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Common Cause Florida

Watchdogs decry Constitution Revision Commission’s proposed rules

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Proposed rules for the Constitution Revision Commission could let members deliberate in secret, limit public participation, bottle up ideas in committee, or bog down debating proposals with little support, government watchdog groups warned Monday. Sixteen organizations, including the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Florida Consumer Action Network, and unions, including Florida AFL-CIO, critiqued the proposed rules in a letter to the commission’s rules committee. “Transparency and a clear set of ground rules are essential to the credibility of the…

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2015 redux? House committee hotly debates, passes redistricting reform

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Legislation intended as a “what if’ scenario for potential snags in future political redistricting received a fair amount of blowback from several House committee members. Nevertheless, the House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee passed the bill Wednesday. HB 953, sponsored by Rep. Larry Ahern, received a thorough level of skepticism and interrogation due to a knee-jerk reaction to the proposal’s context: legislative redistricting and Congressional reapportionment. “It really just asks the courts to speed up the process as the law…

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Broad ethics bill unanimously passes first House stop

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After a handful of amendments, an omnibus ethics bill unanimously passed the House Government Operations Subcommittee Tuesday afternoon. LobbyTools reports that HB 593 will create a host of new mandates and requirements to help fraud and waste in state government The strike-all amendment approved by the committee was similar to the original bill, only adding text contained in another anti-corruption proposal (HB 7071) sponsored by Rep. Ritch Workman. Yalaha Republican Larry Metz, who filed HB 593, agreed that he would drop that…

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Plaintiffs now say they’re filing their own Senate district map

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The “coalition plaintiffs” in the state Senate redistricting challenge announced Tuesday night they were submitting their own redrawn district map – weeks after the chair of the chamber’s redistricting panel invited them to participate in the mapmaking process. The Senate set up its own map on Tuesday for a Wednesday vote, one that combined a version of South Florida districts drawn by GOP state Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla with a base map of the rest of the state favored by Senate Reapportionment Committee chair Bill Galvano.…

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Parties in redistricting case tell Daniel Webster: Butt out

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Those now involved in the ongoing congressional redistricting challenge are against letting Republican U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster become a new party in the case, according to court filings released Monday. The Florida House of Representatives, Florida Senate, Common Cause and League of Women Voters of Florida, among others, filed responses opposing Webster’s motion to intervene, submitted last week to the Florida Supreme Court. The two legislative chambers, however, did say they were OK with Webster’s lawyers just handing in a friend-of-the-court brief. But the…

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