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Florida may restrict the initiative process

Class-size reduction and high-speed rail may not have made it into the Florida constitution under a proposal the state Senate passed Thursday to thwart costly citizen initiatives.

The Senate would require 60 percent of voters to approve amending the state's constitution, a move made in part out of frustration over those two issues that will cost billions over the next decade and, some say, threaten Florida's long-term fiscal health.

Neither class size nor high-speed rail - both put on the ballot by petition drive - drew enough votes to satisfy the proposed 60 percent standard. Currently, only a simple majority of 50 percent plus one is needed for passing an initiative amendment.

Also passing the Senate were measures approving tighter deadlines for groups wanting to bring issues to the ballot and limiting the types of subjects that can be addressed by citizen initiative. -- Senate passes higher vote standard for constitutional changes (AP via Miami Herald)