Florida Senate - 2022                                     SM 588
       By Senator Torres
       15-00867-22                                            2022588__
    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, since the admission of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959,
   17  which raised the number of states in the United States to 50,
   18  the number of United States Senators has been 100, and
   19         WHEREAS, the system of giving each state two senators was
   20  devised by the founding fathers to protect small states from the
   21  domination of larger states, and
   22         WHEREAS, at the time the United States Constitution was
   23  drafted, there was a population disparity between large states,
   24  such as Virginia, and small states, such as Delaware and Rhode
   25  Island, but that disparity, at its greatest, was only on the
   26  order of 10 to 1, and
   27         WHEREAS, the population of larger states has since grown to
   28  numbers unimaginable to our founding fathers, headed by
   29  California, with an estimated population of 40 million people,
   30  followed by Texas, with a population of nearly 30 million
   31  people, and Florida, now ranked the third most populous state,
   32  with nearly 22 million people, and
   33         WHEREAS, the smallest states by population, Wyoming and
   34  Vermont, have populations barely in excess of 500,000 people,
   35  less than the current population of the District of Columbia,
   36  or, as Bill Maher has said, “Why do we need two Dakotas?” and
   37         WHEREAS, the population disparity between the largest and
   38  smallest states has grown from a proportion of about 10 to 1 to
   39  a ratio that now is closer to 100 to 1, and
   40         WHEREAS, as a result of this unprecedented disparity, the
   41  United States Senate has become extremely malapportioned to the
   42  degree that soon 30 percent of the country’s population will
   43  elect 70 percent of the members of the United States Senate,
   44  while conversely 70 percent of the country’s population will
   45  elect only 30 percent of the members of the United States
   46  Senate, a disparity fraught with unhappy consequences for the
   47  vast majority of the country’s population, which will be almost
   48  powerless to address many pressing issues for the overwhelming
   49  number of urban and suburban residents of the United States, and
   50         WHEREAS, were this system not provided for directly in the
   51  United States Constitution, it would be manifestly
   52  unconstitutional for reasons including that the system would be
   53  a denial of equal protection, and of the one person, one vote
   54  principle prevalent in all other elections, and
   55         WHEREAS, there is a need to address this growing imbalance
   56  of electoral power, while still preserving the principle of
   57  protecting the rights of smaller states, and
   58         WHEREAS, 19 states, including Maryland, Georgia, North
   59  Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, and Indiana, currently have
   60  populations in excess of 6 million people, approximately 10
   61  times the population of the smallest states, and
   62         WHEREAS, one method of addressing the current imbalance in
   63  a modest way, while giving an increased voice to larger states
   64  without denying current representation to smaller states and not
   65  having any appreciable partisan effect on current levels of
   66  representation and retaining the basic formula of having states
   67  receive allocations of senators not directly based on relative
   68  populations, as is done with the United States House of
   69  Representatives, would be to grant each state with a population
   70  in excess of 6 million people an additional senate seat, so
   71  those states would have three senators, while all other states
   72  would continue to have two senators, and
   73         WHEREAS, such a method would result in a total of 120
   74  United States Senators, once the 20th state crosses the 6
   75  million population threshold, which would be a modest increase
   76  but still be a workable number of senators, and would still
   77  provide ample protection for smaller states from being dominated
   78  by larger states, and
   79         WHEREAS, Congress should pass this proposal for an
   80  amendment to the Constitution of the United States as a modest
   81  attempt to address a very real and ever growing problem and
   82  submit this amendment to the states for ratification, NOW,
   85  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   87         That Congress is respectfully petitioned to propose to the
   88  states an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
   89  which would increase the number of United States Senators to
   90  three in any state that has a population of more than 6 million
   91  as determined by the federal census.
   92         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be
   93  dispatched to the President of the United States, to the
   94  President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the
   95  United States House of Representatives, and to each member of
   96  the Florida delegation to the United States Congress.