Florida Supreme Court Rebukes Price-Tag Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2002

Contact: Nathan Richter or Tracy Duckett at People For the American Way

Email: media@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

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Law Requiring Cost Estimates of Citizen Initiatives Deemed Unconstitutional

The Florida State Supreme Court today affirmed a lower court ruling that the price-tag law recently enacted by legislators violated Florida’s constitution. The law had required constitutional amendments offered by citizens to be accompanied on the ballot by a cost estimate even though no cost estimate is required for legislation offered by the Legislature. The price-tag law has been widely recognized as an attempt by the governor and the Legislature to build public opposition to Amendment 9, a constitutional amendment to limit class sizes.

“A law applying to citizen initiatives and not to amendments proposed by the Legislature can only be called a double-standard,” said Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way. “This ruling will guarantee that Amendment 9 is presented fairly to the voters. For the millions of children who sit in overcrowded classrooms this is a great victory.”