ADVISORY OPINION TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL RE: RAISING FLORIDAS MINIMUM WAGE. Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General re: Raising Floridas Minimum Wage (Fis).
Two Cases : Original Proceedings - Advisory Opinion
- Attorney General
Moody, Attorney General, and Edward M. Wenger, Chief Deputy
Solicitor General, Amit Agarwal, Solicitor General, and
Christopher J. Baum, Deputy Solicitor General, Tallahassee,
Florida, for Petitioner
Mills of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Miami, Florida, John B.
Morgan of Morgan and Morgan, P.A., and Andrew M. Starling,
Orlando, Florida, for Florida for a Fair Wage, an interested
Attorney General of Florida has petitioned this Court for an
advisory opinion on the validity of a proposed citizen
initiative amendment to the Florida Constitution and the
corresponding financial impact statement prepared by the
Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC). We have
jurisdiction to review the initiative petition. See
art. IV, § 10; art. V, § 3(b)(10), Fla. Const. As explained
below, we approve the proposed amendment titled "Raising
Floridas Minimum Wage" for placement on the ballot but
review the financial impact statement because we lack
jurisdiction to do so.
required by law, the Attorney General requested an opinion
from this Court addressing the validity of an initiative
petition titled "Raising Floridas Minimum Wage."
Specifically, the Attorney General requested that we review
the compliance of the proposed amendment with the
single-subject requirement of article XI, section 3 of the
Florida Constitution, and the compliance of the ballot title
and summary with the substantive and technical requirements
of section 101.161(1), Florida Statutes (2018). In addition,
the Attorney General requested an opinion from this Court
addressing the compliance of the corresponding financial
impact statement with section 100.371, Florida Statutes
(2019). We invited briefing as to the validity of the
initiative petition and the financial impact statement but
received none. See art. IV, § 10; Fla. R. App. P.
9.510(c)(1). Thereafter, we directed the Attorney General and
all interested parties to file briefs addressing whether this
Court has jurisdiction to review the financial impact
statement. We received only one brief, from the Attorney
General, which argues that we have jurisdiction.
people of Florida have the power to propose amendments to the
state constitution by initiative under article XI, section 3
of the Florida Constitution. Once an initiative petition is
circulated and meets certain technical requirements,
see § 15.21, Fla. Stat. (2019), the Attorney General
is constitutionally and statutorily required to seek this
Courts opinion on the validity of the petition. Art. IV, §
10; § 16.061(1), Fla. Stat. (2019). The constitution directs
us to "address[ ] issues as provided by general
law" when the Attorney General invokes our jurisdiction
to review initiative petitions. Art. V, § 3(b)(10), Fla.
the authority provided by article V, section 3(b)(10) of the
Florida Constitution, and as directed by article IV, section
10, we conduct a limited review of an initiative petition.
See Advisory Op. to Atty Gen. re Prohib. State
Spending for Experimentation that Involves Destruction of a
Live Human Embryo, 959 So.2d 210, 212, 214 (Fla. 2007).
Our review does "not address the merits or wisdom of the
proposed amendment," but rather, the compliance of the
petition with the requirements of the Florida constitution
and statutes. Id. at 212. (quoting Advisory Op.
to Atty Gen. re Fla. Marriage Prot. Amend., 926 So.2d
1229, 1233 (Fla. 2006)).
regardless of whether we receive arguments on the validity of
an initiative petition, we review the petition to ensure the
following: (A) that the proposed amendment "embrace[s]
but one subject and matter directly connected therewith"
(except when the proposed amendment limits the power of
government to raise revenue), art. XI, § 3, Fla. Const., and
(B) that the petition includes a ballot title and summary in
compliance with the word-count, clarity, and content
requirements of section 101.161(1), Florida Statutes.
See Prohib. State Spending for Experimentation
that Involves Destruction of a Live Human Embryo, 959
So.2d at 211 n.1, 212-15.
first address the compliance of the proposed amendment with
rule and compliance of the ballot title and summary with
section 101.161(1). Then, we turn to the question of our
jurisdiction to ...