a case not

8        so long ago in which -- it occurred in the second district

9        area -- in which the public defender who handles all of

10        the appellate work in those -- in that district said, I

11        don't have conflicts, but we are absolutely overwhelmed

12        with a caseload that we cannot adequately represent these

13        indigent defendants who have been convicted and who are

14        entitled to appeal.

15             And so the 2nd District Court of Appeals said, in

16        those instances this overload has to be funded; there has

17        to be counsel appointed to handle this.  And they said,

18        local government must bear the cost of now providing, in

19        addition to other costs that they bear, the cost of these

20        appellate attorneys to handle the cases for indigents on

21        appeal.

22             It came to the Florida Supreme Court, and the Florida

23        Supreme Court said, this is really a bummer, the

24        Constitution requires that these indigents be provided

25        counsel and the State ought to be paying for these

1        counsel.  But we perceive that separation of powers,

2        considerations prohibit us from directing the Legislature

3        to pay these costs.  And so, once again, local government

4        got caught with those costs.

5             As Commissioner Scott indicates, we are not talking

6        about an insignificant amount.  But I suggest to you, that

7        makes my very point.  Local government is bearing this

8        sum, whatever it may be, and I'm not sure we have a

9        perfect handle on it.  I would accept figures in the range

10        suggested by Senator Scott.  And local government is

11        between a rock and a hard place.  Over a third of them,

12        I'm told, or I'm informed, are already at their ten mill

13        cap.

14             So the Legislature has said, you may not -- or, you

15        know, by law they may not exceed or levy ad valorem taxes

16        beyond that to defray these costs, many costs, but

17        included amongst them, these escalating costs of the state

18        court system.  That is the background in which we found

19        ourselves and was the moving event for the proposal which

20        is before you today.

21             And let me talk a minute about what this proposal

22        does.  First of all, I would tell you that this issue has

23        been considered by at least three bodies in the 1990s.

24        And the problem has been recognized and recommendation has

25        been made by each of them that it be addressed.

1             In 1991, the Judicial Council of Florida recommended

2        a proposal for state assumption of most of Article V

3        costs.  The Florida Council of a Hundred, which is a

4        significant, important organization of businesspeople in

5        this state, who recognized the need for supporting our

6        statewide, uniform state court system, urged the

7        Legislature to address the courts' funding needs.  And

8        there they spoke particularly with respect to providing an

9        effective criminal justice system.  And more recently, the

10        Article V task force of 1995 recommended that the

11        Legislature begin the assumption of specific Article V

12        costs.

13             Under the proposal that's before you, the counties

14        are required to fund the cost of construction,

15        maintenance, utilities, and security for facilities for

16        the trial courts, for the public defenders, for the states

17        attorneys, for the clerks, and for their respective

18        staffs.  That has been the traditional role of local

19        government, to provide these kinds of facilities.

20             In days past, it's been perceived to be the

21        traditional role of local government because a number of

22        local government functions, in addition to the state court

23        system, were carried on in those facilities.  That doesn't

24        seem to be so much the case now because judicial

25        facilities, states attorneys, public defenders are often

1        in freestanding structures.  But nonetheless, we felt that

2        this significant cost still ought to be borne by local

3        government.

4             Next, the proposal requires the State to pay all

5        salaries, costs, and expenses of the state court system,

6        the public defenders, the state attorneys and the clerks

7        of court when performing court functions.

8             If I can take a moment to explain that for those of

9        you who may not know the kinds of functions that your

10        clerk performs.  The clerk really performs two sets of

11        discrete types of functions.  One is related to the court

12        system.  It provides for filing of documents that initiate

13        litigation, it provides for filing deeds and all manner of

14        documents.

15             On the other hand, it provides a function that is

16        purely local, and essentially a function of the Board of

17        County Commissioners in that county.  It has functions

18        with respect to bonding and finance, it has some

19        comptroller functions.  The cost which the State is called

20        upon in these proposals or this proposal to undertake is

21        just that, those functions which are in support of the

22        state court system.  Those functions which are local in

23        nature, and in effect, county functions under the Board of

24        County Commissioners would continue to be funded by local

25        government.

1             This provides, in response to Senator Scott's

2        concerns, that it would not be until the year 2004 when

3        the State would assume its portion of the Article V costs,

4        and that's to be pursuant to a phase-in schedule that's to

5        be established by the Legislature under general law.  In

6        other words, this doesn't go into effect in one fell

7        swoop.

8             It provides further that the Legislature is not to

9        preclude -- it doesn't require the Legislature to do it,

10        but it does not preclude it from acting to receive the

11        county's fines, costs, and forfeitures that are currently

12        dedicated solely to funding the courts.  The premise being

13        of that -- and fines and forfeitures go a lot of places.

14        They go to -- because they are generated from a number of

15        sources.

16             Some come from fines arising out of municipal

17        ordinance violations.  Some come from code violations that

18        are either municipal or county code violations.  Some come

19        from violation of county ordinances.  But those fines and

20        forfeitures are currently appropriated by the Legislature

21        for many, many purposes, among which some is to go back to

22        the county to defray these court costs which I have

23        earlier discussed.

24             What this says is -- nothing in this amendment that

25        in effect says -- or that says that the State takes over

1        these costs, would preclude the Legislature from

2        continuing to appropriate those funds, and in particular,

3        to utilize the funds that have heretofore gone to the

4        counties on the premise that it's helped to defray those

5        costs.  If the State is taking it over, the Legislature

6        will have the power to say, those revenues will now come

7        to the State to help defray the cost that the State will

8        now bear for the state court system.  It does not require

9        that, it simply permits it.

10             I urge -- and I don't want to rush to justice on

11        this, Commissioner Scott, but it's been some, how many

12        years since 1972, that we have been easing up on this, I

13        think it's time for us to do something about it.  We

14        obviously should do that in a very deliberative way.  It

15        is a significant and important issue.  But I don't really

16        know what the alternative is.

17             We do have a state court system.  Like any other

18        state program, it should be supported by State revenues.

19        The burden of it should not continue to fall ever more

20        heavily on local government, particularly in view of the

21        limitations that they have imposed upon them for raising

22        revenues.

23             I'm hopeful that when our labors are done here, we

24        will be taking to the people some proposition that's going

25        to reform the tax base in this state, but certainly will,

1        hopefully, provide the wherewithal, without great acts of

2        providing for this state court system.

3             Florida has every reason to be proud of this, of its

4        court system, it is indeed a model to the rest of the

5        states in the United States.  It can't continue to be if

6        the funding of this state court system continues to be

7        imposed on local government and on local citizens to be

8        wrung out of their ad valorem taxes year after year, so I

9        urge you to favorably consider this proposition.  And I'll

10        entertain any questions, Mr. Chairman, thank you.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Sundberg entertains

12        questions.  Commissioner Wetherington.

13             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  I just want to speak in

14        support.

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  He's yielded for questions.

16        Commissioner Evans, over here.

17             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Would moving the judicial

18        functions of the clerk of the court over, I'm wondering in

19        cost, in Section 2, Subsection B, where it says, allowing

20        the Legislature to have the counties remit to the State

21        funds, costs and forfeitures obtained by the counties, I'm

22        wondering, and I don't know all of the funding for the

23        clerk of the court, but correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't

24        the clerk of the court keep the filing fees?

25             And if that's correct, would filing fees that go to

1        running the judicial functions also fit into this language

2        here or not?

3             I think I view filing fees as something different

4        from costs, and I'm wondering if the clerk of the court

5        would fit under this language that the Legislature, if it

6        so chooses, could have those filing fees or the income

7        that the clerk receives to run the clerk's office,

8        submitted to the State to help offset those state costs

9        too?

10             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I think my answer is no.  But

11        my response is, you are absolutely correct.  Fines and

12        forfeitures and those kinds are viewed differently from

13        the fees collected by the clerk's office.  Those are in

14        the nature of user fees.  They are really no different

15        than a number of other user fees, for example, and there

16        is an application fee that must be paid by health care

17        facilities when they seek a Certificate of Need that's

18        intended to pay for the cost of processing that.  The same

19        is true with respect to filing fees by the clerk's office.

20        This does not at all address that, that continues.

21             Now, to the extent that the clerk's office is

22        performing a -- you know, it's now going to be performing

23        that as a state function and a state-funded function, the

24        Legislature will have a say, as they do now, over the

25        amount of those fees.  But those fees will still go to

1        support the costs of operating the clerk's office under

2        this proposal.

3             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I'm just wondering, though,

4        shouldn't the Legislature constitutionally have the power

5        to require the clerk's office to remit those funds to the

6        State to be turned back over?  In other words, have more

7        control over the functions that we are now asking the

8        Legislature to control?

9             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I do not -- this proposal is

10        not intended to address filing fees at all.  It is

11        intending to address only the fines and forfeiture, which

12        is an entirely, as you have observed, is an entirely

13        different animal than filing fees, which are in the nature

14        of user fees.

15             If you view it this way, Commissioner Evans, if in

16        fact those functions related to the state court system

17        that are performed by the clerks are now going to be

18        funded by the State, the State through the Legislature

19        will have the ability to direct that it be accomplished in

20        any fashion that the Legislature chooses.

21             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Okay.  So, the Legislature

22        already has that ability to dictate how those funds are

23        used?

24             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Absolutely, absolutely.  And

25        this is not intended to nor do I believe does affect that

1        issue.

2             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Okay.

3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Planas

4        was up first.  You are recognized.  Do you yield?

5             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Absolutely.

6             COMMISSIONER PLANAS:  Question.  As much as I am a

7        strong supporter of this measure, I have some worries as

8        Commissioner Scott has, that's what we have to study on.

9        Number one is, do we have a study, how much the county, by

10        county, are they receiving, you know, how much they are

11        paying for this, by county?

12             Number two, what would happen with that extra money

13        that the counties will have now?  Will they stop raising

14        local taxes?  What would happen to that windfall?  Some

15        questions that I have.

16             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Well, to -- in seriatim, the

17        answer to your first question is -- your first question

18        is, I'm sorry, I lost it.

19             COMMISSIONER PLANAS:  How much money the counties are

20        paying for.

21             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I must tell you that the

22        answer -- that those numbers are, to use Judge

23        Wetherington's term, are inelegant, at best.  They have

24        only been captured most recently on any uniform account

25        basis.  We do now have numbers and the kinds I think

1        Commissioner Scott refers to.  I'm assuming he's getting

2        it from those areas.  But, yes, those numbers do exist,

3        they will -- we are trying to make them more precise as

4        time goes on through some uniform accounting.

5             What happens to the -- you referred to it as a

6        windfall, I would like to refer to it as what happens

7        after the yoke is lifted off of the backs of local

8        government for these costs.  That, of course, will be up

9        to the governing bodies of those local governments as to

10        how they will address those issues.  Presumably there are

11        lots of other needs to be met.  And to the extent that

12        there's not, golly, they could reduce taxes.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson.

14             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Yes, I just had one question.

15        I wanted to be sure I understood it, the last part of your

16        comments on your main presentation.  I think what I heard

17        you say was, certainly, this is going to cost a lot for

18        the Legislature to budget this amount.  And of course

19        Senator Scott made some estimate about $500 million per

20        year recurring, which -- for those of you that know what

21        recurring means, it means that it goes up about 15 percent

22        per year -- and I think what you said is that once you can

23        convince us to support this measure and we go to the

24        ballot with it, you are going to ask us to support

25        something that's going to allow them, because of this

1        requirement, to raise taxes commensurate with that; is

2        that right?

3             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  No, that's not right at all,

4        Commissioner Thompson.  What I said was that I was

5        hopeful -- and this proposal is not interconnected with

6        any other proposal.  This proposal is presented on its own

7        merits because -- and you talk about costs, these are not

8        new costs, they are there now.  The question is, who ought

9        to bear these costs, all right, to begin with.

10             And it is not interconnected or interdependent with

11        any other proposal.  And I didn't say a thing about

12        raising taxes, I thought I said something about tax

13        reform.  For example, there's a proposal before us that

14        will eliminate many, many of the exemptions that appear in

15        our sales tax now.  And I would hope through that reform

16        there will be revenues generated, not just to fund this

17        type of proposal, but for many of the other proposals that

18        we have before this state, to support education and other

19        needs.

20             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, you just mentioned the

21        two proposals together, I'm sorry, I misunderstood you.

22             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Okay.  Well, I was glad to

23        clarify it for you.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Further questions?  Commissioner

25        Ford-Coates.

1             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Let me say that I think

2        this is perhaps one of the most important issues we have

3        before us because of the impact I see at the local

4        government level.  But I do have a concern in

5        understanding and having the time to understand the actual

6        impact on the clerk's office, on local government of the

7        fines and forfeitures, of that going back to the State.  I

8        know that some of the other proposals that I've read from

9        the Article V task force talked about reimbursement.

10             I have a philosophical problem with sending money to

11        the State and the State sending it back to the County, it

12        doesn't seem to be the most efficient way to handle it.

13        I'm not saying that that's my conclusion at this point,

14        this may be more of a question on process.

15             I certainly would like to have an opportunity to look

16        at this and have some time to look at it, and hopefully

17        not necessarily vote on this proposal today.  Would the

18        Commissioner be amenable to perhaps temporarily passing

19        this measure until next month?

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let me interrupt and say -- I

21        think I would ask you to wait for that.  I think we may

22        come to that, but I think it's appropriate that we get

23        some answers to this before we start doing that, at least

24        what the sponsors say, and that's one reason that I have

25        discouraged temporarily passing this particular provision.

1        And I want these questions to be raised, and that's why I

2        asked that you raise them.  And you have raised one.

3             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Perhaps he can give me

4        that answer.  The only piece to that is, of course, I want

5        to hear the actual dollar impact and the administrative

6        impact at the local level to make sure that it is an

7        efficient process.

8             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Well, if I may respond?  And,

9        again, it's much like my response to Commissioner Evans.

10        Fines and forfeitures and fees by the clerk's office, as

11        you surely know, are two different animals.  The clerk has

12        the responsibility to collect the fines and forfeitures.

13        And it is my understanding, and I can't give you a precise

14        amount, that some portions -- that there's a formula under

15        which portions of those fines and forfeitures now go back

16        to the municipalities.  I think some go to the clerk's

17        office -- the amount, I don't know.  And some to the

18        counties.  And all this addresses -- that changes none of

19        that; this proposal changes none of that.

20             All it says is that, or what it's intended to convey

21        is that, to the extent that the clerk's office has a cost

22        attached to it, which it surely does, to operate the

23        clerk's functions, some of which are local government

24        functions under Board of County Commissioners, others are

25        court-related functions.

1             All it says is, in the future -- and it clearly says

2        this -- in the future, to the extent that there are

3        court-related functions, the clerks will be looking to the

4        State Legislature for the funding of those.  Now, it has

5        an offset, as you well know, for the fees that it

6        collects, the user fees.  And it also probably -- and, I'm

7        sorry, I don't have a precise answer to you.  It probably

8        has gained some portion out of the fines and forfeitures,

9        but it really has two functions.

10             One is that it's supposed to be collecting it, and we

11        have seen figures and heard testimony at public hearings

12        as to why some counties have collected much larger

13        percentages of the fines and forfeitures and other

14        counties have not.  The clerks would say to you -- and I

15        don't want to get into that issue -- the clerks would say

16        to you, Well, it is the judges' fault because they don't

17        impose the fines or they suspend them.  And Judge

18        Wetherington says, What's the difference, a guy who is

19        packing off for 30 years is going to be -- to the state

20        correctional system is going to be, you know, ill-prepared

21        to respond.  But there really are two systems.

22             But this doesn't require any change, all it says is

23        that the cost of the clerk's office is now, rather than

24        being borne by the Board of County Commissioners, it's

25        going to be borne by the State.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Morsani.

2             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  This is a comment.  I think in

3        our Gainesville meeting on this, especially on the

4        numbers, if you remember our Gainesville meeting, I think

5        the figure was like $650 million and it detailed all as

6        far as the clerks, and the fees, and the forfeitures.  We

7        have that someplace in our papers, I remember it, but I

8        didn't bring it with me.  But I think that that

9        information is available to everyone in this room, so this

10        is not new, to look at how those fees were coming in.  So

11        we do have that information.

12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think you are absolutely

13        correct on that point.  Now, the issue is, do we need

14        additional verification of that, I think is what

15        Commissioner Scott had in mind.

16             And also you have had since your appointment an

17        article that was in the Florida Bar Journal which outlined

18        what the court costs were which were compiled at that time

19        in the various counties, and that came up with some 575

20        million, so we had those figures.

21             But as I understand Commissioner Scott, he feels

22        these should be verified.  And we'll reach that point when

23        we conclude this exchange, I think.  Any other questions,

24        questions only?

25             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  I don't know how to ask

1        questions but --

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'm sure you do.

3             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Let me make a statement and then

4        ask you a question.

5             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Are you going to want me to

6        disagree or agree with your statement?

7             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  No, I'm going to ask you if this

8        covers -- right now, you know, the Legislature, we sit up

9        here and we have got all of these needs from all over the

10        state, whether it's healthy children, education, last

11        month -- last week we were up here, 2 or $3 billion trying

12        to catch up on educational facilities.

13             What happens now is that, just take judges, they

14        certify their needs in circuit -- and the lawyers in here

15        probably know that, and then they come up and the Supreme

16        Court sends us a certification on how many judges each

17        circuit or district additional they might need.

18             And then the Legislature looks at that and evaluates

19        it.  Sometimes they fund it, sometimes they don't.  I have

20        always -- or we have always tried to, especially where

21        it's been conservative, and it wasn't always, you know, a

22        couple of years -- we have tried to fund it.

23             We look at the state attorneys, and how much they pay

24        people in their office, how many, how much money they are

25        going to get for Dade and Broward and the other circuits.

1        And the same with the public defenders.  Now, as I read

2        this proposal, and I'll ask you, does this proposal

3        provide for the kind of oversight and budgetary

4        constraints which now exist with regard to the judiciary

5        along with everything else in this state, you know,

6        whether it's building prisons, or schools, or whatever?

7             It says they "shall" fund it.  To me -- you know,

8        does it provide for the kind of oversight on the expenses

9        that now exist, because the Legislature doesn't have a

10        mandate that it shall fund all costs, whatever they are,

11        and who knows, you know, if they are -- I guess I'm asking

12        the question, does it cover appropriations and oversight?

13             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  In my view, absolutely,

14        absolutely.  Now, it's not going to give the Legislature

15        any more nor any less control over the decision-making

16        process in their district.  And Commissioner/Senator Scott

17        has always been very supportive of the state court system,

18        I can attest to that, and he's never been miserly.  But

19        Commissioner, yes, if -- to the extent that it's -- you

20        know, it is a Golden Rule; if you are providing the gold,

21        you are going to make the rules.

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any other questions

23        at the moment?  I have two questions.  Number one, when

24        you say requiring that the counties remit to the state,

25        does that include all of the fines that go to

1        municipalities?

