Florida Governor Signs Law Making Ballot Initiative Process More Difficult, Impacts Electric Choice Initiative
June 10, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed HB 5, which includes new requirements for the ballot initiative process and which generally makes the process harder for initiatives to qualify
The law applies to 2020 initiatives, including the proposed electric choice initiative
The law prohibits compensation to petition canvassers based on the number of signatures collected.
Under the law, a person may not collect signatures or initiative petitions for compensation unless the person is registered as a petition circulator with the Secretary of State
The law provides that a sponsor that collects petition forms or uses a petition circulator to collect petition forms serves as a fiduciary to the elector signing the petition form, ensuring that any petition form entrusted to the petition circulator shall be promptly delivered to the supervisor of elections within 30 days after the elector signs the form.
The law provides that if the financial impact statement, as determined by a state agency, estimates increased costs, decreased revenues, a negative impact on the state or local economy, or an indeterminate impact for any of these areas, the ballot must include a statement indicating such estimated effect in bold font. The electric choice initiative has been deemed to have an indeterminate fiscal impact.
The law dropped earlier language that would have required, for initiatives with an indeterminate fiscal impact, a warning that taxes may need to be increased
Various provisions described above will require a rulemaking to implement (such as specifics for the collector registration process), which a representative for Citizens for Energy Choices has said will cause further delays in the initiative process