Lawmakers consider making Secretary of State an elected position again

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Lawmakers will consider a measure that would make Florida Secretary of State an elected position when the 2017 Legislative Session kicks off Tuesday.

SJR 882, a joint resolution, was filed by Republican Sen. Aaron Bean in February. The proposal would alter the state constitution to make the Secretary of State an elected member of the Cabinet beginning with the 2022 General Election.

An identical bill was filed by Republican Rep. Gayle Harrell in the House, though it has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing.

Currently, secretaries of state are appointed by the governor, and SJR 882 would continue that trend for the first few years after it takes effect on June 1, 2019, meaning the next governor would still get to appoint someone to the position after the 2018 election cycle.

If lawmakers vote in favor of SJR 822, it would be placed on the 2018 ballot, where it would need approval by at least 60 percent of voters to become law.

The bill will go before the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee during their meeting at 4 pm Tuesday. If successful, the resolution would move on to the Senate Rules Committee before it is ready for the Senate floor.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.