Recently, I convinced my husband, Ed, to come up to Tallahassee with me for the “State of the State” reception at the Governor’s mansion.
It was very exciting; however, we had waited in line for almost an hour, to shake hands with the Governor and First Lady, when a secret service man told me we weren’t going to make the cut. The line was cut off one person in front of me!
“You’re kidding? That’s a bummer.” I thought. “Maybe they’ve had enough of my controversial Constitution Revision Commission environmental proposals? Perhaps I’ve been put on the Affiliated Industries of Florida’s blacklist? Just chance? Hmmm. I can handle it, but poor Ed!”
I tried to negotiate with the secret service man. He was not budging.
While I moped, Ed seemed unaffected, rolled his eyes, smiled, and headed for the bar.
I, on the other hand, could not let go. I was determined to have the Governor see me, or for me to see the Governor, so I moved as far to the front of the room as I could.
When I was right up with the crowd surrounding the Governor, I saw an empty chair. I didn’t see any secret service men staring at me, so I sat in the chair. I could see everything!
But, right at that moment the Governor, First Lady, and crew made a quick exit, and I was sitting there in my black dress, and fake fur, trying to look cool, gazing purposely at a book on the side table.
It was beautiful, very old, and entitled,”Florida Land of Enchantment.” Old-fashioned keys covered the historic book’s fading green face. I stared at it thinking about how the mystique of Florida is “what built Florida.” And how that historic mystique was, and remains, built on the enchantment of Florida’s lands.
Well, Ed and I didn’t get to shake hands with the Governor or First Lady, but I got to see this magnificent book and I’ll never forget it.
This Friday, at 11:00 am, my fourth CRC proposal, P46, or Land Acquisition Trust Fund, goes before the CRC Legislative Committee. The goal of P46 is to have a very needed conversation and to clarify language in Article X, Section 28 of Florida’s Constitution (Amendment 1, 2014) and direct the state legislature to deposit no less that one third of the revenue, not to exceed 300 million annually, into the Florida Forever Trust Fund. This money would go specifically to conservation land purchase as prioritized by the long standing and once “always funded” Florida Forever program.
I already know, there are many reasons, and many conspiracy theories, about why the state legislature has stopped funding Florida Forever. And no matter what occurs at the CRC meeting, the proposal will not be self-executing. We cannot force the legislature to spend money a certain way. That is their prerogative, a power that is derived for them alone from the state constitution.
But a strong message can be sent. A directive can be given. And shouldn’t they listen? They should.
How many years has that book been sitting by the table? Governors and legislatures will come and go, but if “Florida, the land of enchantment,” is to remain, we must continue to invest in Florida Forever.
Serving on Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission the past year, I have learned quite a bit. Ingredients certainly have their place in the cookbook of Tallahassee, but the final recipe followed belongs to those in power.
Unless…you can come up with a recipe that is failsafe, a recipe that is “self executing.”
Let’s review a definition of self-executing: “A constitutional provision is self–executing when it can be given effect without the aid of legislation, and there is nothing to indicate that legislation is intended to make it operative.”
Remember P23, “A Right to Clean and Healthful Environment?” My proposal that was met with tremendous statewide opposition, the one Affiliated Industries of Florida hired four Gunster attorney’s to fight? The proposal that was voted down on January 12 by the Judicial Committee?
I believe that proposal was “so threatening” because many believed, or wanted to believe, that the proposal was “self executing.” Meaning if it got into the Florida constitution, like a light switch everything would just change as it would go into effect without direction from the legislature.
Let’s look at the language of P23
(c) The natural resources of the state are the legacy of
27 present and future generations. Every person has a right to a
28 clean and healthful environment, including clean air and water;
29 control of pollution; and the conservation and restoration of
30 the natural, scenic, historic, and aesthetic values of the
31 environment as provided by law. Any person may enforce this
32 right against any party, public or private, subject to
33 reasonable limitations, as provided by law.