2             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  No, it does not, just the

3        county.  All this addresses is the County's portion of the

4        fines and forfeitures which they get under the formula

5        now.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  If you are going to

7        do that -- it's collected by the clerk of the court, is it

8        not, the fines of the cities, municipalities?

9             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  It is, it is and then --

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  If you included municipalities,

11        would not this address and give to the Legislature some

12        oversight over speed traps?  It would, wouldn't it, if you

13        included municipalities?

14             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I don't think it necessarily

15        would.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You don't want to do that?

17             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  No, I don't want to do that.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have received some great

19        publicity nationwide that we have got the speed traps

20        where a municipality that had one policemen got 13 and

21        collected more money than the County.

22             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  But, respectfully,

23        Mr. Chairman, the issue that was raised by the speed traps

24        was addressed by -- and was attempted to be addressed by

25        Article V in 1972.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I was reminded not to debate you

2        from the podium.  As an old horse, I have trouble with

3        that.

4             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Yes, I understand.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I appreciate you calling me on a

6        point of order.

7             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  But the point is, that those

8        bad vibes we get from the term "speed trap" has to do with

9        the judicial function of imposing those fines, not how

10        they are distributed once they are imposed.  And these

11        fines are imposed or not imposed, in many instances, by

12        judges who make up the state court system, and they are

13        not local judges.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, we'll take that up later.

15        But the other question I had, which is not to debate you,

16        such items as these new courts that we discussed

17        yesterday, new judges -- this creating of a new system is

18        creating a lot of new judges; would that be covered by

19        this; the State would be required to fund them?

20             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Absolutely.

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Also, isn't it true in 1972, when

22        you were involved in working on this, that the general

23        representation was made that the State would bear these

24        expenses?

25             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Thank you for that friendly

1        question, Mr. Chairman.

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  After the debating, I thought I

3        better throw you a softball.

4             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  And the answer is yes.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Any other questions?

6             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Does anybody rise to

8        speak in support?  Commissioner Henderson.

9             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

10        rise in support of this proposal.  As a -- back home,

11        you-all may think you know me for what I do now, but back

12        home they know me as the fellow who left the county

13        commission voluntarily with all of my hair its original

14        color.

15             I'll give you a local government perspective on this.

16        When Governor Askew appeared when we started, it seems

17        like years ago, doesn't it, just a few months back, he

18        talked about the diminution of the federal and local

19        government, where are things happening now, the local

20        government, where people are going to the municipalities,

21        the county commissioners and asking them to try to decide

22        the difficult problems of today.  And one of the problems

23        is that they don't have the tools to handle all of the

24        things that they are being asked to do and resolve.

25             And one of the reasons for that is this burden, this

1        bill that every year gets bigger and bigger for which they

2        have absolutely no control over, and it is the cost of --

3        their share of the court system.  I remember in my first

4        year as commissioner, and I looked at the budget that was

5        presented to us at that time, it was a -- just a little

6        $200 million budget, and having to look at the reasons why

7        we were being asked to raise people's taxes significantly.

8        And most of those were in areas where we absolutely had no

9        control.  There were a few million dollars of this that

10        basically came out of making up the deficit in the clerk's

11        system -- the clerk's office, which is really part of this

12        cost.

13             So I said, Well, can we get the clerk over here and

14        talk about this issue?  No.  And my wiser brethren laughed

15        and snickered and said, No, I don't think that's going to

16        work.  And I said, Well, I'll just go talk to him.  So, I

17        went across the street and asked to see the clerk and I

18        said, I want to talk to you about your budget.  And he

19        said, Why?  And I said, Well, because you are basically

20        asking me to raise the taxes on the people of my county

21        for this bill, so I would like to talk to you about it.

22        He said, Commissioner, I would just like you to understand

23        something, it's none of your business.

24             And that signal -- and we were good friends and he

25        was being nice about it, but the point of it is is that

1        there was nothing that we could do about it.  The other

2        part of it is -- this proposal doesn't go all of the way,

3        it doesn't go half of the way, actually.  The biggest

4        cost, the biggest cost at the local level are the

5        facilities.

6             Now, back in the old days -- back in the old days you

7        went to the courthouse and you could register to vote

8        there, you could pay your taxes there, you could buy a

9        fishing license there, and the judge was upstairs.  These

10        were all-purpose courthouses.  Nowadays, particularly in

11        the urban counties, you have got these big, massive

12        multi-million dollar criminal justice facilities.  Because

13        the Legislature and the courts have approved additional

14        judges, additional states attorneys, additional public

15        defenders, and on and on and on.

16             Every other part of state government, when you add

17        employees, add departments, add to the mission, you build

18        a new state office building, you do that, that is the cost

19        of the business.  In this area, you say we have supplied

20        another 50, 60 employees, you at the local government have

21        to do that.

22             So in urban counties you will have these massive

23        structures that just house state employees.  The only

24        county employee in that building is the janitor, yet the

25        tax bill for that is assumed by the local government.

1             So, that is the local perspective on this issue.  It

2        is that the largest portion of the budget is at that local

3        level.  In almost every urban county -- I know this isn't

4        true to some extent in the rural counties -- but in urban

5        counties, every year, bigger and bigger, and for areas for

6        which there's absolutely no control.

7             Just in the area of court-appointed attorneys, almost

8        every time that there is a codefendant situation, the

9        public defender will take one, and the others, whether

10        it's two, three, or four.  In a gang situation that may be

11        three or four.  The cost of those others are taken care of

12        by the local government.  That is a big bill, that is

13        $100,000 or more -- when I left county government, we were

14        at $100,000 alone just in that program.

15             So I tell you that this is one area where you help

16        local government, it is one area where you help to give

17        promise to local rule, and the fairness works real well,

18        so we all come from a different perspective.  This is the

19        perspective of somebody who's had to raise somebody's

20        taxes and had no control over the reason for that.  And

21        I'm sure there's county commissioners all over the state

22        serving at this time that would tell you the same thing.

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Wetherington.

24             COMMISSIONER WETHERINGTON:  I would like to add one

25        other dimension, and that is the dimension of equal

1        justice, and particularly emphasizing the criminal area

2        where there are constitutional mandates, obviously.  There

3        are circuits in the state where I think they don't have a

4        lot of money.  They can have substantial cases.  Those

5        substantial cases can cost a tremendous amount of money if

6        it's a big case, a murder case, a sensational trial.

7             And then there's the question of the other defenses

8        being provided, the availability of the witness fees, the

9        expert witness.  The other matters are involved, and you

10        could have a disparity actually in the disconsolation of

11        criminal justice in the State of Florida based upon the

12        fact that there are unequal funding bases in different

13        circuits.  And certainly in these areas equal justice is

14        something we have to be committed to, and I think everyone

15        is committed to.  And a statewide funding in this instance

16        would ensure equal justice.

17             And also, to emphasize again, in many areas,

18        particularly in Dade County, if you take a look at the

19        projections, and we have done the master planning in these

20        areas; more and more of the budget is going to be consumed

21        in criminal justice matters, and in the justice system.

22        But you are dealing in a county that's not going to be

23        able to increase its taxes.  So, you are heading, in a

24        county like Dade, to a crisis that they can't handle, and

25        they are going to have some relief in this area.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any more proponents,

2        Commissioners, proponent?  Commissioner Morsani.

3             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I don't think we have any

4        other alternative.  Commissioner Scott and Commissioner

5        Jennings and all of you folks that are in charge of making

6        our laws up here, I know this is a very, very difficult

7        thing for you to accept.  But what Judge Wetherington

8        said, what we have all said about the urban communities,

9        we don't have an alternative.  And we all know that the --

10        with our large municipalities that have been created, a

11        half of a dozen of them in our state, where the majority

12        of our population lives in today, and the -- and because

13        of some of the things that Mr. Sundberg said, our tax

14        problems of raising taxes because of our tax system in our

15        state.

16             But one of the things that is missing I think still,

17        is the efficiency that it places.  And we talk about --

18        I'm always amused when I get the letter from the

19        gentleman, the congressman or the senator, the

20        Legislature, about swift -- not swift, but the water

21        management districts.  When you are -- we are finally, I

22        think, starting, hopefully, in our government -- in our

23        government to apply business management theories and

24        principles, rather than still working in the egalitarian

25        society, and that's moving forward.  And I think to them

1        having the time, like the year 2004, having some lead time

2        in this type of proposal, gives us an opportunity to

3        arrange our finances for this important part of our state.

4             I think that we must get some relief into the local

5        government areas, and I think that we have a

6        responsibility in the Legislature to make this happen.

7        And I strongly support this proposal and I would hope that

8        we would -- that it would survive and get on our

9        November 1998 ballot.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Butterworth,

11        proponent?

12             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Yes, sir, proponent.

13        Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much.  I also stand as a

14        proponent and a longtime proponent on this.

15             As Commissioner Sundberg stated earlier, the Florida

16        Supreme Court had addressed the issue with the Second DCA.

17        Again, today, we address an issue with the Second DCA.

18        The Second District Court of Appeals has ordered the

19        public defender -- in fact, the court has prohibited the

20        public defender from filing any new cases, because of

21        their backlog, after January 1st of 1998.

22             This means every single appeal in that particular

23        14-county district, which includes a number of wealthy

24        counties like Sarasota, but also some of the poorest like

25        Glades.  These counties who have already submitted their

1        budgets, they have already -- I believe they are already

2        sending out the tax bills, they will now be hit themselves

3        with the burden upon which they may not be able to

4        withstand, especially counties like Glades and Henry.  But

5        they will have to pay now for all of the appeals, at least

6        through the year of 1998 until we don't know when.

7             So, therefore, I would certainly hope that this does

8        get on the ballot and does pass in the Legislature with

9        the certain circumstances, that at least in the area of

10        the public defenders, that those particular dollars be

11        spent quickly, because many of these counties can no

12        longer stand this burden.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any other proponents?

14        All right, anybody wanting to speak in opposition?  What

15        purpose do you rise, Commissioner Thompson?

16             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  I didn't want to speak in

17        opposition today unless we are going to take a final vote

18        today.  But I really think something like this and as

19        complicated as it is ought to be probably thought out over

20        a period, and maybe we take some more time in the

21        committee process for it.

22             And it may be one of those things that lends itself

23        to a group that the chair would maybe help us get together

24        and kind of work on it.  Of course, this, as in all

25        things, personally, I feel like a proponent of the

1        measure, the person who is moving the measure ought to

2        agree, but my thought is that there are a lot of questions

3        here as to the impact, whether it is -- the amount of

4        money, as Commissioner Morsani has talked about, or what

5        the definitions of a judicial function happen to be, and

6        what the definitions of the functions that the clerks, for

7        example, normally would carry out for their counties and

8        their circuits, and maybe there might be some need for

9        more specifics in the proposal.

10             So, with that in mind, let me just test this.

11        Mr. Chairman, I would move you, sir, that you appoint a

12        select committee to review this matter and bring it back

13        to us at the appropriate time.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Smith.

15             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chair.  Is

16        there -- with respect to the request made of Commissioner

17        Thompson, is there any rule that prevents us from moving

18        this forward on -- possibly on a majority vote today and

19        still complying with his request either with the judiciary

20        committee continuing to look at it to answer the

21        questions, or a select committee, understanding that we

22        still have to go through the 22-vote threshold before this

23        mater can get on the ballot so we can move this forward,

24        or stop the business, whatever it is?

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll answer that for you.

1        Obviously, we can move forward and do what the will of the

2        majority is.  I think the suggestion would be that it

3        would be very difficult for a lot of members to vote today

4        without further study, am I right, Commissioner Thompson?

5             And I want to wait and see how that goes.  I would

6        like to hear from Commissioner Sundberg before we decide

7        how to proceed on that.  Are you rising to -- he made a

8        motion, are you rising in opposition?

9             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  No.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Or in --

11             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Let me just say what I've said,

12        you can tell me whether it's opposition or not.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Or rising in neutrality?

14             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Well, we are trying to get a

15        feel on this dimension Mr. Sundberg proposed.  You asked

16        for the opponents to rise, one person rose.  And that's

17        why I made the suggestion I made.  If a lot of people had

18        jumped up to rise, I wouldn't have made the suggestion,

19        but I guess you can see better from up there than I can

20        see from down here.

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott.

22             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Mr. Chairman, I'm not rising in

23        opposition, I think we need to pause here and reflect for

24        a minute.  This -- we have got 20-some members here today,

25        this was just put on the calendar yesterday; it is a

1        major, major financial issue for starters.  I am wondering

2        if you just pass it like it is, if you are not doing

3        exactly what Mr. Henderson is complaining about, you are

4        telling the Legislature, fund $560 that will grow at some

5        8 to 20 -- 8 to 15 percent a year, and, you know, raise

6        taxes if you have to I suppose, or cut something else.

7        And last week we just obligated 180 million a year to help

8        build schools.  So, I just think we do need some more

9        thought before we act on this, and especially since it was

10        just put up here yesterday and we have got a number of

11        members not here.  And I think we need to develop the

12        financial information.

13             And one thing, for example, I didn't get back up and

14        argue with Commissioner Sundberg, but it is not true -- it

15        does say, you "shall fund all," it doesn't say as the

16        Legislature deems appropriate, it doesn't say whatever

17        they determine the needs are, it's just, you shall fund

18        all judicial, everything that it states.

19             I just think -- I, again, have been supportive of the

20        idea of the State assuming more of the obligation, but I

21        do think that we have to proceed cautiously and one way to

22        do it would be to appoint some sort of a select committee

23        that would get into this, give people a chance to talk

24        about it, some of the clerks -- the lawyers in my office

25        are representing the clerks' concerns about pars of it.

1             And I don't know even know -- this was 6:00 last

2        night, I don't even know what their concerns are, so I do

3        think we need some more study on something like this, and

4        we can get back to it at a future meeting.  And to proceed

5        it along, you could have some sort of a select committee.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

7        Sundberg.

8             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Mr. Chairman, I want to speak

9        in opposition to a select committee.  I had conceded that

10        I don't want to rush any commissioner here to a judgment

11        on something if they have genuine concerns on it.  And if

12        we need to do that, I suggest we postpone this until a

13        time certain.  And a time certain, I would suggest, would

14        be December the 10th, 1997, for consideration.  And people

15        who have concerns can study it and address it to the

16        proposers and the proponents of this when we gather next.

17        And I will make myself available to all sundry who have

18        questions, as I'm sure the other proponents of this

19        proposal will.  But to create a select committee, that

20        conjures up visions of some very bad things to me, and

21        that has to do with studying things to death.

22             And, you know, the fact of it is, whatever the bill

23        is, it is.  We are not talking about creating a new

24        program and committing the Florida Legislature to a new

25        program, this has been with us since the beginning of

1        organized government in the State of Florida; we have

2        always had a judiciary.

3             And certainly, the Legislature has to prioritize as

4        between demands that are made.  But I suggest to you that

5        justice ought to be pretty high on the priority of the

6        demands that are made on the Legislature to provide for

7        the people of this state.  So I would strongly oppose a

8        special study.  If there is a need to -- you know, if

9        there's a felt need to postpone, I would suggest that it

10        be postponed until December 10th, 1997.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think you are entitled to know

12        what the Chair would do if this was the case or not the

13        case.  Number one, such a committee would include members

14        of the legislative committee, which I think is pertinent

15        here, and it would probably include not over seven and not

16        less than five members if we did do that.

17             On the other hand, if we don't do that, then I intend

18        to refer this to the legislative committee for its

19        consideration.  Because I think the point has been made

20        that when we are considering this matter it requires their

21        input, not just from the judiciary committee.  And I'm not

22        saying that the judiciary committee is unqualified to

23        judge these fiscal matters, but I know the legislative

24        committee is designed for that purpose.  That would be the

25        intent of the Chair on this.

1             Okay.  Commissioner Alfonso, you have the floor.

2             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Well, just a thought to follow

3        what you said.  For that matter, wouldn't you want to

4        refer to the local government committee as well?

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, I don't want to refer to a

6        bunch of committees, that's what I was trying to avoid,

7        and I think that's what Commissioner Thompson was trying

8        to avoid.  But, obviously, a select committee would have

9        input from those who have the most expertise.  And the

10        committee would be selected with the consultation with the

11        rules and administration committee.

12             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, I've got a motion.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson.

14             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  My motion is on the floor,

15        and I guess we would take Commissioner Sundberg's it

16        sounds like was a substitute motion to postpone until a

17        date certain, is what his substitute would have been.

18             And what I think -- I'm trying to remember now if I

19        can move to amend my own motion.  I can amend his

20        substitute.  I move to amend his substitute to appoint a

21        select committee but continue the terms of his substitute,

22        which would be to postpone to a date certain, which would

23        be the 10th of December.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Everybody understand

25        the motion, substitute motion, amendment?

1             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Well, I assume that's in lieu

2        of the Chairman's proposal that this matter be referred to

3        the committee in the Legislature; is that accurate?

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, I wouldn't refer it.  If we

5        have a select committee, then obviously, there wouldn't be

6        any necessity to refer it to another committee.

7             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Okay.  If folks are saying

8        they don't understand it, then we ought not to proceed

9        beyond that.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let's see.  You haven't spoken

11        today, I'll go with Commissioner Mills and come back to

12        you, Commissioner Scott.

13             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Will the gentleman yield for a

14        question?  As I understand the implication of the motion

15        is you retain the intent of Mr. Sundberg to consider this

16        on a date certain, and the select committee would have to

17        report back to the full commission by that date; is that

18        correct?

19             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  That's my intention.

20             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  So, therefore, what you are

21        really doing is adopting both of what you have intended,

22        correct?

23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Yes, it is a combination.

24        Does everybody understand that?  What we are talking about

25        is my amendment to his substitute, if adopted, would make

1        his substitute read, that we take this measure up on the

2        10th of December, and at that point we would have a report

3        of a select committee that would be appointed by the chair

4        before us.  And that's simply all it is, once you go

5        through the parliamentary maneuvers.  I move the amendment

6        to the substitute first.

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Let me see if we can

8        get this right.  Commissioner Sundberg.

9             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Yes, Mr. Chairman, I'm here.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Would you accede to allowing his

11        motion, which continues it as it is to a date certain, but

12        includes the proposal that we appoint a select committee

13        and take a vote on that?

14             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Only because of my strong

15        admiration for Commissioner Thompson.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Then I take that as yes.

17        Commissioner Scott, do you have strong admiration for

18        Commissioner Thompson?

19             COMMISSIONER SCOTT:  Of course, I do, but -- well, I

20        mean, I think we need to get real here.  Let me just tell

21        you what we're talking about.  We have got until whenever

22        to do our product.  This is a major issue.  To say that

23        you are going to have a select committee, you have got

24        Thanksgiving week coming up, you don't know when they are

25        going to meet, and they are going to be back here by

1        December 10th, having all of the clerks and everybody

2        having a chance, that's interested in this, and local

3        governments, to have a chance to -- that's not real.

