Florida passes bill creating hurdles to change constitution

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida would place new regulations on people paid to gather petitions for constitutional amendments under a bill going to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The language was placed on a bill in the final hours of the Legislature’s annual session Friday. Democrats accused Republican of trying to make it more difficult for citizens to pass constitutional amendments. Last year an amendment restored voting rights for most felons once they’ve completed their sentences.

The bill would force any paid petition gatherer to register with the Department of State, outlaw paying gatherers based on the number of signatures they collect and create fines if petitions aren’t turned in within 30 days.

Current law requires petitioners to gather more than 766,000 signatures to place a proposed amendment on the ballot. An amendment must then win approval of 60 percent of voters.

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