Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Florida Supreme Court hands off HB 7069 logrolling complaint

An attempt by nine Florida school districts to get the state Supreme Court to knock down HB 7069 on grounds that it violated the constitutional single-subject rule is headed to the Leon County Circuit Court instead.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an order transferring the case, which the districts filed in addition to separate suits challenging the legislation over concerns that lawmakers trampled school boards' constitutional rights to oversee public schools in their districts.

Now all the cases are in Leon County.

The single-page order stated that the transfer "should not be construed as
adjudication or comment on the merits of the petition, nor as a determination that the transferee court has jurisdiction or that the petition has been properly denominated as a petition for writs of quo warranto and writs of mandamus."

It added that the receiving court should  consider expediting the petition, "as it appears to be time sensitive based upon the allegations," but added that there is no requirement to do so.

The court ended by stating it will not consider any motion for rehearing.

The case focuses on the fact that the 2017 bill, which began as a six page proposal but grew to 274 pages in the waning days of session, covered dozens of subjects rather than just one. For more background, read our previous coverage: Does Florida's constitutional mandate of one-subject legislation apply to HB 7069?

In a separate but related action, a Leon County judge refused to dismiss the HB 7069 case brought by the Palm Beach School Board, the News Service of Florida reports.

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