Florida Senate - 2020                                    SM 1652
       By Senator Berman
       31-01558A-20                                          20201652__
    1                           Senate Memorial                         
    2         A memorial to the Congress of the United States,
    3         urging Congress to propose to the states an amendment
    4         to the Constitution of the United States which would
    5         increase the number of United States Senators to three
    6         in any state that has a population of more than 6
    7         million as determined by the federal census.
    9         WHEREAS, Article V of the Constitution of the United States
   10  authorizes Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution of
   11  the United States which shall become valid when ratified by the
   12  states, and
   13         WHEREAS, the United States Senate, as set forth in the
   14  Constitution, consists of two members from each state,
   15  regardless of the population of the state, and
   16         WHEREAS, there are currently 50 states in the United States
   17  ever since the admission of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959, which
   18  raised the number of United States Senators to the present total
   19  of 100, from 96, and
   20         WHEREAS, the system of giving each state two senators was
   21  devised by the founding fathers to protect small states from the
   22  domination of larger states, and
   23         WHEREAS, at the time the United States Constitution was
   24  drafted, there was a real disparity between the populations of
   25  large states, such as Virginia, and small states, such as
   26  Delaware and Rhode Island, but that disparity, at its greatest,
   27  was only on the order of 10 to 1, and
   28         WHEREAS, the population of larger states has since grown to
   29  numbers unimaginable to our founding fathers, headed by
   30  California, with an estimated population of 40 million people,
   31  followed by Texas, with a population of nearly 30 million
   32  people, and Florida, now ranked the third most populous state,
   33  with nearly 22 million people, and
   34         WHEREAS, the smallest states by population, Wyoming and
   35  Vermont, have populations barely in excess of half a million
   36  people, less than the current population of the District of
   37  Columbia, and
   38         WHEREAS, the population disparity between the largest and
   39  smallest states has grown from a proportion of 10 to 1 to a
   40  ratio that now is closer to 100 to 1, something undreamed of by
   41  the founding fathers, and
   42         WHEREAS, as a result of this unprecedented disparity, the
   43  United States Senate has become extremely malapportioned to the
   44  degree that soon 30 percent of the country’s population will
   45  elect 70 percent of the members of the United States Senate,
   46  while conversely 70 percent of the country’s population will
   47  elect only 30 percent of the members of the United States
   48  Senate, a disparity fraught with unhappy consequences for the
   49  vast majority of the country’s population, which will be almost
   50  powerless to address many pressing issues for the overwhelming
   51  number of urban and suburban residents of the United States, and
   52         WHEREAS, were this system not provided for directly in the
   53  United States Constitution, it would be manifestly
   54  unconstitutional for reasons including that the system would be
   55  a denial of equal protection, and of the one person, one vote
   56  principle prevalent in all other elections, and
   57         WHEREAS, there is a need to address this growing imbalance
   58  of electoral power, while still preserving the principle of
   59  protecting the rights of smaller states, and
   60         WHEREAS, 19 states, including Maryland, Georgia, North
   61  Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, and Indiana, currently have
   62  populations in excess of 6 million people, approximately 10
   63  times the population of that of the smallest states, and
   64         WHEREAS, one method of addressing the current imbalance in
   65  a modest way, while giving an increased voice to larger states
   66  but not denying any current representation to smaller states and
   67  not having any appreciable partisan effect on current levels of
   68  representation and retaining the basic formula of having states
   69  receive allocations of senators not directly based on relative
   70  populations, as is done with the United States House of
   71  Representatives, would be to grant each state with a population
   72  in excess of 6 million people an additional senate seat, so
   73  those states would have three senators, while all other states
   74  would continue to have two senators, and
   75         WHEREAS, such a method would result in a total of 120
   76  United States Senators, once the 20th state crosses the 6
   77  million population threshold, which would be a modest increase
   78  but still be a workable number of senators, and would still
   79  provide ample protection for smaller states from being dominated
   80  by larger states, and
   81         WHEREAS, Congress should pass this proposal for an
   82  amendment to the Constitution of the United States as a modest
   83  attempt to address a very real, and ever growing, problem, and
   84  submit this amendment to the states for ratification, NOW,
   87  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   89         That Congress is respectfully petitioned to propose to the
   90  states an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
   91  which would increase the number of United States Senators to
   92  three in any state that has a population of more than 6 million
   93  as determined by the federal census.
   94         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State dispatch
   95  copies of this memorial to the President of the United States,
   96  the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the
   97  United States House of Representatives, and each member of the
   98  Florida delegation to the United States Congress.