UPDATE: On Friday, May 5, the Florida Legislature adjourned its 2023 legislative session. House Joint Resolution 129 did not move forward.
UPDATE: On Friday, April 28, the Florida House passed the resolution. It now goes to the Florida Senate.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, April 19, the Florida House State Affairs Committee advanced House Joint Resolution 129, which would raise the threshold to pass constitutional amendments from 60% to 66.67% of the vote, making it more difficult for Florida voters to amend the state constitution. The resolution cleared the State Affairs Committee 14 to 6 on a party line vote, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against. On March 14, the resolution passed the House Judiciary Committee, also on a party line vote.
Florida already has one of the highest requirements for citizen-led constitutional amendments, requiring 60% of vote since 2006. H.J.R. 129 would raise that threshold to an unprecedented two-thirds or 66.67% of the vote.
In recent years, Florida voters have increased the minimum wage, banned offshore drilling for oil and gas, legalized medical marijuana and restricted lobbying by former public officials, all through constitutional amendments on the ballot. In 2018, over 64% of Floridians voted in favor of restoring voting rights for most people with past felony convictions upon release from incarceration. Despite Florida residents overwhelmingly supporting rights restoration, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the Florida Legislature tried to undermine the outcome through litigation, legislation and arrests. H.J.R. 129 is a continuation of that effort to reject the will of the voters.
H.J.R. 129 heads to the House floor. It must pass with three-fifths of the votes in each chamber in order to go before voters. Republicans compose more than three-fifths of the Florida House and Senate.