As a part of their statewide “Road Show”, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) visited Pensacola on February 27th to take citizen input on proposals that had been approved by CRC committees. Over 140 citizens spoke at the meeting, which lasted almost six hours.
Commissioner and former Senate President Don Gaetz presided over the meeting and called up individuals to speak on the thirty-seven issues that have passed through the committee process. Gaetz admonished audience members that cheered or booed speakers, so audience members were given red or green cards to hold up to show their support or opposition to a speaker. Each speaker was given two minutes to make their points.
Some of the popular items discussed by speakers include Proposal 29 which would force businesses to use the E-Verify system for checking the immigration status of employees. Many attendees spoke on Proposal 67, which would prohibit gambling on greyhound racing is Florida. Participants spoke in favor of Proposal 91, which would ban oil and gas drilling in the nine miles of Florida state waters.
Due to commitments related to the legislative session, a number of commissioners were unable to attend the hearing. Following the final stops on the CRC’s Road Show, the commissioners will determine which items will be placed on the 2018 November ballot for consideration by Florida voters. A proposal will need 60% approval by voters to become a part of the constitution.
The Greater Pensacola Chamber spoke in favor Proposal 91 and in opposition to Proposal 29. You can see Chamber Vice President of Public Affairs, Todd Thomson speak on behalf of the Chamber at the 52-minute mark in this video:
In response to Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s announcement that the federal government will not open Florida waters to offshore oil drilling, the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors released the following statement.