On November 28, 2017, during a presentation before members of the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) Judicial Committee, the Florida Chamber of Commerce said Proposal 23 is a solution in search of a problem. As outlined in a Florida Chamber Staff Analysis, Proposal 23 calls for creating a series of new and ambiguous rights, and creating a new cause of action for any person to sue – public or private – for violating these undefined rights. The excessive burdens it would create on businesses, as well as the additional legal liability it would place on job creators, are among the many flaws this proposal carries.
“While we disagree with the approach of the proposal, we appreciate the awareness being brought to the issue. The Florida Chamber believes that science must drive environmental public policy decisions, and that it is imperative we protect our natural environment for future generations. However, in addition to being an unnecessary addition to our state’s constitution, we remain concerned that this proposal’s ambiguity will hamper Florida’s future economic growth while unleashing a bevy of needless lawsuits.”
– Frank Walker
Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Florida Chamber of Commerce
According to the Florida Chamber, Proposal 23:
- Can be addressed through Florida’s existing regulatory structure,
- Will create ambiguity, spawning more lawsuits, clogging our courts and further tarnishing Florida’s already bottom five legal climate, and
- Similar proposals have made other states less competitive.
The panel of Florida Chamber legislative advocates and partners presenting the opposition viewpoint on behalf of the Florida Chamber included:
- Frank Walker, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Florida Chamber
- Ryan Matthews, Former Interim Secretary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Chamber legislative advocate and Attorney, Peebles, Smith & Matthews
- David Childs, Florida Chamber legislative advocate and Attorney, Hopping Green & Sams
- William Large, President, Florida Justice Reform Institute
The following resources regarding the Florida Chamber’s opposition are available:
- Letter of opposition sent October 17 when the proposal was initially filed
- Staff Analysis
- Florida Justice Reform Institute White Paper
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