Proposal 51 Likely to Increase Electricity Rates

By: Florida Chamber of Commerce

The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) next week will consider a proposal that could ultimately increase rates on electricity customers.

Proposal 51, introduced by CRC Commissioner Rich Newsome, will be heard by the CRC on December 14th at 8am in the General Provisions Committee. The amendment creates a new, undefined Constitutional “right to choose the provider of its electricity service” for every person, business, association, state agency, and political subdivision of the state. While Proposal 51 sounds like a simple concept, restructuring utility competition through a constitutional amendment will create significant implementation challenges and, based on other states’ experiences, will increase rates for electricity consumers.

Similar restructuring proposals in Texas, Michigan, and Montana created significant challenges, including higher energy rates for some customers.

What Other States Have Learned

The Florida Chamber of Commerce opposes constitutional proposals that can be accomplished through the legislative process. Our opposition is particularly appropriate in this case, because the intricacy of Florida’s electric utility regulations require a thorough, open, and deliberative process before significant, systemic changes are considered. Proposal 51 throws considerable constitutional uncertainty into essential electricity services that each and every Floridian depends upon.

The CRC meets once every 20 years to review the Florida Constitution and to recommend changes for voters to consider at the ballot box.

Proposal 51 has been first referred to the General Provisions Committee. The Florida Chamber urges commissioners on the CRC’s General Provisions Committee to vote against this proposal.

Urge the General Provision Committee to Vote No on Proposal 51

Please contact the commissioners and tell them to vote against Proposal 51 by clicking here.