Florida lawmaker wants to make it harder to amend constitution

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State Rep. Rick Roth, R-Loxahatchee, reintroduced a measure Monday that would make it harder for voters to change the Florida Constitution.

The proposal (HJR 65), which Roth seeks to place on the 2018 ballot, would require ballot measures to receive the support of two-thirds of voters for approval. That would be tougher than the current requirement that 60 percent of voters need to sign off on constitutional amendments.

If the higher standard had been used in the past, a 2016 measure to broadly legal medical marijuana still would have been approved. That measure received 71.3 percent of the vote. However, a 2012 amendment giving a homestead property-tax exemption to the surviving spouses of military veterans and first responders would have failed. That measure received 62 percent support.

Roth's proposal is filed for the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January. He filed a similar proposal for the 2017 session, but it was only approved by one House subcommittee. The Senate version, proposed by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, never got heard in committee.

Florida voters in 2006 approved requiring 60 percent approval for constitutional amendments, up from the previous majority approval.

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