It looks like Senate President Ken Pruitt would prefer to fight in court to preserve the Legislature's property-tax amendment that was struck from the ballot yesterday by a judge. Gov. Charlie Crist ultimately would decide whether to appeal because his secretary of state, Kurt Browning, is named a defendant and not the Legislature.
In the letter below, Pruitt suggests next week's special session should not be expanded to include fixing the amendment:
"Yesterday, we received a trial court ruling in the case Hersh v. Browning, a challenge to the statutory language and constitutional amendment crafted by the Legislature to lower property taxes for Floridians.
First, I am encouraged that the court upheld the statutory plan. Senator Webster, Senator Haridopolos, and Representative Dean Cannon spearheaded what I believe is one of the most complex and challenging issues that has faced this Legislature in recent memory. They are to be commended for negotiating a statutory tax reduction and mandatory cap on local government revenue collections.
However, the court decision yesterday found our ballot summary language unconstitutional. After weighing our options, I believe the best course of action for the Senate and for Florida taxpayers is to vigorously defend our work product. The ruling yesterday represents the first step in the judicial process; we will appeal this decision.
The Speaker and I will be issuing a call for Special Session; the main purpose will be to reduce the budget in order to keep spending in line with the state’s lower revenues. Our primary focus has been, and will continue to be, on our one constitutional duty: the budget. I appreciate the work of Senator Carlton and our Appropriations Committees as they are thoroughly evaluating programs and projects for reductions. This is a challenging task, but one that I know can be accomplished with everyone’s full focus and effort.
I look forward to seeing you in Tallahassee later this week."