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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Now for the explanation



Scourt_4 We already know what the Florida Supreme Court decided on Amendments 5, 7 and 9. Now we have their rationale. Click here for the decision on 5, and here for the decision on 7 and 9. Both were released a few minutes ago.

If you'd rather skip 33 pages of court opinion, here's the shorthand: The justices shot down 5 because they said it was misleading. And they said the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission exceeded its authority on 7 and 9.

On 5, they wrote: "In recent years, advantageous but misleading 'wordsmithing' has been employed in the crafting of ballot titles and summaries. Sponsors attempt to use phrases and wording techniques in an attempt to persuade voters to vote in favor of the proposal. When such wording selections render a ballot title and summary deceptive or misleading to voters, the law requires that such proposal be removed from the ballot –- regardless of the substantive merit of the proposed changes."

And on 7 and 9: "We find that the plain reading of the term 'state budgetary process' is clear and unambiguous -– TBRC's jurisdiction to propose constitutional amendments does not extend to a subject solely because the State will expend funds on that subject or because it could affect the State's expenditures."

Both rulings were unanimous.

(Photo from State of Florida)


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:56am]


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