Florida Hospital Association Opposes the “Energy Choice” Amendment
The Florida Hospital Association (“FHA”) is the leading voice of Florida’s hospital community. Founded in 1927, FHA supports the mission of its members to provide the highest quality of care to the patients they serve. To that end, FHA advocates proactively on behalf of hospitals at the state and federal levels on issues that will assist members in their mission of community service and care to patients.
Affordable and reliable electricity is critical to Florida’s economy. For large commercial and industrial consumers, hospitals, and long-term care providers, reliability of electricity supply is not just expected—it is an absolute necessity. Florida’s highly reliable electric power system has allowed our state—including the members of AIF, FHCA, and FHA—to grow and flourish. Florida’s existing electric utility providers have built the current electric system over many decades and continue to improve it through hardening and smart technology, even in the face of hurricanes and other natural disasters.
The Proposed Amendment is clearly and conclusively defective on multiple grounds, any one of which constitutes sufficient grounds for this Court to find the proposal invalid and ineligible to appear on the ballot.
The Proposed Amendment’s ballot statement also misleads voters in several other respects. The ballot statement advises voters that the proposal grants a constitutional right to “sell electricity,” but the Proposed Amendment grants no such affirmative constitutional right. Instead, the Proposed Amendment merely states that its terms should not be construed to limit the right to sell electricity. The Proposed Amendment’s ballot statement fails to disclose that it would invalidate countless statutes, regulations, and orders governing the current electric utility system up to two years before implementing legislation for the Proposed Amendment would be required to take effect. Finally, the Proposed Amendment’s ballot statement plainly misstates the deadline by which the Proposed Amendment would require the Legislature to adopt implementing legislation.
Because of these serious legal defects, this Court should issue an advisory opinion concluding that the Proposed Amendment is invalid and cannot be approved for placement on the ballot.
Read their full legal brief filed with the Florida Supreme Court here.