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Stories about Florida

Filing deadline approaches for Jacksonville special election

Candidates interested in running for a vacant seat on the Jacksonville City Council in Florida have until Oct. 1 to qualify via qualifying fee. The filing deadline to qualify via signature petitions was Sept. 21. The special election will be held on Dec. 7. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff election will be held on Feb. 22 between the top two vote-getters. The winner of the special election will serve until June 2023.

The at-large Group 3 seat on the city council became vacant on Sept. 11 after Tommy Hazouri (D) died from health complications. He had served on the city council since 2015.

Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida and the 14th-largest city in the U.S. by population. It had an estimated population of 911,507 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 70 cities, including 40 mayoral elections.

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Florida Realtors suspends initiative campaign after making compromise deal with state legislators

On Sept. 7, 2021, Floridians for Housing, a ballot initiative committee sponsored by the Florida Realtors, said they were suspending their campaign. The initiative would have created state and local government housing trust funds to “address affordable housing access and availability, including funding of programs addressing new construction, down payment and closing cost assistance, rehabilitation, and financing for affordable housing development.”

According to campaign finance reports covering information through Aug. 31, the Florida Realtors had contributed $13 million to the committee. The committee reported $2.75 million in expenditures. As of Sept. 8, the Florida Division of Elections website said the group had submitted 65,018 valid signatures. To qualify for the ballot, sponsors would have needed to submit 891,589 valid signatures by Feb. 1, 2022.

Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert said that the campaign would work with legislative leaders on laws to address affordable housing instead of the ballot initiative. Lambert said, “The legislative leadership has committed to working with us to find significant, immediate solutions to Florida’s workforce housing crisis. This crisis cannot wait. Every day, we hear about workers who are bearing the brunt of the pandemic who can’t afford a home. This approach will help bring homeownership within reach of Floridians much faster.”

Senate President Wilton Simpson (R) and House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R) said, “We commend the decision by the Florida Realtors to suspend their ballot initiative. As we have seen in recent months, the housing market is extremely fluid, and fluctuates based on a variety of factors, which are outside of the Legislature’s control. Constitutional amendments, while instrumental in defining the ideals of the framework of our state government, do not provide the flexibility needed to respond to the ever-changing housing situation in Florida. Legislative solutions derived from the input and expertise of the entire coalition of stakeholders and experts who work on housing-related issues remain the best way to address housing challenges that impact families across our state.”

Committee meetings ahead of the 2022 legislative session were set to begin on Sept. 20, 2021. The legislative session was set to begin on Jan. 11 and run through March 11, 2022.

Ballotpedia is tracking 24 potential initiatives targeting Florida’s 2022 ballot. As of Sept. 8, seven of the initiative campaigns had zero valid signatures submitted. For the other 17 campaigns, the number of valid signatures on file ranged from two at the least, to 9,347 at the most, collected by Florida Voters in Charge, sponsors of an initiative to expand casino gaming in Florida.

Proposed measures are reviewed by the state attorney general and state supreme court after proponents collect 25% of the required signatures across the state in each of one-half of the state’s congressional districts (222,898 signatures for 2022 ballot measures). After these preliminary signatures have been collected, the secretary of state must submit the proposal to the Florida Attorney General and the Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC). The attorney general is required to petition the Florida Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on the measure’s compliance with the single-subject rule, the appropriateness of the title and summary, and whether or not the measure “is facially valid under the United States Constitution.” To qualify for the ballot, sponsors must submit 891,589 valid signatures, which must be verified by election officials by Feb. 1, 2022. Signatures equaling at least 8% of the district-wide vote in the last presidential election must be collected from at least half (14) of the state’s congressional districts.

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Recent state court actions suspend state-level universal school mask requirement bans in Florida and Tennessee, uphold a ban in South Carolina

As schools have begun reopening for the 2021-2022 academic year, several states have enacted policies on mask requirements in schools. As of Sept. 9, four states banned school mask requirements, seventeen states required masks in schools, and twenty-nine states left school mask decisions up to local authorities.