On the other hand, if you look at the language for Amendment 1, 2014 that passed by 74.9% by Citizen Initiative, the language is definitely not-self executing.” The legislature has to “make it operative” —as it has to do with money, appropriations….
Florida Constitution, Article X
SECTION 28.Land Acquisition Trust Fund.—
(a)Effective on July 1 of the year following passage of this amendment by the voters, and for a period of 20 years after that effective date, the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall receive no less than 33 percent of net revenues derived from the existing excise tax on documents, as defined in the statutes in effect on January 1, 2012, as amended from time to time, or any successor or replacement tax, after the Department of Revenue first deducts a service charge to pay the costs of the collection and enforcement of the excise tax on documents.
(b)Funds in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall be expended only for the following purposes:(1)As provided by law, to finance or refinance: the acquisition and improvement of land, water areas, and related property interests, including conservation easements, and resources for conservation lands including wetlands, forests, and fish and wildlife habitat; wildlife management areas; lands that protect water resources and drinking water sources, including lands protecting the water quality and quantity of rivers, lakes, streams, springsheds, and lands providing recharge for groundwater and aquifer systems; lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area and the Everglades Protection Area, as defined in Article II, Section 7(b); beaches and shores; outdoor recreation lands, including recreational trails, parks, and urban open space; rural landscapes; working farms and ranches; historic or geologic sites; together with management, restoration of natural systems, and the enhancement of public access or recreational enjoyment of conservation lands.
(2)To pay the debt service on bonds issued pursuant to Article VII, Section 11(e).
(c)The moneys deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, as defined by the statutes in effect on January 1, 2012, shall not be or become commingled with the general revenue fund of the state.
So now Amendment 1 2014, has sat in the Florida constitution since 2015 and funds have been spent have been spent for agency salaries, risk management, vehicles, but not conservation land purchase.
Why because the language is not self-executing. And because the state legislature is not minding the will of the people.
As a CRC member, I took on P46, now know as Article X, Section 28, Land Acquisition Trust Fund because the public repeatedly asked the CRC to address this issue during the public hearings and on-line.
I am now realizing even with new language, or an amendment, Land Acquisition Trust Fund will remain non-self executing.
I can fight for the intent of Amendment 1, 2014, and that I will, but I cannot make Article x, Section 28 Land Acquisition Trust Fund self-executing. For that we need new cooks in the kitchen.
CRC - 2017P 46
By Commissioner Thurlow-Lippisch
1 A proposal to amend
2 Section 28 of Article X of the State Constitution to
3 revise the manner of the distribution of funds that
4 are deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund
5 from a portion of the net revenues derived from the
6 excise tax on documents.
8 Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
11 Section 28 of Article X of the State Constitution is
12 amended to read:
13 ARTICLE X
15 SECTION 28. Land Acquisition Trust Fund.—
16 (a) Effective on July 1 of the year following passage of
17 this amendment by the voters, and for a period of 20 years after
18 that effective date, the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall
19 receive no less than 33 percent of net revenues derived from the
20 existing excise tax on documents, as defined in the statutes in
21 effect on January 1, 2012, as amended from time to time, or any
22 successor or replacement tax, after the Department of Revenue
23 first deducts a service charge to pay the costs of the
24 collection and enforcement of the excise tax on documents.
25 (b) Funds in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall be
26 expended only for the following purposes:
27 (1) No less than one-third of the revenue must be deposited
28 into the Florida Forever Trust Fund, as defined by the statutes
29 in effect on January 1, 2017.