4             And I'll tell you what I'm concerned about, and this

5        is a concern I know all of you share, it's important that

6        we develop our product with the view towards what's going

7        to be accepted.  And this amount of money, which 560 --

8        some people had told me maybe $700 million, we are talking

9        what could -- that's more than a half-penny sales tax in

10        this state.  So, you know, where is this money going to

11        come from?

12             So, I think you need to pause and reflect a little

13        bit to see how this is structured and see what we need to

14        do with it and not to think that you are going to come

15        back here on December 10th which doesn't even give them

16        that week to meet, as I'm recalling my calendar, to talk

17        about this.  So, I really think, you know, it's fine to

18        say that we are coming back, but the other thing that I'm

19        concerned about is, our procedures here, we don't know

20        what we are going to do on December 10th, or what the

21        rules committee might determine, or the priorities, or in

22        what order we are going to take things up.

23             So, I just think that we need to, you know, if you

24        are going to appoint a select committee, or whatever you

25        are going to do, give them time to look at this when we

1        get up here, at least the first day or two.

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Scott, my

3        interpretation is that even though it was put to

4        December 10th, that the rules committee would set the

5        special order for that four-day session, and how you do

6        that will be determined at the time we do that -- when you

7        meet, so I don't think that's anything that would be of

8        great certain.  We are obviously going to have somebody

9        study this before we get around to voting on it.

10             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman, I

11        don't know for whose benefits your last remarks were

12        intended, but it's my understanding that procedurally when

13        there is a motion, a motion to postpone to a time certain

14        which is a time when this commission is going to be in

15        session, that on that day it will be taken up.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We'll delay that and

17        you may be right.  And you may be fighting a battle here

18        and losing a war, Commissioner Sundberg.

19             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Well, I'm trying to figure

20        out who my friends are, Mr. Chairman.

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, I think that you have one

22        in -- all of the commissioners are your friends, we love

23        you, most of the time.  Commissioner Mills.

24             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Not related to my love for

25        Mr. Sundberg, but we are on an amendment.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's correct, we are on his

2        motion.

3             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  We are on his motion.  So, you

4        can vote on his motion and then talk about what a time

5        certain means and a date.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Correct.

7             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Because if you pass this

8        amendment, you will have created the select committee and

9        made a reference to it, and then you have his motion,

10        which can be further amended.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's correct.  All right, are

12        we ready to vote?  All in favor of Commissioner Thompson's

13        motion, which is that we appoint a special committee and

14        delay the two proposals, which are now committee

15        substitutes, to the December 10 meeting.  All in favor,

16        say aye.  Opposed, no.

17             (Vote verbally taken.)

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries.  That is now the

19        case.  Now, if you want to take up what we mean by

20        December 10, I suggest that you take that up with the

21        chairman of the rules committee at our next recess, which

22        we'll have in just a few minutes.  And then if you are not

23        satisfied, bring it back to the floor.

24             With everybody's permission, we'll take a five-minute

25        recess, we'll keep the chamber locked, and you can consult

1        with the rules committee chairman.  And if you are not

2        happy, bring it back to the floor.

3             (Pause).

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  What we did, let me make this

5        clear for the record, what we have done is created a

6        select committee, the motion did that, and it postpones

7        the consideration of this until the December 10 meeting.

8             (Brief recess).

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We'll come to order.  If

10        everybody could take their seats we'll try to get started.

11             SECRETARY BLANTON:  Quorum call.  All commissioners

12        indicate your presence.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Round them up.  We are still

14        short.

15             SECRETARY BLANTON:  All commissioners indicate your

16        presence, quorum call.  All commissioners indicate your

17        presence.

18             (Quorum taken electronically).

19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have a quorum.  I think there

20        are a couple that haven't returned to chamber, but we'll

21        proceed.  All right.  Are there any -- I think what we

22        have done, we have passed this until the December 10th

23        meeting, and Commissioner Barkdull.

24             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I don't think so, sir.

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  His motion included that.

1             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  If that's the ruling of the

2        Chair.

3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, I'll go back and read the

4        motion if you want to, we can do that right here.

5             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  No, I concede the ruling of

6        the Chair.  We will work out a time when it will be heard

7        on the 10th then.

8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, there are many ways to

9        handle that between now and the 10th, Commissioner

10        Barkdull, I think.  Commissioner Thompson.

11             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  What is the question here,

12        whether or not we need to go back to the substitute

13        because we have passed my amendment to the substitute?

14             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  That is the Chair's ruling,

15        as I understand it.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The Chair's ruling is that we

17        restated his motion, in effect, which he allowed to occur.

18        And your substitute, if you want to call it that, was that

19        we appoint the select committee and that we defer further

20        action on this until December 10th, and that's what

21        passed.  If you want to amend it or pass something else,

22        move it.

23             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, I think he's talking

24        about the motion that's amended, and then the substitute

25        would have been adopted as amended, and that's what he is

1        saying, he just kind of did it all in one fell swoop.  If

2        that's okay with everybody else, it's certainly okay with

3        me.  It is the same thing.

4             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Well, the one thing that the

5        Chair left out, respectfully, is your motion said that it

6        was for the appointment of the select committee which must

7        report back December 10th, correct?

8             SECRETARY BLANTON:  That was in the motion.

9             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  All right.  Then it must be

10        reported back -- it must report back by -- and the Chair

11        is to appoint the select committee, and it must report

12        back by December 10th.  And that this matter is postponed

13        and to be considered on December 10th at 2:00 p.m.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Rather than getting balled

15        procedurally, I'll entertain a motion by the Chair of the

16        rules committee that would authorize the select committee

17        to report at the direction of the Chair.

18             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Well, respectfully,

19        Mr. Chairman --

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I don't like that word.

21             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  -- the motion was not to

22        report at the discretion of the Chair, but to report by --

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I asked him to make a motion to

24        that affect.

25             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  To what affect, Mr. Chairman,

1        I'm sorry.

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Make the motion, please,

3        Commissioner Barkdull.

4             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I move you, sir, that the

5        select committee appointed to study this judicial cost of

6        Article V, be instructed to file a report by 9 a.m. on

7        December the 10th.

8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now you are right back to where

9        we were.

10             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  That's where we were.

11             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Now, Mr. Chairman, give us a

12        clue, when do you want them to report back?

13             (Laughter.)

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  After you meet.

15             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  No need in beating around the

16        bush about it.

17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I want you to report back after

18        you meet and you feel that you have had sufficient study,

19        whatever committee it is, to report back.  I don't want to

20        say, report back, and you come back and say, the report is

21        that we are not ready to report.

22             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, it's

23        my understanding that now that you have indicated that the

24        primary motion passed, which was Commissioner Sundberg's

25        motion that the matter would be heard on December the

1        10th, that the response of the select committees would

2        certainly be in by the time we are going to consider the

3        matter.

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I'll proceed under that if that's

5        what the rules committee wants, okay.

6             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Well, let me say this, this

7        may solve it, I think the Chair can adhere to our motion,

8        and that is that the select committee report back.  Now,

9        the select committee can report back that we don't have a

10        report.  So, I don't think that you are putting them under

11        any kind of time line-type of problem, Mr. Chairman, let's

12        let it go like it is and the select committee can make

13        their decision as to what they can report on that day.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's fine.  That's the way that

15        I would interpret it anyway.  So, I don't think we need to

16        get balled up on this procedure.  I think we can move on

17        to the next item.

18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  For clarification to the

19        Commission, it's my understanding that, with no further

20        motions, a select committee will be appointed, a select

21        committee will report by the 10th, and this matter will be

22        heard at 2:00 p.m. on the 10th.

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's okay with me, that's what

24        the motion was and it passed.

25             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Is that your understanding,

1        Mr. Thompson?  That's my understanding.  Thank you, Mr.

2        Rules Chairman.

3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Unless somebody has

4        another motion on this matter, Commissioner Riley.

5             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  With all due respect to all of

6        those involved, I'm not going to know any more at 9:00 on

7        the 10th of December unless the report of the committee

8        comes to me ahead of time than I do right now.

9             So, between now and the 10th of December, if we are

10        looking at revisiting this issue for a vote, I would

11        prefer to have the task force or the select committee get

12        their information to me ahead of time so that I can be

13        prepared for that vote.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  They will make every effort to do

15        that.  Okay.  Let's proceed to the next order, which is

16        committee substitute for proposal by the Committee on

17        Executive and Commissioner Henderson, No. 45, please read

18        it.

19             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposal 45,

20        a proposal to revise Article IV, s. 9, Florida

21        Constitution; creating the Fish and Wildlife Conservation

22        Commission to be composed initially of the existing

23        members of the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission and

24        Marine Fisheries Commission and providing for the powers

25        and duties of the commission.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Alfonso,

2        as chairman of the Executive committee, would you proceed

3        to present this?

4             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Yes, sir.  I will just start

5        with an overview of what we have been through on this

6        issue that we consider a very important issue in our

7        committee, the unification of Game and Fresh Water Fish

8        and the Marine Fisheries Commission.

9             We have heard many speakers on this issue,

10        representing various interests, and including the sports

11        fishing community, the commercial fishing community, The

12        Fruit and Vegetable Association Council, Ports

13        Authorities, et cetera.  And in looking at the original

14        proposal, we had some questions that came up regarding --

15        and let me just say, we have been really trying to build

16        consensus on this among other groups that we have been

17        getting presentations from.  We had some questions from

18        committee members regarding the Administrative Procedures

19        Act and how this constitutionally independent agency would

20        really work with that.

21             We have distributed information regarding actually

22        the structure, hierarchical structure, as well as the

23        budget implications of unifying these two agencies and --

24        or these two commissions, and also the personnel

25        implications of this unification.  We have had three

1        meetings regarding this, including a special meeting

2        yesterday morning.

3             And we have introduced two amendments in an effort to

4        build consensus on this.  We feel that we are at a point

5        where we can bring this to the general commission.  And,

6        again, what I would do now is just yield to Commissioner

7        Henderson to go through the proposal as it stands now.

8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  The Chair recognizes

9        Commissioner Henderson.

10             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and

11        members.  I would like to thank Commissioner Alfonso and

12        members of the committee who have worked very hard and

13        diligently on this.  And as our chairman said, we have had

14        three meetings on this to try to build, and we want to

15        continue to try to build a consensus on this issue.  This

16        is one of the issues that may be, regardless of what we do

17        today and in the course of our business, is probably going

18        to be on the ballot next year.

19             This started with an initial petition circulated by

20        primarily sport fishing interest in the state.  A

21        sufficient number of signatures, 60, 70,000 have already

22        been attained and have gone to the Supreme Court for

23        pre-ballot clearance.  That was argued before the Supreme

24        Court very recently.

25             So, this is a very live issue.  It is an issue to

1        which there's tremendous public interest and support.

2        Someone asked yesterday, Why are we doing this; why is

3        this so important, why do we need to give this

4        consideration in the Constitution?  And I said, I can't

5        think of anything that's more precious to me than my right

6        to fish, you know, that's something that's been passed

7        down, you know, from generation to generation; that's my

8        passion.  And for a lot of people in this state, it is

9        their passion.  And we saw that passion in the 11 public

10        hearings around this state.  If you think about it, we

11        probably heard from more people talking about fishing than

12        anything else that we have dealt with in this state, on

13        these hearings.

14             So I'll tell you, this is the kind of issue that if

15        we continue to work, to build, try to build a consensus on

16        it, it's the kind of issue that's going to be -- something

17        that's going to help, all of our efforts, that kind of

18        rising tide to float the rest of the boats that we want to

19        launch out here with our work.

20             And in that regard, I'll tell you that where there's

21        a consensus about one particular issue, and that is that

22        we are to house all of our fisheries regulations under one

23        roof.  The way we do it in Florida right now is absurd,

24        the fact that we have an independent constitutional

25        commission that handles freshwater fishing, and the

1        trustees, Governor and Cabinet, have the responsibility,

2        they have delegated it to the Marine Fisheries Commission,

3        to handle saltwater fisheries.

4             One of the issues that we are going to handle in the

5        Executive committee is going to deal with recommendations

6        concerning the Cabinet.  I think we have heard from former

7        Governors, we have heard from current members of the

8        Cabinet and so many others about the need for Cabinet

9        reform.  And we are going to do that.  This is one of

10        those issues that helps you do that.

11             I can think of the number of times that I've appeared

12        before the Governor and Cabinet and had to wade through --

13        wade through some discussion about the size of a lobster

14        or the size of a redfish or how many redfish to get.  I

15        was at the Cabinet one day on business and had to sit

16        three hours through a discussion about sponges, sponge

17        fishing.  It was a heated discussion, everybody lost their

18        temper in the course of the thing.  And you walked out of

19        there saying, Is this the way to handle the business of

20        the State of Florida, should the time of the Governor and

21        Cabinet be spent for four hours dealing with sponges.

22             And so this is one of those issues that will help us

23        deal with that.  So, there's consensus that we -- I think

24        we have built a broad consensus on the issue of housing

25        regulation for all fisheries under one roof.  And that's

1        what we -- that is the main thrust of this proposal.  The

2        current constitutional status of the Game Commission would

3        be enlarged to carry on the regulation of saltwater

4        fisheries.

5             We would propose to enlarge the size of that

6        Commission from currently five members to seven members.

7        We have proposed a transition period whereby a current

8        membership of marine fisheries and the Game Commission

9        would meet together and work together during a transition.

10             And as members retired, or resigned, or their term of

11        office ended, that that would eventually be whittled down

12        to a seven-member commission and we would no longer have

13        the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, it would be

14        re-titled, renamed as a Fish and Wildlife Commission.  And

15        that would put us, essentially, in the same place as most

16        of the coastal states in this country that handle wildlife

17        conservation under one roof.  So, let's understand, we do

18        have a consensus on that issue.

19             Now, as our Chairman pointed out, we have tried to

20        work with the opponents of this, and those who have had

21        concerns about this, and those concerns are not about the

22        consensus that I just set forth, people agree on that.

23        Where there's some disagreement at, and I want to continue

24        to work with stakeholders on this issue, is the extent to

25        which the authority is expanded in an independent agency

1        that deals with other environmental issues.

2             Right now the Game Commission has constitutional

3        authority that's not used, it's not used because it

4        doesn't have to use it.  And so, you know, I would say

5        that it's along the same lines, but we are trying to work

6        through that.  The committee adopted two amendments

7        yesterday, which is part of the committee substitute which

8        is before you, which narrows that range of interest, that

9        tries to help on that issue narrowing this to not just

10        only dealing with marine resources, but marine aquatic

11        life.  Actually, we'll let the committee on style and

12        drafting decide whether such a thing -- whether marine

13        aquatic life is redundant or not, but that's the wording

14        we are using at this point; and also trying to deal with

15        the issue of how regulatory matters of this commission

16        would be viewed.

17             Some people, including myself, feel that in the area

18        of regulatory issues relating to the danger to species and

19        other marine resources, that there should be a point of

20        entry through the Administrative Procedure process that we

21        now have for all other executive functions, and that's not

22        the case for most current Game Commission issues.

23             Under the Administrative Procedures Act, a revision

24        that took place in 1996, when the commission is acting in

25        a constitutional role, that's only reviewable in ports,

1        when it's acting pursuant to statutory authority, then

2        that is reviewable, as a matter of course, through the APA

3        as other executive -- as other regulatory functions.

4             So, that is our -- that's where we are.  In fact, we

5        are still working with various stakeholders on trying to

6        refine some of this language and we have meetings

7        scheduled in the near future.  Our goal is to try to build

8        a consensus for this issue.  And so, with that,

9        Mr. Chairman, I am ready.  I guess I'm answering questions

10        somebody might have about this.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner

12        Henderson yields for questions.  Commissioner Barkdull.

13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Commissioner Henderson, this

14        is just a friendly, housekeeping question.  I'm just

15        reading this thing, and in Section 2 when you talk about

16        notwithstanding the initial terms and so forth which

17        relate to the phase-out of the existing people, I think --

18        don't you think that would be better put in a schedule

19        rather than the body?

20             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I really do.  I think that

21        when the committee on style and drafting gets this, that

22        that language and what I call, really, the provision in

23        Section B as well as the savings clause which says that

24        current rules and regulations that are in effect relating

25        to marine resources would stay in effect until changed, I

1        think that would properly be part of a schedule and would

2        become obsolete upon the happening of -- when we finally

3        get it down to seven members.

4             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Thank you very much.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett.  Do you

6        yield?  I'm just assuming that you will yield to whoever

7        gets up.

8             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I'm happy to yield.

9             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Thank you.  I have just a

10        couple of questions to ask you.  I believe that combining

11        the freshwater and marine aspects of executive and

12        regulatory functions is appropriate, that makes sense to

13        me, particularly based on a lot of information we heard at

14        the public hearings.  I've always had a question, though,

15        and I've asked it several times, and when I get an answer

16        it makes sense at the moment I get it, and then about five

17        minutes later, I can't remember why -- you know, it's just

18        one of those things that leaves me and I think, Well, now,

19        why?

20             So, here is a basic question I have, philosophically,

21        why does the Game and Fish Commission or the game and the

22        new -- the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have

23        to be a constitutional body?  Why is this not

24        appropriately an agency of the State, just like our other

25        state agencies, subject to the same administrative

1        procedures, the same processes that other state agencies

2        that deal with unique aspects of state government?

3             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I think that is a good

4        question.  And I also think that that -- I would say, what

5        concerns that we are dealing with out there are concerns

6        related to that central issue.  We have had an independent

7        constitutional game commission in this state now for 50

8        years.  And the reasons for the establishment of that, and

9        indeed the reasons why the Legislature and ultimately the

10        voters in this state have basically expanded that

11        authority with that independent commission, has been

12        because of a feeling that these issues, dealing with the

13        taking of game, taking of fish, regulations relating to

14        this, were such things that are better handled in that

15        place so that it would be based on science, that it would

16        be de-politicized, try to get it out of the political

17        forum.

18             Anyone who has seen the rather bizarre way that, you

19        know, that we deal with saltwater fisheries before the

20        Governor and Cabinet, will understand that.  In the old

21        days, when all of these multitudes of regulations went

22        before the Legislature, it was an odd thing.  I think it

23        is a special thing we have in this state that we do have

24        this independent constitutional authority because it tends

25        to focus them on the task at hand, which is the task of

1        fish and wildlife, which is an extraordinary resource of

2        the State, but it really goes a long way into

3        de-politicizing the process.

4             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  One additional question.  In

5        the proposal on Section C, Line 16, it authorizes the

6        Legislature to enact laws.  And the phrase that caught my

7        attention is, In aid of the commission not inconsistent

8        with this section.  I don't recall seeing that type of

9        language before.  And I would like to ask you what that

10        means; what limits that places on the Legislature; and

11        really what kind of a grant of authority is that to the

12        Legislature?

13             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Most of that language in

14        that Section C comes right out of the current Constitution

15        in Article IV, Section 9, and that phrase is currently

16        there.  The Legislature may enact laws in aid of the

17        commission not inconsistent with this section.

