Florida Senate - 2020                             CS for SB 1794
       By the Committee on Ethics and Elections; and Senator Hutson
       582-02659-20                                          20201794c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to constitutional amendments proposed
    3         by initiative; amending s. 15.21, F.S.; requiring the
    4         Secretary of State to submit an initiative petition to
    5         the Legislature when a certain amount of signatures
    6         are obtained; amending s. 16.061, F.S.; requiring the
    7         Attorney General to request the Supreme Court to
    8         address in an advisory opinion the specific validity
    9         of the proposed amendment under the United States
   10         Constitution; amending s. 100.371, F.S.; providing
   11         that a citizen may challenge a petition circulator’s
   12         failure to register with the Secretary of State;
   13         authorizing the Division of Elections or a supervisor
   14         of elections to provide petition forms in a certain
   15         electronic format; revising the length of time that a
   16         signature on a petition form is valid; requiring a
   17         supervisor to charge the actual cost of verifying
   18         petition forms; requiring the Department of State to
   19         adopt certain rules; revising the circumstances under
   20         which a petition form is deemed valid; requiring the
   21         Secretary of State to submit a copy of an initiative
   22         petition to the Financial Impact Estimating
   23         Conference; requiring the Financial Impact Estimating
   24         Conference to analyze the financial impact to the
   25         state of a proposed initiative; requiring certain
   26         ballot language based on the findings of the Financial
   27         Impact Estimating Conference; authorizing the use of
   28         legislative staff to analyze the effects of a citizen
   29         initiative under certain circumstances; amending s.
   30         101.161, F.S.; requiring that ballots containing
   31         constitutional amendments proposed by initiative
   32         include certain disclosures and statements; defining
   33         the term “person”; amending s. 101.171, F.S.;
   34         requiring that a copy of the amendment text be made
   35         available in each voting booth; amending s. 106.07,
   36         F.S.; requiring a political committee sponsoring an
   37         initiative to disclose certain information in campaign
   38         finance reports; defining the term “person”; providing
   39         applicability; providing for severability; providing
   40         an effective date.
   42  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   44         Section 1. Section 15.21, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   45  read:
   46         15.21 Initiative petitions; s. 3, Art. XI, State
   47  Constitution.—The Secretary of State shall immediately submit an
   48  initiative petition to the Attorney General, the President of
   49  the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and
   50  to the Financial Impact Estimating Conference if the sponsor
   51  has:
   52         (1) Registered as a political committee pursuant to s.
   53  106.03;
   54         (2) Submitted the ballot title, substance, and text of the
   55  proposed revision or amendment to the Secretary of State
   56  pursuant to ss. 100.371 and 101.161; and
   57         (3) Obtained a letter from the Division of Elections
   58  confirming that the sponsor has submitted to the appropriate
   59  supervisors for verification, and the supervisors have verified,
   60  forms signed and dated equal to 50 10 percent of the number of
   61  electors statewide and in at least one-fourth of the
   62  congressional districts required by s. 3, Art. XI of the State
   63  Constitution.
   64         Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 16.061, Florida
   65  Statutes, is amended to read:
   66         16.061 Initiative petitions.—
   67         (1) The Attorney General shall, within 30 days after
   68  receipt of a proposed revision or amendment to the State
   69  Constitution by initiative petition from the Secretary of State,
   70  petition the Supreme Court, requesting an advisory opinion
   71  regarding the compliance of the text of the proposed amendment
   72  or revision with s. 3, Art. XI of the State Constitution,
   73  whether the proposed amendment is facially invalid under the
   74  United States Constitution, and the compliance of the proposed
   75  ballot title and substance with s. 101.161. The petition may
   76  enumerate any specific factual issues that the Attorney General
   77  believes would require a judicial determination.
   78         Section 3. Subsections (3), (6), (11), and (13) of section
   79  100.371, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   80         100.371 Initiatives; procedure for placement on ballot.—
   81         (3)(a) A person may not collect signatures or initiative
   82  petitions for compensation unless the person is registered as a
   83  petition circulator with the Secretary of State.
   84         (b)A citizen may challenge a petition circulator’s
   85  registration under this section by filing a petition in circuit
   86  court. If the court finds that the respondent is not a
   87  registered petition circulator, the court may enjoin the
   88  respondent from collecting signatures or initiative petitions
   89  for compensation until she or he is lawfully registered.
