•56 delegates wrote Florida’s first Constitution, during a convention in St. Joseph, FL.
•This 1st Constitution provided for:
1. A bicameral legislature;
2. A one-term governor; and
3. The legislature to select the heads of governmental departments.
•The Confederate Constitution
•Drafters met in Tallahassee to adopt Ordinance of Succession.
•Linked Florida to the Confederate States of America.
•Adopted after the Civil War.
•Annulled succession ordinance.
•Acknowledged abolition of slavery, but restricted jury service and witness testimony to whites only unless victim was black; denied blacks and women the right to vote; and never became law because Florida came under post-Civil War military jurisdiction.
• The Carpetbag Constitution, as it came to be called.
• Centralized power with the governor.
* Local leaders appointed, not elected.
• Required a public schools system, a state prison system, and other institutions.
• Required taxes to be uniform.
• Extended voting and other rights to all males.
• Allocated a seat in the State Senate and House to Seminole Indians.
• Weakened executive authority by:
* Establishing an elected cabinet;
* Election of government officials;
* Reducing elected state officials’ salaries; and
* Limiting the governor to one term.
• Authorized a poll tax (lasted until 1937), that served to deny poor blacks and whites the right to vote.
• Thus far, this was the longest lasting and most amended constitution.
• Florida’s Current Constitution.
• Provides for five ways to propose constitutional amendments:
1. Proposal by state legislature;
2. Proposal by citizen initiative;
3. Proposal by Constitution Revision Commission;
4. Proposal by constitutional convention; and
5. Proposal by the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission.
* Right-click on Florida’s Flag and choose "Open Link in New Window" to go to Florida’s current Constitution.