Lawmaker looks to ban amendment bundling

If some amendments on this year's ballot left you scratching your head, you were not alone. 

Florida voters got to decide on 12 proposed amendments to the state constitution, and a few of them included multiple issues.

Earlier this year, the Constitution Revision Commission decided what amendments would be on the November ballot. However, about half of them had some odd combinations of unrelated issues.

Not everyone on the commission was onboard.

"Are we supposed to set up a system where we bundle things that we know the citizens aren't going to understand substantially and then have them vote on it,” Constitution Revision Commissioner Bob Solari said back in April. “And I believe that is not what we are supposed to do."

For example, a vote yes for amendment six expanded the rights of crime victims, and also raised the mandatory retirement age for judges. Amendment nine banned both off-shore drilling and vaping indoors, at workplaces.

"I reject the notion that somehow these people are not capable of understanding basic related proposals," said Constitution Revision Commissioner Brecht Heuchan.

This week, Republican State Senator Rob Bradley filed a bill to ban amendment bundling. The proposed legislation would put a single-subject limit on the CRC.          

On Twitter, Bradley wrote "The bundling of several issues in one constitutional amendment is a terrible way to amend our constitution. It's unfair to voters who may approve of one issue in the amendment and disapprove of another. I just filed a bill to end bundling.”

"I think it would be much easier for them to actually un-bundle them and make it easier for the voter to understand what they're voting for,” said Jim Larisa. "People get so frustrated they don't even read what they mean, they have no idea what they're voting for."

Other voters believe pairing issues into one amendment it's a great way to keep the ballot concise.

"It's a better chance of passing when they're bundled then it is to try and do it separately," Anthony Smith said.

This election, 11 of the 12 constitutional amendments passed, including all of the bundled ones.   

The Constitution Revision Commission meets every 20-years, so lawmakers have until 2038 to make any changes to what the CRC can put on the ballot.