30 (2) The remainder must be expended as provided by law, to
31 finance or refinance: the acquisition and improvement of land,
32 water areas, and related property interests, including
33 conservation easements, and natural resources for conservation
34 lands including wetlands, forests, and fish and wildlife
35 habitat; wildlife management areas; lands that protect water
36 resources and drinking water sources, including lands protecting
37 the water quality and quantity of rivers, lakes, streams,
38 springsheds, and lands providing recharge for groundwater and
39 aquifer systems; lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area and
40 the Everglades Protection Area, as defined in Article II,
41 Section 7(b); beaches and shores; outdoor recreation lands,
42 including recreational trails, parks, and urban open space;
43 rural landscapes; working farms and ranches; historic or
44 geologic sites; together with management, restoration of natural
45 systems, and the enhancement of public access or recreational
46 enjoyment of conservation lands.
47 (3)(2) To pay the debt service on bonds issued pursuant to
48 Article VII, Section 11(e) as may be required.
49 (c) The moneys deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust
50 Fund, as defined by the statutes in effect on January 1, 2012,
51 shall not be or become commingled with the general revenue fund
On Monday, I had Ed drive me to the lake. I needed to see it face-to-face, and be reminded of why I am driven to protect Florida’s environment.
It was a beautiful, chilly, day and as I lay on the warm earth, soaking it all in, Ed snapped a photo. I laughed when I saw it, thinking it summarized my experience at the Constitution Revision Commission last week in Tallahassee.
A triple knock out.
But I am back up, and today will fill you in on last week, and note what remains possible for the future.On Thursday, January 11th, I presented two proposals to the Executive Committee; a committee upon which I serve. Both proposals were voted down.
They were: P 24, “Creating a Commissioner of Environmental Protection,” and P48, “FWC/Wildlife Corridors.”
I presented right after highly respected, former Senate President, Don Gaetz, who spoke in favor of a making the Secretary of State, once again, a cabinet position.
We were both voted down. The committee had no tolerance for expanding the executive branch in any form.
On Friday, I awoke to torrential rains and cold temperatures, rushing to make it in the darkness by 8:00 am to stand before the Judicial Committee, finally, for a vote on controversial, Gunster-attorney-fought, and widely reported P23, “A Right to A Clean and Healthful Environment.” It was voted down by every member of the committee as it would have created a new “cause of action,” and given citizens standing, regarding environmental claims, in a court of law. In the committee’s opinion, P23 would have caused a Florida litigation nightmare.
For me, the lack of prioritization for the environment, the over-protection of permit holders, and the “buddy-agency-system,” holding it all in place, is already causing a “nightmare;” thus, I was all for a change and in favor of this student-inspired proposal that spoke for what the CRC is supposed to be speaking for—-its citizens.
In any case, it was quite a lesson for me, bleeding my heart out, and getting denied. I was not embarrassed, just kind of numb. I must say, it was very kind, and I appreciated that many of my comrades complimented my efforts and encouraged me to continue my fight, right before the knock-out punch. 🙂
P48, “Clarifying Language Amd. 1, 2014, Land Acquisition Trust Fund” and
P91, “No Oil and Gas Drilling in Florida’s Territorial Waters”
No dates have been set to hear these proposals, but in the meanwhile, I am back up on my feet and getting ready for the next round. I know it will come. I have been studying one of my favorite boxers, Sugar Ray Leonard, who was a favorite of my students in Pensacola, for some moves. I’m going to be ready!
Thanks for you support and for your love of Florida’s environment.
The following are my notes, images, and basic outline for my presentation to the CRC Executive Committee for P24, Creating a Commissioner of Environmental Protection. I will present on January 11th at 11am. JTL
Notes: P24, Creating a Commissioner of Environmental Protection or “CEP.” SAVE THE FLORIDA GOOSE
~”Florida has this magical thing— that one person can make a difference…” CRC Chair Carlos Beruff, 4-12-17, interview, Florida Channel
~2 members of the public verbally presented the idea of Commissioner of Environmental Protection thus a Cabinet position for the environment during the CRC Public Hearings that took place across the state in 2017.
~Public Proposal 700012 was submitted in written form by Mr Gamez below:
PUB 700012: To Make a Broader Approach to Protecting the Environment by Carlos Gamez
ARTICLE IV: EXECUTIVE, New Section. Catchline: Department of Environmental Protection The Legislature may create a department of Environmental Protection and prescribe its duties. The provisions governing the administration of the department must comply with Section 6 of Article VI of the State Constitution.