Recent legal actions have affected these policies in Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina. In Florida, Second Circuit Court Judge John Cooper ruled on Sept. 8 that the state Department of Education could not enforce Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) order prohibiting mask requirements without an opt-out option for parents in public schools. Cooper had ruled against DeSantis’ order on Aug. 27, but the ruling had not gone into effect as DeSantis appealed the decision. Following a Sept. 8 hearing on the status of the order pending appeal, Cooper said the government did not present a compelling case for blocking his order. The ban on enforcement will remain in effect until the First District Court of Appeals hears DeSantis’ appeal.

In Tennessee, United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Sheryl H. Lipman ruled on Sept. 3 in favor of two students who sued Gov. Bill Lee (R) after he issued an order requiring schools to allow students to opt-out of school mask mandates. Lipman ruled Lee’s order violated the students’ rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In South Carolina, the state Supreme Court rejected the city of Columbia’s challenge to the state’s school mask requirement ban. The court found that the mask requirement ban, which was established in an amendment to the state’s budget, was related to budgetary concerns and therefore did not violate a South Carolina rule requiring state laws address a single primary subject.

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Filing deadline approaches for Miami municipal election

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Miami is on Sept. 18. Prospective candidates may file for mayor and two seats on the five-seat city commission.

The general election is scheduled for Nov. 2. If no candidate earns more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will be held Nov. 16.

Miami is the second-largest city in Florida and the 44th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

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Campaign finance update: Top fundraisers in Florida

Campaign finance requirements govern the raising and spending of money for political campaigns. While not the only factor in an election’s outcome, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages, such as the ability to boost name recognition and promote a message. In addition, fundraising can indicate enthusiasm for candidates and parties.

This article lists the top individual fundraisers in Florida by their party affiliation as well as the top ten fundraisers overall. It is based on campaign finance reports that active Florida candidate political action committees (candidate PACs) submitted to the Florida Department of State. It includes activity between Jan. 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs.

Top Florida Fundraisers

The top fundraisers in Florida elections are shown below. For the purpose of this article, fundraisers may include individuals who are on the ballot this election cycle as well as those not currently running for office but who have received contributions during this reporting period. Individuals are listed with the office that they held at the time of publication, if applicable.

In the Democratic party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:

In the Republican party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:

Fundraising Totals

Overall, the top Florida Democratic candidate PACs raised $2.76 million in this period. The top Republican candidate PACs raised $39.02 million. Florida candidate PACs in the Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, filing period raised a total of $50.26 million. Combined, these Florida candidates account for 83% of total fundraising.

Contributions to the top five Democratic candidates made up 71% of the total amount reported by their party’s campaigns. Contributions to the top five Republican fundraisers comprised 89% of the total amount reported by Republican campaigns.

The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers. For more information on fundraising and spending for Florida races on the 2022 ballot, click here.

NameParty AffiliationRaised this periodSpent this period
Ron DeSantisRepublican Party$36,189,181$574,541
Charlie CristDemocratic Party$1,951,182$243,704
Ashley B. MoodyRepublican Party$1,400,130$54,496
Jason FischerRepublican Party$933,759$76,716
Nikki FriedDemocratic Party$398,817$30,099
Colleen BurtonRepublican Party$279,575$83,435
Milton HirschNonpartisan$260,153$6,878
Joshua MizeNonpartisan$233,334$2,075
Ed HooperRepublican Party$221,350$39,016
Hillary CasselDemocratic Party$215,680$33,563

Campaign Finance Reporting Periods

The reports filed with the Florida Department of State cover Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021. Candidate PACs in Florida must file semiannual financial reports of their fundraising and campaign spending. During election years, candidate PACs also file additional financial reports before primary and general elections.

The next semiannual campaign finance reporting deadline for Florida legislators and candidates will include activity between July 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021.

This article was published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.



