Florida lawmakers want to limit donations to $1,000 for citizen-led ballot initiatives, which can cost millions

The bill is scheduled to be heard Tuesday by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee.

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Orlando attorney John Morgan, who raised and donated millions to multiple Florida constitutional amendments. - PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE
PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE
Orlando attorney John Morgan, who raised and donated millions to multiple Florida constitutional amendments.

A Senate committee Tuesday will consider a bill that would restrict contributions to political committees trying to place proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot.

The bill (HB 1890), sponsored by Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, comes after a series of efforts in recent years by lawmakers to make it harder for citizens’ initiatives to get on the ballot.

Under the proposal, contributions to political committees sponsoring initiatives would be limited to $1,000 during the period in which petition signatures are gathered.

The limit would be lifted when the secretary of state certifies initiatives have qualified for the ballot  --- a point that occurs when the backers of the initiatives have met requirements for submitting petition signatures.

The petition-gathering process can cost millions of dollars, with groups required to submit 891,589 signatures to get measures on the 2022 ballot. The bill is scheduled to be heard Tuesday by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee.

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