This led to P24, sponsored by JTL .The people were the inspiration for this proposal.
CRC - 2017P 24
By Commissioner Thurlow-Lippisch
1 A proposal to amend
2 Sections 3 and 4 of Article IV and create a new
3 section in Article XII of the State Constitution to
4 establish the office of Commissioner of Environmental
5 Protection as a statewide elected officer, to provide
6 duties of the commissioner, and to include the
7 commissioner as a member of the Cabinet.
9 Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
12 Sections 3 and 4 of Article IV of the State Constitution
13 are amended to read:
14 ARTICLE IV
16 SECTION 3. Succession to office of governor; acting
18 (a) Upon vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant
19 governor shall become governor. Further succession to the office
20 of governor shall be prescribed by law. A successor shall serve
21 for the remainder of the term.
22 (b) Upon impeachment of the governor and until completion
23 of trial thereof, or during the governor’s physical or mental
24 incapacity, the lieutenant governor shall act as governor.
25 Further succession as acting governor shall be prescribed by
26 law. Incapacity to serve as governor may be determined by the
27 supreme court upon due notice after docketing of a written
28 suggestion thereof by fourthree cabinet members, and in such
29 case restoration of capacity shall be similarly determined after
30 docketing of written suggestion thereof by the governor, the
31 legislature or fourthree cabinet members. Incapacity to serve
32 as governor may also be established by certificate filed with
33 the custodian of state records by the governor declaring
34 incapacity for physical reasons to serve as governor, and in
35 such case restoration of capacity shall be similarly
37 SECTION 4. Cabinet.—
38 (a) There shall be a cabinet composed of an attorney
39 general, a chief financial officer, a commissioner of
40 environmental protection, and a commissioner of agriculture. In
41 addition to the powers and duties specified herein, they shall
42 exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be
43 prescribed by law. In the event of a tie vote of the governor
44 and cabinet, the side on which the governor voted shall be
45 deemed to prevail.
46 (b) The attorney general shall be the chief state legal
47 officer. There is created in the office of the attorney general
48 the position of statewide prosecutor. The statewide prosecutor
49 shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the state attorneys to
50 prosecute violations of criminal laws occurring or having
51 occurred, in two or more judicial circuits as part of a related
52 transaction, or when any such offense is affecting or has
53 affected two or more judicial circuits as provided by general
54 law. The statewide prosecutor shall be appointed by the attorney
55 general from not less than three persons nominated by the
56 judicial nominating commission for the supreme court, or as
57 otherwise provided by general law.
58 (c) The chief financial officer shall serve as the chief
59 fiscal officer of the state, and shall settle and approve
60 accounts against the state, and shall keep all state funds and
62 (d) The commissioner of environmental protection shall have
63 supervision of matters pertaining to environmental protection
64 that the Department of Environmental Protection or its successor
65 agency and water management districts are required or authorized
66 by law to implement and administer.
67 (e) The commissioner of agriculture shall have supervision
68 of matters pertaining to agriculture except as otherwise
69 provided by law.
70 (f)(e) The governor as chair, the chief financial officer,
71 and the attorney general shall constitute the state board of
72 administration, which shall succeed to all the power, control,
73 and authority of the state board of administration established
74 pursuant to Article IX, Section 16 of the Constitution of 1885,
75 and which shall continue as a body at least for the life of
76 Article XII, Section 9(c).
77 (g)(f) The governor as chair, the chief financial officer,
78 the attorney general, the commissioner of environmental
79 protection, and the commissioner of agriculture shall constitute
80 the trustees of the internal improvement trust fund and the land
81 acquisition trust fund as provided by law.