18             And I think that goes to the issue of some

19        administration issues.  The Legislature has some budgeting

20        perspective commission.  And there's also additional

21        authorities that -- authority that has been conveyed upon

22        the Commission by the Legislature over the years.  And so

23        that's where I come to this distinction with the APA, you

24        know, that's where the Legislature has given it authority

25        to act, reviewable by the APA.  And we think that would

1        continue.

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Smith.

3             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  A friendly question, I hope.

4             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I hope so, too.

5             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Okay.  You stated that it

6        appears inevitable that there will be this issue on the

7        ballot for unification.  And so the question that I have

8        asked, and I'm sure others have asked, why then are we

9        making this proposal?  And hopefully the answer is that

10        this proposal is a better proposal for the proponents and

11        others concerned and our fisheries?

12             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Well, I think that is a very

13        good question, and I alluded to the tremendous interest

14        that we saw in fisheries-related issues out there this

15        year.  But as we know, a lot of adverse because of the

16        very polarizing efforts that came about in the net ban

17        campaign a few years back.

18             This issue, it's coming forward with a lot of the

19        same friends as the limits on marine net fishing.  And so

20        what we have tried to do, I think those of us who are

21        involved in this issue, and certainly my purpose of

22        bringing it to the floor here, is to try to get away from

23        that degree of polarization, see if we can address some of

24        the real issues that drive a wedge between the

25        stakeholders and try to find ways that we can accommodate

1        those issues.

2             So I think the proposal that's before you today, and

3        in fact, as we hope to continue to refine it, that we will

4        make those edges a little less rougher, more refined.  And

5        the idea is to try to build a consensus around this issue.

6        That's the reason for doing it this way.

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any further

8        questions?  All right.  Anybody that wants to speak as a

9        proponent of the proposal?  Does anyone want to speak as

10        an opponent of the proposal?  Then we'll proceed to vote.

11             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  I think Commissioner

12        Thompson wants to be heard on this issue.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay, we'll un-proceed with

14        votes.  You have got three votes already, but wipe them

15        out, he might change their minds.  Commissioner Thompson.

16             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  I just had the understanding

17        that we weren't going to vote on this today.  Not from

18        you, Mr. Chairman, but from the proponent.  Otherwise I

19        don't think it would be out of committee right now.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well --

21             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Committee Chairman wants to

22        tell us.

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Alfonso.

24             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  We were really -- we don't

25        feel like this language is really all the way there yet.

1        And I would like Commissioner Thompson to address some

2        concerns that he had with the language.  And I would like

3        to say this did come out of committee with a unanimous

4        approval, but we felt -- first, we weren't sure that we

5        were going to make the calendar for this session.

6             And then we felt that, you know, this language wasn't

7        exactly where we wanted to get, but we did want to discuss

8        where -- how we had come to this point and where we are

9        and the whole consensus-building process.

10             So I don't know that all of the committee members are

11        ready to vote on this today.  And Commissioner Thompson,

12        if you could just discuss some of your concerns to the

13        language that you brought up in the committee meeting

14        yesterday.

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Thompson.

16             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  And

17        to members, let me apologize to begin with for all of the

18        talking that I have done the last couple of days, I'm not

19        like that.  I really don't like to talk.  My mother

20        thought I would never make it in law school and she was

21        just horrified I was going into politics because I was so

22        bashful, she said.  She said, You won't get up and talk in

23        front of people, how could you do that?

24             So, let me give you a feel for this issue.  First of

25        all, let me say, I do support it, I supported it in

1        committee, but there's a lot to this.  And if you will

2        hearken back to our public hearings you saw a lot of

3        people whose lives were impacted by the net ban and we

4        wanted to be real careful here, because number one, I'm

5        afraid we aren't going to be able to do for them what they

6        would like to do in respect to the net ban.

7             Number two, this is going to impact those same people

8        because you are taking the jurisdiction over a big

9        commercial enterprise, people working hard and making

10        their living out there in adverse circumstances and

11        transferring it over to a jurisdiction that has been

12        dealing with folks like me and Mr. Henderson that just

13        like to fish, but on Monday we go to work and we are going

14        to make a living whether or not we were able to fish on

15        Saturday and Sunday.

16             So we want to be very cautious about those people

17        having some kind of an entry level where they could come

18        in and their voices could be heard.  So we couldn't hear,

19        our successors in 20 years, and members of the Legislature

20        and others wouldn't hear that they didn't have the

21        opportunity to be heard, and more importantly, that they

22        didn't have the right to challenge on a scientific basis

23        what was being done about the resource that their

24        livelihoods depend upon.

25             At the same time, we wanted to be sure that those

1        that make those decisions did that on the basis of

2        scientific research and data and that they didn't just

3        make arbitrary and capricious types of decisions.  And so

4        that's what we have been working on within the committee.

5             Now, let me give you a little history, just -- I'm on

6        the floor and I'm talking more than I want to anyway, so

7        let me give you my perspective of some history here

8        because I was in the Legislature when the marine

9        fisheries' issues were decided by local bills, or general

10        bills of local application, and you talking about an

11        unscientific -- a lack of due process way of making

12        decisions, it was pretty difficult.

13             And it was very difficult on those of us that had

14        counties in those areas, which were a lot of us, of

15        course.  So we passed special bills on how many mullets

16        you can catch, what time of year, and all of these types

17        of things, and had very little advice on what to do that

18        was based on anything that you could really point to and

19        say was reliable.

20             So while I was in the Legislature, we all decided,

21        Well, let's try to insulate this system just a little bit

22        and let's try to move it over to somebody that can make a

23        little bit more deliberative types of decisions and base

24        those decisions on research and data.  So we came up with

25        the idea of the Marine Fisheries Commission.

1             And believe you me, I think everybody was against

2        that except for the members of the Legislature.  But there

3        was support among sports fishermen at that time because

4        they thought it would work very well.  And we all knew

5        that probably if we went to the ballot at that time like

6        we are trying to do now and further insulate it, that it

7        probably wouldn't work, and I don't think we could have

8        gotten that through the Legislature if you think about it.

9        So, we didn't do that, we just went to the Marine

10        Fisheries Commission, as you know.

11             And as that has evolved, it hasn't been all bad.  I

12        think there's been a lot of good that's come out of there,

13        but it has been highly controversial.  And I think now is

14        the time to move it on over for a little further

15        insulation.  And that goes a little bit against my grain

16        because I like for people to be able to vote on people

17        that are making decisions for them, and this removes that.

18        And believe you me, I can remember, and many of you can,

19        when the Game Commission hasn't been the most popular

20        place in Tallahassee to be.

21             And there's been things that they have done that were

22        not based on science and you have to go to court to

23        challenge all of that, is what it boils down to.  So what

24        we have tried to do in committee, is we have tried to come

25        up with some ideas, working with people out there that

1        have concerns with a way that these people, like the

2        people that have come before us in the public hearings,

3        could have their voices heard, could challenge the basis

4        upon which these decisions are made, and try to do it as

5        inexpensively as is possible under the circumstances.  So

6        we are continuing to work on that.

7             And we had people out there worried that, in addition

8        to the marine life, that we were going to try to dump the

9        regulation of the land over into this box and let this

10        constitutional agency have some decision-making authority

11        over the land.  We accommodated that by striking water

12        resources and putting in aquatic life, so it's got to be

13        something that's in the water, it's got to be something

14        that's live, it's not your land.

15             But the second aspect of it, as to how people can

16        procedurally really participate is something we continue

17        to struggle with.

18             And Mr. Henderson and I and others are working with

19        people out there to try to come up with some way to

20        resolve that.  And so, Subsection D on Page 2 was

21        Mr. Henderson's effort yesterday, which we adopted, to

22        say, We want to do something about this, we want to say

23        that certain regulatory functions like the things that you

24        can't put under the APA because it would just delay

25        implementation for a year or more, would be things like

1        bag limit, size limit, year, that kind of thing.

2             But some of the other things that have to be based on

3        science and data would be subject to the APA, and people

4        could come in very early, and hopefully without lawyers,

5        as much as they can, and challenge and work through that

6        with the Commission.

7             So, we think this is a stab at that.  But I don't

8        think we want to put in the Constitution that the powers

9        and duties of the Marine Fisheries Commission shall be

10        exercised, blah, blah, blah, because what does that mean?

11        Does that mean the powers and duties now, does that mean

12        the powers and duties established by statute, does that

13        mean the powers and duties established by statute

14        interpreted by case law; what does it mean?  That's

15        probably not a good way to draft a provision for the

16        Constitution.  Mr. Henderson agrees with that, he's

17        already working on alternative language.

18             So, for those reasons, our understanding, Mr.

19        Chairman, of the committee, Commissioner Alfonso and

20        Commissioner Evans-Jones and all of us decided that we

21        wanted to discuss this with you today, let you know where

22        we were, don't think we need a date certain to take it up,

23        but we are going to work on trying to bring it back to you

24        in a way we can all fully recommend all of the details in

25        December.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Alfonso.

2             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  With that presentation made by

3        Commissioner Thompson, I would like to just move that we

4        temporarily pass this to a date certain, December 10th.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  How about just temporarily pass

6        it to the next session?

7             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Temporarily pass it to the

8        next session, that's fine.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  All of those in favor, say

10        aye.  Opposed.

11             (no verbal response).


13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's passed.  Incidentally,

14        Commissioner Thompson, the early part of your presentation

15        was one of the best good ol' country boy speeches I've

16        heard in a long time.

17             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  Don't tell them.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Our next proposal is

19        Proposal 75 -- I guess I need to leave the Chair.  I'm

20        going to move to withdraw it.  I'll stay in the Chair if

21        it's not objectionable.

22             COMMISSIONER THOMPSON:  I'll move to withdraw it.  I

23        think anybody can move to withdraw it without objection?

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Right.  Commissioner Thompson

25        moves to withdraw this No. 75 without objection.

1             (No verbal response).


3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's withdrawn.  The next

4        proposal is No. 69 by Commissioner Riley.  Would you read

5        it, please, sir?

6             READING CLERK:  Proposal 69, proposal to revise

7        Article IV, Sections 4 and 5, Florida Constitution,

8        providing for the appointment of the Commissioner of

9        Education.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Alfonso,

11        of this -- excuse me, Commissioner Jennings is the

12        Chairman of the Education Commission -- Education

13        committee, and if you would present this please?

14             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  It's Friday, and we are doing

15        education.  It seems like I was just here last week doing

16        the same thing.

17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Every Friday.

18             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Every Friday, whether we need

19        to or not.  Commissioners, if I could just give you a

20        broad overview, and then, Mr. Chairman, I think you should

21        recognize the individual sponsors to amplify on their

22        issues here.

23             We had an interesting meeting day before yesterday,

24        the Commissioner of Education joined us and we had

25        dialogue about an appointed versus an elected Commissioner

1        of Education, and intertwined in that was the issue of the

2        State Board of Education although we have no proposal here

3        before you that deals with that at the moment.

4             I'll share with you that as we go through them, the

5        proposal on the Commissioner of Education, which

6        Commissioner Riley has, the proposal on appointing all

7        school superintendents -- as you know, currently, you may

8        appoint or elect, and the local school district may

9        decide, by referendum, which they would like to do.

10             The issue of what was Commissioner Rundle's proposal

11        on a two-year continuation after the 12 years of public

12        education, and was then amended to contain some other

13        language, and unfortunately, that one was disapproved.

14             Commissioner Rundle knows what to do, don't show up

15        if your stuff is going down in flames.  And then they

16        moved to the issue of dividing the school districts, which

17        was Commissioner Marshall's.  I will share with you that

18        none received unanimous votes in either direction.  The

19        disapproval had some votes.  In support and those issues

20        that came out with approval had somewhere two to three,

21        sometimes four votes against.  So, we had a little bit of

22        a divided committee as we looked at these.

23             I think in each case, and especially the one that

24        Commissioner Riley is going to take up next, with the

25        elected/appointed Commissioner of Education, there were

1        strong feelings on that one that that really was only

2        moving forward as we would look at the whole issue of

3        Cabinet, that we weren't so sure that we wanted to pull

4        that one Cabinet member out as an appointed body unless we

5        looked at the whole issue of the Cabinet.

6             So, I just share those general thoughts with you.

7        And I know the individual commissioners will share the

8        specifics in each of those proposals.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you.  You yield to

10        Commissioner Riley who is recognized as the sponsor of

11        this proposal.

12             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  And I

13        would like to speak very much in favor of this proposal.

14        I agree with Commissioner Jennings, this is, as I would

15        suspect most things that will be passed forward at this

16        stage and at the final stage, interlocking pieces of

17        reorganization, and this is certainly one of them.  And I

18        understand that, but I would still hope that we could get

19        through this hoop, and then it must marry then with the

20        reorganization of the Cabinet.

21             However, if it doesn't, it could, in fact, stand by

22        itself, and a -- an appointed Commissioner of Education,

23        could in fact be a change that we could make as one of our

24        final amendments.

25             Just to give you a little bit of background that may

1        not be in your packages, I will tell you that the State of

2        Florida is very unique in their educational system in that

3        we have elected folks at every local of the education

4        system, from the local on up to the state, which is very

5        different than most states.  In most states you don't have

6        elected people at each level, you have some sort of a

7        combination.  There are 26 states in our nation that have

8        a Commissioner of Education that's appointed by a state

9        board.  There are other states that, and a majority of the

10        states have a Commissioner of Education that's appointed

11        either by the state board or by the Governor.

12             In many of our committee meetings we have asked the

13        question, how is Florida different than our sister states

14        that are most like us, those being New York, California,

15        and Texas.  And I will tell you that only in California do

16        we have the same situation where we have a constitutional

17        Commissioner of Education that's elected by the public.

18        In New York we have a commissioner that's appointed by the

19        board, state board.  And in Texas, we have a commissioner

20        that's appointed by the Governor.

21             Another point that's very important for your

22        decision-making this morning is the fact that two very

23        important entities have recently come out with support of

24        an appointed Commissioner of Education.

25             One is a cornerstone report by the Florida Chamber

1        Business Group that I think has not only recognition, but

2        a good deal of support from the members of this group.

3        And they, in fact, note that a -- it would be a good idea

4        to reorganize the entire system, although we have to only

5        put one piece in at a time.  And they support, most

6        definitely support, an appointed Commissioner of

7        Education.

8             They, in addition to the most recent Commission on

9        Education that was appointed in the State of Florida, and

10        looked at the overall view of education, also supported an

11        appointed Commissioner of Education.

12             Their point was that, as you reorganize education in

13        the State of Florida, you can create, instead of a very

14        fragmented system, which they see it is now, a very

15        team-oriented system, and that the head of that team will

16        be an appointed Commissioner of Education, not an elected

17        Comissioner of Education.  They also, by the way, support

18        a State Board of Education and some other specifics.

19             But what we have to deal with this morning is in fact

20        the appointment of a Commissioner of Education.  I

21        strongly support it.  It creates, I truly believe, a

22        potential for a better coordinated system, less conflict

23        at that level.  And I entertain your questions and hope

24        for your vote.

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Any proponents?

1        Commissioner Brochin.

2             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  I have a question.

3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Do you yield?

4             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I do.

5             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  As I understand the proposal,

6        you are allowing the Legislature to prescribe the method

7        of the appointment, ad I was wondering why you didn't take

8        a step to go forward to provide for the appointment

9        process, say, by the Governor, with the confirmation of

10        the Senate?

11             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  In fact, as the proposal by the

12        State Board of Education comes through, I would hope that

13        it would have that piece in it, that the State Board of

14        Education would be the appointing entity.  But, as I was

15        saying, this is the first piece of some Board of Education

16        around the state.  This has to -- if we don't have a State

17        Board of Education, if in fact, a Cabinet, as

18        restructured, and that's an unknown entity, were to be

19        still the State Board of Education, then, as it stands,

20        the Governor would be the appointing entity.

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills.

22             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, I think this might

23        be an inquiry to the Chair.  This is a piece of Cabinet

24        reform, and my question is, where are the other pieces;

25        when are they coming; should we consider all of those

1        together; or is it your intention that we consider them

2        individually?  Because, if for example, one supported

3        Cabinet reform, should you vote for this at this point,

4        wait for style and drafting to combine them in some way,

5        or should we wait to consider them on the floor at one

6        time?

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think we should probably have

8        addressed that earlier on these issues, but it would seem

9        to me that, logically, we should address them at the same

10        time.  If we are not going to reform the Cabinet, then

11        this could still be done.  But if we are going to reform

12        the Cabinet, we may want to include the Board of Education

13        proposal that I think the Commissioner and others have

14        mentioned.  I'll ask the rules committee chairman how he

15        views we should do this.

16             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman and members of

17        the commission, as I understand the sponsor, she

18        recognizes that this may be altered in the event we alter

19        the Cabinet, but until such time as we actually take that

20        up, she would like to have this considered as a

21        freestanding measure, and I think it is appropriate.

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Very well.

23             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I couldn't have said it better.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The Chair will rule that, this is

25        on the floor, it's being debated pro and con and we'll

1        vote on it today.

2             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  So, Mr. Chairman, that means,

3        can we expect the rest of the Cabinet to come one at a

4        time?

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We'll wait and see.  Commissioner

6        Barkdull.

7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  We would prefer not.  The

8        rules committee would prefer not.  If we had the matters

9        out of the committees, we would certainly try to group

10        them appropriately, but we'll take them as what comes on

11        the platter.

12             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Mr. Chairman, if I may comment

13        on that?

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Just a moment.

15             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, those of us who

16        may advocate some of these in opposition, that means we

17        may vote for this but not feel that the ultimate package

18        is put together correctly.  So I guess that means that we

19        can vote for it at this point and vote against it if it

20        comes out at a later point in time in a package that

21        doesn't meet --

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's correct.  On the final

23        vote, at least then certainly, the grouping and the whole

24        document will be before you and you can vote, as you say,

25        on each item.

1             Commissioner Barkdull, did you have an additional

2        comment?

3             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  My only comment was that I

4        don't think that Commissioner Riley is trying to put this

5        by without -- that if the other matters come up, that

6        it'll be dovetailed in.  I'm sure if it's necessary at

7        that time, we can get this matter back up with a waiver of

8        rules, or one way or another, and consider it as a

9        package.  But at this time, she wants it as a freestanding

10        package, which I think is appropriate, if we don't go

11        forward with the others.

12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's what you had in mind, and

13        that's where we are at the moment.  Commissioner Brochin

14        had a question.

15             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  It is a broader question, and

16        I've been thinking about it over the last couple of days.

17        Are we going to see the entire document as a whole to vote

18        on it at one point in time?  And maybe we should at least

19        understand how that procedure is going to work.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Under the rules, if you will

21        examine the rules, you will see that the style and

22        drafting committee, when we are through with all of the

23        proposals that we have passed with a majority vote and

24        they have become a final act of the Commission at that

25        point, then we are required from style and drafting to

1        submit all of the proposals at one time, and you will have

2        it all before you and then we'll vote on the grouping of

3        the documents, grouping of the proposals, rather than --

4        and how they are going to be on the ballot.