Gaming compact between Florida and Seminole Tribe goes into effect; opponents file lawsuits in state and federal court

Florida entered into a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida in April 2021 that gave the Tribe the exclusive ability to conduct sports betting in the state. Under the compact, the tribe may conduct sports betting and is required to share revenue with the state of Florida for the next 30 years, until 2051. The revenue sharing guarantee was set to be $2.5 billion over the first five years, with expected revenue for the state totaling $6 billion by 2030. Under the compact, sports betting was set to be available online and at pari-mutuel facilities to anyone in the state and would be “deemed at all times to be exclusively conducted by the tribe at its facilities” where the sportsbooks and servers are located. The compact was deemed approved, and the Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs published it in the Federal Register on August 11, 2021.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) passed by the United States Congress in 1988 allowed tribes to establish casino gambling on tribal land and permitted states to form compacts with tribes to regulate gaming. The IGRA requires that any gaming activities provided for through gaming compacts between Indian tribes and state governments occur only on Indian lands, defined as “all lands within the limits of any Indian reservation.” Florida’s 2021 compact with the Seminole Tribe contains a severability clause, providing that, “[i]f at any time the Tribe is not legally permitted to offer Sports Betting to Patrons physically located in the State but not on Indian lands,” then the rest of the compact would remain in effect, meaning sports betting would then be available only on tribal lands.

On July 2, 2021, West Flagler Associates (Magic City Casino) and Bonita Springs Poker Room filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida Tallahassee Division against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), alleging that the compact would illegally allow online sports betting from any location in the state. In the lawsuit, plaintiffs wrote, “‘Deeming’ the bet to have been placed on Indian lands because the servers are located there contradicts decades of well-established precedent interpreting applicable federal law. Contrary to the legal fiction created by the 2021 Compact and Implementing Law, a bet is placed both where the bettor and the casino are each located.”

Following the approval of the compact, the casinos filed a second lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and the U.S. Department of the Interior. They alleged that approval of the compact violates federal laws including bank wire laws “by unlawfully permitting internet and bank wire transmission of transactions and payments relating to sports betting between the Tribe’s reservations and the rest of Florida, where sports betting is otherwise illegal.” They also argued that the compact violated the Fifth Amendment equal protection clause by allowing the Seminole Tribe to conduct online sports gambling in Florida although it would be illegal for anyone else to do so.

No Casinos, Inc., which supported Amendment 3 of 2018, also said it would file a lawsuit to block the compact from taking effect. Amendment 3, approved by a vote of 71.47% to 28.53%, made the citizen initiative process “the exclusive method of authorizing casino gambling,” meaning the Florida State Legislature is not permitted to authorize casino gambling through statute or through referring a constitutional amendment to the ballot. Amendment 3 included a provision stating that the amendment does not “limit the ability of the state or Native American tribes to negotiate gaming compacts pursuant to the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act for the conduct of casino gambling on tribal lands, or to affect any existing gambling on tribal lands pursuant to compacts executed by the state and Native American tribes pursuant to IGRA.” No Casinos President John Sowinski said, “This compact violates multiple Federal laws as well as the Florida Constitution. The 2018 constitutional mandate of 72% of Florida voters could not be clearer. Only Florida voters, not politicians in Tallahassee or Washington, have the power to expand gambling in Florida.”

Bryan Newland, principal deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior for Indian Affairs, said, “After thorough review under IGRA, we have taken no action to approve or disapprove the Compact … the Compact is considered to have been approved by operation of law to the extent that it complies with IGRA and existing Federal law.” Newland also said, “IGRA should not be an impediment to tribes that seek to modernize their gaming offerings, and this jurisdictional agreement aligns with the policy goals of IGRA to promote tribal economic development while ensuring regulatory control of Indian gaming. The Department will not read restrictions into IGRA that do not exist.”

Gov. DeSantis said, “The final approval of this historic gaming compact is a big deal for the State of Florida. This mutually-beneficial agreement will grow our economy, expand tourism and recreation and provide billions in new revenue to benefit Floridians.” DeSantis also said he believes the compact is in compliance with constitutional requirements under Amendment 3 of 2018.

Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. said, “Today is a great day for the people of Florida, who will benefit not only from a $2.5 billion revenue sharing guarantee over five years, but also from statewide sports betting and new casino games that will roll out this fall and mean more jobs for Floridians and more money invested in this state.”

Florida Education Champions, sponsors of an initiative to allow other entities, aside from the Seminole Tribe, to conduct sports betting in Florida, have raised $20 million from DraftKings and FanDuel in an attempt to qualify the initiative for the November 2022 ballot. The measure would authorize sports betting at sports venues, pari-mutuel facilities, and online in Florida. The Florida State Legislature would need to pass legislation to implement the constitutional amendment such as providing for licensing, regulation, consumer protection, and taxation. Under the amendment, all online sports betting tax revenue would be dedicated to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund of the Department of Education. Online sports betting could be conducted by (a) Native American tribes and (b) entities that have existed for at least one year and that have conducted sports betting in at least 10 other states under the amendment. Such entities could begin conducting sports betting no later than eight months after the amendment is effective. Other entities or organizations could conduct sports betting no sooner than 20 months after the amendment is effective if authorized by state law. As of August 19, 2021, the Florida Division of Elections reported that 685 valid signatures had been submitted for Florida Education Champions’ initiative.

Seminole Gaming launched their own PAC, Voters in Control, and provided $10 million to it to support the compact and oppose the initiative sponsored by Florida Education Champions.

Additionally, Florida Voters in Charge sponsored an initiative concerning casino gaming expansion in Florida. The group filed two versions: #21-15 and #21-16. The initiative would expand casino gaming in Florida and define casino gaming. Version #21-15 would limit new casinos to 100 miles from a Seminole tribal casino and version #21-16 would limit new casinos to 130 miles from a Seminole tribal casino. A spokesperson for the committee said “both of these ballot initiatives are options we are exploring,” and the committee “will make a decision on which option we will begin gathering signatures for soon.” Currently, 110 valid signatures have been submitted for version #21-16. Gary Bitner, spokesperson for the Seminole Indian Tribe, said, “Unlike the proposed sports betting ballot initiative, neither of these initiatives would interfere with the new gaming compact, nor would they impact the $2.5 billion revenue-sharing guarantee for the state of Florida over the compact’s first five years.”

Ballotpedia identified four committees registered to support and/or oppose gambling-related initiatives (#21-13, #21-14, and #21-15) targeting the 2022 ballot in Florida. In total, the four committees reported receiving donations of $62,069,547.80.

Proposed measures are reviewed by the state attorney general and state supreme court after proponents collect 25% of the required signatures across the state in each of one-half of the state’s congressional districts (222,898 signatures for 2022 ballot measures). After these preliminary signatures have been collected, the secretary of state must submit the proposal to the Florida Attorney General and the Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC). The attorney general is required to petition the Florida Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on the measure’s compliance with the single-subject rule, the appropriateness of the title and summary, and whether or not the measure “is facially valid under the United States Constitution.” To qualify for the ballot, sponsors must submit 891,589 valid signatures, which must be verified by election officials by February 1, 2022. Signatures equaling at least 8% of the district-wide vote in the last presidential election must be collected from at least half (14) of the state’s 27 congressional districts.

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Municipal primary approaches in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Image of a red sign with the words "Polling Place" a pointing arrow.

The municipal primary election in St. Petersburg, Fla., is on Aug. 24. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. The filing deadline to run passed on June 18.

Nine candidates filed to run in the nonpartisan mayoral race. Incumbent Rick Kriseman did not file to run for re-election.

Candidates also filed to run for five seats on the eight-seat city council. City council districts 1, 4, and 8 are holding primary elections in which more than two candidates are on the ballot. In Districts 2 and 6, the primary was canceled after only two candidates filed to run in each race.

St. Petersburg is the fifth-largest city in Florida and the 77th-largest city in the U.S. by population.



Candidate filing deadline to pass on July 26 in Hialeah, Fla.

