FUNDING OF JUDICIAL OPERATIONS

A Herald Tribune Opinion of 10/30/2017 stated in part, “The bigger problem is that Florida’s legislative and executive branches have been playing fiscal hunger games with the judicial branch for too long.  Even when they were keeping up with judicial needs, law makers sometimes capriciously added or subtracted new judgeships from the budget.  For the past ten years, they’ve simply refused to acknowledge budget reality. There’s certainly money to tackle the issue.  Florida’s court system produces twice as much revenue as it costs to run through filing fees, fines and other income.  This is an issue Florida’s Constitutional Revision Commission (which is currently meeting) should consider – giving courts the ability to control they revenues they generate until judicial operations are adequately funded.” 

EDUCATION

Sue Legg LWVFL has reported on gutting class size limits.  Patricia Levesque (CEO Bush Foundation) and Buddy Martinez (both are members of the CRC) have filed an amendment to raise teacher pay in Florida.  The raise is only activated if Floridians lift the 2002 cap on class sizes.  The stated aim is to give more flexibility to class size.  Class sizes were capped at 25 students for high school, 22 students in 4th through 8th grades, and 18 in Pre-K through 3rd grades.  Electives and Extra Curricular classes were exempted from the caps.  Advanced Placement classes are electives.  Math is a  core class and Advanced Placement Math is not.  Sue Legg reports that the above appear to have all the flexibility needed and therefore do not need the proposed amendment.  There are numerous other proposals on Education.

LWVFL EXPRESSES CONCERNS

The LWVFL joined other organizations in sending a letter on 12/8/2017 to the CRC expressing concern that the CRC and some members are not complying with the rules.  The letter is on the LWVFL website.

COMMITTEE ACTIVITY

The Committees, Declaration of Rights, Finance and Taxation, Judicial,  Rules, Ethics and Elections, Legislative, General Provisions, And Education continued to meet in December. 

CHAIRMAN BERUFF ANNOUNCEMENTS

CRC Chairman Carlos Beruff announced that more than  50% of the proposed 103 constitutional revisions filed by the CRC Commissioners represent public ideas.  Proposals are available to read on the CRC website flcrc.gov/Proposals/Commissioner. 

CRC Chairman Carlos Beruff also announced the CRC will hold its second statewide tour of public hearings.   The hearings allow Floridians the opportunity to shape proposed constitutional revisions before they are placed on the ballot.  All public hearings are noticed from 1:00-7:00 PM local time.  All Floridians who complete an appearance form by 7:00 PM local time will be given an opportunity to speak before the Commission.

SAVE THE DATE 

CRC 2018 Public Hearing Schedule 

2-6   Nova Southeastern University

2/19 Eastern Florida State College

2/20 University of North Florida

2/27 University of West Florida

3/13 University of South Florida Northwest Public Heading

        University Student Center

         200 6th Avenue S

         St. Petersburg, Fl  33701

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