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Senator Lee, District 20 — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 1, 2017

CONTACT: Sarah Schwirian, 813-653-7061


Senator Tom Lee Files Three Proposed Amendments to Florida's Constitution

Thonotosassa, Fla. —

Senator Tom Lee announced today the filing of three separate constitutional amendments. As a member of Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), Senator Lee serves with thirty-six commissioners tasked with reviewing Florida's Constitution and proposing changes for voter consideration. Any amendments that pass the CRC’s final vote are placed on the 2018 General Election ballot.

PROPOSAL 67: BAN DOG RACING IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA.

If adopted, Florida will join forty other states in putting an end to the practice.

“There is growing recognition that many of these animals live in inhumane conditions, a reality that is out of line with the moral standard of Floridians,” Senator Lee said. “For over a decade, the Legislature has fought to end greyhound racing, but special interests derail the issue every year. Now is our opportunity to finally end the mistreatment of greyhounds, reduce the amount of gambling in our state, and restore community values.”

PROPOSAL 66: ALTER THE ROLE OF FLORIDA’S LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR TO CREATE MORE VALUE FOR TAXPAYERS.

“Floridians pay more than $265,000 annually to employ a Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, yet the Lieutenant Governor has almost no formal responsibilities,” Senator Lee said. “This is an opportunity to combine the two positions, eliminating wasteful spending and creating a more efficient and streamlined government. This amendment gives the Lieutenant Governor specific constitutional responsibilities and ensures that our Chief Elections Official is elected by and accountable to the people.”

Under the proposal, the Lieutenant Governor would become Florida's Chief of Elections, Chief Cultural Officer, State Protocol Officer, head of the Department of State, and will have the power to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Florida Senate on the final passage of legislation. 

PROPOSAL 68: INCREASE WATCHDOG AUTHORITY OVER STATE CONTRACTS AND SPENDING.

The proposed amendment authorizes Florida’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to participate in economic, demographic and state revenue estimating conferences, giving the position a seat at the table when it comes to projecting Florida’s fiscal future. Under current law, only the Governor and the Legislature have a voice in determining the amount of taxpayer money state government can spend in any given year.

“The people who spend the money should not have the exclusive authority to decide how much money to spend,” Senator Lee said. “Adding the CFO to the discussion lends an objective voice and creates a necessary system of checks and balances that one would expect to see in any responsible corporate governance structure.”

The amendment also gives the CFO, as Florida’s constitutionally mandated check writer, the ability to review and approve state contracts worth more than $10 million.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen instances where our agencies have not been good stewards with public monies,” Senator Lee said. “Giving the CFO the proper tools on the front end allows them to act as a watchdog and hold state contractors accountable on the back end.”

For more information on the CRC and to view each proposal, visit https://www.flcrc.gov/

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