Candidates interested in running for mayor and three city council seats in Hialeah, Fla., have until July 26 to file. The primary election will be held on Nov. 2. If no candidate earns a majority of the vote in the primary election, the top two vote-getters will advance to a general election. The general election, if necessary, will be held on Nov. 16.

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández is ineligible to run for re-election in 2021 due to term limits. He has served as the city’s mayor since 2011. Mayoral elections in Hialeah are nonpartisan, but media outlets have reported that Hernandez is affiliated with the Republican Party.

The city council seats currently held by Group V incumbent Carl Zogby, Group VI incumbent Paul Hernandez, and Group VII incumbent Katharine Cue-Fuente are on the ballot in 2021. Zogby has served on the city council since 2017. Hernandez was appointed to the city council in 2010, and Cue-Fuente was appointed in 2008. Cue-Fuente is ineligible to run for another term due to term limits.

Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in Florida. It had an estimated population of 233,339 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 68 cities, including 40 mayoral elections.

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Judge blocks $3,000 limit on contributions to Florida initiative campaigns during signature gathering

On July 1, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor issued a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of Florida Senate Bill 1890. SB 1890 was designed to set $3,000 limits on campaign contributions to committees in support of or opposition to ballot initiatives during signature gathering. The bill was designed to lift the contribution limits after a measure is put on the ballot. It would have taken effect on July 1 without the injunction.

Winsor wrote that the state “bears the burden of justifying restrictions on political expression by advancing at least ‘a significantly important interest’ that is ‘closely drawn to avoid unnecessary abridgment of associational freedoms.’ […] Binding decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and the 5th Circuit (Court of Appeals) applied those principles and concluded that the First Amendment forbids limitations like those SB 1890 imposes.”

Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R) responded to the ruling, “The citizen initiative system was designed to be a mechanism for grassroots expression not a shortcut for billionaires to bypass the political process. SB 1890 contained limited and narrowly tailored measures to protect the integrity of the signature-gathering process.”

The Senate passed the bill 23-17 on April 14. Twenty-three Republicans were in favor, and 16 Democrats and one Republican were opposed. The House passed it 75-40 on April 26. All 75 voting Republicans were in favor, and all 40 voting Democrats were opposed. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the bill on May 7.

On May 8, the ACLU of Florida along with three initiative petition campaigns filed the lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction. The lawsuit cited previous rulings that overturned limitations on campaign contributions for ballot measure committees, including Citizens Against Rent Control v. City of Berkeley (1981), First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti (1978), and Buckley v. Valeo (1976). The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in previous cases that political contributions constitute freedom of speech and cannot be limited without a compelling state interest, such as to prevent corruption and bribery. The court has also ruled that “referenda are held on issues, not candidates for public office. The risk of corruption perceived in cases involving candidate elections simply is not present in a popular vote on a public issue.”

In Florida, initiative proponents must collect signatures equal to 8% of votes cast at the previous presidential election. The requirement to put an initiative on the 2022 ballot is 891,589 valid signatures. Florida also has a signature distribution requirement, which requires that signatures equaling at least 8% of the district-wide vote in the last presidential election be collected from at least half (14) of the state’s 27 congressional districts. Signatures remain valid until February 1 of even-numbered years and must be verified by February 1 of the targeted general election year.

In 2020, four initiatives qualified for the ballot in Florida. The petition drives to put those measures on the ballot cost an average of $6.7 million each, ranging from $4 million to $8.8 million. From 2016 through 2020, the average total cost of an initiative petition drive that successfully qualified an initiative for the ballot in Florida was $5.1 million. Nationwide, the average total cost of a successful initiative petition drive was $2.1 million in 2020. It was $1.2 million in 2018. In Florida, the petition drives that put the four initiatives that were on the ballot in 2020 were each funded by one donor or entities that were all associated.

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Florida sports betting legalization initiative filed with support from FanDuel and DraftKings

Florida Initiative 21-13, sponsored by Florida Education Champions, was cleared for signature gathering on June 23, 2021.