5             You could also vote on whether or not -- you can vote

6        on each specific one.  If it doesn't get 22 votes it

7        doesn't go on the ballot.  So all of those items will not

8        be available for final viewing until we complete this

9        phase of our proceeding.  I think I stated that correctly,

10        did I not, Commissioner Barkdull?

11             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Yes, sir.  And there's no

12        question that at one time we'll all come back here, and as

13        the Chair has indicated, you'll have your opportunity to

14        separate them, put them together collectively, or whatever

15        is the 22 will of this Commission.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's correct.  And I know some

17        people used to dealing with legislation would find this a

18        little bit odd, but we are a little bit odd.  Commissioner

19        Mills, you are a little bit odd here.

20             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Thank you, sir.  So, if -- this

21        is friendly, actually.  If you were to want to endorse

22        some sort of Cabinet reform, it would make sense to move

23        all of these things forward.

24             But then this is the important procedural question,

25        at the point that it comes out of style and drafting if

1        you have four or five of these things put together, is it

2        a majority vote to amend something in or out?

3             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I think the rules provide

4        when you get to the final stages, 22 votes.  But I believe

5        that when you get into the debate on what happens with the

6        Cabinet, if it is the sense of this body that we are going

7        to reduce the Cabinet, that this matter would probably

8        recur at that time and be dovetailed into the entire

9        article that related to the Cabinet.  Then would then be,

10        to answer your question, that would still be by majority

11        vote.

12             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  That's why this is a relevant

13        question.  If you are piecing it together and then you

14        come on the floor and it is the will of this body to

15        reorient it, is that --

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The answer is, as I understood

17        it, it will still be a majority vote when we are piecing

18        it together.

19             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Thank you.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is what's concerning you, in

21        other words, you can vote for this and be a strong

22        proponent of Cabinet reform and then they will be

23        dovetailed together if they both get the majority votes?

24        The final vote on whatever we come up with when style and

25        drafting has completed it, would be by 22 votes.

1             Commissioner Brochin, does that answer your question,

2        too?  I think that answers most of the questions.

3        Procedurally, unless there's more proponents or opponents

4        that want to be heard, that we can proceed to vote on this

5        item.

6             Commissioner Evans.

7             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  I would like to speak in

8        opposition.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.

10             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Primarily, all of the evidence

11        that we gathered, whether it's in writing or in person,

12        not one person who spoke for, against, or indifferent to

13        this proposal, if my memory serves me correct, not one was

14        able to show that there's a link of any sort between an

15        appointed commissioner or an elected commissioner and

16        academic performance.

17             There was not even a promise if we go to an appointed

18        commissioner, that there will be an improvement in

19        academic performance.  And by academic performance I'm

20        talking about the very basics of reading, writing, and

21        arithmetic, or put in another way, decoding, ciphering and

22        sums.  Not one link.  So what we are merely looking at, in

23        my opinion, is a philosophical question with no evidence

24        to support that it is best for the people to have an

25        appointed Commissioner of Education.

1             Parents do have the fundamental right, in this

2        country, to direct the education of their children.  And

3        we would be going to an appointed commissioner who has no

4        direct accountability to those parents.  It would be

5        merely secondary.  It might be quite removed, in fact, if

6        we were to go to something like the Governor appoints the

7        board and the board appoints the commissioner.

8             So, there is, again, no evidence that has been

9        presented to show that this will be an improvement for the

10        people of the state of Florida in the area of education.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Hawkes.  You are

12        next, Commissioner Marshall.

13             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

14        suppose we can look at this as Cabinet reform.  And if

15        this is the Cabinet reform proposal, then I would be

16        inclined to vote against it.

17             I think that this is the one area where the people of

18        the state of Florida can truly make a decision about this

19        Cabinet officer, they understand the issues that this

20        officer deals with, maybe they don't understand everything

21        the comptroller does or maybe they don't know why the

22        treasurer has four caps, like he likes to say, and he's

23        also the fire marshal and those kinds of the things, and

24        maybe they do have a more difficult time.

25             But they don't have a difficult time understanding

1        what the Commissioner of Education is responsible for and

2        they don't have a difficult time evaluating how their

3        children are doing in school and whether or not they think

4        the commissioner is doing a good job or a bad job.  And

5        honestly, I think that the people that the people of the

6        state of Florida have sent to that office have done a good

7        job.

8             And so if this is Cabinet reform, it is not the

9        Cabinet reform that I would support.  And as standing all

10        by itself, I don't think it's necessary, nor do I think

11        it's what the people want.  And I would recommend that you

12        vote against this proposal.  Thank you.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Marshall.

14             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You speak in opposition?

16             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  I do speak in friendly and

17        reluctant opposition to this, against the proposal of my

18        vice chair of the education committee.

19             You have ruled, Mr. Chair, that it can be a

20        stand-alone item.  And Commissioner Barkdull affirms that.

21        It isn't in my mind.  I can't evaluate this by itself.

22        It's part and parcel of Cabinet reform.  And for that

23        reason, I don't think it's to our advantage to even be

24        debating it at this time.  It confuses me and I think it's

25        a waste of the commission's time and effort to consider

1        this a part from the Cabinet reform.

2             If I were evaluating it on the basis of the merits of

3        this proposal as part of Cabinet reform, I might vote for

4        it or I might vote against it.  But at the moment I'm

5        going to vote against it because I think it's confusing.

6        Procedurally, I understand what you are doing, but in my

7        analysis, I can't evaluate it except as part of Cabinet

8        reform.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  It's been pointed out

10        to me that this proposal is also in the executive

11        committee and it has not been reported out.  And I think I

12        did that for the very reason that Commissioner Marshall

13        raises.  Whether he's for or against this is not material.

14        Commissioner Marshall, I think you are right.  And I think

15        when we referred it, we referred it to executive and it

16        has not come out; is that right?

17             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  That's correct.  And what we

18        have done is TP'd it just because we feel it's part of our

19        whole Cabinet reform exercise.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So we've had most of our debate

21        on this now.  It's not properly before the body for action

22        today, and we'll move to the next one.

23             The next proposal is Proposal No. 28.  Would you read

24        that please?

25             READING CLERK:  Proposal 28, proposal to revise

1        Article IX, Section 5, Florida Constitution, providing for

2        the appointment of all district school superintendents.

3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Jennings, again, to

4        Commissioner Riley, who is the sponsor of this proposal.

5        This one we only did send to the education committee.

6             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Okay, good.  Let me move forward

7        then and let me start where I started before, which is

8        first to compare us with the rest of the nation.

9             And in fact, Florida stands alone with only two other

10        states, which are Alabama and Mississippi, who have

11        elected superintendents of schools as opposed to appointed

12        and selected by the school board.  All of our comparable

13        states, again, Texas, California and New York, all have

14        appointed superintendents of schools.

15             In fact, in the state of Florida, 23 are appointed in

16        the counties, 44 are elected in the counties.  And what

17        the data shows is that as the county gets larger, it moves

18        from an elected to an appointed almost definitely.  In

19        1968, all counties were given the option to have appointed

20        superintendents.  And since then, 24 more counties have in

21        fact done so.

22             Again, the recent Commission on Education, the task

23        force on education that was appointed, that did in fact

24        look at an overall view of schools, that did in fact look

25        at performance measures and performance goals and did in

1        fact look at how our system can work better and what we

2        can do to improve it, did in fact very emphatically come

3        out with four proposals, and this was one of them, that

4        the local superintendent of schools should be appointed by

5        the board, not elected.

6             In addition, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, in

7        their cornerstone report also came out in favor of this

8        proposal, very strongly and very clearly.  The main

9        complaint, the argument against this that I've heard

10        around the state is that if you have an appointed

11        superintendent, that then the elector and the citizen

12        loses that option of the one-on-one decision on who that

13        superintendent is.

14             But I would suggest to you that in fact you really

15        don't do that because the elector is, in fact, voting on

16        who the school board members are.  And those are the

17        school board members that are going to have to answer to

18        those voters who put them in place and they are the ones

19        who are going to listen to the voters to say, this is the

20        kind of superintendent I want.

21             And what you end up then with is while it may be a

22        secondary decision, it is in fact a decision by the

23        people, by the citizens who put the board in place, and

24        those are the folks that will make a decision to put a

25        professional in that seat and not another elected person

1        who may very well, and I can tell you, in fact, very often

2        can be at odds with the school board and does not make for

3        a better coordinated system.  And I would strongly suggest

4        that you support this issue.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  How about -- any questions of the

6        sponsor at this time?  All right, first we'll ask for

7        proponents of the proposal.  Do you rise as a proponent,

8        Commissioner Marshall?

9             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  I do.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Marshall, you are

11        recognized.

12             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Commissioner Riley has stated

13        the case eloquently, and I don't think much needs to be

14        added to that.  I'm tempted to add some other evidence

15        because there's abundant evidence for the wisdom of this

16        measure.

17             Let me just summarize a little bit of that by saying

18        that we don't elect the chief of surgery at Shands or the

19        presidents of any of the community colleges or the

20        presidents of the universities.  And for essentially the

21        same reason I don't think we should elect the people to

22        run our public schools.

23             That person, if elected, becomes an elected

24        politician.  And while I mean no disparagement in that

25        expression, the person ought to be -- the thought

1        processes of that person ought to be those of a

2        professional, educational leader.  I said before, I think,

3        and let me say it again, that the morning after the

4        election, the successful superintendent must surely be

5        thinking about the next election, they are.  Because they

6        got there by being elected popularly.

7             And why wouldn't they be thinking of the next

8        election?  And why wouldn't they be thinking such thoughts

9        as, how can I get rid of the most likely competition in

10        the next election?  That may be one of the better school

11        principals in the district, therefore, why wouldn't I

12        transfer him or her, or demote her or fire her or

13        something like that?

14             So I think the evidence is compelling on this and I

15        confess to being passionate about it.  The only concern

16        that I have and could control my vote, if this makes it to

17        the level of consideration in January, is that I'm a

18        little bit reluctant to put this into the Constitution.

19        That is, for us to tell or the people of Florida to tell

20        the individual school districts what they must do, it runs

21        contrary to my notions about local control and popular

22        choice at the local level.  That reservation

23        notwithstanding, I endorse this proposal and I urge you to

24        vote for it.

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are there any other proponents?

1        Commissioner Barton.

2             COMMISSIONER BARTON:  I would generally support this.

3        I have one question relative to it.  I'm reading about

4        what other states do.  And under that it says that Florida

5        has recently required superintendents to be appointed and

6        that this transition will be accomplished by the year

7        2000; is that correct?

8             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I know that in '68, as I

9        mentioned, they were allowed, counties were allowed to

10        choose if they wanted to elect or appoint.  And 24, since

11        then, 24 additional have chosen to do that.

12             COMMISSIONER BARTON:  So, how many remaining now

13        are --

14             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Whatever 67 minus 44 is.  What

15        is it, 23?

16             COMMISSIONER BARTON:  Well, are they supposed to

17        become appointed by the year 2000?  That's the way this

18        reads.

19             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Not as I understand it, no.

20        There's no requirement for them to do that.

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Morsani, do you want

22        to respond to that?

23             COMMISSIONER MORSANI:  I don't want to respond.  One

24        of you fine lawyers that knows the Constitution on the

25        section B, where it says, other states, and then it says

1        that this transition will be accomplished by the year

2        2000, that's what Ms. Barton is referring to, I haven't

3        had a chance to look at the Constitution yet, but do any

4        of you have an answer to that?

5             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I think they are talking about

6        Tennessee.  As I understand this, they are not talking

7        about Florida.  They are talking about Tennessee and they

8        are grouping them as states that have elected versus

9        appointed.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's not about Florida, I don't

11        think -- I know it's not in the Constitution.  I'm almost

12        positive that the Legislature hadn't attempted to do that

13        without us knowing it or without them knowing it, right,

14        Commissioner Jennings?

15             Any further proponents of this proposal?  All right,

16        any opponents?  Commissioner Evans.

17             COMMISSIONER EVANS:  Thank you.  Again, the

18        information presented, there were no speakers, there was

19        no information that gave us evidence that there is a link

20        between academic performance and appointed

21        superintendents.  Absolutely no evidence that that will

22        occur if we all go to appointed.

23             In fact, one of the speakers, Mr. Ausley, I think it

24        was, actually said that the counties that now elect do not

25        rank at the bottom of the 67 counties in academic

1        performance.  So, again, no link.  The citizens of the

2        state now have the option to go to an appointed

3        superintendent, the citizens of each county have the

4        option now to go to an appointed superintendent.  If you

5        look at the history, you will see that time and time and

6        time again, citizens of the county have voted down the

7        option.

8             I know in the county where my parents live, Okaloosa,

9        it was just a very recent vote.  And if I remember, it was

10        voted down by a huge margin.  I also know that my parents,

11        like many people who live in smaller populated areas,

12        deeply resent larger counties mandating what they do in

13        areas of education and electing their officials.

14             It seems to be a travesty that the people of Orange

15        County, say, or Dade County can vote on a constitutional

16        amendment requiring that the people in the smaller

17        counties must also go to an appointed superintendent, even

18        though they don't want to.

19             To get rid of a superintendent, you say, you can

20        always vote out the school board.  I would submit that

21        that is a very difficult thing to do in order to get rid

22        of a majority of the school board who has staggered terms.

23        It would be very difficult to send a message to the school

24        board, we are getting rid of you, it may take us years to

25        do it, because we do not like the superintendent that you

1        went out and hired.  It's much easier, if you do not like

2        the superintendent, to merely unelect that superintendent

3        in the next election.  And that, too, has occurred.

4             So it all boils down, again, to philosophy.  It is

5        simply a philosophy.  Should the people elect their

6        superintendent of education and have that person directly

7        accountable to the electorate in an area that's a

8        fundamental right to the people, or should that person not

9        be directly accountable but rather secondarily be

10        accountable to the people.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any other opponents?

12        Commissioner Butterworth.

13             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Mr. Chairman,

14        Commissioners, I agree with Commissioner Evans on this.

15        This is the -- we should allow the local districts to

16        decide what they want to do.  And I also agree with

17        Commissioner Marshall on this.  I think we are making a

18        bad mistake of putting something potentially, through vote

19        the people have already decided that they want an

20        appointed superintendent or an elected superintendent.

21             I've had the opportunity to the serve as an elected

22        county constitutional officer.  And I've had the

23        opportunity to work with elected and also appointed

24        superintendents.  And by and large, I find that the

25        elected superintendents are by far much more responsive to

1        the needs of the people of the community.  Whereupon, the

2        appointed superintendent is more concerned about the three

3        or four votes, depending upon the size of their school

4        board, as to what actually has to be done.

5             So I would urge everybody to vote against this

6        measure.

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any other opponents?

8        Commissioner Ford-Coates was up.

9             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  To reiterate what

10        Commissioner Butterworth has said, I believe that at the

11        local level in particular, the dynamic of knowing that the

12        people who are going to evaluate your performance as a

13        professional administrator are the voters is a benefit to

14        those voters, especially in the area of education.  And we

15        have an excellent appointed superintendent in my

16        community, so that system seems to work well for Sarasota.

17        But in other communities, I think they should have the

18        right to do that.

19             I find that if there were an elected superintendent

20        who wanted to get rid of a good principal in their

21        district, that is the first thing and the first mistake

22        they make towards being defeated in the next election.  If

23        someone is thinking about the next election, they hire the

24        best possible people they can in their staff that they can

25        depend on to do the job on a daily basis and have daily

1        contact with the people to whom they are providing

2        services.

3             To me, the best possible way to do that is to make

4        sure that they understand their customers are their

5        voters.  So I think that many times an elected

6        administrator is the best administrator that one could

7        have.  I urge you to vote against this proposal.

8             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Opponents?  Commissioner Hawkes,

9        you had risen.

10             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  It's not necessary now.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Everything you were going to say

12        in opposition has been said?

13             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Better than I could say it.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any other opponents?  To close

15        for the proponents, Commissioner Riley.

16             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I would like to close by reading

17        some words from a speech by Dr. Bill Malloy, who was

18        superintendent of schools in Escambia County.  And he

19        strongly supports, although he was elected, strongly

20        supports an appointed supervisor of schools and for a

21        whole lot of reasons.

22             And he says, very succinctly I think, that, and he's

23        talking about Escambia County.  He says, we don't elect

24        our generals and our doctors, as Commissioner Marshall was

25        saying, but we happily place our most precious resource in

1        the hands of anyone who walks off the street and gets one

2        more vote than that of the opponent.  And in most general

3        elections, we must remember, less than 60 percent of us,

4        less than 60 percent of us, bother to vote.

5             I would ask you to listen to the report from the

6        state group that was put together to look at education, I

7        would ask you to look and listen to the businesspeople who

8        have also supported this and to vote in favor.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Are we ready to vote?

10        Okay.  We'll vote.

11             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We are going to have to have a

13        quorum call.  We are doing better.  Has everybody voted?

14        Tally the vote.

15             READING CLERK:  Eight yeas and 14 nays, Mr. Chairman.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Proposal fails.

17             Proposal 22 by Commissioner Rundle, would you read it

18        please?

19             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Mr. Chairman, to save time, I'm

20        going to withdraw that particular proposal.

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, there's no

22        free lunch at the junior colleges.

23             Proposal 40 by Commissioner Marshall, would you read

24        it, please.

25             READING CLERK:  Proposal 40, a proposal to revise

1        Article IX, Section 4, Florida Constitution, authorizing

2        certain counties to be divided into more than one school

3        district.

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Jennings

5        yields to Commissioner Marshall, who is the sponsor of

6        this proposal.  Commissioner Marshall.

7             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  A

8        presentation was made on this measure by Representative

9        Tom Warner at our hearing in where, Palm Beach or Fort

10        Lauderdale.  One of those.

11             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Miami.

12             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Miami.  And I think he made

13        the case well, and most of you I suspect remember the

14        essence of what he said.  The measure also has been

15        endorsed by Senator Ron Klein.  Both of those men come

16        from large populous counties where, they believe, the

17        interest of parents is not well represented by the school

18        board.

19             Now that may not be right.  Their interests may be

20        represented well, but they don't have the opportunity to

21        interact very much with the school board members.  In Dade

22        County, there are, what, Commissioner Smith, in excess of

23        the 350,000 students, nine school board members.

24             The notion in this country, Florida as well, has been

25        to provide a popularly-elected school board of the people,

1        to enable families, parents of the schoolchildren who have

2        the most at stake, to interact directly with those who set

3        policy for the schools.  When you have nine school board

4        members and 350- or 75,000 students, it's difficult to

5        make that happen.

6             So, the proposal is to permit school districts of

7        more than 45,000 students to subdivide and form two or

8        more school districts, each with its own school board.