   90         (6) The division or the supervisor of elections shall make
   91  hard copy petition forms or electronic portable document format
   92  petition forms available to registered petition circulators. All
   93  such forms must contain information identifying the petition
   94  circulator to which the forms are provided. The division shall
   95  maintain a database of all registered petition circulators and
   96  the petition forms assigned to each. Each supervisor of
   97  elections shall provide to the division information on petition
   98  forms assigned to and received from petition circulators. The
   99  information must be provided in a format and at times as
  100  required by the division by rule. The division must update
  101  information on petition forms daily and make the information
  102  publicly available.
  103         (11) An initiative petition form circulated for signature
  104  may not be bundled with or attached to any other petition. Each
  105  signature shall be dated when made and shall be valid until the
  106  next February 1 occurring in an even-numbered year for the
  107  purpose of appearing on the ballot for the general election
  108  occurring in that same year for a period of 2 years following
  109  such date, provided all other requirements of law are met. The
  110  sponsor shall submit signed and dated forms to the supervisor of
  111  elections for the county of residence listed by the person
  112  signing the form for verification of the number of valid
  113  signatures obtained. If a signature on a petition is from a
  114  registered voter in another county, the supervisor shall notify
  115  the petition sponsor of the misfiled petition. The supervisor
  116  shall promptly verify the signatures within 30 days after
  117  receipt of the petition forms and payment of a the fee for the
  118  actual cost of signature verification incurred by the supervisor
  119  required by s. 99.097. The Department of State shall adopt rules
  120  to set the cost to verify a petition under this subsection and
  121  update the cost annually. The supervisor shall promptly record,
  122  in the manner prescribed by the Secretary of State, the date
  123  each form is received by the supervisor, and the date the
  124  signature on the form is verified as valid. The supervisor may
  125  verify that the signature on a form is valid only if:
  126         (a) The form contains the original signature of the
  127  purported elector.
  128         (b) The purported elector has accurately recorded on the
  129  form the date on which he or she signed the form.
  130         (c) The form sets forth the purported elector’s name,
  131  address, city, county, and voter registration number or date of
  132  birth.
  133         (d) The purported elector is, at the time he or she signs
  134  the form and at the time the form is verified, a duly qualified
  135  and registered elector in the state.
  136         (e)The signature was obtained legally, including that if a
  137  paid petition circulator was used, the circulator was validly
  138  registered under subsection (3) when the signature was obtained.
  140  The supervisor shall retain the signature forms for at least 1
  141  year following the election in which the issue appeared on the
  142  ballot or until the Division of Elections notifies the
  143  supervisors of elections that the committee that circulated the
  144  petition is no longer seeking to obtain ballot position.
  145         (13)(a) At the same time the Secretary of State submits an
  146  initiative petition to the Attorney General, the President of
  147  the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  148  pursuant to s. 15.21, the secretary shall submit a copy of the
  149  initiative petition to the Financial Impact Estimating
  150  Conference. Within 75 days after receipt of a proposed revision
  151  or amendment to the State Constitution by initiative petition
  152  from the Secretary of State, the Financial Impact Estimating
  153  Conference shall complete an analysis and financial impact
  154  statement to be placed on the ballot of the estimated increase
  155  or decrease in any revenues or costs to state or local
  156  governments, estimated economic impact on the state and local
  157  economy, and the overall impact to the state budget resulting
  158  from the proposed initiative. The 75-day time limit is tolled
  159  when the Legislature is in session. The Financial Impact
  160  Estimating Conference shall submit the financial impact
  161  statement to the Attorney General and Secretary of State.
  162         (b) Immediately upon receipt of a proposed revision or
  163  amendment from the Secretary of State, the coordinator of the
  164  Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall contact the
  165  person identified as the sponsor to request an official list of
  166  all persons authorized to speak on behalf of the named sponsor
  167  and, if there is one, the sponsoring organization at meetings
  168  held by the Financial Impact Estimating Conference. All other
  169  persons shall be deemed interested parties or proponents or
  170  opponents of the initiative. The Financial Impact Estimating
  171  Conference shall provide an opportunity for any representatives
  172  of the sponsor, interested parties, proponents, or opponents of
  173  the initiative to submit information and may solicit information
  174  or analysis from any other entities or agencies, including the
  175  Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
  176         (c) All meetings of the Financial Impact Estimating
  177  Conference shall be open to the public. The President of the
  178  Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, jointly,
  179  shall be the sole judge for the interpretation, implementation,
  180  and enforcement of this subsection.
