State leaders and powerful business groups are trying to kill a proposed constitutional amendment that would lead to major changes in the way Floridians get electricity.
Opponents, including Attorney General Ashley Moody, legislative leaders, business groups and utilities, filed 13 briefs late last week at the Florida Supreme Court arguing that the proposal should be blocked from going on the November 2020 ballot.
The briefs were the latest batch of arguments about the proposal, which would uproot the long-established regulatory structure that leads to residents and businesses in much of the state receiving electricity from four utilities: Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co. and Gulf Power.
Opposition to the measure has come from some of the most influential players in the Capitol, including Moody, House and Senate leaders, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Hospital Association and the Florida Health Care Association. Also filing or signing onto briefs have been FPL, Duke Energy, Tampa Electric, Gulf Power, the Florida Electric Cooperatives Association, the Florida Municipal Electric Association and the Florida Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.
But the Senate brief Friday fired back about the motives of the political committee.
“Contrary to the image of regular citizens trying to change the way they are governed, this is a well-heeled special interest group trying to advance a policy change that would benefit their industry,” the Senate brief said. “The (Supreme) Court should be skeptical of commercial interests attempting to use the citizen initiative process to benefit themselves.”