BY BUDDY NEVINS
Got a problem with Gov. Rick Scott?
Too bad. You can’t do anything about it until 2014. He can only be impeached, not recalled.
State Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, wants to change that. Kriseman today filed legislation to permit the recall of state officials.
Currently voters can only recall local officials.
House Joint Resolution 785 and House Bill 787, both sponsored by Representative Kriseman, would allow the public to recall legislators, members of the Florida Cabinet, governor and lieutenant governor.
“Engaged citizens deserve the tools to hold their public servants accountable without having to wait for the next election, said Representative Kriseman in a news release. “Honest and dedicated elected officials will have nothing to fear from the implementation of this important proposal, and I am confident that my colleagues will support its passage.
Under the bill, a recall would not be easy:
HJR 785 would require signatures be collected from each of the 67 counties to recall a statewide official. The signatures equal 15 percent of the total votes cast in the last election for the office.
A petition to recall a member of the Florida Legislature would be easier because it would be confined to their district. It would require signatures from 20 percent of the total votes cast in the last election for the office.
If HJR 785 is approved by the Legislature, voters will be asked on the November 2012 General Election ballots to amend the state constitution with the recall provision. House Bill 787 would create a statutory recall provision.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states now permit the recall of state officials.
I would hope many Tea Party folks would support it. The bill would seem to give more power to average people, which is what they are supposedly about.
But the GOP leadership of the Legislature can’t be classified as Tea Party types.
So the chances of this passing? Slim.