The 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) is the third of its kind in Florida history.
In 1968, Florida voters ratified three separate amendments rewriting significant portions of the Florida Constitution. One of those amendments included a provision requiring a CRC to convene and examine the Florida Constitution once every twenty years for possible changes, beginning in 1977. The first CRC convened in 1977-1978 and the second CRC convened in 1997-1998.
The 1977-1978 CRC, chaired by Sandy D’Alemberte, placed eight proposed constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot for voter consideration. None of the proposals were passed by Florida voters. However, proposals similar to the Commission’s proposed changes were adopted in later years as part of the Florida Constitution or statute law, either by citizen ballot initiative or by legislative proposal.
The 1997-1998 CRC, chaired by Dexter Douglass, placed nine proposed constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot for voter consideration. Eight were passed by Florida voters. In 1998, CRC proposals required a simple majority to be passed by Florida voters (more than 50 percent). As of 2006, at least 60 percent of the vote is required to pass a constitutional amendment.
The 2017-2018 CRC, chaired by Carlos Beruff, held its organization meeting on March 20, 2017, and must complete its work by May 10, 2018, which is the deadline to submit its final report to the Florida Secretary of State. Since the last CRC convened in 1997-1998, Florida’s population has grown by more than 5 million people and access to social media and the Internet has created a historic level of public input.