Floridians won’t have the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment this fall that would have allowed them to choose their electric provider, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The court’s justices found the proposed amendment was misleading because its summary stated that the amendment would also allow customers to sell electricity.
“In fact the amendment does no such thing,” justices wrote.
The proposal looked to deregulate the state’s energy market, which is dominated by private utility monopolies such as Florida Power & Light, Gulf Power, Duke Energy and Tampa Electric Co.
It would have allowed customers to choose their electricity providers from a competitive market or give them more options to produce solar energy. The proposal was closely modeled on Texas’ deregulation under former Gov. George W. Bush.
Attorney General Ashley Moody also argued to the court that the proposal was misleading and a veiled attempt to “eliminate” the state’s investor-owned utilities. She has come out against several proposed amendments that are now facing review by the Supreme Court, including proposals that would ban assault weapons and allow the use of recreational marijuana.
By law, proposed constitutional amendments are screened by the Supreme Court, which decides whether the amendments adhere to a single subject and aren’t misleading. [read more]