82 (h)(g) The governor as chair, the chief financial officer,
83 the attorney general, the commissioner of environmental
84 protection, and the commissioner of agriculture shall constitute
85 the agency head of the Department of Law Enforcement.
87 A new section is added to Article XII of the State
88 Constitution to read:
89 ARTICLE XII
91 Recomposition of the cabinet; commissioner of environmental
92 protection.—The amendment to Section 4 of Article IV relating to
93 the election of the commissioner of environmental protection and
94 the inclusion of the commissioner as a member of the cabinet
95 shall take effect January 3, 2023, but shall govern with respect
96 to the qualifying for and the holding of the primary and general
97 elections for the office of commissioner of environmental
98 protection in 2022.
THE TIME IS NOW for the Environment to get a Seat at the Table.
Florida Chamber’s population growth projections: 6,000,000 more people for a population of 26,000,000 people by 2030…
1000 Friends of Florida “A Population Distribution Scenario for the State of Florida” 2060. This shows the areas projected to become the most populated highly impacting natural lands and water resources.
FEGN- Florida Ecological Green Network Priorities, 2016. This map shows the importance of creating a priorities for Wildlife Corridor creation in the growing state of Florida. Done correctly we can have both growth and connected lands for wildlife and water. But we must plan now for the next 20 years and beyond. We will never have this chance again.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection map below shows Impaired Waters of the State: 53% Rivers; 82% Lakes; 32% Estuaries. This doesn’t even mention our very impacted and magnitude lessened springs.
Water management districts have individual governing boards but the Department of Environmental Protection may exercise general supervisory authority over water management districts (s. 373.026(7), Florida Statutes). I think “may” in this sentence needs to be reinterpreted. It is too weak for today’s pressures.
Creating a Comr. of Environmental Protection would elevate today’s “Department of Environmental Protection” giving it more autonomy and less impact from the often destructive and brutal pendulum swings of politics.
Agriculture already has a Cabinet seat and has a Dept of Water Quality that oversees Best Management Practices. Why shouldn’t the environment be on equal footing with Agriculture? The environment and Florida’s tourism industry are the number one income generator of the state, agriculture claims the number two spot.
We must note that since the last CRC in 1998, our waters have become even more impaired and our lands purchases are not always well represented to the Legislature or mindful of the importance of “connectedness.” Having a Commissioner of Environmental Protection would give us leadership for a higher standard, better communication, and better success for all the public to see.
Would the people of Florida support a Commissioner of Environmental Protection? Absolutely. The people of Florida have spoke loudly in 2014. Amendment 1, 2014 now in the Florida Constitution as Art X, Sec. 28 continues to be controversial as the legislature resented what they saw as forced direction of appropriations/money. Nonetheless, it was the will of the people. A Commissioner of Environmental Protection could help ameliorate this situation with the State Legislature and and the public.
*October 2016 Poll: “Top Concerns of Floridians are economy and environment.”~ Miami Herald. (Water related problems top concern 34%; 20% Loss of Natural Lands for Wildlife second.) “The focus on the environment as top concern behind the economy should not surprise anyone who has lived in Florida…Florida’s economy has long been closely linked to its environmental assets.”
As Chair Beruff stated: “Florida has this magical thing...”
We must think about this….
If we lose the magic, if will don’t protect our environment and the people’s love of it, we lose “Florida,” killing our Goose that lays our Golden Egg…
“A cottager and his wife had a Hen that laid a golden egg every day. They supposed that the Hen must contain a great lump of gold in its inside, and in order to get the gold they killed her. Having done so, they found to their surprise that the Hen differed in no respect from their other hens. The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain of which they were assured day by day…” Aesop’s Fables
The need for Leadership; Give the Environment a Seat at the Table with a Florida Cabinet member; CRC can put P24 on the 2018 ballot and allow the electorate to vote for a Commissioner of Environmental Protection in 2022. Save the Florida Goose.
