LeRoy Collins Institute launches Constitution Revision Commission project

Carol Weissert
Carol Weissert, director of the LeRoy Collins Institute

The LeRoy Collins Institute launching aninitiativeto educate and engage Floridians in the 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission. The ConstitutionRevision Commission is a group of 37 people who are appointed to review and recommend changes to the Florida Constitution for voter consideration. This important event happens once every 20 years.

LCI has convened 18 groups across the state to form the Partnership for Revising Florida’s Constitution, which will lead a public education campaign on the significance of the upcoming Constitution Revision Commission and encourage citizens to get involved.

The partnership is hosting a kick-off event, “Anticipating the 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission,” from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28 Florida State University’s Turnbull Conference Center. The event features three panel discussions with members of previous Constitution Revision Commissions. The Florida Channel will livestream the event on their website at www.thefloridachannel.org.

The LeRoy Collins Institute, in collaboration with The Florida Bar and the Florida Law Related Education Association, is also releasing the Citizens’ Guide to the Constitution Revision Commission. The Citizens’ Guide breaks down the essential elements of the Constitution Revision Commission in an easy-to-understand format. It will be distributed widely across the state and is also available electronically at www.revisefl.com.

“The Constitution Revision Commission only happens once every 20 years and it is too important for citizens to miss out on,” said Carol Weissert, director of the LeRoy Collins Institute. “We want the people of Florida to understand how crucial their participation is and encourage them to get involved at every step of the process.”

At the Oct. 28 event, former Florida Governor Bob Martinez, former commissioner Jim Apthorp (1977-1978 commission) and Weissert will each lead a panel discussion. Issues to be discussed include the importance of the upcoming Constitution Revision Commission, lessons learned from the previous commissions,the characteristics commissioners should possess and constitutional issues of past and future. The full agenda for the event can be found at http://fla.st/1Ro5u0r.

Funding for the Partnership for Revising Florida’s Constitution has been generously provided by the Jesse Ball duPont Fund. The partnership is led by the LeRoy Collins Institute and includes the Bob Graham Center at UF, Center for Governmental Responsibility at UF, the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Florida Association of Counties, The Florida Bar, The Florida Bar Foundation, Florida Chamber Foundation, Florida Justice Association Research and Education Foundation, Florida Law Related Education Association, Florida League of Cities, Florida Philanthropic Network, Florida Press Association, Florida TaxWatch, Justin Sayfie, Leadership Florida, League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida NAACP and the Virgil Hawkins Chapter of the National Bar Association.

To learn more about the Partnership for Revising Florida’s Constitution, please visit www.revisefl.com.

Established in 1988, the LeRoy Collins Institute is a nonpartisan, statewide policy organization which studies and promotes creative solutions to key private and public issues facing the people of Florida and the nation. The mission of the LeRoy Collins Institute is to perpetuate the leadership of Governor LeRoy Collins by developing and promoting bold, visionary public policy that will empower and uplift Floridians for generations to come. The Institute works in affiliation and collaboration with the State University System of Florida and is located at Florida State University in Tallahassee.