  181         1. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference is
  182  established to review, analyze, and estimate the financial
  183  impact of amendments to or revisions of the State Constitution
  184  proposed by initiative. The Financial Impact Estimating
  185  Conference shall consist of four principals: one person from the
  186  Executive Office of the Governor; the coordinator of the Office
  187  of Economic and Demographic Research, or his or her designee;
  188  one person from the professional staff of the Senate; and one
  189  person from the professional staff of the House of
  190  Representatives. Each principal shall have appropriate fiscal
  191  expertise in the subject matter of the initiative. A Financial
  192  Impact Estimating Conference may be appointed for each
  193  initiative.
  194         2. Principals of the Financial Impact Estimating Conference
  195  shall reach a consensus or majority concurrence on a clear and
  196  unambiguous financial impact statement, no more than 150 words
  197  in length, and immediately submit the statement to the Attorney
  198  General. Nothing in this subsection prohibits the Financial
  199  Impact Estimating Conference from setting forth a range of
  200  potential impacts in the financial impact statement. Any
  201  financial impact statement that a court finds not to be in
  202  accordance with this section shall be remanded solely to the
  203  Financial Impact Estimating Conference for redrafting. The
  204  Financial Impact Estimating Conference shall redraft the
  205  financial impact statement within 15 days.
  206         3. If the members of the Financial Impact Estimating
  207  Conference are unable to agree on the statement required by this
  208  subsection, or if the Supreme Court has rejected the initial
  209  submission by the Financial Impact Estimating Conference and no
  210  redraft has been approved by the Supreme Court by 5 p.m. on the
  211  75th day before the election, the following statement shall
  212  appear on the ballot pursuant to s. 101.161(1): “The financial
  213  impact of this measure, if any, has not been cannot be
  214  reasonably determined at this time.”
  215         (d) The financial impact statement must be separately
  216  contained and be set forth after the ballot summary as required
  217  in s. 101.161(1).
  218         1. If the financial impact statement projects a net
  219  estimates increased costs, decreased revenues, a negative impact
  220  on the state budget or local economy, or an indeterminate impact
  221  for any of these areas, the ballot must include the a statement
  222  required by s. 101.161(1)(d) indicating such estimated effect in
  223  bold font.
  224         2.If the financial impact statement estimates an
  225  indeterminate financial impact, the ballot must include the
  226  statement required by s. 101.161(1)(e).
  227         3.If the members of the Financial Impact Estimating
  228  Conference are unable to agree on the statement required by this
  229  subsection, the ballot must include the statement required by s.
  230  101.161(1)(f).
  231         (e)1. Any financial impact statement that the Supreme Court
  232  finds not to be in accordance with this subsection shall be
  233  remanded solely to the Financial Impact Estimating Conference
  234  for redrafting, provided the court’s advisory opinion is
  235  rendered at least 75 days before the election at which the
  236  question of ratifying the amendment will be presented. The
  237  Financial Impact Estimating Conference shall prepare and adopt a
  238  revised financial impact statement no later than 5 p.m. on the
  239  15th day after the date of the court’s opinion.
  240         2. If, by 5 p.m. on the 75th day before the election, the
  241  Supreme Court has not issued an advisory opinion on the initial
  242  financial impact statement prepared by the Financial Impact
  243  Estimating Conference for an initiative amendment that otherwise
  244  meets the legal requirements for ballot placement, the financial
  245  impact statement shall be deemed approved for placement on the
  246  ballot.
  247         3. In addition to the financial impact statement required
  248  by this subsection, the Financial Impact Estimating Conference
  249  shall draft an initiative financial information statement. The
  250  initiative financial information statement should describe in
  251  greater detail than the financial impact statement any projected
  252  increase or decrease in revenues or costs that the state or
  253  local governments would likely experience and the estimated
  254  economic impact on the state and local economy if the ballot
  255  measure were approved. If appropriate, the initiative financial
  256  information statement may include both estimated dollar amounts
  257  and a description placing the estimated dollar amounts into
  258  context. The initiative financial information statement must
  259  include both a summary of not more than 500 words and additional
  260  detailed information that includes the assumptions that were
  261  made to develop the financial impacts, workpapers, and any other
  262  information deemed relevant by the Financial Impact Estimating
  263  Conference.
  264         4. The Department of State shall have printed, and shall
  265  furnish to each supervisor of elections, a copy of the summary
  266  from the initiative financial information statements. The
  267  supervisors shall have the summary from the initiative financial
  268  information statements available at each polling place and at
  269  the main office of the supervisor of elections upon request.
