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School shooting survivors attend Constitution Revision hearing in Cape Coral

March 5, 2018
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

For the last three weeks, Stoneman Douglas High School students have been at the forefront of the debate on gun control.

Five of them brought their message to Cape Coral today, making their case for changes being placed on the ballot in November in the wake the school shooting that left 17 people dead and another 14 wounded in Parkland.

David Hogg, Charlie Mirsky, Ryan Deitsch, Chris Grady and Alfonso Calderon were among the hundreds attending the Constitution Revision Commission public hearing that began at 1 and will continue until 7 p.m. at The Westin.

It is the fifth of six such hearings to be held on the CRC's 2018 "Road to the Ballot" public hearing tour to determine which among 37 constitutional amendment proposals will be placed on the General Election ballot for voter consideration.

Only Hogg and Deitsch actually spoke during the hearing, while others from local schools expressed their views by putting up red and green cards to express their pleasure or displeasure on the measures speakers brought up.

The meeting is open to - and intended for - the public and no tickets or RSVPs are required although speaker cards are needed to address the CRC.

The appointed commission convenes every 20 years to examine and bring forward constitutional amendments for voter consideration.

There are 37 active proposals being considered this go-around from among the 103 that made it out of the committee process in the fall, with a prohibition on wagering on greyhound racing also drawing comment thus far today.

Also expected to draw much comment is the so-called primary loophole.

Currently, primaries are open in Florida if the candidate slate is limited to one party. A write-in candidate on the ballot, however, closes the primary. Critics say this violates the spirit of the open-primary provision as write-in candidates often do not campaign.

Other proposals include a ban on offshore drilling, a residents' bill of rights proposal, and dog races and death benefits for survivors of first responders and military members.

The CRC has until May 10 to complete its work with its final report then due to the Secretary of State.

Any amendments then will be placed on the 2018 General Election ballot in November. The threshold for an amendment to pass is 60 percent.

The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village is at 5951 Silver King Blvd.

f you can't attend, you can still provide input at , via email to , by calling (850) 717-9550 or by mailing your comments to the Constitution Revision Commission, The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399



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