Republicans hope to make it harder to amend state constitution

Photo of the Capitol
Photo courtesy: Kennedy Patton

The Florida Legislature will be in session from March 7 to May 5. Earlier this year,
lawmakers proposed legislation covering abortion, criminal justice, education, elections,
equality, guns and health care to name some of the high-profile bills being considered.
A new bill that targets amending of the state’s constitution has Democrats feeling

Representative Rick Roth, R-West Palm Beach, has filed HJR 129, which would
increase the percentage of votes required to approve an amendment or revision to the
state constitution from 60 percent to 66.67 percent.

Republicans hold super majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. Rep. Anna V.
Eskmani, D-Orlando, says this bill is a part of the Republican Party agenda.
“HJR129 is being pushed by not just Republicans and Governor DeSantis but also by
big corporations to make it even more difficult for Floridans to amend our constitution,”
Eskmani said.

The bill was filled Jan. 9th and since then it has been through the Ethics, Elections and
Open Government Subcommittee. Now it is in the Judiciary Committee. The bill is
making progress, and Republicans controlling every committee, the bill’s passage is all
but certain.

If this bill was to be approved, it would not impact past bills. Any revision made to a pre-
existing bill would still go by the same percentage that it was originally adopted by.

There are different ways that Florida citizens can go about amending the constitution.
One is the initiative petition process which requires 8 percent of voters who cast votes in
the last presidential election.

An additional requirement is that the signatures must also come from voters with at
least one-half of the congressional districts of the state.

A joint resolution is the next option for a constitutional amendment to be proposed in
Florida. This legislative process is passed by the Florida House of Representatives and
the Florida Senate, along with the signature of the governor. If all three things are
completed, the piece of legislation will go straight to the ballot for the next general

There are currently 26 initiatives or amendments that may be voted on in the 2024
general election.

Smart and Safe Florida sponsored the Adult Personal Use of Marijuana initiative.This
will allow adults 21 years or older to purchase, possess or consume marijuana products.
It would apply to Florida’s law but it wouldn’t impact any violation of federal law.
The presidential elections are approaching and changes to the amendment of the
constitution can play a key part for what’s on the ballots.

To find out the updates on the progress of HJR 129 bill, visit