9        And each with most of the powers, I guess all of the

10        powers that school boards now have in our 67 school

11        districts.

12             The approval of this measure, this procedure, this

13        system, would require -- the approval of the establishment

14        of such subdistricts would require the approval of the

15        District Court.  The boundaries would have to be approved

16        by the District Court.  Funding would be calculated on a

17        county-wide basis.  That's an attempt to bring about an

18        equality of funding.  Each school board can issue bonds,

19        or have the power to issue bonds, that would be repaid

20        from property taxes in the newly-reformed districts.

21             The questions have been asked in our committee, is

22        there evidence that these smaller school districts would

23        increase student performance or would reduce

24        administrative costs?  The answer is that there is such

25        evidence.  Professor Lawrence Kinney of the University of

1        Florida and his associates have done a good deal of

2        research on this subject.  And they have shown that

3        smaller districts -- let me change that.  The districts,

4        not the smallest in the state, not the largest, have both

5        reduced per student administrative costs, and improved

6        student performance.  That would seem to argue against our

7        having very small districts or very large districts.

8             But I urge you to view that evidence with some

9        reservation.  I'm not sure how, it's claimed to be

10        statistically significant.  But as more than one person

11        said in our testimony or our review of this in the

12        committee the other day, the basic issue probably is how

13        do people feel about this?

14             The gut reaction of parents toward their schools and

15        their school boards, and how well those schools are

16        managed, probably has much more importance on an issue of

17        this kind than any modest increases in student performance

18        or decreases in operating costs.

19             The major concerns, I think, are the possibility that

20        new school districts would be set up on the basis of the

21        haves and the have-nots, that there would be inequality

22        among the several school districts in a large county such

23        as Dade.  And that concerns me, too.  I think that is a

24        good reason for this commission to weigh this issue very

25        carefully.  Because I suspect commissioners are in a

1        better position to think about how this would play out in

2        your counties than are the members of our committee.

3             I tend to favor it because I think there are great

4        difficulties in school boards establishing policies in

5        large, populous counties like several that we have.  I

6        think there's room for improvement in both management and

7        setting of policy in those districts.  Whether this is the

8        way to do it, I'm not certain.  But I urge you to consider

9        the issue, and consider especially how this would work in

10        your county.  That's something that you can judge much

11        better than I.

12             Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Thank you, Commissioner Marshall.

14        Any questions that you would like to direct to

15        Commissioner Marshall who sponsored this?  Commissioner

16        Rundle.

17             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Commissioner Marshall, I want

18        to make sure that I understand what you are suggesting

19        because I, too, share some of the concerns that you have

20        expressed with respect to equality.

21             Are you suggesting that we vote this forward for

22        further consideration or are you suggesting that we TP

23        this so we can consider it further?  I'm not quite sure

24        what you are asking us to do.

25             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Our committee is asking you

1        to consider approving it.  I'm not suggesting that it be

2        TP'd, that might arise as we discuss it here, but that's

3        not the proposal.  It's laid before you for an up or down

4        vote.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Ford-Coates.

6             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  As the proposal reads, a

7        commission may be created by special law in each county.

8        Could you give us the specifics?  Are we talking about a

9        bill in the Legislature or are we talking about a vote by

10        the local school board, or are the people of that school

11        district, which is now the county, involved in making this

12        decision?

13             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Yes, there would be special

14        law providing for a commission to establish procedures for

15        the division of the school district.  But the approval

16        must come from the people.  There would be a popular vote

17        by all of the people in the county as to whether or not

18        they want to go forward.

19             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Where does it say that in

20        -- oh, and subject to an approval by the vote of the

21        electorate?

22             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  That's right.

23             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  Okay.  I was reading the

24        second line which seems to come afterwards, but I guess

25        actually that -- but it would happen in the Legislature

1        first, is that where you are saying the call would come --

2             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  That's right, by special

3        order.

4             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  -- by the legislative

5        delegation presenting a bill in the Legislature?  That's

6        the only place that the decision process starts.

7             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  I assume the local delegation

8        would present that bill in the Legislature, yes.  But it

9        would be -- Madam Chair, is that agreeable?  Is that your

10        interpretation?

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Jennings.

12             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  For the benefit of the

13        commission, yes, and my colleagues who have been in the

14        Legislature, the local delegation would present a local

15        bill, public hearing would be noticed, it would go through

16        the local bill process, would come up here.

17             And probably, as we are talking about, the commission

18        would set forth the commission to divide the districts or

19        do whatever, and that would pass.  They would have to then

20        go back to the local, to the district, Sarasota County,

21        they would then divide the district and do all of those

22        things and that is what would be on the ballot that would

23        be by referendum of the people.

24             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Yes, and then subject to

25        approval by the circuit court, if it passes.

1             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Right.

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Marshall, did this

3        come out of committee with a unanimous vote?

4             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  It did not, Mr. Chairman.  I

5        don't remember the vote, but it was less than unanimous.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Brochin.

7             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Commissioner Marshall, I was

8        reading the analysis and in the analysis it has a series

9        of questions that are posed.  And I was wondering if your

10        committee addressed those questions raised, as to why

11        those questions are actually still left unanswered, and if

12        there's information relating to them that we could look

13        at.

14             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  We did not address those

15        questions serially, Commissioner Brochin.  I'm certain

16        that they influenced the debate in the committee on this

17        issue.  I read them carefully, I attempted to address at

18        least some of them in my comments in the committee and I

19        think I probably touched on a few of them now.  We did not

20        take those up one at a time.  I acknowledge the importance

21        of your question.  Those are very serious questions that

22        have to be resolved.  And I urge you to think about those

23        in voting on this measure, as the committee members did.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  For the information of the

25        members, that is on the last page of the summary in your

1        packet.  And there are five questions.  That's the ones

2        you are referring to?

3             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Yes, I am.

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Which if you want to address

5        them, you are certainly welcome to address them with

6        Commissioner Marshall, Commissioner Brochin.

7             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  Well my question is, I would

8        like to look at data that responds to those questions, if

9        that data was available.  It talks about fiscal impact and

10        the division between the larger, in the larger counties,

11        dividing up the wealthy and the poorer areas.

12             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Yes, Commissioner, those are

13        reasonable questions.  Let me tell you, we had testimony

14        from Representative Warner when the committee considered

15        this issue on Wednesday.  He's done considerable research

16        on this, has offered to come back again.  I've been

17        contacted by Senator Klein, who has made the same offer.

18             There are serious unanswered questions in this, by me

19        and I suspect by every other member of the education

20        committee.  And it might be wise to temporarily pass this

21        measure and ask both Senator Klein and Representative

22        Warner, perhaps our own staff to research some of these

23        issues and provide answers that the education committee

24        has not at this point provided.

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Butterworth.

1             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  If Commissioner Marshall

2        will yield.

3             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Yes.

4             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Commissioner Marshall,

5        what I understood you to be saying is that in your

6        professional experience as a lifelong educational

7        administrator you believe that it's in the best interest

8        of the districts and perhaps the best interest of the

9        children in order to be able to subdivide some of these

10        very, very large school districts.

11             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Yes, Commissioner.

12             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  And that these five

13        unanswered questions are questions of great importance,

14        but the number one thing that you are dealing with right

15        now is the issue of the child.  And that the five

16        unanswered questions, if we cannot resolve these issues, I

17        doubt very much the court would allow this to occur.

18             Should we not maybe proceed further insofar as not

19        temporarily pass this, pass this, because no matter what

20        you -- whenever you subdivide a district, if you cannot

21        subdivide in accordance with these five questions, the

22        court will never approve of it.  So I'm not quite sure

23        that these five questions should be of great importance or

24        stop us from doing something, that I agree with you, is

25        something that may be one of the most fundamentally

1        important things that we can put on this particular

2        ballot.

3             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  I think that's a good

4        observation, Commissioner.  And I would say that that

5        thinking did pervade members of the committee.  There are

6        many unanswered questions that would have to be answered

7        either by the commission established by the Legislature,

8        by the circuit court, obviously by the voters who are

9        going to ultimately make the decision.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Rundle

11        asked, I think earlier, and I'm not sure where we are at

12        this point, but you indicated that you thought it would be

13        appropriate to temporarily pass this, Commissioner

14        Marshall.

15             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  Well, I mentioned that as a

16        possibility, Mr. Chairman.  But it seems to me that

17        Commissioner Butterworth's comment overrides that.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So, you are not moving to

19        temporarily pass it.  All right.  Commissioner Rundle?

20             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Well, Mr. Chairman, then I

21        would move it, if it's procedurally correct, to

22        temporarily pass it.  Because what I've heard, with all

23        due respect, is a lot of, we have a lot of questions that

24        we need to answer, we need to seriously consider these

25        issues and I sense a lot of tenativeness with respect to

1        this proposal.  And it would seem to me that despite what

2        the Legislature or the courts need to do, we need to be

3        better informed.  We do need to have some of these very

4        serious questions answered before we can make those kinds

5        of decisions.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barkdull.

7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, if I might make

8        an observation.  If you temporarily pass this matter, it's

9        still here before the full commission and will recur at

10        the next session.  If you want to take further testimony,

11        as has been indicated, I would suggest that the proper

12        motion would be to recommit it to the committee.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are you making that motion?

14             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I'll make a substitute motion

15        that the matter be recommitted to the committee on

16        education.

17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Will you accept that and withdraw

18        your motion and make that your motion?

19             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Yes, sir, I will.  I withdraw

20        my motion.

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  There's been a motion that this

22        be recommitted to the education committee for further

23        study.  Now, the chairman of that committee, Commissioner

24        Jennings.

25             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Commissioners, just in

1        friendly opposition to that particular motion.  I don't

2        know what else we can do.  And I'll share that with you

3        only because we tried, in an attempt to have backup for

4        this, we had some presentations.

5             Commissioner Marshall had some more information for

6        us that we actually didn't go through because everybody, I

7        think, felt comfortable in the committee.  I mean, it did

8        not come out with a unanimous vote.  Commissioner Smith

9        has some very strong reservations about what the potential

10        for this could be.  We'll be glad to look at it again, but

11        I don't know that that would change anything in the

12        committee.

13             And I think, Mr. Chairman, if, in fact, the

14        difference is that we have got questions from the body, we

15        need to find some way to educate the rest of the body on

16        the issue.  I mean, we don't mind working, but I don't

17        know exactly what we are supposed to do now.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I might say, Commissioner

19        Jennings, it takes a two-thirds vote to recommit this to

20        your committee.

21             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Well, I was just sort of

22        helping it along.

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yes.  In other words, your

24        summary is that you don't believe it would be fruitful to

25        go back to the committee, that the same thing could be

1        accomplished by TP'ing it.

2             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Exactly.  And I think that

3        the issue at hand is we have got commissioners who have

4        got more questions to answer.  Let us see if we can find a

5        way to provide them -- the committee will be glad to see

6        if they can find a way to provide them with those answers.

7             While I'm up, and it's not necessarily appropriate,

8        but since I'm up, I'll just talk momentarily, if that's

9        all right, Mr. Chairman.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That's very appropriate,

11        Commissioner Jennings.

12             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  I think this is one of those

13        issues, and I think not to speak for the committee and

14        especially Commissioner Smith who felt strongly about it,

15        but I think this is one of those issues that is more

16        visionary than anything else that we have talked about.

17             What we are doing today, and many of the issues that

18        we have been discussing, is fixing things that we found

19        that we had trouble with in the last few years, or the

20        Legislature has had trouble with.

21             We really can't do this in the Legislature because of

22        the way the Constitution has structured our 67 counties as

23        individual school boards.  Because it's difficult today

24        may not mean that it is an inappropriate thing to do over

25        the next 20 years and the way that our school system is

1        structured.

2             So I just share that with you as a thought.  All of

3        us, I think, have real concerns about the issues of

4        desegregation that we have worked our way through in the

5        last 20 years.  We certainly don't want to go backwards in

6        that respect, but just because we have always done it this

7        way may not be a real good reason for continuing to do it

8        this way.  And this may be much like the unicameral

9        Legislature, or some of those issues that we should think

10        a little broader on than we normally do.

11             So in opposition to recommitting the issue back to

12        the committee, Mr. Chairman.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We can take care of that one

14        right quick and see if we can get a two-thirds vote to

15        recommit it.  And if we don't, then we can proceed to the

16        next step.  Yes.

17             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Mr. Chairman, is this

18        motion debatable?  Is the motion that we are on, is this a

19        debatable motion to recommit?  If it is, I want to make

20        some comments about it.  Because I want to argue against

21        recommitting it.

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Why don't you ask the chairman of

23        the rules committee across the aisle and find out if he

24        thinks it is or not?

25             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  It's probably not debatable.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I like the way we are working on

2        this.  We have got people saying I'm 51 percent for this

3        and 49 percent against it and then we have got the

4        chairman of the rules committee saying he's 51 percent

5        sure it's not debatable, but 49 percent unsure.  Now I'm

6        going to rule in this instance that it's not debatable.

7             (Laughter.)

8             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Thank you for ruling that way

9        now that I've debated.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I went with you now, sit down.

11             It's going to take a two-thirds vote to recommit this

12        to the committee.  And therefore, we'll vote and we'll

13        vote on the record.

14             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Announce the vote.

16             READING CLERK:  Three yeas and twenty nays,

17        Mr. Chairman.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  We'll now go to the

19        motion to temporarily pass it which is on the floor.

20        Commissioner Rundle -- now, that is debatable.

21        Commissioner Brochin was up first I guess.

22             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Mr. Chairman, I think that I

23        withdrew my motion, but I would now like to renew my

24        motion.

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So you now would move that we

1        temporarily pass this.  And Commissioner Brochin.

2             COMMISSIONER BROCHIN:  I would like to speak in favor

3        of the motion and I would like to speak in a general

4        context.

5             I sense this is a fairly critical issue.  I'm getting

6        presented information, the earliest was last night, and

7        trying to digest it and I'm being asked to push a button

8        to vote yes on this.  There's got to be some times when we

9        have got to have an opportunity to review the data,

10        discuss it with the people that we want to discuss it

11        with, before being asked to say yes or no.  I have

12        concerns about the proposal, and I think Commissioner

13        Marshall expressed them in his own words about the

14        hesitation that the effect that this particular proposal

15        would have.

16             This, as with some of the other proposals we have, to

17        temporarily pass it in my mind is not an effort to delay

18        this, but really is an opportunity to at least study the

19        issue and understand it.  And I do not understand the

20        issue well enough to push a yes or no button.  So as I

21        will in other matters, I would urge, let's pass it so we

22        can get an opportunity at least to discuss this because

23        I'm just not in a position to vote on it.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Smith was next.

25        You're next, Commissioner Alfonso.

1             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I rise

2        to oppose temporarily passing it because I would really

3        love for us to kill it today.

4             First of all, let me say that, as a parent with a

5        child in the largest school district in the state of

6        Florida, my heart tells me that a 15,000-person school

7        district is the right way to go.

8             Secondly, let me say that our chairperson is

9        absolutely correct in terms of the education commission.

10        This is truly visionary.  And I have looked down the road

11        and I'm frightened to death.  As a product of the-then

12        separate-but-equal school system in the great state of

13        Florida, from kindergarten through college, my head says

14        no.

15             We asked a tremendous amount of questions concerning

16        this issue.  And we were asked by Commissioner Marshall to

17        think about how this would affect our district, which

18        would be our county.

19             Fortunately in Dade County, we have a perfect example

20        that would let us know in the education arena what will

21        happen.  Because just recently, we decided on a

22        county-wide basis to allow those communities who wanted to

23        break away from the county and form their own cities, to

24        do so.  And what do we see?  We see Key Biscayne,

25        predominantly white and wealthy, has seceded.  Pine Crest,

1        white and wealthy, has seceded.  Aventura, white and

2        wealthy, and have seceded.

3             Now, this is not the intent of the people who

4        proposed this and it wasn't the intent of our commission

5        and the majority of the people who thought this was a good

6        idea.  Self-government, who is against making government

7        smaller and more accountable to the people?  But the

8        practical effect of the segregated housing patterns that

9        we have in our state, and the fact that people of like

10        communities wanting to band together will inevitably

11        result in the Coral Gables school district, the Key

12        Biscayne school district, the Pine Crest school district

13        and my children going to a separate but financially equal

14        Overtown school district.  That is the vision that

15        terrifies me.

16             So, we say, let's let it in now and straighten it out

17        later.  Well, I used to do that with snakes.  I would

18        bring a little snake in my house and I hid it in my room.

19        And I looked up one day and it was a pretty big snake.  So

20        my philosophy is cut the head off as soon as you see it.

21        And that's why I want to cut it off today.

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Very well stated.  I do have a

23        question.  In the committee, were other alternatives

24        considered, assuming you adopted this, such as, this is

25        sort of an opt-in for the county vote, was it considered

1        to have an opt-in also for the district?  In other words,

2        when you took the vote, would not the district that was

3        being created have to approve it as well?  Was that

4        discussed as an alternative in the committee?

5             COMMISSIONER MARSHALL:  No, Mr. Chairman, it was not.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, that seemed to be part of

7        what you are suggesting, isn't it, Commissioner Smith,

8        that you could be put into a district, even though you

9        voted 15,000 to nothing, you could still be put there by

10        the rest of the county.  That's sort of where you are

11        coming from; isn't it?

12             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Let's just take Dade County.

13        You have Dade County which is now a unitary school

14        district.  This passed, the commission is set up, and the

15        people of Key Biscayne said, we want our own school

16        district.  And so they form a school district.  That would

17        not necessarily affect -- that would leave everybody else

18        in the county in the school district that now exists.

19             But what would eventually happen, in 15,000 pupil

20        clips, because that's the number that we are talking

21        about --

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  My question is, you first require

23        the county itself in toto to approve the school district,

24        but you also require the district you are creating, within

25        the same vote, to approve it as well before it becomes

1        effective.  Kind of like getting in the city and out of

2        the city, that sort of thing.  Now they don't put you in

3        there usually, unless they can find some way to do it,

4        without you getting to vote whether or not you want to

5        come in.

6             COMMISSIONER SMITH:  Let's look at the practical

7        affect of that, Mr. Chair.  Dade County votes that we can

8        divide up into 15,000-person school districts.  Key

9        Biscayne said, we want a school district.  Key Biscayne is

10        not going to vote against that, they want their own school

11        district.

12             Mr. Chairman, I understand what you are saying,

13        people being put in a district that they don't want to be

14        put in.  But I'm saying, we now have other 30 distinct

15        areas that have 15,000 or more school districts -- I mean

16        students -- who could qualify for the school district.

17        Whether it's the Key Biscayne area, the Pine Crest.  What

18        we are going to have is Little Haiti, Little Havana,

19        Overton, Rolling Oaks, Crestview and all those other

20        areas, which are now in the unitary school district, will

21        be left for the school district themselves.

