Amendment 10: State and Local Government Structure and Operation.

AuthorTimmann, Carolyn
PositionThird Florida Constitution Revision Commission Proposals

The 2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) sent Proposal 6005, titled "State and Local Government Structure and Operation," to the general election ballot as Amendment 10. (1) As explained in the ballot summary, proposed Amendment 10 combines four proposals relating to the structure and operations of two state agencies; local constitutional offices; and sessions of the state legislature. (2)

Department of Veterans' Affairs

The first proposal seeks to amend art. IV, [section]11, to require the legislature to provide for the Department of Veterans' Affairs (FDVA). This revision would establish the department's structure and governance within the Florida Constitution, including providing for cabinet oversight and Senate confirmation of its executive director.

In 1988, Floridians approved a legislatively referred amendment that created art. IV [section][section]11 and 12, which provided legislative authority to establish departments for veterans' affairs and elder affairs as separate agencies. Later, the legislature created the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs (FDVA) and established its duties. At the time, the agency was part of the Department of Community Affairs, and services for veterans were distributed throughout several state agencies.

Amendment 10 makes the governance of FDVA consistent with similar provisions for cabinet-level agencies and retains legislative authority to establish policies to meet the changing needs of Florida's former, present, and future military members and qualifying dependents.

Local Constitutional Offices

The second proposal revises art. VIII, [section][section]1 and 6, to require that the following constitutionally prescribed county officers be elected by the electors in every county: sheriffs, property appraisers, supervisors of elections, tax collectors, and clerks of court. This revision removes the current ability of county charters to abolish certain constitutional offices, change the length of their four-year terms, transfer their duties to other offices, or eliminate the election of the constitutional officers.

Originally, the 1885 Florida Constitution required that these county constitutional officers be elected and perform the duties established by statute. (3) But following constitutional amendments, particularly the 1968 Constitution, which authorized county charters, the method of selection and duties of these officers were changed in some counties. (4)

This revision does not...

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