  270         5. The Secretary of State and the Office of Economic and
  271  Demographic Research shall make available on the Internet each
  272  initiative financial information statement in its entirety. In
  273  addition, each supervisor of elections whose office has a
  274  website shall post the summary from each initiative financial
  275  information statement on the website. Each supervisor shall
  276  include a copy of each summary from the initiative financial
  277  information statements and the Internet addresses for the
  278  information statements on the Secretary of State’s and the
  279  Office of Economic and Demographic Research’s websites in the
  280  publication or mailing required by s. 101.20.
  281         (f)When the Secretary of State submits a proposed
  282  initiative petition to the President of the Senate and the
  283  Speaker of the House of Representatives pursuant to s. 15.21,
  284  the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
  285  Representatives may direct legislative staff to prepare an
  286  analysis of the petition. Such analysis may include, but is not
  287  limited to, whether the amendment has undefined terms, conflicts
  288  with an existing provision of the State Constitution, or will
  289  cause unintended consequences or economic impacts.
  290         Section 4. Subsection (1) of section 101.161, Florida
  291  Statutes, is amended to read:
  292         101.161 Referenda; ballots.—
  293         (1) Whenever a constitutional amendment or other public
  294  measure is submitted to the vote of the people, a ballot summary
  295  of such amendment or other public measure shall be printed in
  296  clear and unambiguous language on the ballot after the list of
  297  candidates, followed by the word “yes” and also by the word
  298  “no,” and shall be styled in such a manner that a “yes” vote
  299  will indicate approval of the proposal and a “no” vote will
  300  indicate rejection. The ballot summary of the amendment or other
  301  public measure and the ballot title to appear on the ballot
  302  shall be embodied in the constitutional revision commission
  303  proposal, constitutional convention proposal, taxation and
  304  budget reform commission proposal, or enabling resolution or
  305  ordinance. The ballot summary of the amendment or other public
  306  measure shall be an explanatory statement, not exceeding 75
  307  words in length, of the chief purpose of the measure. In
  308  addition, for every constitutional amendment proposed by
  309  initiative, the ballot shall include, following the ballot
  310  summary, in the following order:
  311         (a)The name of the initiative’s sponsor and the percentage
  312  of total contributions obtained by the sponsor from in-state
  313  persons. For purposes of this subparagraph, “person” has the
  314  same meaning as provided in s. 106.011(14), except that the term
  315  does not include a political party, an affiliated party
  316  committee, or a political committee.
  317         (b)Whether out-of-state petition circulators were used to
  318  obtain signatures for ballot placement.
  319         (c) A separate financial impact statement concerning the
  320  measure prepared by the Financial Impact Estimating Conference
  321  in accordance with s. 100.371(13) s. 100.371(5).
  322         (d)If the financial impact statement projects a net
  323  negative impact on the state budget, the following statement in
  324  bold print:
  332         (e)If the financial impact statement is indeterminate, the
  333  following statement in bold print:
  339         (f)If the members of the Financial Impact Estimating
  340  Conference are unable to agree on the financial impact
  341  statement, the following statement in bold print:
  348         CONSTITUTION.
  350  The ballot title shall consist of a caption, not exceeding 15
  351  words in length, by which the measure is commonly referred to or
  352  spoken of. This subsection does not apply to constitutional
  353  amendments or revisions proposed by joint resolution.
  354         Section 5. Section 101.171, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  355  read:
  356         101.171 Copy of constitutional amendment to be available at
  357  voting locations.—Whenever any amendment to the State
  358  Constitution is to be voted upon at any election, the Department
  359  of State shall have printed and shall furnish to each supervisor
  360  of elections a sufficient number of copies of the amendment
  361  either in poster or booklet form, and the supervisor shall
  362  provide have a copy in thereof conspicuously posted or available
  363  at each voting booth polling room or early voting area upon the
  364  day of election.