22             The response to that is they have the same amount of

23        money, which is separate but equal all over again.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Alfonso has been

25        standing up for awhile.  You have the floor.

1             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Just to add to what

2        Commissioner Smith said, I voted for this in committee,

3        with great trepidation.  I don't know that I could vote

4        for it here, just because I think there's so many details.

5        And how do you apportion these districts?  And I would

6        bear great guilt if we did vote something in like this,

7        and the eventuality that Commissioner Smith is speaking of

8        does occur.

9             I think philosophically it is the correct thing to

10        do.  I think that smaller is better.  In my heart, it is

11        the right thing to do and I would love to pursue it, and I

12        would love to pursue it as a commission.  I just don't

13        know right now, for myself, if the way that it's proposed

14        today, if those eventualities would not occur.

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  In other words, the motion that's

16        on the floor is to temporarily pass it.  You support that

17        motion?

18             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  I support that motion.

19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Hawkes.

20             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Mr. Chairman, I thought that

21        your idea was genius.  And I would submit to Commissioner

22        Smith that really what you are saying is it is a dual or

23        maybe a tri-referendum.

24             In other words, if Key Biscayne wants to split off

25        and create their own school district, you need a

1        county-wide vote where everybody in Dade County says yes,

2        and then you need a Key Biscayne vote where they by

3        majority say yes, because that is a new district, but also

4        what's left is a new district, and they have to say yes

5        also.  So you need a positive vote on a whole, you need a

6        positive vote in each of the new districts that results.

7             And so then you truly are giving people an

8        opportunity to go out and try some new ways to solve the

9        problem of making sure the kids get the very best

10        education that they can get, and they are equipped to deal

11        in the future.  And we are not saying that anybody is

12        going to be left behind, because if those people that are

13        going to be left behind say, no, it doesn't happen, you

14        have to sell everybody on it or else you don't have a

15        sale.

16             I thought that the chairman's proposal achieved and

17        addressed your concern.  Therefore, I would speak against

18        the motion to TP and I would offer an amendment if we get

19        past the motion to TP, Mr. Chairman.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Are you for the motion to TP or

21        against it?

22             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  Against it.

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You're against the motion to TP.

24        I didn't make a proposal, I was asking a question if they

25        considered it.  Commissioner Butterworth.

1             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  Mr. Chairman, I may have a

2        misunderstanding of this.  I was in favor of going

3        forward, but if I'm misinterpreting what they are saying,

4        then I'm in favor of TP'ing it.

5             Are we saying that a group of 15,000 at least can

6        petition and get out of a school board or is this

7        particular proposal saying that the entire school board

8        itself has to -- once the Legislature takes that action,

9        once you get a special bill passed, then the entire county

10        can determine whether or not they wish to redistrict into

11        smaller districts?  Then, such as you do in

12        reapportionment, somebody would be in charge of

13        redistricting the entire district into whatever number of

14        districts that seems to be necessary and appropriate.  And

15        that will have to undergo, obviously, a court review.

16             So, if it's the earlier where 15,000 can spin off,

17        I'm in favor of TP'ing it.  If it's the other portion

18        where it takes the complete vote, then I'm opposed.

19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I think if you read that -- would

20        you like to read it to us?  It says, not withstanding

21        other provisions of this Constitution, a commission may be

22        created by special law in each county with more than

23        45,000 students.  So, the Legislature then would create

24        the commission and how it was selected, and they don't

25        have to, under this.  Is that the way you read that,

1        Commissioner Butterworth?

2             I would suggest that the Attorney General has got to

3        seek an opinion on this, but the debate should be on the

4        issue of whether or not to TP it and resolve these

5        questions between now and the next meeting.

6             Commissioner Mathis was up first, Commissioner Mills.

7             COMMISSIONER MATHIS:  I'm going to stand in

8        opposition to TP'ing it because I would stand in

9        opposition of the proposal as written.

10             I think there are administrative ways to lessen the

11        governance of a school district, either by having

12        sub-superintendents that serve to address the issues of

13        certain communities without opening up the possibility of

14        increasing the disparity in our current districts.

15             Our inner cities are suffering already, I see this as

16        doing nothing but exacerbating.  And because these

17        issues -- I'm going to keep my comments short -- but I

18        would wholeheartedly agree with Commissioner Smith in that

19        we have an opportunity to address these issues through

20        administrative acts or Legislature acts.  And that we

21        should not run the risk of inserting into our Constitution

22        for the next 20 years something that could very well be a

23        detriment for not only the next 20 years, but the next 40

24        or 60 or 80 years to come.  Our children are worth more.

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills is next.

1        You're next, Commissioner Morsani.

2             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, I agree with

3        Commissioner Smith and I agree with Commissioner Jennings.

4        We need to look at visionary opportunities.  And what I

5        hear, there is a bunch of people of good faith who are not

6        really sure they are reading the same proposal who are

7        really trying and agonizing to try to do the right thing.

8             It seems to me that is the formula for temporarily

9        passing this issue and getting those people together

10        because there is an opportunity to do something.  And I

11        think there is -- there's nothing wrong with temporarily

12        passing an issue.

13             I was talking to some of my colleagues who have been

14        in the Legislature, this commission is doing enormously

15        important stuff that's going to be around for a long time.

16        The Legislature deliberates quite awhile.  This is the

17        first time this issue has been on the floor for real

18        consideration, and there hasn't been a bad point made.

19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The parliamentarian informs me

20        that we should either take a vote on the motion and quit

21        debating the merits of the proposal, and if we are going

22        to keep debating the merits of the motion, we should.  But

23        I'm going to call for a vote now on the motion to TP.

24             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Just to let you know, Mr.

25        Chairman, I was debating the motion to TP.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Thank you.  We're going to

2        vote on whether or not to temporarily pass this at this

3        time.  Would everybody vote?

4             Did everybody vote?  All right.  Announce the vote.

5             READING CLERK:  Fifteen yeas and eight nays,

6        Mr. Chairman.

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It's temporarily passed until the

8        next meeting.

9             All right, we'll move to the next item.  Committee

10        substitute for Proposal 70 by the committee on general

11        provisions, and Commissioner Mills.  Would you read the

12        proposal please?

13             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for Proposal 70,

14        proposal to revise Article X, Section 4, Florida

15        Constitution, providing a value limitation on the

16        homestead exemption, authorizing the Legislature to change

17        the amount of the value limitation, providing that the

18        homestead exemption does not apply to certain property.

19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Commissioner Mills, I

20        guess you are the one that's going to do this.  I don't

21        believe the chairman of your committee is here, is he?

22             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  No, he isn't.  But I would first

23        mention that the committee did favorably report this.

24             This is actually a much simpler issue than some of

25        the others we have been considering.  Florida is always

1        very proud to be number one.  There are a number of

2        things; the University of Miami, Florida State University

3        and at one time the University of Florida have been number

4        one in football.  We are number one, a number one tourist

5        destination.  And one thing we should not be so proud of

6        is we are the number one destination of people who want to

7        get rid of their bad debts.

8             This issue has been around for awhile.  It's actually

9        rather straightforward.  We have had increasing

10        occurrences of bankruptcies since 1984.  Florida has been

11        a destination because we have absolutely no limit on the

12        amount of money someone can shelter in their homestead.

13        And we have examples.

14             We have been privileged to have 60 Minutes focus on

15        Florida.  We have multimillion dollar homesteads where

16        people go bankrupt and don't pay people.  Now, we should

17        worry in this homestead issue about those who have

18        homestead, but we should also worry about those people

19        that don't get paid.  Those are the workmen, those are the

20        mechanics, those are the creditors, the people who do not

21        get paid because someone chooses to shelter their

22        resources in the way that Florida allows us to do that.

23             Incidentally, this is supported by the Retail

24        Federation, Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of

25        Independent Businesses.  This is also the kind of thing

1        that your individual taxpayer is affected by.  Bad credit,

2        bad impact of credit in the state of Florida affects

3        anyone who seeks credit and obtains it in the state.

4             The amount in this proposal is set at $200,000.  Why

5        does that amount make sense?  Well it makes sense, first

6        of all, because that exempts 96 percent of the homesteads

7        in Florida.  So, the average person is totally unaffected

8        by this proposal.  And where does $200,000 put us?  And

9        one of the other comments and good questions is what do

10        other states do?  What other states do is set limits.  And

11        where would $200,000 put us?  Would it put us at the lower

12        limit?  It would put us at the very top.

13             The average level is around $30,000.  Minnesota is

14        the top.  This will be $200,000, same as Minnesota, Texas,

15        and someplace else.  We would be lower by pegging the

16        needle, no limit.  So, this simply sets a limit of

17        $200,000, and by doing so, really exempts 96 percent of

18        the people of the state from ever having impact.  But keep

19        in mind that what you are doing by not doing this is

20        impacting the creditor, the person who legitimately has a

21        debt that they can't collect.

22             Now, how will $200,000 be handled in the future?

23        There's an authorization for the Legislature to change

24        that upwards.  So if there's any questions, Mr. Chairman,

25        I would like to address those.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Any questions?  Commissioner

2        Hawkes.

3             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  I was looking at the provision

4        where the Legislature may adjust this.  It doesn't seem to

5        require the Legislature to only adjust it up, it allows

6        the Legislature, it appears, to adjust it downward as well

7        as upward; is that correct?

8             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, I'll be glad to accept an

9        amendment that will just adjust it upward.

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, there's an amendment on the

11        desk, let's see what it is.  Read the amendment.

12             READING CLERK:  By Commissioner Planas.  On Page 1,

13        Line 23, delete that line and insert one, the homestead of

14        a person who has been a resident of the state for at least

15        five years to the extent of 500,000.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay, we'll go to the amendment.

17             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Well, Mr. Chairman --

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  But that doesn't answer the

19        question that Commissioner Hawkes has.  If we passed the

20        amendment, we would still have that question pending so

21        answer that and then we'll start debating the amendment.

22             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  To Commissioner Hawkes' point,

23        if it doesn't do that, I would view that as a friendly

24        amendment.  As to the Planas amendment, I have also had

25        this discussion with Senator Scott and I know --

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Before we do that, I want to have

2        the proponent present --

3             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  He's not here.

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  -- and Commissioner Alfonso is

5        presenting it.  I'm informed by him that that is the case.

6             COMMISSIONER ALFONSO:  Well, I'm a proponent of

7        sorts.  I'm presenting it for Commissioner Planas.  Just

8        to explain it, and we probably can all understand it, it's

9        just putting the residency requirement and making everyone

10        equally treated, not just 96 percent of the people.  So it

11        raises the limit, but it says you have to have lived here

12        for five years.  So you can't just move in and do a home,

13        as he explained it to me.  And I think that it does cover

14        everything more fairly.

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now we'll debate the amendment.

16             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, if I may.

17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills and then

18        Commissioner Riley.

19             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  I was aware of the issue of the

20        level of funding, Senator Scott raised that issue.  And as

21        a matter of fact, I committed to Senator Scott that I

22        would move to temporarily pass this.  So after we discuss

23        the issue generally, we can take up alternative dollar

24        amounts the next time, which this would be.

25             I would mention at this point -- in other words, what

1        I would suggest is temporarily passing the issue, a

2        shocking thing for us to do today.  And I would say that

3        we ought to draft an amendment to accomplish Commissioner

4        Hawkes' motion.  But what I would point out is either the

5        number of 500,000 or 400,000 would reduce the impact of

6        this to some .001 percent of the population.

7             So I'm not sure that it then becomes worthwhile even

8        doing it, because what we are saying is a $200,000

9        residence is not adequate for someone who is choosing not

10        to pay their debts.  If I'm debating it, I apologize, and

11        I would move to temporarily pass.

12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  You move to

13        temporarily pass.  It can be temporarily passed with the

14        amendment still pending, if that's the case.  On the

15        motion to temporarily pass, that is the debate.  Is your

16        debate directed to the TP?

17             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  It is a question, Mr. Chairman.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, I suspect we are having a

19        hard time making up our minds today.  I'm not going to.

20        If it's not on the motion to temporarily pass, we are not

21        going to have any debate except on that point.

22        Commissioner Riley, you are restricted to that point.

23             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Yes, I understand that.  And I

24        would like to speak against temporarily passing.  I would

25        like to get to this motion.  I don't see any other

1        information here other than opinions that we need to have,

2        we have heard it around the state, we have the specifics

3        in here.  And I would like to get to the debate on the

4        motion itself, perhaps the amendment, and get past it.  I

5        speak against it.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  On the motion to temporarily

7        pass, Commissioner Sundberg.

8             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  If it's in order,

9        Mr. Chairman, I would like to direct a couple of questions

10        to Mr. Mills that will affect whether or not, you know, I

11        am prepared to pass it.

12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I have just a hint that this is

13        going to be on the merits of this bill, the proposal, and

14        I want to restrict it.  I let the other one get out of

15        hand, and I don't intend to do it again.  We're going to

16        vote on whether or not to temporarily pass it and if your

17        questions go to the merits, as a former judge, you

18        understand that you are not to do that.

19             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Are you attempting to put me

20        on my honor, Mr. Chairman?  Is that what --

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Since you are a former judge, I

22        wouldn't dare do that.

23             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Well, the answer to the

24        question could affect whether or not I think it's

25        appropriate to temporarily pass it or not.

1             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Fine with me.

2             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  Seriously, how does this

3        operate?  You say a homestead to the extent of $200,000.

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now just a minute, that's out of

5        order.  That's on the merits.  We are going to vote

6        whether to temporarily pass it or not, debate on whether

7        to temporarily pass it or not.  My rules chairman said we

8        shouldn't even debate it, but we have been doing it.  Now

9        let's vote on it.  Are we going to temporarily pass it or

10        not?  All in favor of temporarily passing it, say aye.

11        Opposed?

12             (Verbal vote taken.)

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Take a vote.

14             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Announce the vote.

16             READING CLERK:  Twelve yeas and 11 nays,

17        Mr. Chairman.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Temporarily pass it.  That's with

19        the amendment pending.

20             We move to the next item on the special order,

21        committee substitute for Proposal 47.  Would you read it

22        please?

23             READING CLERK:  Committee substitute for proposal 47,

24        proposal to create Article VIII, Section 7, Florida

25        Constitution, and revise Article XI, Section 3, Florida

1        Constitution, providing that the power of self-government

2        of a county or municipality may not be diminished except

3        by general law, county charter, or special act approved by

4        the electors of the county or municipality.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Henderson, I guess

6        you are going to speak as the presenter here?

7             COMMISSIONER HENDERSON:  Yes, Mr. Chairman.  I see

8        this train just rolling right on down today and I want to

9        continue to be part of that train.  This is Commissioner

10        Anthony's proposal, but it's also near and dear to the

11        heart of Commissioner Nabors.  And neither of those are

12        here today, and they asked me to request the body to

13        temporarily pass this.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You know, I am almost tempted to

15        say, as an example to those who don't come to the meeting

16        that we take this up and defeat it.  Because we are going

17        to have to have better attendance, Commissioners.  And

18        people that come one day and leave the next, and there are

19        a lot of them, we are going to have to address that in

20        some form of amending the rules.  We are just not getting

21        some people to stay.  The only person that asked and said

22        he had to be excused was Commissioner Scott.

23             And I think we need to consider in the rules

24        committee some enforcement of some kind, which maybe we

25        can do better than we have been doing with the rack with

1        sanctions.  However, we are going to have to address this.

2             I'm willing to accept your motion to temporary pass

3        this time, but I'm tempted to ask the body to vote it down

4        because they are not here.  That may sound a little harsh,

5        but we have got to get people to the meeting.

6             There's a motion to temporarily pass this.  All in

7        favor say aye.  Opposed?

8             (Verbal vote taken.)

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It carries and it's passed.

10             The next item is Proposal 7.  Would you read it

11        please?

12             READING CLERK:  Proposal 7, proposal to revise

13        Article II, Section 8, Florida Constitution, authorizing

14        the Florida Commission on Ethics to investigate, on its

15        own initiative or at the request of any person, complaints

16        concerning breach of public trust by certain public

17        officers and employees.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills, you are the

19        sponsor of this.

20             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure

21        for me to move to remove this from further

22        reconsideration.  The body, Commissioner Freidin --

23        actually, Commissioner Rundle is not here.  Her proposal

24        is similar, and I would say shorter and better.  So I

25        would move to remove mine from further consideration.  And

1        Commissioner Freidin, who is on Ethics and Elections, I

2        guess the vice chair, has suggested that we get together

3        and talk about this.

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Without objection,

5        it's withdrawn.

6             Proposal 63, Commissioner Rundle is here, and she has

7        the next proposal.  Would you read the proposal?  Somebody

8        retrieve Commissioner Rundle.

9             READING CLERK:  Proposal 63, a proposal to revise

10        Article II, Section 8, Florida Constitution, to strengthen

11        the powers of the Florida Commission on Ethics.

12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Mills, in the

13        absence of Commissioner Rundle temporarily from the room,

14        can you present that?

15             COMMISSIONER MILLS:  Mr. Chairman, I think it was her

16        intention to do the thing of the day, to move to

17        temporarily pass it.  What it does is it gives the

18        authority to the Ethics Commission to investigate on its

19        own motion.  Perhaps Commissioner Freidin, who is chairing

20        the committee during the consideration, might tell you

21        more until Commissioner Rundle gets here.

22             This was actually requested by the Ethics Commission

23        sort of in response to the general concern by the citizens

24        that we needed to elevate the consideration of ethics in

25        government generally.  And this is supposed to be a very

1        straightforward way, I think it was supported by the

2        commission.  There were questions by the staff and others.

3        Commissioner Freidin has volunteered to help those of us

4        interested in this issue to work that out.

5             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Freidin.

6             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  This proposal came before the

7        ethics and elections committee, it was not voted

8        favorably, however, and here is -- now, we have stalled

9        long enough for Commissioner Rundle to come back into the

10        chamber.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Rundle, next time

12        raise your hand.

13             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Boy, pushy, pushy, pushy.  What

14        did we decide to do on this?  Okay.  When I left, moving

15        to temporarily pass was not well received by the chair.

16        We had decided this morning that that's what we would

17        prefer to do.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Then move it.

19             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  So moved.  You mean you dragged

20        me all the way out of there to go do that?

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All in favor of temporarily

22        passing, say aye.  Opposed, no.

23             (Verbal vote taken.)

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It fails -- it's temporarily

25        passed.

1             Proposal 43 by Commissioner Riley, who will not move

2        to temporary pass this I'm sure.

3             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Not now, Mr. Chairman.

4             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Read proposal 43, please.

5             READING CLERK:  Proposal 43, a proposal to revise

6        Article III, Section 15, Florida Constitution, providing

7        additional qualifications on candidates for, and members

8        of, the state Legislature.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Riley, you are

10        recognized.

11             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I

12        think the words speak for itself.  The main change that

13        this would do is that a person must not only reside in the

14        state, but must reside in the district.  And that's the

15        main change.  And they must remain in the district while

16        they are representing that district.  It seems rather

17        simple to me.  Thank you.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Questions, Commissioner Connor.

