As President Obama once said, elections have consequences.
Florida brought the latest reminder of that on Friday, when Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that makes it much harder to change the state constitution via citizen-led ballot measures.
As Matt Shuham reports, this move puts a major dent in what is essentially the last lever of power Democrats have in the Sunshine State, which is currently overseen by a Republican governor, legislature, secretary of state and attorney general. Every member of the state Supreme Court has also been appointed by Republicans.
Progressive voices have long relied on the ballot initiative process as their best last resort. In recent years, they have successfully mobilized voters to restore voting rights to felons, legalize medical marijuana, and reduce class sizes. But they now face laborious signature-gathering requirements and hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines for errors.
The Miami Herald reported that DeSantis led the charge to get the ballot initiative bill, known as HB5, signed into law. Per the Herald, it had languished earlier in the 2019 legislative session until the Republican governor intervened at the eleventh hour to amend it to an unrelated piece of legislation.
And with a flourish of his signature on Friday, DeSantis helped further consolidate GOP control over the crucial swing state.