As I prepare myself for the continuation and 2018 closure of the Constitution Revision Commission, I am reviewing my history. Thanks to my parent’s historic Florida book collection, I did not have to go any further than their living room bookshelves…
The 1968 Constitution is credited with “making modern Florida,” as written about by Mary E. Atkins. It was the 1885 constitution that was “remade.”
According to historical records, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Constitution_of_1885 ) the 1885 constitution ratified at the convention passed with a vote of 31,804 to 21,243. It was “the model” of Florida’s government until 1968 and “represented the regression to racial discrimination which was occurring throughout the South in the post-Reconstruction period.”
The Constitution was weighted in favor of counties. Each new county was entitled to one to three representatives according to population…This overrepresentation of rural areas led to increasing tension in twentieth-century Florida politics, as central and then south Florida grew. It was a major factor leading to the current Constitution of 1968, which changed apportionment.”
It remains interesting to note the eloquence and tone of the times…
There is always something “good” and something “bad” to learn from history. It will be most interesting to see the history the 2018 Constitution Revision Commission leaves behind (https://www.flcrc.gov).
Temporary Chairman, Judge A.E. Maxwell, of Escambia, First Day, Tuesday, June 9, 1885:
...”The unusual and exceeding importance of the work before us can be estimated by the fact that we are the delegates of the people, acting in their sovereign capacity, emphatically delegates, but empowered to construct for them a system of State Government —a Constitution–that fundamental frame work which defines rights of persons and property and at the same time provides an organization by which their rights are to be secured, protected and defended. I trust we are all fully impressed with the heavy responsibilities of such a position, and that we will not permit ourselves to be led away from the discharge of its duties by any petty personal ambition or by any selfish schemes. The people who have put their trust in us feel that they have a guarantee of our good faith in their behalf and our devotion to their interest, in the fellowship which ties us to them as being ourselves a part of the people; and therefore, entirely identified with them in the desire and purpose to establish such government as will relive them from the evils of the present system, and ensure to them and their prosperity the blessings of civil and religious liberty.”
Tallahassee is a beautiful place. Having spent more time there recently, I have grown to appreciate it. Sometimes, in the early morning, as the sun is rising over the hills, I envision Apalachee warriors and families approaching “Anhaica,” their capital. There is a lot of sacred ground here…
Today, I will summarize week 12-11-17. For me, there were battles won, and cease-fires. And the war for Florida’s environment will continue. Thank you to all who wrote members of committees in support in the previous weeks!
On Tuesday, December 12th, I presented proposal P23, ” A Right to a Clean and Healthful Environment,” to the Judicial Committee (https://www.flcrc.gov/Committees/JU/). I am proud to say P23 has caused a stir, is making people think, and generating tremendous resistance from the “entrenched-status-quo-power” of the government and business communities as it would give every-day Floridians more standing in court for a clean environment. Power would shift to the judicial, rather than the executive and legislative branches of government, and some agencies would be no longer be “puppets.”
The presentation went well, however, based on comments from many members of the committee, and feedback, I felt the vote would not pass. I was offered a “TP” or “temporary postponement” in order to work on the language as I had not been successful at this —with the opposition —-who refused to do so the previous two weeks. They want “no part of P23 in the constitution.”
Unlike local government, where a commission or council can adjust the language of an ordinance during the meeting, this cannot occur during a CRC committee meeting, so the only way to achieve such is to “postpone” and “work on” prior to the next meeting— and try again. (Very inefficient)…
So, I look forward to working on the language, but I am concerned that ameliorating the language to an acceptable point for the opposition will be so far away from the spirit of the original proposal it may not be recognizable or effective. This would not be good.
In the end, it will be the students of Stetson and Barry Universities and their professors who created P23, a totally public proposal, who will give me final direction.
P23 will go before the Judicial Committee again when called. Chances are this will be in January 2018. It could pass; it could die; it could be withdrawn. Should it pass, it will have to go also to the General Provisions committee, and then to the full CRC for a final vote to go to ballot.
