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Economists to analyze ballot proposals

State economists are preparing to analyze three more proposed constitutional amendments that could appear before voters in November 2020, including proposals to change the primary-election system and to ban assault weapons.

The economists, meeting as the Financial Impact Estimating Conference, will hold workshops July 30 and Aug. 1 as part of a process of estimating financial impacts of the initiatives, according to a schedule posted on the website of the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research.

The workshop on the proposed amendment to ban assault weapons will be July 30.

Two days later, the panel will hold a workshop on a proposal that would allow all registered voters to cast ballots in primaries, regardless of political affiliation. The two candidates receiving the most votes in each primary would advance to the general election.

Also on Aug. 1, the panel will take up a proposal that would change a provision in the Florida Constitution about the citizenship of voters. The panel is required to analyze and estimate the financial impact of proposed constitutional amendments that are driven by citizens’ initiatives.

A new law requires the Financial Impact Estimating Conference to produce two documents for each proposal — a financial impact statement and an initiative financial information statement.

The financial impact statement would appear on the ballot to inform voters whether the proposed amendment would increase or decrease costs or revenues.

The lengthier initiative financial information statement would be available on the websites of the secretary of state and the Office of Economic and Demographic Research. A summary of financial information statements will also be available at each polling place, the main offices of elections supervisors, and the supervisors’ websites.

The panel already has held meetings on other proposed constitutional amendments, including proposals to expand Medicaid eligibility, overhaul the electric utility industry and increase the minimum wage.


Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

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