Republican Party of Florida Chairman and state Senator Joe Gruters (R – Sarasota) filed a bill proposal on Friday that would create a method to recall county officers and commissioners.
The proposal seeks to amend Section 1 of Article VIII in the Florida Constitution and will be introduced for consideration during the 2022 legislative session beginning in January.
If approved, it would authorize the Legislature to create a way to recall city commissioners, sheriffs, tax collectors, property appraisers, elections supervisors, and clerks of court.
The proposal does not specify how the recall process would work, saying only that it would allow the Legislature to “provide by general law for the recall of county officers and commissioners.”
The proposal has a high likelihood of successfully passing through the Senate given the majority that the Republicans hold (24 Republicans to 16 Democrats).
Legislators met this past week to sign into effect a series of laws that prevented the implementation of mask or vaccine mandates and a withdrawal from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Republican lawmakers continue to enact policies to more clearly define preexisting state laws and statutes.
If lawmakers approve the proposal, it would go on the November 2022 ballot, where it would need support from 60 percent of voters to pass.
Legislative recall efforts come amid the intense politicization of local city council meetings and school board meetings, largely centralized around mask and vaccine enforcement.
Sen. Gruters has recently introduced legislative proposals that would more clearly define local elections.
On Oct. 13th Gruters filed Senate Bill 244 that would require a delineation of candidate party of affiliation in a partisan election.
As the law currently stands, commissioners and other elected do not have a discernable method of recall or removal outside of extraneous circumstances like a breach of duty or violation of the law and prosecution.
Gruters was contacted regarding the bill but could not immediately provide a comment.