Posted on April 18, 2015 - 02:38 PM
by Paul Brenot
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – March 26, 2015 – A private group, Floridians for Solar Choice, is collecting voter signatures in hopes of adding a proposed constitutional amendment to the 2016 Florida ballot.
Yesterday, the group announced that it collected enough signatures to cross the first threshold – Florida Supreme Court review of the ballot's wording. The amendment, if passed, would allow private property owners and businesses to sell a limited amount of solar-generated power.
The Supreme Court review won't focus on the benefits or perils of a change in solar energy policies. Its sole task is to determine if the language that would appear on ballots is unambiguous and conforms to Florida's single-subject requirement.
According to Floridians for Solar Choice, Florida's Division of Elections verified over 72,000 petition signatures, the minimum number required for a court review. The Division of Elections will now send the ballot petition to the Attorney General who will request an advisory opinion from the Court.
If the ballot wording gains Supreme Court approval, the campaign must collect an additional 600,000-plus signatures (683,149 signatures total) by Feb. 1, 2016, verified by the Division of Elections. If the campaign meets that deadline, it will appear on Florida's ballot in the 2016 general election.
According to the solar group, the ballot proposal, if approved by 60 percent of voters, would remove barriers that limit solar ownership models, and allow private property owners and businesses to sell a limited amount of excess power generated by solar energy panels. They claim that Florida is one of only five states with a law that "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."