CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BATTLE - Mitch Perry

03/23/04

INTRO: After the passage of the Small Class Size Amendment, the High Speed Rail Amendment, and the initiative best known as Pregnant Pigs, there has been anger by Governor Jeb Bush and other state leaders, that the Constitutional Initiative Process MUST be reformed.

Earlier this month, the Senate's Ethics and Elections Committee voted to curtail the way the process currently works...Once a bill comes out of the legislature, the public will vote on these changes - but maybe in August, and NOT in November.....

The State's Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded a coalition, calling themselves Vote Smart Florida.Org, which is advocating these changes...But there has been little support inside the state, to maintain the citizens initiative process.

One of those "out of state" groups that the Chamber has derided, the Virginia based Citizens in Charge, works to expand the Citizen Initiative Process, and to maintain the process in certain states - like in Florida.

This morning, that group's Executive Director, Paul Jacob, came to the WMNF studios to speak out AGAINST theses moves in the Legislature....We began our interview

By asking him about the first of 3 bills passed by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee...That bill - S2392, would raise the vote higher for passage, from 50% +1 to a 60% margin in the popular vote (roll tape#1 o.q." that's our purpose")

That was Paul Jacob, from the group Citizens in Charge, speaking against the proposed curtailment of the citizen's initiative process.

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