Published on March 28th, 2015 | by Cynthia Shahan5
Florida Solar Ballot Initiative Is A Step Closer To Supreme Court Review
March 28th, 2015 by Cynthia Shahan
It has only been a little more than two months since Florida set in motion a push for a constitutional amendment initiative to place solar choice on the 2016 ballot. It would essentially allow for more solar business models. News is that campaign representatives have delivered 72,000 verified petition signatures to Florida’s Division of Elections. With such an effective start, it seems assured that the number of signatures will continue to increase.
A press release from Floridians for Solar Choice reports: “The verification clears the way for a legal review of Floridians for Solar Choice’s petition language by the Florida Supreme Court.”
Continuing, the press release explains that the Division of Elections will send the ballot petition to the Attorney General who will ask an advisory opinion from the Court. “The review is a critical step in all state-wide ballot campaigns as justices must review the wording of ballot proposals to ensure the language is unambiguous and conforms to the single-subject requirement.”
“After a short and unnecessary delay, we are thrilled to reach this important milestone. It shows broad support among Florida’ families and businesses for removing barriers to commerce in solar power. Further, we look forward to working with the Attorney General and her professional staff to quickly move this petition to the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion,” said Tory Perfetti, Chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice.
72,000 signatures is just the start. The campaigners must get a total of 683,149. But they have until February 1, 2016, to bring them in. The proposed constitutional amendment can then be placed on the November 2016 ballot.
The purpose of the ballot proposal is to expand solar choice by removing barriers that limit solar ownership models. Many Floridians want this in place and it is gaining wide support through a diverse coalition of more than two dozen businesses, conservative groups, faith communities, and clean energy and environmental organizations.
As it is now, Florida is behind the times, holding back environmental progress as Florida remains one of the only 5 states in the nation where current law expressly denies citizens and businesses the freedom to buy solar power electricity directly from someone other than a monopoly electric utility or government-owned electric utility. Ridiculous, and a sad showing for Floridians if this does not change. The press release from Floridians for Solar Choice continues:
Floridians for Solar Choice is a 501(c)(4) organization working across the state of Florida to elevate awareness of the 2016 ballot initiative. The public is encouraged to visit the campaign’s website www.flsolarchoice.org and social media outlets, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for more information. Registered voters in Florida are urged to sign the petition here.
Floridians for Solar Choice supports the freedom to develop solar power in the Sunshine State and is bringing people together to take solar power choice to the ballot. Learn more at www.flsolarchoice.org
Being one of only five states with such backwards laws intentionally supporting monopoly electric utilities or government-owned electric utilities, there’s a broad range of people supporting this constitutional amendment. The Solar Choice ballot effort was launched by Tea Partiers, conservatives, & liberals. It pulls together the left, right, and center. Florida consumers deserve more options for going solar, and everyone knows that.
Note that there have been some slick countermoves to try to derail this effort, another solar bill proposed by a Republican senator that this solar coalition opposes. As I wrote when discussing that, a more democratized and cleaner electricity grid is going to benefit the masses, especially the disadvantaged… as long as policymakers work to make it so, rather than working as the salespeople and do-boys of utilities and fossil fuel companies.