Florida Chamber of Commerce Files Reply Brief with Florida Supreme Court Validating Position That Energy Proposal is Unconstitutional

By: Edie Ousley

Proposed Amendment Violates Single Subject Rule, Engages Logrolling, and Alters and Performs Functions of Multiple Branches of Government

Florida Chamber Files Reply Brief With Supreme Court

TALLAHASSEE, FL (June 21, 2019) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today filed a reply brief with the Florida Supreme Court restating its alignment with Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody, that the state’s high court should strike down the unconstitutional energy proposal.

The Florida Chamber’s reply brief outlines the multiple ways in which this proposed amendment is unconstitutional, including:

  • Violating the single subject rule,
  • Engaging in logrolling,
  • Substantially altering and performing the functions of multiple branches of government, and
  • Debunking the amendments “Texas Model” argument by outlining how Texas restructured its electricity market by a painstaking legislative process – not by a ballot initiative.

“Voters are smart, and they deserve to know that this is a price-hiking electricity amendment that will drastically drive up costs on Florida’s families, our local businesses, and virtually all consumers,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Florida Chamber was joined in the reply brief by the Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC). The initial legal brief (amicus curiae) was filed on April 18. On May 23, proponents filed two answer briefs in which they essentially admit that their proposal is unconstitutional.

In previous statements opposing this proposal, the Florida Chamber has outlined that studies conducted by Charles River Associates show the proposed changes to Florida’s electricity market would have the very damaging financial impact on state and local governments of more than $1.2 billion per year in increased costs and reduced revenues. That means less funding for vital local services, including fire departments and first responders, and higher taxes for consumers and small businesses.

The Florida Chamber has a long history of opposing constitutional amendments that can be achieved through the legislative process. The energy regulation amendment can be achieved through the legislative process, and therefore should not be permanently enshrined into Florida’s foundational document.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.