  365         Section 6. Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of section
  366  106.07, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  367         106.07 Reports; certification and filing.—
  368         (4)(a) Except for daily reports, to which only the
  369  contributions provisions below apply, and except as provided in
  370  paragraph (b), each report required by this section must
  371  contain:
  372         1. The full name, address, and occupation, if any, of each
  373  person who has made one or more contributions to or for such
  374  committee or candidate within the reporting period, together
  375  with the amount and date of such contributions. For
  376  corporations, the report must provide as clear a description as
  377  practicable of the principal type of business conducted by the
  378  corporation. However, if the contribution is $100 or less or is
  379  from a relative, as defined in s. 112.312, provided that the
  380  relationship is reported, the occupation of the contributor or
  381  the principal type of business need not be listed.
  382         2. The name and address of each political committee from
  383  which the reporting committee or the candidate received, or to
  384  which the reporting committee or candidate made, any transfer of
  385  funds, together with the amounts and dates of all transfers.
  386         3. Each loan for campaign purposes to or from any person or
  387  political committee within the reporting period, together with
  388  the full names, addresses, and occupations, and principal places
  389  of business, if any, of the lender and endorsers, if any, and
  390  the date and amount of such loans.
  391         4. A statement of each contribution, rebate, refund, or
  392  other receipt not otherwise listed under subparagraphs 1.
  393  through 3.
  394         5. The total sums of all loans, in-kind contributions, and
  395  other receipts by or for such committee or candidate during the
  396  reporting period. The reporting forms shall be designed to
  397  elicit separate totals for in-kind contributions, loans, and
  398  other receipts.
  399         6. The full name and address of each person to whom
  400  expenditures have been made by or on behalf of the committee or
  401  candidate within the reporting period; the amount, date, and
  402  purpose of each such expenditure; and the name and address of,
  403  and office sought by, each candidate on whose behalf such
  404  expenditure was made. However, expenditures made from the petty
  405  cash fund provided by s. 106.12 need not be reported
  406  individually.
  407         7. The full name and address of each person to whom an
  408  expenditure for personal services, salary, or reimbursement for
  409  authorized expenses as provided in s. 106.021(3) has been made
  410  and which is not otherwise reported, including the amount, date,
  411  and purpose of such expenditure. However, expenditures made from
  412  the petty cash fund provided for in s. 106.12 need not be
  413  reported individually. Receipts for reimbursement for authorized
  414  expenditures shall be retained by the treasurer along with the
  415  records for the campaign account.
  416         8. The total amount withdrawn and the total amount spent
  417  for petty cash purposes pursuant to this chapter during the
  418  reporting period.
  419         9. The total sum of expenditures made by such committee or
  420  candidate during the reporting period.
  421         10. The amount and nature of debts and obligations owed by
  422  or to the committee or candidate, which relate to the conduct of
  423  any political campaign.
  424         11. Transaction information for each credit card purchase.
  425  Receipts for each credit card purchase shall be retained by the
  426  treasurer with the records for the campaign account.
  427         12. The amount and nature of any separate interest-bearing
  428  accounts or certificates of deposit and identification of the
  429  financial institution in which such accounts or certificates of
  430  deposit are located.
  431         13. The primary purposes of an expenditure made indirectly
  432  through a campaign treasurer pursuant to s. 106.021(3) for goods
  433  and services such as communications media placement or
  434  procurement services, campaign signs, insurance, and other
  435  expenditures that include multiple components as part of the
  436  expenditure. The primary purpose of an expenditure shall be that
  437  purpose, including integral and directly related components,
  438  that comprises 80 percent of such expenditure.
  439         14.If filed by a political committee supporting an
  440  initiative, the percentage of total contributions obtained
  441  during the reporting period from in-state persons. For purposes
  442  of this subparagraph, the term “person” has the same meaning as
  443  provided in s. 106.011, except that the term does not include a
  444  political party as provided in s. 103.091, an affiliated party
  445  committee as provided in s. 103.092, or a political committee as
  446  defined in s. 106.011.
  447         Section 7. The provisions of this act apply to all
  448  revisions or amendments to the State Constitution by initiative
  449  that are proposed for the 2020 election ballot and each ballot
  450  thereafter; provided, however, that nothing in this act affects
  451  the validity of any petition form gathered before the effective
  452  date of this act or any contract entered into before the
  453  effective date of this act.
  454         Section 8. If any provision of this act or its application
  455  to any person or circumstance is held invalid for any reason,
  456  the remaining portion of this act, to the fullest extent
  457  possible, shall be severed from the void portion and given the
  458  fullest possible force and application.
  459         Section 9. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.