FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT
The fiscal impact cannot be determined precisely. State government and state courts may incur additional costs if litigation increases beyond the number or complexity of cases which would have occurred in the amendment's absence.
SUMMARY OF INITIATIVE FINANCIAL INFORMATION STATEMENT
Article III, Section 16 of the Florida Constitution provides for legislative redistricting of the state into legislative districts in the second year following each decennial census. The proposed constitutional amendment adds Section 21 to Article III of the Florida Constitution setting standards for establishing legislative districts or districting plans: legislative districts or districting plans may not be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor an incumbent or political party; districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying racial or language minorities the equal opportunity to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice; districts must be contiguous; and, unless otherwise required, districts must be as equal in population as practicable, must be compact, and must make use of existing political and geographical boundaries.
Given information provided through public workshops and collected through staff research, the Financial Impact Estimating Conference expects that the proposed amendment may result in increased costs based on the following:
* The State may incur additional legal costs to litigate the redistricting plans developed under the proposed constitutional standards. Since the amendment increases the number of factors that could be litigated, the districting initiative may expand the scope and complexity of litigation to determine the validity of each new apportionment plan. For example, the requirement that every district be drawn so as not to favor or disfavor any incumbent or political party may spawn challenges. Such costs are more likely during the first reapportionment after the amendment's passage as judicial clarification of the new standards is sought and the related legal doctrine developed. These legal costs are indeterminate.
* The Department of Legal Affairs concurs that there may be increased litigation costs, and that they may experience increased costs if they are asked to litigate these actions.
* The Office of the State Courts Administrator believes there will be an impact at the trial court and appellate level. They assume that litigation will increase. The amount of increased litigation is unknown and the estimated impact on the trial court, the judicial workload, and the appellate workload is indeterminate.
* The amendment does not substantially alter the current responsibilities or costs of the Department of State, the supervisors of elections, or local governments.
* Any additional cost to the Legislature to develop the plans is indeterminate.
* The amendment does not directly impact government revenues.
Add a new Section 21 to Article III:
STANDARDS FOR ESTABLISHING LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT BOUNDARIES
In establishing Legislative district boundaries:
- (1) No apportionment plan or district shall be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent; and districts shall
not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the
political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice; and districts shall consist of contiguous territory.
(2) Unless compliance with the standards in this subsection conflicts with the standards in subsection (1) or with federal law, districts shall
be as nearly equal in population as is practicable; districts shall be compact; and districts shall, where feasible, utilize existing political and
(3) The order in which the standards within sub-sections (1) and (2) of this section are set forth shall not be read to establish any priority of
one standard over the other within that subsection.