19             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Commissioner Riley, what

20        happens in the event, in the aftermath of reapportionment,

21        that new district lines are drawn and the residency, in

22        terms of the district, has been changed for a prospective

23        elective official?  Is there any -- I didn't detect any

24        consideration for that, and wondered if that's something

25        that ought not to occur for the reason that we know, that

1        in the past, Mr. Chairman, districts have been drawn with

2        great care and people have been drawn in and out of

3        districts, depending on the competition that they might

4        present and the impact that that might have on the

5        majority of a sitting body.

6             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  And that's not part of this

7        proposal, but I would be happy to entertain a motion that

8        would add an exemption to that year after apportionment.

9        We are dealing in the next 20 years then with one year out

10        of the 20.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Let me ask you this, Commissioner

12        Riley, what happens now, for example, in the year 2000

13        when we reapportion, and there's somebody that's got a

14        four-year term hanging over?  Commissioner Barnett, I

15        think you have worked on this, maybe you can answer that.

16             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I don't think I did work on

17        that.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does anybody know?  Commissioner

19        Jennings.

20             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Those of us that have been

21        there can tell you, it's over.

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I thought you had been there and

23        done that.

24             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Commissioners, what happens,

25        and the issue -- Commissioner Connor, I would not be

1        supportive of making any kind of exemption during

2        reapportionment because the other side of the issue is you

3        get a whole lot of people running against you that don't

4        live in the district, I mean, if you think about it.

5        Let's think in terms of what we are saying, and I think

6        this is an excellent proposal, because, in fact, we have

7        had situations where people do not live in the district in

8        which they run.  Eventually, sometimes they move in, but

9        we haven't been real good about policing that.

10             But through that reapportionment period, everyone is

11        back on the ballot, because it's a new district and we

12        reapportion, even if you are halfway through a term.  And

13        that's why we go to staggered terms in the Senate, because

14        of course, the House is every two years anyway.

15             The group, depending on your numbering, and it has

16        nothing to do with what you are at the moment.  For

17        example, I'll share with you in '80, when we redistricted,

18        in '82, I had run in '80, I received a number, actually,

19        the Supreme Court and Justice Sundberg on the dissenting

20        side said, Well, everybody runs.  I ran again in '82 even

21        though I ran in '80.  And then I happened to be in an odd

22        number so I ran again in '84 because -- so they had picked

23        the odd numbers would cycle in.

24             And that's exactly what happened in '90, too, as

25        well.  One decides, I guess, it was the even numbers,

1        received the districts that were two-year terms and then

2        had to run again for a four-year term.  That's why,

3        actually, we are sitting here with term limits but some

4        people got ten years of a term limit and some people only

5        got eight years.  So I've thoroughly confused the issue

6        now because I brought that into it.

7             But when we think about trying to exempt out, for

8        some reason, a period of time during reapportionment, I

9        don't think that's necessary.  But I think the issue of

10        residency within the district, whatever that district is

11        at the time of qualifying, is an appropriate avenue and I

12        think it's something long overdue.

13             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Follow-up question,

14        Mr. Chairman, on that, because I'm confused, frankly.

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Make your comment.

16             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  There's not a one-year hiatus,

17        is there, between reapportionment and the subsequent

18        election.

19             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Well, reapportionment, the

20        period, is the two years from the census to the next

21        election.  And the Legislature can, within any time during

22        those two years, keep me straight here, Commissioner

23        Thompson, do reapportionment.  But there's no hiatus

24        between reapportionment and the election.

25             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  That's my point, frankly.  And

1        I don't think what you said necessarily then occurs under

2        this language.


4             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  It strikes me that the effect

5        of drawing a prospective candidate into a new district

6        within a time frame of less than one year prior to an

7        election would have the affect of automatically, under

8        this language, disqualifying a person from standing for

9        election and I don't think that's fair.

10             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  You are then talking about

11        the two-year residency requirement, not just the pure

12        residency requirement that they live in the district; is

13        that what you are referring to?

14             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  No, I'm just referring to the

15        language, each legislator must have been an elector and a

16        resident of the district for which elected for at least

17        one year before the election.  Am I missing something

18        here?

19             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  It goes down and says, and

20        must have resided -- oh, it's just in the state, I see

21        what you mean.  Yes, that is a good point, that we would

22        have eliminated people --

23             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  From qualification to run by

24        the reapportionment process.

25             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  If somebody wanted to move

1        from where they currently were into a district that was

2        more like the district that they represented.  For

3        example, I think what you are saying is, I live in a

4        certain area and it could be easily done where my street,

5        they could leave my district entirely the same, but my

6        street where I reside currently is not in the district.

7        So the whole district, less the street that I live on.

8             And it is a new district, so I want to move to the

9        next street over into the district that I've represented

10        for 20 years but I haven't lived on that street in that

11        district for a year.

12             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  And you haven't lived in the

13        new one either for a year.

14             COMMISSIONER JENNINGS:  Right.

15             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  That is the problem that I see,

16        Mr. Chairman.

17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is there any amendment that you

18        want to suggest to deal with that?

19             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Given some time, I think there

20        would be an amendment we could come up with.  If I

21        understand the Chair, you are going to adjourn at

22        one o'clock in all events.

23             But my concern is just that, is that somebody with

24        less than admirable motives could through the

25        reapportionment process effectively foreclose a potential

1        candidate from being qualified to run in any district by

2        virtue of the redistricting that took place.

3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  The secretary suggested that we

4        could TP it.

5             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  I didn't dare move that,

6        Mr. Chairman.

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Barnett, before he

8        moves that I think you wanted to comment.

9             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I have a question as well and

10        mine is far less complicated than the one we just heard

11        discussed.  It goes to the rationale for this proposal.  I

12        would like Commissioner Riley or someone to tell me how

13        pervasive or problematic is the situation where a person

14        does not live in the district for a year.  I mean, is this

15        a problem that is creating public policy issues or

16        representational issues or is it an isolated incident?  I

17        just need more information about it.  Can anybody give me

18        that information?

19             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Since we are going to make

20        a motion to TP, would that be sufficient?

21             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  No, I would just like the

22        answer.  If there is not one, I'd like it developed while

23        the process is, while we are temporarily passing it.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  I direct it to Commissioner Riley

25        as sponsor.

1             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  I don't have a number for you.

2        I would just remind you this is a public proposal and

3        comes from the public who saw this as a problem and we

4        heard it in more places than one.  But I don't have a

5        number.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  One of the reasons I'm kind of

7        rushing this is we only have two more to go and we have

8        nine minutes.  So I was trying to get this one out of the

9        way if we're not going to vote on it today.  Commissioner

10        Hawkes.

11             COMMISSIONER HAWKES:  If I may respond to

12        Commissioner Barnett's question.  I do think that it

13        occurs.  Now I don't know if it's a problem.

14             Representative Feeney ran in a special election.  The

15        man he ran against grew up in that district, his dad, his

16        uncle, his parents had all lived in that district, but

17        technically he lived a couple of blocks outside the

18        district and he had to move a couple of blocks to live in

19        the district.  It was certainly discussed during the

20        campaign.  The voters were aware of that.  I mean, he

21        lost, but it's something that the voters are able to

22        discuss.

23             In the last special election with Representative

24        Tomargo and Kathy Martinez, Kathy Martinez grew up in that

25        area, she knew Elvin Martinez for years and years and

1        years, played with his children, had moved back to Tampa,

2        but hadn't been there for a year, and she ran.  She didn't

3        win either, but, I mean -- well, I mean, but it doesn't

4        mean that she should not be allowed to run and offer her

5        services.  And although it happens, what I'm trying to

6        suggest is I don't think it is a problem.  And I think we

7        can vote on this and I would recommend that we vote

8        against it.  Thank you.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  So did you move to TP it,

10        Commissioner Connor?

11             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  No, Mr. Chairman, I did not

12        move to TP it.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has there been a motion to

14        temporarily pass it?  If not, then we'll proceed.  If

15        there is any further debate -- Commissioner Butterworth.

16             COMMISSIONER BUTTERWORTH:  As an opponent, I believe

17        that the voter has a right to choose who they want to

18        represent them and then they should live in the district

19        afterwards.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are speaking as an opponent;

21        is that correct?


23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Ford-Coates.

24             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  I speak in favor of the

25        proposal.  And we have had numerous instances in our

1        county where people moved into the district, ran against

2        my state representative, were defeated and moved out of

3        the district.  It's happened to my representative several

4        times in a row.  So it certainly does exist, especially in

5        the counties that have a significant minority party with

6        actually a representative from that minority party.

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Sundberg, one

8        minute.

9             COMMISSIONER SUNDBERG:  I would like to speak in

10        favor of this proposal, even though it perhaps needs some

11        more tweaking because in the city of Tallahassee, we have

12        had an instance not only where they moved in, lost and

13        moved out, they moved in, won and moved out.

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That is a good legal question

15        though.  Commissioner Connor, are you an opponent or

16        proponent?

17             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Opponent.

18             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Try to make it very short.

19             COMMISSIONER CONNOR:  Mr. Chairman, I speak in

20        opposition to the proposal because of the abuse that I

21        believe can and will arise out of the current legislative

22        redistricting process.  I believe the voters can very

23        effectively control this issue, if they deem it to be a

24        problem.  But we have seen the Legislature in the past

25        draw district lines with great care and thought about the

1        level and measure of competition that may exist in a given

2        district, and draw district lines to account for that.

3             And the effect of this would be to give the

4        Legislature a club that would effectively disqualify a

5        potential opponent by virtue of the way in which they drew

6        the district lines and as a result of which, that person

7        would not be able to qualify in any district for the

8        upcoming election cycle.  I think that's wrong.

9             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Is there any further debate on

10        the issue?  If not, we will vote.  Oh, you want to debate

11        it?  Commissioner Freidin.

12             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  I'm sorry, sir, this will take

13        a very short time.  I just wanted to point out to the

14        commissioners that this proposal really has two effects.

15        First of all, it has the one-year prior requirement, but

16        the other thing is that it adds a provision that the

17        legislator must remain an elector of the resident -- of

18        the district during the entire term of office, which does

19        not, is not clearly in the Constitution at the present

20        time.

21             So it may be that this is something that should be

22        split up, it should be amended, whatever.

23             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Are you ready to

24        vote?  Then we shall vote.

25             Has everybody voted?  All right.  Announce the vote.

1             READING CLERK:  Six yeas and 16 nays, Mr. Chairman.

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  We have two more items, Proposal

3        82 by Commissioner Corr.  Would you read it?  Commissioner

4        Barkdull.

5             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I have a motion to make.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Make it.

7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Motion to reconsider the vote

8        by which the commission adopted Proposition 87 as it

9        related to magistrate's courts yesterday.  Leave it

10        pending.

11             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Leave it pending.  All right.

12        Proposal -- Commissioner Barkdull.

13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I have another motion to make

14        that has been expressed around here that they would like

15        to finish the calendar today.  We are scheduled to leave

16        at one o'clock and if we do not extend it, we will leave

17        at one o'clock.  I move that we make the time of

18        adjournment at the completion of the special order

19        calendar.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  And announcements.

21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  And announcements.

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  All in favor say aye.

23        All opposed.

24             (Verbal vote taken.)

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  It will be extended.

1             Proposal 82, please read.

2             READING CLERK:  Proposal 82, a proposal to amend

3        Article VI, Section 5, Florida Constitution, providing

4        that all candidates for election be listed on election

5        ballots.

6             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Is there anybody here

7        to present this for the committee?  Commissioner Freidin,

8        it was disapproved.

9             COMMISSIONER FREIDIN:  This was disapproved by the

10        committee, I see that Commissioner Corr is not here.

11        However --

12             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Well, is everybody ready to vote

13        on this?  I think probably they are.  Open the machines.

14             SECRETARY BLANTON:  Did you read it?

15             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Yeah, he read it.

16             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

17             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Everybody voted.  Announce the

18        vote.

19             READING CLERK:  Zero yeas and 22 nays, Mr. Chairman.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Okay.  Proposal 48, would you

21        read it?

22             READING CLERK:  Proposal 48, proposal to revise

23        Article VII, Section 18, Florida Constitution, providing

24        that local governments are not bound by certain state

25        legislative mandates.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Ford-Coates, this

2        was disapproved by the committee; is that right?

3             COMMISSIONER FORD-COATES:  That's correct.  The local

4        government committee had a unanimous vote to disapprove or

5        unanimous vote not to approve this proposal.  And

6        Commissioner Anthony is not here to ask about it.  So --

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That is the way it goes.

8        Everybody ready to vote?  All right, let's vote.

9             (Vote taken and recorded electronically.)

10             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Has everybody voted?  Announce

11        the vote.

12             READING CLERK:  Zero yeas and 21 nays, Mr. Chairman.

13             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That concludes the special order

14        and it's two minutes until 1:00.  Announcements.

15             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Mr. Chairman, members of the

16        Commission, I want to once again caution you about the

17        deadline of November 25th on your proposals.  And I want

18        to also call your attention to those that moved public

19        proposals, unless you sign a yellow jacket, they will not

20        be formally presented as a proposal.

21             We had requested yesterday, if you had done that, to

22        consider withdrawing them, we have had no such request.

23        But we are in the posture now that if you do not actually

24        sign a yellow jacket for a public proposal which you have

25        moved, it will not be before the body.

1             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.  Everybody has got

2        that?  Commissioner Barnett, you were up.

3             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  I have a question to ask of

4        Commissioner Barkdull about the public proposals.  I am a

5        little confused on the process by which the language

6        implementing those public proposals is coming back to the

7        commissioners.  I have a particular issue that I've talked

8        with the staff about.

9             I thought that the -- many of us supported a public

10        proposal so that it could be debated by the commission,

11        brought forward by the commission.  And I thought that the

12        staff, unless we notified them, was going to prepare the

13        language and return the language and the jacket to the

14        commissioner to sign.

15             I'm now told that on at least one issue I was

16        involved in, when I asked today about where the language

17        was, that it had not been drafted and that the deadline

18        for it being considered as a public proposal had passed,

19        the October 10 deadline had passed, and it could not be

20        considered as a public proposal because I didn't have the

21        language or the jacket.  Now, I would have done that had I

22        known I had to have it in as a public proposal.

23             Now of course, it can be an individual member

24        proposal.  But on some of these issues, I think that it's

25        important that it be presented from the source from which

1        it came and that was rising up from the public as opposed

2        to just a commissioner.  So I am -- I would like a ruling

3        from you on the question of if these were -- if on the

4        public proposals where commissioners by sufficient

5        majority vote agreed to bring that forward to the

6        commission --

7             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  All right.

8             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Wait a minute, I haven't

9        finished my question.  I wanted to make sure the rules

10        chairman was listening to me and he was conferring with

11        the staff.  On the public proposals where by a majority

12        vote the commission agreed to come forward, even though

13        there has not been a jacket by the 10th and even though

14        there is no language, it can still go forward for

15        consideration as a public proposal.

16             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  If it received the ten votes

17        and went to bill drafting, it should have come back to you

18        to be signed, or to whoever the movant was of the yellow

19        jacket.  If there is such a public proposal that received

20        the ten votes, it will be prepared and will be submitted

21        by the 25th to be signed and will be before the body --

22             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  As a public proposal?

23             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  -- as a public proposal.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Does that answer your question,

25        Commissioner Barnett?

1             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Yes.

2             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Commissioner Riley, do you have a

3        question?

4             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  No, Mr. Chairman, I would like

5        to withdraw support for a public proposal.  Would that be

6        appropriate?

7             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  You need unanimous consent to

8        withdraw one.

9             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Correct.

10             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Tell us the number.

11             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  It doesn't have a number.  I

12        have the --

13             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  What's the style?

14             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  It's the specifics on the state

15        income tax, it's unnecessary and it was done really as an

16        emphasis more than as a specific change to the

17        Constitution.

18             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Is this on income tax?

19             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  It's on no income tax, it is not

20        a necessary --

21             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Read what it is.

22             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Read what it is?

23             SECRETARY BLANTON:  She can give us the draft number,

24        it's on there.

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Give us the draft number.  It's

1        got a number on it.

2             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  It's CRC 28-56-PR, public.

3             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Now, does anybody know what that

4        is?  Commissioner Barnett, do you?

5             COMMISSIONER BARNETT:  Well, I think I do.  Actually,

6        this is fun.  Commissioner Riley showed this to me and

7        asked me whether I thought it was necessary.  She said

8        that there are a lot of people who want to make a public

9        statement, there will be no personal income tax.  And I

10        said, well, I think the Constitution already does that.

11             And I looked at the language that the staff drafted,

12        and there are many people who may want to keep this

13        proposal, because not only does it reaffirm the position

14        that there will be no personal income tax, it repeals the

15        corporate income tax.

16             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  You are withdrawing it; is that

17        right?

18             COMMISSIONER RILEY:  Yes, Mr. Chairman, but it's here

19        if anybody else wants to pick it up.

20             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, it is

21        withdrawn.  You can introduce it yourself, Commissioner

22        Barnett.  Without objection, it is withdrawn.

23             Commissioner Barkdull.

24             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  I move that we recess --

25             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Wait a minute, before you recess.

1        The select committee that is going to consider the Article

2        V cost issue will be chaired by Commissioner Mills, and

3        the committee will consist of Commissioners Thompson,

4        Planas, Ford-Coates and Butterworth.  And they will meet

5        at the call of the chairman.

6             Commissioner Rundle, did you have --

7             COMMISSIONER RUNDLE:  Yes, sir, just a real quick

8        question.  When you were describing with Commissioner

9        Brochin today the process of the proposals going back and

10        coming back to drafting and then coming back to us in

11        grouping form, do you expect that we will consider those

12        final proposals after the public hearings or before the

13        public hearings?

14             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  That will be decided later by the

15        rules and administration committee.  Probably after, but

16        that still remains to be seen.  We'll not have over two or

17        three public hearings, is my understanding from the rules

18        committee.

19             Anything further?  If not, I'll recognize

20        Commissioner Barkdull.

21             COMMISSIONER BARKDULL:  Sir, I do move you now that

22        we recess until the hour of 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December

23        the 9th.

24             CHAIRMAN DOUGLASS:  Without objection, we'll adjourn

25        until December the 9th.

1             (Hearing adjourned at 1:05 p.m.)

























1                             CERTIFICATE

5   Reporters, certify that we were authorized to and did
    stenographically report the foregoing proceedings and that the
6   transcript is a true and complete record of our stenographic
                        DATED this ______ day of ____________, 1997.


10                      ___________________________________
                        MONA L. WHIDDON


13                      ____________________________________
                        JULIE L. DOHERTY, RPR
14                      Court Reporters
                        Division of Administrative Hearings
15                      1230 Apalachee Parkway
                        Tallahassee, Florida  32399-3060
16                      (904) 488-9675   Suncom 278-9675