The measure would authorize sports betting at sports venues, pari-mutuel facilities, and online in Florida. The Florida State Legislature would need to pass legislation to implement the constitutional amendment such as providing for licensing, regulation, consumer protection, and taxation. Under the amendment, all online sports betting tax revenue would be dedicated to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund of the Department of Education.

Online sports betting could be conducted by (a) Native American tribes and (b) entities that have existed for at least one year and that have conducted sports betting in at least 10 other states under the amendment. Such entities could begin conducting sports betting no later than eight months after the amendment is effective. Other entities or organizations could conduct sports betting no sooner than 20 months after the amendment is effective if authorized by state law.

In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case, Murphy v. NCAA (originally Christie v. NCAA), regarding the legality of a law implementing New Jersey Public Question 1 (2011). On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the federal government could not require states to prohibit sports betting, thereby overturning the federal ban on sports betting. The ruling allowed states to legalize sports betting if they wish. As of June 2021, sports betting was legal, or laws to legalize had been approved, in 30 states and D.C.

In 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 3, which gave voters the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling in the State of Florida.” Amendment 3 made the citizen initiative process “the exclusive method of authorizing casino gambling,” meaning the Florida State Legislature is not permitted to authorize casino gambling through statute or through referring a constitutional amendment to the ballot. The amendment is not applicable to compacts between the state and Native American tribes under the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that authorize gaming on tribal lands.

Florida made a compact with the Seminole Tribe in April 2021 that gave the Tribe the exclusive ability to conduct sports betting in the state. Under the compact, the tribe would conduct sports betting and would be required to give a minimum of $400 million per year to the state of Florida for the next 30 years, until 2051. Under the compact, sports betting would be available online and at pari-mutuel facilities to anyone in the state and would be “deemed at all times to be exclusively conducted by the tribe at its facilities” where the sportsbooks and servers are located.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988 requires that any gaming activities provided for through gaming compacts between Indian tribes and state governments occur only on Indian lands, defined as “all lands within the limits of any Indian reservation.” Florida’s 2021 compact with the Seminole Tribe contains a severability clause, providing that, “[i]f at any time the Tribe is not legally permitted to offer Sports Betting to Patrons physically located in the State but not on Indian lands,” then the rest of the compact would remain in effect, meaning sports betting would then be available only on tribal lands.

Florida Education Champions said, “Our amendment will allow more competition and enable Floridians to use their favorite sports betting platform. [It] will bring competitive sports betting to Florida and allow fans to use their favorite online sports betting platforms, such as DraftKings or FanDuel. That means no monopolies or limited options.” Florida Education Champions spokesperson Christina Johnson said the amendment would “generate substantial revenue that can be directed to Florida’s public education system — without raising taxes.”

Seminole Tribe spokesperson Gary Bitner said, “This is a political Hail Mary from out-of-state corporations trying to interfere with the business of the people of Florida. They couldn’t stop Florida’s new gaming compact, which passed by an overwhelming 88 percent ‘yes’ vote from Florida’s elected legislators and enjoys 3-to-1 support from Floridians and guarantees $2.5 billion in revenue sharing. The guarantee is the largest commitment by any gaming company in U.S. history.”

To qualify for the 2022 ballot, proponents must submit 891,589 valid signatures. The deadline for signature verification is February 1, 2022. As election officials have 30 days to check signatures, petitions should be submitted at least one month before the verification deadline. Proposed measures are reviewed by the state attorney general and state supreme court after proponents collect 25% of the required signatures across the state in each of one-half of the state’s congressional districts (222,898 signatures for 2022 ballot measures). After these preliminary signatures have been collected, the secretary of state must submit the proposal to the Florida Attorney General and the Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC). The attorney general is required to petition the Florida Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on the measure’s compliance with the single-subject rule, the appropriateness of the title and summary, and whether or not the measure “is facially valid under the United States Constitution.”

Last month, an initiative was certified for the California 2022 ballot that would legalize sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks in California.

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