The greatest aspect of P23 is working with young people who are our future generation of leaders because as the proposal states: “the natural resources of the state are the legacy of present and future generations…”
On Wednesday, 12-13-17, I presented P46, to the Legislative Committee (https://www.flcrc.gov/Committees/LE/) to “Clarity Language in Article X, Section 28, of the Florida Constitution, Land Acquisition Trust Fund.” Ms. Sue Mullins, who came to my attention through Stuart’s Joan Bausch and the Native Plant Society, was very helpful and knowledgeable and assisted during the presentation. Again, the proposal was “TP-ed” as Chair Pepe Diaz and others such as former Senate President, Tom Lee said they could not support P46 as written and recommended working together on the language. I am confident they meant this, and we shall try between now and when the committee meets again in January. Their concerns are funding requirements, appropriations, of the state legislature; and our concern is the Legislature ignoring a 2014 citizen initiative that passed by 75% for land conservation. P46 too must go to General Provisions should it pass, and then to the whole CRC for a vote to possibly go on ballot.
On Thursday, 12-14-17, I presented P91 “No Oil or Gas Drilling in Florida’s Territorial Waters.” This was an interesting experience as I was presenting to the committee I chair, General Provisions. (https://www.flcrc.gov/Committees/GP/)
As a presenter, I am just like anybody else.
Mr David R. Mica, Executive Director of the Florida Petroleum Council, AIF, and other business interests spoke against, but fortunately, Mr Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, and citizens spoke “for,” and were quite convincing. There were even two young children in the audience rooting me on! I was very pleased when the committee voted 5 to 2 in favor of P91! P91 will now go to the Declaration of Rights Committee (https://www.flcrc.gov/Committees/DR/) in January, and then if passes, again, to the full commission to possibly go on 2018 ballot.
CRC Proposal #91, No Oil and Gas Drilling, Yes or No?
This coming Thursday, December 14th, I will be presenting CRC proposal #91 to the General Provisions committee, the committee I chair. For the presentation and vote, I will be turning this part of the meeting over to Vice-Chair, Emery Gainey as is proper form. Just as with any other proposal, #91 needs your support! Please write the members of the committee here to make your support and concerns known or attend the meeting and speak briefly during public comment: http://flcrc.gov/Committees/GP/
With every passing day, I feel more strongly about this proposal. As we are witnessing right now, long-standing, pristine lands across our country are being tapped for oil and gas. Florida’s tourist, beach, and water-economy, and its abundant coastal wildlife, demand there is no oil and gas drilling in the territorial waters of the state.
CRC - 2017P 91By Commissioner Thurlow-Lippisch
1 A proposal to amend
2 Section 7 of Article II of the State Constitution to
3 prohibit oil drilling for exploration and extraction
4 in specified coastal waters.
6 Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
9 Section 7 of Article II of the State Constitution is
10 amended to read:
11 ARTICLE II
12 GENERAL PROVISIONS
13 SECTION 7. Natural resources and scenic beauty.—
14 (a) It shall be the policy of the state to conserve and
15 protect its natural resources and scenic beauty. Adequate
16 provision shall be made by law for the abatement of air and
17 water pollution and of excessive and unnecessary noise and for
18 the conservation and protection of natural resources.
19 (b) Those in the Everglades Agricultural Area who cause
20 water pollution within the Everglades Protection Area or the
21 Everglades Agricultural Area shall be primarily responsible for
22 paying the costs of the abatement of that pollution. For the
23 purposes of this subsection, the terms “Everglades Protection
24 Area” and “Everglades Agricultural Area” shall have the meanings
25 as defined in statutes in effect on January 1, 1996.
26 (c) To protect the people of Florida and their environment,
27 oil drilling for exploration or extraction is prohibited in and
28 beneath all state waters between the mean high tide line and the
29 outermost boundaries of the state’s territorial seas. This
30 prohibition does not apply to the transportation of oil and gas
31 products produced outside of such waters. This section is self